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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to equip my 2005 AT 4X4 S with locking diffs and need your help on deciding which route to go. I have read a lot of posts on this forum and most are suggesting that axle swap would be an easier and cheaper route. However when I started looking for parts a few months back, I am seeing a very similar overall cost. For example I found a used M226 with e-locker and 3.69 gear ratio (from an MT) with 46K miles on it for $1300 (shipping included) and a matching R180 from the same vehicle for $400. The problem is all the parts I find are out of state and I would have to pay $200 to $300 shipping charges and buy an axle without even seeing a picture of it. Most places I call can't even confirm if it comes with rotors, ABS sensors, etc.

So overall I am looking at something like this cost wise:

$1700 for rear axle and front diff (depending on condition might be higher or lower)
$1000 for ARB locker in the front
$200 for ARB compressor (assuming I install this one myself)
$2000 labor

So total of around $5000 to have a e-locker in the back and ARB in front with 3.69 gear ratio

At the same time there is a shop here in the bay area that will install two ARBs with 4.1 re-gear in my existing diffs (they have 120K miles on them) for $4500 all parts and labor included.

So now I have some questions:

1-Am I looking at the wrong places for parts? Do you guys know of any better places to look? I am searching on Car-Parts.com and ebay.

2-Those of you who are using ARBs in your C200K, how has the experience been for you? Talking to Nisstec, Steven warned me that some people have had failures due to the installation process and the locker fitment and the machine work needed. I am wondering if that is specific to a certain gear ratio or does it affect all C200K diffs regardless of what gear they put in.

Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks :)
 

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You have cheaper options. I have a 2005 Xterra S (auto) with the C200k and ARB locking rear diff. Below is what I did:

1. $700 lightly used ARB locker from another member
2. $100 for all new bearings, seals, misc for complete differential rebuild
3. $100 for the Shrockworks cover
4. $200 for the ARB CKMA12 OBA. I installed it myself in about 3 hours.
5. $400 for professional install of the differential and air line hookups

I'm definitely considering getting a front locker and getting that professionally installed; should be less than $1200 installed. That would put me at $2700-3000 for both axles rebuilt and locked, leaving more funds for other mods.

The differential shop I go to in Phoenix told me that they see a lot less damaged C200k differentials than they see of the M226. I guess the key is not driving like an idiot and using too much throttle & getting excessive wheelspin when you're stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, that is a good suggestion. Unfortunately here in the bay area labor is a little more expensive and Xterra 4wheelers are more scars too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have cheaper options. I have a 2005 Xterra S (auto) with the C200k and ARB locking rear diff. Below is what I did:

1. $700 lightly used ARB locker from another member
2. $100 for all new bearings, seals, misc for complete differential rebuild
3. $100 for the Shrockworks cover
4. $200 for the ARB CKMA12 OBA. I installed it myself in about 3 hours.
5. $400 for professional install of the differential and air line hookups

I'm definitely considering getting a front locker and getting that professionally installed; should be less than $1200 installed. That would put me at $2700-3000 for both axles rebuilt and locked, leaving more funds for other mods.

The differential shop I go to in Phoenix told me that they see a lot less damaged C200k differentials than they see of the M226. I guess the key is not driving like an idiot and using too much throttle & getting excessive wheelspin when you're stuck.
How long have you been using the locker? Are you still running the original gear 3.13 ratio? And did you run into any problems for installation or after?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's great, thanks for sharing your experience. Locking the C200 is definitely the easier route for me since I don't have to look for parts and all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if you swap to a 226 youll also need a new drive shaft.
Hi, Do you know which drive shaft I should be getting? Ideally, I would want to get a 3.69 M226 axle because of the ratio and the locker. So that would be from a manual while my truck is AT. Also, will I need a new yoke too? Thanks
Still trying to see which route make sense for me!
 

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Hi, Do you know which drive shaft I should be getting? Ideally, I would want to get a 3.69 M226 axle because of the ratio and the locker. So that would be from a manual while my truck is AT. Also, will I need a new yoke too? Thanks
Still trying to see which route make sense for me!
one out of a pro4x should fit

can i get a confirmation from someone ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is the difference in drive shaft length caused by the location of AT transmission vs manual? If so then I guess I should be getting a drive shaft from an AT pro-4x even though the axle would be from a manual. I am basing my assumption on the premise that the yoke and spline position is always the same across all M226 axles. I am also doing a 2.5 inch Suspension lift at the same time, but I guess that shouldn't really matter much.
 

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You have cheaper options. I have a 2005 Xterra S (auto) with the C200k and ARB locking rear diff. Below is what I did:

1. $700 lightly used ARB locker from another member
2. $100 for all new bearings, seals, misc for complete differential rebuild
3. $100 for the Shrockworks cover
4. $200 for the ARB CKMA12 OBA. I installed it myself in about 3 hours.
5. $400 for professional install of the differential and air line hookups

I'm definitely considering getting a front locker and getting that professionally installed; should be less than $1200 installed. That would put me at $2700-3000 for both axles rebuilt and locked, leaving more funds for other mods.

The differential shop I go to in Phoenix told me that they see a lot less damaged C200k differentials than they see of the M226. I guess the key is not driving like an idiot and using too much throttle & getting excessive wheelspin when you're stuck.
Which shop do you use in Phoenix? I'm Phoenix and want to have a locker installed at some point in the near future.
 

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one out of a pro4x should fit

can i get a confirmation from someone ?
Correct, one from a P4X will work.

Would that be any pro-4x or does it matter if it is AT or MT?
For the 3.69 ratio it has to be an MT P4X.

Is the difference in drive shaft length caused by the location of AT transmission vs manual? If so then I guess I should be getting a drive shaft from an AT pro-4x even though the axle would be from a manual. I am basing my assumption on the premise that the yoke and spline position is always the same across all M226 axles. I am also doing a 2.5 inch Suspension lift at the same time, but I guess that shouldn't really matter much.
The difference is in the transmissions. The output of the transmissions are in difference locations(length). The P4X auto transmission is identical to yours.
 
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M226 vs c200k really boils down to if a regear is in your future or not. If you are certain it is not, stick with the c200k. If it is or might be, switch to the m226 as there are more gear options.

As for the driveshaft, the pumpkin itself on the m226 is longer than the c200k’s. That’s the difference. I can’t remember for sure off the top of my head but it’s about 1.25” or in that ballpark longer so the pro4x driveshaft is that much shorter.

Something to watch for when buying a used m226, make sure it has the same number of bolt holes in the companion flange as your current axle. Also make sure the abs sensors are included and the axle shafts are not bent.

Lastly, I swapped the c200k for an m226 and never had any issues with the driveshaft length. Yes it was pushed into the t-case farther, but wasn’t an issue for me. I’d say if you have 3” of lift or more in the rear, you won’t have any issues. I did swap that rear t-case seal out around the same time so that probably helped (a lot of guys have that start leaking if they keep their current ds, I think it has to do with them letting the ds hang while they are swapping).
 

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Lastly, I swapped the c200k for an m226 and never had any issues with the driveshaft length. Yes it was pushed into the t-case farther, but wasn’t an issue for me. I’d say if you have 3” of lift or more in the rear, you won’t have any issues. I did swap that rear t-case seal out around the same time so that probably helped (a lot of guys have that start leaking if they keep their current ds, I think it has to do with them letting the ds hang while they are swapping).
I had the same experience. I swapped from a 3.13 C200 to a 3.36 M226, and used my existing drive shaft with zero issues. I am an automatic transmission and I'm pretty sure the M226 came out of an auto also, but I'm not 100% sure. I did have my transfer case seal replaced about a year before I did the swap - it failed and leaked while under warranty, and they swapped it out for the new design/parts.

I've been running the swap for over a year now and have done a lot of hard wheeling with no issues at all.
 

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I had the same experience. I swapped from a 3.13 C200 to a 3.36 M226, and used my existing drive shaft with zero issues. I am an automatic transmission and I'm pretty sure the M226 came out of an auto also, but I'm not 100% sure. I did have my transfer case seal replaced about a year before I did the swap - it failed and leaked while under warranty, and they swapped it out for the new design/parts.

I've been running the swap for over a year now and have done a lot of hard wheeling with no issues at all.
Mine is out of an auto also, Ive got a tiny leak from the t case now, just a hanging drip tho nbd
 

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Honestly imo if you plan on spending this much money, I say do a m226 and an m205 with pathfinder shafts, I got the front and rear diffs for 1.5k and they were 2011 and 2012 with less than 60k then just get pathy shafts and boom elocker, and the ability to titan swap down the road
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Correct, one from a P4X will work.



For the 3.69 ratio it has to be an MT P4X.



The difference is in the transmissions. The output of the transmissions are in difference locations(length). The P4X auto transmission is identical to yours.
Thanks so much for the info. So I guess I need a 3.69 axle from an MT P4X and a driveshaft from an AT P4X cause my truck is AT. That is if I were to change the drive shaft as well. However, judging by you guys's experience it seems like the drive shaft swap might not even be necessary if the difference is only about an inch and considering that I am also lifting 2.5 to 3 in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So where are ya'll getting the used axles from? I am looking on Car-parts.com and ebay and the sellers don't send me pics of the actual axles or provide any info as to what is included on the axle. I wish there was a good local place where I could go and check out the parts in person.
 
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