Noise in the front driver side, and bearing/seal on the front differential

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
A few days ago a random something got kicked into my lane from the car in the next lane over, and I ran over it. Aside from the noise of running it over, it didn't seem to do anything to the truck or the tire at first. The tire doesn't even have a mark on it. Nothing else looks wrong either.

But now I'm hearing a rotational "thudding" for lack of a better term, and I can sometimes feel it in the floorboards ever so slightly. Now I'm starting to feel it in the steering wheel and it is more pronounced around turns. I did pull the wheel and put on the spare to see if the tire was damaged internally, but it made no difference. I did notice the CV axle can wiggle slightly where it attaches to the differential.

Here's what I'm thinking - Since there is a tad bit of wiggle in the outer bearing of the differential it would make sense to yank the seal and bearing and replace those, and given that the truck has 152k on it and I'd have it apart to do this job, it may make sense to replace the CV axle (cheap anyway) and the hub (not so cheap but it it is old). However, I can't seem to find a new seal or bearing so I'm starting to think they are dealer only items.

So, my questions:
1) Think it is a good idea to replace those 4 items? (hub, CV axle, front diff axle bearing and seal)
2) Anything else besides one of those 4 items listed that could be the source of the thudding noise?
3) What are the part numbers for the bearing and seal, and where can I get them?
4) I am assuming that seal and bearing are removed and reinstalled the same way as a rear axle tube seal and bearing - slide hammer to remove, hammer and proper size socket to drive in the new ones?

4x4 works flawlessly by the way.

Thanks guys.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I think you're right on how and why to change those items, and the seal and bearing are dealer-only parts, unless IIRC you have a NAPA with the right look-up software. I've read a LOT of reports about parts stores claiming to have replacements, and they never fit.

GM part numbers:

The seal GM# 19257296.
The bearing GM# 26053326
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I'll have to double check but I think that looks to be the amount of play mine has. So maybe all I need is just a hub and/or CV axle then. That would be nice to not have to deal with the bearing. At the same time, would it make sense to replace it anyway if I have it apart that far? Hm... Maybe I'll pull the CV and see how it at least looks before I order anything.

Thanks Roadie for the part numbers and everything. I'll be ordering my CV and hub from RockAuto here shortly, then poke around the dealers to see who won't rip me off for a simple bearing.
 

smitty5150

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,069
Rarely will the dealer take advantage of your for simple parts like that, but it never hurts to call a couple just to make sure they are on the same page. Being at 150k and on original components(I assume), it would be wise to replace it all and do the preventative maintenance. Nothing more annoying than taking things apart more than once.
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
It may not hurt to do it since you're that far into tearing it down anyway. The parts are relatively cheap. I do know that visually my bearings had no signs of wear at 95xxx miles. But I was stock at that time. If you're lowered or lifted there's going to be a lot more pressure on that bearing and it'll wear accordingly.
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Truck is stock (at least until these tires need replaced). Passenger side has been rebuilt (new hub, CV axle, rebuilt disconnect with all new bearings, seals, etc). Driver side is still all original parts, but won't be for long. New CV shaft (Cardone) and hub (Timken) have been ordered. I may get lucky and be able to do the repair this coming Saturday. Hopefully it all goes smoothly. I'll start spraying the 3 bolts that hold that hub on with PB blaster every day up until I remove them. I'll also swing by a GM dealer and grab a seal and bearing for the front pumpkin.
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
http://forums.offroadtb.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2480&start=20

There's a quick run down of my bearing and seal replacement. You'll probably want a seal puller, using the vice grips kinda sucked
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
So pulling that bearing from the preload adjuster isn't too hard then it looks like. I don't want to mess up the preload so if I can leave that adjuster alone I'm all for it.

I really should go out and buy a decent slide hammer and bearing puller attachment so I don't have to go rent one all the time. Any recommendations for a decent one that doesn't break the bank? I would prefer one that is NOT made in China, I'd much rather buy one made here in the USA.

Good news is with getting the passenger side driveline all redone this past fall and now doing the driver side, when I go to get new tires later this year (read: LIFT :biggrin:) all that should be ready to go with no surprises!
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Got the job done tonight and it is still making a racket :worried: The original bearing did have wear and would have needed replaced anyway, but it wasn't the source of the noise after all.

Now what? Front diff going out? I can't think of anything else. Maybe passenger side stuff but it doesn't seem the noise is coming from that side. If it is the front diff or the passenger side hub it is going to the shop. Hub was replaced already and there is a warranty on parts/labor, front diff I'm not touching myself. I think this just got more expensive.

Any ideas or input before I take it in?
 

krivraq

Member
Mar 3, 2012
19
When you said, "Hub", did you mean the wheel bearing hub assembly?

Your descriptions of the noise, especially around turns, sounds just like a worn wheel bearing. I'm dealing with that replacement right now, along with too many other issues. If it gets louder when you turn left, the right wheel bearing is bad. Vice-versa for turning right.

By now you may have already had this issue resolved.
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I have a bad habit of not reporting back I guess :duh:

Yes it is fixed. The problem was my passenger side hub bearing again. Defective part apparently. Swapped it out and all is well.
 

cxkali

Member
Jan 20, 2012
125
i read this post and i think im having the same problem. i can feel it in the floorboards and the steering wheel ive been thinking it could be a rotor mine gets louder when i turn to the right but clears up when i turn towards the left and is making a loud thumping noise going down the highway
 

racsan

Member
Feb 5, 2012
15
i changed one today in a '04 trailblazer. had a noticeable rumble and did change when cornering. jacked up the tire and had alot of play. ended up being a pretty quick change out. got a nice new 24" breaker bar that made removing the halfshaft nut a breeze. think it only took me a hour to do it from start to finish. checked the other side & it was fine. since the abs sensor goes in the top side of the hub i wonder if removing it and filling it with 80/90 hypoid oil would help anything? or is it just seal failure that causes things to go bad? really didnt see a loss of grease, did sound dry when rotating it after removal.
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
They aren't serviceable bearings, they are sealed. When they go, they go. As far as I can tell the ABS sensor hole does not provide any path to the bearings, and if you put grease or oil down the hole you could screw with the sensor readings and make the ABS system freak out.
 

racsan

Member
Feb 5, 2012
15
Sparky said:
They aren't serviceable bearings, they are sealed. When they go, they go. As far as I can tell the ABS sensor hole does not provide any path to the bearings, and if you put grease or oil down the hole you could screw with the sensor readings and make the ABS system freak out.

o.k. i was getting a mental picture of 2 tapered roller bearings, seals at both ends, with a tone ring of some sort in the middle for the abs sensor to "read" off of. figured fluid wouldnt affect a magntic or tone sensor anyways. it was just a thought, not my truck anyways, i have a '97 S-blazer & a '93 ranger. i work on alot of stuff on the side though.
 

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