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2000 to 2006, and possibly later, Yukon, Avalanche, and Tahoe rear axle issue.

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I recently found an issue on a 2003 Yukon, a 2004 Avalanche, and a 2001 Tahoe, all are 5.3, all auto. The issue seems to be that the rear axle cover will leak, and as it gets low, will cause the same noise that a front wheel bearing will make, the droaning, swishy sound. I had to take the avalanche i was working on to the dealer, since i and the guy who own it both swore the noise was a front wheel bearing. It seems that all of these vehicles have a common problem with the rear axle cover leaking, due to an issue with how the gasket is made. A tech friend at a local dealer said that to fix it, remove the cover, clean out the rear diff, but, when you put it back together, dont use a gasket, use either black or grey silicone, since what happens is, the cover can warp a bit, albeit very minor and slight, and even a new gasket will fail eventually. He also said to replace the gear oil with 75W-90 synthetic, but that GM doesnt recommend the use of Royal Purple (which, yes, i know, is a hotly contested debate, that i wont get into) in their vehicles, to instead use a good quality gear oil, such as Valvoline, or Mobil 1. My friend at the dealer said it is common for that to happen somewhere between the 125,000 and 140,000 mile range.

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biggman100...I work on the Ram 9.25" and 11.5" axles, and Chrysler uses one of the best axle gaskets around.  It is double ribbed and rubberized, actually reusable in most cases if you simply torque the cover bolts to specification and not too tight.  Over-tightening will definitely warp these covers.



9.25" AAM Chrysler Mopar Cover Gasket  

If you're suspect of warpage, set the removed cover's edge on a block of wood and tap the raised lip of the cover with a sand-filled (head) plastic hammer.  I have a Stanley that has done the trick for years.

I've reused my Ram rear axle gasket twice without a drop of synthetic Mopar 75W-140 lube leakage.  These are AAM axles like G.M. uses.  Does G.M. use a somewhat stiff, double ribbed rubberized gasket like Chrysler?


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Moses, i havent actually gotten any of them apart yet, due to scheduling conflicts with the owner, but, when i looked up the gasket for them, it looks to be a regular paper style gasket. I wont be doing any of them until next weekend, so i will find out for sure then. I thought it was odd about the leakage, and about using silicone, since my Dakota, and my step dads Ford both have a reusable gasket. Ill let you know what i find when i get ready to get them done.

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