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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently the parking brake on my passenger side fell apart and did a lot of damage inside the parking drum. My mechanic says that my best bet is to find a new rear axle. I've been looking around and there are a several options but I don't know how specific I need to get regarding options, year models and such.

I am able to drive the truck now but the traction control and VDC lights come and go while driving. My mechanic said he was surprised that they weren't on constantly after seeing the damage inside.

There is one somewhat close to me that the owner says runs nice but the trans is slipping. Its a 2005 and not an SE but has the same cab and bed (I also need a tailgate). My truck still passed inspection and is completely usable so I have some time to search. Just looking for some shopping advice from those with more info.

Mine is a truck that "looks good from far but far from good" and I would even consider a nice truck with a bad engine or trans. The one I mentioned is not really nice but has straight body panels.
 

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If the issue is just the damage on the one side, for about $200, you can buy an axle with the bearing already pressed on and install it with hand tools. Don't spend big bucks on a whole rearend assembly unless yours has other issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My mechanic asked if I wanted to see it while it was apart but I couldn't get there. The way he described it, the parking shoes became un-anchored and were spinning inside the drum and tore up some stuff on the axle housing.

It happened at the same time as my exhaust pipe rusting nearly off and it was drivable the whole time. The result is that I drove it for a handful of miles with that corner in bad shape. I wish I had asked them to take some pics.

I will look if an exploded drawing and see if I can guess at what is damaged. I've been driving since long before traction control and never had much trouble outside of snow/ice. So I am not too concerned except that I hate seeing lights on the dash.
 

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I seriously doubt it tore up the housing. It would have had to destroy the tone ring entirely and taken out the retention plate. My guess is, it tore up the tone ring and scarred the retention plate. The tone ring is pressed onto the axle, but is replaceable - most easily via a new axle kit with bearings and everything, for the price I stated above, which includes a new retainer plate.

I question your mechanic's competence if he's ready to replace the entire housing over this. Happens a lot. Never heard of a case where the axle housing was ruined.
 

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I agree with others here...I have a hard time believing this requires a whole new axle.
 

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Agree with others. One more thing to note, as long as your wheel speed sensors are working, you should not have VDC lights on. I understand you may have damaged things including the sensors, but you do not need functional ebrakes for the VDC system to operate without errors. Don’t ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He told me the sensor bracket was bent and he was able to bend it back and had the dash lights off. They are often off now but it 50/50 on/off. So maybe the sensor is damaged or just not bent back to the correct position. I may pull things apart and see how close it is to the sensor wheel.

I used to do all my own car work until tech started infecting vehicles too much. I guess I may have to get back into that.

thanks for the replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yesterday I opened the rear drum to have a look. When the mechanic described what he did, I imaginged a metal bracket that he bent back into place. But it seems that the sensor itself is/was broken and bent. It totally stopped working after starting out as hit/miss. I think the sensor was contacting the speed wheel with every bump. So I plan to replace the sensor but please have a look at the attached pic and let me know your opinions on the condition of the speed wheel. To me, it looks like it should still trigger the sensor.

What doesn't really show in the pic is that the sensor's plastic housing is cracked and the internal electronics are holding it together. It really had no chance of working for very long, but it did work when I picked up the truck.

The sensor is cheap enough to give it a try even if the odds are not in my favor.

I am not concerned about the lack of parking brake on this wheel. The only time this parking brake is activated is during inspections anyway. Just out of curiosity, do most people use their parking brakes on automatic cars?

Finally, should this sensor failure cause the truck to not go into 4wd? The truck is always slow to shift into 4wd but now it just continues to try.
 

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As long as you're not missing any of the teeth (broken ornchipped off) you should be fine. Suspect the sensor replacement will resolve it. As you can see, the axle housing does not have any damage to it, and replacing the whole housing is a big, unnecessay expense.
 
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