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How To Remove A GM 8.25" Front Differential IFS

Discussion in 'Tech How To' started by Bigredmariner, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. flynhigh

    flynhigh I'm NEW... What now?

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    Utah
    You want to turn the wheels to the left so the pit man arm is out of the way that will help. I definitely second removing the relay rod and the shock absorber to give yourself more room. I found that you can leave the lower mounting bolt in and put a jack underneath it and then pull the top bolt. Lower the jack and the differential will rotate around the lower bolt and drop down real nice. Reinstallation also work good this way you just have to get the top mount above the frame then use a jack to rotate the differential about the lower bolt. In order to get the proper alignment of the top mount I also used a small car jack on the left and right side of the differential in addition to the main jack under the differential housing. This worked out super slick. IMG_4855.JPG IMG_4856.JPG IMG_4859.JPG IMG_4862.JPG
     
    Russell L Powell likes this.
  2. Russell L Powell

    Russell L Powell I'm NEW... What now?

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    Hello everyone, joined just to add to this post as it was essential to me being able to change out my '03 Tahoe front differential. THANK YOU all who contributed to make this job possible for me!
    My bearings were shot, it would whine in 2wd, and when in 4x4 it would howl. Front Dif oil was silver and drain plug magnet was covered with metal shavings. Truck is only worth 4-5k so I didn't want to pay 2.5k to have a new dif installed as it would cost more than the trade value of the vehicle. As this job involved so much labor I opted to pay the extra money and get a rebuilt front differential from Zumbrota Bearing & Gear through Auto Zone ($1000 + $400 core) vs. grabbing a junkyard replacement. I would suggest the same as this was the most difficult job I have ever done on a vehicle and I would not have done it twice.
    As several have mentioned removing the steering arm would make this job a lot easier, but as I didn't have a pickle fork I went without its removal. To remove the dif you will need to lower the longshaft side while rotating it rearward to slide the upper mount off the steering arm and down onto your chest. Whew that was hard, half done right? NO, now you have to do all that in reverse and no jack will help you! I am 220lb and it is all I could do to lift and figure out how to maneuver the new one into place and put in one of the mounting bolts single handedly. Also you can not use a creeper as the force required to lift, articulate, and maneuver the new one in will slide you all over the place. Quite a job, I can now understand how others say a shop charged them $1000 for just for the swap.
    Synopsis, unless you have a lift and a helper, or are young and very strong, remove the steering link. If you are not going to remove the steering link you will need to rotate the tires all the way to the LEFT and watch carefully how it comes out as you have to duplicate the maneuver in reverse. Make sure you have a 21mm socket for the nuts, ( my socket set only went to 19). GOOD LUCK!
     

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