Need advice, thinking about buying a blown up differential

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by hombrewer, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. hombrewer

    hombrewer New Member

    I'm looking to buy a truck that is local to me, and needs a good bit of work. I was hoping for some advice from you all.

    The truck in question is a 95 Sierra Z71, 350. Looks decent enough, engine runs beautifully, and the tranny was replaced 40k ago (with paper work). The bad, is that the rear end locked up at some point and needs to be replaced. I went out to look at the truck, and was unsure of a few things. The drive shaft is detached from the rear end, and held up by bungee cords. The entire underside of the bed and frame are covered in gear oil, and the pinion shaft (not the housing) is pointing up at ~30°. The drivers side rear tire is completely chewed up, and basically looks like it was spun until it was ready to fail. As near as I can tell, it looks like the diff failed catastrophically while the truck was in motion.

    Here is my concern. I can't drive the truck before I buy it. I have no problem replacing a rear myself, but I'm concerned about the other stuff. The seller seems like a trustworthy guy, but I'm still skeptical. If a diff decides to grenade itself while moving, bad enough to suck the pinion back into the pumpkin, then there HAD to be a massive drive line shock that sent a huge force up into the transfer case... right? Is the transfer case and/or tranny shot? Should I buy it, replace the diff, and be happy? Or should I run like hell from this? Granted, it isn't that pretty, and certainly needs some work, but it runs beautifully, and it's cheap.

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance for all of your advice.
  2. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    if the damage is as you described I would assume that there is definately TC and transmission damage as well. Maybe see if you put the transmission in nuetral and spin the driveshaft to see if you can hear bad noises in either one. but like I said I would assume at least transfer case problems with it grenading. New driveline would be required too most likely
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    This one would have to be at the right price because you have to go into the purchase suspecting the T case and possibly trans need replacing, in addition to all the parts you can already see that need replacing.
    The diff is more than likely not rebuildable and with a shock like that I wouldnt count on the T case being rebuildable, I would think even if it does run after the first few miles your gonna find some cracks in the tailshaft.
    Most likely the drive shaft pulled out of the T case when the axle rolled and thats where the majority of your fluids came from under the truck. Why they tried to put it back in who knows. If the price is right it could be a score, otherwise!!!
  4. b-radical

    b-radical Rockstar 100 Posts

    I really dont know much about the tc and diff but I'd say run like hell. I'm paying $1800 to have my trans fixed atm. when my diff was done I paid $350 for spider gears alone. Not sure how much time you got but remember time is money.

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