View Full Version : Axle and bearing - toast

06-05-2009, 10:14 PM
I did my rear shocks today (doing fronts tomorrow). That actually went really well, the bolts all came off OK. PB blaster is great stuff :) While I had the wheels off I checked out my passenger side brake because I have been hearing this swishing salt and pepper sound from that wheel for a little while. Come to find it is apparently the axle bearing is bad. Spinning it by hand feels like marbles inside... uh oh.

Did a bunch of reading and searching tonight. Crap, the pulsing WRRRrrrrRRRRRRrrrrRRRR noise that I thought was tire noise from the more aggressive tread on my all-season tires for all this time was more than likely the bearing howling. With it doing it for that long and feeling that bad now I think I've probably got a shot axle as well :(

I'm not spending 200 bucks on a new axle, so I'm going to get a used one if mine is truly shot. So a few questions:

1. Will any axle from a 98+ fbody with a non-TCS 3-channel ABS work or are there different spline counts depending on the gear ratio inside the differential?

2. Does anyone know the best place to get a good used axle from without breaking the bank? Like anyone here have one for dirt cheap :) Found one on ebay for $40 + $27 shipping with less than 50k miles on it, sounds decent to me but is that what I can normally expect to pay?

3. While I'm at it, would you recommend I just go ahead and replace the driver side axle bearing now even though it feels fine, to prevent eating my axle on that side?

4. Any way to get the old bearings out without having to buy a slide hammer and bearing puller? I don't have either of those tools. I can probably rent the puller from Autozone (I'll have to check) but I'm not sure about the slide hammer.

5. If it is grinding like marbles when I spin it by hand, what are the odds the axle is still OK? I'm guessing very slim...

Thanks for any advice you can offer. With this extra cost I wasn't planning on, I'm hoping my ball joints are OK when I check them tomorrow :nono:

06-06-2009, 01:38 AM
I would stick with the axle that came from a rear end that was like yours (3 channel, 4 channel)

Get the one from ebay unless you can find one locally, I believe a V6 axle will work also but double check.

Yes replace both sides, no point in not doing it while you have the cover off the rear end.

You could cut the bearings out with a dremel then pry it out, but trying to get them out in one piece they are pretty tough. See if you can find a rent-a-tool from auto zone or something.

no telling, axle may still be in acceptable condition. You would have to remove it to look at the surface of it.

06-23-2009, 01:40 PM
OK back to this....

What brand of bearing and seal is best?

I read about the timken "axle repair" bearing which is offset and has an integrated seal but read that the seal tends to leak.

I found advance auto has two other brands, Motor City and and National. They both make an "axle repair" bearing that is offset with an integrated seal. They also make OEM style bearings and separate seals.

Are any of those "axle repair" bearing and seal units any good? Or, if I go with the OEM style and replace the axle, which brand bearings and seals should I go with (or does it not matter)? I just don't want to take everything apart, get it all back together, and have the thing leak on me.

06-23-2009, 06:02 PM
i would replace the damaged axle and go with the OEM style set-up. But i have no experience with the off-set bearing. Seems more like a band-aid and cheap fix to me.

06-23-2009, 06:09 PM
Try an axle saver bearing

06-23-2009, 08:19 PM
does anybody know what bearings/seals are best to use?

I put a post up 2 weeks ago, no responce to that question. I have 2 new to me, (40K mile used axles) that I am going to be installing, since I believe i may have a bearing issue as well.


06-23-2009, 09:05 PM
does anybody know what bearings/seals are best to use?

I put a post up 2 weeks ago, no responce to that question. I have 2 new to me, (40K mile used axles) that I am going to be installing, since I believe i may have a bearing issue as well.


That's my big question now too.

07-20-2009, 03:00 AM
I just bought GM Seals and Napa Made in America Bearings.

Napa had 2 kinds, the one I bought and a cheaper made in china version. We compared them both, didn't look too different... But I figured the more expensive one made in America would have a better life to it.

I just hammered everything in, hopefully my noise will disappear. I really didn't notice any huge chunks or anything out of my axles and the old bearings seemed ok.... Hopefully I didn't do all this for nothing. We will see.

What seals & parts did you end up getting??

07-20-2009, 05:49 PM
I bought National brand from advance auto. Moog designed and engineered, the bearing made in the USA and the seal I think was mexico. The actual seal is double the thickness of the one on the timken offset bearing, no wonder the timken leaks easily.

I have a new axle, the bearing, and seal ready to go in tomorrow. Hopefully all goes smoothly (ha, with this car, that's a joke).