1999 silverado rear axle trouble

Hi to all, I was watching my buddy back his truck (4x4) into the driveway and his RH rear wheel looked as if it was wobbling. Sure enough, we pulled it side to side, there is alot of lateral slop,
complete with a clunking noise seemingly from the differential. We checked the lugnuts, all are tight. We drove to another friend's place and tried it on his 2000 silverado 4x4, no slop. From there he took it to the auto shop where he gets his work done, the mechanic tugged around, checked the lugnuts and proclaimed it normal. "All Chevy trucks do this" We mentioned our 2000 model test. "Well that is a newer truck with less miles, it will do it too eventually" Yeah... Ok... we left.
Is this a common trouble for these trucks? Where can I find info to see how to go about repairing it?
Thanks, Phil
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how much did it move in and out. some is normal... I have seen some move over 1/8 of an inch.... this has to do with the way they are held in the carrier..... bobo

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I'd bet at least 1/8th of an inch. It just feels wrong, especially after comparing to the other identical but newer truck. My friend also mentions a "shake" or "shimmy" at 60+mph.
Thanks for the replies. Phil
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"philb" wrote

I would agree with that mechanic.
Ian (of course it depends on what actual play you have, but I suspect it sounds worse then it really is.)
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