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2002 olds bravada
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so this week, I planned to tackle the replacement of my front wheel bearings and some other maintenance that has been pending for finding the time to do it. My Bravada has just over 100K on it and the driver side bearing has been going for a little while just has never been bad enough to warrant replacing until now. The problem that I am having is getting the thing off of the half shaft. I did a search and most people it seems like it just pops off. Mine seems to be corroded on or something. I used the puller from Autozone and stripped the threads on that. I also have my brother helping me since he used to work at a service shop and is a Mechanical engineer but his answer is always to beat everything into submission with a hammer when it does not work as stated in the manual. So I am now concerned that the half shaft may be damaged and need to be replaced since it is stuck and has taken quite the beating. Not to mention the shaft appears to have been leaking grease. Anyhow, does anyone know of any simple tricks in changing the cv half shafts? Any tips would be appreciated. As for the bearing, its going to come out with the shaft one way or another. Thanks.
 

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2004 gmc
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In salt-belt states, the splines corrode into the hub. Start spraying everything in sight with PB Blaster every day for a week before pulling out a hammer. Get a Cardone shaft if you can, $60 from rockauto.com, because their boots are a softer neoprene than the factory rubber, and less prone to flinging grease.

Did your brother fail to leave the nut on the end of the CV shaft as he beat it? You DID buy a 35mm socket for the nut?

Sounds like the old joke - When the only tool you own is a hammer .... every problem looks like a nail!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is excellent advise. You are right everything on the suspension upfront has a good coating of rust. I did get the 35mm socket and barrowed the puller tools from autozone. The puller tool was a cheap unit and the threads stripped pretty quickly without putting much pressure on the hub. I'll try soaking the unit in pb plaster or liquid wrench. I also priced out a new cardone unit from the local parts store. I will let you know how it goes.

Your right everything did look like a nail yesterday. But please not on my daily driver.
 

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What worked for me on a buddy's vehicle was removing the upper ball joint from the control arm, to start to hinge down the steering knuckle. Loosen the nut on the CV shaft, but leave it on the end of the shaft to protect the threads. THEN bang on the nut to break the splines free. Corrosion needs a shock to break loose, not a steady pull like a puller, IME.

Be careful on the Cardone nuts, though. IIRC they are 36mm, not 35. I forget, but I think I thought it was a dumb move at the time. .
 

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2002 olds bravada
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the heads up. I was able to finally get the bearing unit off with a little application of some heat from a small propane torch. I applied the heat for a few minutes and we actually did use a better quality puller tool from Sears (Craftsman) which had a much higher weight rating. After the bearing came off I cleaned up the threads on the half shaft and noticed that even though it got pounded on there was still no real play in it. So we installed the new bearing tested it and it drove fine. Then we went ahead and changed out the bearing on the passenger side which had the advantage of being soaked in liquid wrench and that one pretty much seemed to slip off after it was initially broken loose. After all was said and done, I opted to not change the half shaft at this time as it seems to be fine. Now, with that said, that doesn't mean that I won't be back replacing it in the near future at some point. Its also good to now that most parts stores keep in stock as well. All I can say is what a difference new bearings make. I can only guess that this was consuming a mpg or two as prior to replacement it seemed like there was much more resistance than now. One added benefit of this job is that it was done in my driveway with mostly hand tools. Also, I was able to clear up some annoying rubber squeaking with the lubrication of my suspension parts (dealer actually told me the squeaking was the hood support mounts, clearly was not). Thanks for all of support and help. I find that when I get a little frustrated with my vehicle this place is the best to get some positive assistance. :)
 

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...dealer actually told me the squeaking was the hood support mounts, clearly was not...
Thanks for the report. That dealer must be a trailvoy lurker. :undecided The hood supports are the sneakiest noise source that often disguises itself as suspension squeaks, but we know to pull that guess out of our bag of tricks AFTER the typical and much more likely bushing squeaks have been eliminated. To guess hood supports FIRST is evidence of forgetting the statistics. If it sounds like suspension squeaking, it probably IS suspension squeaking!

Dr. Roadie would not approve of that dealer being on his diagnostic team. :no:

 

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2002 olds bravada
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Too funny, you know if you combine Roadie and House you get the awesomely bad Patrick Swayze flick, Roadhouse. Anyhow, just in case someone looks up this thread for cv shaft info, I plan to change them this weekend. Long story short the boot popped off a few days after replacing the wheel bearings. This happened only on the driver side. I tried cleaning, repacking grease, rebanding but after two attempts it has popped back off both times. Now, there is a constant high speed vibration at about 70mph in the driver side wheel. Not to mention grease every where on the underside. Bought two new cardone shaft units from Rock auto cheapest price I found anywhere just over $50/piece. I read several threads about trying to fix the boot or just replace and I think in the long run the best thing is to replace it because it'll likely need it at some point anyway.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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Thank you for the updates 02Bravado..!!

I am about the replace wheel hub bearings this week, and after looking around onthe underside I see grease that has been flung from the inner joint on the drivers-side axle shaft.

So, your problems and experiences are very close to mine, and I am following your progress and solutions with great interest. :)

Dave. :)
 

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2002 olds bravada
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CV shafts

I was not able to get to replacing them this past weekend. My 2yr old daughter fell off a rope ladder playing at a friends house and so this last Saturday she had to have surgery to repair the break in her arm. Unfortunately, I was not able to get to it. I plan to do it this weekend coming up and it has to get done by then because it tows my travel trailer. And we are planning to go camping after this next week. I will keep you posted. I have a chiltons service manual and read through as much as possible to prepare for changing these things out. I have read through and it seems like a lot of people are experiencing the leaking inner cv boots. Oddly enough, mine are both leaking but only the driver side cv shaft/joint seems to be bad. This also happens to be the one that did receive the beating during the bearing change.
 

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Not quite the progress report anyone was expecting....I hope your daughter gets over her tumble quickly.

Any advice on removing the hub from the axle shaft..?? I have had a dry run on this job and know I can get every bolt removed. I took the opportunity to spray generous amounts of PB Blaster on the splined area where the hub bearing sits on the axle shaft. Looking for experience on the best ways to wrestle the hub bearing free with the minimum amount of hassle and grief.

Dave. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not quite the progress report anyone was expecting....I hope your daughter gets over her tumble quickly.

Any advice on removing the hub from the axle shaft..?? I have had a dry run on this job and know I can get every bolt removed. I took the opportunity to spray generous amounts of PB Blaster on the splined area where the hub bearing sits on the axle shaft. Looking for experience on the best ways to wrestle the hub bearing free with the minimum amount of hassle and grief.

Dave. :)
Honestly, getting the bolts out is fairly easy. You pull the 3 out on the back side of the unit. The front side nut which I think is a 35mm and you will need to take the caliper off to get the rotor out of the way but you will need the rotor in place to loosen the 35mm nut to prevent the shaft and nut from just rotating. Passenger side the bearing slid out with some prying from a large screw driver. The driver side was stuck and went through 2 cheap pullers borrowed from autozone. The trick to getting that driver side off was applying heat with a small propane torch for a minute. It then kind of popped off when went back to the puller. I am guessing you got a 50/50 that they both (bearing units) slide off. I seam to have had a little more play and problems with my driver side for some reason. It seems the more corrosion and dirt you have on the splines the harder the bearing removal. PB blaster helps a lot and should be used liberally. Good luck.
 

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Thanks for the reply 02Bravado.

The repair went very smoothly in the end, all the nuts came out with no problem. The only part that took a little while was removing the hub bearing from the axle shaft.

Plenty of PB, abit of heat and a few good whacks had it off in just a few minutes.

The TB is my girlfriends vehicle, so I don't get the opportunity to poke around as much as if it were my own. The people on here seem great, so I'm confident we can keep it on the road and add many more miles to the 100K that are already on the odometer.

As a Jeep Wrangler owner, I am already a huge fan of PB Blaster..!!

Dave. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK so here goes. I have right around 100k on my bravada and plan to keep her for awhile since she's paid for. I spent quite a bit of money over the last few weeks and this weekend is go time for installs. I did the cv shafts today and new struts up front. The fluids are getting changed tomorrow. The CV shafts, I was planning for a good fashioned 4letter word fest but actually went easier than most of my repairs. After I lifted the front end and put it on jack stands, I unbolted the wheel, caliper, and hub asm. Then I proceeded to unbolt the steering knuckle from ball joints and steering link. At first, I was gentle at hitting the CV shaft out but this was due to limited space. Then switched to using a pry bar and chisel and with a few wacks with the chisel it slid out with a little prying. The driver side went much faster as I found that I only needed to unbolt the upper ball joint to tilt the knuckle out of the way. The new cardone shafts slid right in without any problem. After the shafts were done, since we had it all exposed, we used some autozone spring compressors and removed struts. I went with Biltstein HD's. Not entirely sure if I like them yet. The rides a bit different. Not sure if its better or worse. But its what I thought would more suited to my liking. I guess we'll see. No more vibrations or wobble in driver side shaft. Ride is smooth as silk. Best tip I have seen for the struts is liberal use of PB or lubricant prior to changing. All bolts and lower strut arm all came out no problem.
 

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so after u got the rotor caliper and upper balljoint off... u just tilted the knuckle down.. so you left the tie-rod ends on and the lower ball joint rite? gunna have a big write up coming up and want to find teh easiest way to do it.. and no fluid comes out when u took out the half shafts?

Replacing half shafts
Replacing hubs
Replacing front and rear diff fluid
Replacing tansfercase fluid
Greasing all joint
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so after u got the rotor caliper and upper balljoint off... u just tilted the knuckle down.. so you left the tie-rod ends on and the lower ball joint rite? gunna have a big write up coming up and want to find teh easiest way to do it.. and no fluid comes out when u took out the half shafts?

Replacing half shafts
Replacing hubs
Replacing front and rear diff fluid
Replacing tansfercase fluid
Greasing all joint
Happy Thanksgiving!!!Sorry you have to do this in the cold weather. If you lift your front end with a jack you should be able to lift it high enough to where you only need to unbolt the top of the knuckle at most. Driver side half shaft came out in two pieces because the cv joint just came apart. PS side, I didn’t even unbolt the knuckle at all but this one did come out in one piece shaft joint was not as bad.
1) So, to answer you no I did not have to unbolt the tie rods or ball joints.
I took Roadies advice and bought the Cardone shafts from Rock auto because the stock shaft boots are not as good.
2) Some fluid drips out, not much though and it really is just a few drips may have been due to driveway angle but you could likely get to where nothing comes out when you get the shafts out from the front diff. Mine was a dirty yellowish color. After this repair similar to your plan, I changed all of the fluids as well.
3) Hub replacement made a huge difference. Prior to that ride was like I was pulling an anchor and now its drives and coasts very smooth. Make sure to use liberal amounts of liquid wrench or other lubricant before and during the parts change. My driver side got stuck on and needed some plying with a torch before it would slide off. PS side slid right off though. So you could get lucky on both sides.
General info you may want to know. The shaft replacement will be the more difficult of the repairs since you will have less clearance to get the shafts out of the front diff. When under your front end, the shafts need to some what get pried out and as banging at them does not work so well especially since you will not have enough room underneath the car to get good leverage to really smack it. I used a heavy metal chisel with a flat tip to do the prying by hitting it with a hammer. Let me know if you have any questions, I know theres a lot I have forgotten since making this repair but I will share as much as I can remember. I need to grease my joints as well but they do not look like they will take to it without a good and thorough cleaning.
:)
 

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I'm going to be doing both front halfshafts this weekend and just wondering where you guys are getting the 35mm deep sockets? I checked both Advance Auto and Autozone and they only have 34mm or 36mm to borrow. I don't plan on doing this often so don't really want to buy the socket if I don't have to.
 

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I do it a lot, so I just bought the 35mm one at Kragen. Beware - the best replacement shafts I like are Cardone, and they come with 36 (!) mm nuts. I always just reuse the OEM nut. When I grew up, tool rentals/loans didn't exist. You HAD to own it.
 

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I do it a lot, so I just bought the 35mm one at Kragen. Beware - the best replacement shafts I like are Cardone, and they come with 36 (!) mm nuts. I always just reuse the OEM nut. When I grew up, tool rentals/loans didn't exist. You HAD to own it.
The measure of a man is the size of his tool(s):D
 

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Got the new half shafts put in yesterday without any complications. Things went smoother than expected actually. Took only a few hours to do both sides. I figured it would be worse considering I'm in Wisconsin and they tend to use 10 times as much salt on the roads as they need to. Thanks for all the tips from everyone.
 

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First off would like to thank this forum for a starting point on many subjects regarding the tb . I am in the middle of a front end refreshing. Axles rebuilt disconnect and most of the joints. I tackled the driver side seal last night I got it out in 2min. Will post some pics and tools used after I finish the button up.. :excited:
 
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