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  1. #1

    Default Rear End Noise - Worn Tires?

    I have a 2002 1500 2WD Suburban with 126,000 miles. Recently it has developed a noise in the rear end. I hesitate to say differential noise, because I am not convinced that is the souce of the noise. I checked the lubricant level and it was correct. I went ahead and changed the lubricant as recommended in the owner's manual as well as added a bottle of GM's Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive (PN 1052358). The noise appears to be about the same.

    What I am leaning toward are the tires. They are Dunlop AT21 tires. They have about 4/32" tread left with fairly uniform wear. The noise is definitely not a growl (bad bearings) and is not resonant between 40-50 (bad ring gear and pinion).

    Are there any tests I can do to determine if the tires are at fault, other than try another set?


  2. #2
    stephan's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Far West, Oregon USA,
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    Does the noise change any between on the gas & off, or does it change any depending on pavement surface like cheater pavement?
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol

  3. #3


    Best I can tell there is no (or little) difference between gas on (drive) and gas off (coast). No difference between types of pavement. I had a liberal education about a worn ring gear and pinion with a old Mercedes I once owned. I could rebuild that differential in my sleep before I sold the car. Other that that, I wished I still owned that car.

  4. #4


    I have a 2003 chevy burb and had to replace the rear end last year due to evidence of heat in the diff housing.
    I also had a rear noise and use 16 inch tires.
    Not a big fan of this vehicle either, to date the whole power train has been replaced due to cheap materials!

  5. #5



    What were the symptoms of your differential trouble? I noticed when I replaced the differential lubricant that there were no particles (metal or clutch material)in the oil and it smelled OK (as good as differential lube can smell). Did you have noise, jerkiness, etc.?

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