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Thread: Rear Axle Bearing Removal

  1. #1
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    Rear Axle Bearing Removal

    I have a 1999 Gmc sierra K1500 (4WD) and it's in need of rear axle bearings. Now, i have replaced bearings on a truck before, but it happened to be a ford. I have the tires, Calipers, Caliper Brackets off and now im at the E-Brake and the shaft where the lug nuts get tightened to. The Haynes manual lists three ways of removing these bearings but im not sure which one is for my truck. It's a Non-Posi Rear with a 3.73 Ratio. I see behind where the lugs are there are 4 Bolts. On the ford i replaced these bearings on, i removed two bolts and the whole Axle Shaft pulled right out of the rear end. So, my question....

    Do i remove those 4 Bolts and the shaft will slide out or do i have to pop off the Rear Differential cover and remove the C-Lock Clip and Pinion Shaft. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 87c10slammer's Avatar
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    im pretty sure you just have to take the 4 bolts out and the whole axle slides out with the bearing on it.. least thats how it was on my 2000 jimmy.. they are the same axles just mine where narrower..

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    Senior Moderator chevychase's Avatar
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    Pretty sure you have the clips... will find out when you pull on shaft.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 87c10slammer's Avatar
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    even if you have the clips there is no need to take out the pinion. just unbolt the back cover and take out the clip

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    Ok so i should try to loosen the four bolts and see if the axle shafts pull out. If it does not pull out, remove the C-Lock Clips and then the axles should pull out? Just want to make sure that i am understanding you guys correctly. Like i said before, I removed all the brake hardware and what not, so all the is left is the E-Brake Shoe and the Axle Shafts and the 4 bolts on each side. I suppose too that i will replace both bearings at the same time, start out both sides fresh.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 87c10slammer's Avatar
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    yes.. unbolt the 4 bolts and try to pop it out.. its gonna take a little bit of persuasion to get the bearing apart from the axle but if it separates and then you cant pull it all the way out then you gotta take off the diff cover and pop the c-clips out.. at that point it would be wise to do the other side as well... dont buy the cheapy bearings because youll just be doing it again in a year..

  7. #7
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    Awsome. Well i ordered a let of bearings from summit racing, O.E Sized to the rear axle and paid over $39 a peice. Made sure to check the reviews people have sad about them and there all good things and the bearing have a life time warranty. Hoping for the best here. I will try all of this in the A.M and will post any issues or questions here as well.

  8. #8
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    It also depends on what kind of axles you have semi floating, or full floating as to how the axles come out, if its semi floating you will have to remove the diff cover and remove the C-locks, if its full floating then you will have a flange that has bolts and you don't have to remove the wheel to remove the axle in a full floating axle, is what my haynes book says and it covers this year truck. So my bet is you have a semi floating axle and will have to remove the diff cover and remove the C-lock clip.
    Last edited by dirtrider73068; 10-05-2011 at 08:09 PM. Reason: corrected info
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  9. #9
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    So how hard is it to remove the C-Locking Clips? How do you tell what type of Rear Axle your truck has, what are the distinguishing differences?

  10. #10
    Senior Member 87c10slammer's Avatar
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    there should be a metal babge bolted to one of the dif cover bolts.. its rather easy to remove the c-clips once you take off the cover.. youll see them

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