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02 EXT
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
does gm make a kit for the front end bearing replacement? also the seals?

does anybody have the part #?

02 EXT with 90,xxx

had the diff whine for about 40,xxx. time to change it!

ive done the ft. wheel bearings and taken out, and serviced the rear diff, which was perfect looking! hooray hooray!

ive got the ft diff apart, and its a mess!

ive changed all 3 diff fluids 3 times since i owned the truck, but the front was the worst. looks like alot of moisture in there!

oh, has anybody else had this apart. ive got a question, so if there are any gm tech on here chime in.

the left and right bearing races were loose enough for me to remove with my fingers. is this part of the design, or should they have been pressed in tight? id say theyre supposed to be pressed in tightly, but this truck doesnt surprize my anymore!

any thoughts on this.

thanks, and have a happy 4th!
 

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02 EXT
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Discussion Starter #2
wow...78 views and not a peep.

not to many diy'ers here.

keep on paying those stealers!

btw...there is a bearing/seal kit. got it for $290.00, it'll be done tonight!

no reason for the dealer to charge anything over 700 bucks to do the job. its not hard...it was out and open in less than an hour.

the backlash on the pinon gear was really sloppy, and was probably the cause of the good clunk you hear when you move from an idle. that will probably clear up anymore issues with wiping out the diff. only time will tell.

im def. going to change diff fluids every 15k...thanks for the views!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh and the bearing races are supposed to be loose, but i was told to locktight them in by a tech.

see ya!
 

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Cadillac Technician
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11,051 Posts
Changing the front diff bearings requires a host of special tools (at least it is easier with them) and some knowledge about how to set up the gears.
You have to set up the gears to mate properly, if you don't then you are boned.
You need to find someone with experience on this diff and let them assemble it for you.
The reason those bearings fail is that the side bearing retainers get loose. They need to be properly adjusted for backlash and side bearing preload and you can't guess at it.
Take the diff to a shop with a good tech who knows that diff and let him set the gears up for you, then reinstall it yourself.
 

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02 EXT
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Discussion Starter #5
i have the proper adjustment tools, the experience, and the cadillac tech repair books for the truck. but thank you for the heads up.

as long as you put it all back together, and only replace the bearings/seals, there is no real way to mess up the adjustments, as they are set by the shim collars as well as the crush bearing. as long as you can read and have an inch pound wrench as well as a foot pound torque wrench its easy. hey if a gm tech can do it, anybody can! and as bad as these diffs are, what are you really gonna screw up... im sure i can run it with piss in there, and itll fail just as fast as bringing it to the dealer!

i dont mean to knock or hurt anybodys feelings, i just only had jap vehicles. this was the first american truck i bought new, and it was just a heap. i like to keep my cars and trucks going, and tend to over take care of them, but i just dont see this guy lasting past 200,xxx. i have an 83 nissan 720 with over 200,xxx on it. its never going to die. it just pulls and pulls and pulls. its ugly as sht, and not much body left, but i starts everytime i need it to. i have a 91 Q45 which is my baby, although it only has 130,xxx on it, many guys on the forums have well over 300,xxx on them. with oil test coming back better than my ext. also a 85 diesel golf, which is with out a doubt going to go 500,xxx and beyond.

i have no plans on giving up on this beautiful truck, but what the hell man! i bought it as a winter truck and to use it as a truck. maybe thats not what it was intended for.

well the diff is done. the whine is gone, and the clunk has quieted to an exceptable level. well see what happens.

happy trails!
 

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Cadillac Technician
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11,051 Posts
hey if a gm tech can do it, anybody can!
I'll try not to take offense from that... :lol:

I think your average poster here doesn't quite have the skillset to do this job. Granted if you have some experience at doing repairs of that nature the front diff on those is pretty simple and if you have the tools and can read the FSM you can do it.
Glad to hear you got it together.
We are not all retards, but for the most part... well... I have worked for GM dealers for a long time so I can't say there is NO truth to your statements.
;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
all in good fun! no harm ment as you could tell. it was nice to hear from someone though!

since your a tech, and if i have to do this again...

is there an easier way to get the diff out, past the cast pan and the steering rack? that lower harness is right in the way, but moved easily, but it seems theres just not enough room to "slide" it out. it took me alot of different positions, and some force, to get it. i had the wheels pitched all the way to the right and that made it better. i even tried unbolting the rack at the pinion points, but couldnt get it to release its grip, so gave up there. it was kinda scary getting it back in pushing on the cast oil pan!

the book says how its bolted in, but no steps on acutal removal.

oh and another thing, since ive got an audience! is it possible to put a newer suburban front end in with the unlockable diff option. not that i wanna do it, but my father asked the question and im just asking. im sure youd have to put in the electronics and possible the trans axel, but it would prolong the life of the diff, so if you do alot of driving it would help milage as well.

any hoo, see ya later.
 

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Cadillac Technician
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11,051 Posts
It has been a while since I have torn any out, but I know that on some of them it is much easier if you remove one axle.
That is kind of a job in itself. Seems like the newer ones have a better design on the axle shaft and it is easier to drop out the diff without removing axles.
There really is no way to make it much easier, it just sucks.

I don't do or usually recommend much in the way of component swapping. You have to be sure you have the same gear ratios but the real issue with swapping parts might be the transfer case itself.
I'm not sure I know what you mean by "unlockable".
 
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