I've heard the ratio and brakes are the two things that need to align when replacing a rear differential. My Silverado has 3.73 gears and disk brakes. Are there any other considerations?

I've got a dif lined up to buy, but I want to ensure it'll fit properly before I make the purchase.

The "new" rear dif would come from a 2004 Escalade with hydraulic brakes where as my 2000 Silverado has vacuum. Both with with disc brakes.

I don't know much about brakes, so my terminology might be wrong there. I'd be happy to provide rpo codes if it helps answer the question.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! May 15, 2021 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


The Escalade rear diff won't directly work in your Silverado, because the suspension is different. The one in your Silverado uses leaf springs while the Escalade uses coil springs. The Hydroboost system for the brakes does not make a difference. That's because the power source is the only thing which changes, not the brakes themselves. You could easily change from one to the other by changing out the vacuum canister with the Hydroboost, or vice-versa. I've considered doing the work on my old Silverado, because I like how the Hydroboost works.

If you wanted to, you could use the rear end off of the Escalade, however, you'd have to do a LOT of conversion to make it work (ie: perches and connections). I feel you are looking for a direct fit, which you'd not get with the Escalade rear.

As long as you get a rear end from a Silverado or GMC Sierra with the right gears and disk brakes, you'll be in good shape. They should be plentiful as I see them for sale all the time on CraigsList and other places. I believe the years which would work range from 2000-2007 (these should work for sure, though there might be more years which would work, also).

  • Thanks for the answer, this is super helpful. I have a follow up clarifying question about the brakes - the only other thing that matters is that the new rear dif has disc brakes vs any other type, right (if I find a Chevy or Sierra dif)? If that's true, why is it true? Don't the rotors/axles handle braking?
    – Kyle
    May 15, 2021 at 19:24
  • I'm not sure I'm following your thinking? You can utilize either type of brakes, but just like the mounting stuff, getting brakes of the original type (disk for disk) is the easiest way to go. You could quite possibly convert from drum (on new to you rear) to the disk brakes which are on your current rearend. How they are powered makes absolutely no difference. May 15, 2021 at 19:46

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