Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; I crawled under my '06 CTS (3.6 V-6, 130k) to take care of the differential bushing issue that was causing ...
  1. #1
    quaver's Avatar
    quaver is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    I crawled under my '06 CTS (3.6 V-6, 130k) to take care of the differential bushing issue that was causing the all familiar "clunk" under load or gear change. I went with the Creative Steel bushing and rented their removal/installation tool (which works great BTW, kudos to those guys for great product and great tool). As I have only owned the car for a few months I took the time to completely remove the exhaust system and drive shaft in order to inspect other drive line components. I was discouraged to find that in addition to the differential bushing the drive shaft center bearing carrier was shot along with the front drive shaft flex disk. Both were is such poor condition I was afraid to put the car back on the road until I could get the parts in and replace them.

    In doing research on the forum I read the flex disk was not sold by Cadillac but have found this is no longer true. My dealer now sells these (GM PN 19299915) as do the guys at Rippy Caddy. Rippy had the best price around and were in stock so I had Dwayne set me up and one is on the way.

    As for the carrier bearing there were all sorts of threads discussing whether the drive shaft could or should be serviced but there was little information about how to service it. As with the flex disks, the dealer does in fact sell a complete carrier bearing service kit (GM PN 88951975). The kit comes with everything you need to service the drive shaft center carrier bearing.

    I believe the reason so many think the drive shaft is not serviceable is that the universal joint that connects the two shaft halves is not serviceable. The needle bearing cups are "peened" in the yoke rather than being held in with inside snap rings like most universal joints. However, the problem with the drive shaft is usually not the universal joint but the center bearing support. The center bearing body is supported by a rubber membrane that allows it to float. It’s this membrane that deforms and dry rots which allows an unacceptable degree of freedom in the middle of the drive shaft. This carrier bearing support structure can in fact be replaced, and I found it’s not that difficult to do.

    So here is my run down on swapping the carrier bearing on the CTS drive shaft. Drop the exhaust system first. This only requires you to remove the tunnel cross bar (two bolts) and the two nuts on each of the exhaust flanges just below the cats (4 nuts total). On the tail end of the exhaust system simply slip the rubber isolators (three each for each resonator) off their hangers and drag the whole system out from under the car. Remove the heat shield from the shaft tunnel (2 bolts). Disconnect the drive shaft flange from the differential flex disk with an 18mm wrench and socket then do the same for the transmission end. You will need to "slide" the drive shaft flanges out of their respective mating flanges on the differential and transmission by about an inch to get them to drop. Remove the two bolts holding the carrier bearing in place. The drive shaft will now drop. Carefully slide the drive shaft out from under the car. Remove and retain the two bolt clips from each ear of the center bearing carrier mount frame.

    First thing to do now is check the universal joint located between the forward and rear shafts. Hold the yoke nearest the center support in one hand and the rear shaft near the joint with the other hand. Try to twist the joint. Pull and push on the joint. If you feel any "slack" then the universal joint is probably shot. Get a flash light and inspect the seals around each needle bearing cup to make sure they are not compromised. If they are cracked or open joint life will be compromised. If the joint is not sound the shaft assembly should be replaced. If the joint seems sound proceed with swapping out the carrier bearing.

    Next step is to separate the two shaft halves. This is pretty easy to do. First, make indexing marks on the forward and rear shaft halves. Each shaft is balanced and they should stay consistently clocked with respect to one another. Once the indexing marks are made, separate the shafts. To do this, firmly grasp the rear shaft at a point near the universal joint. With the other hand firmly grasp the forward shaft at a point near the corrugated rubber boot. Slide the forward shaft toward the universal joint as far as it will go. Take a deep breath, grip hard and rapidly slide the forward shaft away from the universal joint like you would a slide hammer. The forward shaft will slide off the universal yoke with a jerk as there is an internal O-ring that acts as a retaining element. The shaft parts will look like this when separated.



    I would suggest doing the work that follows on some sort of non-marring surface; a work bench or do what I did and place cardboard on the floor. The splines and shaft end flanges can be damaged by being drug over concrete surfaces.

    Use a small common-head screw driver to spread the clamp holding the corrugated boot on the forward shaft half. Discard the boot and clamp. Use a shop towel to clean the entrance to the internal splines. Clean as much of the original grease as possible from the internal splines. Next, remove the dust cover from the center bearing carrier assembly. I used a small drift punch and mallet to unseat the cover. Slide the dust cover off the yoke.



    Stand the rear shaft assembly on the differential end flange. Look inside the center bearing collar in the area beneath the location of the dust cover and you will see a retaining ring. Use a set of snap ring pliers and remove this ring.



    It’s probably helpful to use a utility knife to cut through the rubber membrane that supports the center bearing body. This will allow you to separate the hanger bracket and get it out of the way. In most cases it will be in such bad shape you can simply tug on it a bit and it will separate.

    Now position the splined end of the yoke vertically on a non-marring, rigid surface. I made a small card board pad to rest the splined end of the yoke on. Someone will need to help and hold the shaft vertical. Use a drift, punch or similar tool with a mallet to dislodge and remove the center bearing. Do this by placing the punch against the differential face of the carrier bearing inner race. Strike the punch. Repeat this at several locations around the perimeter of the bearing inner race. The bearing will dislodge rather easily. A few solid blows and it will slide free.



    Remove the original retaining O-ring. Use a clean shop towel to thoroughly clean the universal yoke splines of all grease and debris. That does it for the dis-assembly; time to put things back together. Here are all the components removed. Each of these items are included in the new center bearing service kit.



    You will need a steel cylinder to use as a tool to seat the new bearing. I bought an 8”, 1-1/4” diameter steel pipe close nipple from Lowes for this task. If you use this you should use a flat file to blunt the sharp leading edge of the nipple to prevent accidental damage to the bearings seal. Lay the shaft assembly flat on your work surface. Slide the bearing into position and align on the yoke race. The bearing should slide on the race just a bit with little more than hand pressure. Slide the bearing seating tool (steel pipe in my case) over the yoke splines and position against the bearing inner race. Firmly tap the other end of the bearing seating tool with a mallet or hammer. When you can see the snap ring groove clear of the bearing inner race the bearing is seated.



    Install the new internal snap ring. Install the dust cover. Do this by slipping it on the yoke spline and using the bearing seating tool and hammer to force it into position. Gentle tapping will move the dust cover along the yoke; it’s a snug fit. Once the dust cover gets near its final position more force is required to seat the dust cover on the yoke seat. Lubricate the inner lip of each end the new corrugated boot using a small amount of grease provided with the kit. Slide the boot over the splines and push it against the dust cover. Apply the grease provided in the kit to the external and internal splines. Wipe off excess grease. Install the retaining O-ring on the groove in the external splines.

    Position the new boot clamp over the splined end of the forward shaft half in the boot seating area. Align the forward and aft shaft halves using the alignment marks make before separating the shafts. Fit the splines (internal/external) and slide the shafts together. The O-ring will offer a lot of initial resistance but it will slip into place. Slide the forward end of the boot over its seat area on the aft end of the forward shaft. Position the boot clamp and compress the clamp. You can set the clamp using a pair of 8” side cutters if you do not have a clamp tool. Re-install the two bolt clips on the center bearing carrier mount frame.

    That’s it. All that remains now is to re-install the drive shaft, heat shield, exhaust system and cross bar. Good luck!

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  3. #2
    jrplz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    thanks for the info going to tackle this soon !
    quaver and quaver like this.

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    454Casull is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Great post!

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    holsgo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Is there an issue with the pics? Can't see them for some reason.
    Argent1 likes this.

  6. #5
    arogers260's Avatar
    arogers260 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by holsgo View Post
    Is there an issue with the pics? Can't see them for some reason.
    I've been noticing lately that the android app doesn't want to load pictures at all for me. And if it does load its very minimal that do load.

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    hrpatel17926 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quaver, can you send me the pictures of your tear down? How loose was the center bearing support rubber? Was is tight or did it have allot of play. I have this weird vibration only when cold. I am thinking its drive line related. I inspected my center bearing, flex disks and tranny mount all look very good with little to no cracking. However the center driveshaft bearing seems to have a little play.

    I am certain its not tires I have 2 new sets and both sets vibrate to some degree when cold. Once warmed up all is fairly stable.

    Thanks

  8. #7
    quaver's Avatar
    quaver is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    I struggled with loading the pictures. Each one was less than 65kb but before I got the third one uploaded the site notified me that I had reached my website storage limit of 120kb. Not sure why so little space is allotted but I did a little more reading and found that one work around was to upload your photos to a site like Photobucket or Winkflash and then drop links to those photos in your post. This is what I had to do. To see the photo you should right click on the icon and select the option that allows you to open the link in another window. Its a bit left-handed but its the only option that I was aware of. If anyone has another option please let me know.

    ----------

    hrpatel - the center bearing support was scary loose. As shown in the photos the center bearing is basically a three part assembly. It has a stamped steel frame that is basically a hoop shape with two mounting ears. The second element, the ball bearing itself, fits into a hub structure. The third element is a rubber membrane that supports the bearing in the center of the mounting frame. The carrier bearing assembly is mounted just above the exhaust system with only a small heat shield between them. I suspect the continuous exposure to the heat of the exhaust due to this close proximity oxidizes the rubber membrane. Mine had multiple cracks/tears that passed completely through the membrane. You could easily move the drive shaft up and down about an inch or so; almost free floating. When I removed the drive shaft a firm tug on the carrier bearing frame easily separated it from bearing hub. Let me know if you are unable to get to the photos and I can email them to you directly.

    ----------

    Here is a link to the photobucket page for the photos. You should be able to paste this in your browsers address bar to navigate to the site. Use the index forward/backward buttons on the photo to see the other photos. Hope this helps.

    http://s1348.photobucket.com/user/qu...6d508.jpg.html

  9. #8
    Charles Warren's Avatar
    Charles Warren is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    my cts has 250k and never had this issue but my sts with v8 is clunking after i put in the 3 piece diff bushing from rev tech along with poly engine mounts so i kept think i left diff bolts loose, so i pulled it in the air the next day and we shook tires and the noise was coming from the center carrier bearing, im gonna replace it today or tomorrow. thanks for the insight op

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    AAIIIC's Avatar
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    I fixed the OP's picture links so that the pictures actually show up. (On the Photobucket page for each image, use the forum [img ] tags and copy and paste the "Direct" link that Photobucket provides. Works like a charm.)

    Excellent write-up!
    '05 Stealth Grey CTS-V, Hyper Silver Linea Corse Venetos w/Continental ExtremeContact DWs (summer), black Team Dynamics ProRace 1.2 wheels with 275/35-18 R-compounds (track), Hyperblack Rota Torques (winter), KW Variant3s, V2 front brakes, Hotchkis rear sway bar, EPS cam, TEA-ported 243 heads, FAST92 intake w/LS2 TB, JBA Camaro/G8 1-3/4" shorty headers w/JBA cat pipes, Corsa exhaust, UUC motor and tranny mounts, UUC shifter, MAPerformance trailing arms, Specter cradle bushings, etc...

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    CTSjones is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Excellent write up. Kudos for posting this!

  12. #11
    hrpatel17926 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Quaver,

    I decided to have the dealer tackle this due to time etc, they went ahead and built a new driveshaft along with new flex disks and center bearing supports.
    man what a difference, the car has so much throttle response, seems I did not have before. So I do believe mine was on the verg of failing. I had them install a new factory trans mount and had them change out the trans main bearing seal it was leaking also.

    Now the bad, I have this weird vibration - very faint between 45-60, but enough to make the rear view mirror jiggle where I cannot see out of it., I am going to drive it around for a week then take it back for reballance or replacement. I had the tires road forced ballanced and it made a difference but not gone.

    Question, did you have any vibration issues after your replacement? did you also change out the flex disk or tranny mount?

    Thanks,

  13. #12
    briggy's Avatar
    briggy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    bump,


    awesome write up, guess what I will be doing this weekend.

  14. #13
    fugie7 is offline Awaiting Email Confirmation
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Just replaced my drive shaft support bearing. very do able and the part is available on ebay for 55$ -59$ shipped. dealer price for part i 160$. Thanks for the info followed it to a t and car is now as goid as new.

  15. #14
    SevillianSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    I just came across an alternative vs. putting the stock rubber back in there.

    http://www.vseries360.com/forums/for...r-bearing-unit

  16. #15
    DopeEffect's Avatar
    DopeEffect is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Drive Shaft Carrier Bearing Replacement - 06 CTS with 3.6L

    Does anyone know where I can buy the carrier bearing? I can't find it on rockauto or gmpartsdirect. I guess I could always call the dealership but if anyone knows post a link. Maybe im just blind and passed over it.

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