Grease Leak Front Axle At Differential - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 AM
Bob Albrecht Bob Albrecht is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Pewter Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Crozet, VA
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Grease Leak Front Axle At Differential

While changing the oil on my Wife's 2002 Trailblazer EXT I discovered a grease leak where the axle meets the differential. It hasn't been leaking for long.

I searched for posts about this, but I have a few more questions.

1. One post said that this is a dealer part only, another said that there is an improved design from "Cardone". It looks like this is part 661345. I looked it up at RockAuto for $44.79. Is the aftermarket part OK or better?

2. What is involved with this job? How do I do it? What tools to I need? I do a lot of stuff mysef, but is this a DIY job? (I have done ball joints, turbo rebuild, wheel bearings, brakes, etc. on my Mercedes)

3. What are the "might as well" things I should be doing? I read that changing the front differential fluid would be a good idea. I know there are small cracks in the boots of the lower front ball joints, but they just passed inspection. Are they a "might as well" job too?

5. The stabilizer bar links are shot. Could they be causing the the CV to wear? Should I replace them now?

I found this list of Do's and Don'ts that seems helpful:
Donít: Use pneumatic tools on driveaxle components. You may damage threads or
distort components.
Do: Mark components prior to removal to assure proper referencing upon reinstallation.
Donít: Remove both axles at the same time. Alignment of side gears will be lost.
Do: Use a torque wrench when installing axle nuts.
Donít: Use a hammer on the threaded end of the shaft. It will damage the core.
Do: Handle ABS system CV axles with caution. Damage to the ABS sensor ring can
occur resulting in a non functional ABS system.
Donít: Raise a vehicle on the frame contact lift without supporting the suspension. Running
the vehicle in gear without supporting the suspension may damage the CV joints.
Do: Compare the replacement unit to the original to ensure the proper application.
Donít: Ignore noises or vibrations. It may lead to more serious problems.
Do: Use caution when draining the transaxle fluid. It may be hot and cause injury.
Donít: Allow CV axles to hang unsupported. Always support the disconnected end of
the axle.
Do: Inspect wheel bearings, strut bearings and seals for wear and/or damage prior to
installation of the replacement axle.
Donít: Reuse prevailing type hardware. They cannot be reused.
Do: Check the integrity of the motor/transmission mounts and mounting hardware.
Broken mounts can affect drivetrain alignment and damage the CV assembly.
Donít: Strike frozen axles with a hammer to remove them. Use the proper axle press for
the job.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:15 AM
ylab's Avatar
ylab ylab is offline
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Before you go pulling the CV half shaft, there's a good chance the problem is merely the clamp on the inner joint (tripod) has come loose and the boot is otherwise fine. Lots of us have had the issue, particularly if you're lowered or lifted, which places the joint and boot under more stress. If that's the case, a $3.00 package of 3-4" hose clamps will remedy the problem w/o any disassembly. You pry the old clamp off with a small screw driver and pliers (the strap only doubled backed onto itself and pressed down), unscrew the new one and wrap it around the boot lip and then screw it back on until nice and tight. - Problem fixed.

The stabilizer links makes lots of noise and tend to make the truck feel like its a bucket of bolts....I'd replace them, they're not that expensive if you shop them around. (Fronts run around $60 for a pair, get ones with a poly boot and grease fitting, some regulary grease and they'll hold up better than the OEMs).
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:24 AM
Bob Albrecht Bob Albrecht is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
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What about the grease that came out?

A bunch of grease came out, wouldn't I have to replace that if I put a hose clamp on?
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:42 AM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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"Bunch" isn't quite precise enough to tell, but you can always buy some CV grease (it's special) at the local parts store and squirt it in the edge of the boot before clamping it back up. They're relatively overgreased when built, so I wouldn't worry too much if it's less than an ounce or two.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Bob Albrecht Bob Albrecht is offline
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How much is a "bunch" of grease?

It is hard to measure how much a "bunch" is, but my guess is that i saw maybe 3/4 ounce gunked on the bottom of the truck.

I will see if I can get some at the auto parts store.

About the clamps, is this just a regular hose clamp with the screw that tightens it? Should I Loctite it or something?

I mostly use ramps to lift the vehicle, but I may have put it on jack stands a couple of times. This problem showed up right after taking it in for new tires and an inspection.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2011, 02:18 PM
Bob Albrecht Bob Albrecht is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
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Metric Hose Clamps?

Quote:
$3.00 package of 3-4" hose clamps will remedy the problem w/o any disassembly.
I had a closer look at the CV boot. The clamp is exactly 1 cm wide and about 35 cm in circumference.

A 4.5" diameter hose clamp will be big enough.

I ordered some CV grease from Advance Auto Parts.

Regular hose clamps are 0.5 inches wide, or 1.27 cm.

Is this wider clamp what you guys are using?
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2011, 03:15 PM
fj4072 fj4072 is offline
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Guess I couldn't figure out how to copy your quote correctly Ylab/Roadie. "Before you go pulling the CV half shaft, there's a good chance the problem is merely the clamp on the inner joint (tripod) has come loose and the boot is otherwise fine. Lots of us have had the issue, particularly if you're lowered or lifted, which places the joint and boot under more stress. If that's the case, a $3.00 package of 3-4" hose clamps will remedy the problem w/o any disassembly. You pry the old clamp off with a small screw driver and pliers (the strap only doubled backed onto itself and pressed down), unscrew the new one and wrap it around the boot lip and then screw it back on until nice and tight. - Problem fixed."


You stud!!! I have this exact same problem, about a 1/2 a cup of grease has flown out of mine. I'll be replacing that 1/2 cup of grease also.....Easy fix, doing it TODAY! Thank you so much!
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2011, 03:27 PM
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kglover720 kglover720 is offline
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Think I'm having the same problem. The grease has been there for a few months and I just decided to research it today. Here's a picture of the left front axle. Notice the clumps of grease all around the housing coming from the edge of the boot. Suggestions?

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  #9  
Old 07-07-2011, 04:46 PM
WOOLUF1952 WOOLUF1952 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kglover720 View Post
Think I'm having the same problem. The grease has been there for a few months and I just decided to research it today. Here's a picture of the left front axle. Notice the clumps of grease all around the housing coming from the edge of the boot. Suggestions?

Reread #2 and #4.
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2011, 01:34 PM
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gmdude2004 gmdude2004 is offline
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Hey Roadie, I'm lifted and the boots finally slipped off. Is it necessary to replace them with a longer set of boots or just either replace the boots if need be with newer clamps or will they stretch well enough to clamp those bad boys down ?
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