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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


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DanTheVanMan
64chevy
donivan65
veefre
8 posters

Noisy rear axle...

veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:40 pm

Now that I have the motor sort of sorted out, and have the doghouse lid gasketed and insulated, I can hear all the more readily the noise that's coming from the rear of the drivetrain.

At least that seems to be where it's coming from. It is sort of a low pitched whirring sound. To me it sounds like bearing noise, which it could be. Could also be pinion gear in the differential, I gather. I got under there last night to check out the U-joints. The rear one has a little slop (it shouldn't have any) so I'm planning on replacing both tonight. But from what I've read online, the U-joints would cause vibration or clunking, but not the type of noise I'm hearing. It doesn't seem to vibrate much. The noise is there regardless of acceleration/deceleration, and is there if I just put the tranny into neutral and coast. Mostly it becomes noticible at speeds over 30 mph. Doesn't change if I turn the vehicle left or right, either. So I'm guessing rear wheel bearings.

After cleaning off 1/4" of oily road grime from the differential exterior, I noticed some blue silicone sealer around the cover and bolts. So I'm thinking it's been serviced once before, at least. Perhaps just to drain the oil, although I did find an oil filler plug, and it should be easy enough to stick a tube in there and suction out the old oil for a change. I doubt that the factory used blue silicone back in '67.

I'm wondering how hard it is to find a complete rear end (junked) for one of these vans. I understand this van was loosely based on the ChevyII. Would a ChevyII or Nova rear end of the same vintage bolt right on?

I also gather that this van (G10/20) has a semi-floating rear axle which appears to be relatively easy to replace the rear wheel bearings on (as compared to the full floating rear axle). Anybody tackled that job?
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by donivan65 Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:03 pm

The rear axle bearings are a real problem,,,,,the rollers ride right on the axle and wear a groove in it and get real noisy,,,,so pull the cover and bolt out of the pinion shaft, remove the C clips and pull out the axles,,,,,the part right behind the axle studs should look like a shiny spark plug socket and not be rough or have grooves,,,,,,,

Noisy rear axle... Worn_a10
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:18 pm

And if the axle is groovy, then what? New axle? Does GM still sell them?

PS-What a dumb design ;-)
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:24 pm

They do make a replacement repair bearing that is longer that rides in a different place than the groove. My Buddy Harry, who I pulled out his rear bearings last weekend, found some original big roller bearings that are made in the USA,,,,,so I put those in his van and I am surely going to buy some for my van,,,,,and check on what they want to make a new axle,,,,,,,

Noisy rear axle... Rear_a10

Noisy rear axle... Repair10
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:18 am

Thanks! I understand that Autozone carries this product (or can order it). I gather that the kit includes the seal.

I replaced the front and rear U-joints after work today. The old rear one had some slop. The front one felt ok, but when I saw that it was missing its zerk fitting (there was just the open threaded hole where it was supposed to go) I decided to replace that as well. No sign of U joint failure but I suppose it can be hard to tell sometimes. At least the driveshaft is cleaned up now.

It seems to me the ride is a bit quieter as a result, but still noisier than I think it should be. I figure the rear axle bearings need to be replaced/ugraded with the Timkin repair kit. $25 a pop but probably worth it. Will have to find another differential cover gasket as well.

I found a pdf document on the Timken site that explains what the repair kit does:

http://autoam.timken.com/techseries/needle_pages/RepairBearing.pdf
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:43 am

First of all, pull the axles to see how they look,,,,,you got 4 other bearings plus the gears that can be making noise. Those repair bearings have a thin seal built in,,,,I don't like that part,,,,tends to leak,,,,,some of those repair bearings have seals on both sides,,,,how does the oil get into the rollers to lubricate them??? You can just make a gasket out of gasket paper if you can't find one. VanAgain has all these parts laying around his vans right now......
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:48 pm

Well, I'll probably pick up a couple of the repair bearings before the weekend, anyway. If I don't need them, I can always return them. But I suspect they will be needed.

Rebuilding the differential would be another matter - I could probably do it, it's just one of those complex assemblies I've avoided until now. If the wheel bearings have worn away the axle a bit, and replacing them with the repair bearings doesn't resolve the noise, then I'll look at what's involved with fixing the differential - or swapping in a good used one.

I don't imagine one can use a standard seal with the repair bearings, instead of or in addition to the one that's built into them.
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

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Post by donivan65 Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:43 pm

The seal on those repair bearings are not replaceable,,,,,that bearing and seal stick out about an 1/8". VanAgain has trouble putting the C clips back on because he can't push the axle in enough because it hits that seal,,,,,,
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:08 am

I thought the replacement bearing/seal was supposed to seat flush with the end of the carrier.... 1/8" is a lot of excess.... wonder if a different part is needed for that axle...

My '64 Valiant blew out a differential on the freeway one morning a few decades back .... it had been making noise for about a year. Finally there was this loud BANG! and lots of grinding/vibration. Big hole in the cover. I was actually able to limp the car to the side of the road, but I think I called a tow. Got a replacement rear end from a wrecking yard for about $50, as I recall. Surprisingly simple to swap in. The mopar rear end has better wheel bearings - they are big honkers with real inner races... or at least they were in '64...
donivan65
donivan65
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Post by donivan65 Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:56 pm

Your directions say the bearing sticks out 1/4". We need to grind VanAgains axle so it can slide in deep enough to allow the C clips to slip on. The Hot Rod shop that I got the new bigger roller bearings says a lot of rear wheel drive cars and trucks use this bearing,,,,he sells tons of them to Mustang owners,,,,,often,,,,,and new axles for us are $150......
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

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Post by veefre Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:21 pm

OIC now... I didn't take a real close look at the diagram in the PDF file. Now I understand... the repair bearing is supposed to stick out... and there is supposed to be enough room on the axle to allow for that. Is the problem that the weld bead between the axle and the flange is too big? If you grind that I guess you'll need to be careful that the surface is good for a sealing. I wonder if turning and then grinding would work (turning being a bit faster).
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
Location : San Diego, California
Registration date : 2008-05-12

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by donivan65 Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:28 pm

I have done many of them and only a few, like both of VanAgains, had that problem. The thing is, you have to push the axles in about an 1/8 of an inch to slide the C clip on. Then you have to pull it back so that the clip fits in the groove of the side gears and then the pinion goes back in to hold the C clip in that groove. So you only bottom out the axle to put the clip on, then it comes back out where it should be. I would imagine that the preload shims and differential tube placements probably cause some to not fit easily, but its not very much. The problem is that the seal is what is stopping the axle from bottoming out,,,,,and we surely wrecked a couple by trying to push the axle in enough so the clip can go on the other end.
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

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Post by veefre Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:12 pm

What's a "VanAgain"? Is it a Volkswagon Vanagon?

I guess I'll get out the calipers and measure the clearance between the axle and the carrier housing before I take it apart, and the again when I push the axle in to pull out the C-clip.
donivan65
donivan65
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Location : San Diego, California
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Post by donivan65 Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:22 pm

VanAgain is Rich, he has these 2 SportVans and he also does have a VW Vanagon,,,,,,I wouldn't worry about the measurements,,,,,,pull the axles and check them to see if they are worn out,,,,,then make a plan,,,,,,,

Noisy rear axle... Vanaga10
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

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Post by veefre Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:36 am

Just in case it comes to that, what vehicles are suitable rear-end donors for the '67 Chevy van? Would a Chevy II or Nova rear end bolt on? Or, maybe a Chevelle? If so, what years?

I'm thinking most of the noise is from the differential. I might be wrong, but it has that kind of uneven sound. I would expect a wheel bearing to have a more constant sound.
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Gearing up for the axle inspection

Post by veefre Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:55 pm

Well, I read over the service procedure for pulling the rear axles, and today went out and got an axle puller and an adapter for pulling the bearings. I passed on a seal installation kit... since the repair bearing/seal assembly protrudes from the end of the housing, I don't see a problem just tapping them in with a block of wood in between the bearing/seal and the hammer. And in the past I've found large sockets work just fine for installing the occasional bearing/seal.

Wish me luck.

PS-What color should I powder coat the differential cover? I got matte black, white, yellow, and red.



donivan65
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Post by donivan65 Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:45 pm

The biggest problem is if the pinion shaft bolt, which has a long pin on it, is broken off in the housing,,,,and you can't get the shaft out ,,,to get the C-clips out,,,,to get the axles out,,,,to get the seals out,,,,,to get the bearings out,,,,
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:56 pm

Well, just got both axle shafts out. The passenger side C-clip came out easy: it fell out when I pushed in on the flange. The driver side was tight, and I had to use a pry bar on the button end to release the C-clip. I don't suppose this bodes well for the replacement bearing seal clearance, but will have to see about that.

Both axles show sign of wear/roughness where the stock bearings were riding. Perhaps enough to account for all the noise. I don't see any sign of gear tooth wear/damage, inside the differential, but hard to say about that.

Next step is to smooth down the end of the axle closest to the flange as described in the instructions. I have a small lathe but it's not big enough to accomodate the axles - although I could always take them into work, where there are big lathes, and turn down the fillet on the axle/flange join if necessary. But I'm hoping I can put it all back together today.

We'll see...
donivan65
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Post by donivan65 Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:39 pm

That whole part of the axle behind the flange should be smooth like a spark plug socket,,,,no grooves or rough spots,,,,usually the part that the new repair bearings ride on is really nice unless someone already put those bearings in there. Do you have a seal and the old bearings in there? All you can do is put those new bearings in there without damaging the seal and slide the axles in there. Then if you cant get the clip to slide back on, you will need to grind a little off the flange where it hits the seal,,,,,,
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty One step forward, two steps back

Post by veefre Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:07 pm


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

First, the good news:

The old bearings were stock bearings. I was able to get the Timken repair bearings in without any major problem. The one on the driver's side was a bit tight, but a few whacks with a deadblow hammer on the end of the axle gave more than enough room for the C clip to attach.

Previous mechanic to work on the rear axle (probably just a fluid change) didn't use a new gasket - just blue RTV. Took some time to scrape/brush all that gunk off (or enough so it didn't show and didn't make a difference) and put a proper gasket on. Filled up the gearbox with 80w90 and took her for a test drive.

Nice. The whirring sound is completely gone. There is mostly just road noise - tire noise. Some tranny whine in 1st/second gears. Nothing to write home about. A fluid change for the tranny is on the to do list.

Now for the bad news: As I was tooling along about 60 mph on the local highway, heard two "pops!" from the right side of the vehicle (window slightly open). As I braked for the next exit, heard a lot of grinding coming from that side as well. Got worse on right hand turns. Limped home on local streets. Pretty sure it was brakes, but not sure if it was front or rear.

Turns out the right front brake backing plate suffered a catastrophic failure at the upper shoe pivot mounting point. The metal simply cracked and fractured. I found a piece of the backing plate inside the drum. Surprisingly, the metal rubbed against the non-braking surface of the drum, and the drum and the shoes appear to be just fine. But I will have to either repair or replace the backing plate - it's toast.

Pictures to follow.

Oh, yeah, I checked the rear end. Wheels spin freely, no noise, no brake binding, no fluid leaks. I think my rear axle work was acceptable. It's just that on a vehicle of this age and partially unknown history, odd things will fail. Previous owner said he'd had a scare with the brakes on the freeway and had them completely rebuilt. Unfortunately perhaps whoever did the rebuild didn't catch the stress crack in the backing plate. Fortunately caught it before it flipped the vehicle on its top.

Yikes!

Rolling Eyes
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty The old bearing's legacy

Post by veefre Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Noisy rear axle... P1000110

Other axle looks about the same...
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty The brake failure

Post by veefre Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:19 pm

Noisy rear axle... P1000111



The broken piece is lying on top of the right brake shoe...
donivan65
donivan65
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Number of posts : 12133
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Registration date : 2008-05-12

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by donivan65 Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:08 pm

Now that's more like it,,,,,,,the real story of what a 40 year old van is like! You got to go in thinking that everything is worn out , because it probably is. I would be watching that rear wheel for leaks if you had to hit the axle in to get the C clip on. The good part of disk brakes is that they don't use backing plates,,,,,so did that backing plate have rust on it???? Thats why you need to check and replace all brake components on a van when you get it. I would have to say you came within a few minutes of buying the farm,,,,,,,those shoes would of come loose and locked up that wheel and that van could of spun out and flipped,,,,,,,This is a really good lesson on the rules of owning an Early Van,,,,,,,
veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Buying the farm

Post by veefre Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:38 pm


Oh, I dodged a bullet there, don't I know it.

The thing is, the previous owner told me the brakes were good, completely replaced. And he wasn't lying, it's just that the one part that usually is never replaced in a brake job - the backing plate - failed. I've NEVER seen that before... I will refrain from dwelling on the fact that this is the first GM product I've worked on ;-). But I've worked on much older Chrysler products and never seen this type of failure.

Disc brakes would be a logical upgrade.

In the meantime I'll be checking out the other front wheel.

How difficult will it be to find a new backing plate? Is this junkyard territory?

I guess I'll be calling Autozone/Napa for starters.

veefre
veefre


Number of posts : 418
Location : San Leandro, California
Registration date : 2008-09-10

Noisy rear axle... Empty Re: Noisy rear axle...

Post by veefre Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:59 pm



Well, it looks like these backing plates are a salvage item. Can't find any "new" or aftermarket parts for it.

Checked the other front wheel - that backing plates shows a slight crack in the same place where the other one failed. So I'll be replacing both, or converting the front end over to disc brakes.

There is a heavy metal oval spacer between the backing plate and the pivot. In the plate that has not yet failed, I notice that it looks like it's in backwards. It has a definite curvature to it and I would think it would work better with the concave side towards the plate. The one on the plate that failed is too bent up to tell if it's in backwards or not, but it does seem to have the same concave away from plate installation.

I'll check the service manual to see if there is any mention of the correct positioning of this spacer.

These are 9-1/2" four bolt backing plates. I did find an internet source for 9-1/2" backing plates, but they are supposed to be for rear wheels of cars like Camaros and such. They do look very similar to what's on this vehicle, so I'm wondering if Chevy simply used these plates on the rear of cars of that era and on the front of this light delivery van. The 9-1/2" drum brakes were apparently an upgrade to the standard front drum brakes, as various brake shoe replacement listing specify a standard replacement and another specifically for 9-1/2" drums.

Visited one salvage yard but he didn't have much in the way of Chevy. Would like to get this all sorted out before the rains this weekend, but considering the limited availability of repair parts that may not happen.

Anybody ever converted the drum brakes on an early chevy van over to disc brakes?


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