2004 Silverado 1500 crew build


aka Glitch
thanks for the insight Shaun.
What does it sound like when the bearings go in the front drive? since it is warming up and drying out here in MN this thing sounds like death warmed over, with a distinct left-turning increase.
I have new bearings and upper control arms on the way but it makes some really weird noises if you have the wheel turned just so while driving that make me think this is not a wheel bearing and tire noise alone.

still no tire choice made yet, but definitely need something! Perhaps Uncle Sam will fund a new tire purchase this spring....
Gm has always been known for unit bearings (front hub/bearing assembly) issues. If it changes tone depending on which way you turn the wheel by driving it is one of the front unit bearings. The front diff pinion bearing will be a constant roar below your feet. Hope this helps.


Yeah, I've been battling tire noise and bearing noise this whole time I figured out tonight.
I have some photos of my tires and the old shocks that I will have to upload later when my iphone agrees to cough them up.:smilies27

So the Monroe shocks are installed...though I didn't have torques for anything so I will have to come back to that. :D The old ones did the "compress and hold" dance when got them out. amazed they lasted 150000 miles.
I already had wheel bearings and upper control arms on order, which is good because it turns out the driver's side bearing sounds like death warmed over, even without a tire on it! So that should be here this weekend, will see if I get to it.

The tires are also something else. I have known they are in need of replacement but I actually got a straight-edge out to measure how bad the feathering and cupping was and they really are trash. I am hoping the new wheel bearing and all these other parts will mean I can invest in a nice set of tires without having them get eaten in 5k miles.

anyhoo...will try to get some photos up asap.


Gm has always been known for unit bearings (front hub/bearing assembly) issues. If it changes tone depending on which way you turn the wheel by driving it is one of the front unit bearings. The front diff pinion bearing will be a constant roar below your feet. Hope this helps.
I did the ole swerve down the highway thing a few times and, to me, the noise always pointed at the passenger front...turns out it was the tire. once that was swapped to the back THEN the drivers front came alive.
freakin too many noises!!


aka Glitch
Noises are tricky sometimes. Glad you figured it out. Another trick to finding a bad bearing on a drive axle is to lift the drive axle off the ground and put it in drive (in this case whole truck off the ground and put it in 4wd) and while the wheels are rotating grab onto the spring (torsion bar on your truck) whichever bearing is bad you will feel it amplified through the spring. Makes it very easy to find which one is doing it. My normal practice on vehicles with coil springs or struts, but will work on the trucks too.


Two steps forward one step back.

Well, much has happened since I last posted! some good, plenty bad. :rolleyes:

at about 151400 miles, a couple of weekends ago I did the following:
all four shocks replaced
both front unit bearings replaced
both front upper control arms replaced

I did a neat little test before I did the wheel bearings. I downloaded a db meter app onto my iphone, results:
before bearing change: 85-90 db with occasional higher peaks
after bearing change: 75-80 db :yikes:

a week later I bought a set of 285/70r17 Falken rocky mountains used off craigslist for $200.
I mounted them, and proceeded to put 11oz of weight in one wheel.
whoops, there is $200 wasted.

I also did a little sampling while mounting these tires, summarized below:

tires on truck: bridgestone duelers 265/70r17, badly feathered shoulders.
new tires: Falken Rocky Mountain ATS 285/70r17, used but even tread.

Tire weight
Dueler - 40.3 lb
Falken - 58.7 lb

Balanced assembly weight
Dueler - 61.9
Falken - 83.0

so 85 or so pounds of extra weight just from a tire change.

Even with the bad weight situation, they were still quieter than the duelers, and as Load Range D tires they just kinda rolled over everything. The slightly larger size was noticeable and did rub on my mud flaps, not that I really cared.
If anybody wants more details about these tires, I can share, just ask.

So I decided the tires were not going to work considering the weight and balance issues. The girlfriend called around to find out what our options were, and Fleet farm is running a Cooper promo so we made an appointment.

Monday the truck got brand new meats (Discoverer AT3) and an alignment. No word from the service guy about anything, of course they give me the keys at about 5:58. Guess when they close?:ylsmoke:

Driving home I notice a bad shaking all through the truck, and the steering wheel is crooked. The tires sound like "wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa"-What the frack!?
*sigh* neither of these symptoms were present even with the heavy Falkens!
Bring the truck back today, they look at it for a good hour and some. Guess when I got the keys back?
verdict: both front tires were out of balance, rears were fine. Alignment was tweaked.

Driving home: shake is reduced but still appearant, wheel is still crooked, now truck pulls right very noticeably.

So where am I going with all this back story you might ask? Let me tell you: I am through paying somebody else to do nothing. I am damn good at that myself.
I wish this was an April fools prank....sadly it is real. :(

I have an ace-in-the-hole though. At work I have a $20k Hunter wheel balancer. It is the most amazing piece of machinery this side of the space station to me. I plan on using it. Soon. :Mechanic:

I will report back as soon as the manager of the fleet farm calls me back to tell me nothing and I tear my tires apart again.



My 2004 came with Bridgestone Dueler AT's and they looked pretty well worn at 30k and seemed to have no traction. I replaced them with BFG's and I now have 120K on the odometer and they still look fine and I've never had any alignment done. The Duelers I think just sucked.
I went to 285/75 with mine. I believe the previous owner cranked the front as the lights are a little high and it doesn't have the rake like a stock truck. Since I keep adding to my camper I'm thinking of adding the Rancho add a leaf in the rear.


Thus far...

so I sold the Falkens without loosing my shirt. Fun experiment and good to know how the truck looks/feels/handles with the 285/70r17s. Maybe once these coopers wear out? Not that I am likely to have the truck at that point.

So try three at the Fleet farm auto center went as one might expect it- no change. They did discover that my rear wheel seals are leaking and said I need to have my rear wheel bearings replaced as the tire noise from the old tires was probably masking it. While they are not wrong I don't feel that it is a good excuse for the poor ride quality from these tires. *sigh*

Took the truck to my local sears auto center, who I have had good luck with so far, and hopefully when I get it back this afternoon it will at least have a straight steering wheel!

It did snow about 6-8" Thursday night here in the Twin Cities, and in the morning the truck handled great in the snow. Definitely better than with the duelers! I am guessing the Falken Rocky Mountains would not have handled the snow very well but it didn't snow at all for that week.:coffeedrink:

Part of the reason I bought the tires at Fleet farm was the rebates they were running at the time. I got a $50 store credit just for buying the tires. Needless to say i had it spent before I left the store the first time. Mostly it was vehicle maintenance parts and cleaners, but I also bought some stake-pocket tie downs:

Like so. I think these will play the base for my light bar/antenna mount. My plan is to use the anchors and run the bolt through a foot plate that I can then weld to. Removable is not necessary but I would like the assembly to be removable just in case. More pictures as I develop my idea!:bike_rider:

Right now it has broke 40F so it is time to go into the garage and make a mess on the cars till the truck is done being aligned again.


clunkidy clunk

more maintenance. :( I wish I had some modifications to talk about but sadly I am still trying to get a usable truck!

So today's adventure in truck maintenance is U-joints and driveshafts. The truck, since we bought it last year, has had a very audible clunk when accelerating from a stop or switching between forward and reverse.

Browsing the internet and discussions with coworkers pointed me towards the slip joint yoke on the front of the rear driveshaft, where it joins with the transfer case. I decided to use the lovely (read- above 40F) weather today to work on this issue. The cheapskates on the internet suggest pulling the slip yoke out and applying grease to the spline section to reduce the clunk. The correct fix is to replace the slip yoke itself with an updated part. This actual fix does not seem to be commonly known, but at $185ish I can see why a lot of Silverado owners turn a blind eye to that particular fix. I decided I would try the grease first and see if it helps and for how long. Readers will note that I recently spent a larger sum of money on tires so I was not real excited to spend another $200 on a yoke.

So step one; remove driveshaft. Haha, not happening. The bolts loosened up and came out, and the straps even fell loose after a couple whacks. The U-joint caps were not having it though! pounding and prying got me nowhere so I went for the heat. liberal application of burning MAP gas got enough expansion for me to finally pry the assembly loose but not until after torching both seals and some grease.

SHOOT! Dang-Nab-It. Now I need a u-joint to replace the one I destroyed. "Not a problem" i tell myself. "Oreilly Auto is a couple blocks away and will have one."
No surprise the listings in the computer system are still wrong, and the book has way too many options for this truck. Luckily I did happen to glance at the computer screen at the store and notice a rather large note next to to similarly numbered parts. Investigation commenced.

Results: Precision has a 355 and 355C u-joint. 355 is for a steel driveshaft, 355C (likely the C is for composite?) is for aluminum driveshafts. Strangely I do not recall ever seeing a newer bod style GM truck with anything but an AL driveshaft? And the store does not stock the 355C. And it costs twice as much! For clarification- the alternate caps are made from a material that will not fuse with the AL like steel would. That is why there is the alternate. Dimensionally they are the same
Eventually I ended up driving to the actual distribution center and getting it from them. So my $0 driveshaft lube job has now turned into a $50 u-joint. :sigh:

So eventually I did get the old joint apart form the AL yoke (note- GM factory joints are epoxied in and REQUIRE heat to remove the cups). I did apply some grease to the splines and got everything buttoned back together.

BUT... more troubles were discovered while re-assembling:

The gears in the rear axle have a ridiculous amount of lash. Both wheel bearings have play.
So....likely the whole axle needs some loving. And it is probably where the clunking is coming from, NOT the slipe yoke.

Conclusion: It is no surprise there are few GM fullsize trucks being used for expedition duty on here! LOL:ylsmoke:
More money and more problems solved hopefully!


A few pictures...

So, things are changed up a little bit. I am enjoying a Saturday at home so I thought I would sort through some photos to share.
Photo of the 285s next to the factory 265s. Not a huge difference but definitely noticeable. Speedometer was off from GPS by about 3% which agrees with the math.
Just a beauty shot of the new cooper Disco AT3. Besides the PITA of purchasing them and mounting them and aligning them, they have performed well thus far.
And here is a brand new Cooper Discoverer AT3 on a road force balancer. Weight-wise they are great, but the Road Force measurement is pretty bad. 38lbs is noticeable.

Greased the slip-yoke on the output of the transfer case, and replaced the ujoint at the rear diff. Clunking is mostly gone. pretty happy with that!:wings:

Got commuter problems for now, so it might be a while before I get back to modding the truck.


I compared my speed with a GPS after the swap to285 and it was exactly matching which means it must have been off before.
The steering shaft has a similar clunking problem and many people replace it with an updated part. I just drilled and tapped for a grease fitting and grease it when I do the rest at each oil change.


Ah yes, another few months pass with no real progress on the truck. *sigh*
I did, however, sell a Porsche and buy a BMW motorcycle. And the girlfriend insisted on bringing her boat back to the house, so I have been anything but idle since the last updates.

We did also take a first mini-adventure with the truck. Door County, WI over father's day weekend. Tent camping with the bicycles in the back. I have a few pictures and will have to do a little write-up. I am struggling with google earth/google maps right now. will see how far I get.


New member
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Just bought an 05 Silverado Crew Cab Z71. In less than two months, new front end with alignment, and two Jasper transmissions. First Jasper didn't work out so well but the warranty is great! Still need a new steering gear box. Tires were fairly new but the front ones are feathered from the bad front end. Switched them to the back, but it is still pulling right. I keep telling myself it's going to be a great truck! :Wow1:


They are great trucks once you get the maintenance sorts out.

I have 04 , 5.3 Sierra Crew Z71. I bought her 7 years ago with 50k on the clock. Turned 185k returning from Montanna a couple if weeks ago.

I replaced a water pump, knock sensors, Ujoint and some relay which controlled the wife side's AC system.

I didn't the time up at 100k. I flush the transmissions and differential every 50k along with replacing the Bilstein shocks.

And yes, we use it as a truck. It just retuned from a 4600 mile trip with over 500 of that off road and 4000 of it towing. It goes a work trailer that weighs in at 9000lbs about once a month. In the summer not much, but in the winter it is in 4WD a couple of times a month.

My only current issue is that the last two oil changes show that is burning about 1/4 of a quart every 5000 miles.

Stay strong!


New member
Yeah. I bought my 05 with 115,000. I suspected the front end needed work. My mechanic told me it is a notorious weak point on these trucks. I will be upgrading in the future with beefed up aftermarket tie rods, pittman arm, etc.

The transmission suprised everyone but the rebuilt one has all the updates and upgrades along with a 3 year, 100,000 mile warranty.

I am sticking with the truck and will continue to baseline it. Already had the cooling system flushed and filled with fresh "Deathcool".

With a topper and a few mods this truck should fit my needs perfectly as I am more of an overlander and most of my camping is in the desert.

Didn't mean to hijack your thread Gabe!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Tapatalk 2


she's naked!!

Well I never did get google maps figured out for the door county trip. Will have to at least post a couple pics I suppose.

As of late I have been busy with another new toy: I invested in a BMW r1100s motorcycle. So far I have spent $3500 and only rode it to work once. *grumble grumble*
So yesterday while waiting for the mailman to show up with motorcycle parts, which never did show, I tried working on the BMW car. More impossibly siezed junk. So I looked to the truck for something to do!
So I finnaly finished removing the "I'm an old fogy" running boards! Yay.

The truck definitely looks more the part now. Unfortunately I can also see how badly it needs to at least get the torsion bars cranked up!
I also looked at my little LED light bars but didn't make any progress on getting them mounted.

I also went down to the Car Craft Summer Nationals and watched hot rods drive around while enjoying some excellent local deli snacks.
Summer weekend nearly complete!

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