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77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A mechanic showed me the driver side axle play/looseness where it connects to the front diff. Says it's a bad bearing if I remember correctly. Leaking oil everywhere, going to make sure to keep it filled. Guess now I finally know where my vibrations were coming from since going less aggressive on my tires only reduced it but didn't fix it completely, if you remember my old threads.

He said around $600 for a used front diff is what he saw with a quick search, but hasn't done much searching yet, also will get back with a quote on a reman, plus 3 hours labor. Unless I decide to do it myself, but his labor prices are fair and the part itself is the big cost. Don't think I feel like pulling one from a yard either. I called some trans shops and they more or less told me it's not really worth rebuilding if you can swap another one in, as it'll be more expensive. A little confused with this though, since I saw some people on here have the same issue, with only a few hundred bucks to have that part rebuilt.

Just wanted to run it by you guys for suggestions and options. I'm a little skeptical of a used one, and would be pretty pissed if it had the same issue develop soon after, as it doesn't seem very uncommon. Not even sure who besides Jasper, who charges a heck of a lot for one, makes a reman.


· Registered
1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
1,694 Posts
I hS a similar issue.
My van was in the shop to have Copperfiremist install a Torsen rear diff.
I asked him to look into the front diff oil leak.
He said it was a bad bearing, and showed me the damaged inner stub of the drive axle.
The bearing is a common caged needle bearing (and not expensive) which supports the inner axle stub.
They replaced the support bearing and both CV axle assemblies.
Replacing those bearings is not particularly difficult, but it does take time.
If your differential is OK otherwise, it might be worth trying to find a shop who can confirm(or not) that it is just those bearings.
PM me if you have questions.
Rod J
Issaquah, WA

· Registered
2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
6,547 Posts
Used parts (that involve heavy labor to install) are always a gamble.
Engines, transmissions, differentials.
Might be good, might be bad or same condition you are already in.
Good deal if it works, bad deal if it doesn't.

No correct answer.. but junk yard parts are typically a safer gamble if you do the work yourself. If it fails and you have to pay a shop to pull and reinstall a 2nd time.. it can get expensive.

If you do buy a junk yard part.. I'd certainly keep the old unit and fix it while it's out.
Parts are cheap.. so it's only labor, and much easier to do if it's already out
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· Premium Member
1,154 Posts
Pull it and have new bearings installed. I snapped a photo of some parts I have. If I can help I will. 600 seems to be a going rate for a yard old used one. This housing has old bearings with almost 300 k on the van it came out of. A (99) these bearings seem stout but if it were me they would be replaced before installing it. If you want pay shipping and I’ll loan you this housing to be rebuilt. Then you can swap out the rebuilt one for your old one and ship it (wore out/broken) back to me. or I’ll sell you the housing ring and pinion. This unit is a 3.42


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