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Discussion Starter #1
After going and picking up a generator in the middle of the oklahoma blizzard. Lol. I got run off into a ditch by another truck. Was trying to get out and was making progress when I heard a pop. Wasn't real loud just a little pop. And that's when I noticed my fronts not spinning. I dunno if since the snow is so deep something froze or got snow paced or what. Please help with a quick fix. I have to make it to work in a few hours. Thanks. BTW it's an 04 Titan LE 4 door
 

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Check your axle shafts most likely one popped out.
 

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i heard that same pop today! no more 4wd! i'm guessing it's the axle that popped out...
good luck
 

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With a $1200 upgraded diff. They improved them in 2006 to add ribbing to make the housing stronger and to resist ejecting the half shafts, which are retained only by a spring C clip that resides in a groove on the inner end of each half shaft. Since the hubs do not unlock, the half shafts (which are bolted to the CVs) spin all the time, so the splines on the shafts that engage the side gears in the diff tend to get chewed up when this happens. You can see a space between the half shaft flange and the diff housing when this happens. Often there is also a gear oil leak in that area.

http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-problems-dealer-service/68142-front-axle-failer-thread.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Got some snow and ice cleared away where I could see. Nothing looked out of the ordinary so I jacked it up and moved my front wheels by hand. Both of them wouldn't move very far just far enough I could see the main front driveline try and move. I don't believe this would happen if I had one of the axles pop out. Would it? I'm gonna replace the diff. In the near future but I need it now. Already missed one day of work. I need it now. Lol. I don't think my Xterra will get me to where I need to go but if nothing else I'll try it
 

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I don't believe this would happen if I had one of the axles pop out. Would it? I'm gonna replace the diff. In the near future but I need it now.
If the splines on the inner end of the half shaft are completely disengaged from the side gear, no, I don't think rotating the wheel will spin the front driveshaft. Typically there is a space between the side gear flange and the diff housing, and often also gear oil leak and excessive play.

I would make sure I knew what was wrong before replacing expensive parts.


YouTube - Nissan Titan front driver half shaft moving inside of differential
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok. Finally got it in the garage and tore it apart. Not sure on what everything is called so bear with me. Lol. Took the six bolts off that connected the shaft to the front transfer case. Disconnected everything to allow me to pull the shaft with the splines out. came out very easy. The long set of splines all looked great. Looks like about 80% of the c-clip is there but the short set of splines(at least it looks like there were splines they are pretty much smooth. ) what are the short set set of splines for? If I was to get the new C-clips and put back together would my 4 wheel drive work? This is the short shaft on the driver side. Haven't made it to the passenger side yet to investigate. Where is the 4hi 4lo transfer take place? Is it the front case or the back case off the transmission itself. I'm going to Nissan tommorrow in search of the c-clips and gonna hit the salvages around town in hopes of finding a new front transfer case altogether. I'm new to the mechanics of the front four wheel drive
Mechanics. I need a pretty quick fix as our Xterra is sold as of tommorrow. Thanks again. Sorry if I'm vague I would put up pics but I'm on my phone and unless someone gives me an email I cant give pics for ref.
 

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The engagement of 4x4 happens in the transfer case which is located to the rear of the transmission. The large bulge in the front axle assembly is called the differential.
 

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Looks like about 80% of the c-clip is there
maybe 100% of the C-clip is there because it is not supposed to be a ring?

but the short set of splines(at least it looks like there were splines they are pretty much smooth. ) what are the short set set of splines for?
The splines that I know about are on the inner end of each half shaft and serve to couple the half shafts for rotation with the side gears. So if those splines are smooth, 4wd ain't gonna work.


If I was to get the new C-clips and put back together would my 4 wheel drive work? This is the short shaft on the driver side. Haven't made it to the passenger side yet to investigate.
Not if we are talking about the splines on the inner end of the half shaft. Also, the side gears, half shafts, and clips were upgraded with bigger clips and bigger grooves to receive them, so they won't pull out as easy.

Where is the 4hi 4lo transfer take place? Is it the front case or the back case off the transmission itself.
Nissan, quite appropriately, calls the gear box near the transmission that shifts between 4Hi and 4Lo the "transfer case." The aft end for the forward drive shaft (the rusty one) connects to the transfer case. The forward end of the forward drive shaft is conected to the front differential (this is the thing between the front wheels that the CV axles bolt up to and the half shafts pop out of). Nissan refers to this as "front final drive" although the rest of the known world refers to this as "front differential" because it contains gears that allow the front wheels to rotate at different speeds as you go around corners.


I'm going to Nissan tommorrow in search of the c-clips and gonna hit the salvages around town in hopes of finding a new front transfer case altogether.
Better ask for a "front differential" and not a "transfer case". Also, seek out a 2006+ version because they have a stronger housing and the upgraded clips, side gears & half shafts. And be sure to get one that matches your original axle ratio as they come OEM in 2.94 and 3.36 (big tow and/or off road packages came with the 3.36 axle ratio) You can not run different axle ratios in the front and rear diffs, or you will actually be in need of a new transfer case.
 

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It would be interesting to see which component would blow up first if the gear ratio in the front differential was different than the gear ratio in the rear differential.
 

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It would be interesting to see which component would blow up first if the gear ratio in the front differential was different than the gear ratio in the rear differential.
Typically U-joints and CV shafts are the weak links. Nissan seems to prefer to fuse with the expensive parts - e.g. the front diff will grenade to protect the U-joints, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So got the Titan fixed. Quick fix anyway. Talked to a 4x4 expert and he said just to bend the clips out a bit so it can get a bite and hold the axles in. I know it's just a bandaid until I can get a new upgraded front diff. Works great the past 2 days. No problems when I put her in the garage yesterday. This morning when I got in her and started her she sounded alittle rough. Didn't think much of it since it was cold. When I drove off there's were popping noises. Thought it might just be the rough road from all the packed snow and ice but when I hit dry pavement the popping was still there. As I sped up it got faster. This was all in 2 wheel drive. So I turned around and put her back up and got in the Murano to get to work. Any ideas or help would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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The front hubs don't unlock in 2WD. So the gears in the front diff rotate in both 2WD and in 4WD. So if there is a problem in the front diff (e.g. damaged gear), it will make noise in 2wd and in 4wd. My guess is that there is a problem in the front diff, but obviously you would need to inspect before buying expensive parts.
 

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Sound like there's loose broken parts inside there???.. FWIW, the Front Diff is covered under the 60k Powertrain Warranty... Mine was totally locked up and wouldn't spin when it popped out in last year's blizzard, I had it rebuilt under warranty... This year it's been perfect... The cost of having the Front Diff rebuilt is about the same as buying a new one and installing it yourself... I'd go for the new one if it's out of pocket.
 
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