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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At random times the last month I have been hearing a clicking noise in first gear (manual transmission) while coming to a stop - it sounds like it is coming from beneath the gear shifter somewhere. I took the Xterra in last week to get a diagnostic to see if they could figure it out. The shop told me they didn't hear a noise when they test drove it (no surprise since it happens randomly), but they did tell me my driveline needs work. At first they told me they could replace the front U joint and the yoke, then called me a few days later to tell me that actually the whole driveline needs replaced because they don't think they can do just a partial repair on it, based on the parts they can get.

Quoted $810 for that repair, I believe using part 37300-2L80A for the whole shaft. Picture of their difficult to comprehend diagnostic attached.

Can anyone make sense of this? Does it sound sensible? I'm down to pay that much for something that actually needs replaced, but somewhat skeptical. Could an issue with the driveshaft/driveline be causing an intermittent clicking noise?
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Have you tried going underneath and shake the driveshaft up/down/left/right?, see if there's any play?
 

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sounds like they think your rear driveshaft, front u joint is bad. Could also be the CV joint at the rear, though im pretty sure those can be replaced.

maybe just me but the way they wrote that is a bit confusing.

if they only want $32.15 to fix the u joint just have em do it.
 

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Labor rates per hour
Repair Shops $80-$100
Dealership $90-$125

$35 to swap out a U-joint is a bargain.
 

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Judging from the run on sentences and confusing description - I'd do the work myself, lol. I have a hard time trusting mechanics but when they don't even use common industry terms and descriptions I get super paranoid. I've never heard of "plugging in" a yoke, lol.

Also I'm not following why they recommend replacing the yoke? If it's leaking, wouldn't it just be the seal that needs replaced?
 

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Judging from the run on sentences and confusing description - I'd do the work myself, lol. I have a hard time trusting mechanics but when they don't even use common industry terms and descriptions I get super paranoid. I've never heard of "plugging in" a yoke, lol.

Also I'm not following why they recommend replacing the yoke? If it's leaking, wouldn't it just be the seal that needs replaced?
Good English has no bearing on being a good mechanic - but your right. If the seal is leaking replace the seal. Its highly unlikely there is anything wrong with the yoke.

To the OP - if this is a shop you have used before with good results then by all means. If not do yourself a favor and take it to someone who does driveline work. U-joints are easy to do - but you don't want the speedy lube guy doing it because its key to get the snap ring clearance correct - and only the driveline guys even care about that. As mentioned its most likely just the u-joint. If it is the CV joint then Nissan says to replace the whole driveshaft, but there are aftermarket CV joints available for our rigs - again something a driveline shop likely knows.

Good luck!
 

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Get more details on the tcase leak
if the rear output is leaking, replace the seal
if the front output is leaking, make sure it is replaced with the upgraded design- Updated Transfer Case Seal Design

and have them replace all u joints if it’s time, the front joint of the rear driveshaft and two in the front driveshaft
the cvjoint In the rear drive shaft is likely fine, it can be replace but generally is just replaced as the driveshaft assembly

everything can be done in a driveway with minimal tools. Just don’t forget to chock the wheels!
 

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Good English has no bearing on being a good mechanic - but your right. If the seal is leaking replace the seal. Its highly unlikely there is anything wrong with the yoke.

To the OP - if this is a shop you have used before with good results then by all means. If not do yourself a favor and take it to someone who does driveline work. U-joints are easy to do - but you don't want the speedy lube guy doing it because its key to get the snap ring clearance correct - and only the driveline guys even care about that. As mentioned its most likely just the u-joint. If it is the CV joint then Nissan says to replace the whole driveshaft, but there are aftermarket CV joints available for our rigs - again something a driveline shop likely knows.

Good luck!
I wasn't criticizing his English. It's a matter of professionalism. Bad grammar is widely accepted these days and it bugs me, lol.
 

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I wasn't criticizing his English. It's a matter of professionalism. Bad grammar is widely accepted these days and it bugs me, lol.
lol... I know what you mean. Serious pet peeve. I know you aren't supposed to... but I can't help but judge people on it, until I get to know them.
I've also seen mechanics that got so accustomed to 'dumbing it down' for Joe Blow, that they ended up sounding like the idiot instead. As well as some damn good mechanics that simply never cared enough to care about writing/speaking well.
 
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lol... I know what you mean. Serious pet peeve. I know you aren't supposed to... but I can't help but judge people on it, until I get to know them.
I've also seen mechanics that got so accustomed to 'dumbing it down' for Joe Blow, that they ended up sounding like the idiot instead. As well as some damn good mechanics that simply never cared enough to care about writing/speaking well.
Right! I'm still trying to figure out what rubber the mechanic is referring to...
 

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I had similar symptoms like you with my Xterra 6MT. The clicks were very subtle when coming to a stop. It did not matter whether I was in gear or neutral. I ended replacing the U-joints of the front driveshaft and the U-joint of the rear driveshaft since they were never replaced before. As stated from previous members, the Rear CV joint of the rear driveshaft is serviceable. It will depend if the shop is familiar servicing driveshaft. Many times they would prefer to replace the whole assembly and bolt on the new driveshaft.
At the time I encountered this issue, I took the opportunity to replace the Rear CV joint into a traditional U-joint. It is more costly to do the conversion but it would easier to service in the future and it is robust. If you plan to go down this route, you have to find a driveshaft shop or get referrals.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
 

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I also had intermittent clicking, from one of the original front U-joints as it was failing (at about 180K on an '05 offroad). It also developed a shake/shimmy. I replaced all but the rear joint and all noises and symptoms went away.

If you have time or the inclination to do the work yourself, it's not that hard. However, if neither of those apply and convenience is wanted/required, then have a shop do it. I do all my own work, except transmissions and A/C, which I would gladly pay to have repaired...thank god that has yet to be the case though!!

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Have you tried going underneath and shake the driveshaft up/down/left/right?, see if there's any play?
Great advice, I just went under there and the rear driveline felt solid; the front drive line felt like it had play in it, but I could not tell if it was from the u-joint or rubber piece. Either way, I suspect this is the clicking noise I've been hearing "from the clutch" as I erroneously described it to the mechanic.

Judging from the run on sentences and confusing description - I'd do the work myself, lol. I have a hard time trusting mechanics but when they don't even use common industry terms and descriptions I get super paranoid. I've never heard of "plugging in" a yoke, lol.

Also I'm not following why they recommend replacing the yoke? If it's leaking, wouldn't it just be the seal that needs replaced?
Agreed! Why would they want to replace the yoke? I see the leak they are talking about, but the yoke looked solid (and rear u-joint for that matter felt solid) when I went under.

Good English has no bearing on being a good mechanic - but your right. If the seal is leaking replace the seal. Its highly unlikely there is anything wrong with the yoke.

To the OP - if this is a shop you have used before with good results then by all means. If not do yourself a favor and take it to someone who does driveline work. U-joints are easy to do - but you don't want the speedy lube guy doing it because its key to get the snap ring clearance correct - and only the driveline guys even care about that. As mentioned its most likely just the u-joint. If it is the CV joint then Nissan says to replace the whole driveshaft, but there are aftermarket CV joints available for our rigs - again something a driveline shop likely knows.

Good luck!
It looks easy enough from videos to replace the u-joints, but you make me wonder how critical the snap rings are. I will look into this more before I decide whether I do it myself or not. They are not a shop I've used before - they were recommended to me, but I don't think I'd recommend them to someone else.

I had similar symptoms like you with my Xterra 6MT. The clicks were very subtle when coming to a stop. It did not matter whether I was in gear or neutral. I ended replacing the U-joints of the front driveshaft and the U-joint of the rear driveshaft since they were never replaced before. As stated from previous members, the Rear CV joint of the rear driveshaft is serviceable. It will depend if the shop is familiar servicing driveshaft. Many times they would prefer to replace the whole assembly and bolt on the new driveshaft.
At the time I encountered this issue, I took the opportunity to replace the Rear CV joint into a traditional U-joint. It is more costly to do the conversion but it would easier to service in the future and it is robust. If you plan to go down this route, you have to find a driveshaft shop or get referrals.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
Thank you for this info!! Interesting to hear about the conversion in the back - I will likely pass this by but good to know it can be done. Like I say above, I am thinking the front drive line front u-joint is bad, hence the clicking noise we both had.

I also had intermittent clicking, from one of the original front U-joints as it was failing (at about 180K on an '05 offroad). It also developed a shake/shimmy. I replaced all but the rear joint and all noises and symptoms went away.

If you have time or the inclination to do the work yourself, it's not that hard. However, if neither of those apply and convenience is wanted/required, then have a shop do it. I do all my own work, except transmissions and A/C, which I would gladly pay to have repaired...thank god that has yet to be the case though!!

Good luck.
Yep, I think it is that dang front u-joint, not the rear driveline like the shop is saying (although there is definitely a leak from the front of the rear drive line - will post a photo in a bit). I too am about 180k miles on a 2005 Offroad; maybe that is just their lifespan. I definitely have inclination/interest to figure it out/save money, but we will see if I can manage the time.
 

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Great advice, I just went under there and the rear driveline felt solid; the front drive line felt like it had play in it, but I could not tell if it was from the u-joint or rubber piece. Either way, I suspect this is the clicking noise I've been hearing "from the clutch" as I erroneously described it to the mechanic.


Agreed! Why would they want to replace the yoke? I see the leak they are talking about, but the yoke looked solid (and rear u-joint for that matter felt solid) when I went under.


It looks easy enough from videos to replace the u-joints, but you make me wonder how critical the snap rings are. I will look into this more before I decide whether I do it myself or not. They are not a shop I've used before - they were recommended to me, but I don't think I'd recommend them to someone else.


Thank you for this info!! Interesting to hear about the conversion in the back - I will likely pass this by but good to know it can be done. Like I say above, I am thinking the front drive line front u-joint is bad, hence the clicking noise we both had.


Yep, I think it is that dang front u-joint, not the rear driveline like the shop is saying (although there is definitely a leak from the front of the rear drive line - will post a photo in a bit). I too am about 180k miles on a 2005 Offroad; maybe that is just their lifespan. I definitely have inclination/interest to figure it out/save money, but we will see if I can manage the time.
The leak is a minor issue. Most of the early gens leak there, it a cheap gasket that needs to be replaced. The u-joints are pretty easy to replace but if you aren’t comfortable that price isn’t terrible.


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U-joints can be dead simple or a major PITA. It all depends on the tools you on and how knowledgeable you are doing mechanic work. They can be done by most any home mechanic. Personally I have a shop press so it takes me longer to remove the driveshaft than it does to replace the part.
 
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