Rear End Vibration '05
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Rear End Vibration '05 in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; I have a vibration which the dealer says is a bad bearing in the rear end. Problem is, according to ...
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    Freebird is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Rear End Vibration '05

    I have a vibration which the dealer says is a bad bearing in the rear end. Problem is, according to them, you can't buy just the bearing and have to buy the whole differential. First question, is this true? Second question, if so, is there an aftermarket alternative or even a factory upgrade (junkyard or new) that would offer a stronger rear end?

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    Manofmetal01's Avatar
    Manofmetal01 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird
    Second question, if so, is there an aftermarket alternative or even a factory upgrade (junkyard or new) that would offer a stronger rear end?
    The answer to this is readily available by using search.

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    darkman's Avatar
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
    I have a vibration which the dealer says is a bad bearing in the rear end. Problem is, according to them, you can't buy just the bearing and have to buy the whole differential. First question, is this true? Second question, if so, is there an aftermarket alternative or even a factory upgrade (junkyard or new) that would offer a stronger rear end?
    The latest version of the OEM differential is considerably better than the original factory 2005 units. Check here to see about one of those: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ml#post3282349

    If the dealer has done a thorough check and concluded that it is the differential causing the vibration it would be a rare case, based on the reports on this forum over the years. The early differentials broke with case failures and all units exhibit a tendency to become noisy over time (a high octave whine), but vibration is not a common event (I recall none, but that is just me). Vibrations are statistically more likely to be caused by tire or wheel issues, and occasionally by wheel bearing issues (on the verge of failure). Finally, vibrations can come from axle issues related to the constant velocity joints.

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    Andringa is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
    Problem is, according to them, you can't buy just the bearing and have to buy the whole differential. First question, is this true?
    As far as I have found the differential is completely serviceable? I know that all the seals are replaceable. And the previous owner of my car had the clutch packs serviced. I'd find it hard to believe that there is a bearing that would require the replacement of the entire differential. Under warranty GM constantly replaced the entire differential because of minor things like whining and other noises. Dealing with warranty work, dealerships normally wouldn't attempt to service the differential in house.

    I would ask them specifically which bearing is bad. If they say "we aren't sure which one it is", then I wouldn't really consider that a valid diagnosis.

    I suggest you get a second opinion before spending money to try and fix the problem.

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    Freebird is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    A big thank you to the last two respondents who actually provided useful information.

    To me, it's more of a whine than a vibration, so I may indeed need to get a second opinion despite the fact it came from a Cadillac dealership. Maybe they just haven't dealt with that many V's as it's a fairly small dealership. This whine is more noticeable at speeds around 40-50MPH, and I thought it may be a result of a bad bushing which I had replaced along with the axle seals when the dealership gave me the bad bearing diagnosis when they test drove it afterward. As for the bearing not being able to be replaced and the only option being to replace the entire differential, that sounded a bit strange to me, but nothing like that surprises me anymore.

    My car is approaching 150K miles, and I've never done any hard launches or abused it. Just lots of interstate driving. Had I been aware of GM replacing differentials with an upgraded version, I would have been abusing it to get the free upgrade when I still had warranty. I suppose if it is just a whine that doesn't get significantly worse (or won't lead to a failure of some sort), I'm not going to worry too much about it given I don't drive very much at the speeds where it's annoying.

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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    +1 on Darkman's response.

    Is it a whine or a vibration? There are multiple posts on here that indicate nearly ALL rear-ends have a slight whine to them between 40-50 MPH under light throttle which should go away under HEAVIER throttle, but shouldn't produce a vibration or something you actually feel. The dealership can only buy the rear-end/carrier as a single part and cannot buy just the gears/bearings, etc. to rebuild the rear end, which is why they are saying it's an all or nothing swap. The parts listing here --> http://parts.nalleygmc.com/showAssem...ssembly=375406 indicates that some other CTS's can have parts and pieces purchased, but the V differential doesn't have any parts other than seals available.

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    Freebird is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    Quote Originally Posted by NCOGNITO View Post
    +1 on Darkman's response.

    Is it a whine or a vibration? There are multiple posts on here that indicate nearly ALL rear-ends have a slight whine to them between 40-50 MPH under light throttle which should go away under HEAVIER throttle, but shouldn't produce a vibration or something you actually feel. The dealership can only buy the rear-end/carrier as a single part and cannot buy just the gears/bearings, etc. to rebuild the rear end, which is why they are saying it's an all or nothing swap. The parts listing here --> http://parts.nalleygmc.com/showAssem...ssembly=375406 indicates that some other CTS's can have parts and pieces purchased, but the V differential doesn't have any parts other than seals available.
    Thanks for your input. That seems to verify what the dealer told me about nothing inside the case having any parts availability. I guess I've been paying more attention to this thing having driven it a few days after that work was done, but the sound is more like truck tire tread. As for not hearing it under heavier throttle, I don't, but I'm guessing that's in part due to the K&N cold air intake I installed several years ago.

    Seeing as how I would have to replace the entire rear end/carrier anyway, it would seem I have nothing to lose by continuing to drive the car as is. My primary concern is finding myself sitting on the side of the road in the middle of the night with a car that won't go. Would you (or anyone else) care to offer your input on that? I don't know anyone else who personally owns one of these cars, so I'm pretty much at the mercy of the dealership and you guys.

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    darkman's Avatar
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird View Post
    Thanks for your input. That seems to verify what the dealer told me about nothing inside the case having any parts availability. I guess I've been paying more attention to this thing having driven it a few days after that work was done, but the sound is more like truck tire tread. As for not hearing it under heavier throttle, I don't, but I'm guessing that's in part due to the K&N cold air intake I installed several years ago.

    Seeing as how I would have to replace the entire rear end/carrier anyway, it would seem I have nothing to lose by continuing to drive the car as is. My primary concern is finding myself sitting on the side of the road in the middle of the night with a car that won't go. Would you (or anyone else) care to offer your input on that? I don't know anyone else who personally owns one of these cars, so I'm pretty much at the mercy of the dealership and you guys.
    Your description that "the sound is more like truck tire tread" is indeed the signature of the infamous differential whine. In some of the late 2004 and very early 2005 models the sound could be the precursor of failure. (Mine original differential fell into that category.) On the other hand, that sound many of the noisy units proved quite reliable and in some case made less noise that new units replaced by dealers under warranty. It is easy enough to tell how serious the problem is by changing the differential fluid. The metallic drain plug will accumulate metal filings almost instantly after a fluid change so you can ignore that, but if the unit is approaching failure the fluid will contain visible metal flakes after as few as 500 miles. If you want absolute confirmation you can fluid with 500 or so miles on it in for used oil analysis (e.g. Blackstone Laboratories) and look at the test results for atypical ferric and/or copper contamination.

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    Freebird is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Rear End Vibration '05

    Thanks again for your help. The differential fluid was changed when the axle seals were replaced. In fact, a leaky seal wasn't discovered until I took the car in to have the bushing replaced. It wasn't bad... yet, but I had the mechanic check the level as they only had one seal in stock, and it would have been dumb not to replace both. With that, I had him check the fluid level before driving off in the car to return the next day when they had the other seal. The fluid looked great, there was plenty of it, and there were no such signs of metal shavings on the plug. I'll check the plug again in 500 miles or so and may go the oil analysis route. Then again, maybe I had just better contact the member/dealer on here who is advertising discounted differentials as I'm sure it's just a matter of time given how many miles I have on this car. I've enjoyed driving it and plan to keep it until/unless it just starts falling apart on me. Outside this bushing and seal replacement, I've done nothing to the car except routine maintenance and buying LOTS of tires.

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    thebigjimsho is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    I agree with darkman.

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