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1994 GMC sonoma rear bearing questions

I am about to replace the differential fluid and I figured I might as well replace the bearings while im there. What is all involved in this? Is it more work then its worth to to replace them now or wait until they go bad? And are there any special tools needed for taking out the bearings? I presume a slide hammer or bearing puller would be needed?

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@parzival this from the SM:

AXLE SHAFT & BEARING

Removal

1. Raise vehicle and support. Remove rear wheels and brake drums. Place drain pan below differential

cover. Loosen, but DO NOT remove, differential cover bolts. Break cover loose. Allow lubricant to drain.

Remove differential cover. Remove differential pinion shaft lock bolt.

2. On non-locking differential assemblies, remove differential pinion shaft. Push outer flanged end of axle

shaft toward center of vehicle. Remove "C" lock from axle shaft groove and from counterbore recess in

side gear. Remove axle shaft from axle housing.

3. On locking differential assemblies (with thrust block and clutch packs), move pinion shaft part way out.

Rotate differential case to lock pinion shaft against carrier housing.

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4. Using screwdriver, rotate "C" lock until its open end faces thrust block and "C" lock is aligned with thrust

block sides. See Fig. 2 . Push axle shaft inward. Remove "C" lock from thrust block and axle shaft groove. Remove axle shaft from axle housing. See Fig. 2 .

CAUTION: DO NOT hammer on axle shaft flange.

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5. On all assemblies, insert Axle Bearing & Seal Remover into axle housing behind bearing. Attach Slide

Hammer (J-2619) and Adapter (J-2619-10) to bearing remover. Remove axle bearing and axle seal. See

Fig. 3 .

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Thanks! Now for a bad bearing, I presume you could tell by just lifting on the wheel and seeing if there is any play?

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Yes, if it is a really bad bearing. Most of those develops noises first because the races/ball-bearings start to wear. Uneven tire wear is also a good indication.

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cool! thanks! I will let it be then until need changing. But good to know that i have a guid for it now!

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