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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
last week I emailed Dana asking about the failure problem and axle seal leaks. In a few days I had response. I asked this person if I could post his comments here and said it was fine. He also wants to here about the failures and what kind of driving conditions has the truck been under for the differential to fail. I also sent him a link to this site with a direct link to some of the threads about the failures and the leaks.

Here is the response

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Hi Shane,

I received and read your information regarding your concerns on both your trucks. I work in Dana Warranty and conduct warranty teardown analysis on Nissan axles, as well as other programs. I will answer your questions the best I can, here they are:

1) Why have both your trucks had wheel seals replaced?

- Model year 2004-2007 Titans have the same axle shaft assembly design (includes wheel seal). It is common knowledge in our warranty that these seals tend to have oil leaks and/or grease seepage from excess wheel bearing grease being applied at our plant. Dana Corporation is in process of testing this design to find its flaws and hopefully come out with a better axle shaft assembly replacement for service axles of model year 2004-2007. In model year 2008+, the axle shaft assembly design has changed with a larger shaft, larger wheel bearing, different wheel seal and added dust deflector. However, we are having some leaks reported with the 2008+ design as well, we are working on solving this issue as soon as possible. Nissan is pushing Dana Corporation very hard to resolve this wheel seal leak issue.

2) Why are there axle assembly failures?

- Each model year has its own issues as there are small design changes, sometimes none between them. Your model year is 2005 for both trucks, I will concentrate on this. You should have the aluminum cover plates on both your axles, which goes directly with the 75W-140 synthetic gear lube implementation, both improving axle sump temperatures and providing a better cover seal. The steel plates had some cover leak issues. Also, from November 2005 and prior, there are some issues with noisy or differential failures (axle assembly internals - include diff case assembly & gearset). Basically, if you have a catastrophic failure, you do need a new axle assembly as the cause is more than likely a carrier housing issue we have found. I suggest getting a post November 2005 axle build date as a replacement, as the issue was fixed then. I have seen a few standard/open differentials break from overload, that is the only other catastrophic issue I have seen. I can not honestly answer what the cause was for overload conditions are, as I am not the driver, I would like to know under what conditions they failed first-hand. As I stated before, wheel seal leaks are still an issue in model year 2005 as well.

3) You tow 5,500 lbs. or less, anything you can do to prevent axle assembly failure?

- Remove both your rear axle assembly covers and make sure the differential internals look okay. Also, grab the ring gear and move it wheelend-to-wheelend and if there is no play, you are fine (otherwise have it replaced with November 2005+ axle assembly if possible).
- Assuming both your axle assemblies checked out fine, keep them and if you have wheel seal leaks, get the axle shaft assemblies replaced only. This keeps you with less variables.
- Change gear lube appropriately and use the factory 75W-140 synthetic or anything better aftermarket to keep the fluid fresh. Pay attention to magnetic drain plug when changing lube as a status check, wipe it clean with every change to get any early indication.
- Send me a photo or email me all the information contained on the sticker you should have for each axle assembly near the carrier pinion nose area.

Sticker has information, such as:

Axle serial # (ex. 0410602098053)
Nissan part # 43001-ZH04B
Dana part # 606886-4
Ratio 3.357, 3.36, 2.937 or 2.94


Hope this helps, please keep me updated via email with your Nissan Titans as I would like an owner's perspective.
 

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Very nice post, thanks for the info. :)
 

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awsome sounds like they are trying a little atleast.
 

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This should be a Sticky!!
 

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Very interesting, wonder if I could just upgrade the spiders, since I like my E-lock and would not want to lose it in favor of the trutrac
 

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now that all makes sense, great answers to your questions! Excellent post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Any one that has waisted a axle should fire off an email to Dana, this particular tech wants to here about these issues so they can get this resolved. I have had a few more emails with this same tech and he/Dana seems very concerened about the problem. I need to take pictures of my axle ID tags and email them to him. Take it for it's worth but I think Dana is more concerned about their product that Nissan is, but I could be wrong.

here is my response from this email and his reply


You say this is caused from to much bearing grease?? Will the grease eventually stop running out and if so will there still be enough grease on the bearings? I am not a axle expert but I always thought that the gear lube stayed at the gears and never went down the axle tubes so this leaking had me wondering.

DANA tech--No, not solely excessive grease. I have seen some brake backing plates with just grease seepage, from excessive wheel bearing grease application at the plant. However, an oil leak is much more messy/obvious on the backing plate, like you described on your higher mileage truck that had it drip into the rim. That is more than likely gear lube leaking out. Yes, gear lube in this axle design does flow out to the wheelends to lubricate the wheel bearing as you take turns, hills, etc. It is not much oil that gets out there compared to the carrier sump level, but it does get out there. The grease applied at the plant is only for the initial break-in of the axle when it first runs dry, not for the life of it.

You say you would like to know the conditions under which the rear ends are failing. You can always go to that forum and ask, if Dana would allow that ( I know how companies can be) I can also post your reply and leave out your email so other members can get an idea of Dana is doing to improve the product. I won't do this without your consent. This is a heated topic at Titantalk.com.

Dana Tech--I took a good look at the forum thread you posted and the government site referenced in that thread. I got a good idea, thank you for point it out. I would not mind you paraphrasing in the forums what I've said. I can only say so much I hope you realize as we are in process of improving our product. Please keep in mind, we have to work with the customer to meet the standards/requirements they give us and sometimes we have to prove to them, that their standards/requirements are not high enough for the application. It is not easier said than done however, many hoops you have to go through to prove this and make this happen. It all comes down to money in the end and people are not always willing to give it up easily.

I would appreciate the photos of each axle tag, when you get the chance and please keep me posted on any issues you have. You seem to be fairly detailed in your descriptions, I like that, as I can relate to the product. Perhaps I can learn a few things from the owners in the "real-world" application of this truck/axle.
 

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Mine never leaked until after 50K miles...Good luck..
 

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regardless of what this "caring" tech says or does, the damage is done. what's the rap on the titan? BAD AXLES, DIFFS THAT GRENADE. you can spend all the money you want to improve future products but nothing can be done to repair the damage DANA did to destroy any hopes of a decent reliability rating for the titan. nor did DANA publicly stand up and take the blame on the bad design. rear axle/rear diff issues popped up across the country the FIRST YEAR in 04 and NOTHING was done!!!!!!!!!! NOTHING!!!!! same issues popped up in 05s and 06s, sh!t... still, same issues with 07s!!! WTF??? this Dana-tech dude, may be the nicest guy in the world but as far as i'm concerned its just all sugarcoating!!! F^CK daNA and their crappy-designed 44 for the titan!!!!
 

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hooligan said:
regardless of what this "caring" tech says or does, the damage is done. what's the rap on the titan? BAD AXLES, DIFFS THAT GRENADE. you can spend all the money you want to improve future products but nothing can be done to repair the damage DANA did to destroy any hopes of a decent reliability rating for the titan. nor did DANA publicly stand up and take the blame on the bad design. rear axle/rear diff issues popped up across the country the FIRST YEAR in 04 and NOTHING was done!!!!!!!!!! NOTHING!!!!! same issues popped up in 05s and 06s, sh!t... still, same issues with 07s!!! WTF??? this Dana-tech dude, may be the nicest guy in the world but as far as i'm concerned its just all sugarcoating!!! F^CK daNA and their crappy-designed 44 for the titan!!!!
Tell us how you really feel hooli! LOL

Wasn't the "modified" dana 44 design a Nissan thing though? Otherwise they most likely would have used an off the shelf 44, right?
 

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Yellomantis said:
Tell us how you really feel hooli! LOL

Wasn't the "modified" dana 44 design a Nissan thing though? Otherwise they most likely would have used an off the shelf 44, right?
yes "modified" but i can't see Nissan saying, "build it just like this". DANA more than likely was told by Nissan what they needed and DANA said, "well, here's what we can build/provide for you"

so, who's to blame? i solely place all the blame on the shoulders of the manufacturer of the axles/diffs, and that would be none other than our nice friends at DANA.
 

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Sounds like Nissan wanted a small cheap rearend and they got one. In 04 Nissan pushed the fact that they had the best ground to rearend clearance. You dont see them state that anymore.
 

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old news, but just wanted to refresh everyone's memory banks.

with a shatload on Dana's plate, i'm sure they're saying: "titan rear-end failure? really? that's the first we've heard of that."



Dana Corp. Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Friday , March 03, 2006


TOLEDO, Ohio —

Auto parts maker Dana Corp. (DNC) filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations on Friday, joining a growing list of suppliers forced to make major restructuring moves because of the slumping U.S. auto industry.

Dana, which makes brakes, axles and other parts, has been in a downward spiral since the company announced last fall that it was restating earnings and lowering its profit forecast for 2005 because of accounting errors.

The auto supplier with 46,000 workers worldwide said in January that it lost nearly $1.3 billion in the third quarter last year while realigning its business.

The company said it filed for Chapter 11 protection so it could fix financial and operational problems. The filing was entered in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"The general financial condition of the industry, together with Dana's inability to renew or expand its credit facilities in a timely manner, has significantly constrained Dana's liquidity," the company said in a statement.

Trading of Dana's stock was halted on the New York Stock Exchange just before the announcement. Shares fell 37 cents to 67 cents Friday before trading stopped. The stock had been as high as $17.03 in the past year.

The filing does not affect the company's businesses in Europe, South America, Asia, Mexico or Canada, the company said.

Auto parts suppliers over the last year have been sandwiched by rising energy costs that have driven up the costs of raw materials and driven down demand for gas guzzling sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Delphi Corp., the nation's leading parts supplier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. Visteon Corp., the nation's second biggest auto parts supplier, is closing three plants and putting another six up for sale under its restructuring plan.

Suppliers say the restructuring moves also are being forced by automakers increasing pressure to sell them parts at lower prices.

Toledo-based Dana supplies parts to General Motors Corp. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F) and other automakers.

Before the filing, Dana announced plans last year to cut its salaried work force by 5 percent, close three plants in North America and Australia and sell parts of its business to sharply reduce costs.

Dana Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Burns said Friday that the company will move forward with its restructuring plans.

Dana in December lowered profits by $44 million for a period starting in 2000 and ending in June. The changes were caused by improper accounting for customer pricing increases and supplier reimbursement costs in the company's commercial vehicle unit, Dana said.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month said it was opening an investigation into Dana's financial practices and whether the company violated federal securities laws.

The company that began as Spicer Manufacturing Co. took on its current name in 1946. Dana in 1998 bought axle and brake maker Echlin Inc. in what was one of the biggest mergers in the auto parts industry. The move increased its overall employment to 79,000 workers.
 

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it takes two to tango - Nissan spec'd it and Dana built it - I think they both effed it up. Nissan couldn't have a "normal, domestic spec" Dana 44 or 60 as much as we would like it. they were just asking for issues trying to re-invent what works....

My new one works well - no seepage leaking but it still "clicks" when parking or changing from reverse to drive etc. oh well it still doing better than my powerjoke!
 

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Is the driveline clunk when shifting between r and d the spider gears taking slack or the pinon to carrier taking up slack?? I have this problem also on both of my Titans, my traded 04 and my new 07
 

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hooligan said:
yes "modified" but i can't see Nissan saying, "build it just like this". DANA more than likely was told by Nissan what they needed and DANA said, "well, here's what we can build/provide for you"

so, who's to blame? i solely place all the blame on the shoulders of the manufacturer of the axles/diffs, and that would be none other than our nice friends at DANA.
I personally feel that Nissan is liable for the parts that they contract out.
Yes I know no manufacturer makes the "entire" car,but when they chose to farm out components they still are the "general contractor" of the vehicle.They must take the responsibility that these parts are built to their standards.It is Dana's fault for the poor quality,but it is Nissan's responsibility to police them and not let them get out of hand.
 
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