2005+ front diff. - Nissan Frontier Forum
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post #1 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Post 2005+ front diff.

I am posting this so everyone can be more informed one what to look for and how to avoid damaging more parts.

A little history
A friend of mine who has a Xterra was on a wheeling trip in PA he heard a single clicking noise from the front end. A week later wheeling in VA he heard the same clicking noise on the trail. This time it occurred several times so he decide to drive home before it got worse.

On the 150 miles trip home the steering would bind causing the vehicle to pull hard to one side. The binding would occur more on turns. Once he was able to overcome the bind, the driver's front tire would rock and a pop noise would come from the front end, then you are able to turn the wheel with no problem.

He took it to the dealer where they diagnosed it to be the front diff. A few weeks later he had it replaced at an off road shop with a Titan diff. During the replacement they found a crack in the housing and believe that caused the diff. to fail.




I asked him if I could have the old diff and see what went wrong. Here are a few pic of what I found.

The first picture show where the teeth broke off the spider gears.



The next pictures shows where the broken off pieces damaged the carrier and housing.





Here you can see that the crack was caused internally.


Mike's 2005 NISMO build

2005 NISMO CC 4X4-ICON 2.5 coilovers,AC 3 leaf pack,Bilstein shocks, 3" Body lift, Titan front differential, Pathfinder half shafts, 305/70R16, American Outlaw Colt wheels, KMA rear bumper, Black Widow Off Road hi-lift mount, Home made utilitrac spare tire mount, Airflow snorkel, Shrockworks sliders and skids
Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast
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post #2 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the pictures Mike. It really helps understanding when i can see inside it. Do you think the teeth breakage was caused by too much stress offroading? Its kind of scary to think about.

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post #3 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:11 PM
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nice wright up. I saw 05SE's wifes brake her xterra front diff, she was in stuck and mud and just keep on the skinny peddal after that it had a slight click in it, and then one day they went to back it out of the grage and the front diff locked up and they had to go-jack it to get it out.

I think the biggest thing you can do is when your wheels start to spin and you are not moving lay off the gas.. I think most damage is from the stress of spinning freely then there is traction cuaseing them to chip.
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post #4 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:15 PM
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x2, when i took my rear end in because my truck had turned into front wheel drive because my spiders gears when out, they said i had offroaded to much and thats why it broke. so i looked into a titan rear and come to find out its the same rear end so i didnt get it. whats that difference in the front diffs? i heard was all the same so it wouldnt be any stronger at all.
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post #5 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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A similiar situation happend at the NOAS URE run a few weeks ago. In this video you can hear the clicking sound from the front end of the Xterra as it trys to come up over the obsticle.
YouTube - Nissans going up Dickey Bell

At the camp site Matt (superturbo64) had a brilliant idea to verifiy if the diff was bad. With the Vechile in 2 wheel drive he raised the front end to where the tires didn't touch the ground he then spun one tire while I was holding the other still till his tire locked into place and wouldn't move forward. To ensure that the noise did come from the front diff. we then lowered the Xterra to the ground so we could drive it forward, once the vehicle was in motion a loud pop came from the front diff.

Mike's 2005 NISMO build

2005 NISMO CC 4X4-ICON 2.5 coilovers,AC 3 leaf pack,Bilstein shocks, 3" Body lift, Titan front differential, Pathfinder half shafts, 305/70R16, American Outlaw Colt wheels, KMA rear bumper, Black Widow Off Road hi-lift mount, Home made utilitrac spare tire mount, Airflow snorkel, Shrockworks sliders and skids
Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast
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post #6 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:18 PM
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so the question is: while we know the titan diff has bigger ring gears, so they are inherently stronger, are the spiders any bigger/stronger spider gears

2007 Super Black 4x4 Xterra. 2.0 Radflo's, PRG Uppers, Sliders, Shackles, Add-a-leaf, Bilstein 5100's, Rear Tire Carrier, 285/75R16 Open Country's.
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post #7 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:20 PM
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That video really points it out. I could see how it happens to all you guys who wheel on those loose rocks.

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post #8 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:21 PM
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i wouldnt think the stress of offroading would cause rear diff to break , because if that was the case , people who tow put alot more stress on a rear-end than the average 4x4 or am i wrong?

the biggest thing is like everyone said wheel spin then grabbing , POP!!
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post #9 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:29 PM
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thats what i was told idk, i never did any burnouts or anything in it. so i was stumped as well as the next, i didnt tow. idk i offroaded i never offroaded fast. one day just started clicking and popping, a month or two later goes out. same thing happend with 4x4 magazine had the same thing that happend with me at 20k miles. they heard of a few people that had it broke, and theres went out twice.
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post #10 of 98 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike View Post
A similiar situation happend at the NOAS URE run a few weeks ago. In this video you can hear the clicking sound from the front end of the Xterra as it trys to come up over the obsticle.
YouTube - Nissans going up Dickey Bell

At the camp site Matt (superturbo64) had a brilliant idea to verifiy if the diff was bad. With the Vechile in 2 wheel drive he raised the front end to where the tires didn't touch the ground he then spun one tire while I was holding the other still till his tire locked into place and wouldn't move forward. To ensure that the noise did come from the front diff. we then lowered the Xterra to the ground so we could drive it forward, once the vehicle was in motion a loud pop came from the front diff.
to make it safe for him to drive the 300+ miles home they decided to remove both of the front axles. Once he was home they disassemble the front diff and found that the teeth on spider gears broke off.








Since they immediately removed both front half shafts at the camp site the rest of the diff was not damage since the diff was no longer turn while in motion. He is now able to just replace the spider gears instead of the hole diff.

Mike's 2005 NISMO build

2005 NISMO CC 4X4-ICON 2.5 coilovers,AC 3 leaf pack,Bilstein shocks, 3" Body lift, Titan front differential, Pathfinder half shafts, 305/70R16, American Outlaw Colt wheels, KMA rear bumper, Black Widow Off Road hi-lift mount, Home made utilitrac spare tire mount, Airflow snorkel, Shrockworks sliders and skids
Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast

Last edited by mike; 10-13-2008 at 10:16 PM.
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