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#533297 - 13/05/07 01:15 PM Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
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Went to do work on the Forest Service Trail Designation process today and blew the rear diff climbing a moderate hill, with some wheel spin and no hopping. I have 33" tires.

The diff makes clacking sounds which got progressively worse, especially when turning. On the hill climb the left rear tire quit spinning. Later it worked again with the locker on, but quit again and the noise became horrible closer to home. It probably needs towed Monday.

The verdict is now in, both front and rear diffs on the Gen II Xterra are some of the worst ever to be placed under a 4x4. Now what? Quit wheeling until after market upgrades come out? Clean up the scratches and trade in on a J/K? SAS the front and upgrade the rear?....

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#533298 - 13/05/07 05:11 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Deffinately seen more Front Diff problems than rear diffs, I think the rear Diffs in the 2nd Gen are pretty strong, sounds like a case of bad luck there rather than a common complaint.

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#533299 - 13/05/07 05:19 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Paco Pico Offline
Member

Registered: 16/01/02
Posts: 672
Loc: Gig Harbor, WA
Quote:
Originally posted by Lloyd Swartz:
Clean up the scratches and trade in on a J/K?
I think a better choice would be a Hyundai Tucson, much better wheeler than an Xterra or a Jeep IMHO.

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#533300 - 13/05/07 06:00 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by RiNkY:
Deffinately seen more Front Diff problems than rear diffs, I think the rear Diffs in the 2nd Gen are pretty strong, sounds like a case of bad luck there rather than a common complaint.
I hear you. I have been freaking out and just waiting for front diff explosions lately, and frankly mine will explode soon I am sure. BUT, I heard of 1 rear failure then recently read one of Xterra Racers posts that mentioned an upgrade for a common failure on the rear diff. I need to find that. That got me on the alert.

Paco, I knew to put the flame suit on. But I dont want to hear "well, they cant engineer for everybody" or "your one inch oversized tires are too much" The facts so far as they stand:

1. Nissan added 70+HP, tons of torque and a lower geared t/case, then installed a SMALLER front AND rear diff eek

2. While you cannot engineer for everything, 4x4 makers know 33" stock tires and atleast 35" aftermarket tires are standard and need to be engineered for.

3. Exploding diffs are nearly unheard of, and I have never heard of cross pins failing!

4. Nissan had less then satisfactory front strength on older Xterras and had a chance to turn that around.

5. This was only my SIXTH wheeling trip!

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#533301 - 14/05/07 07:18 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


From what I hear, the ring gear in the M226 /w Locker is amazingly thin to allow room for the locker. This seems to be what's failing in the rears. Though, yours sounds more like you first blew the spider gears.

There was a guy on the Club Frontier board who has a 2wd Nismo and blew the rear (the NISMO frontier has the same rear as the OR X). Nissan would not cover it under warranty because he had blocks on the rear axle. From what I remember he took it to multiple dealers and got the same answer. He then went up the ladder and got no help there.

My rear has been fine and I have changed the fluid three times now (due to peeled back cover) and never found any unusual wear or exessive metal particles.

On a side note. The M226 rear is also used in the Titan with a lot more HP than the X or Frontier and it holds up pretty well. So I don't think the rear is all that weak. You can't go by XterraRacer's luck as he is beating that truck as hard as possible.

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#533302 - 14/05/07 08:30 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


The dealer said the Titans are have a common failure(and when do they admit that) of some sort of clip? Maybe axle clip?

Frankly the Titans wont see as much of a work out as our Xterras, even with the extra HP. Unless they get a trailer stuck in the mud they are less likely I think to cause the wheel spin to break diffs. They are too big for serious wheeling.

Just to emphasize I have been wheeling for 20 years, so I do have alot of experience. These diffs are JUNK! Sixth wheeling trip in 2 years? A FREAKING 2X2 breaking A DIFFERENTIAL, NOT A AXLE eek eek

I hope they dont cry about my 1" over tires or Calimini lift. Then I will have to call out the BS police.

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#533303 - 14/05/07 09:08 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, the new diffs are junk, compared to the old ones. FYI: the older versions of Xterra/Frontiers didn't have differential issues; they had front CV shaft issues, as in they broke easily. BUT, that's fairly common for any IFS rig that gets wheeled.

You're dead-on when you complained about more HP, but yet smaller front AND rear diffs. Nissan made a poor choice on this, IMO.

As to the Titan, their rear diff is laughed at in the Full-Size truck circles, because frankly, a Dana 44 rear axle is great on a smaller rig w/ up to 31" tires. 33" and above and you're asking to break something on a D44 rear. Period.

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#533304 - 14/05/07 12:37 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by porsche996:
Yes, the new diffs are junk, compared to the old ones. FYI: the older versions of Xterra/Frontiers didn't have differential issues; they had front CV shaft issues, as in they broke easily. BUT, that's fairly common for any IFS rig that gets wheeled.

You're dead-on when you complained about more HP, but yet smaller front AND rear diffs. Nissan made a poor choice on this, IMO.

As to the Titan, their rear diff is laughed at in the Full-Size truck circles, because frankly, a Dana 44 rear axle is great on a smaller rig w/ up to 31" tires. 33" and above and you're asking to break something on a D44 rear. Period.
Gotta agree here. The rear diff is too small for the X with the new V6 as far as I'm concerned, and terrible on the Titan. If I were buying a half-ton right now the diff/axle issue alone would steer me away from a Titan, which is a shame because otherwise it's a very nice half-ton truck.

Reading posts like this makes me appreciate my old-school X. smile

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#533305 - 14/05/07 03:16 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just had my rear replaced under warranty, would have cost somewhere around $3500 or so. They replaced the whole Rotor to Rotor assembly. Just ran Box Canyon and it held up well, but let's see what happens when I get another 24K miles on it.

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#533306 - 14/05/07 04:09 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by porsche996:
As to the Titan, their rear diff is laughed at in the Full-Size truck circles, because frankly, a Dana 44 rear axle is great on a smaller rig w/ up to 31" tires. 33" and above and you're asking to break something on a D44 rear. Period.[/QB]
Not to comment on Xterra, as so far my diff is OK ( only had my truck for 8 months but I had a Jeep Rubicon with a Std D44 with locker and I had 33' tires and wheeled the truck for 50 times in 4 years without problems ( D44 problems I mean ) and my friend is in his 5th year on his Rubicon truck, and he wheels once or twice a week, and he's got 35' since 3 years, and he's very very hard on his truck ( he broke almost everything from driveshaft to anything else, but D44 is still running ). But after hearing all these comments on TheOR diff, starting to get worried, especially that Nissan recommends synthetic oil only for that model, and what's strange they do so in a 75w140 grade even here in cold climate Canada. Every truck I had before, uses 75w90 over here, and 75w140 in the lower states, and none did insist on synthetic ( mind you I'm synthetic all over from diff to tcase, to anything)but concerned Nissan is recommending the thickest and most protective synthetic for their diff, makes you wonder ).

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#533307 - 14/05/07 06:54 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well the dealer said it cannot be warrantied because I have aftermarket skid plates with scratches and the Calimini low rider bars are bent, therefore I must have abused it mad The freakin ring gear broke! That is STUPID!

They told me to call 1-800-get-lost....no wait that was 1-800-Nissan-1. But I got " we are open 8-5, call back." So I get to make that call in the morning...Anyone had to go this route for a differential replacement?

And what the heck are we going to do with these paper weights now? I am canceling all future out of town trips until I come up with something. It is one thing to blow a diff up nearby, but on the RUbicon is another story. Descision time because my favorite hobby and long term build up is on hold. Front and rear axle swaps at 14K? Fix up and trade in while I am behind? Kick back until Xterra Racers sources come through and rebuild both diffs?

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#533308 - 14/05/07 07:33 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Wow - that sucks dude. You have the original factory skids? I'd say remove the lift & skids and go to another dealer.

It's a fucking 'Off Road' truck for christ sake, what do they think you are gonna do with it? It's supposed to be built for off roading and they penalize people for doing just that. Isn't there some kind of law where they have to prove that the mods are what caused the part to fail? Don't give up dude.

It's a shame, but I won't be wheeling my Xterra other than for camping excursions along forrest roads, after the problems I've heard people having I just don't want the hassle of blowing a front diff on my daily driver. So I put $750 into an 87 4Runner from a girl at work which will be my trail rig once I've put a few $$$ into some mods.

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#533309 - 14/05/07 07:59 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


My dealer, Peoria Nissan in AZ didn't even question the Daystar lift. All I had to do is tell my service adviser I found the metal in the gear oil. I brought it in for him to see.

As Roger said, if all else fails, before calling in to NissanUSA, remove your aftermarket skids, etc. and take it in to a different dealer. You'll get it repaired under warranty unless you really did something to cause it, which is unlikely.

Keep us posted.

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#533310 - 14/05/07 08:42 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sorry to hear about that. I am the guy mentioned earlier w/ the Frontier that blew a diff. It was my spider gears. I was going up a hill w/ the locker on and the right rear tire was off the ground. I had a little bit of wheel spin and when it hit the ground the gears just broke into pieces. I limped it in to the dealer. They blamed it on the blocks and I said that doesn't make the spider gears break. I called the Nissan consumer affairs and got no help. They said they would not cover it at all. It was gonna cost $2600. I went to the owner of the dealership and talked to him in the showroom w/ customers around and told him to put in writing how the block caused the failure in the rearend. He said he would work on it. The next day I got a call saying they were going to cover it. He couldn't figure out a way to put it in writing so he called Nissan corporate and got the approval.

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#533311 - 14/05/07 08:48 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
fastdrmr Offline
Member

Registered: 29/11/01
Posts: 1697
Loc: SLC, UT
LLyod - one thing that we found is that there are 2 types of D44 variants being used on the Xs. The first type released was a 2 spider rear end. This is probably what you and I have in the rears. The 2 spider axle blew out after 150 miles of racing.

We originally had a 4 spider gear that went a full 600 miles of testing / racing... then it too went bye bye. Then the one I just mentioned. We were then given a 4 spider gear rear and it lasted the whole 250 miles. I appears to be that the early 2nd Gens had the 2 spider gear.

If you feel comfortable opening up the rear dif cover it would be interesting to confirm if you in fact have the 2 version. It is interesting that they quickly learned that lesson and went to the 4 spider.

I think you may have a good arguement if you approach Nissan that way. I believe its all internal, meaning that the whole axle housing and actual axle shafts can be maintained while just replacing the other components.

I would like to have Dave (XterraRacer) post to this thread with some of his observations too.

Sorry that your axle went out... good luck.
_________________________
KE7AEY
Those damn voices in my head... gotta get DIRT!

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#533312 - 15/05/07 03:46 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Good luck getting help from Nissan on anything. I haven't had rear problems yet but I've had two cluthes burn up under normal on-road conditions. One at 13,000 miles and the second at 26,000. Nissan told me that the clutch is a normal wear item in manual transmitions. What!!! I've been driving manual for 15 years and have never burnt a clutch before!!! And that includes ten years of wheeling. Nissan customer service sucks and the Xterra is great for camping, not hard-core wheeling.

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#533313 - 15/05/07 06:39 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Dip sticks at the dealer now say it was the spider gears, not the ring gear :rolleyes: Anyhow thanks for that advice on the 2 spider gear variant. I will bring that to the attention of the district rep when he calls. So it sounds like that might help me, if its the case. I bought mine May 05, so I have no idea if that is early enough for 2 spider diff or not.

Unfortunately it does not sound like the 4 spider gear diff will last either, maybe with stock tires...I am very interested to see what these upgrades coming out this summer can do for us on both diffs, and whether we can ever get to atleast a 35" tire for modern wheeling. If not....

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#533314 - 15/05/07 07:40 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


I could have told you it was the spider gears just by what you described...as a matter of fact I think I did in my first post.

I don't think most dealer techs know their ass from a hole in the ground. It took my local dealer two days to determain that my front diff was blown. I figured it out in 10 minutes with a jack.

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#533315 - 15/05/07 07:59 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here's mine. I don't know my ass from my elbow with regards to what I'm looking at tho and if I have 2 or 4 Spider gears.


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#533316 - 15/05/07 08:07 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Can't tell unless you pull the diff out and look in the carrier. All you see there is the Ring Gear and carrier.

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#533317 - 15/05/07 08:10 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


I thought a ring gear was odd also, and that made me more out of my mind, thanks dealer :rolleyes: I think I lectured them enough in the beggining that they went straight to the diff. Apparently they are used to replacing Titan diffs regularly as well. I have a Titan also, and I have " Tundra" on my mind now.

Rinky, I dont think you can see the spider gears without pulling it out, and the stealer wont do that. They will only replace the entire rear end. But, should be able to learn from the vin if it has 2 whopping spider gears or not during this process sometime?

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#533318 - 15/05/07 09:28 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


That pic was taken when I peeled the cover about 18k miles ago. Only had about 5k on her back then.

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#533319 - 15/05/07 11:42 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by Lloyd Swartz:


Rinky, I dont think you can see the spider gears without pulling it out, and the stealer wont do that. They will only replace the entire rear end. But, should be able to learn from the vin if it has 2 whopping spider gears or not during this process sometime?
I wanted to play stupid to make sure I did not have problems getting it replaced. They told me right off that they were going to cover the diff this time, but because I had oversized tires (285/75R16's) that they wouldn't do it again. This was at the dealer who is the local club sponsor. So I am hoping I have no more problems. At least until there are some aftermarket parts.

I understand the you have to pay to play, but damn for the price of a new diff from the factory, I could toss two new axles under the Jeep.

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#533320 - 15/05/07 11:12 PM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Everyone,

My rear diff exploded too about a month ago. I have an 05 Off Road That I bought in April 2005. Whenever I turned I heard a loud clanking sound and I had all of the same symptoms like Lloyds. I took it to my Nissan Dealer and gave him two $20.00 bills, ($40.00) and he repleaced my entire rear end, free of charge. My X has 32,000 miles on it, and the underside is tore up from 2 GONE MOABs, I have the Daystar 2.5 in lift, and the front Shrockworks bumper with a Warn winch.

My Nissan service advisor at the dealership I went to in Los Angeles, said the actual mechanic tried to tell him that I had abused my X, but the service advisor told him to go ahead and replace it. It took about a week and Nissan even paid for 5 days worth of a rental car.

Every time I take my X in I tip the guy a $20 dollar bill and if its something big then I do $40. I'm not made of money, but its the best $20-$40 I ever spent getting $6,000 worth of rear end work done for free.

Lloyd, If I were you I would go to another dealership and when you pull up at the service entrance make sure you have the advisor walk over to your X and give him $20-$40 and tell him that you have this problem, but make sure there isnt a crowd when you "tip" him.

My personal opinion is that too many people are too cheap, and simple $20.00 dollar bill goes a long way (at least in LA it does) to getting what you want done. I never wait for an hour at a restaurant, I always get my service covered under warranty, I get a free phone upgrade from my carrier, because I always tip who I'm dealing with. If they wont accept a tip I then ask them who is their manager, and I make sure thier manager knows that I'm getting excellent service or I write a letter. People are starved for being appreciated in our selfish culture. Sorry for the soap box.

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#533321 - 16/05/07 06:12 AM Re: Add my Rear Diff to the collection
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok, now all you rear end blow out guys are starting to chime in. Did any of you find out whether yours was a 2 or 4 spider gear diff?

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