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Pinion gear bearing replacement - 2000 GMC Sierra

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To do that job correctly involves removing the carrier, re-setting the pinion depth and checking gear patterns for proper engagement. All that requires experience and special tools (like dial indicators)
Generally speaking, when any bearing in the differential fails, the debris contaminates the other bearings therefore, even if the outer pinion bearing has failed, inner and both side bearings should be replaced or shortly after the job is finished, you will have another problem.
Generally faster and easier to replace the entire unit with a scrapyard part (drum to drum). Just make sure that if it's a 4x4, that you match the gear ratio exactly.Most otherwise decent techs can't set up a differential right so unless you are really into doing this, a replacement is the way to go.

If you want to try just replacing the outer bearing, count the number of turns it took to remove the pinion nut and when putting it back together,re- tighten the nut to that exact number including any half turns. You will need a seal and bearing assembly. You can drive the bearing race out from the inside by removing the carrier and the pinion gear. Carrier bolts need to be torqued. (don't remember the # off hand but it's in any decent manual)

Posted on Oct 13, 2010

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