Further to my issues with the Caddy last week, I now discover that the rear wheel bearings and axles I installed when I changed out my gears only lasted less than 10,000 miles. This is not the first time I have run into this problem with these rear ends. The issue here is that the aftermarket does not make a replacement for the Caddy. The axles are unique to the these cars (4 circuit ABS and traction control) with the reluctor rings behind the wheel flanges as opposed to inside the diff. That means factory axles or no ABS. Not an option.
We have lived with this POS rear end now for 40 years. What intellectual cul-de-sac thought it was a good idea to use the outer surface of the axle shaft as the inner race for the bearing. Lose the bearing and it cuts a groove in the axle
. 20 bucks for the bearing and 250 for the axle. No light bulbs turning on here. The worst of it is, their still using this rear end on the new trucks. Did they not get the memo? Put any load on this arrangement and the bearings go south.
Surely at some point someone out there has come up with a PERMANENT
fix for this without having to replace the axle. SKF used to have a stainless steel repair sleeve but have since discontinued it due to legal issues
BCA has what is called an inner race listed (LM501314) for this axle but the Summit listing is somewhat ambiguous so I don't know if it will work. Looks like it should but can't find any dimensions for the product, including on the BCA site so can't be sure.
A repair bearing (off-set) is not an option. Even if they work, the axle has still been compromised and I can't trust it with the trailer weight on it. Either way I have already invested over a grand into this axle, what with the three sets of used axles of which two were garbage (why do people store these things outside?) and the gear change so investing another 6 or 7 hundred into this is not high on my want list.
Any gems of wisdom and or assistance would be appreciated. Anyone out there have a good set of axles for this car with good bearing surfaces?