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First time posting. I thought I would give a quick report of some front end suspension work I did on my '05 TB EXT LS 4WD with 256,000 miles. I hope you guys can reply with some helpful tips for future DIYers. FYI: I am a college student and I do all my car work in my grandfather's gravel driveway in another town using his tools.

My wheel bearings started making humming/grinding noise that matched the speed of the vehicle. I decided to just replace both, since I've only had the TB for a year, and I was unsure the last time they were replaced. Also, I knew my lower ball joints had a little play and decided to replace those while I was that deep. I had also been having an issue where, occasionally, when I would hit a bump while driving, a rumble/vibration that sounded like my entire front end was falling apart would happen for a couple seconds after the bump--but it wasn't after every bump. After some research, I deduced it was probably the sway bar links. I also replaced a CV axle that had a leaking boot. I'm just going to talk about replacing the CV shaft and bearing assemblies here, I will post in a different place the ball joints and sway bar links. So now to the work I did.

I removed the entire knuckle to replace the bearing assembly because I thought I was going to be replacing my lower ball joints as well. I replaced the driver side CV shaft. I had issues getting it our of the diff though. I know that you are just supposed to pry it. GM gave a me a nifty hole in the frame so I could get a pry bar between the diff and the tripot of the CV shaft. But that b**** would not come out. I had a 2 ft pry bar and a hammer and it took me about 40 minutes until it finally let loose. The new Cardone shaft went in fine. I freaked myself out, though. I did the job in two days, one day for each side (I am slow when it comes to car work, I'm rather new to it). And I finished the driver side on day one and when I drove it, I heard a loud humming (unlike the previous bearing humming) coming from the center of my front end. The humming was apparent at about 30 mph and got considerably worse when turning even slightly to the left. I did some research that night and had myself convinced that it was the differential. I thought I had broken something when pounding on the CV shaft to get it out. But when I replaced the passenger bearing the next day, it went away. So either something finally seated correctly, or the hum was from the bearing.

As for the bearings, it was really easy to get them installed with the knuckle off. I laid the bearing lugs facing down and stacked the backing plate then the knuckle and threaded the screws in easily. I then torqued them to spec after I reinstalled the knuckle. They are Detroit Axle bearings, so I don't have too high of hopes that they will last a long time, but it was a semi-budget fix. They are working wonderfully, and my steering wheel no longer feels like a hand sander. But in doing the passenger side, I noticed that there was a large o-ring that was around the bearing assembly. It fit "between" the bearing assembly and the knuckle. I made sure it got in there when I put the knuckle on but didn't do that for the driver side. I assumed the driver side one was on. But when I was cleaning everything up, I found the o-ring for the driver side. It seems that this O-ring sits in the small round space between the bearing assembly and the knuckle, but I'm not sure what its purpose is. I did not go back it and install it on the driver side, because I don't think it is crucial. Please tell me if I am wrong. I assume it is to help with vibrations/bumps.
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