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Old 05-09-2005, 07:26 PM   #1
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Arrow Cause of carrier bearing failure???

My 99' SS has 116k on it now. I bought it with 81k. I knew(or so I thought) that I had a bad axle bearing when I bought it. When I finally investigated I found carnage in the rear end. The carrier bearings were missing big chunks and the races had spun in case. The pinion bearings were very loose also.

The service records I got with the car show that the dealer put all new bearings in at 45k.

I got a whole other axle out of a low mileage 02' and put in all new bearings and 3:73's.

That was about 25k ago. I have heard some bearing noise recently and pulled the cover to investigate. The passenger side carrier bearing is missing big chunks out of it!!!!!!!

I know these rear ends are **** and I will need something better eventually. I do not want to do it now as this is my driving season and do not want to be without the car very long.

Anyways, does anyone know what causes the carrier bearings to disintegrate??

Is this what leads to to the failure of these axles??

Are there better quality bearing I should be using??

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:08 PM   #2
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I have to say that the bearing going bad is due to lack of service. I have only seen diff. bearings go bad with anything over 80,000 miles. Timken are the only bearings I use.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:52 AM   #3
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Quality and installation of bearings is which where it would start, lubrication is important too.

The shop that did the alignment on my '99 Z28 with 105k said my rearend sounds loud and it's the bearings in the rear and it sounds bad. They quoted me $600 to replace all of the bearings. They couldn't tell which one is causing the noise.

So I'm doing the axle bearings and the axles by myself (rented a bearing puller from autozone) and hopefully that notchy pax side bearing is the problem. If I hear the roaring noise again, I'll take it in and have them replace the carrier and pinon bearings.

The factory axle bearings are Timken, I had to get new axles because of the roaring noise in my rearend, pulled the stock axles and found galling damage on where the bearing surface rode on the axles. Pulled out the pax side axle bearing and roated it by hand, it felt very notchy, not as bad as the driver's side.

I have Federal Mogual axle bearings going in soon.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:02 PM   #4
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Change the oil sooner... use Royal Purple if you can because it'll handle the drivetrain shock better, and only use Timkin bearings on a rebuild. Might also consider getting the stud kit to replace the factory cap bolts along with a girdle. It will keep bearing distortion minimized until you can upgrade the whole assembly to something with *****.
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:20 PM   #5
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I developed a bearing whine in my 96 about 2 years ago with 55K on the clock. I torn down the rear and discovered a very very large pit in the race of the drivers side center bearing. I looked everything over but could not find the cause. I replaced both center bearings and it was fine. About 3 thousand miles later I started hearing the noise again. I didn't feel like mesisng with it anymore so I threw a 12 bolt at it. I never bothered to open it up again and see why it did it. Nothing was loose, nothing was bad. I have heard that there is possibly a problem with the quality of the factory bearings but I can't prove that.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys!!!

Now the next question is, do I dare just replace the carrier bearings, or do I need to tear out the pinion and replace those too??

I am very tempted to just do the one carrier bearing that is bad. The pinion bearings feel(spin) fine but judging from the debris on the magnet how will I know there is not metal in these bearings as well??

Any thought are appreciated!!!

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Old 05-10-2005, 04:09 PM   #7
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all you have to do is pull the axles, cover, and then diff. Once thats out you can press the bearings on and slap it together. it's actualy not bad. just be SURE to keep track of which shims came from which side and make sure that they go back in the same spot. Make sure that you use new races as well.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:25 PM   #8
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When you take the carrier out. Go to a tranni shop or similar and have them press new bearings on both sides. Worth the $40 so you don't have to d!ck with it. They don't come off easy. If you do one side might as well do both since both bearings come in the rebuid kits.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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If you have a press handy you can use a set of bearing seperators. If not just have somone do it. a lot of times NAPA stores will do such work as wel if you have a hard timing finding someone that will. Aside from that just remember the limited slip sdditive when you throw everything back together.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:05 PM   #10
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I have the carrier out and a press so both carrier bearings will be done.

Do I need to pull out the pinion bearings too??

I know I will need to set the depth again, but I am sure I can handle that.

I am just worried there are chunks of debris in the pinion bearing that will fry them in short order??

I also should flush out the housing??
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:32 PM   #11
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There are special guages to check depth and correct set up. I don't know if it can be done eyeballing paint patterns and comparing how much slop was there before you removed and after. My friend tried to do it manually without the proper tools (which cost too much) and his assembly makes more noise now than it did when he started!
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:19 PM   #12
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If all you are doing is replacing bearings you should not have to worry about the pinion depth. Make sure your backlash is right, and your pinion and carier bearing preload is correct. 20-25 in/lbs rotational torque on the pinion, and the carrier should have to be tapped into place, not hammered hard or fall in and out. Improper preload is a major cause of early bearing failure. Check the pattern, that is the best way to judge a good install. The gear set and housing determine the proper install depth, so if you are not changing those it should stay the same.
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:19 PM
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2002, assembly, axle, bearing, camaro, carrier, center, depth, failure, firebird, gto, noise, pinion, rear, wrong


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