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Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? #5244315 10/19/19 02:45 PM
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Fsharp Offline OP
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I’ve got a 1991 R1500 Suburban with a 10 bolt rear axle. The pinion seal leaks and recently I’ve noticed some vibration at low speed under high acceleration. I thought some u joints might be going bad, but as I was down under the truck pulling back and forth on the driveshaft I realized the pinion yoke could move back and forth just a little. Do you think I could just pop on a new pinion seal and tighten up the nut some or are the pinion bearings shot and the whole thing need rebuilt?

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244326 10/19/19 02:55 PM
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PiperOne Offline
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New seal and tighten it back up to spec and you should be fine.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244328 10/19/19 02:56 PM
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Yah-Tah-Hey Offline
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I believe that uses tapered roller bearings which have to be preloaded to certain spec. I wouldn't expect any play at all in the pinion as that would change the mesh with the ring gear.

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244346 10/19/19 03:30 PM
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It uses a crush sleeve to set pinon load. If you need to replace the pinon seal your supposed to replace the crush sleeve. Nobody does. They replace the seal and run the nut up till it's right.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244350 10/19/19 03:41 PM
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As said, you could tighten up the nut and hope for the best. When there is too much clearance, taper bearings see a wonky load pattern that can easily damage the raceways.

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244354 10/19/19 03:55 PM
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bubbatime Offline
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Shake the driveshaft up and down. Is there a lot of play? I had one that was so bad you could shake it up and down a half an inch. It was a mud truck so I didnt care to fix it.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244387 10/19/19 05:03 PM
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Silverado12 Offline
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I had a pinion nut come loose on a 1974 C-10 and I just tightened it back up. No problems ever.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5244822 10/20/19 08:56 AM
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Fsharp Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies. I will try a new seal and tightening up the nut. Even if it doesn’t work, there’s not much to lose by doing it. Anyone have an idea what torque spec I should aim for or how I should go about tightening it?

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5245530 10/21/19 12:02 AM
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Anduril Offline
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When I did the pinion seal on my Xterra, the general trend I was reading was to mark the nut and the shaft and make sure the marks line back up when tightening everything back down. That's how I did it and it's been fine for over a year.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5245551 10/21/19 03:17 AM
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I would be prepared for more than a simple seal change. If you ran bad u joints long enough, it's possible to screw up the pinion bearing. That nut is torqued very tight and I can't believe it just loosened up for no reason.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Lubener] #5245572 10/21/19 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lubener
I would be prepared for more than a simple seal change. If you ran bad u joints long enough, it's possible to screw up the pinion bearing. That nut is torqued very tight and I can't believe it just loosened up for no reason.



This.

I have never seen a pinion nut just loosen.

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5245651 10/21/19 06:25 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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New seal AND new pinion bearings, properly set up (preload and/or crush washer) are likely what you need. Tightening that nut on a worn bearing is only going to accelerate its demise.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5246380 10/21/19 06:38 PM
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Fsharp Offline OP
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The u joints seem fine.I am going to try tightening up the pinion nut a bit. I guess I’ll mark the nut and bolt. Take the yoke off, replace the seal, put the yoke back on and tighten everything down to were it was. Then go a little further until there is no play. If that doesn’t work and it starts leaking again or starts making noise then I’ll know it’s time for new pinion bearings. I’ll also check to make sure the breather tube is unobstructed.

Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5246492 10/21/19 08:15 PM
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S10 10 bolt rear end pinion nuts come loose after higher miles so a rebuild is always best but can't tell you how many times I have seen customer say tighten up the yolk and let it go for now. Most never come back. I did one that I changed seal and tightened then 200k later he came back for a leak and just installed a seal. He sold truck with 690k.


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Re: Pinion yoke loose, is the bearing ruined? [Re: Fsharp] #5246667 10/22/19 04:18 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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Please follow up with your results once you tighten it up.


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05 MB S600 0W40 M1
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