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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit: I have put a lift kit on and have been mudding a lot, and I don't have the noise anymore. Mudding must be the fix for this. ¯\(ツ)

I have a 2007 automatic Xterra with about 70500 miles on it and I have been hearing a noise from under the front portion for about a year now. It happens after a cold start if I let it idle for about 15 seconds. I also notice the noise when I am driving and it seems like it is happening right before it shifts gears, but it seems like it goes away or at least it is less noticeable when warmed up. I have not taken it mudding or anything yet, but I am planning on modding it and taking it out this summer and I want to fix this so it wont get worse or cause any problems in the future. I have a couple videos that I have taken of the noise. The first one shows the location better, but the second one the noise is much clearer. If anyone can diagnose the noise or share any ideas of what it might be that would be great, and thanks in advance! :) (sorry for the shaky video, I have shaky hands)

sstg-231DD08D-C889-44D7-A1F8-3E632E7CCFA1.mp4

sstg-756BB9B8-01ED-48EC-A45A-A392A4AE52F4.mp4
 

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Check to see if it may be any of the heat shields around the exhaust components. The one on my drivers side primary cat makes a sound like that. Hopefully, that is all it is. If you use a long screwdriver or a long stick and push on a vibrating heat shield, it can damp the vibrations and kill the noise. Make sure you watch out for things like the fan and belts.
 

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That metallic rattle sounds like a loose heat shield to me. There's a bunch of them, one on the manifold and then along the piping as it runs back to the muffler. I would get under there with the truck off/cool and use a mallet to lightly tap along the exhaust system, I would bet that you can pinpoint it pretty quickly.
 

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That metallic rattle sounds like a loose heat shield to me. There's a bunch of them, one on the manifold and then along the piping as it runs back to the muffler. I would get under there with the truck off/cool and use a mallet to lightly tap along the exhaust system, I would bet that you can pinpoint it pretty quickly.

The bane of my existence for my first few months with my X....drove around with wire snips at the ready, they always seem to get loose in the midst of many pedestrians...."is that truck gonna blow up?" I heard once

edit: just heard the video, def sounds like a loose heat sheild, grab some 2" hose clamps, wire snips and look for the shaking rusty hose clamp rattlin' 'round down there
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks y'all I appreciate the help. I'll look at it with my buddy tomorrow and hopefully let you know if that fixes it.
 

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The bane of my existence for my first few months with my X....drove around with wire snips at the ready, they always seem to get loose in the midst of many pedestrians...."is that truck gonna blow up?" I heard once

edit: just heard the video, def sounds like a loose heat sheild, grab some 2" hose clamps, wire snips and look for the shaking rusty hose clamp rattlin' 'round down there
I had something like that sound that I thought was a loose heat shield. I had taken it in to diagnose a grinding noise which I thought was a seized u-joint and the only thing they found was a rock on top of the heat shield. Both noises disappeared.
 
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I had something like that sound that I thought was a loose heat shield. I had taken it in to diagnose a grinding noise which I thought was a seized u-joint and the only thing they found was a rock on top of the heat shield. Both noises disappeared.
Nice!!
 

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All of the clamps were on tight and I hit the underside of the shields to see if that would help me locate a rock, but I found nothing. Am I missing something or would the noise be coming from an area that is higher up and closer to the engine bay where I can't see/reach?
 

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Did you check the heat shields above the exhaust manifolds?
 

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The issue is that it is very conditional when it makes the noise. I tried to rev the engine at the rpm where it makes the noise, but when I try to recreate it it won't make the noise.
 

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usually the shield itself gives out around where its bolted. just have someone reve the engine while you are under it to see where it's from. could be the exhaust/crossover/cat shields. there are a few
The issue is that it is very conditional when it makes the noise. I tried to rev the engine at the rpm where it makes the noise, but when I try to recreate it it won't make the noise.
 

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The issue is that it is very conditional when it makes the noise. I tried to rev the engine at the rpm where it makes the noise, but when I try to recreate it it won't make the noise.
Well if you've checked all of the exhaust piping I guess we can rule that out. Have you tried having someone else start the truck with you standing over the engine yet? That might help narrow down the area it's coming from, also might let you know if it's audible inside more than outside.

One thing that comes to mind for me (slightly different sound though) was a time when my lower fan shroud came loose and when I started the truck it would hit the blades and make a grinding sound identical to a starter that was sticking on...so much that I actually went out and bought a starter, installed it just to immediately heard the same sound again. Only then did I finally realize it was the plastic shroud tapping the blades that was making the sound, and it only did it on start up. Once the truck was warmed it never made the sound once. Anyway the point I'm trying to make it's entirely possible that the sound could be coming from something you'd never suspect.
 

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I had a funny rattle not unlike that one in another car. It was a loose resonator inside my muffler. nothing i could do about it.. Once it heated up enough it would stay in place. Gonna have to break up the search into short lengths and have someone cold start it each time while you search under during the small window you have to find it.
 

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All of the clamps were on tight and I hit the underside of the shields to see if that would help me locate a rock, but I found nothing. Am I missing something or would the noise be coming from an area that is higher up and closer to the engine bay where I can't see/reach?
I have that same noise but have never heard it sitting in idle. Mine rattles on acceleration around certain mph, like 40-50-60 on the speedo.
I'm just going to live with it till I replace the front exhaust parts and headers one day. Mine is passenger side.
 

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How the heck do you fix the exhaust manifold heat shield? I've got the other heat shields reclamped. The drivers side manifold heat shield is still mounted, but it's got a lot of wiggle. And I don't see how to get a hose clamp up there. Time to pull that thing off, or can I try something else?

Thanks!
 
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