How do you remove rear axles on 2001 Suburban


rs6er
05-29-2009, 06:19 PM
I have a 2001 Suburban 1500 4WD LSD. The rear rotor backing plates are all rusted out. Although they are cheap, I've been told you have to pull the axles to get them off (great design!) I've removed the calipers and rotors (replacing pads and rotors also.) How do I get the axles out?

toddman67
05-29-2009, 07:46 PM
Remove the rear end cover and drain the fluid. Spin the carrier until you locate a 10mm head bolt/pin. Slide the spider gear shaft out until you can see the big C-Clip. Push the axles in and remove the C-Clip retainer. Now you can remove the axle. Insert the spider gear shaft back in until you are ready to re-install the axles.
Use caution when re-installing the spider gear shaft retainer bolt/pin as you will defineatly break it if you over tighten it. It is a good idea to use a little thread lock on the bolt as well. Re-seal the rear end cover and refill with GL-5 rated gear oil.

rs6er
05-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Remove the rear end cover and drain the fluid. Spin the carrier until you locate a 10mm head bolt/pin. Slide the spider gear shaft out until you can see the big C-Clip. Push the axles in and remove the C-Clip retainer. Now you can remove the axle. Insert the spider gear shaft back in until you are ready to re-install the axles.
Use caution when re-installing the spider gear shaft retainer bolt/pin as you will defineatly break it if you over tighten it. It is a good idea to use a little thread lock on the bolt as well. Re-seal the rear end cover and refill with GL-5 rated gear oil.

Thanks. That's just what I needed. Forgive my lack of experience. The end cover is the piece facing rearward with all the bolts, right? Is there something I need to reseal the rear end coveró a gasket or something in a tube? Do I drain the fluid using the plug at the bottom? Do I drain it before removing the cover? What do I need to remove on the wheel end of the axle?

Thanks for your help.

toddman67
05-29-2009, 09:08 PM
If you have a drain plug on the bottom you could drain it there, however it will stiil leak a little from the cover, so either way is fine.
You will need some permatex to seal the cover. Make sure both surfaces are good and clean. Apply a 1/4" bead of sealant on cover and let sit for about 5-7 minutes before reattaching cover to differential housing.
Yes the cover with all the bolts facing reawards is the cover to remove.
Nothing other than the wheel/tire needs to be removed on the axle hub end.
It would'nt hurt to replace the axle seals either if there is any signof oil around the wheel hub end.

rs6er
05-29-2009, 09:14 PM
Thanks. I assume there is a Permatex for this kind of seal, since they seem to make about 100 of them. Fortunately the axle seals aren't leaking in the rear. Unfortunately, they are leaking in the front :-)

I guess this will be clearer to me when I get the cover off.

toddman67
05-29-2009, 09:27 PM
I prefere the RED high heat for this application and I will have some left over for other sealing projects.

rs6er
05-29-2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks again.

GMMerlin
05-30-2009, 06:58 AM
If you have a drain plug on the bottom you could drain it there, however it will stiil leak a little from the cover, so either way is fine.
You will need some permatex to seal the cover. Make sure both surfaces are good and clean. Apply a 1/4" bead of sealant on cover and let sit for about 5-7 minutes before reattaching cover to differential housing.
Yes the cover with all the bolts facing reawards is the cover to remove.
Nothing other than the wheel/tire needs to be removed on the axle hub end.
It would'nt hurt to replace the axle seals either if there is any signof oil around the wheel hub end.

DO NOT INSTALL SEALANT!!!!!!!!!
There is a gasket for that application, use it!

GMMerlin
05-30-2009, 07:00 AM
The cross pin bolt is a 5/16" head...make sure you use a 6 point wrench or socket to remove it.
If you try to remove it with a 12 point wrench, you run the chance of stripping the head

toddman67
05-30-2009, 09:35 AM
Gmmerlin is correct! Get a gasket for the cover if you can. Make sure you take the cover with you when you go to the parts store. They always give you the right one the first time....not. Sorry about the bolt/pin head size.

rs6er
05-30-2009, 12:56 PM
The cross pin bolt is a 5/16" head...make sure you use a 6 point wrench or socket to remove it.
If you try to remove it with a 12 point wrench, you run the chance of stripping the head

Thanks. Bought the gasket. All of $3 and change.

rs6er
05-31-2009, 02:50 PM
When refilling the rear diff, do I just fill it up to the fill hole?

toddman67
05-31-2009, 05:53 PM
Fill it even with the hole.

rs6er
05-31-2009, 08:16 PM
So the cover and bolts were really rusted. I needed several applications of the Mapp gas torch and PB Blaster to finally get them out. While cleaning the cover the magnet came out. Is this just held in place by the magnetism or was this attached to the cover somehow? I'm having a bit of a problem with some of the terminology so I attached some pictures of the insides of the differential housing. In order to spin the carrier, I guess I have to put the truck in Neutraló it's in Park now, Correct? I guess from these pictures you can't see the head bolt pin? I should see it after spinning the carrier? Then I take it out so I can slide the spider gear shaft out?

Please forgive my dumb questions. I have never really worked on this car before, and have never gone inside a diff before.

2000CAYukon
05-31-2009, 10:12 PM
I found these pictures http://www.buickperformance.com/posi.htm, if you look at the 3rd picture, you can see the cross pin and bolt.

The magnet should be cleaned and put back where is was. It is a magnet so it will stay put.

Putting the truck in neutral will help finding the cross pin. Just be sure not to spin the drive shaft or an axle while the pin is out.

//2000CAYukon

rs6er
05-31-2009, 10:26 PM
I found these pictures http://www.buickperformance.com/posi.htm, if you look at the 3rd picture, you can see the cross pin and bolt.

The magnet should be cleaned and put back where is was. It is a magnet so it will stay put.

Putting the truck in neutral will help finding the cross pin. Just be sure not to spin the drive shaft or an axle while the pin is out.

//2000CAYukon

Thanks. That was really helpful. I'm guessing I need to rotate the piece the shaft goes into 90 degrees to see the shaft.

rs6er
06-01-2009, 05:57 PM
Remove the rear end cover and drain the fluid. Spin the carrier until you locate a 10mm head bolt/pin. Slide the spider gear shaft out until you can see the big C-Clip. Push the axles in and remove the C-Clip retainer. Now you can remove the axle. Insert the spider gear shaft back in until you are ready to re-install the axles.
Use caution when re-installing the spider gear shaft retainer bolt/pin as you will defineatly break it if you over tighten it. It is a good idea to use a little thread lock on the bolt as well. Re-seal the rear end cover and refill with GL-5 rated gear oil.

Hoe do I get the C clips off? They are pretty stiff. By C-clip retainer, you mean the C-clips themselves, right? Do ypu need a special pliers?

2000CAYukon
06-01-2009, 06:46 PM
Once the pin is removed, push the axle towards the diff. The c-clip should easily come out. I usually use a magnet to grab it.

EDIT: Found a picture http://www.nastyz28.com/2gcog/tech/c-clip.jpg

//2000CAYukon

rs6er
06-01-2009, 08:51 PM
It looks like the clip is really shaped more like a U than a C. That would explain why it could just pull out of the slot with a magnet instead of having to be spread first. Have they ever used a circlip that requires a tool to remove?

rs6er
06-02-2009, 12:30 PM
Finally got the clips off!

The hard thing about doing this is that all the weight of the clip forces the open side to face you in the diff. You have to rotate it 180 degrees to be able to lift it off with the magnet. It's tough to know when it's at 180 degrees. Also tough to keep it there. Plus you're working through those crossbars. I felt like a dentist trying to extract a tooth. Before I put them back in, I am going to scribe a line on the edge of each clip, so if I ever revisit them again, I'll know exactly where to put the magnet.

Removed the four bolts holding the backing plates on. Just waiting for new ones to arrive.

Is the axle seal the rubber piece directly outside of the wheel bearing? If so, I'd be dumb not to replace those now, while I can access them easily.

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