Removal & Installation
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle securely on jackstands.
- Remove the rear tires and wheels assemblies.
- Remove the rear brake drums (if equipped).
- Remove the brake calipers (if equipped).
- Remove the rear brake rotors (if equipped).
- Accurately reference mark the propeller shaft.
Remove the clamp bolts from the rear of the pinion flange.
WARNINGWhen removing the propeller shaft, do not attempt to remove the shaft by pounding on the yoke ears or using a tool between the yoke and the universal joint. If the propeller shaft is removed by using such means, the injection joints may fracture and lead to premature failure of the joint.
- Remove the propeller shaft from the rear axle flange by sliding forward.
Tape the bearing cups in order to prevent the loss of bearing rollers.
WARNINGDo not allow the universal joint to incline greatly; the joint may fracture.
Remove the propeller shaft by lowering the rear of propeller shaft and gently pulling the shaft from the transmission.
Measure the amount of torque required to rotate the pinion using an inch-pound torque wrench. This will give the combined preload for the following components:
The pinion bearings
- Record the measurement.
- Draw an alignment mark between the pinion stem and the pinion flange/yoke.
- Install flange/pulley holding tool J 8614-01 and remove the pinion nut.
- Remove the washer.
- Install the J 8614-2 and the J 8614-3 into J 8614-01.
- Remove the pinion yoke by turning J 8614-3 clockwise while holding the flange/pulley holding tool. Use a container in order to retrieve the lubricant.
Remove the pinion oil seal using a suitable seal removal tool. Do not damage the axle housing sealing surface.
- Install the new pinion oil seal using a pinion oil seal installer tool.
- Apply sealant, GM P/N 12346004 (Canadian P/N 10953480) or equivalent, to the splines of the pinion flange/yoke.
- Install the pinion gear flange/yoke to the pinion gear shaft in the same position as marked during removal in order to maintain correct driveline balance.
- Install the pinion yoke. Align the marks made during removal. Do not hammer the pinion flange/yoke onto the pinion shaft. Pinion components may be damaged if the pinion flange/yoke is hammered onto the pinion shaft.
- Seat the pinion flange/yoke onto the pinion shaft by tapping it with a soft-faced hammer until a few pinion shaft threads show through the flange/yoke.
- Install the washer and a new pinion nut.
- Install the J 8614-01 onto the pinion flange/yoke as shown.
- Tighten the pinion nut while holding the J 8614-01. Tighten the nut until the pinion end play is removed. Rotate the pinion while tightening the nut to seat the bearings.
- Measure the rotating torque of the pinion. Compare this measurement with the rotating torque recorded during removal.
- Tighten the nut in small increments, as needed, until the rotating torque is 0.40-0.57 Nm (3-5 inch lbs.) greater than the rotating torque recorded during removal. If the rotating torque is exceeded, the pinion will have to be removed and a new collapsible spacer installed.
- Once the specified torque is obtained, rotate the pinion several times to ensure the bearings have seated. Check the rotating torque and adjust if necessary.
- Slide the propeller shaft into the transmission. Install a new universal joint whenever a slip joint or companion flange is serviced.
- Lubricate the slip joint.
- Install the yoke to the pinion flange.
- Align the reference marks on the pinion flange and the propeller shaft rear yoke. Seat the yoke properly.
- Install the retainers.
- Install the rear pinion flange bolts into the pinion flange. Tighten the rear pinion flange bolts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) for 2.2L engines; 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) for 4.3L engines.
- Install the brake drums, if equipped.
- Install the brake rotors, if equipped.
- Install the brake calipers, if equipped.
- Install the tire and wheel assemblies.
- Inspect and add axle lubricant to the axle housing, if necessary.
- Lower the vehicle.
- Connect the negative battery cable.