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Hey folks,
So my 2012 P4X has developed a leak in the rear diff at the passenger side. It leaking and spraying into the wheel. Took it in to have the seal changed and the shop told me Nissan will not sell them the seal and recommend a new axel. $1,100!
Seems like a very expensive fix for what in other vehicles is a simple seal. After talking it over with my wife, we are interested in fixing up the old girl (106k miles) and redoing the suspension and fixing this leak. Question is, what’s the best way forward? I would like to start doing a bit more off-road camping/over landing. Should I look to do a titan swap and put in a new diff all together? I’d like to keep the truck for a good while yet and it’s starting to need some love (a few East coast winters). Going to rust reform and undercoat. I’d like to keep the budget under $4k if I can. Thanks for the help.
129911
 

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My co-worker just had the seal replaced on his Frontier that is the same. A new SKF bearing and seal was $100 and local driveline shop charged $100 to press off the bearing and install the new one.

You can get a complete new axle shaft and bearing assembly from Nissan for $475.
 

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I've done both seal replacement and inner axle assembly replacement. First off, you certainly can get just the seal replacement kit as mentioned above, but its certainly more work than just swapping the axle. I assume the shop just wants to avoid that extra labor.

Over time the axle can become pitted around the area the seals rides on the axle shaft. once this happens, replacing just the seal is a temporary fix, as the pitting will eventually trash the new seal again. This is what happened to me. I noticed the pitting when i did the seals, and went ahead with the repair knowing that if/when they go again, I need to replace the axles. I got close to two years before they were leaking again.

In my opinion an axle replacement should be less in labor cost which should help offset cost a little bit. It is also likely a safer bet over time if the axles are beginning to pit. Of course the shop would need to be willing to pull the axles and inspect them so you can make a decision. Which would leave your Xterra in the shop longer.
 

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yeah i'd also try a different shop. it is certainly possible to replace the seals, now whether or not it is possible, or a good idea are two different stories.

being a 2012, i cant imagine that the rust is too bad, but i dont live in the NE!

I'd see what another shop or two say about it before deciding anything.
 

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If your driveline shop is any good at all the will install a stainless seal saver if you have axle pitting or seal surface grooves for cheap and you don’t need to replace the entire axle. It’s very common.
 

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Hey folks,
So my 2012 P4X has developed a leak in the rear diff at the passenger side. It leaking and spraying into the wheel. Took it in to have the seal changed and the shop told me Nissan will not sell them the seal and recommend a new axel. $1,100!
Seems like a very expensive fix for what in other vehicles is a simple seal. After talking it over with my wife, we are interested in fixing up the old girl (106k miles) and redoing the suspension and fixing this leak. Question is, what’s the best way forward? I would like to start doing a bit more off-road camping/over landing. Should I look to do a titan swap and put in a new diff all together? I’d like to keep the truck for a good while yet and it’s starting to need some love (a few East coast winters). Going to rust reform and undercoat. I’d like to keep the budget under $4k if I can. Thanks for the help. View attachment 129911

I replaced both rear axles last year after eating $800 to replace just the seals. My rear diff was clogged, blew out the seals. Shop pulled it apart, pressed new seals, swapped diff fluid, sent me on my way. I did the rear diff breather mod. A month later the seal was leaking on the passenger side. Mechanic told me Nissan has a TSB on the rear axles for a few model years and nissan recommends replacing the rear axles with a new (re-designed) axles. They swapped the passenger side and held off on swapping the driver side despite me asking them to do just do it and get it out of the way. 3 Months / 3k miles later my driver side blew out, moved forward with replacing that axle too. I was pretty bullshit because everytime the seals blew out there is labor and parts required to clean the diff fluid off the rotors, replace pads, top off diff fluid, etc.

My rear seals havent leaked since the new axles were installed. Feel free to move forward with just doing the seals but I would've saved over $1k had I just moved forward with new axles instead.

2011 Pro4x for what its worth

TSB Info: m226 Rear Axle Seal TSB - Revised Part # ?
axles were re-designed for 2013+

Best of luck,
DTM3
 

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That sounds extremely high. If you live in an even remotely populous area you should be able to find a shop specializing in drivelines. They are set up for this so labor will be less & they should give an honest answer as to whether it can be fixed or replaced. They tend to use SKF seals & Timken bearings at reputable shops (good stuff).

Alternatively, you can rent a bearing puller (free) at an auto parts store, have the axle dis & re-assembled at a machine shop & save a lot of money. Pretty easy to do, this is on my PM list for the end of the year.

You have some options & previous posters have made good points.

Good luck.
 
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