No power to rear end

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by awheeler, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. awheeler

    awheeler New Member

    I have a 1992 Suburban 4x4, 270,000 miles. I think it all started with bad u joints, the drive shaft had been vibrating periodically and then finally the rear one broke and I had to replace it on the side of the road with a hammer which kind of bent the end of the drive shaft where the ujoint go in so the u joint was a bit tight. I found that out from the shop that later rebuilt my tranny. then one day i put it in drive and the rear end went bang and started rattling like there were rocks in it. Long story short. I can put it in drive and it goes nowhere and the rock grinding sounds like its coming from the passenger side rear axle tube. Took the differential cover off and found a few small slivers of metal but i cant see any thing broke. when I turn the rear drive shaft by hand it catches a bit every few revs. I drive it around in four wheel drive and there isnt any sound from the rear at all. Its my beater so as long as it drives...However I've been driving it around like that for about two years and It's probably time to fix it. Any Ideas? And how long do you think I can drive it around in front wheel drive? I have to wait for the 4x4 to engage before I out it in gear at start up other wise it grinds away until the rear drive line stops spinning after I put it back into park.
  2. Joeairforce

    Joeairforce Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    I'd say either broke an axle shaft or the spider gears in the diff.... Possible you broke the pinion gear but I'd lean more to the spider gears...
  3. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    If not the gears the bearings , allowing the axle shafts to become disengaged
  4. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    While in park, you should raise one rear wheel at a time and try and spin the wheel.
    If it spins, the axle is broken or the diff spider small shafts are broken. I don't think the gears can get stripped, but I could be wrong.

    When you opened the diff cover, did you inspect the ring gear all the way around?
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Easiest way to tell, pull the cover (a 5 min job) and inspect the inside of the diff.

    NOTE: before you remove the cover, be sure the fill plug can be removed.
  6. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    He said he opened the diff, "Took the differential cover off and found a few small slivers of metal but i cant see any thing broke. when I turn the rear drive shaft by hand it catches a bit every few revs".

    I don't know what he meant by small slivers of metal though. Maybe iron dusts sticking to the magnet? I am beginning to think maybe the ring gear is stripped on some sections that's why it catches every few revs when he turned it by hand.

    I think 5 minutes to open a diff is doable if all the bolts cooperate. You'll never know when a bolt breaks due to rust or siezing.
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    If an axle shaft lost it spines would it cause this if it does not have limited slip or a locker?
  8. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Missed it, having one of those days, I guess. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I think your right, but probably can't see the spline without removing the axles. With both wheels in the air, and the cover off, having someone turn each wheel while you hold (without getting hand jammed, maybe using a screwdriver jammed against the cage) the axle pinion gear. If stripped, the axle should feel like it will move in the gear.
  9. bazar01

    bazar01 Rockstar 100 Posts

    That will do it, you have to lock the diff cage against the case, then turn the wheel. If you can see the axle spin but with the diff locked, the splines are stripped, but if you can't see the axle spin, it is broken in half somewhere in the middle.
  10. awheeler

    awheeler New Member

    I appreciate every one taking the time to respond. i looked in the diff and like i said there were just some small metal slivers. Looked like normal wear and tear to me. It's a corporate ten bolt...stock i guess. The ring gear appeared to be ok as far as not missing any teeth. I'll get out there and pop the back end up this weekend. Currently all of my jacks andtools are tied up in a clutch job on my wifes explorer. Thanks again!

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