2002 Chevy Suburban Front Differential

Tiny
FILIATRAULT
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
I have been told that I have a bad front differential with repair costs expected to be as much as $900-$1000+++. I have read a lot about bearings being a somewhat common issue.

I am marginally handy. Is this a super difficult repair? Is it common to have this problem? It seems like a pretty significant issue with such limited miles.
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Friday, October 17th, 2008 AT 5:37 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Yes differential work is not cheap. It is not easy to do either. It can be done at home but you need to read up on it and know and understand how to shim the carrier and the back lash and the pinion shiming and so on. I can help some but you can only do so much online. Let me know what you want to do and what is the problem that you are having.
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Friday, October 17th, 2008 AT 8:55 PM
Tiny
FILIATRAULT
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply. When you engage the four wheel drive then turn the wheel, there is a very loud growling/grinding noise. The strange part is that it just happened out of the blue. I only use it in during the winter months when it snows.

Anyway, I took it in and had the diff fluid drained and was told there were large metal shavings present so at minimum they are thinking outer bearings but say it could be much more significant as well if there is damage to gears etc. He did say that he was surprised that at 110K, there would be that kind of trouble with the diff, especially since it's a K2500. I had him also change the transfer case fluid and he said it was very dark so he thought perhaps a clutch was going there as well. I bought it with 80K and was told the front end had been fully serviced; apparently not.

Based upon your feedback and some of the other info I have read, I will probably just take it in and have it repaired. Sounds like I could potentially screw it up more if it's not shimmed properly.

Thanks for your time.
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Saturday, October 18th, 2008 AT 8:54 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
First is it actually engaging into 4x4? As for the transfer case there is no clutches in it, it is chain driven. It was dark because it used ATF fluid in it and it has not been changed for a long time. You did have the front axles checked to to see if either one is bad? Does it just grind to one side or both?


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249564_720782_1.jpg

If either the outer joint or inner joint is bad it can make noise and a lot of it too. You can check the axles buy just grabbing the shaft and trying to turn it or move it around and see if it seems loose. Let me know how this goes.
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Saturday, October 18th, 2008 AT 11:22 AM

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