Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Trouble with Drivers Side Front Diff Seal+Bearing-Video

Something not working right?

by chazpages » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:43 pm

So my truck started making a slight grinding/rubbing sound in front of the house, so I stopped at took a look at what it could be.

Finally realized that the front axle was almost loose where the diff seal is on the DRIVERS side.

Ordered a new diff seal, but it seems like it's the bearing as well? There seems to be quite a bit about diff seals and the passenger side/disconnect, but what about this?

I know for sure I'll need the diff seal, and most likely adjuster...but the bearing? I was able to pull part of it out, with the axle unfortunately.

Can I fix this without pulling the front diff?

Based on searching, it seems like there is an adjuster, bearing, and then the diff seal-in that order. Is that correct? There is a lot of play however, and am unsure what needs to be fixed.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCPbtBve3p4
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by bartonmd » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:49 pm

Is that rust I see in there? There shouldn't be rust in there. Is the front diff empty?? I've replaced a couple of those seals, but not the bearing/adjuster. That's pretty messed up.

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by chazpages » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:56 pm

I think it might just be weird dirt/grease.
Truck has always been in my/family possession and never driven though much water (plus in socal-don't see much weather).
Haven't checked levels, but I'm guessing that since the seal went out who knows how long ago, it might have less/limited fluid. Ugh.

The wife doesn't really drive this, and I had been using it daily for weeks prior, then went to move it from the driveway to street, and heard odd grind/dragging noise.
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by KingBird » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:21 pm

EEDIT: Nevermind, I just noticed that's a video, where is your adjuster?

You're moving the entire diff, because the adjuster is gone. It's gonna have to come out, repairs made to threads (if any) and then the gears will need to be reset.
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by larryk » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:27 pm

Yeah, the dry look of that diff just screams "I need a full rebuild". I'd say you need to pull it and replace all the bearings, seals, and inspect the ring and pinion and cross shaft. Dry diff= dead diff. :(
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by chazpages » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:44 am

ugh, afraid that was gonna be it.

How easily can I make it 2wd in the mean time for safe driving?
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by mason10198 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:52 am

chazpages wrote:ugh, afraid that was gonna be it.

How easily can I make it 2wd in the mean time for safe driving?

Should be as easy as just pulling the front driveshaft and keeping the switch in 2WD.
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by chazpages » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:13 pm

Will I need to pull the drivers side axle AND the front driveshaft?

Obviously the axle needs to come out, since it would otherwise just be banging around in the diff, but can it be removed without causing problems for the wheel?

Do I need to pull the driveshaft that goes into the...transfer case? Or whatever it goes into that would normally spin the front diff.


mason10198 wrote:
chazpages wrote:ugh, afraid that was gonna be it.

How easily can I make it 2wd in the mean time for safe driving?

Should be as easy as just pulling the front driveshaft and keeping the switch in 2WD.
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by mason10198 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:24 pm

Yes, you will remove the drivers side CV shaft. Sorry, I had assumed you would do that anyways. It would probably be a good idea to also remove your passenger side CV shaft as well. With both CV shafts out, and the front driveshaft removed (connects the transfer case to the front differential), there will be nothing to spin or move the front differential or the passenger side 4WD disconnect while you drive it, and you should be good.
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by chazpages » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:43 pm

Sounds good. Any harm in removing the drivers side and the front driveshaft, leaving the pass side on? Or will the spinning damage it?
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by KingBird » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:37 am

It would be better to remove both CV shafts and the front prop shaft.

In your situation, I'd remove the front prop shaft and you've already got the driver's CV out, so that's good.

Then, I'd unplug the disconnect solenoid to make sure that it doesn't engage the intermediate shaft.

In theory, this should keep your diff from spinning at all provided that everything is functioning as it should. Unplugging the solenoid will also provide you with a nice yellow light on the dash that will say "Service 4WD" which will be a cool little reminder that you need to fix it. :lol:

Ideally, you should remove the passenger cv shaft though.
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by TBYODA » Mon May 01, 2017 12:21 am

Charles, the seal & adjuster is on your cv still. I am no expert but the housing were the bearing is looks toast, my guess is you shouldn't be able to put a screwdriver between the housing and bearing. Like the other guys have stated that diff looks dry. Pulling the diff is not hard just takes a long time with everything you have to remove.
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