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Discussion Starter #1
My 99 Frontier 4X4 has developed a ticking in the drivetrain. It is synchronous with the car speed and sometimes changes when brakes are applied (sometimes brakes make it stop, sometimes they make it start??). At first I thought it was a pebble stuck in the brake drum, but, no, brakes are clear. There are no foreign objects in the drive shaft or U-joints or center bearing. I'm thinking the worst (of course) and wondering if there could be a chipped tooth in the planetary gears in the differential. Would that cause a ticking? Is it possible that would be intermittent? If yes, any idea how much it will cost to rebuild the differential? Thanks.
 

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I am going with rock in the tire thread first. Next would be a worn u-joint. Followed by body mount.

If you suspect diff I would drain the fluid and inspect the magnetic drain plug. If you chipped anything it would show up the magnet. I however doubt you hurt the diff any.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well, this is slightly embarrassing. After taking the truck to several brake and drivetrain specialists, we determined that the noise was coming from a piece of plywood that I had placed between the cabover camper and the cab. It would oscillate at the same speed every time I braked going down hill. As I went slower, it would vibrate slower. It sounded exactly like a stone in the brake drum would sound. Took 6 months to locate definitively. Totally maddening - but all's well that ends well.
 
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