Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 13th 2020, 8:59pm

At nearly 290k on my 03 Astro and the rear end has been making slight grinding noise for the last year or so. Slowly getting worse over time. Sorry to say I'm one of those guys.....I've never changed the oil back there....never had a leak. Dif is full. Got quoted $950 to $2,800 for rebuilding it locally. I'd rather just swap it out for a reman. Any trusted sources out there? I'm in Colorado. (and by the way RockAuto does not ship to Co. due to tax problems)
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby dcsleeper » November 13th 2020, 11:23pm

You should be the 'rebuilder' , like a general contractor.
Find a local shop that can do this work:
Replace carrier, carrier bearings, pinion bearings, ring and pinion gears, axle bearings and seals.
IF the pattern looks good, you could re-use the R&P gears, saving a good bit of work and cost.
It's a 7.6 carrier, google.

for it to be noisy it is likely carrier bearings, and/or spider gears, not the R&P. R&P problems usually go very badly pretty quickly.

There's no way I would pay 2800 no matter what. you will probably land at 1500.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby MechBob » November 14th 2020, 12:17am

Jasper,and lots others out there.But,you would be better off to have it done locally,unless you suspect axle tubes are bent.As around to some 4x4 offroad guys,or groups,lots down your way.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby pmou » November 14th 2020, 1:24am

Hey Rocketeer, Just want to point out that Rockauto will ship to certain parts of colorado, just not anywhere that applies an additional "City Tax" which i know includes Boulder, however not Boulder County unincorporated. If you got any hillbilly friends you can probably ship stuff to their house. I use to live in Ned and would order from RA all the time. Just moved back to Boulder and I'm now eating my shirt on more than just housing costs...

That aside, there are definitely a number of places in Denver that could do this work (I'm not sure what part of CO you are in). I have used wizard transmission in Denver for transmission work and had great experiences, however can't comment specifically on Diffs. I reached out to them about adding a limited slip diff and Adam (owner) told me if i showed up with the carrier they would probably charge around $800 - 1200 to install with shims, bearings, etc.

Also know that LKQ pick n pull has 4-5 astros on the lot at any time and a big ol pile of axles. Could pick one up and have it re-man'd then install yourself.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby dcsleeper » November 14th 2020, 1:58am

pmou wrote: I reached out to them about adding a limited slip diff and Adam (owner) told me if i showed up with the carrier they would probably charge around $800 - 1200 to install with shims, bearings, etc.

Also know that LKQ pick n pull has 4-5 astros on the lot at any time and a big ol pile of axles. Could pick one up and have it re-man'd then install yourself.



yikes 8-1200 to re carrier ?

that's unconsionable <sp>

to take your carrier out,
put new bearings on a new carrier
swap r&p
put it in and check the pattern and correct it
should be no more than 500.

If going junkyard just put in the whole axle and ride.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 14th 2020, 2:15am

Thanks for the replies...

Is it advantageous to remove the rear end and take it in to a shop to rebuild, replacing all the parts sleeper suggested? Does that save me any money or is it just as easy for a rebuilder to to do it on the vehicle.

Van is my service vehicle so no off roading or accidents. Tubes should be straight.

I'm in Lakewood Colorado (suburb of Denver) and we have that local tax so no RockAuto for now :(

I know of Wizard Transmission's good work but have found them pricey. I will reach out to them as they are nearby.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 14th 2020, 2:18am

Also....if a rebuilder comes back and says I need new R&P what do I need to look for to confirm it in person? I've never done any rear end work so don't know what I would be looking for on the gear faces.....
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 14th 2020, 2:22am

dcsleeper wrote:You should be the 'rebuilder' , like a general contractor.
Find a local shop that can do this work:
Replace carrier, carrier bearings, pinion bearings, ring and pinion gears, axle bearings and seals.
IF the pattern looks good, you could re-use the R&P gears, saving a good bit of work and cost.
It's a 7.6 carrier, google.

for it to be noisy it is likely carrier bearings, and/or spider gears, not the R&P. R&P problems usually go very badly pretty quickly.

There's no way I would pay 2800 no matter what. you will probably land at 1500.


........when he gave me that cost range I became highly suspect as it sounded ridiculous and thought I should look elsewear.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby Rod's Trucks » November 14th 2020, 2:50am

One advantage to having a 'spare' rear end, is you can take it to a shop, and they can see what needs to be done. There should be very little error in the estimate.
Here in the Seattle area, a P' n ' P' diff runs about $150, but it i a bit of work to get it out and home, and then you have to install it, and find a scrap dealer to take the old one.
It is still an fairly inexpensive alternate, if you can do the work yourself. I am sure many shops would not mind changing a complete rear axle assembly.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby MechBob » November 14th 2020, 3:14am

Ok.Will try to help.Noise is usually a pinion bearing.You should have not run it that long.Even with the magnet inside the cover,you have run metal particles through everything. you WILL have some light scoring,at the least, on the ring and pinion teeth.Even if it is only light,no shop in the country would guarantee it,for not making slight noise.BUT,astros are noisy,anyway,they are like driving a sardine cane over bumps,while making "oil canning" noises(lol look it up). Anyway,I always gave the customer the option of replacing the R&P, as it should be.All 6 bearings will have to be replaced,along with seals.If,perchance, the problem was/is a worn axle bearing,all above also applies,except you will need an axle.As a matter of fact,you may need 2 axles,from the metal being moved around and run on bearing surfaces.Now,some basic info.Most of these GM small diffs,you can "re bearing""reseal" without even checking the clearances.The tolerances on the new parts,is so close,is not necessary.You can even replace the "carrier"(which nowadays,means the unit that carries the axle,spyder gears,ring gear) with a new GM carrier,and re shimming/adjustment is not necessary.GM tightened up tolerances,some years ago,because warranty repairs was killing them,so that is why this happened.However,this is for stock open carriers,if you replace it with a used limited slip into an open carrier,all bets are off,full checks are necessary.Sorry if I am rambling,and did not group this stuff,but your problem,lol.Carriers are well known to wear out in a way lots of mechanics miss,the axle gears become loose where they go into the carrier,slop up/down,back and forth.This is because the outer axles free float in open bearings.So,lots of times mechanics miss this,and their rebuilt diff comes back,with "clunk on turns".this is most prevalent on vehicles that carry lots of weight,and/or tend to turn sharply at speed.Will end this,and start over,website is implying this.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby MechBob » November 14th 2020, 3:43am

OK,back.As a general rule, to "re bearing" these light GM diffs.,The labor time is,as best as I can remember,4.5 hours.That includes flushing/cleaning the housing,as you have to try and remove as much as the fine metal debris from it,as you can.I have done many,perhaps even close to 1k in my life as a GM mech.I could do them in as little as 3 hours,BUT,I had learned to purchase my own special tools,for the job.But,throw in changing the R&P,or a aftermarket carrier,or a limited slip,then labor time goes to 6.5 or more.Most times,with GM parts,they are marked,and you can come close,if not even right on the money,by adding/subtracting the shim/clearance numbers on the parts.This alleviates using the GM "set up the rear diff from scratch" tools,which almost no aftermarket shops have,too expensive.So,(wandering again), depends on your local/labor rate/shop charges.Down where you are,you have full bore Cali. issues,extra tax for "hazardous waste", extra taxes,etc.Get 60 miles out of town,and all these frivolous expenses go away.Well,seems I forgot to mention,also,axle and spyder gears should be replaced,because of the mileage,but they are cheap.As far as doing it yourself,and having to put in a new R&P,and depending on judging the visual "wear" pattern,with lead grease,that is pretty much a thing long gone away,and,over they years,i have only met,worked with mechanics that could do that from scratch,maybe 5.but,they worked on diffs. that did not have a crush sleeve,so taking them apart and reassembly was easy,and did not cost them parts,nor time.Find a local,well outside of town,EPA,personal politicians preferences area,with a OK reputation.Do not remove it from van,waste of time and money.Be prepared to answer a few questions,I.E. "can you live with a slight whine,at a certain speed"(ring gear, "can you live with a slight whine going around a turn?"(axles) then you have found an honest repair shop.Sorry for the rambling,now you have a whole bunch of info to digest.Best of luck,Bob.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby pmou » November 14th 2020, 3:49am

just to follow up on my post, I believe they were quoting me for doing it "the right way" and getting wheel bearings and whatever else might be involved there. new r/p gears. this was off the cuff and quite awhile ago that I just called them up though. also, I'm by no means an expert on rear axles so I likely had some things fly over my head or missed some details. let me know if you contact them and get some info!
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby markmitch » November 14th 2020, 4:49pm

if you get one from a pick n pull and change it yourself the pick n pull will gladly take the old one for scrap. S next time your going that way you just drop it off there for free. I just took a bunch of scrap to them to get rid of it. You can swap it out yourself it is not that hard.
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 14th 2020, 5:39pm

No problem with disposal of one, we have a scrapper in the neighborhood that comes around often. I leave metal out for him all the time. Does anybody have an esimate of cost if I were to get one at a P & P, take it in and just tell them to replace everything, complete rebuild?
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby dcsleeper » November 14th 2020, 5:46pm

There's no point in that. Just rebuild yours.
Some may disagree but a JY replacement has a good chance of being serviceable for quite a while.
I went thru several weak Chrysler rear ends in another car. Each one lasted more that 2 years each.
And it's cheap. Imagine some idiot ran a light and totaled your van on the way home from the garage after a $2K rebuild?
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby rocketeer [OP] » November 14th 2020, 6:01pm

dcsleeper wrote:There's no point in that. Just rebuild yours.
Some may disagree but a JY replacement has a good chance of being serviceable for quite a while.
I went thru several weak Chrysler rear ends in another car. Each one lasted more that 2 years each.
And it's cheap. Imagine some idiot ran a light and totaled your van on the way home from the garage after a $2K rebuild?


.......that is so true
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Re: Remanufacture Rear End suppliers

Postby AstroWill » November 14th 2020, 6:21pm

dcsleeper wrote:Some may disagree but a JY replacement has a good chance of being serviceable for quite a while.

I agree with this 100%, you should get many years of service out of a good one. I look for vehicles that have obvious damage that shows it was mobile at the time but appears well cared for.

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