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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks in advance

I have 2008 Pro 4X with 80 00 miles. I am suspecting the front diff may be going. Now I may just be paranoid after reading some of the diff fail threads on here.

Lately it seems I can hear a rotational type noise that increases with speed. Decelerating with foot off the gas around 25 mph seems to be the most noticeable. It is not overly loud and the radio easily drowns it out. I had the front diff fluid changed and the fluid was dark but the magnetic drain plug was covered with silver shavings on it.

Truck drives fine, no vibration. 4X4 works solid, some play in the drivers side drive axel/ none in the passenger.

My issue, I am supposed to head on a road trip in two days and able unable to get into the only shop I trust.

My question, what are the signs of impending diff failure? Should I be concerned? Those that have experiance I appreciate your thoughts

Joe
 

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Front differential failure is not very common. Even the rears aren't really that common if you leave out the E-lockers, which accounted for the vast majority of rear failures. I wouldn't panic too much unless you're going into the Mogabi or something similar.
 

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Lift up the truck and put jack stands under the frame. Then, with your hands at 9 and 3 o'clock positions, try to rock the tire back and forth. Try it at 12 and 6 positions too. Does it wiggle? Rotate the tire and listen for noise that isn't the brake pads contacting the rotor. Your symptoms could be bad wheel bearings.

My front passenger wheel bearing had to be replaced at 90k. It was making noise. The test above confirmed to me that the bearing was shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the thoughts and advice I am going to lift up the front and check the wheel bearings and and rotors.
 

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It's normal. If you understood how the front diff is constructed you'd rock that thing like it owed you money.
Both output shafts can be pulled just like a front wheel drive car. They spline into the diff spider gears like any other type of axle, but have an output support bearing....sort of like any other axle, but not quite. The left side wobble comes from the shaft being so short, that's it. Yes, they do develop leaks over time, but a slight wobble is totally normal. If the left side shaft was twice as long, it would probably never have play in it.

You will get a kind of droning sound in 4wd, that's a characteristic of the Titan. If it holds fluid and seems to work ok, it is OK! A little metal dust on the drain plug is normal too.
 

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If you can't smell differential fluid, then it's either just fine or bone dry. A check of the fluid level will resolve the latter.

If you overfill the differential like I did then it WILL smell because the excess comes out the breather tube all over the driver side fender. Bleh!
 
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If you can't smell differential fluid, then it's either just fine or bone dry. A check of the fluid level will resolve the latte.
If you overfill the differential like I did then it WILL smell because the excess comes out the breather tube all over the driver side fender. Bleh!
Even at the correct level I get some coming out during the winter. I chalk it up to 85/140 oil, 10 degree weather, and going 55-60 mph from the moment I leave the driveway. It doesn't happen during the warm months.
 

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You use 85/140 in the front??? Spec is 80w-90 and that's what I've been using since the first change at 1,000 miles. Actually, I've been using 75w-90, but close enough.
 

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You use 85/140 in the front??? Spec is 80w-90 and that's what I've been using since the first change at 1,000 miles. Actually, I've been using 75w-90, but close enough.
Now that I think of it, I am using 80w90 now since I've had it out and apart last year. It still came out though, but only a very small amount.
 

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Check your output shafts, especially the driver side. Mine has popped out THREE FREAKING TIMES and when that happens the splines on the output shaft inside the differential get eaten clean away, causing a sound like you are describing.

I absolutely HATE the front differentials on these trucks.
 

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Now that I think of it, I am using 80w90 now since I've had it out and apart last year. It still came out though, but only a very small amount.
Check the output shafts, especially the drivers side. Mine has pulled itself out THREE FREAKING TIMES. When this happens the splines on the shaft inside the differential get chewed smooth and cause a sound like you are mentioning.
 

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Check the output shafts, especially the drivers side. Mine has pulled itself out THREE FREAKING TIMES. When this happens the splines on the shaft inside the differential get chewed smooth and cause a sound like you are mentioning.
That's pretty common on some of the older ones.
 

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I have a similar sound that goes away when I turn the selector to 2 wheel Drive only. I keep it in that mode all the time unless I encounter slippery conditions where I might need the auto 4 wheel drive. For what it is worth, mine has made the noise for nearly 4 years now with no other symptoms. I changed out the differential fluid and transfer case fluid but it had no effect on the sound.
 

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As it shouldn't. The front diff noise is a well known complaint with the Titan, even when they were new.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks All I appreciate the responses on here. I did jack up the front end, no play at all in the wheel bearings.

, I lifted one side at a time when I spun the drivers side wheel i heard no notice from the axel or diff. When I did the passenger side I could hear what I believe is the noise I am hearing. Nothing grinding just the sound of noisier gears.

Interesting the drivers side was quiet. It certainly leads me to believe the noise is originating from the passenger side axel/diff connection But everything seems tight and no leaks
 

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Thanks All I appreciate the responses on here. I did jack up the front end, no play at all in the wheel bearings.

, I lifted one side at a time when I spun the drivers side wheel i heard no notice from the axel or diff. When I did the passenger side I could hear what I believe is the noise I am hearing. Nothing grinding just the sound of noisier gears.

Interesting the drivers side was quiet. It certainly leads me to believe the noise is originating from the passenger side axel/diff connection But everything seems tight and no leaks
If you're only spinning one wheel by hand then chances are the other wheel is spinning the other way or not at all. You are hearing the spider gears when you do this. Your spider gears are not turning when you drive straight down the road.

Its good if there are no leaks or chunks of metal on the drain plug.
 

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Thanks All I appreciate the responses on here. I did jack up the front end, no play at all in the wheel bearings.

, I lifted one side at a time when I spun the drivers side wheel i heard no notice from the axel or diff. When I did the passenger side I could hear what I believe is the noise I am hearing. Nothing grinding just the sound of noisier gears.

Interesting the drivers side was quiet. It certainly leads me to believe the noise is originating from the passenger side axel/diff connection But everything seems tight and no leaks
Bad CV joint maybe? I don't hear of those going bad very often on Titans that are OEM suspension. Add a leveling kit or adjustable coilovers and it puts more stress on the CV joints. Heavy wheels/tires can also stress the CV joint.
 
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