Question about 1997 GMC Sonoma

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Just want to know how to change the drive shaft center bearing on a 97 sonoma

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GO TO HARBOR FREIGHT AND BUY THEIR BALL JOINT AND BEARING PRESS CLAMP. IT ONLY COSTS ABOUT 30 BUCKS. IT WILL PAY FOR ITSELF AFTER 1 USE. SECONDLY. IF THIS U-JOINT WAS A FACTORY ORIGINAL THEN IT MUST BE HEATED UP BY A TORCH FOR 10-15 MINUTES. ON THE SIDE OF THE U-JOINT YOU WILL SEE A SMALL HOLE THATS WHERE THE NYLON GLUE WAS INJECTED. THE FACTORY USED A NYLON COMPOSITE GLUE THAT IS EXTREMELY STRONG. YOU MUST HEAT THE U-JOINT BEARING FOR ABOUT 10-15 MINUTES. AFTER 10-15 MINUTES OF HEATING A WHITE STREAM OF GLUE WILL SHOOT OUT OF THE HOLE LIKE A LITTLE WORM. CONTINUE TO HEAT BOTH SIDES. THEN COOL DOWN IN WATER AND PRESS OUT WITH THE BEARING PRESS. I JUST DID THIS LAST MONTH ON MY SON'S SONOMA. HIS HAD 3 U-JOINTS AND WE DID THE JOB IN ABOUT 2 HOURS. BELEIVE ME IF YOU DONT HEAT THE BEARING UP(IF ITS THE FACTORY BEARING) IT WILL BE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET IT OUT......ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10 I WOULD GIVE THIS JOB A 4.

Posted on Sep 09, 2009

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It usually presses on the splined portion after removal and disassembly of the back half of the driveshaft. That means you'll need a press to get it off and then the new one back on. Amazing things can be done with hammers so I wouldn't write off that method but having it pressed is always going to be the easy way.

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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How to replace a carrier bearing on 2002 gmc extended cap


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REPEATLY worn out carrier bearing on my 2001 GMC Sonoma extended cab ( 4.3 , 4speed auto 2wd) what could be the cause of this even after I've had it rebalanced?


  • If the bearing fails and seizes up, the rubber will be torn away from the bearing. The seized bearing can tear away the rubber mount that supports the outside of it allowing the bearing to rotate with the driveshaft. This allows the driveshaft to wobble up and down causing a vibration.
  • The rubber can also deteriorate due to age or contamination with oil. The driveshaft will operate at the wrong angle and vibration or noise will result. The vibration occurs most often during hard acceleration.
  • A worn center support bearing can cause a whining sound that varies with vehicle speed. The noise is constant in pitch, rather than changing or intermittent like U-joint noise.
  • If the truck has been raised , the alignment of the drive shaft will also change, A damaged driveshaft can exhibit a variety of symptoms. A clunk that is heard when the transmission is shifted into gear is the most obvious. You can also encounter unusual noise, roughness, or vibration.
    NOTE The engine, torque converter and driveshaft change in frequency as rpm changes. A rebuilt torque converter is often the cause of a vibration that is rpm-related.

    To help differentiate a potential drivetrain problem from other common sources of noise or vibration, it is important to note the speed and driving conditions at which the problem occurs. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to accurately pinpoint drivetrain problems with only a road test. Expand the undercar investigation by putting the vehicle up on the lift, where it is possible to get a good view of what is going on underneath.

    • Check the companion flange, carrier bearing, pinion shaft seal, and pinion bearing, transmission's extension housing seal and bushing, and the u-joints.
    • Check the driveshaft for runout, or the amount that a part wobbles up and down or side to side when it is in motion.

Sep 23, 2011 | 2001 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab

1 Answer

How to replace the center support bearing and what size bolts or if studs are used what size nuts are required? Also what is the best tool to use for changing the spark plug behind the steering shaft?


The center support bearing is secured to the cross-member using either a stud with an 11/16 in. nut or sometimes an 18mm nut. or it can also be sucured using a 3/8 in. bolt with a 5/8 in. bolt head and either a 15mm, 5/8", 11/16", or an 18mm nut, and GM did not stop the assembly line when they ran out of a certain nut or bolt and that is why there could be so many different ones used.

(A split drive-shaft is a balanced unit and it must be marked for proper alignment before separating the two halves or the drive shaft will no longer be in balance and will cause a vibration and early u-joint failure, and be very sure that there is a line on each half of the drive-shaft before it is separated so that the drive-shaft can be aligned re-assembled correctly)

The center support bearing should be pressed off and on the drive shaft using a hydraulic press, (a machine shop usually does not charge very much to do that) and using a hammer and a drift to replace the center support bearing is not recommended however some people do replace the center support bearing that way and a lot of the time they will damage the drive shaft or center support bearing and that will only make it more difficult and time consuming to properly install the center support bearing.

(The u-joint and the axle yoke should also be marked together before the u-joint is removed from the axle yoke so that they are installed back in the same way that they came out to prevent any drive shaft vibration)

To change the spark plug behind the steering shaft use a spark plug socket (a good spark plug socket will also have a provision for attaching a 5/8" or 16mm wrench to the end of the spark plug socket) and instead of putting an extension and a ratchet on the socket, slip the socket onto the spark plug and then use the wrench to loosen the spark plug and to tighten it, but also use a length of 3/8" fuel line and push the end of the spark plug into the fuel line and then use it to start and run down the spark plugs and also to remove the spark plugs once they have been loosened.


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Sep 12, 2010 | 1996 GMC Sonoma

1 Answer

How much does a throwout bearing cost for a 98 gmc sonoma and hoe hard are they to put in or how much does it cost for someone to put it in


They run about $60, and changing them requires removing the transmission and drive shaft. While you're in there, you should probably replace the clutch and pressure plate.

Check with some local garages or dealers to get their price for doing this.

May 21, 2010 | 1998 GMC Sonoma

1 Answer

On my fathers 97 gmc sonoma the slave/throwout barring began to leak and now he has no clutch, i have the new part but i cant get the bell housing out to replace the broken part. it seems there is not...


Changing the clutch or throwout bearing in a rear wheel drive is one of the easier things to do.
Having it on a lift is nice but it doesn't have to be. The truck needs to be high enough to get under and work. Needs to be on jack stands or blocking sturdy enough to hold the truck steady. Do not use ramps.

Remove the drive shaft, making sure the caps stay on the U joints. remove the shifter from the transmission. Take the slave cylinder off the trans., the stater, and then the transmission from the engine. You will need to support the motor in place so that it doesn't tear up the radiator or the firewall depending on the balance point. Take the trans down by pulling it back about 3 inches. Use a jack or 2 people to do this. Transmission is somewhere around 100 lbs.
On the back of the motor you will see the pressure plate held on to the flywheel with 6 bolts. Take the pressure plate off and the clutch is between the pressure plate and the flywheel. The flywheel may need to be resurfaced or you may just clean it up with coarse sandpaper. The clutch disc goes in one way with the spring assembly facing the rear of the truck. There should be an alignment tool with the clutch kit. The clutch has to be centered on the flywheel. If there is no alignment tool provided, you can center it by making sure the clutch disc is even with the edge of the pressure plate all the way around. Usually, the clutch is just a little bit smaller diameter than the pressure plate.

The throwout bearing is on the shaft coming out of the transmission. Should be held on by a fork that sticks out through the bell housing. After the throwout is replaced and you make sure it has free travel on the shaft reinstall the transmission. You may need to wiggle it a bit to get the splines on the shaft and the ones in the clutch to line up. Make sure the transmission is held straight so that the shaft in the transmission doesn't get bent. Slide the trans. to the motor and onto the alignment pins and bolt in place. Reinstall everything and you are done.
Thank you for using Fixya and since your going to replace the throwout bearing, you might as well replace the clutch since you have the transmission away from the engine to replace the bearing. Good luck and be safe.

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Help on how to install u-joints in my 1998 gmc sonoma, two piece shaft, and center bearing


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