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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have a gem of a 2008 4wd Xterra, (230,000 miles) that recently has been making loud clunking noises in the rear when turning right or left. If I put it in neutral before turning and coast through the turn it doesn't make a noise until I straighten out and put it in gear again, then one clunk. Seems to have started after snowfall when I had it in 4 high. There is no vibration going straight. The VDB and Slip lights are always on, on the dash.
Please offer any ideas. I'm worried it's the axle.
 

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2015 Xterra Pro-4X
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Hi,
I have a gem of a 2008 4wd Xterra, (230,000 miles) that recently has been making loud clunking noises in the rear when turning right or left. If I put it in neutral before turning and coast through the turn it doesn't make a noise until I straighten out and put it in gear again, then one clunk. Seems to have started after snowfall when I had it in 4 high. There is no vibration going straight. The VDB and Slip lights are always on, on the dash.
Please offer any ideas. I'm worried it's the axle.
You might consider putting it in 4 high again and then cycling it back to 2 wheel again to see if exercising the mechanism will set it right. A bit optimistic but worth a go at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey guys,
Here is the cause of my clunking.
When I took off the differential cover I found that the /Spyder/differential/side gears/ were worn/broken/shattered as shown in the pictures. I ordered the parts to replace and will keep you posted. The ring and pinion gears are intact.


 

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Hey guys,
Here is the cause of my clunking.
When I took off the differential cover I found that the /Spyder/differential/side gears/ were worn/broken/shattered as shown in the pictures. I ordered the parts to replace and will keep you posted. The ring and pinion gears are intact.

View attachment 78558
View attachment 78557
Shizam! That's some serious wear. I'm thinking you didn't drain much gear oil out of there. Maybe just enough to keep the bottom of the ring gear wet.
 

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Shizam! That's some serious wear. I'm thinking you didn't drain much gear oil out of there. Maybe just enough to keep the bottom of the ring gear wet.
PS. Replace that rusted brake line there while you're down under. Won't be long and you'll be attempting an emergency stop with the hand brake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Shizam! That's some serious wear. I'm thinking you didn't drain much gear oil out of there. Maybe just enough to keep the bottom of the ring gear wet.
Actually the differential was full of oil. I do have 230,000 miles on it though.
There was a lot of gear shavings/pieces on the magnet and the bottom of the case.
PS. Replace that rusted brake line there while you're down under. Won't be long and you'll be attempting an emergency stop with the hand brake.
Good call!
I think I would still have front brakes though?
 

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2005 Nissan Xterra
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Actually the differential was full of oil. I do have 230,000 miles on it though.
There was a lot of gear shavings/pieces on the magnet and the bottom of the case.

Good call!
I think I would still have front brakes though?
Unfortunately, you wouldn't since the brake system is a pressure based system, a leak in any part of it will affect your entire brake system as the brake fluid in your reservoir will spill out of the rear line shown in the picture to where there will be no fluid left and you will be pumping air into the system with each pedal push. Definitely get that line replaced since your ride is down for major rear end repairs anyway, and if that one looks that bad maybe check the rest of your lines and replace those while you have the down time.
 

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... snip ...

Good call!
I think I would still have front brakes though?
Your brake master cylinder is a dual-circuit cylinder, mandated on US cars decades ago. If one circuit has a leak, the other circuit will still function. So, if the rears failed to a fully-open leak, you'd still have the front brakes, and vice versa.

Both circuits go to the Federally-mandated ABS module. As you can see in the image below, there are 2 versions of the ABS module and the brake piping that serves the brakes. The biggest difference is that one version has only 1 line going to the rear brakes, and the other has 1 line going to each rear brake independent of the other.

A leak in the rear brakes will not cause you to lose the front brakes. The biggest issue would be whether you've pumped all of the fluid out, which would then reduce the effectiveness of the front brakes. I would hope that you would have noticed it long before that, but if not, you'd still have some braking in the front, even if reduced.

 

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I'm not sure how effective it would be in a car that large (an Xterra) as I recently had to nurse my 1997 CRV home because the rear metal brake line broke. The brakes "worked" with the pedal all the way to the floor but I also didn't ever break 30 mph and they did not stop my vehicle all that well. The hand brake was implemented and worked far better than the pedal. In any case though, visual inspection of your metal lines and replacement is better than trial by fire. Logically yes what MeToo is saying and shown should work, however I can personally attest to it not working in a 97 Honda CRV well enough for me to ever want to do it again.
 

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Maybe your CRV's fluid was low before you finally noticed it, which would diminish the amount of fluid available for the front brakes.
 

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Most of the fluid came pouring out the rear like honda diahhrea as I was pumping the brakes LOL I noticed the brake light come on, then the pedal went to the floor then me handbrake tokyo drifting to avoid rear ending a soccer mom mini van, it was epic!
 

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And your skills saved the day, it seems. Glad you kept your head. I don't think there's much of a market for spare heads, anyhow. ;)
 

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Most of the fluid came pouring out the rear like honda diahhrea as I was pumping the brakes LOL I noticed the brake light come on, then the pedal went to the floor then me handbrake tokyo drifting to avoid rear ending a soccer mom mini van, it was epic!
Been there done that! Once you have had the experience, brakes that are a maybe and then gone when the "not nearly enough" brake fluid supply runs out is something you want to totally avoid. I recall doing the panic stop with an emergency brake that was a foot pedal mounted to the drivers side kick panel and the release was located pretty much under the dash in the same area. Pretty difficult position that puts you in when attempting to maintain eye contact with the collision course.
 

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part of the reason that got added to my new/used car checklist. E-Brake must be at the right hand ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your brake master cylinder is a dual-circuit cylinder, mandated on US cars decades ago. If one circuit has a leak, the other circuit will still function. So, if the rears failed to a fully-open leak, you'd still have the front brakes, and vice versa.

Both circuits go to the Federally-mandated ABS module. As you can see in the image below, there are 2 versions of the ABS module and the brake piping that serves the brakes. The biggest difference is that one version has only 1 line going to the rear brakes, and the other has 1 line going to each rear brake independent of the other.

A leak in the rear brakes will not cause you to lose the front brakes. The biggest issue would be whether you've pumped all of the fluid out, which would then reduce the effectiveness of the front brakes. I would hope that you would have noticed it long before that, but if not, you'd still have some braking in the front, even if reduced.

View attachment 78562
Thanks you guys this is great info!
Can you explain to me how the VDC works?
Seems to just be a pain.
 

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Hi,
I have a gem of a 2008 4wd Xterra, (230,000 miles) that recently has been making loud clunking noises in the rear when turning right or left. If I put it in neutral before turning and coast through the turn it doesn't make a noise until I straighten out and put it in gear again, then one clunk. Seems to have started after snowfall when I had it in 4 high. There is no vibration going straight. The VDB and Slip lights are always on, on the dash.
Please offer any ideas. I'm worried it's the axle.
Have you checked the leaf springs for cracks? I broke my leaf spring!Broken shock? I thought Nissan rear ends are pretty strong units, but maybe it broke! Does yours have electric locker switch?
 
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