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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I took the X into a shop today because my e-brake wasn't holding and I wanted to get that fixed. Turns out my passenger side rear axle seal is leaking (along with everyone else's, or so the search feature tells me).

I'm trying to figure out what to do as far as repairs (axle shafts or not, and both sides or just one). Here are my results from shops:

a. Independent shop: ran VIN, said there's a bulletin for the axle shafts, recommended doing the right side only and quoted $620 with axle shaft. I had a bunch of fluids replaced at this shop a while ago, and they seem fairly competent and source their parts from Nissan (actually from a nearby dealer).

b. Nissan dealer #1: was given VIN (not sure if they ran it), quoted $185 per side without axle shafts, is going to check if shafts should be replaced and get back to me tomorrow. Recommended doing both sides (without shafts, but will check on shafts).

c. Nissan dealer #2: did not request VIN, quoted $647, recommended doing the axle shaft regardless. I think they also recommended doing both sides.

I have three questions:

1. Should I get the shaft replaced or just get the seals done?
2. Should I do both sides ($$) or just one ($)?
3. How urgent is this? I'd call the leak "seeping", not dripping and I do plan to get it done within a week or two (hopefully next weekend or sooner, some parts need to be ordered).

I'm going to check on the diff breather and do the mod (I live in San Antonio, so we do "water crossings" as part of our normal driving). I may get the breather replaced while the truck is in, just as a stopgap until I get around to doing the mod.

Thanks for any help.
 

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I would say it's a good bet to replace the seal on both sides...that is just my opinion though. As for the axle shafts, if the dealer is willing to do both seals without replacing the shafts then there is no reason whatsoever to replace the axle shafts. That's a lot of extra cash.

You have some time also. You mentioned that you planned on the next week or two, you will be fine. (again, opinion here) I ran a really slow leak on an axle seal for quite a while....like several months. I was getting all my parts to do an overhaul on the axle and had to wait for everything to come in.
Good luck!

Edit: Also, for that breather, I wouldn't worry about replacing it. If you do replace it, just do it yourself, it literally just threads out and thread a new one in. For what it's worth though, I wheeled for somewhere close to two years...water crossings included, without ever doing the diff breather mod. I didn't do it for the sake of daring it to happen or anything, it was just low on my priority list as I felt that the breather worked fairly well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would say it's a good bet to replace the seal on both sides...that is just my opinion though. As for the axle shafts, if the dealer is willing to do both seals without replacing the shafts then there is no reason whatsoever to replace the axle shafts. That's a lot of extra cash.

You have some time also. You mentioned that you planned on the next week or two, you will be fine. (again, opinion here) I ran a really slow leak on an axle seal for quite a while....like several months. I was getting all my parts to do an overhaul on the axle and had to wait for everything to come in.
Good luck!

Edit: Also, for that breather, I wouldn't worry about replacing it. If you do replace it, just do it yourself, it literally just threads out and thread a new one in. For what it's worth though, I wheeled for somewhere close to two years...water crossings included, without ever doing the diff breather mod. I didn't do it for the sake of daring it to happen or anything, it was just low on my priority list as I felt that the breather worked fairly well.
Thank you very much for the info, sounds like a plan. Looks like I'll have dealer #1 do the work and do both sides. Still cheaper than one side with shafts.
 

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I agree with KS ... don't do the shafts, unless the sealing surface on the shaft shows scoring or grooving that would prevent a good mate to the new seal; also do both sides while it's apart. Actually, since you're doing the work at a dealer, they'll warranty the job ... so if there's not a good seal when they button it back up, they're obligated to work with you to make it right. I'm not sure how exactly that would go down, if it turns out you need new shafts, but at least you're not out in the cold.

Also, it's news to me about the bulletin, did they give you a number?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with KS ... don't do the shafts, unless the sealing surface on the shaft shows scoring or grooving that would prevent a good mate to the new seal; also do both sides while it's apart. Actually, since you're doing the work at a dealer, they'll warranty the job ... so if there's not a good seal when they button it back up, they're obligated to work with you to make it right. I'm not sure how exactly that would go down, if it turns out you need new shafts, but at least you're not out in the cold.

Also, it's news to me about the bulletin, did they give you a number?
Thanks for the confirmation, I'm going to go do it next Saturday and I'll do both sides. This is definitely something I want to do at a dealer, especially given that I found a place that will do it for a decent price.

I'll also have the e-brake done at the same time, and have them check the diff breather and fix that if necessary. After I get this work done, I'm doing the diff breather mod. It's hard to avoid driving through water where I live because every time it rains the roads flood. So I figure the breather mod is a necessity at this point.

They didn't give me a bulletin number. I can try to get one if I talk to the shop again.
 

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Just got my axle shaft replaced under warranty for the same issue and had taken it in because the e-brake suddenly wasn't working on mine. The service bulletin number is (TSB) NTB10-008 and appears to cover the M226 axle which I'm assuming yours is because it's a manual transmission.

TSB NTB10-008: http://www.nissanproblems.com/tsbs/Xterra/2008/ - This TSB also applies to other years too

jpjxterra post (Rear Axle Seals Leaking - TSB NTB10-008 Situation): http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showthread.php?t=60082
 

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$185 a side isn't bad at all. The breather sucks on the axle and is the cause of more seal failure than probably anything else
 

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My axle shafts were pitted/corroded where the seal rides, so replacing just the seal didn't last very long. Inspect the axle shafts to see if you need new ones or not.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Thanks kingtruc ... that's exactly what I was after.
 

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Just got my axle shaft replaced under warranty for the same issue and had taken it in because the e-brake suddenly wasn't working on mine. The service bulletin number is (TSB) NTB10-008 and appears to cover the M226 axle which I'm assuming yours is because it's a manual transmission.

TSB NTB10-008: http://www.nissanproblems.com/tsbs/Xterra/2008/ - This TSB also applies to other years too

jpjxterra post (Rear Axle Seals Leaking - TSB NTB10-008 Situation): http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showthread.php?t=60082
Thanks kingtruc ... that's exactly what I was after.
Always good to see an informative, well answered post. Kudos kingtruc! :salute:
 

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By the way, the diff breather mod doesn't prevent the seals from leaking. I had the breather mod on my Frontier, rarely took it off road, and was still blowing seals. 3 on the left and 2 on the right at 105k miles.


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Discussion Starter #12
By the way, the diff breather mod doesn't prevent the seals from leaking. I had the breather mod on my Frontier, rarely took it off road, and was still blowing seals. 3 on the left and 2 on the right at 105k miles.


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Wow, that could get expensive. At least I don't have to blame myself for not doing the mod earlier.
 

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By the way, the diff breather mod doesn't prevent the seals from leaking. I had the breather mod on my Frontier, rarely took it off road, and was still blowing seals. 3 on the left and 2 on the right at 105k miles.


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Something wrong there...
 

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Yeah, I had plenty of airflow. Basically the same mod on the Frontier as it is on the Xterra. I had a lemon of an M226. It never cost me any more than the parts, since I replaced it myself every time.

Another interesting note: from the factory, the right axle wouldn't come out. I had to wail on it for hours with a large slide hammer, broke the hammer, had to weld it back together, and then finally got it out. Must have been a Friday vehicle. It's a very poor design anyway. The outside surface of the seal gets exposed to mud/water/road salt since it sits right behind the ABS sensor wheel. There's no shroud or anything other than the brake disc itself.


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Good to find the info in this thread after being told I need to replace the seals/axles in mine as its just started to get the backing plates wet.
Glad I purchased the extended warranty as I just passed 61k miles and was quoted about $1800 for the job however only $120 out of pocket for me.

They seem to shower me with ads for new Nissan vehicles but they never seem to send me announcements about TSBs! Thanks for link.
 
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