Must Replace Axels with Diff? - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Must Replace Axels with Diff?

My dealer just informed me I need a new diff for my 2009 (only 38k miles on it). I had no leaks or noise, but when the car was on a lift and left in 1st gear, the rear wheels could be rocked back and forth slightly.

The GM dealer claimed they were not allowed to rebuild the diff ... but here's the kicker ... they also claim that both axels MUST be replaced along with the diff. And get this, they can do the job for only $3,000. (I've read there is not a diff parts market). I've also read that there might not be any new diff's available, and I do not believe the dealer even checked before giving me that price.

In any case, anyone heard they must replace the axels? Is it nonsense, cuz I'm just thinking I'll buy a used diff and do it myself ... well, mostly have my brother-in-law craw under there.

A side note ... I swear there must be a connection with the diff issues and my clutch, as I am getting rubber in 1st, 2nd & 3rd without trying very hard. Maybe it's just me getting used to the car ... or screwing around over-reving between shifts. I have a base model engine by the way ... plus manual windows and the stupid cranks hit my knees as I drive. But I digress.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 01:18 PM
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Welcome to the forum

I have changed axles in a diff and see no reason at all why you would have to change axles on a replacement diff. The reason parts are INTERCHANGABLE is so you don't have to custom fit them to affect a repair.

I think your dealer is either ill informed or just trying to get the price up high enough so you will go elsewhere.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 01:36 PM
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1. Welcome to the forum.

2. comment removed

3. There are no parts available for rebuilding the differentials, GM has always considered this differential to be a total replacement.

4. I have never heard that the axles must be replaced, but I also haven't heard to opposite. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can contribute here.

5. My Solstice rear diff was replaced under warranty about 9 months after I took delivery, summer of 2006. There is no mention of any axles on the repair invoice.



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Last edited by DaveOC; 08-21-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 02:41 PM
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My only contribution is I don't remember reading any post where members mentioned that the left and right axles was replaced when the differential was replaced under warranty.

RTE, I think you're being too kind, I think the dealer is trying to screw him over and not even offering him Crisco while doing it.

BTW, wouldn't this be a good time to consider a Quaife differential?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2018, 09:44 PM
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OK, I'm probably jumping into something where I don't belong, but here goes anyway. In almost every post I've read concerning mechanical work or upgrades the poster says they are either doing the work on their own or taking it to a dealership. I don't know enough about car repair to do it myself so I take my vehicles to a reliable mechanic shop. I've never in my life had a positive experience with a dealership outside warranty work - where they know they have to get it right or it comes back and goes on their (and my) service record. I avoid dealerships for mechanical work (outside warranty) at all costs - 'cause it'll certainly cost you - and probably won't be fixed correctly.

As for the slight rotation of the wheels in 1st gear... One of my main concerns with buying the Solstice was the differential. My greatest fear is running 80 and the sucker lock up solid, which research shows has happened. Thus the early recall. Yes the Sol is different, but experienced mechanics have seen everything on the Solstice before in other vehicles.

At my initial inspection during the purchasing process, I had my mechanic's shop put my '06 on the rack and inspect the differential. During the test drive there was a lot of clunking going on during shifts and the distinctive whine at speed. One of the things they checked was the slack in the differential/axle and the rear wheels would rotate a couple inches before engaging (with a clunk). This slack was specifically addressed. I was assured this was normal - particularly with a little age - and accounted for much of the noise during low gear shifting. (Noticeably louder and more often when it rains.)

Since then I've had the differential fluid changed and every time it goes on the rack I inspect it for leaks. I also do a couple walks back and forth under the car checking the suspension, brakes, and bodywork looking for anything that looks like wear and in the process become more familiar with what's underneath.

You guys are saying having to change the axles is BS with a differential swap. If the dealership is blowing smoke over the axles, it's possible their claim the differential is bad could also be erroneous.

If I were WideTrak I'd take it to a good shop with experienced mechanics, not tell them what the dealership claimed, get it on a rack then have them inspect the differential. And perhaps, at a minimum, go ahead and have the fluid changed.

A second (or third) opinion never hurts.

After purchase, I did take mine to a dealership and have them run a history relating to recalls. All recalls have been addressed on my Solstice except the passenger airbag.

Which reminds me... I need to go back and get a second key.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:09 AM
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You may find this older thread useful

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...95/#post649486

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Carol's husband for 50 years

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Punisher's story
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f62/punisher-65168/
Punisher thread index
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post1765649
https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...ml#post2067289

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:37 AM
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1) Some mechanical play between the wheels is normal, so the differential does not have to be replaced because of a "slight" play.
2) If the differential was faulty, parts for it are available. It is everything outside of the differential that is not.
3) Even if the differential or the entire differential carrier did have to be replaced, the axle half-shafts would not.
4) Only if the damage is to the splined connection between the axle(s) and the differential gear(s) would the damaged axle(s) have to be replaced along with the gear(s).
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Last edited by JohnWR; 08-22-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:03 AM
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I'm not a fan of replacing expensive parts that work fine. You state that there are no leaks or noise. Like others mentioned, some play is normal. It's a fairly complex gear system, and inevitably will have some slop.

I see nothing in the service manual about having to replace the axles when you replace the differential. That just sounds bogus.

Even if they were right (and I do not believe they are), $3000??

Here's the procedure if I recall correctly:

1. Lift car.
2. Remove wheels and brakes.
3. Remove big-ass axle nuts.
4. Remove the wheel bearing + hub assembly.
5. Slide the axle out of the diff.
6. Repeat for the other side. total time so far, maybe 2 hours if you're really taking your time.

7. Disconnect drive shaft from differential.
8. Remove differential.
So, now you're at three hours if you took lunch and billed it, so let's be kind and call it 7 hours for removal and installation. At a dealer rate, you're probably in the $90/hr rate.

Even assuming $1500 worth of parts, that's WAY less than $3k.

If this was my car, I'd just leave it as is. If it's not clunking, making noise, or leaking, and doesn't have 30* of play, it's fine.

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Last edited by raygun; 08-22-2018 at 11:08 AM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raygun View Post
I'm not a fan of replacing expensive parts that work fine. You state that there are no leaks or noise. Like others mentioned, some play is normal. It's a fairly complex gear system, and inevitably will have some slop.

I see nothing in the service manual about having to replace the axles when you replace the differential. That just sounds bogus.

Even if they were right (and I do not believe they are), $3000??

Here's the procedure if I recall correctly:

1. Lift car.
2. Remove wheels and brakes.
3. Remove big-ass axle nuts.
4. Remove the wheel bearing + hub assembly.
5. Slide the axle out of the diff.
6. Repeat for the other side. total time so far, maybe 2 hours if you're really taking your time.

7. Disconnect drive shaft from differential.
8. Remove differential.
So, now you're at three hours if you took lunch and billed it, so let's be kind and call it 7 hours for removal and installation. At a dealer rate, you're probably in the $90/hr rate.

Even assuming $1500 worth of parts, that's WAY less than $3k.

If this was my car, I'd just leave it as is. If it's not clunking, making noise, or leaking, and doesn't have 30* of play, it's fine.
I agree....
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:29 AM
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here are some further reading on rear diffs. any good driveline shop can rebuild them

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...ld-info-54435/

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...ential-155981/ (see post #19)
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott Danforth View Post
here are some further reading on rear diffs. any good driveline shop can rebuild them

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...ld-info-54435/

https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/...ential-155981/ (see post #19)
Any good driveline shop can rebuild them if they have the parts, but those service parts are mostly not available.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 01:00 PM
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Unless I have fallen in with a bunch of frustrated figure skaters, cars have exactly zero 'axels' in them, but at least two axles.

Take the car to a shop that specializes in gearboxes and rear ends and they should be able to do the job cheaper for you, and won't have to change the axles.

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Last edited by wspohn; 08-22-2018 at 02:27 PM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wspohn View Post
Unless I have fallen in with a bunch of frustrated figure skaters, cars have exactly zero 'axels' in them, but at least two axles.

Take the car to a shop that specializes in gearboxes and read ends and they should be able to do the job cheaper for you, and won't have to change the axles.
The device in the rear end of my car doesn't do much reading. Just what are you driving?

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 03:40 PM
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2018, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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I was hoping for responses from mechanically inclined individuals, not English majors.
lol ... where is the damn spell check when i need it?

Thx all. I'll start looking for a diff ... and a second opinion ... well 8th opinion now y'all have responded.
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