Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 13th 2015, 10:09am

Hello, I've been having issues with my differential leaking. Atleast that's what I've been told is leaking I don't known much about cars so all this is new to me.It makes like a loud humming type noise. Just had the driverside cv axel replaced and it was really low on gear lube so we put some in and it pretty much leaked it all back out. I don't have the money to replace the differential so I wanna know if there is any alternatives. Like can I drive without it or is there something I can put in it to seal it back up so it don't leak? Again I don't know much about cars so if they seem like dumb questions that's why.
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

  • Similar topics
    Replies
    Views
    Author

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Corsemoto » November 13th 2015, 4:41pm

How much oil was it low? It only takes approx 1.25 quarts (2.5 pints).

You need to find out where it's leaking from to better make a decision. The axle seals in the diff (#3 in picture) usually start leaking eventually. Where the axle housing (big tube on pass side #6 in picture) and cover plate (driver side #40 in picture) bolt on can leak or it's possible the drain plug or between the case halves themselves is leaking. Axle seal, side cover and drain plug would be my first thought.

Front differential exploded view:
Image

If your front differential goes from lack of oil then it would have to be removed or replaced. You would have to remove front diff, front propshaft from transfer case and disassemble the cv axles (#32 below) to use the outer end that splines into the wheel hub (#27 below) because that stub and center nut (#22 below) are what preload the wheel bearings so can't drive without.

Image

It may be easiest to replace the leaking axle seals and re-seal the cover plate if that's where it is leaking from.
User avatar
Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
Topics: 39
Images: 13
Joined: June 2008
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Don1806 » November 13th 2015, 5:42pm

Kaylob92 wrote:Hello, I've been having issues with my differential leaking. Atleast that's what I've been told is leaking I don't known much about cars so all this is new to me.It makes like a loud humming type noise. Just had the driverside cv axel replaced and it was really low on gear lube so we put some in and it pretty much leaked it all back out. I don't have the money to replace the differential so I wanna know if there is any alternatives. Like can I drive without it or is there something I can put in it to seal it back up so it don't leak? Again I don't know much about cars so if they seem like dumb questions that's why.


Bottom line is if you continue to drive it, it will be damaged and need to be replaced. It may also leave you sitting along the road if it seizes or burns up from lack of fluid. It may already be damaged since it has gotten noisy. It sounds like the leask is severe enough that there is no intermittent fix other than repair or replacement.
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
Don1806
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 4 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Don1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full yearsDon1806 has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 486
Topics: 18
Images: 2
Joined: May 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Don
Van Model Year: 1999
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD 170K

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Tegnus » November 13th 2015, 6:23pm

Kaylob92 wrote:Hello, I've been having issues with my differential leaking. Atleast that's what I've been told is leaking I don't known much about cars so all this is new to me.It makes like a loud humming type noise. Just had the driverside cv axel replaced and it was really low on gear lube so we put some in and it pretty much leaked it all back out. I don't have the money to replace the differential so I wanna know if there is any alternatives. Like can I drive without it or is there something I can put in it to seal it back up so it don't leak? Again I don't know much about cars so if they seem like dumb questions that's why.

When you leave home in the morning, check for fluid leaks under the car, especially under the diff. Usually when it leaks well, it leaves small puddle of oil under the car.

If you are suspecting it's leaking - you could check oil yourself - it's easy. With car leveled, if you open drain plug and oil is coming out it's at level, if not you can add until it starts coming out. If you check regularly it's possible to understand how big of a leak you have.

Also when oil leaks - in most cases you will see where diff is "wet". at least that has been case for me, when pinion seal and axle seal leaked...

Good luck and remember, driving without diff oil can cost a lot....
2004 Astro AWD (Astrid), 3" Lift, BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 LT225/75R16, Tru-Cool LPD-4490 Trans cooler, ARB Awning 2500 (ARB4401A)

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram | Check out the build of our 2004 Chevy Astro AWD "Astrid"
User avatar
Tegnus
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Tegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 532
Topics: 38
Images: 6
Joined: April 2013
Location: Canada/Latvia
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 13th 2015, 8:15pm

Thanks guys the info is much appreciated. Im pretty sure I located the leak looks like it's leaking between the differential and axel. I tried posting a pic not sure if it will upload.
Attachments
DSC_0296.JPG
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 13th 2015, 8:17pm

Also it's leaking pretty good. Leaving puddles probably about 3-4 inches wide.
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby AstroWill » November 14th 2015, 2:00am

Definitely a leak there, and I would take care of it ASAP.

Trolls take away from productive work, best to ignore & go about your business. See: Dark Tetrad
Report terrorists and anyone inciting violence to FBI @ fbi.gov and 800-CALLFBI (225-5324)
User avatar
AstroWill
Technical Director
Technical Director
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Years of Membership: AstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full yearsAstroWill has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 11639
Topics: 108
Images: 472
Joined: February 2009
Alias (AKA): Critical Thinking+Common Sense
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: I love peaches

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Tegnus » November 14th 2015, 2:57am

Kaylob92 wrote:Also it's leaking pretty good. Leaving puddles probably about 3-4 inches wide.

Then I would address that ASAP :)
2004 Astro AWD (Astrid), 3" Lift, BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 LT225/75R16, Tru-Cool LPD-4490 Trans cooler, ARB Awning 2500 (ARB4401A)

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram | Check out the build of our 2004 Chevy Astro AWD "Astrid"
User avatar
Tegnus
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Firing on 5 Cylinders (L1)
Years of Membership: Tegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full yearsTegnus has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 532
Topics: 38
Images: 6
Joined: April 2013
Location: Canada/Latvia
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Corsemoto » November 14th 2015, 3:48am

Looks like axle seal and I'd also remove and re-seal the cover plate with sealant. Surprised your mechanic didn't replace the axle seal when he replaced the cv axle.

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
Topics: 39
Images: 13
Joined: June 2008
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Leeann_93 » November 14th 2015, 5:00am

In fact, replacing the CV axle without replacing that seal probably caused the leak.

He needs to pull the axle, replace the seal and seal the cover, then reinstall the new CV axle. And hope the diff wasn't damaged in the meantime.
'05 Astro AWD vin X
'02 Astro LS AWD vin X
'00 Astro LS AWD - WIP
'99 Safari XLE AWD - broke
'93 AWD EXT vin W - real broke
User avatar
Leeann_93
Team Leader
Team Leader
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L7)
Years of Membership: Leeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full yearsLeeann_93 has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 13742
Topics: 44
Images: 17
Joined: December 2008
Location: MD
Gender: Female
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2005
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LS AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 14th 2015, 2:15pm

Thanks for the replies. The pictures help alot and help me know what I'm looking for and looking at. I've just been having issues finding the seals. With it being broke down I literally have no ride anywhere so I've resorted to looking online but I've found nothing. Any links or exact name for the seals? Again idk alot about cars just the basics. So it's difficult to find something when you don't really know what your looking for.
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 14th 2015, 2:19pm

Also it wasn't done at a mechanic which is probably why it wasn't done. I just can't afford the ridiculous prices of a mechanic and he did it for free. He said if I get the seals he will do it just need to find them.
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari


Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Kaylob92 [OP] » November 14th 2015, 5:29pm

Thanks so much it's very much appreciated that helps out alot. I was looking for the totally wrong thing no wonder I couldn't find it.
Original Poster [OP]
Kaylob92
Fueling (Empty tank)
Fueling (Empty tank)
Years of Membership: Kaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full yearsKaylob92 has been a member for 5 full years
Posts: 6
Topics: 1
Joined: November 2015
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 1996
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby Corsemoto » November 14th 2015, 5:57pm

No problem, hopefully you can get it fixed so you can drive your van again!
User avatar
Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
AstroSafari Pioneer
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: Corsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full yearsCorsemoto has been a member for 12 full years
Posts: 2648
Topics: 39
Images: 13
Joined: June 2008
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby redfury » November 15th 2015, 10:07pm

Also, the noise could very likely be coming from the spider gears. If you lift the whole front of the van up having both wheels in the air and rotate the tires, it should be smooth. If you hear a growling noise as the tires spin, then the spider gears have been worn ( just did the rear axle on my van because of this ). Unfortunately, with the front differential, it's more involved than the rear to replace them because there's more to do to get at them. Fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive. If you replace the front differential with a used unit from a yard, you absolutely have to make sure you are getting the exact same gear ratio as what you have in the rear, otherwise you will eat the transfer case up. Spider gears cost me about $100 for the gears, fluid and gasket for my rear end.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
doghouse removal by me!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIJ0kuROlbU
User avatar
redfury
U.S. Armed Forces
U.S. Armed Forces
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: redfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 2958
Topics: 53
Images: 13
Joined: December 2010
Location: isanti, mn
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Mike
Van Model Year: 1998
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT 5.7L 4wd

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby dobaroy » April 20th 2016, 1:36pm

Just discovered our front diff is leaking and was thinking not to fix it as this 03 Safari has a whole lot of miles on it. Could we just drop the front driveshaft and keep driving? Thanks
dobaroy
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Years of Membership: dobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full years
Posts: 45
Topics: 12
Joined: September 2012
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2003
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby The Drummer » April 20th 2016, 2:00pm

Seems like you did not reed above , the answer is no .
''USE THE TORQUE LUKE ''




and beware of trees ,them nasty wooden things are evil .
User avatar
The Drummer
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L2)
Firing on 3 Cylinders (L2)
Years of Membership: The Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full yearsThe Drummer has been a member for 9 full years
Posts: 1328
Topics: 16
Images: 46
Joined: September 2011
Location: somewhere
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2000
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: SLT 4.3 AWD

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby redfury » April 21st 2016, 3:16am

No, the only way you could turn it into 2wd would be to dismantle each of the front CV joints and remove the axle shafts so that the only thing spinning is the tires..you need to have the splined shaft section in the wheel hub for a variety of reasons. The differential is still spinning gears on an AWD van even if the engine isn't supplying power to the axle by dropping the driveshaft.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
doghouse removal by me!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIJ0kuROlbU
User avatar
redfury
U.S. Armed Forces
U.S. Armed Forces
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 8 Cylinders (L3)
Years of Membership: redfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full yearsredfury has been a member for 10 full years
Posts: 2958
Topics: 53
Images: 13
Joined: December 2010
Location: isanti, mn
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Mike
Van Model Year: 1998
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: LT 5.7L 4wd

Re: Can you drive if your front differential goes out?

Postby dobaroy » April 21st 2016, 12:26pm

Thanks Redfury for the reply.
dobaroy
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Fueling (3/8 tank)
Years of Membership: dobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full yearsdobaroy has been a member for 8 full years
Posts: 45
Topics: 12
Joined: September 2012
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA):
Van Model Year: 2003
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: 4.3 AWD


 
  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to 4WD,AWD And Transfer Case

It is currently March 7th 2021, 7:33pm

Recent Image Attachments
Views: 156
Comments: 9
Date: Mar 05 '21
Time: 5:04pm
» Read last comment
Views: 156
Comments: 9
Date: Mar 05 '21
Time: 4:12pm
» Read last comment
Views: 90
Comments: 4
Date: Mar 03 '21
Time: 3:42pm
» Read last comment
Views: 210
Comments: 8
Date: Feb 19 '21
Time: 10:42pm
» Read last comment
Views: 270
Comments: 7
Date: Feb 15 '21
Time: 4:16am
» Read last comment
Sponsors

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests