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  1. #1

    Default Suburban front diff help

    Hello everyone I am new to the forum and hoping for a bit of help! I picked up a 1999 Chevy Suburban LT after a bad accident Christmas eve that totalled our 03 GMC Envoy XL. I noticed when I bought it that the rear seal where the drive line attaches to the front diff was leaking a bit. After making the purchase I went right down and bought a new pionion seal and replacement fluid. I got it all apart and noticed inside under the seal there was a small section of the inside metal lip missing right at the bottom. I was guessing this is why it was leaking but decided to install the new seal and keep my fingers crossed. Well of course it still leaks. My question is has anyone else had this problem? Is there an easy fix or am I going to have to replace the front diff? Thanks for any and all help!

  2. #2


    Welcome to the site! I'm not 100%, but I think you're going to have to replace it. I can't think of a way to replace or repair that lip.


    '94 Chevy Suburban K1500
    3" exhaust w/ aero turbine non-baffled muffler
    CFM Technologies TB spacer
    CB w/ 44" whip antenna

  3. #3


    Thanks for the welcome!! I am curious because this just holds fluid in and makes contact with the seal and does not touch moving parts correct? Do you think JB weld might work or something along those lines? I think I have even heard of a clay type stuff with metal in it that I might be able to fix the missing section?? Just was hoping for a fix as I have not found many options for replacing the front diff and the ones I have seen are like 800 for a used one.

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default leaking front differential

    What does the outside of the yoke look like? Are there grooves in it where the seal rides? This is usually why the seal leaks, can you chuck it in a lathe and polish it up a bit without taking too much metal off or replace the yoke?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States


    I am wondering what could have caused this to happen???
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual

  6. #6


    Are you talking about the notch in the casting after you pulled the seal out? A pic would be nice. After reading your post again I believe that is what you are talking about. This is an oil return.

  7. #7


    Really appreciate all the replies!! Since it is still leaking bad I will pull it apart again maybe this weekend and snap some photos of it. I thought it seemed broken as it was not really straight and seems to have been broken off. I do not remember seeing any where on the yoke but I will check it out again.

  8. #8


    So I had a chance to pull it apart again this weekend and think it is worse then I thought.. the chunk missing looks much worse and it would seem some of the ball bearings are missing??? I wanted to remove the race and bearnigs and such to examine them closer but cant figure out how to remove them the outer race seems a bit loose but I do not think there is much shaft play.. Does anyone know if these are pressed bearings? I am still waiting on my factory service manuals to arrive but really need to get this puppy fixed in case it starts snowing again stranding my only other car in the driveway.. After closer inspection the drive line to the front diff looks pretty new as well, I wonder if they hit it on something or maybe did not grease the universal breaking the original and damaning the front diff case. Let me knoww what you think! Thanks

    Not sure what is wrong with photobucket but my image shows correct there but it links to it turned sideways? anyways the point of damage is directly in the down direction on the vehicle, this picture nees to be rotated to the right.

    This is the best i could do to get top to bottom to show depth of the damage.

  9. #9
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    West By God Virginia!


    Looks like somebody(tried to) replace the bearings and hit the edge with a hammer! You probably need a new unit.

    Try these guys...

    also check the local yards.
    How bad is the leak? Can you live with it for a while?
    Last edited by jn1965; 01-18-2009 at 09:05 PM.
    I have no convictions ... I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy

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  10. #10


    I may have found a replacement front diff but need help to make sure it will work. The guy said that it is from a 97 Chevy half ton truck and that it is the 3.73 gears and had push button 4 wheel drive. Are all Chevy trucks and SUV's on the same frame will this just bolt up? He is giving me a pretty good deal, told me it only have 84k on it and I could have it for 100 bucks. I just have to drive 100 miles to get it.

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