Help me get my rear axles back in!

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by Old_Timer Silverado 1500, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. OK-here's the scorecard: 2002 Silverado short bed V6 4x4 auto tranny, 80k miles, with std. 10 bolt 8.6 non-slip, non-posi open case differential:

    Replaced my rear brake dust shields (salt and calcium ate 'em up), went ahead and changed out rear bearings/seals, the Emergency brake shoes/hardware, ER cables and such. No big deal.

    BUT--now when I go back to re-assemble all, I can't get the rear axles splines to engage the female splines in the diff's side gears. Aaarrggh!

    I gently and slowly slide in the axles and they line up and enter the hole in the side gear, but won't bottom out by having the splines mate.

    I look into my open diff carrier and can see the end of the axle shafts "in" the side gear, but not engaging the splines? Mystery...

    After I popped off the diff cover, removed the lock screw and big old shaft, pulled off the "Cl" clips, I always kept the large pin "IN" the spider gears and side gears.

    May I have moved or spun these gears after the axles were out? Sure, prolly.

    What the solution or secret?

    How do I get the axles back in?


    my first Chevy was a '56, bought in '59. been buying 'em ever since...
  2. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    are you sure that the new bearings are fully seated?
  3. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Are you sure there is no shim between the side gear and housing that has fallen out of place and blocking the side gear female spline?
  4. Many Thanks, Pikey!

    Yep--got them bearings pressed in where they should be. Even took my trust dial caliper and measured the "before" and "after" depth from the outer race's edge. All is good there.

    Let me gently remove these axles and shine my 2,000,000 candlepower light up the axle tube and see what's up.
  5. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i just did mine recently....
    you need 2 people for putting them back in, one has to push the axle in far enough so you can drop the C pin into place, then give it a little tug back outwards to lock it in place
  6. Thanks! I will enlist Momma:

    - - - Updated - - -

    GOOD IDEA! Let me check this out first thing tomorrow!!! Never would have thought a side gear shim outta place would give me such a headache. We shall see!
  7. reggiecab2000

    reggiecab2000 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

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