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To everyone,
I've a 1993 GMC K2500 6.5 4x4, 95K miles. Being in WV it does show rust underneath, but not a heavy amount. About 6 months ago going 30 mph the truck came to a terrible stop. Felt like a big truck hit me in the rear.
Looking the rear drive shaft came out of the transfer case with its front on the ground, still attached to the rear axle. Having it towed I saw that each rear axle U-bolt rusted to the point of failure, (1/4"), with one breaking. This also broke the leaf spring. Repaired with no mechanical damage.
Please, for your safety each time you do work near the rear axle check these bolts, especially if the axle saddles are mounted under the axle. If any question, replace these. Be alert to this dangerous problem.
If going faster, or hit a pothole, I would've been killed.
John
 

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Yes those axle saddles are really a great tribute to GMs crappy bone headed engineering. I clean mine out once a year and blast then with PB and oil. They get filled up with mud, dirt, and road salt and need to be cleaned out.
 
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