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i was wondering if i can take out the front axles. Im in the process of putting a new motor in and my front differential doesnt work so i wanted to know if i can take it out. i was told the wheel bearing is held on by the axle but i did a little research and the wheelbearins for the 4x4 is the same part number as the 2 wheel drive
 

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The wheel bearing hub is indeed held by a 35mm nut on the end of the axle, but its real mounting is three bolts from the rear of the steering knuckle. To remove the CV shaft, you have to remove this nut, the brake caliper, the tie rod end, and then the upper ball joint. Then you can tilt the steering knuckle down, rap on the end of the CV shaft and get its splines out of the bearing. The bearing comes out from the outside. Then bang on the inboard side of the CV shaft's tripot to release its c-clip.



If you're putting in a new motor, then you can remove the differential altogether. Lucky thing the oil pan has a tube running through it so the removal of the diff and its shaft won't cause the oil to run out. And the CV shafts aren't needed for the bearings to work.

One warning for others thinking about similar projects, if you remove the driver's side CV shaft and leave the diff in, the differential oil will drool out through the hole. This would not enhance the differential's lifetime if you replaced the shaft later. :D
 

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TRIPOT: A telescopic tripot universal joint comprises an outer drive member having three longitudinal drive channels which include two opposing concave side surfaces, an inner drive member having three radial trunnions having a radially outward facing semi-spherical surface for tiltably mounting a drive ball assembly which has a bearing train disposed radially between an inner ball tiltably engaged to the trunnion and an outer ball having a tread face which directly opposes the concave side surfaces of the drive channels. The ball assembly being free to wobble about a Z-axis wherein the assembly pivots about an X-axis disposed laterally to the outer drive member and pivots about a Y-axis disposed longitudinally to the outer drive member. The channel carries a guide rail which extends longitudinally lengthwise to the channel and projects radially inward in order to contact the outer ball when the ball assembly pivots about the X-axis, i.e., tilts relative to the axis of the outer drive member.

So, where exactly do we bang? I'm confused. And do we have to bang? Can we pry? Or can we pull? Help! :)

Mark
 

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You can hit the heavy metal assembly with a drift outward, or if you can get a small prybar inbetween that metal piece and the diff, it will just pop out.

In the above picture, its the 2 or 3 inch wide rusted metal band that is inbetween the inboard cv boot and the front diff.

Don't pull if you want to reuse the front axle! It will pull the tripot apart inside the boot.
 

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That's the info I needed. Thanks.

Doesn't look like there is much room to swing. Maybe prying would be easier. Guess I'll find out when I get under there.

My problem is on the driver's side. Leaking inner boot. Any words of advice or caution?

Thanks.

Mark
 

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I used a 18" long 3/4" socket extension, but a good 1/2" length of galvanized pipe would have done as well. And a 3 pound hand sledge. And at 65K miles in the otherwise benign CA air, I was still dismayed by how many whacks it took to get the splines moving. You can start a few days ahead of time using PB blaster on the outer hub splines, but the inner ones are protected by a seal, so the lubricant won't penetrate. I reassembled mine with a bit of grease on the splines to make it easier next time.

They make two piece replacement boots - if slinging grease is your only symptom and the CV joints aren't making noise or vibrating, why take out the entire shaft?
 

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Thanks for the info.

I have a noise in the left front that I have diagnosed as a bad hub bearing (noise related to vehicle speed only, louder when the wheel is turned slightly right). I also want to replace my front struts "while I am at it" and have things mostly disassembled.

I just figured it would be convenient to take care of this grease slinging problem while I had everything apart. But if it is difficult or problematic to remove the old axle/CV joint, and I can achieve what I need with a two piece boot, that seems to be a better/simpler/cheaper solution. I'll look into it.

Thanks!

Mark
 

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Check the driver side axle seal for leakage. That was the reason I had to remove mine. the seal is about $20.
 

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Ok. The wife has it in Pittsburgh this weekend so I can't check now.

When I rotated the tires I wiped everything off with paper towels and brake cleaner so I could drive it and then get a better idea what was leaking, and perhaps even see where. I'll pull the wheel and look again one evening this week.

I did notice that the side of the front differential case around the seal was only lightly filmed, that the boot was totally shiny/black but not really wet like an oil, and that the stuff I wiped up smelled like grease, not like differential fluid--but I'm not sure if this differential fluid is different, and I don't have the manual handy to check. If it is different, it may not smell like the ordinary 75-90W stuff I am accustomed to.

Thanks for the tip.

Mark
 

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CV shaft seal?

Was changing the brakes today and noticed the front left inner CV boot had some grease "sprayed" on the underbody around it. Got a pretty good look at it and can't see that the boot has a tear in it anywhere. Is there just a seal that may need replacing? If so, what's it called and how difficult is it to do? I was considering replacing the entire half shaft on that side, but if it's just a seal issue I'd certainly rather do that. I haven't noticed anything wrong with the ride yet, but my wife has said a couple of times she noticed vibration at highway speed. Thanks for any help
 

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I finally got a chance to look at mine once the wife got back from Pittsburgh.

In the beginning I had the inner boot totally covered with...something. Didn't smell like differential oil, so I figured it was probably grease from the inner CV joint. I cleaned everything up with brake cleaner, the boot, the tripot, the housing, and the frame, and sent the wife on her way.

Now I see that the boot is totally dry, but the front diff case and the tripot are wet. It doesn't smell like the differential fluid I am accustomed to, but it is definitely oil, not grease. So, my diagnosis is that my seal is leaking. I already bought a replacement CV joint assembly/axle (about $51 plus shipping from Rock Auto) so I will replace it when I do the seal on Saturday. But I could have just replaced the seal if I had but waited to make an accurate diagnosis. (Sigh!)

I don't know what the seal is called--axle seal or differential seal or ?--I'll find out when I go to Napa on Saturday. It is a part that commonly needs replaced, or so it appears from posts I have seen here.

Lots of things can cause vibration at highway speeds. CV joints typically don't do that, at least not until really bad, as far as I know, but I don't have a lot of experience with bad ones.

Mark
 

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Grrrrrrrrr!

Got the axle out easily. There was room to swing, and it only took a few hits to get it to release. But that was when the problem started.

Earlier this Saturday morning I had stopped at the Pontiac GMC dealer for a quart of the special transfer case fluid--figured I might as well change it while the truck was up in the air. Then I went to Napa and bought a seal for the front differential. I hadn't taken the axle out yet, so I didn't know what the seal looked like. The one he sold me looked a little small, but he assured me it was the right one.

By the time I got to the point where I got the axle out, it was early afternoon. I was taking my time. I wasn't in any hurry.

Then I looked. The seal was much larger than the one I was sold. I copied the numbers and letters off of it:

46002075
SABO 7517

So, back into town to Napa. Bad news. The numbers I gave them don't cross reference to anything in their computer. The one they sold me is the only seal they list. Went to Federated. Nope there also. Dealer item.

Back to the dealer and of course the parts window was closed. So I'm stuck, up on jackstands till Monday.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I could have bought the seal at the stealership, but I was trying to save a few pennies. Sure wish I had known that it was a dealer only item.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Mark
 

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Now that I look at the photo I took, my old eyes may have deceived me. I need to go back and check the seal number again.

Anyway, I have located the manufacturer. It is in Brazil! Yet they sell to GM.

Here is a link to a page describing the function and properties of some of their oil seals. http://www.sabo.com.br/si/site/0503?idioma=ingles

Anyway, I'm now thinking that the part number may be 46002026. Haven't yet found any info on that number, unfortunately. I'd really like to get this back together tomorrow, and to do that I need to locate an aftermarket seal.

Also, in the photo, is the bolt with what looks to be a big washer under it to the left of the seal the fill plug for the front differential?

Mark
 

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Anybody have an aftermarket source for the front differential axle seal?

Anybody?

Mark
 

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Sorry guy, I bought my seal from the dealer for about $20. Yes that big "washer" to the left is actually the very large plug for the front diff.

When you go to reinstall the seal, you are not going to be able to hit it straight on if you do not have a long handled seal driver. Use what you got in your garage and be patient. Needs to go in square. Good Luck!
 

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Well, now that I have an extra day, maybe I'll make a long seal driver. Shouldn't be too hard.

I was also thinking about making a seal removal tool. How did you get yours out? How hard was it?

Anybody out there have an aftermarket part number for this seal?

Thanks.

Mark
 

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Just trying to keep this on the new post page.

Anybody know why some days there are three pages of new posts, and some days it hits 20 or 30 and starts all over?

Mark
 

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I actually already owned a seal puller. You can probably pry it out with a long stout screwdriver though.
 

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I reached in with my finger. There is something right behind the seal that moves easily in and out, in till it hits the axle bearing and out till it hits the seal. Anyone know what it is. Is it something I need to replace along with the seal? It seems like it fits over the axle with very little clearance, best as I can tell. I looked at a drawing, but it was not detailed enough to tell me what the part is.

Mark
 
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