C200 Rear Axle Durability? - Nissan Frontier Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 02:45 AM
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C200 Rear Axle Durability?

I tow a small fiberglass trailer that weighs around 3300 lb fully loaded. I also carry a significant amount of gear in the bed of my 2010 SWB 4WD CC LE with a Leer fiberglass canopy. I replaced a 2001 Ford Ranger 4WD SC last fall with the Frontier. The Ranger had a 2700 lb rated rear axle (the comparable Explorer comes with a 3200 lb axle). Last year I had an almost catastrophic bearing/axle failure in the middle of nowhere NV at 115K miles. The good part of the story was the mechanic I limped into in Delta UT fixed me up with 2 new axles, bearings and brakes for ... get this... only $700 total and my wife and I were back on the road on our vacation. Long story short, the Ranger axle is a semi-floating bearing design with no inner race. The bearings run on an induction hardened surface of the axle. The Ranger bearing surface is narrower than that on the Explorer hence the lower rating.

It appears from the factory service manual that the Frontier C200 rear axle has a full floating bearing with an inner race. (Interestingly, the M226 axle appears to be a semi-floating design.) So here's the question for the rear axle specialists on this forum: how durable is the C200 axle with heavy loads? I'd always figured the tires were the limiting factor on GAWR until the bearing experience with my Ranger. Any recommendations for axle lube? I'm thinking about replacing the factory 75-90W with Amsoil 75-90W for better oil film strength.

Thanks,

Steve

NW Stever
2010 Frontier Crew Cab LE SWB 4WD
Radiant Silver, Sunroof, Leather, Rockford Fosgate
Weathertech floormats and window visors, debadged tailgate, Dee Zee EZ Down tailgate assist
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 03:02 AM
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Just to clarify, you have a c200k and not the c200. Only 1st gens and some other older Nissans have the c200.

I believe the only person to really kill a c200k has been Andy and I think it was his spiders that sheared (same think happens with the m226 axles too).

I would believe that if you stick to the GVW spec with bed load and hitch tounge load you should be good. Just don't push it to its limits.

Now for the gear oil, using Amsoil or Redline or M1 or etc.... is a good choice. If you are really paranoid, change it more often (20k or less) and if you are really really paranoid, pull the cover to look at the gears to ensure they are not grinding or wearing odd.

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#3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 11:12 AM
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Marginal GVWR is the problem

My bad - C200K it indeed is. I wish I could stay at GVWR but the payload on a fully optioned LE CC isn't very much. Especially with the addition of the fiberglass canopy. Per the placard, GVWR is 5815 - 198 = 5613lb. GWR front axle = 3296lb. GWR rear axle = 3331lb. I have added Firestone Ride-Rite air bags and use a weight distributing hitch with my trailer that has trailer brakes. I don't do any technical off-roading with the 4WD. I've added a to-do to weight the truck including each axle separately with and without the trailer hitched to see exactly how much payload (persons & gear) I actually can carry at the GVWR. I still think the tires are the weak link but wonder about the durability of the rear axle, especially the bearings.

NW Stever
2010 Frontier Crew Cab LE SWB 4WD
Radiant Silver, Sunroof, Leather, Rockford Fosgate
Weathertech floormats and window visors, debadged tailgate, Dee Zee EZ Down tailgate assist
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