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Discussion Starter #1
My truck has this howling noise that comes out of the rear end when I accelerate. When I let off the gas, the noise goes away. During a recent tire rotation one of the mechanics seemed to think it was the pinion bearing.

Does this sound reasonable? If so, is the pinion bearing a replaceable part on the Titan?
 

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I have no experience with the pinion bearing in the Titan but I had a lot of experience with the pinion bearings and seal in a jeep rear end. I'm assuming there isn't a big difference. The pinion bearings and seal can be replaced but you have to remove the entire rear end to get access so that you can press the new races in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Assuming this can be replaced, would it be cheaper than getting a tru-trac installed? Would the tru-trac solve this issue and is it the better option?

The is the second rear end in my truck. First one was replaced around 50,000 miles and I now have 121,000+
 

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Installing a new differential and installing a pinion bearing are two different things. If your pinion bearing is bad, a tru-trac install will not help.
 

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There is an inner and outer pinion bearing, if the outer is the one that is bad a lot of times it can be changed without a complete disassemble of the differential. You would have to drop the driveline, pull the diff yoke, remove the seal. Once the seal is removed you will see the outer bearing cone, sometimes this can be slid off the pinion which then exposes the bearing race. It will take a slide hammer with special jaws to get the race out from there, and even then it's not always doable. A shop that specializes in diff repair should be able to handle the job easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So replacing the ring and pinion bearings would probably be cheaper then installing true trac?
 

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There is no ring bearing. I don't know the cost of replacing the pinion bearings but as Lvcoyote said the entire rear end will most likely have to come out. It will not be cheap.
 

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If you want to replace all the bearings in the diff then like I said previously there is an inner and outer pinion bearing and race, and there are two bearings on the carrier assembly. If you decide to do this, then the differential will need to be disassembled. This means pulling both axle shafts as well in order to get the carrier out. Also keep in mind if all the bearings are changed the differential pinion and carrier will need to be shimmed correctly during the reassemble process. Shimming is critical for proper pinion to ring gear back lash and tooth contact, done incorrectly and the rear end will make noise or a whining sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm looking at having local mechanic do it. Called the Nissan dealer and they said no parts available and would have to change entire rear end.
 

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Well I found this. Are these the parts I need?

Yukon Master Overhaul Kit for Nissan Titan rear differential - YK NTITAN

I also found this stuff at Rock Auto, which seems to be cheaper, but I don't know which ones I need.

RockAuto Parts Catalog

I have a 2004 with big tow and off-road with the rear differential lock.
Yukon kit parts list [with my comments]:

Included in this kit are carrier bearings and races[these could be used with a truetrac install. The ring gear is bolted to the carrier (or the TrueTrac which replaces oem carrier). This has nothing to do with pinion bearing noise], pinion bearings and races, pinion seal [these would replace the pinion bearings and hopefully solve the noise problem], complete shim kit[perhaps not part of the kit for the Titan because Titan uses threaded adjusters for the carrier bearings, and not shims as used in a standard Dana 44], ring gear bolts[the ring gear bolts could be used to bolt the ring gear to a TrueTrac], pinion nut[the service manual says to replace the pinion nut whenever it is removed], crush sleeve (if applicable)[The crush sleeve pertains to proper setting of the pinion via correct torque settings and measurement], oil baffles and slingers (if applicable)[I think these are N/A], Thread locking compound[used for ring gear bolts], marking compound with brush[used with dial indicator to set proper carrier bearing lash and check ring/pinion mesh], and gasket[perhaps N/A because the oem Titan diff cover used RTV sealant (e.g. Permatex Ultra Black) instead of a gasket]

Other parts that you may want in connection with a complete rear axle rebuild/ TrueTrac install are axle seals, axle bearing sets (Timken Set 10 - set = spacer + bearing + race) and snap rings (x2 to do both sides).

To install a TrueTrac in an e-locker rear end you also need to replace one axle shaft and swap the diff position sensor with a bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Howling noise can also come from worn ring/pinion.
I was told that's probably what it is. If that is the case, money is tight right now and I would rather take the cheapest route to get it fixed.

I called Randy's ring and pinion and they quoted me $65 for inner and outter ring and pinion bearing parts.
 

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tur-trac will cost you from $400 to $600 then the additional install cost (around $150) it does not come with pinion bearings or seals. I had a pinion bearing replaced for around $175 parts and labor. I later had a tru-trac installed but also had the entire rear end rebuilt with all new bearings and seals that was $418 (the tru-trac cost me an additional $400 from a forum member) So if your not looking to replace the carrier I would just go with the bearing replacement and have a shop do it as there are all kinds of adjustments that only a pro should be trusted to deal with
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One other thing...Would be ok to just change the pinion bearing and not the carrier bearings?

I'm trying to keep my costs down and this assumes that just the pinion bearing is the culprit making the noise.
 

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Sure, you can do that. But, if you change both the pinion bearings then the pinion has to be removed from the differential housing, which means the carrier has to be removed as well. So you might as well change them all seeing how it has to be removed anyway. You can give the carrier bearings a good inspection while it's out and you may find that the bearings are in good shape and don't need changing anyway. I'm assuming that the pinion must be removed through the inspection cover area but I havent taken a close enough look to be sure of this. If the entire pinion assembly with bearings can be removed out the front then the carrier does not need to be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK. I did more research and found this kit which is $50 cheaper than Randy's Ring and Pinion. Wonder if the quality is as good?

Dana 44 Master Gear Install Kit 04-07 Nissan Titan Rear [MK D44-TITAN] - $150.00 : JTs Parts & Accessories, Justdifferentials.com

I guess the thing that is weighing on my mind at this point...My passenger side front wheel bearing went out in December. My drivers side front wheel bearing is making noise now ($300 replacement) and now I have to deal with the bearing problems in the rear as well so the cost is climbing higher. With my luck, I'll replace the pinion bearings and then my carrier bearings will need replacement. Arrrrrrrr!!!! I swear this truck was designed to self destruct.
 
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