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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had a terrible mystery noise coming from the front end hitting 123k miles. Noticed there was a lot of rotational play under the rubber boot on the front drive shaft. Seems like the splines in there are shot?! It wiggles/clunks quite a bit twisting with my hands.

There is a chance I bent it slightly about 100k miles ago or broke a spline 50k miles ago when I got hung up on snowy rocks and I heard it pop really loud. Seemed fine at the time tho so I just sent it. And before that the bolts up front disappeared going down a horrible washboard Indian reservation road. Probably not torqued correctly... it was still under warranty so the dealership reinstalled it but I'm guessing they never balanced it. It did violently bang around off the crossmember when it came loose. I guess I need a new drive shaft now... anybody else have this issue?

Where's the best place to get a new one? Might hit the junkyard up idk. I'd like one with new u-joints already installed if possible. Preferably one that has been balanced. How much $ to get one balanced? A good used one with the old u-joints already removed would be super cool too for easy install. I hate banging old u-joints out! I'm just assuming you don't want any play in there... Any harm in driving it for awhile with the shaft removed? 2wd mode lol. I'm pretty broke at the moment so not trying to blow a ton of money. Would like to send it in 2wd until I get a new job since I'm laid off right now.

I do have upgraded Radflow coilovers on there lifting it about 2.5" and added a leaf spring set in the rear for towing purposes. Not sure if the changed angles are what caused it to go bad? The extra leafs make it tow really nice. The bigger coils definitely soak up the bumps a lot better. I'd recommend this upgrade.

The front diff seal is leaking too so gonna replace that while im at it. Looks easy once I break that 30mm nut loose. Likely it went bad from the vibration. Think the front diff pinion bearing is damaged too? How can I tell?

I'm not a mechanic but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

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I'm confused. There isn't a rubber boot on our front drive shaft. There is on the CV shafts going from the front axle to the front wheels (one on each side, with a rubber boot at each end of the left and right shafts. But there are no splines inside those rubber boots. There is a constant velocity joint inside the rubber boot (thus the name CV shaft). The popping you heard was the joint slipping. Not good for the joint, of course.

Pretty easy to replace, and not terribly expensive. My guess is you need an axle seal at the end of the front axle center section, as well. A bit harder than a pinion seal, but not impossible with the right tools. If you really mean the pinion seal, it's not tough, just need the right tools to get it apart and press the new seal in.

You can pull the front CV shafts and drive as a 2wd as long as you like, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
No there is a rubber boot. The shaft slides in and out as it flexes. Goes from the transfer case to the back side of the front differential. If you pop the clamps off the boot and slide it down, the shaft is in two pieces splined together in there and its loose and wiggly which doesnt seem right. Lots of blue grease inside. No dirt or anything. Am I calling it the wrong thing? I know it's not the axles they go to the wheels... and I dont see any leaking there.

Not seeing the part on rockauto i already checked there


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You basically have two options. You can buy a new assembly (OEM if you can find it, or various aftermarket) or you can junkyard it. If you have the boot off, you might just slip the two pieces of driveshaft apart if they will disconnect, and inspect. Might be an issue internal to your diff causing the problem, which also might explain the leaking pinion seal. At the end of the day, a new shaft appears to run somewhere between $300-500, depending on which one you want to buy. Google "20XX Nissan Titan front driveshaft sale" filling in your year for the XX and you'll get a series of useful links. The pinion seal should be available at a local parts store.
 
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