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Re: Differential noise when gear is place. in reverse or...
If it's only happening when you initially place it in those gears before going forward or reverse, your U-Joint in the rear is going bad. Replace both when you replace the one. This way you don't have to go there again when the fron U-Joint decides to go out. Cheap insurance.
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I would guess your differential. Raise your rear end and try rotating wheel, it should make the other wheel spin the opposite direction. I'd the other wheel doesn't spin, I would say it's your differential.
Probably broke your U-Joints on your driveshaft, preventing the rear wheels from turning. Your driveshaft might have disengaged from your differential too. check underneath concentrating on the driveshaft and differential
Remove the cover on the rear axle Inside you will see the differential gears. If the gears are damaged or there is a large amount of metal flakes in the lube, likely the differential has failed. Generally it is far cheaper and easier to replace it with a scrapyard unit. Replacing the gear set is not a bolt in procedure and takes special tools and knowledge..To replace it end to end, all you need is a decent set of tools, some common sense and a manual if you are a novice or unsure of yourself. Only thing you need is to match the gear ratio to the front one. You can either identify that from a metal tag on the cover or by counting teeth on the ring gear and pinion gears. Ring divided by pinion=ratio. If the transfer case has been diagnosed as bad, make sure the noise isn't being transmitted through the driveshaft. Verify diff condition by looking!!
This could be one of several problems: If the noise increases with speed, and you are only hearing it from the rear differential and not the transmission, it could be the rear differential carrier bearings, or rear axle bearings going bad. If you are only hearing the noise upon acceleration or deceleration, the rear differential ring and/or pinion gears may be going bad and the rear differential will need an overhaul. You'll have to get the rear wheels off the ground and see if you can pinpoint the location of the noise with something such as a stethoscope. If it's coming from the rear differential, you'll need to pull the bolts and the cover to determine if the gears are still in good shape, or if there is any pitting. Same with the carrier bearings; if you see pitting/ discoloration, they'll need replacement. If the noise is coming from one side towards the end of the axle shaft near the wheel, it's most likely a axle bearing going bad, and you'll need to pull the wheels, remove the diff. cover to release the C clip which holds the rear axle in place at the differential, and pull the axle out. You also need a special tool with a slide hammer to remove the axle bearing and seal.
I would suggest a rear differential service. When the fluid breaks down in the rear it doesn't provide the proper lubrication for the rear and you'll hear the "moan". Don't forget to buy and add the limited slip(posi-trac) additive.
As far as the rear end noise, There was a TSB released on GMC light duty trucks that says
"Some owners of light duty trucks equipped with automatic transmissions may comment that the vehicle exhibits a clunk noise when ******* between Park and Drive, Park and Reverse, or Drive and Reverse... Whenever there are two or more gears interactin with one another, there must be a certain amount of clearance between those gears in order for the gears to operate properly. This clearance of freeplay (also known as lash) can translate into a clunk noise whenever the gear is loaded and unloaded quickly, or whenever the direction of rotation is reversed."
It goes onto say "...Whilse some owners may find the clunk objectionable, this will not adversely affect durability or performance."
I believe that it is 80w90 but you also have to add differential additive for locker that is inside. you can purchase additive at chevy dealership, napa, or other parts stores just make sure it is formulated for gm.