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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Hi fellow Firehawk owners- I am the original owner of a 2000 Firehawk (Formula T-Top), in past 9 months I have had a GM dealership and now a 2nd mechanic that did my annual inspection this weekend tell me that my rear differential is on its last legs and will need to be replaced soon. So- need to find two things: recommendations for replacement parts, and a reliable shop to do the work in Northeast PA (Scranton area, specifically Tunkhannock but I don't mind taking it further to find a good shop that is familiar with F-body rear end work).

I'm not a gearhead type & don't know much about rear ends/differentials other than some web research and what mechanics have tried to explain, looking for a trustworthy shop that can get it fixed without raping me on price. My vehicle has 6 speed manual transmission with traction control, it does not have the Auburn option, has 40K original miles and is otherwise mechanically solid/good condition. Engine is the stock 327HP 5.7L V8 with SLP Firehawk ram air package; no racing/track usage, just street driving, less than 1K miles/year the past few years. I'd rather not gamble with junkyard pulls, but I don't want to spend a fortune, would like to go with remanufactured/new parts, but they don't need to be super-high end racing grade given my usage. Suggestions?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:58 pm
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Location: New York
Any shop should be able to a diff pretty easily, they aren't all that bad. As long as they have the gauges to set the gear backlash it isn't all that critical. If you are going to keep the stock 10 bolt i would do a few upgrades to help longevity along a bit. Start with a good diff, an Auburn was an OEM option (if you don't have) and Yukon gear also makes a VERY nice (but pricey) unit. If you're axles are in bad shape moser makes nice hardened steel units, but if they aren't there is no reason to not re-use the stock ones at stock HP. While it is out I would have the axle tubes welded to the center section and upgrade to axle saver axle bearings. You can also add one of the Aluminum diff covers with the differential carrier bearing girdles on it for added strength if you choose. That's really about it. Just make sure ALL the bearings and seals get changed while it is apart and you should be good to go for many more miles

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-Nick
2001 Formula Firehawk #293


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:16 pm
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Thanks for the reply. I poked around on the Auburn Gear website, but like all the differential parts related websites I've seen, it assumes a level of mechanical knowledge that I simply don't have, which is why I really want a recommendation for a local shop that has some experience with F-body cars to help me select solid but not overkill parts. The Yukon website was even more gear head-oriented.

So- still looking for someone to recommend a Northeast PA shop with experience doing this.

Regarding the parts: the Auburn website listed 4 separate SKUs for 2000 Camaro/Firebird differentials, two were for 3.08 & down gear ratios and two were for 3.23 and up (which is what I would need as the stock ratio is 3.42 for my configuration), I couldn't tell any other differences between the two part#s for the 3.23 and up ratios - SKUs are 542046 and 542040, both with list price around $500. I'm not sure what other parts (if any) would be required for the bare minimum replacement.

My existing stock axles are fine, was hoping to get this all done for under $2K parts & labor (lower the better). If I can get the basic differential replacement parts/labor for less, I'll ask about axle tube welding, axle saver bearings, aluminum cover upgrades & see if I can fit that into the budget.

Can anyone provide a specific recommended part # or link to a website for alternatives to the Auburn for less than $500?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:58 pm
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Location: New York
The two Auburns are different strengths, both are an upgrade over the Eaton, the more expensive one is the stronger one.

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2001 Formula Firehawk #293


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:16 pm
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Thanks, still hoping to get a northeast PA shop recommendation from someone to get this work done.

Related- can someone confirm it isn't possible to rebuild the stock differential, which is listed as a "sealed unit"?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:58 pm
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Location: New York
If it's an Eaton you can replace some of the stuff, but if you are paying a shop to do it at $100+/hr, it will be a lot cheaper to just get a new one.

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2001 Formula Firehawk #293


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