Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner

21 - 40 of 274 Posts

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Thanks for your responses. I changed both front wheel bearings today. Took about three hours. First one was slow because I was being very cautious about what I was doing. Once I removed the three bolts securing the bearing hub, it slid out easily. The second one was a bit of a pain in that is seems it was quite stuck. But eventually it came loose.

Tool recomendation was very handy and all went well. Very easy job all in all. I main bolt holding everything in place is a 36MM and all others are 18MM as eeehabt stated.

I did find, however, that the right front tie rod is shot! I wonder how easy this is to replace.... Probably not as easy as the bearing!

Thanks Again!!:thx


Hi,
You're welcome.

Is the tie the inner or the outer? If it's the outer one, its change is pretty easy, but you need do extra work after you've done it.

1- Lift the front of the truck and secure it. (right & left)
2- Align The steering wheel to the center.(how it drives forward without drifting right or left. (Important to remember the exact posture of the steering wheel)
3- Get a tape measure and note down the distances between the front wheels from the front side and the rear side. Don't panic if you find a slight difference. This is normal. Usually it's 2-3mm narrower in the front. (See picture)
4- Get someone to apply the brakes and you remove the wheel nuts of the side you're gonna work on.
5- Get two open-ended wrenches and loosen the lock nut on the tie. (Size differs according to model)
6- Remove the nut on the ball joint.
7- Use the ball joint removing tool to loosen it and free it (Preferable if available). If it's not available, get a heavy hammer and start knocking the part holding it until it is freed. (I hate using the hammer for such jobs).
8- Hold the inner tie rod with a press grip and turn the outer one loose until it's removed. (get rid of it in the nearest garbage can)
9- Fit the new one in its place and only tighten the ball joint nut.
10- Return the wheel and tighten the nuts.
11- Return the steering wheel to the exact posture you set it at before you removed the wheel. It must have moved while working)
12- turn the inner tie rod and keep measuring the distances between the front wheels until you restore the original distance. (Important to have someone help you keep the steering wheel in the correct posture when you measure it)
13- Tighten the lock nut and lower the truck down.
14- Test-drive it. If it drifts to the right, increase the distance between the front wheels at the front side. If it drifts to the left, decrease the distance. Apply the adjustment to the side you worked on. Don't interfere with the intact side.

This way you won't need to go to an alignment workshop and pay money for a job you can do with a tape measure.
A picture of the ball joint remover tool is down.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
48 Posts
2nd Go Round on bearings

Hey, thanks for all the great info. This is my first post...:) and of course, the question. I had that infamous "hum" of a bearing going bad at 37,000 miles! Dealer replaced it back then, $145.oo for labor, but each bearing for GM parts was $338.oo. Now at 71,000 miles, yup that "hum" is back!
I am unhappy to say the least :mad:, it is most prevalent at 40+ mph and really hums when turning left a that speed. Do you guys know if that would be right or left? Like others have indicated and found out this sounds really easy...thus the low labor cost but the bearings are outrageous. So, after I take my TB EXT back to dealer, and let them know my displeasure :hissy: if they won't replace the bearing for free(I'll pay the labor...of course). I may just do it on my own, I've done them before but on 60-70's vehicles.

Has anyone else heard of the bearings going out so quickly on the EXT versions?

THANX GUYS, glad I stumbled across this site!!:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
Joined
·
29 Posts
Rag PA

Rag,

I can attest to this being easy as pie on my 2wd. Remove calipers and rotor and there it is - 3 bolts. I can't speak personally for how difficult it is to deal with the front drive shafts, though the bearing/hubs are the same, I think. They are all splined in the center for FWD shafts.

As far as the cost of the bearing, to each his own. But I bought a $63 unit from ebay with free shipping and after 3000 miles, I have no complaints. From my perspective, the Timkens that seem well recommended here are $180 on Rock Auto, so I could do the job 3 times for that price. The labor is plenty easy enough so I don't mind if it doesn't last as long. You're only averaging 35,000 miles on OEM, so how can it get much worse?

I got approx. 90,000 out of my original on the left and the right is still going. I know from my other vehicle, that with 4WD and All Terrain / Mud Terrain tires, uneven wear/shaky tires will wreak havoc on front end parts. Do you run bad riding tires just to get the mileage left on the tread? It seems something has to be at fault for so little mileage on the bearings to be failing.

If the noise goes away when you turn right, then it is your right that is bad. The right turn sends the intertia and weight to the left, so it lightens the load on the right and the noise goes away.

Direction for noise to go away= side of bad bearing


This is the exact bearing/seller I went with on ebay. I received it in less than a week. It is $63.60 "buy-it-now", so no bidding and there is no shipping charge.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/06-07-CHEVY-TRAILBLAZER-FRONT-WHEEL-BEARING-HUB-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem518a26cf34QQitemZ350210150196QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
48 Posts
Bearings

TSB,
Thanks for the info, I always have just replaced both bearings at once so when one went bad both got changed, these being more affordable not OEM I may change out both unless the dealer will "deal". I usually change out tires when the tread indicators start to wear, infact the tires on it now arebrand new 1000 miles ago. So the tires aren't the culprit. I've never off roaded this TB it's a family hauler. I wonder if the dealer charged for both bearings and did only one? I agree and others are very suprised of the failure, especially with the low miles. My only thought is the 2003 4wd EXT version may be part of the problem, but I doubt it. Well, off to the dealer, or dirty knuckles.

Thanx Again

If anyone else has experienced a low mileage failure in a EXT, I am curious
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
Joined
·
29 Posts
Ebay

I considered changing both, but since I went the ebay route, I wasn't confident that what I was getting was better than the original that was still doing fine, so I didn't change it. Time will tell.

Honestly though, having done it once, I think I can do it again in 15 minutes, should the other side go bad or the ebay unit fail. It's almost equivalent to an oil change in difficulty. That's why IMO, it isn't worth spending the money on the high priced units. If the cheap one fails, changing it again is easy enough and I'll take the chance that 3 cheap units should outlast 1 high priced one. And further, with the way things have gone for me, it could well outlast the Trailblazer.
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
48 Posts
Freebie

Went to dealership, They said "No Problem" replaced with GM Parts it's
:DFREE :crazy::woot::woohoo: yeah I'm happy. Thanks guys
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
12 Posts
Great write up.

I think this is the issue with my wifes 2003 trailblazer 4x4. Its making a pretty loud and rough sound from the Drivers side wheel and has been getting worse, and while cruising at 50-60 and you turn the wheel to the right it becomes a louder high pitch sound. It does not make this additional sound at slow turns like at a stop sign.

So does this sound like its a front hub? My local Napa has the replacement for $155 or so.

Thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
From your description, it seems that the left wheel bearing is the culprit. Is he selling you the original GM one for that price?
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
Joined
·
12 Posts
Well got it changed out. It solved the problem, thanks again for this great write up. Its a pretty easy job I am not a mechanic but like to save money and like to see if I can do it. It took me a total of two hours a bit slow, but some of the bolts had almost 7 years of rust and crud on them. I have a Hayes manual and this write up is better. Also the Hayes manual scared me a bit because it says don't pull to hard when removing old hub because you dont want to seperate the CV. So for a while I just tapped here and there witht that fear, but I finally got it off and it all went back together and i had no extra parts left over...

Thanks again
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Well got it changed out. It solved the problem, thanks again for this great write up. Its a pretty easy job I am not a mechanic but like to save money and like to see if I can do it. It took me a total of two hours a bit slow, but some of the bolts had almost 7 years of rust and crud on them. I have a Hayes manual and this write up is better. Also the Hayes manual scared me a bit because it says don't pull to hard when removing old hub because you dont want to seperate the CV. So for a while I just tapped here and there witht that fear, but I finally got it off and it all went back together and i had no extra parts left over...

Thanks again
I appreciate the nice words. Thanks and welcome.
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
Joined
·
303 Posts
Any advice on separating the hub and axle? I got a three jaw puller, and this thing is not coming loose.
 

·
Banned
2004 gmc
Joined
·
26,181 Posts
Go back in time three days, and start using PB Blaster as has been mentioned many times. ;)

Or use a rubber mallet, dead blow hammer, or (in an emergency) put the nut partially back on the shaft and use a BFH onthe and of the axle. It's an impact that will break the corrosion lose. I never use a puller. If you grease the splines of the new hub when you reinsert the shaft, it may be easier next time.
 

·
Registered
2002 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
1,380 Posts
I was under the impression that the direction of turn for the noise indicates that it's the OTHER side that needs replacement, I.E. if you turn right and hear the noise then it's the left side that needs to be replaced. Am I correct?
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
Joined
·
303 Posts
Go back in time three days, and start using PB Blaster as has been mentioned many times. ;)

Or use a rubber mallet, dead blow hammer, or (in an emergency) put the nut partially back on the shaft and use a BFH onthe and of the axle. It's an impact that will break the corrosion lose. I never use a puller. If you grease the splines of the new hub when you reinsert the shaft, it may be easier next time.
I finally got it, with much effort and the puller. Greased up the new one, and it works perfectly now. No growling anymore. However, I will heed your advice next time I have to do this.

I was under the impression that the direction of turn for the noise indicates that it's the OTHER side that needs replacement, I.E. if you turn right and hear the noise then it's the left side that needs to be replaced. Am I correct?
This is how I diagnosed mine. The way other people suggested made zero sense to me, so I went with what I thought was right. When I turned to the right, putting more load on the driver's side wheel, it got louder. When turning left, taking the load of that wheel, it got quieter.
 

·
Registered
gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
55 Posts
This is my first post and I am wondering what luck people are having with the E-bay bearings. I have no problem spending a little extra $ for good parts, but 60$ to 180$ is a little too much if the bennefit is not large. Please let me know what you guys thing.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
Joined
·
19 Posts
Thanks for the excellent write up. I'm going to try this myself after seeing it. It's so much nicer to see full color photos!

I've been told that the problem was most likely the CVC Axel or the wheel bearing. The symptom is a loud roar or hum that gets louder when the wheels start moving faster. It sounds like it's coming from the front driver side, but I haven't tested using the "turn" method. I'm going out to do that now.

Is there any way to visibly tell if the bearing is bad? Even if I have to pull the caliper off, I'd still like to know that is the problem before I drop $200 on it! :)

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
Joined
·
303 Posts
There is no way to visibly tell if the bearing is bad, as it's enclosed in the hub. I'm sure you could take that all apart, and check, but that'd be a lot of work. I have been told that another way to check, other than the turning method, is to lift the truck up, grab the tire at the top and bottom, and try to rock it back and forth. If there is play, then the bearing is bad. I tried this, and I had no play, but my bearing was still bad. I'd just stick with the turning method.
 
21 - 40 of 274 Posts
Top