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wheel/pinion bearing?

This is a discussion on wheel/pinion bearing? within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; noticed a loud whining (almost like my brakes were dragging) when driving. seems to be worse when under load, but ...

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    wheel/pinion bearing?

    noticed a loud whining (almost like my brakes were dragging) when driving. seems to be worse when under load, but can still hear it even when just coasting. reading through old threads, it sounds like i'm looking at either replacing the axle bearings or the pinion bearing. i took it into the shop, and they drove it and told me it sounded like wheel bearings, but wouldn't know for sure until they tore into it and had a look. they quoted me $350 for labor for what i think was just the bearings. that seems extremely high to me if it was just to replace the wheel bearings. is that reasonable if they're disassembling the rear to make sure the pinion bearing is ok? if that is what they're doing, i'm tempted to have them replace the damn thing while they're in there, even if it is fine.

    assuming that the pinion bearing and axle bearing are shot, how much should i expect it to run me (i know it will vary from place to place, so just ballpark)? should i have anything else done while they're in there? btw, car is completely stock M6 T/A w/142,000 miles on it. thanks.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I would first check the gear oil level and make sure it's topped off. Then go from there...

    Usually pinion bearings are easy to diagnose without tearing into anything.

    Generally when they start going you almost always have a pinion seal leak that goes along with it. The seal can't do it's job if the pinion is moving around.

    You can also get under the car and grab the yoke,,,preferably with the driveshaft disconnected. Try to move it up and down,,,,side to side,,,,turn it back and forth and see if there is any unusually accessive backlash....

    If there is any movement up and down,,,side to side at all,,,,,the bearing is on it's way out. Look for any seepage around the seal (behind the dust cover), or around the pinion nut...

    Thats about all you can do with the pinion short of tearing the rearend down as they suggested.

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    thanks for the quick reply. i had the pinion seal replaced less than 10,000 miles ago (for the second time) so i didn't think to check it before taking it in. guess i should have.

    as far as the $350 in labor for axle bearings, does this sound high?

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    could it just be just road noise? how fast are you burning up tires . . . may try to get it aligned first i thought my front wheel hubs were out because of the loud road noise, turns out she needed aligned baaaaad. 30 bucks fixed it

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    damn, $30 would be nice. i doubt it is just road noise, especially since it seems to have gotten worse over the last few days. kind of just preparing myself for the worst.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpowell04 View Post
    damn, $30 would be nice. i doubt it is just road noise, especially since it seems to have gotten worse over the last few days. kind of just preparing myself for the worst.
    i understand that . . . but my road noise did that too tho. i drove to ft wayne and my car sounded like a 4wd with mud boggers lol then finally noticed my tires were wearin baaad on the inside. and it could definately not be that, but its always good to try to the cheap fixes first

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    just talked to the shop. apparently it was the pinion bearing that was bad. $350 for labor, $180 for parts. thanks for the help guys.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpowell04 View Post
    thanks for the quick reply. i had the pinion seal replaced less than 10,000 miles ago (for the second time) so i didn't think to check it before taking it in. guess i should have.

    as far as the $350 in labor for axle bearings, does this sound high?
    Well when I read this it scared me and pretty much sealed it for me.....2 pinion seals isn't good,,,,not to mention setting the proper preload on that pinion bearing is nearly impossible since the crush sleeve is already crushed,,,then to do this 2 times???? Ouch.....

    Quote Originally Posted by mpowell04 View Post
    just talked to the shop. apparently it was the pinion bearing that was bad. $350 for labor, $180 for parts. thanks for the help guys.

    And this is the end result,,,,sorry to hear it,,,,but good that you got it fixed before it ruins the ring and pinion.

    With the pinion bearing bad/loose,,,,causes that pinion gear to wobble a bit which skews the wear pattern the ring and pinion have,,,,generally you have gear noise afterwards...
    Sounds as though you may have caught it in time I hope,,,,cheers.

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