Chevy Astro and GMC Safari Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after 2 mechanics and $$$$ wasted I've now found out from the 3rd mechanic that my front differential is on its way out after already replacing the axle seals twice and axle bearings. They said that the housing may be worn so the new bearings i got put in werent gonna do much. Pretty annoyed with the situation but oh well.
Unless theres one more thing a guy could try to fix it (pretty much just leaking oil outta the axle seals).
So I'm on the hunt for some advice on where to get a diff from. Most likely a pick n pull ? Or are there decent refurbished ones ? Also how do I find the right gear ratio. It's a 2002 awd safari. And how hard are diffs to change ?
 

·
Registered
1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
You should have a RPO code label on the passenger door right below the door latch..
It will list a GT4 ( 3.37 ratio) or a GT6 (3.42 ratio) IIRC
The 3.73 ratio seems to be less common, which is what I have. I watched for quite a while on car-parts.com. There are many listed, but I was looking for a decent price, reasonably close, and I was not in any hurry. I found a spare out of an S-10 in a local yard, for a fair price, so I bought it, just in case.
The front diff is not an easy job (IMHO) , because there is a lot of work to be done, but none is overly difficult if you have the correct tools, time and a decent space.
I had a Torsen rear diff installed, and had the shop look at the front axle leak, particularly on the driver side. They were going to install new seals.
When the axle was pulled, the bearing surface on the inner stub showed significant wear. The needle bearing ( stub shaft support bearing) in behind the seal on the driver side was bad. The stub shaft had too much play, and it caused the seal to leak. Two new axles and seals went in along with the new bearing. Not cheap, but it fixed the leaking seal issue.
P.S. I LOVE the Torsen upgrade!:D

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

·
Administrator
Common Sense + Critical Thinking
Joined
·
13,947 Posts
When the axle was pulled, the bearing surface on the inner stub showed significant wear. The needle bearing ( stub shaft support bearing) in behind the seal on the driver side was bad. The stub shaft had too much play, and it caused the seal to leak.
Definitely something to check, if it's wobbling around in there the seals can't work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You should have a RPO code label on the passenger door right below the door latch..
It will list a GT4 ( 3.37 ratio) or a GT6 (3.42 ratio) IIRC
The 3.73 ratio seems to be less common, which is what I have. I watched for quite a while on car-parts.com. There are many listed, but I was looking for a decent price, reasonably close, and I was not in any hurry. I found a spare out of an S-10 in a local yard, for a fair price, so I bought it, just in case.
The front diff is not an easy job (IMHO) , because there is a lot of work to be done, but none is overly difficult if you have the correct tools, time and a decent space.
I had a Torsen rear diff installed, and had the shop look at the front axle leak, particularly on the driver side. They were going to install new seals.
When the axle was pulled, the bearing surface on the inner stub showed significant wear. The needle bearing ( stub shaft support bearing) in behind the seal on the driver side was bad. The stub shaft had too much play, and it caused the seal to leak. Two new axles and seals went in along with the new bearing. Not cheap, but it fixed the leaking seal issue.
P.S. I LOVE the Torsen upgrade!:D

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
Awesome advice!! Do you the part numbers you put on handy? Or the part number for the bearing. I put 2 new axle bearings but never heard of the needle bearing ?
 

·
Registered
1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Axle bearings are in the whel hubs.
The needle bearings are in the differential, just inboard of the output shaft seals.
Copperfiremist installed them. I will have to dig up the receipt ,for p/n. Will look and PM you.
Rod J
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
59 Posts
You should have a RPO code label on the passenger door right below the door latch..
It will list a GT4 ( 3.37 ratio) or a GT6 (3.42 ratio) IIRC
The 3.73 ratio seems to be less common, which is what I have. I watched for quite a while on car-parts.com. There are many listed, but I was looking for a decent price, reasonably close, and I was not in any hurry. I found a spare out of an S-10 in a local yard, for a fair price, so I bought it, just in case.
The front diff is not an easy job (IMHO) , because there is a lot of work to be done, but none is overly difficult if you have the correct tools, time and a decent space.
I had a Torsen rear diff installed, and had the shop look at the front axle leak, particularly on the driver side. They were going to install new seals.
When the axle was pulled, the bearing surface on the inner stub showed significant wear. The needle bearing ( stub shaft support bearing) in behind the seal on the driver side was bad. The stub shaft had too much play, and it caused the seal to leak. Two new axles and seals went in along with the new bearing. Not cheap, but it fixed the leaking seal issue.
P.S. I LOVE the Torsen upgrade!:D

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
So, while we are on the axle topic, What are both of the stock axles,swap ins. etc.
 

·
Registered
1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Awesome advice!! Do you the part numbers you put on handy? Or the part number for the bearing. I put 2 new axle bearings but never heard of the needle bearing ?
Martysnok,
From my repair invoice: Here is the P/N for the needle bearing that supports the axle stub in the side of the front differential. It is a standard industrial bearing #HK4012. The seal is #NS710491
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top