Rear Springs Binding or Rear Diff Going?
Okay, this problem is getting progressively worse and has me stumped.
2004 1500 Z71 4WD, 5.3L 323k miles.
The sound is a clunk, which honestly most resembles a sound like a U-joint wearing out from the rear of the truck, but only happens when first starting out from a stop and sometimes the 1st-2nd gear shift. After that, no clunk. Even if I drive down the road and try to tap the gas while moving, no clunk. I try moving the driveshaft and pinion and nothing. Now, you can also feel it a little when driving. It feels like a slight hesitation from the rear end. There is no delay, but it feels like what a sloppy rear end feels like. Sometimes when I roll to a stop, about half a second letter, it actually feels like something is releasing or delayed stop in the rear of the truck. Obviously the truck doesn't move, but it feels like something is delayed when the truck stops. I know it's a crappy explanation, but it's the best I can do.
Now, I wouldn't put it past the rear end being worn out (323k miles) but here is what baffles me. Now I will preface this is that gears are a weak spot for my trouble shooting. Any other part of the car, I can do it. Gears...I suck at. These sounds and feels only happen when the truck is unloaded or very lightly loaded in the bed. If I put a yard of dirt or I'm pulling a trailer, absolutely no sounds, delays, clanks, anything. In fact, just got back from hauling a car 400 miles yesterday and the rear was smooth as pudding. The rear end is also not whining at all in reverse (which I always used as a tell tale sign of a worn rear end).
Some one once told me that these Chevy's can start to bind in the rear springs (at the bushing perhaps), so I'm wondering if that's my problem, or if it still is the rear end.
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I did just find this...I may give it a try to see.