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  1. #1

    Question Rear end/differential Compatibility

    Hey guys. Just registered here. I have a 1995 Tahoe and my differential just went down the drain yesterday with gear teeth missing and chunks all over. First question is, do you think its more cost effective to replace the differential gears or to replace the whole rear end? A friend of mine whom is a mechanic will be helping me here so im not brining it to a shop.

    Second, if I am going to replace the rear end, can I use a chevy 1500 pickup rear end instead of a tahoe rear?? I have the 10 bolt with clutch type limited slip and 3.73 gear ratio. Would the pickup rear be the same ratio? Has anyone had any experience doing a rear swap?

    I only ask these questions because I am having a hard time finding a tahoe rear end at the junkyards. Anyone help would be great cause i need to get my hoe on the road soon. Thanks guys.

  2. #2


    burban should be the same to. i'de just replace the whole rear axle. it will be easier if you can find one.
    97 Tahoe 5.7L, automatic, 37" tires on 20 "rims, 8" of lift
    02 avalanche 2500, 8.1L

  3. #3


    Several questions:

    1) When you say "clutch type LS" are you referring to the factory G80 (which is technically a locker) or an aftermarket clutch type LS?

    2) Are the carrier and ring and pinion reusable or were they damaged as well? If you don't have to buy a ring and pinion and a carrier, you might be better off just replacing the carrier "guts" which shouldn't be overly expensive.

    3) Do you care what kind of diff you get? Junkyard axles will almost all be "factory" meaning you'll either get an open diff or a G80. If either factory option is what you want, then a junkyard axle might be a good option. When I rebuilt my 10 bolt, I opted for an aftermarket locker, which I figured there was little to no chance of finding in a junkyard, so I rebuilt my diff with what I wanted. If this is of interest, you should probably consider building what you want rather than hope you find it in the junkyard.

    4) Is your mechanic friend experienced at setting up gears? How important is time? If you're getting your friend's time free or at a steep discount, you might be better off rebuilding with new parts. The parts are probably sitting on a shelf ready to go if you lay the money down, and you won't have to worry about running around looking through a half dozen axles to see if they will work, then worry about moving spring perches if need be and whatever else.

    As you noted, if you buy a junkyard axle, you'll need to match gear ratios if your Tahoe is 4wd (if it's 2wd, then you can put whatever gear ratio in you want/find). 3.73 is a fairly common truck ratio, but certainly not the only one offered. If you have access to the donor truck, you could check the RPO code list. Even then, I'd probably still want to count rotations or count teeth on the ring and pinion to be sure.

    I see advantages and disadvantaged to either option. If you can readily find a good used axle, that is often the best approach, but I don't think it's the best approach in every situation.
    '98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
    '92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
    "My toys were the greasy cogs and springs and pistons that lay around all over the place, and these, I can promise you, were far more fun to play with than most of the plastic rubbish children are given nowadays." Danny in Roald Dahl's Danny The Champion of the World

  4. #4


    Hey guys. Thanks for for the info back. Im thinkin Ill just get the junkyard axle and just do a straight swap since its just pretty much straightforward.

  5. #5


    you are better off that way if you want to do it yourself. if the blowout hurt anything else in there it will pay off in the long run. also, there could have been damage in there before that caused the blowout to begin with. as hard as i beat my gm trucks, i've never blown a rear end. an rear axle is easy to replace. theres a billion tahoe's out there, just keep looking and you'll find one.
    97 Tahoe 5.7L, automatic, 37" tires on 20 "rims, 8" of lift
    02 avalanche 2500, 8.1L

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