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2005 Silverado 1500 4x4 front axle problems





I have some issues with my 05 Silverado 1500 4x4. Its just a regular Silverado LS, 4x4, ext cab, with a 4.8 and manual shift t-case.


I noticed the outer axle seals are now leaking pretty bad and when I went under to really inspect the situation I grabbed the stub shaft on the drivers side and found that it wobbles around about an 1/8th of an inch. Also, when I put the truck in 4wd for this last snowstorm we had, the front end howls pretty bad at anything above 10 mph, but is silent when in 2wd. You can feel the vibration almost like a wheel bearing, and its not any better or worse when on or off the gas. I have been looking at parts diagrams and it seems the drivers side stub axle shaft is carried directly by the differential side bearing, is this correct? So if my stub shaft is wobbling is there a chance its just the shaft/worn spline, or did I chew up that side bearing on the differential and ruin my ring and pinion too?


There is oil in the diff, might be a little low but not bad. I have been adding oil once in a while ever since I noticed the leaking seals last year. But maybe I didnt catch it in time last year and it was already on its way out? I took a small oil sample this morning and found no obvious metallic shavings, just a little black gook that came out with the oil and sits in the bottom of my little sample container. It wont really stick to a high stregnth magnet either, so Im pretty sure its just "crud". Overall the oil is pretty clean and smells normal.


So what am I looking at here, Im pretty sure its a little more serious than just replacing the selas. Is this just a stub shaft and seal issue, or do I have to pull the whole diff apart and get a master rebuild kit and possibly a new ring and pinion and stub shaft. Maybe Im wrong about everything and it just needs a new half shaft or a u joint in the front drive shaft and seals, but I don't think thats the case.


I have fully rebuilt differentials and changed gears and carriers before, just never split an IFS axle before.


Thanks in advance for any advice and replies.

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3 answers to this question

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there is slight movement of axle shaft ....dont read to deep into it ...


just change the seals and replace the oil ,,,,,removing the cover ,cleaning the gears and take a peak,


dont go for the worst case ,,,,any questions go see a tech

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I am def the ultimate pessimist, esp when it come to my trucks breaking. I would simply replace the seals if it weren't for the bearing howl while 4wd is engaged. Is it possible for a half shaft to growl like a bad wheel bearing if the inner joint goes bad. There does seem to be a little play in the inner joint. Ive just nbever had one go bad on the inner joint, its always the outer and when they start clunking or clicking when you turn hard there is no question as to what went bad.


If this much radial motion or the axle shaft is common then i guess there is no mystery as to why these axles chew up seals.


What cover would you be referring too. Ive never had my IFS axle apart but Im pretty sure there is no cover or inspection plate to remove.


I also just dropped the front end of the front drive shaft and as far as I can tell, the u joints feel pretty tight and smooth. Surprising for 140kmi.


Thanks for the reply

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