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2005 CTS-V
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Can you see the rear diff bushings without removing the exhaust? I'm going to look at one this weekend, possibly purchase, I'd like to inspect it.
I don't think you see the OEM rear differential bushing well enough for a visual check even with the exhaust removed unless it has failed so badly that the center rubber has come out. You can take a short crow bar and check for lateral movement.
 

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2004 CTS-V Black on Black
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I don't think you see the OEM rear differential bushing well enough for a visual check even with the exhaust removed unless it has failed so badly that the center rubber has come out. You can take a short crow bar and check for lateral movement.
Is that my best way to test for bushing wear buying a used one w/ 105k on it?
 

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2005 CTS-V
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Is that my best way to test for bushing wear buying a used one w/ 105k on it?
Check for lateral movement is the only way I know to check for a worn differential with the car on the rack if it otherwise passes a visual inspection.

If I were buying a used one w/ 105k on it I would assume it was going to need a front differential bushing, a transmission mount insert (Revshift), and at least one engine mount, unless: (1) the service record indicated these had been replaced more or less recently; (2) a good mechanic had put it a rack and inspected those components; or (3) the car when driven exhibited very little drive-line lag (clunk) other than from a dead stop particularly when moving the direction opposite of that used to bring it to a stop (i.e. stop while moving forward and then back-up from the stop-this maximizes the amount felt lag).
 

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07 cts-v
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I just replaced my diff bushing this weekend with the Creative Steel bushing and block. The hard part of the job is removing the old bushing which requires removing all 3 bolts from the differential housing and dropping the exhaust. Unless you fubar the differential CV joint then you have more trouble to deal with.

If this alternate bushing will fit into the old housing so you don't have to remove the old housing, then this changes the job a lot. It may be possible to remove the one bolt, pry the differential down enough to get the old rubber out, leave the metal sleeve in, put in the new rubber, push the differential back up and put the bolt in it. You may be able to do this without even dropping the exhaust if you have thin hands. I can't say for sure because I dropped my exhaust before getting all of the bolts out of the differential. On a good lift with a good variety of tools you might drop the exhaust, drop the driveshaft, chisel out the old bushing and put it all back in about 3 hours. If you don't have to drop the exhaust and driveshaft and remove the old sleeve it would be only half this much time. If you fubar the driveshaft and you don't know my secret for reassembling it you might need another 3 hours. 1.5 hours vs. 6 hours is a big deal. I was beginning to think the better bet would be to pull out the one bolt, drop the differential, and squirt some kind of epoxy putty into the old bushing.
 

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2006 Stealth Gray CTS-V Had: 1997 Eldorado
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It may be possible to remove the one bolt, pry the differential down enough to get the old rubber out, leave the metal sleeve in, put in the new rubber, push the differential back up and put the bolt in it. You may be able to do this without even dropping the exhaust if you have thin hands. I can't say for sure because I dropped my exhaust before getting all of the bolts out of the differential.
Not really.

I just got done doing this and tried dropping just the front of the diff. I think the only way it will flex enough is if both rear bushings are shot too. Probably not even then. I'd recommend just following Paul B and 1990Z51's instructions exactly.

Having just did this with basic hand tools in a cramped garage that is utilized more for a storage unit than a workspace, I have a few observations:
  • It's smart to make sure you have room to get the exhaust out from under the car. It's one piece and rather large. I wasn't smart here...
  • The three differential mounting screws have a 21mm hex head. I have 19, 20, and 22mm sockets and my largest metric wrench is a 19mm. :( A 13/16" craftsman combination wrench will JUST fit, but won't slip on and off easily. It works, but was very time consuming to pull the rear bolts off. The 13/16" sockets fit too, but deep sockets were too long and shallow too short for the rear screws.
  • I was expecting the old bushing to put up a fight... it literally fell out with just a small push after the differential was dropped.
  • I ended up cutting the sleeve a little off my mark with the hacksaw, the part measured 2.47 inches. It fit fine.
  • I have an extra bushing. It's free to anyone local (Seattle/Tacoma area).

All in all, it's easy even without a well equipped shop.
 

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2005 CTS-V
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I bought this bushing Spring '17 and cut it down (piece of cake, btw) with the plan to install it as soon as the exhaust had a reason to come out.

Here we are Winter (snow coming down and nasty roads so my V is cozy in the garage anyway) and I'm in the process of installing a Magnaflow catback (picked up off local Craigslist for an irresistible price, NIB ;)) and figured this is THE time to do the bushing change-out.

I attacked the project yesterday.
My OEM diff bushing (AND complete new driveshaft assembly and tranny mount! :thumbsup:) had been replaced not TOO long ago by a previous owner (judging by it's great condition), so it took some wrestling to remove.
As stated by the OP, the replacement bushing fits right into the remaining sleeve in the diff perfectly.

I haven't had a chance to drive the car with the new bushing but I'm definitely looking forward to it!
Has to be a monumental improvement over the pathetically soft/goofy designed original bushing.

Because all four of the midpipe studs/bolts broke (imagine that, huh?) and only so much free time here with the family holiday doings in full swing, I haven't gotten the catback installed yet.
Hopefully I'll have time day after Xmas to get the broken bits removed and the catback installed.

I'll be posting my impressions as soon as weather and road conditions permit.
 

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2005 CTS-V
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NO more clunk!

After I installed my Magnaflow catback today, I had to maneuver the cars around my garage to put everything back where it was when I started.
In the process of moving the V, I had the extreme pleasure of NOT hearing a clunk during all those maneuvers! Outstanding!

I cannot wait to take it for a spin and feel the difference on the road.
LOADS of salt on the roads here, though.
And it's WAY to cold (teens during the day) to be washing it if I had to.

I hate Winter.
 

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2005 CTS-V
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Took it for it's first drive since the bushing install.

I do not feel or hear any more noise or vibration whatsoever being transferred into the cabin with the Energy diff bushing installed be it slow speed or highway cruising.
Even brought my brother along for his thoughts.
Nope.
No diff noise, nothing.

Clunk is gone.

This is SUCH an easy and inexpensive fix.
If you have your exhaust out for any reason? Look into changing out that bushing.

Many thanks to the OP!
 

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07 STS 1SG / 10 STS 1SG / 17 XTS
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I replaced the bushing in my 2010 STS yesterday using the Energy Suspension 3.2125R and the OP's process.

I decided to do it without dropping the exhaust, I removed the 2 bolts in the back and then the front bushing bolt, lowered the case so it was literally sitting on the exhaust which gives you just enough room to slide the old bushing out and put the new one in, you leave the old metal sleeve in place, the new poly bushing was a very snug fit. Raise the case back in place and bolt it all back together. Since you get 2 sets of bushings per box for $20, I will be replacing the one on the 2007 in the coming weeks.
Pretty easy job and it made a huge difference, that clunking sound is gone but the overall feel is just solid and tight, with no increase in noise heard in the cabin.

Mine didn't look as bad as some I've seen but it sure felt bad
 

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Auto part Metal Nut Wheel
I bought the energy suspension red bushing like OP used. But before taking things apart I cleaned the existing bushing and found that my car has the green revshift bushing already in there. After torque'ing to nearly* the 129 ft-lbs the manual says the diff no longer moves/clunks with each shift. *I had to use 3 wobble extensions and kinda one arm bandit the torque wrench while making sure the socket didnt fall off, anyway, I put enough torque on it for now, if not I will know now what is clunking.
 

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2006 Stealth Gray CTS-V Had: 1997 Eldorado
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I think, in hindsight, I would have done one thing differently: retorqued the bolts after a drive.

A few days ago, under some... brisk acceleration, something went thunk in the rear end. I got it home and checked underneath to find one of the three bolts holding the diff in place backed out half an inch. Looked closer... and the end was sheared off. My guess is that it loosened over time and then broke under load.

I've got two new bolts coming, figuring I should replace the left one too.
 

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2006 Stealth Gray CTS-V Had: 1997 Eldorado
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Aw, nuts...

The only way to replace these bolts is to drop the whole cradle, right?

I got underneath the car and realized the spare tire tub is right behind these holes. So, it looks like the whole cradle has to come down unless there is some trick to it.
 

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'16 ATS-V 6M Sedan
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I just did this bushing to my '05 V. 2.5" was too long for the steel sleeve. I had to shorten it to 2.4" on my car. I left the exhaust on and just pulled the passenger muffler out of its hangars. It took me two hours. My diff is assembled out of a new case with my original ring gear. There is a small chip on the pinion that creates a light thump on coast. It is slightly louder with this bushing. It's great feeling like I can drive stick smoothly again and no more thud.
 
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