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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Front Axle Failure Thread

For those of us with a 4X4 that have had a front axle failure. I believe there should be a Sticky. I know we already have one for rear axle failures, but not for front axle failures. I have seen several people with this problem including myself

I will start with mine and hopefully everyone with a front axle failure will add to the thread. I have reported the failure to NHTSA and I believe everyone with this problem should do the same.

Here is the link to report the failure: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

My complaint (ODI) number to NHTSA is 10212904
 

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Question for those who have had front diff problems; how often do you put the truck in 4x4 and drive it (5 miles or so)?

Being a off-roader myself and owning several 4x4's I was told by 'elder' off roaders years ago that all trucks with 4x4 should have the front end engaged at least once very few months in order to make sure oil is splashed around and keeps everything lubed, otherwise the top of bearing/gears go dry.

an example ofthis is when a friend recently had bought a '01 F150 4x4, was excited that the owner rarely used the 4x4, if ever...first day he was out wheelin' he blow out seals, tech said they were dry and obviously the truck was not put in 4x4 enough.

Just thought I would raise this concern to see if there is a link between the failed diffs and un-used 4x4 systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Re: Front Axle Failure Thread

The front axle is live and the differential is always turning even when 4WD is not engaged, the transfer case is electronically controlled in the Titan and engages when selected. but the ring and pinion turn with the half shafts which are connected to your wheels directly. So the inside of the differential is always lubricated as long as your front tires are rotating.

Older Ford and GM vehicles with locking hubs that had the live front axle disengaged from the wheels and did not turn it (the differential), and the transfercase was also manually disengaged, then you could have a non moving differential, but that is not the case on the Titan and newer 4WD vehicles.
 

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Thread moved & stuck. There have been two fairly frequently posted problems with the front diff (1) the C-clip pops out and the front axle shafts pull out of the diff and (2) catastrophic failure - experienced mainly by those attempting to pull something in reverse (e.g. tree stumps).

The entire front diff appears to be a light duty unit (best suited for a blvd buggy application), with an aluminum housing and is very light in weight.

I initially had the 2004 front diff rebuilt because of bearing noise. Next I experienced the C-clip problem where the driver side shaft pulled out. The dealer pushed it back in and replaced the side seal. It did the same thing again and the dealer replaced the front diff.

No further problems with the front diff, although it is sometimes a little baulky about shifting out of 4 x 4 on the fly.

The next test is at hand as it is snowing in Colorado at the moment.

If you search, forum member akangl had some early threads about front diff failure.
 

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I haven't had a failure but Two days ago I found my front axle on the driver side had backed out enough for fluid to leak out.Not a failure but a big pain because of how far I live from the dealer.I feel pretty certain that it's just a matter of time before it happens again once fixed because I'm not aware of any design change.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Re: Front Axle Failure Thread

Hi Skeet,

According to the dealer that replaced my entire front axle assembly with half shafts, Nissan has beefed up the casting and also changed the half shaft design and C-clips from the originals. When I changed the front brakes on mine I got a good look at the new axle and it appears to have a significant amount of additional ribbing and aluminum casting appears to be larger.
 

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Yesterday while driving in slick conditions I placed my Titan in 4 hi, didn't notice any improvement in traction, slip indicator continued to light on acceleration; not right. Right? 4 hi indicator showed engagement but I knew something was wrong, went back to 2wd and drove home. Still not absolutely positive something was wrong I went back to 4 hi in the driveway and tried to climb into a snowbank with front wheels, rear wheels spun, front wheels didn't do anything. I changed my motor oil that afternoon and was going to place the truck on stands to test the front wheels but when I was under the truck, saw the driver side shaft pulled out of the case about an inch, failure identified. Its going in Monday for repairs, if anyone has had this, will the power train warrenty cover this? Two months ago I had the rear diff replaced, now it seems I get a new front hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your issue is similar to mine , your should be covered by warrenty.
 

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I have a question for BestatChess (or anyone) ... can you describe what the front diff bearing noise sounds like? Can you hear it when the truck is parked in the garage and just idling?
 

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NissanX2 said:
I have a question for BestatChess (or anyone) ... can you describe what the front diff bearing noise sounds like? Can you hear it when the truck is parked in the garage and just idling?

if you are in park your axles are not moving and therefore you should not hear any noises coming from the diffs.
 

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NissanX2 said:
I have a question for BestatChess (or anyone) ... can you describe what the front diff bearing noise sounds like? Can you hear it when the truck is parked in the garage and just idling?
Mine was a grating noise that varied with speed, similar to a bad wheel bearing.
 

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I blew out my front axle when I was off-roading. The guy at the Nissan dealer said that the truck has a very big engine and a weak drivetrain.....in other words, the Titan is a frontier with a 5.6
 

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I shattered the case on my front diff. Dealer turned me down for warrenty because of the lift.
 

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Scott. said:
I shattered the case on my front diff. Dealer turned me down for warrenty because of the lift.

I got a freind that works at the dealer and he hooked it up for me
 

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my truck has 40,000 miles and the front dif is being replaced. about 10,000 miles ago they did the c-clip repair but now apparently something in the front dif is toast. i think they said it was a bearing. i am really worried about keeping this truck past the 60,000 mile drivetrain warranty. at this point both front and back differentials have been replaced. is an extended warranty worth considering? is that even available to me at this point? would the dealer offer something like this due to the many drivetrain problems?
 

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So does anyone know if the NHTSA has done anything about these front and rear axle failures in addition to doors that are freezing and won't close?

Or are we all just pissing into the wind?

Maybe a lawyer and class action might be a better alternative?

I've had the rear axle replaced on my truck already and at 65,000 miles I now wonder if the front will be next someday.
 

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i just read all the post's about the front driver axle popping out. I have the procomp. 6in. lift in my truck and I don't know if it's because of the lift kit or not, but mine pops out every few days. We replaced the clip thinking that the clip was just worn out, but it just popped out today and the new clip was installed thursday. I am starting to think that the axle comes out maybe when the wheel is turned the whole way, maybe and the axle is at it's shortest length, So My question is, is there maybe a company that makes a longer axle, or how do i fix this problem. It def. sucks when it pop's out driving on the highway in the middle of a snowstorm, Not fun!!! And Nissan wont cover any of it cause of the lift kit, and they suck. Bancroft Nissan in worcester ma. Not a good service manager!!!
 
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