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Chevrolet Repair/1996 Tahoe rear end compatibility

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Question
QUESTION: Hi there,
I recently bought a used lifted 96 GT4 Tahoe with 35" tires from a friend. About 3 months later, I checked the rear differential to find the source of a new banging noise. There are several teeth missing from the pinion gear. I would prefer not to spend the money to take it somewhere. Currently it sits in my driveway with the rear end drained and driveshaft disconnected. For a novice like me would you recommend just finding a used rear end instead of trying to replace the ring and pinion myself? If so, what years of Tahoe/Yukon Axle Assemblies would be compatible? (I believe axle assembly is the name for the entire rear end?)
Thanks!!

ANSWER: HI AMANDA, WELL THIS IS NOT SOMETHING TO DO IF YOU HAVE NEVER SET UP A REAR DIFF BEFORE...THIS TAKES SOME DOING TO SET THE PINION DEPTH,BACKLASH AND PINION PRE-LOAD..IF I WERE IN YOUR SHOES I WOULD BE LOOKING FOR A USED REAR DIFF FROM THE BONE YARD...JUST TO GET A MATCHING RING AND PINION GEARS CRUSH SLEEVE SEALS AND POSSIBLE NEW BEARINGS YOU ARE LOOKING AT $1100 OR SO..THEN YOU HAVE TO SET THIS UP...NOW I AM NOT SAYING YOU CANT DO THIS..BUT THIS IS NOT A EASY TASK TO SET IT UP CORRECTLY.A USED REAR DIFF WILL RUN YOU ABOUT $800.00. SO MY ADVISE WOULD BE TO GET THE VEH ID# CALL YOUR LOCAL CHEVY STORE AND ASK THEM TO RUN THE VIN# AND TELL YOU WHAT THE GEAR RATIO IS..REMEMBER THE REAR HAS TO MATCH THE FRONT DIFF BECAUSE IT IS A 4WD..ONCE YOU FIND THE GEAR RATIO CALL YOUR LOCAL BONE YARD UP AND HAVE THEM FIND YOU A REAR DIFF OUT OF A USED TRUCK WITH THE SAME RATIO..THEY WILL HAVE ALL OF THIS INFO ON THE COMPUTER DATA..WHAT YEARS FIT WHAT.
I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU SOME,, IF I CAN HELP MORE LET ME KNOW..GOOD LUCK TO YOU,,,TOM.....

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Very helpful advice, thank you! Something I can not find online is what year Tahoe/Yukon is compatible with '96 rear axle assembly/rear diff? I have the gt4 which is the 3.73 gears. If possible I would like to try to find on Craigslist before going to a more expensive bone yard. I tried several dealerships but they were of no help.
Thanks again!

Answer
HI AMANDA, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE BACK DOOR WITH THE CHEVY DEALERS..GIVE THEM THE VIN# AND TELL THEM YOU WANT TO BUY A SET OF RING AND PINION GEARS. BUT YOU NEED A PRICE FIRST..THIS WAY YOU WILL GET THE CORRECT GEAR RATIO FOR YOUR TRUCK..IF THIS DOES NOT WORK,CALL YOUR LOCAL BONE YARD UP AND TELL THEM YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A USED REAR DIFF, BUT YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT RATIO IT IS THEY CAN ALSO RUN THE VIN # OR THEY WILL NEED THE # ON THE AXLE HOUSING ITSELF AND THEN THEY CAN RUN THAT #...BE CARE FULL ON CL BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE REAR DIFF RATIO IS THE SAME AS THE FRONT.. AGAIN ASK YOUR BONE-YARD WHAT YEARS WILL WORK, THEY SHOULD TELL YOU THIS WITH NO PROBLEMS AT ALL...BUT !!!!!!! IF YOU DO NOT GET ANYWHERE WITH YOUR DEALER OR BONE-YARD, YOU LET ME KNOW AND I GIVE ME YOUR VIN# AND I WILL GET THIS INFO FOR YOU FROM MY CHEVY DEALER ON MONDAY...I AM IN VERY GOOD WITH THESE PEOPLE..LOL...HOPE THIS HELPS ,,,GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOM.. PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER BECAUSE I TRY TO KEEP A GOOD RATING WITH ALL EXPERTS..THANK YOU...

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

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nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

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high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

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ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

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