GMC got me again(need axle help)

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Mudrtrukr79, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. Mudrtrukr79

    Mudrtrukr79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Took the GMC in for state inspection today, 15 days late, but after large infusions of cash and knuckle skin, it proudly wears new state inspection stickers.While it was up on the rack I asked the poor suffering mechanic who helps me keep this truck running to check and see why the spindle bearing on the front axle he had replaced last june was making noise again.He pulled it apart and the bearing was dry as a bone , we have come to the conclusion that the axle is at fault , not the bearing or the seals, how can I fix this ???? There appears to be a large amount of play between the axle and the bearing. I really dont want to buy a new axle shaft , they are expensive and at least around here hard to find. The tranny is on its last legs and Im trying to squirrel away some cash for the day it bites the dust, so does any one know of a cheap fix? maybe a different bearing or some kind of shim between the axle and the bearing ??If I am forced to buy an axle shaft do I need one from another full time drive axle or can I use one from any GM front differential? This truck is really starting to become a problem with my wife , she hates it & shes starting to get an attitude with me over it , I dont really want to tell her I need an axle for it now. I hope somebody out here can help me

  2. Mudrtrukr79

    Mudrtrukr79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    No one has replied ???? No one ??? not one person out there has any idea how to help me ?????. Look Im desperate here Ill try anything whether you think itll work or not .At this point I dont have much to lose !!!I dont have the money or the time to look for a new axle and this problem isnt going to fix itself .

  3. Majestic

    Majestic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Mudrtrukr, I would probably consider just buying another rearend you can probably find one for about the same amount as you would have in repairs,and almost anyone can change it just some bolts and nuts.If it just got inspected then I wouldnt be afraid to invest a little there is still alot of winter left in fact I predict the worst is to come so gear up now get ready end of Jan and most of Feb is going to be SNOWY.Im talking record levels.Dont invest a whole lot in that rearend end without knowing the definite problem.I usually put 2000 Lbs (one ton) in my bed this allows me to travel between jobs and plow 85 percent of the time in two wheel drive,that might nurse you through .Also the rearends have to match in gear ratio pull cover and look for stampings on pinions.Good Luck.Get Ready now !!!!
  4. mike reeh

    mike reeh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    mudtruckr: I assume since your truck is a '79, you have a corporate 10 bolt frontend? (as opposed to the Dana 44)

    I have replaced the bearings you speak of a few times, in different trucks. Always been dana 44's. When you go to the parts store to buy the bearing, they will ask you "1st design or 2nd design" ? That baffled me for ages (weeks) until I finally went to the parts guy at the chevy dealer, and he looked it up in the computer.. he gave me a printout (which I have since lost) of the differences, its a very slight difference, in, i THINK, inner diameter of the bearing. Its also a different seal (1st design, 2nd design)

    I asked Chuck about this, we came to the conclusion that it must have been the difference between the dana 44 and corporate (chevy) 10 bolt frontend.

    I always bought the cheaper of the the two bearings and seals, and lucked out.. I'll bet if you go buy both and see if either one fits perfectly, you might get lucky.

    its highly unlikely that the axle has a manufacturers defect. If there is no clear evidence that the axle has worn away where the bearing sits, then its probably NOT the axle's fault. MAYBE the axle was replaced at one point with the wrong size, but it seems unlikely (you really never know, though)

    Thats my best guess.. it if were ME, the first thing I did, would be to get both bearings and see which fits, or at least goto the store and compare the two bearings, you dont have to necessarily buy them.

    Also-- even though the bearing might be the wrong size, shouldnt the seals be keeping the grease in? its sealed before and after the bearing.

    well good luck and keep us posted, this is pretty interesting..

  5. Mudrtrukr79

    Mudrtrukr79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I think you might have hit it on the head there Mike ,the problem seems to be the inner diameter of the bearing is too large and it fits on the axle very loosely as soon as the axle gets wet(I do a lot of offroading) that seems to be when the trouble starts. Now the guy I bought the truck off of changed the bearing on the left axle several years before I bought the truck and it seems fine. My buddy the mechanic changed the passenger side bearing june of last year and it started acting up about 2 months ago . When he pulled the spindle, the bearing looked like it was original and ungreased and it was only 7 months old. I dont offroad that much to do that to the bearing that fast , the truck has never sit in a puddle for any long periods of time so I figure the grease must be getting out through the slop between the bearing and the axle. I think Im going to try what you suggested getting the bearing with the smaller inner diameter and see if that cures it . Thank you Mike , you may have just saved my truck from being sold. Ill let you know how it works out

    Thanks again

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