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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:37 pm 
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SLE Member
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:48 pm
Posts: 25
Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
Background:

My first Bonneville, although I drove an 03 Aurora for a year as a company car.

Bought an 03 SLE last month, 108K and noisy front wheel hub bearings. Replaced both, but the driver's side repacement had a defective WSS, so I had to do it over. Somehow in the process, I galled the hell out of the axle shaft threads. So, since I couldn't tighten the axle nut, I replaced the shaft. Among a few other unrelated issues/fixes, I also did a trans filter/fluid change.

I noticed a little vibration, and was blaming the tires. Then I noticed a trans fluid leak. I attributed this to the trans pan gasket because the filter came with a crappy folded up flat gasket. So I went and got a good FelPro gasket and went to swap it......

Found that its the output shaft that's leaking, so I got a seal and took it all apart....only to find the output shaft in the trans has LOTS of play, like 1/4" or a little less.

So, I figure the bearing or bushing, whichever it is, is done.

1) can the bearing or bushing be replaced from outside the trans while installed in the car? If so, HOW?

2) if it is trashed, will it take out the trans?

Please help. I am new to working on front drive stuff.... (but not to working on stuff...30 years of rear drive GM's, lately Impala SS (11.29@118, all motor...no slouch...but it got sold to pay for the divorce....)

Please go ahead and email me at ed <at> thegroupllc.com ...I do not do PM or IM or any of that.

Thanks, and have a great Fourth.

Ed

2003 Bonneville SLE, fixing all the used-car gremlins
2000 GMC Safari, AWD, POS hauler of stuff.

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Ed

2003 Bonneville SLE. A few niggling problems... but getting there...
2000 GMC Safari AWD. POS hauler of stuff that hauls ass through snow while using gas like a 70 Chevelle...
Former 94-96 Impala SS/Caprice/9C1/1A2/LT1 nutcase (94 B4U, 94 9C1, 95 wagon, 95 WX3, 96 B4U, etc., none stock...all sold)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:25 am 
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Posts like an L67
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:18 pm
Posts: 1254
Location: Zimmerman, MN
Year and Trim: before cars
Make sure they gave you the correct axle. Maybe it is the cause of the leak? If the outer diameter of the axle's sealing surface is damaged or too small, that could cause it to leak. The bearing you are refering to is pressed into the channel plate and according to GM, the channel plate needs to be removed from the transmission in order to replace it. Pretty involved really. A good trany shop should be able to do this job without removing the trans, but they would need to remove the side cover, valve body and channel plate.

Now, I think it could be done easier. You can make more room to work in there if you remove the differential on the pass side and slide the left axle shaft out with the diff. This opens up that bearing area a lot. Possibly enough to get a RWD axle bearing puller in there? If you can do it this way, the hardest part of the job should be removing the drive axles.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:48 pm
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Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
Ok, so today, I went and looked at it all again. I took the new seal I'd bought and it was a proper, tight but not tight, fit on axle. So I yanked the old one ( a bit of a trick...so much room to work in the wheel well there...). Other than being old and stiff, it had no discernable issue. You can see the bearing there, which rides on the axle, and it LOOKED perfect. So in went the new seal and fingers crossed. On the other hand, the reman axle shaft bearing surface is not that nice. It is smooth where it's there....has some pitting and erosion. Wondering if it's less than great surface plus old seal didn't get along.

As far as the "right" axle, IF someplace online (like HERE) had the dimensions, I could measure it. For now, it's a shot in the dark. The car is an SLE, non-supercharged, non-Northstar, non-4T65E-HD, 3.05 final drive per the RPO codes on the SPID. Yes, I am displaying rotten attitude, but this kind of info SHOULD be available and does not seem to be, at least not in easily found/searchable format.....

All that aside, I like my new-to-me Bonneville. I want to take a road trip and just need to be sure it will make the journey.....

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Ed

2003 Bonneville SLE. A few niggling problems... but getting there...
2000 GMC Safari AWD. POS hauler of stuff that hauls ass through snow while using gas like a 70 Chevelle...
Former 94-96 Impala SS/Caprice/9C1/1A2/LT1 nutcase (94 B4U, 94 9C1, 95 wagon, 95 WX3, 96 B4U, etc., none stock...all sold)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Posts like an L67
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:18 pm
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
Year and Trim: before cars
Should be 35.0 mm, or 1.378 inches. This is a measurement from a 99 HD, but I don't think they were different on the drivers side?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Outer axle seal size isn't a commonly needed dimension for us. Just sayin'.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
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That was the drive shaft diameter at the seal/bearing surface, not the seal size. Ablebakercharlie asked for that measurement and I happened to have an axle laying around and easy to measure. The seal size would be different.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:48 pm
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Year and Trim: 2003 SLE
Update and..... it's fixed.

After twice removing and replacing the CV shaft to replace the seal in the trans, I gave up. I thought perhaps the shaft was somehow eating the seals up (rough spot on the surface, etc.) or the bearing was shot or whatever. As time went by, I started to notice odd vibrations under low speed turning conditions, and other vibrations and wierdness.

So I said screw it. I ordered a new GM CV shaft (nearly $200 compared to the $60 remans) and GM seal and swapped it. Lo and behold, the shaft was wrong...it was about an inch shorter at rest, and was thus constantly being pulled outward from the trans.

The new GM shaft and seal are dry, no leaks, no seeps.

I took the reman shaft back to CarQuest auto parts and they shook their heads and mumbled about wrong boxes...but they did refund my money :-)

Anyway, problem is fixed, and yes, you can install the wrong shaft, and drive the car with the wrong CV/axle shaft installed.

/Ed

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Ed

2003 Bonneville SLE. A few niggling problems... but getting there...
2000 GMC Safari AWD. POS hauler of stuff that hauls ass through snow while using gas like a 70 Chevelle...
Former 94-96 Impala SS/Caprice/9C1/1A2/LT1 nutcase (94 B4U, 94 9C1, 95 wagon, 95 WX3, 96 B4U, etc., none stock...all sold)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:24 pm 
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Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
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Probably ended up with a GP axle. They are a tad shorter than ours.

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2000 SSEi "The Rubber Chicken" (L32 long block, S1x, Comp Cams 105# springs, OR rods, 3.0 Smoothflow MPS, Pacesetters 1-5/8 primaries, Zillamotorsports P&P SC, JP single roller timing set, FWI, Magnaflow cat, Interceptor scangauge, AEM wideband, Powerslot rotors, Hawk ceramic pads, solid transmission mount, HPT)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:14 am 
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Location: Corning, NY
Year and Trim: 2012 Eco
Could have been the boots on the shaft having fewer bellows. Or they did a bad job remaking that shaft.

Glad to hear it's fixed!

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