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  1. #1

    Default Front differential problem!! Please help

    Please Help!

    I have a 04 1500 silverado 5.3 ltr with 103k on it. When i run it in 4x4 hi or low the front end whinds out pretty loud with speed then goes away when dis engaged. i noticed one of the seals on the front diff leaking and decided to drain it out and change the fluid. the fluid was bright metallic silver in color and there was several pieces of metal shavings on the magnetic pin behind the plug. I replaced both wheel bearings to eliminate the source of the growling noise but it didnt help. now it seems to get worse everyday. the noise in the front is there all the time now (2 weeks after changing fluid) and i cant figure it out. I have priced a whole now front diff for 500 bucks from a local junkyard but that seems crazy to me. Is there an easier way to fix this problem and do i need a new diff?

    please help me thanks

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice TnT817's Avatar
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    You probably just need new bearings. Your local dealer or auto parts store will sell a front bearing rebuild kit. I actually just did mine today. You just have to hope your ring and pinion isn't chewed up. If that is bad then thats another 450-500. The downside is the whole diff has to be dropped out and split open. If you aren't very familiar with how bearings should be pressed on or how to get them off then I wouldn't recommend you do this yourself.

    When you say seal do you mean your cv axle seals? Thats the only seal on the front diff that I have ever seen leak. The only other spot it could leak is where the cases come together and if no one has been in there then I don't see how it could be leaking.
    Last edited by TnT817; 04-04-2012 at 10:13 PM.

  3. #3

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    I had to replace the front pumpkin in my 99, IMO it would be cheaper just to get a low mileage pumpkin from a wreck with a warranty. I spent about 650.00 having mine rebuilt.

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice TnT817's Avatar
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    If you don't have the know how of rebuilding one it will be cheaper for you to just get one like stated above. I only spent 150 bucks to put all new bearings in mine. Labor is where you would get killed with differentials.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TnT817 View Post
    If you don't have the know how of rebuilding one it will be cheaper for you to just get one like stated above. I only spent 150 bucks to put all new bearings in mine. Labor is where you would get killed with differentials.

    I am just talking parts. I stripped the ring gear.

    Always bust it open and see what it needs then going from there.
    Last edited by 07XCSB; 04-04-2012 at 10:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice TnT817's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to do what you said. Take it apart and see what it needs. If you end up needing a ring and pinion you might as well just get the used one because a new ring and pinion will be about 500 at least because you don't want to put an off brand in there. Just make sure if you end up getting a ring and pinion that you make sure your adjusters are reset. I believe you have the different style adjusters that need a special tool to adjust, so keep that in mind.

    You would be looking at 650 almost at bare minimum to do a rebuild. Thats bearings and ring and pinion. I've never seen anything on the actuator side be bad in the ones that I've done so I wouldn't see you having to rebuild that.
    Last edited by TnT817; 04-06-2012 at 10:10 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike57 View Post
    Please Help!

    I have a 04 1500 silverado 5.3 ltr with 103k on it. When i run it in 4x4 hi or low the front end whinds out pretty loud with speed then goes away when dis engaged. i noticed one of the seals on the front diff leaking and decided to drain it out and change the fluid. the fluid was bright metallic silver in color and there was several pieces of metal shavings on the magnetic pin behind the plug. I replaced both wheel bearings to eliminate the source of the growling noise but it didnt help. now it seems to get worse everyday. the noise in the front is there all the time now (2 weeks after changing fluid) and i cant figure it out. I have priced a whole now front diff for 500 bucks from a local junkyard but that seems crazy to me. Is there an easier way to fix this problem and do i need a new diff?

    please help me thanks
    I am assuming that this was caused by an over heating in the front differential by running 4x4 with bad oil, it may have damaged your spider gears and by running it with the shavings, same with the bearings. You may need a full rebuild. Try flushing everything out very well.
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  8. #8
    Sr. Apprentice TnT817's Avatar
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    The front differential doesn't have spider gears. They just have the ring and pinion unless its completely different than my 99 sierra's.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TnT817 View Post
    The front differential doesn't have spider gears. They just have the ring and pinion unless its completely different than my 99 sierra's.
    Sorry, that's what i meant ring and pinion, i rebuilt my front differential in my 2002.

    Here's what it will look like inside.
    Click image for larger version. 

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