99 Tahoe has Locked up Rear Wheels?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by backbonejay, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. backbonejay

    backbonejay New Member

    My wife was out of town driving the tahoe when as she explains a big 'cling/banging' noise. she smelled rubber as the truck stopped almost immediately. I can hear and slightly feel the transmission working, but it wont move the truck at all. I figure it's either the REAR END or a locked REAR BRAKE, but I don't know how to tell which one it is. Can someone please chime in and help me troubleshoot this thing? I would greatly appreciate it.


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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  3. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I would probably start by jacking up the rear and having a quick look. The few catastrophic diff failures I've seen have usually punched a hole in the cover which becomes pretty obvious once you are underneath.

    With the rear end in the air and the transmission in N, try turning both wheels. If only one brake locked up, you should be able to turn the other wheel. You may also be able to feel a difference between brake and diff lockup. Something locked up in the diff may have a "backlash" feel to it (the wheels will partially turn back and forth between stops) where a frozen brake will freeze the wheel solid.

    You might try taking both wheels off. If the brakes are free, you will be able to remove the rear drums (may need to retract the shoes), but you will be completely unable to remove the drums if the brakes are frozen.

    While you have it in the air, you might take the diff cover off and inspect the diff. I would expect a frozen diff to be immediately apparent once the cover is off.
  4. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    ^^^ [MENTION=11846]MrShorty[/MENTION] has it covered.
  5. backbonejay

    backbonejay New Member

    Thanks for the help. unfortunately this is not the only project i'm working on, but I'll will post what I find. If you think of anything else please post.

    - - - Updated - - -

    one more thing, if the brakes are frozen, how do you get the drums off?
  6. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    A repair manual will explain how, but you go in through the backing plate and retract the adjuster screw. This will draw the shoes in and release the tension on the drum. It is tedious, so it will take some patience, and it could require quite a few full turns of the adjusting screw.

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