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Rear Axle Bearing Replacement

This is a discussion on Rear Axle Bearing Replacement within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello, I have 2000 Trans Am WS6 and have been told my rear axle bearings have gone bad...been quoted a ...

  1. #1
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    Rear Axle Bearing Replacement

    Hello, I have 2000 Trans Am WS6 and have been told my rear axle bearings have gone bad...been quoted a price of 350 to replace both, is that good? Price includes labor, parts and synthetic gear lube. Can a DIY with basic skills do the job?

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    if you are mechanical inclined it can be done but you need a few extra tools: you need a rear axle bearing puller, a small prybar for removing the seal. You need one bearing and seal per side plus a new gasket for the rear end cover, a bottle of GM rear end additive and rear end gear oil (2 quarts).

    You need to put the car on stands by the frame and let the rear end hang of the ground. remove the tires if you are doing both sides. put a pan under the rear end cover area. remove the 10 bolts on the rear end cover starting from the bottom. Using a flat screwdriver carefully pry the cover from the bottom area 1st. The gear oil will drip out so be ready for it. remove the cover.

    you will see the differential. there is a small bolt that holds a metal spacer in place inside the differential. Remove this bolt and tap the spacer out slowly. tap it out about 3/8" and rotate the axle so the differentail rotates and you can then grab the spacer (with pliers or by hand) and pull it out. now you can push the axles in to remove the C clips that keep the axles in place. use a small telescopic magnet and push the axle in (from the outside) and catch the c clip with the magnet. once the c clip is out you can grab the axle and slide it out. Inspect the race area(shine part were the bearing rides) and make sure is not damaged. Use the prybar to pry the seal out. Then use the rear axle puller to remove the bearing. Clean everything in the rear end.

    align the new bearing and using a bearing install tool or a socket (that measures the same diameter as the outside of the bearing) slowly start taping it back in the rear end with a hammer. Make sure is going in straight. Continue tapping until it stops. Align the seal and using a seal install tool (or same socket that measures the same size as the whole seal) start tapping it in place, don't go in too far. Lube the axle all the way to aid the axle to slide easily inside the new seal. Slide the axle back in slowly. Rotate axle if necessary until it goes completely in. Push the axle in and re install the c clip. Pull the axle out to lock the c clip in place. Once both sides are done re install the spacer and it's bolt(put some blue loctite in it). Scrape any leftover gasket material and install the new gasket. I always use some RTV with the gasket. Put all 10 bolts back with the cover and tighten to proper torque. Remove the plug on the passenger side of the rear end and refill with new gear oil and Gm rear end additive.

    It is not hard to do but you need the right tools. I had been qoute around $150 per side so the price is not too far. Sorry I don't have any pics at the moment but I can add some if you need them.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    also make sure is the bearings and not bad tires. What kinda of noise are you getting?

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    Thank you for your very detailed response......I think I may leave this one to the experts!! The tires are in good shape, no uneven wear, a lot of tread left. I seem to be getting a "clunk" type noise starting off as the tire rotates. The noise speeds up as the as the speed of the car picks up to almost a continous clicking.....

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    That dosnt sound like bearings! May be a bad ring gear but not bearings. I'd keep looking before tearing down the rearend.
    Nice write up Jay.... I had a customer come in with a 1/4" self tapping bolt in his tire. His complant was I'm getting a clicking sound?
    Last edited by BruZer28; 12-09-2011 at 07:05 AM.

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    Will do, thanks again for all of your help!

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruZer28 View Post
    That dosnt sound like bearings! May be a bad ring gear but not bearings. I'd keep looking before tearing down the rearend.
    Nice write up Jay.... I had a customer come in with a 1/4" self tapping bolt in his tire. His complant was I'm getting a clicking sound?
    Thanks im here to help. Funny my wife's car had a self tapping screw in one of the tires and it sounded like a bearing was bad.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks21ta View Post
    Thank you for your very detailed response......I think I may leave this one to the experts!! The tires are in good shape, no uneven wear, a lot of tread left. I seem to be getting a "clunk" type noise starting off as the tire rotates. The noise speeds up as the as the speed of the car picks up to almost a continous clicking.....
    are you positive is on the back? Is this clunking noise only happening when you accelerate? If it does have you check the transmission mount? If it is bad it makes the clunking noise when accelerating but is mostly felt in the middle area of the car or console.

    If you jack the rear tires off the ground and you grab the tire, move it up/ down or left/right, do you feel any play? If you have excessive play you have bad bearings. If you are going to let someone do the work ask them how much to change all the bearings including pinion and carrier bearings. Now the stock rear end in our cars is not the best and is weak. If do some racing or track time it will continue to break down with time. If you have too much HP it will break it as well.

    If you are into those activities and can afford a 12 bolt rear end it will be a better choice. If you are like me that just do daily driving then you can repair or get another OEM 10 bolt but start saving for that 12 bolt. Take it easy with the 10 bolt and it will last longer.
    Last edited by JayTA98; 12-09-2011 at 09:27 AM.

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