Nissan Frontier Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Registered
1,742 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
C200 differential carrier removal

All right, I have shame all over my face at this point, but I need to eat crow and face it.


I let my rear differential seep go too long and only noticed it when my rear-end starting whining. Bone-headed move, I know. I let this whine go on for a week until diagnosing the problem yesterday. Pulled cover, cleaned housing, replaced cover, let RTV dry and then filled her back up with 80W90 and a friction additive tonight. Took her for a drive, praying I did not do any permanent damage.

Yeah right. There is a reason I will never go to Las Vegas....

Whine is better but not gone. Reason? Bearings toasted. Whether its my pinion bearing, inner carrier bearings, or all of the above, I don't know, but if one is going out because of no fluid, they all can't be in good shape and will need to be replaced. Thusly, I need to replace. Hitherto, I need to pull the differential assembly to get to them.

But how do I do this?

Checking Mitchell's online, all it says is to pull the cover, remove the bearing caps (after marking one) and pry the diff assembly out. Nothing about axles, ***** pins, spider gears, c-clips, nadda. Is it that easy?

What do I need to do (nothing detailed, I'm mechanically inclined) pull this diff out. It can't be that easy, but if is, well, sometimes even a blind squirrel gets a nut.

Help me out fellow CF brethren.


· Registered
1,742 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Caught my fish.

Even though I really didn't feel like it, I tore the rear-end of my truck apart tonight to assess the damage. Surprisingly enough, Nissan makes their rear axles incredibly easy to disassemble.

Long story short is that only my front pinion bearing is toast. I'll fix it later because its still a pain and expensive. $110 from Courtesy Nissan just for the outer pinion bearing, no race, no seal. Thing must be made of gold....

Here's a quick DIY if this turns up in anyone's search later on.

Materials and Tools

- 10mm box wrench or line wrench (for brake fittings)
- 12mm ratchet or wrench
- 14mm ratchet
- 17mm ratchet and cheater bar
- 1/2" drive breaker bar
- 1x bottle 'o brake fluid
- some rags
- tube of RTV
- 80W90

Ensure front wheels are blocked and parking brake is off. Raise rear of truck and support with jackstands. Pull off rear wheels.

Grab 12mm ratchet and remove four 12mm head bolts from the two E-brake brackets on either side of differential.

Use two of these and screw them into the threaded holes near the center of your brake drums. This will push the drums off the hubs without you having to fight anything. Pull both drums off.

Grab 17mm ratchet and remove the four 17mm nuts on the backside of each wheel hub/brake backing plate. Set on leaf springs so you don't lose them.

Unbend the little tabs that secure the brake lines to the axle housing so the line is free. Grab your 10mm line/box wrench and remove the driver's side brake line fitting from the Tee-fitting on the passenger side of the axle. It's bolted to the axle housing. Once the line is out of that fitting, remove the 12mm head bolt that secures the tee-fitting to the axle housing. Put rags under this to catch the brake fluid that is going to drip out.

Go back to the driver's side and pull the entire hub assembly/brake backing plate towards you until you feel the axle come out of the differential. Should be no more than about 3-4 inches and you will feel the diff end of the axle drop inside the tube. Lather, rinse repeat for the other side. No need to pull the axle all the way out if all you are doing is messing with the diff.

Pull the bottom diff plug out with your 1/2" breaker bar and let the fluid drain.

Remove the diff cover with your 14mm ratchet, should be eight bolts.

Grab your 17mm (thin wall, impact socket won't work) ratchet and cheater bar and break loose the four bolts holding the bearing caps on. Spin the bolts out and set them aside - two per cap. Now, either mark the caps to be sure they go back on the same side and the same orientation as they only go on one way, one side. Once the caps are marked (or eyeballed and remembered), knock them with a screwdriver handle and the should pop right out.

Grab the top of the ring gear and roll the diff assembly out. Mind the bearing cups and the shims as they will probably come with the diff and fall on the ground.

That's it. Installation is the reverse of this. Use a new gasket and some RTV to seal the cover on, let it cure 24 hours before adding fluid back to the diff. Bleed the brakes once the line is reconnected.

Too easy. No c-clips, spring clips, nothing crazy like that to deal with.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.