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  1. #1

    Question 1999 Sierra 5.3 1500 4x4 is making odd noise in the rear differential

    I am sorry if I am in the wrong place but I need some serious insight. My 1999 Sierra 5.3 1500 4x4 has had a chirping noise in the rear (I am not sure if it is the differential). This noise is now gone and been replaced by a vibration. My question is do I need a new rear end? is it the ring and pinion or a bearing? Help please...I have not gotten under her accept to check U joints and they are fine. I just do not want to be driving my boy and have the rear end lock up on me. I need to fix this myself as I cannot afford a mechanics fees and I may have to buy used parts.

    Any insight is welcome,

    Last edited by e.penrose1; 11-19-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: addition

  2. #2

    mfleetwood's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Denver, CO
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    No problem...I moved your post here and started a thread. I'm sure someone will be able to help you shortly.

    Welcome to the Club!!!

    Mike (Denver, CO) - 2008 Sierra 1500 Z71 SLE 5.3L 4WD

    SUSPENSION: Rancho 4" Suspension Lift; Rancho RS9000XL Shocks; Rancho Skid Plates; Rancho MyRide Wireless Shock Controller;
    BFG All Terrain KO 315/70/17
    DRIVE TRAIN: 4.56 Gears; Detroit TrueTrac Differential; True Cool 40k Transmission Cooler
    PERFORMANCE: DiableSport Predator Tuner; Custom Tuned by Diablew; Magnaflow Exhaust; AFE Cold Air Intake
    ELECTRONICS: Kenwood DNX6180 Touchscreen; Subthump box w/10" Kicker; Driver Information Center (DIC); Rear View Camera
    ACCESSORIES: Westin Brush/Grill Gaurd; Westin Nerf Bars; Truxedo Tonneau; 20% Tint; Tow Mirrors w/Heat & Signals

  3. #3


    Thank you so much I look forward to getting some serious advise before breaking her down being this is my only transportation and I am a single mom. This is hopefully not to expensive or I will be up a creek without a paddle.


  4. #4


    Are you sure the U-joints are good? The chirping and vibration are symptoms of bad U-joints.
    Nothing wrong with used parts as long as their in good shape.
    Worst case scenario if it is a bad pinion or bearings you might be cheaper to find a used rear axle with the same gear ratio as yours and swap it out. I know it might sound like a lot of work but lots of times a decent rear axle can be cheaper than all the parts and labor to put the old one back together, and if your gonna lift her up to pull the pumpkin and axle shafts you already over half way there.
    Someting else I'd look at is make sure theres nothing stuck in the brake shoes or backing plates that might be causing this issue.

  5. #5


    I thought that way might be cheaper too but then I checked on bearings and then ring & pinion and the prices just kept going up. I will check on the brakes; but what is the backing plates????

  6. #6


    Backing plates are the plates the brake shoe pivot points are attached to, sometimes you can get small rocks and debris stuck in there and it'll cause noises.
    A decent ring, pinion, bearings, seals, and labor can run almost $800, depending on the labor rates, not cheap by any means. I've found recycling yard and craigslist rear axles as low as $350. Might take a little searching if you have to go that route.

  7. #7


    Thank you for explaining I would never have known what those were at least until I looked and guessed....a lot. haha


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