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Discussion Starter #1
How hard is it to remove the front diff? Here's why I'm asking:

Today I decided to see if my 4x4 would engage. I still have to replace the vacuum lines from the t-case switch, so I decided to hook a vacuum pump up to the actuator, pump it up, and drive around a little bit. My front wheel lights came on, which was cool, then I shifted the t-case into 4x4, and that light came on, which is cool. I wasn't moving when I did this, btw. Anyway, drove around a bit, it felt pretty good, so I put it back in the garage.

And like Kevin Arnold used to say..."then it happened". I noticed a large amount of smoke/steam coming from under the hood. Light brown liquid all over the driver's side exhaust, plug wires, etc. I first thought it was mud but I didn't drive through any puddles. Saw some dripping on the floor and rubbed it on my fingers. Gear oil...very old gear oil. Grumble.

So, I'm guessing I have a bad seal in the front chunk that needs to be replaced.:confused: While I'm in there I'm going to replace every seal that I can. I've got all the tools, I'm just wondering on the difficulty.

Thanks yet again !:)
 

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there are 4 bolts that hold the front diff in. but you gotta disconnect the wires/activation cable, cv's and driveshaft. but it will drop down real easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do I have to remove (or at least loosen) the center link pitman and idler arm too? Man, that thing was a pain to put in! Thanks
 

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The front chunk is a pain in the ass. You almost need a special, home-made, wrench to get the front driver's side mount loose. And a lot of people cut the rear driver's mount off the frame and weld it back in when they put the chunk back in. When I removed all the IFS crap I tried to unbolt everything to be nice and neat. That lasted for about an hour until I broke out the liquid wrench. I took the front chunk out of a parts truck that didn't have an engine. It's almost easier to remove the engine to get the chunk out. Don't take that last comment seriously. Well, that's a good bit of typing. Just letting you know that it's a big job that will cause you to expell much vulgarity.
But hey, good luck.:thumbup:
 

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Sorry, I didn't read your original post very thoroughly. You don't have to drop the front chunk to change the seals. All you need to do is remove everything else to get to them. I did the drivers side seal before going SFA. Just remove the CV shafts, which involves removing or loosening the spindle. Pull the shaft out of the center chunk, only held my a clip, might take a little jerking(no jokes please) to get it out. Then you can get to the bolts of the plate with the seal in it. Pull the plate off, pound the seal out and press the new one in. Then just do everything backwards to reassemble. The passenger side is more complex because of the long tube. I'm pretty sure that it can be done without removing the front chunk too.
 

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Nice this is the info i am kinda looking for.

I have a 1986 chevy s10 4x4 with 91 4.3L and recently ripped off the front mounting hole fromt he front chunk while in 4wLow in reverse with the winch hooked up to a car 15 feet over a cliff and the only way i could get traction to pull the car was to give more gas while in reverse with the 32inch tires diging into the hardpack gravel road, and just before the car came back over the bank, i had the pedal to the floor and the winch pulling almost to a stop (well past 10,ooo pounds of force) then i heard it....

Bang!!!

I got off the gas the car went 10 feet back down the cliff and i was dun. I thought i broke the axle, but it sounded fine while driving forward so i just put it in 2wd and drove home, and while i was in town just before getting to my house i tryed making a hard right turn from a stop light, i nearly took out traffic on the other side of the road using more than 2 lanes to make the right turn, for some reason I couldn't turn sharply, so when i finally did make it home i looked for the problem, and saw my front diff housing sitting below my steering arm, (wtf i thought) then noticed the top of the casing where the mount is suppost to be hooked up was missing the top half of the mounting hole,

Did i mention this makes hella lot of noise when your in 4wd and backing up, sounds and feels like your axle is flapping around.

What do i do?

I guess i need to replace this aluminum piece of crap but I would like to put lockers in the next one and is there something thats stronger then aluminum?

I checked with U-Pull-It $150 for a new one and only 86-87 s10 trucks will fit. so does this mean i am screwed for a steel casing?
what about after market? where would i look, and lastly, is it a bad thing to put lockers in the front when the rear end is not locked?
oh and should i look for after market front axles too? I am a 4xguy, 3 inch lift with 3inch body and 32inch tires, and a really heavy foot on the 4.3Ls gas pedal..

tnx
 

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Congratulations, you've come across one of the reasone people put a solid axle underneath these tiny trucks. That's what I did, before breaking anything.
Now for some info. Don't listen to people that tell you only 86-87 front chunk will fit. They're all swappable except maybe the ZR2 chunks, and that has never been confirmed nor denied. Since you say you have a heavy foot and already broke one front chunk, I'd strongly advise against the locker in the front. Go for a locker in the rear, it's stronger and the lockright is fine on road too. As far as I know, the chunks were never made of cast iron nor are any available in the aftermarket. This is just to my knowledge though. From the sounds of your driving, I think it's time for you to consider maybe going solid axle. Possible 1/2 tom running gear.
 
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