Nissan XTerra Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Video/sound link:

Hey folks,

We picked up a 2011 pro-4x (manual) a few months ago. ~170k kms on it.

I don't know if it's normal gear noise or not but when I'm driving at highway speeds (well more like 60km/hr+) I hear this resonating howling whine kind of sound, from what sounds like underneath the truck (as opposed to the engine area).

The sound happens when I'm on the gas and stops when I let off the gas. Volume and pitch seem to increase with speed, and it doesn't matter what gear I'm in. If the clutch is disengaged, no sound happens regardless of RPM. This all leads me to think it's a drivetrain thing. I took it to a mechanic a couple months ago and he took it for a test drive but didn't get it up to highway driving speeds. He said it sounded fine, just gear noise, but I still have a feeling it's not normal.

It might be relevant that the flywheel (and clutch?) was replaced at about 70k, at a Nissan shop. So Carfax tells me. We've swapped all the fluids since buying it, since nothing but the engine oil had been done in a long while, but no difference in noise.

I'm hoping one of you more experienced Xterra owners can have a listen to the video and let me know if it sounds fine? If it doesn't sound fine, what should I check?

Thanks :)
 

·
Registered
2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
Joined
·
218 Posts
Sounds like the rear diff (low on fluid?) or else the manual trans. More likely the diff, but it's almost certainly gears.
 

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like the rear diff (low on fluid?) or else the manual trans. More likely the diff, but it's almost certainly gears.
Rear diff isn't low on fluid (just changed the rear diff oil like 2 months ago) but it is seeping oil around the cover. Not dripping but the cover is perpetually oily. When I did the breather extension a few weeks ago I checked the stock breather and it was clear, I ordered a lubelocker gasket and will be popping that in once it shows up... Hopefully that fixes the seepage...

What else could it be if it's not low fluid level? Anything that I, a non-mechanic, can check while I've got the diff cover off?
 

·
Registered
2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
Joined
·
218 Posts
I'm no expert, but there are plenty of videos on YT. If the cover is already off, check the wear on the teeth of the ring and pinion gears to see if there's any sign of misalignment or damage.

There are members here who know enough to be able to guide you better than I can. Once they come along and see what you're dealing with, I'm sure they'll offer some ideas and ask even better questions than I have.

The thing that we still don't know, though, is if the noise is from the diff or elsewhere. Have you been able to determine for sure where the noise is coming from?
 

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The thing that we still don't know, though, is if the noise is from the diff or elsewhere. Have you been able to determine for sure where the noise is coming from?
I haven't figured it out for certain, no... I suspected it was maybe ring and pinion noise since it sounds a lot like some YouTube videos I've seen, but it could be something else too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
What weight and brand of gear oil did you put in with your last change? Did you do it or was it a shop? Did you just check the gear oil level yourself or are you assuming it is good because it was changed 2 months ago. Not trying to be tough on you just would like the details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Did you do any other changes, work or maintenance to it recently?

I have mud tires that make so much noise I would not even hear most drive train sounds.

Can you tell where the sound is coming from, front or back of vehicle?
 

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What weight and brand of gear oil did you put in with your last change? Did you do it or was it a shop? Did you just check the gear oil level yourself or are you assuming it is good because it was changed 2 months ago. Not trying to be tough on you just would like the details.
The rear diff oil was changed at a shop; used Castrol Syntec SAE 75W-90. The mechanic said the fluid that came out looked old but nothing crazy about it. To be honest I haven't checked the level since it was swapped, but it was making this noise before (since I got the truck) which was one of the reasons I prioritized changing the diff oil.
 

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Did you do any other changes, work or maintenance to it recently?

I have mud tires that make so much noise I would not even hear most drive train sounds.

Can you tell where the sound is coming from, front or back of vehicle?
Swapped all the fluids for maintenance, only other thing I've done was the breather extension. But this sound has been happening since I got the truck (mid July).

It sounds like it's coming from the middle/back/ish (not the front). But it's hard for me to pinpoint where it's coming from, other than being able to reproduce the sound while I'm driving.

The tires are a bit noisy (KO2s) but I'd think that wouldn't explain the sound being 'throttle dependent' (noise when I'm on the gas, no noise off the gas)... so I don't think it's the tires?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
I would be checking the fluid levels on both the manual transmission and the rear end to be sure they are up to a proper fill level before proceeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
sounds like the u joints for me to
if it’s any play in the front of the differential
It could be the ball bearing in there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
You're going to like that Lubelocker gasket. I put one on my 2015 Pro-4x when I swapped out the diff cover with a heavy duty aftermarket unit. My rear end is a Dana electric lock and I am wondering if your Pro-4x would be the same in 2011. If so, the gear oil spec is probably the same as mine which is 75w-140w and not the 90w. Good time to check it out since you will be dumping the oil to install that new gasket. You will be able to look at the gear mesh wear pattern on the gear teeth too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
While your checking your U-joints also check the center carrier bearing. They can make a variety of sounds when they go bad. Squeaking. Banging/clunking. Howling. Usually just one of these sounds.

Remember to use a paint pen, nail polish or some other method to index and mark the driveshaft, diff, and transmission before taking the driveshaft out to make sure it goes back the way it came. If you do the U-joints yourself you will likewise want to index the yokes so the shafts go back the way they cam as well as mark which end goes with which end as they can easily be swapped end for end by accident.

This is all so that the shaft is still balanced when it goes back together. Failure to put things back exactly as they came out can result in an unbalanced shaft which will give you vibration and reduce the life of components like the U-joints, Center bearing, Diff, and the transmission.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rackle

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You're going to like that Lubelocker gasket. I put one on my 2015 Pro-4x when I swapped out the diff cover with a heavy duty aftermarket unit. My rear end is a Dana electric lock and I am wondering if your Pro-4x would be the same in 2011. If so, the gear oil spec is probably the same as mine which is 75w-140w and not the 90w. Good time to check it out since you will be dumping the oil to install that new gasket. You will be able to look at the gear mesh wear pattern on the gear teeth too.
Hmm the 2011 owner's manual says to use 75W-90 but it doesn't specify a different spec for the different diff in the Pro-4x...
 

·
Registered
2011 Pro-4x MT
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
While your checking your U-joints also check the center carrier bearing. They can make a variety of sounds when they go bad. Squeaking. Banging/clunking. Howling. Usually just one of these sounds.

Remember to use a paint pen, nail polish or some other method to index and mark the driveshaft, diff, and transmission before taking the driveshaft out to make sure it goes back the way it came. If you do the U-joints yourself you will likewise want to index the yokes so the shafts go back the way they cam as well as mark which end goes with which end as they can easily be swapped end for end by accident.

This is all so that the shaft is still balanced when it goes back together. Failure to put things back exactly as they came out can result in an unbalanced shaft which will give you vibration and reduce the life of components like the U-joints, Center bearing, Diff, and the transmission.
This is really good info, thanks. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do all this work myself - we live in a condo and technically we're not even supposed to do oil changes in our park spot. I bend the rules frequently but taking the whole drivetrain down sounds like a bit more than I can take on in a weekend without the right tools and space to work. I'm thinking I'm going to have to bring it to a shop for this...

Our next place is gonna have to have a carport at least lol. Need more tinkering room ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Video/sound link:

Hey folks,

We picked up a 2011 pro-4x (manual) a few months ago. ~170k kms on it.

I don't know if it's normal gear noise or not but when I'm driving at highway speeds (well more like 60km/hr+) I hear this resonating howling whine kind of sound, from what sounds like underneath the truck (as opposed to the engine area).

The sound happens when I'm on the gas and stops when I let off the gas. Volume and pitch seem to increase with speed, and it doesn't matter what gear I'm in. If the clutch is disengaged, no sound happens regardless of RPM. This all leads me to think it's a drivetrain thing. I took it to a mechanic a couple months ago and he took it for a test drive but didn't get it up to highway driving speeds. He said it sounded fine, just gear noise, but I still have a feeling it's not normal.

It might be relevant that the flywheel (and clutch?) was replaced at about 70k, at a Nissan shop. So Carfax tells me. We've swapped all the fluids since buying it, since nothing but the engine oil had been done in a long while, but no difference in noise.

I'm hoping one of you more experienced Xterra owners can have a listen to the video and let me know if it sounds fine? If it doesn't sound fine, what should I check?

Thanks :)
Check for a cracked fan blade, mine did this plastic blade had crack
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top