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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My wife took the truck in for an oil change and they told her the u-joint needs to be replaced and the rear axle is leaking. I am trying to become more self sufficient on fixing the "easier" stuff on my own and save some cash. So I am going to order the parts and try and get this done in the next week or so.

My truck:
2005 Nismo CC 4x4 A/T
100K miles

1. They didn't tell her what U-joint. Is there more than 1? I plan to drive this truck as long as possible so I am looking to replace all of the u-joints at the same time.

2. Is there shaft a 1-piece or 2-piece? I am getting my bro in law to help since he is mechanically inclined and said if it is a 2-piece shaft I might as well replace the carrier bearing as well.

3. The rear axle for my truck is a Dana 44 right? Just want to make sure I get the right seal to replace.

Thanks in advance!
Jason
 

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There are 4 u joints total on your truck 2 on the front shaft 2 on the rear. Both are one piece driveshafts, front has a slip yoke though. For the u joints, the factory ones are Spicer joints are are said to be the some of the best you can buy.

You have the m226 rear end in the 3.36 gear ratio which is a slightly modified dana 44. Where is the leaking? most likely it will be leaking around the brakes in which case it would need new axles seals. I've heard that this is a somewhat difficult job but is DIYable. To prevent it from happening again but sure to do the axle vent mod as the factory breather is garbage and clogs easily, causing the seals to fail.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Chris!

I really need to buckle done and get the axle vent mod done...
 

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If you do the axle seals you also need to replace the wheel bearings and if seeping enough you need new parking brake shoes too. If like me and others have a seized seal you're in for a real fight it took me over 300 pulls and three slide hammers as I pulled like an animal and broke two of them. You'll either need a shop to cut off the old bearings and press on new ones or you'll need a shop press to do it. Your assistant better be very mechanically able or you may need to have someone else finish the job if running into a bind.
Good luck if you decide to do this yourself and hope it goes easy, one of my sides was far easier than the other side. Also make sure to pull the ABS sensors before pulling the axles and treat them gently as they are almost $200 each if damaged.

Clint
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:

So first off, I miss-stated. It was the rear diff that was leaking, not the rear axle. So popped that off, cleaned it, redid the RTP stuff, and refilled the grease/oil for it.

Anyway,
U-Joints are done. I ended up getting a "loaner" ball joint press from Autozone. That thing was a damn godsend! And you can't beat free! The rear was easy enough to get done. Removed the drive shaft, removed the old u-joints, put in the new ones, put the drive shaft back. The rear u-joints were rusted and needed to be replaced but I think they had some life left in them. The front drive shaft....was another story....First, removed 6 bolts easy enough. The last two though, we so rusted that we rounded both trying to remove them. So we ended up cutting them off and replacing them. I kind am leaning towards replacing all of them... And the u-joints themselves. Wow. They were practically falling apart. Actually not even practically, literally. The front U-joint, near the middle of the truck, looked like a decent chunk had cracked off. I can't understand how the front and rear u-joints could differ so much. But they are replaced as well. All in all, the 2 bolts being so bad probably doubled the time spent on this...

Which bring me to another point. I am trying to learn to be better about self maintaining and fixing my truck. Should I be adding grease to the u-joints every X miles?

Last question/point. What else should I check or be expecting to need to replace soon? Being at 100K miles. As I stated I want to make this truck last as long as possible.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
 

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Well the front U joints will wear faster due to smaller crosses and higher angles, this means more movement and as a result wear on the needle bearings. As for adding grease, if you bought sealed non-greasable joints then no need to touch them again until they are worn too. If greasable ones, I've heard you should flush the grease every 5-10k miles or after every water submersion.

For other things, what else have you already done? 100k is usually a big service interval and most fluids are changed. Check out the manual, it will list what should be done at certain mileages and compare to what you have done.
 

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When I replaced the u joints on the front driveshaft, I had to use a propane torch to heat the bolts.
 
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