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How to Replace Rear Brake Rotor Backing Plate 1999-07 Chevy Silverado

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How to Replace Rear Brake Rotor Backing Plate 1999-07 Chevy Silverado

Created on: 2020-06-17

Watch this video to learn how to install a new rear brake backing plate on your 1999-07 Chevy SIlverado.

Installation Video
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Okay, friends, one of the first things we have to do is safely raise and support the vehicle. Once you have your wheels off the ground in the rear, we're gonna go ahead and remove all six of these lug nuts. Remove your wheel. Just a quick heads-up, even though you're doing a brake backing plate, you're still gonna need a couple things. You're gonna have to remove your rear differential cover. So, of course, you're gonna need gear oil, which is gonna be filling up that rear differential. You're also gonna need some sort of seal, whether it's RTV or even the specific gasket made for this vehicle. One other thing that I would highly recommend that you don't necessarily need to do, we'll call it your prerogative, would be replacing the axle seal, because to do this job, once we get the brakes apart and take the rear differential pan cover off and everything, we're gonna have to remove this axle. Every time you remove the axle, you potentially damage that seal.

One of the next things that we need to do is take a nice small pry bar like this. We're gonna come in between the caliper and the pad, and we're just gonna apply a little bit of leverage. What we wanna do is just push in that caliper piston just a teeny bit, to take the pressure off of the brakes. The next thing we need to do is remove our two 18-millimeter mounting bolts for our caliper. Just take a wrench. You can use a socket with a ratchet if you'd like. There's one bolt. I'm just gonna start that in, just a couple threads to hold the caliper for me while I remove the second. There it is. Let's get that other one out of there. Next, we're gonna take the caliper, and we'll just set it up here, where it's gonna be nice and safe. Just make sure you put it somewhere that it's not gonna potentially fall down and hopefully not hurt you in any way.

Now it's gonna be time to remove your rotor. You might need to give it a couple light bonks. The next thing we're gonna do is use our 8-millimeter, and we're gonna remove this small bolt right here. Just be careful, because very often, it's frozen in there, and it might break off. Nice long ratchet did the trick. That little bolt out of there. Grab this out of here. Set those aside. I'm just gonna grab on to this. You'll notice it can move around now. If you were to look under here, you're gonna see the adjuster. If you just take that shoe, move it kind of closer to the axle, and then give it a loving bonk down, it should come free from the adjuster. Go ahead and grab that shoe. At this point, you can try to weasel it off the axle. There we are.

The next thing we're gonna have to do is take out this area right here. This is gonna be the adjuster, and it should separate. We'll just spray it down with some penetrant. That looks good. Grab my little pry bar here. We need to separate the cogged area from the base area. Okay. Starting to come out. Get this side out of there too. The next thing we're gonna wanna do is come behind here with a pry bar of some sort. Just grab on like this, and you should be able to draw this right out. For the next step, you're gonna need a tool that looks a lot like this. You can use some long-nosed pliers if you don't have something like this, but this is potentially what would be best. Go ahead and grab on to the spring area of the e-brake cable. Go ahead and give it a tug. If you were to look behind here, you're gonna see a nice plastic piece that's actually all of this right here, comes through the metal bracket. It's gonna have a couple little ears on it. We need to press in those ears, and then draw the whole cable out of this bracket. Like that. Okay. Starting to move. I'm just gonna use a little bit of penetrant, because why not. Here we are. Once you have the cable coming through, just go ahead and slide it past the bracket. There we go.

The next thing we're gonna wanna do is make sure that the vehicle is in neutral. You wanna be able to spin your driveshaft. With that said, come right over here to your fill plug on your rear differential. You're gonna remove that next, using a 3/8 ratchet. All right. Let's grab a collection bucket for the next step. The next thing we're gonna do is come right here for your e-brake cable. Just get that right out of its securing bracket. Okay. After that, go ahead and grab something and just kind of come along the side of your differential, approximately where the pan is. You just wanna try to get out as much of that crud as possible, so nothing will fall down inside of the differential once we get this cover off.

Now, the next thing we're gonna wanna do is make sure that we keep in mind that this is where the bracket's gonna go, right in the center, because it needs to go back there once we take this all apart. Use your 13-millimeter socket and a nice light hammer. You can use a rubber mallet if you're worried about it. Just go over these bolts and tap it on there. All we're trying to do right now is just kind of break free all the rust, rot, or any type of obstacle that's gonna make an issue to get these bolts out. We also wanna make sure you have a nice collection bucket, because after you remove these bolts, there's gonna be fluid behind here that needs to go somewhere, and it needs to be recycled.

Now let's just start that bolt back in a little bit here. Now we're gonna continue by removing all the rest of the bolts. Remove the pan. If for some reason your pan is stuck on the rear differential, you could use something as simple as a nice rubber mallet, give it a couple light bonks, or even try to get in between the pan and the differential itself with something as simple as a screwdriver or pry bar. Now, if you were to look at the inside of this pan, you're gonna see a whole bunch of debris, especially in this area right here where the magnet is. This is all small metal shavings, and it's no good for the inside of your differential. Speaking of no good, if you were to look all along the side, where the gasket's supposed to ride between the pan and the differential, you're gonna see a lot of debris. You need to make sure you clean all that up. So, go ahead and clean it up, clean up all this area, make sure you get off all the debris. If you have a nice parts washer, that'll work great, or, of course, you can use some parts cleaner. Just make sure you're using safety protection, and do it over a recycling unit.

The next thing we need to do is cover this whole area with something, because when we peel this up, we don't want very much dirt or debris getting inside this area, obviously. Just do whatever you can to try to protect it. That looks pretty decent. It's gonna keep the majority of everything out. The next thing we need to do is clean up the surface on the rear differential where the gasket/pan is gonna be. Now, to clean this up, there's a couple things that you could use. You could use a nice scraper that looks like this. You could also use a razor blade if you were so inclined, because maybe you don't have a scraper. Something that I do recommend that you do not use would be something that looks like this. The reason for that is because, of course, it's coarse. It's gonna, of course, tear into the metal of the rear differential, and all that metal dust that you're gonna be shooting all around inside the air can accumulate on anything that's moist, which, well, everything is moist in there. And that can, of course, potentially cause damage with your bearings and other stuff inside the differential.

Now let's go ahead and get this out of here. What you're gonna notice is that the areas that had a lot of rust and everything are still gonna be discolored, and that's okay. We're not necessarily worried about coloration. We're more or less worried about making sure everything is nice and smooth, so we have a great mounting surface, or mating surface, for when the gasket and the pan go on the differential. Don't worry so much about the dripping. We'll deal with that later. But to continue, the next thing we're gonna do is grab on to that rear driveshaft, and we're gonna spin it, and we're gonna pay attention right inside of here, because we're looking for this pin, and we're also looking for this bolt right there.

Now, when we go to take out this bolt, it's gonna be a long bolt, and it's gonna come right straight through this pin, and then in through a little bit further. Once you take out the bolt, there's a potential and a probability that this bolt, or this pin right here, is just gonna wanna slide out. That's hardened steel. If it slips and hits the ground, especially if you're on pavement, you could chip it or damage it in some way. So take out the bolt carefully, grab your pin, and slide it out. Now, to remove this bolt, you can use a socket with a ratchet if you want to, but you're probably not gonna have very much space. I prefer to go with an 8-millimeter wrench, and if you have a 6-point, it's gonna do good. Go ahead and put it right on there. Use a nice rubber mallet. I'm just gonna break that free, work it back and forth, because there should be a teeny bit of Loctite on there, or threadlocker.

Now we're just gonna remove that bolt. So that bolt's nice and loose. It can move around. Like I said, it's gonna come straight through this pin. Make sure you hold up that pin. Remove your bolt, and then slowly let this pin down, and set it aside. Now, if you spin that driveshaft around, you're gonna see an area that looks like this. You don't wanna mess with any of this stuff. We're not gonna mess with that. I just go ahead and use my finger inside this hole. Be careful, because if you don't, what you might notice is that the gears on the inside are gonna kind of get spun. So I'm just kind of keeping my finger in there. Be careful for any pinch points. Nobody should get hurt doing this. I'm gonna try to spin this all the way around, so this hole right here is facing down. The reason why I want that is because inside here, the axle is gonna come through the whole differential tube, and it's gonna come out into here. And you can see where these little gears are right there. There's gonna be a little clip.

So what's gonna happen next is I'm gonna go over to the outer portion of the differential, on the axle that I'm working on. I'm gonna press it in. The little U-clip, it's gonna look something like this, is gonna go, fall out, and then fall inside here hopefully, or even inside my collection bucket. Give it a nice little wiggle around. We wanna see if we can get that clip to fall out of there. If you can't, we're gonna try using a pick or a magnet. I have a small pocket screwdriver that has a tiny magnet on it. You don't necessarily need the screwdriver portion, but you do need the small magnet. I'm gonna come right in here along where that gear is, and I'm gonna try to find right where that clip's gonna be, the one that I told you about. It looks like a little U. I'm gonna just stick it on there. And now I'm gonna go back over to the outer portion of the axle and just try to move it around and see if we can get this clip to break free/come out. There it is, friends.

Now, for the next step, we wanna have it back at a working height, so we can easily get to our axle. Keep in mind that axles aren't super light. So, it will be heavy. Also, something that you need to keep in mind is as we draw this away, there's gonna be fluid that's inside this differential tube, and some of it's gonna wanna come out. So also make sure you have a collection bucket underneath this axle portion here. I like to just wipe it as I pull it out. Awesome. Next, we're gonna remove this bolt right here, and that's gonna relieve this bracket. Just be careful not to put a tug on your brake line or, of course, pull down your caliper and potentially hurt yourself. Awesome. The next thing we wanna do is take a nice rag and just try to cover up this hole. We don't want any debris getting in there. Using an 18-millimeter socket, remove these four mounting bolts. Give this a wiggle. More than likely it's not gonna break free. If that's the case, I would just use one of the bolts, start it in there, just a few threads. The reason for that is because we're gonna be using our hammer and carefully bonking on the backside, trying to drive this away. The bolt is to protect you.

That's great. We'll get the bolt off of here, remove our backing plate there, and then we have what's left. So what you see here is pretty much what's left of the backing plate. Obviously, you don't wanna leave any of this on there. You could probably grab the majority of it just by hand. Obviously, be very careful not to get a cut or anything like that. If it seems as though it's stuck on there for any reason, go ahead and use a nice small hammer. And if for some reason that isn't working, of course, you could try to get behind it with something like that and just try to pry it away. Once you get it away, just take a look at the area. Anywhere that you see that looks like it's shiny, and it goes around the larger round area right there, needs to be cleaned up. Okay, this is right where that backing plate's gonna ride, so it needs to be nice and clean.

Now let's go ahead and grab that bracket and take a look at it. You can see areas that has a lot of buildup and crud that might potentially cause an issue, especially if you look from the backside. This is the area that you need to pay the most attention to. Right in this corner right there, you can see that it kind of comes up a lot from this area right there. So this is gonna be a mating surface, right here, right here, right there. Make sure it's cleaned up and get off any of these large flakes that you can. Now, if you were to look inside this area right here, you might see a whole bunch of crud. I would probably clean that out. I'm just gonna use a little bore brush on mine. I'll take a peek. It looks pretty decent. If you spin it around, you can look inside there. If you can still see crud, go ahead and hit it with some parts cleaner down into that collection bucket.

Moving along, the next thing we need to take a peek at is our bolts. If you see any old existing threadlocker, I would go ahead and make sure I got that off, because we're gonna be using new threadlocker. The next thing we're gonna need to do is take a little bit of grease. You can use caliper grease. You can use wheel bearing grease. You can use pretty much anything that's gonna help keep moisture away. Let's go right in between here, because that's where that emergency brake lever is gonna be. And I also like to go right around this outer edge, because that's where our little boot's gonna be, and I'll show you that right now. We have this little rubber boot. You're just gonna take it, press it right on here like this. At this point, I'll grab my backing plate, just like that. I'll work this at an angle, and then you'll see that the backing plate is gonna be holding that rubber boot directly against that plate.

Now, just take this whole unit. I'm gonna turn it just like this, in this angle, so you can see there's a gap right here for where the caliper is gonna sit. This area right here is lined up to where the emergency brake cable is gonna come down. Now we'll just grab our bolts, and we'll start them in. Now, we're gonna take our 18-millimeter and just snug these up. Let's go ahead and torque down these bolts to 100 foot-pounds. Let's go ahead and get this bracket back on here. Now, the next thing I like to do is get this out of here.

Time to install the axle. If you were to take a peek right down along this area, you're gonna see the area where the bearings/seals are gonna ride. Clean that down completely and inspect it. If you can see any wear or grooves, especially where the seal's supposed to ride, which would be pretty close to right there, you know you have an issue. Just carefully go over along the top of that seal. Be careful not to drag the axle along it very much though, because you could potentially ruin it. Go right in here. At this point, I can feel that it's stopped. Is it all the way in? Well, you can tell that it isn't. The reason why it's stopped is because down at the other end, there's the gears with the little notches that are gonna have to line up with the splines on the axle. At this point, you can just kind of grab this and wiggle it around. If you push down over here, it's gonna lift up on the pumpkin side, and hopefully, you'll be able to align it. Okay. That just slid right in perfectly. Let's move along.

Now, our next step is kind of gonna be a twofer. What we need to do is we need to get this clip back up and around that axle, and then once we do, we need to keep it there and grab the outer portion of the axle and draw it back away, so it holds in this clip. Just slide this right up in there. I'm gonna grab the axle, carefully slide it. Watch for any pinch points. Okay. So, now you wanna take a peek up inside there. You wanna make sure that that horseshoe, or the clip, that is shaped like a horseshoe, is all the way up inside, and you wanna barely be able to see it. If you can see a whole bunch of it, more than likely, it's not completely in. Now let's step away from the pumpkin for a second and get right over to the axle. The reason why I wanna do that is because I want us to grab on to it and give it a nice tug. You need to make sure that this axle is not able to pull out of your differential. If it can at this point, you need to stop, get back over there, and fix that clip.

Next thing we need to do, we need to be super careful for, because we're gonna be taking our finger, putting it back inside this hole right here, and being super careful for any pinch points, because we're gonna need to spin that differential, bring this back around, so we can get the pin up through and, of course, the mounting screw back in. There we go. Okay, so I can see where the pin is gonna have to come through. I can see where the bolt's gonna go through. I have plenty of clearance to be able to swing my wrench. Put your finger in there and just make sure that the hole lines up. If it doesn't, you can go ahead and just try to line it up just simply by spinning it a little bit, and then that should be perfect.

Now, talking about reinstalling the screw, you wanna make sure you pay special attention to the threads. If you see any threadlocker on there, or if it looks as though the pin's damaged in any way, it's probably a great idea to either clean it up or replace it if need be. Now, I used a little bit of blue threadlocker on this. I would definitely not recommend using no threadlocker, and I would also definitely not recommend using red threadlocker. Red threadlocker is gonna be super hard to get this out someday. With that said, we'll set it aside for one second, and although I don't recommend using parts cleaner inside of your differential, because of the clutch gears and everything, I do actually recommend using it only inside of this little hole, where the threads for the screw is gonna be. So I'm just gonna grab my rag. I'm gonna direct it in specifically with my hose, and only use what needs be to clean out any of the gear oil that might be inside there. Make sure you clean that up as well. Great. Inspect it real quick for any imperfections, such as a crack going down it, or any sort of damage that looks apparent. This looks good.

Next, what I'm gonna do is continue on by installing this. I wanna make sure that the hole on the pin is facing down where the hole for the screw is gonna go through. If it doesn't seem like it wants to go through, you just need to align the gears on the inside. Just keep working at it. Should wanna go. Don't go too far, because then you have to, of course, get in there and push it back down. Keep your finger over this, so it can't fall down. Grab that bolt with the threadlocker on it, go ahead and put it right on through there. Now we're gonna snug this up. Just to say, it's always a great idea to go ahead and replace this pinion shaft locking bolt. Either way, whether you're replacing it or not, for torquing it, the 8.6-inch axle, or rear differential, you wanna torque that bolt to 27 foot-pounds. For the larger rear differential, or axle, the 9.5-inch, you're gonna wanna torque that to 37 foot-pounds.

So now it's time to take a look at our differential pan cover. This looks great. We cleaned it up. I did both sides. I made sure that there's nothing on the magnet, or at least as little as possible, especially in terms of large chunks of metal. This looks good. Let's take some gasket maker, or unless you, of course, bought a specific gasket that goes to this. If you have a specific gasket that's made of cork or paper or anything like that, do not use any gasket maker with it. Assuming you're not using one of those specific gaskets, go with this RTV. I'm just gonna go right along, go around the hole. This is gonna make a nice watertight seal. Make sure you don't have any debris or anything like that on any of these gears, and then just take a nice clean rag with maybe some solvent on it, and just clean up any of this gear oil that might be on here, because this is gonna affect the gasket. We've got our plate, or rear diff cover. We've got a lot of silicone on there, that looks great, or RTV. We're just gonna put it so the bump, or the bump-out area, is facing towards where the pinion gear is. Go ahead and line it up up there. We'll take our bolts. You do not need to use any threadlocker on these. Start them all in.

Now it's gonna be time to snug all these up. Do it in a crisscross manner. Now we're gonna go ahead and torque these down to 30 foot-pounds. Let's go ahead and grab this cable, get right into that bracket. Make sure that it's secured. It cannot flap around. If you used RTV, you're gonna need to let it set and even dry, because if you use gear oil inside of it right now, it's gonna potentially mess up the effect of the sealing agent of this RTV, and you might end up having leaks. If, of course, you did use an original gasket or paper gasket or cork or whatever you might have used, and it was not a chemical such as RTV, you can, of course, go ahead and fill it now. Now we're just gonna clean up this area right here. This is the pivot for the emergency brake. Get off any crud or debris that might be on there. Just use a little bit of this caliper grease. Go right along the area right there on that shaft. That's great. And this is just to act as a lubricant so we can push it through that boot. Be careful not to tear your boot in any way. In the hole there, slides right in. Perfect.

The next thing we're gonna need to do is secure our emergency brake cable inside of the bracket. This part's gonna be a little bit hard, and I definitely don't want you to get hurt. So be careful when you do this. We're gonna grab the cable with one hand, and we're gonna be pulling rearward. We're gonna grab our tool, and we're gonna pull the spring forward, separate the two, bring just the cable through the slot in the bracket, and then secure your cable. Right inside this area is where the adjustment's supposed to be for the emergency brake shoe. If you take it apart and you happen to notice that this part right here is frozen, the part that has a little cog... This part right here should spin in there. If it does not, you need to completely separate these, clean them up, relubricate them, and then, of course, put them back together. This piece right here has, like, a little bobble. Believe it or not, that's not one piece. It actually does come apart, so you wanna be careful not to lose this. It's a great idea to clean all this up as well. That's just about good right there. This flows smoothly. It's looking great. You wanna make sure that this area right here is nice and clean, free of debris or anything that might obstruct it from being able to spin, because that's gonna go inside this hole right here.

How can I tell that this goes inside of this hole, and not in the bottom hole? Because of this little clip right here. That clip is gonna line up with the notches on this, and it's gonna prevent it from spinning on its own. We're not gonna put that in yet though. What we're gonna do, grab some more of that caliper grease, and we're gonna put it right inside the hole on the other piece. All right. This is gonna be the other end. Just try to fill it right in there if you want. Get some more. More the merrier. Put it right in. Now I'm gonna grab my nice clean pin. I inspected it. It's in good condition. I'll just put it right in there. Now we need to put a nice coating of that grease all along the areas where it's gonna rub up along the unit right there. Now that those are nice and coated, let's continue on with the grease a little bit more, and we're gonna go directly to where the adjuster is gonna be. You can go ahead and put in as much grease as you want. If you put in too much, it's not really that big of a deal, but what you will notice is it will kind of come out, and if that was to happen, you would just kind of clean it up so you don't get any mess on your emergency brake shoe. Now we're gonna take our pieces. Should slide right in there. Make sure it spins like it should. Do the same to the other side.

Now, before we go any further with doing the backing plate, you wanna make sure that you look at this tab right here. You can see how that it's standing up. It's standing up quite a bit, too. If you did not peen this over, it's gonna more than likely hit against your rotor, and you're gonna have a loud scraping noise. You'll have to take your rotor back off, see where it's scraping. You look along the usual areas, and you'll probably never find the reason. Put it back on, scrape, scrape, scrape, start losing your mind. The reason why is because of these tabs. The tabs need to be bent down. You can usually do it by hand, or with a punch and a hammer. Peen it down like that. Do the same to the other side.

You're gonna need a little bit more of that caliper grease or whatever type of grease you're using, and you're gonna put it on the contact points of this bracket, where the emergency brake shoe is gonna ride. The reason for that is, of course, for vibration dampening and noise reduction. So, we'll come right down here, because we know it's gonna ride right along the outside there. Right here. This is a spot, right there. If you were to come up here, you're gonna have this whole area. It hits up against there. And then if you come along the other side, you can clearly see exactly where the emergency brake shoe was riding before. There we go.

Now it's time to get the emergency brake shoe back up on here. To do this, you're gonna have to do a little bit of contortioning and just a little bit of wiggling. And I'm sure, over a period of time, you should be able to figure out how to get it right over there. There we are. Nice light bonk. No big deal. We'll go ahead and line these tabs up with where it's supposed to sit on the adjuster there. Should slide over. If it doesn't, you can just kind of go past, line up the adjuster ends, so they're straight up and down, so they'll line up with the way that the shoe needs to go on. Once you've gone past, like I said, right here, you should be able to just kind of stretch it and draw it straight up on there. That looks great.

Now it's gonna be time to get the mounting bracket on there, and it's a kind of funny-looking thing. But if you were to look at it, you would see that it has an indented area right here. That's gonna ride right on this bracket right there. You want it to be kind of facing in this general direction, so that the black part is gonna be riding up against the inner portion, or the inner ridge of this shoe. Put it up on there, line up your screw hole, and then put in your screw. All right. So that's pretty much bottomed out right there. At that point, you definitely don't wanna go too much further, because it is just a very small bolt. But something that I would like to mention is you also don't wanna go tight enough. With that said, once it's bottomed out, just give it a teeny bit more. Make sure it doesn't feel as though it's super loose to you. Give this a nice little wiggle. Make sure you don't see any movement between this and the bracket itself. I think that that looks great.

The next thing that we need to do is clean up the mating surface where the rotor's gonna match up against the axle. If it's all bumped up like this or rough in any way, just go ahead and sand it down with something. Now that the majority of the area's nice and clean and sanded down, we need to continue on by getting in between the lug studs and the rest of the hub area here, right in there. If you notice there's large build-up, you can use something like this, maybe a scraper or even a flathead screwdriver. Just kind of get the majority of it up. Then you can take a nice brush. Just work at the rest. Now we're gonna spray down the mating areas with some copper Never-Seez. Before you go ahead and put your rotor back on there, look at the backside. This is the area that's gonna meet up against the axle. You need to make sure that's nice and clean as well.

Now that we've cleaned up the backside of the rotor, we're just gonna place it over the axle like this, push it all the way in, and it should go over the emergency brake shoes. If it doesn't go over the emergency brake shoes, de-adjust your adjuster. If it does go over, but you feel as though there's no drag at all, you're probably gonna wanna adjust it up a little bit. What you're actually gonna wanna do right now is get it so it's semi-close, so you can hear the shoes just barely dragging in there. Okay, that's the sound of the shoes hitting up against the inside drum portion of this rotor. If it's too tight, and you try to turn it, and it just doesn't wanna turn, then you know that it's over-adjusted. If your brakes are over-adjusted, they're gonna overheat, and you're gonna have major braking issues.

Now it's gonna be time to get the caliper back on the vehicle. Before you go ahead and do that, you need to make sure that you clean all the existing threadlocker off of these bolts, and I always like to replace it with some new threadlocker of my own. ...the caliper around here. Make sure that your pads are situated inside the brackets as they need to be. They might keep wanting to fall out if they're like mine. Go ahead and grab those caliper mounting bolts. Start them both in. Now we'll snug them up, and we'll torque them to 148 foot-pounds. We got our torque wrench. The next thing I always like to do at this point is to make sure I pump up the brake.

Now it's gonna be time to fill your rear differential. You need to make sure you go with the manufacturer's specified fluid. For this particular application, the manufacturer recommends full synthetic 75-90, with limited-slip additive. If you look right here, you're gonna see 75W-90, right? If you saw something that went along, the next couple letters would say LS, that would stand for limited slip. This one doesn't have an LS. So you need to go out and get yourself an additive that says limited slip supplement, or additive. Once you put in your additive completely, you're gonna continue topping it off until it comes up just below this fill plug right here. So, you can go ahead and put your finger in, take a peek, and if it seems like your finger's getting really wet, then more than likely you're at the level you need to be.

Okay. So, at this point, I've just put in my limited slip additive, and I've put in one full bottle and a little bit under another full bottle. It just barely started trickling out the top, so I stopped there. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna wait for this to continue trickling out as much as possible. Optimally, at the level that you want your fluid to be at when your differential is sitting on a nice level surface such as the ground would be just about 1/8 of an inch below that fill hole. Doing that on the lift is a little bit different, of course, because the suspension is hanging, and if you're doing it on jacks or jack stands in the yard, depending on if you have the jack stands under the differential tube, that could work. But if you have it underneath the frame to try to lift the vehicle, it's gonna be kind of slanted like ours is here. With that said, if you can get your level approximately 1/8 of an inch down below this fill hole, that's exactly where you want it.

Next, it's gonna be time to put our rear differential plug back in there. Just take a quick look at it, make sure it's in good condition. If you look at the threads and it looks like they're rotted, or maybe they're not gonna make a good connection on the differential, you probably wanna replace it. If you have any type of sealant around here, you probably wanna get it off of there. If it looks as though the inside of this area is getting stripped out, and it's not in very good condition, and you don't think that you'll be able to either tighten it up, or even remove it further on down the line, it's probably a great idea to just go ahead and replace that plug. This one looks decent, so I'm just gonna wipe it down and put it in there. Now we'll just snug it up until it bottoms out. That's it right there. Clean up your mess.

Now it's gonna be time to get the wheel up on here. Let's start on those lug nuts, and then we'll bottom them out, and we'll torque them to 140 foot-pounds. Let's torque them. Double-check them if you want, and if you have a center cover, put that on as well. Let's make sure we double-check that brake fluid, give it a wiggle. It looks as though this is low. There's the maximum line. Open this up. We're gonna add some DOT 3 brake fluid. Bring it right up to that maximum line. Make sure you close it back up. Down the road you go.

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How to Diagnose a Bad Water Pump

How to Diagnose a Bad Water Pump

Watch this video to learn how to diagnose coolant leaks or cooling problems. The experts at 1A Auto show you how to check your water pump.

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