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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to dive into this problem. Any Suggestions? Comment? Tips or tricks for repair? Links to info I need to know? Replace the part recommendations?
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That looks broken, at least from this angle. I would start by pulling that knuckle and that axle. see if broken pieces come out.
 

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I mean not much you really can do. Jack the front of the truck up and spin one wheel. The other one should spin the opposite direction. If it doesn't, or if it makes really bad noises, you have a problem.

It could just be the CV. But yeah, you would have to drain diff (and check for metal chunks) and pull CV to find out.
 

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Clearly your CV is broken. Is the Diff broken?... Maybe, but that will take further investigation.

There are plenty of how to's on this site that cover everything you need to know about this situation. Search 'em out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am about to dive into this problem. Any Suggestions? Comment? Tips or tricks for repair? Links to info I need to know? Replace the part recommendations?
View attachment 125216
How do I test to see if the transfer case was damaged. I don’t wasn’t to take this thing part and put back together twice. More info, I was on the trails and tried something I should not have, heard metal on metal grinding, most likely the drive gears spinning agains a loose cv shaft gears. After the breakage, I only had 2 wheel drive. It drove home fine , no noises no vibrations
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was told to “just pop it back in” and this was common on lifted Xterra’s. Well I am thinking about new fluid and trying it. Anyone have any thoughts on just popping it back in and driving it?
 

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if it pops back in, I would only drive it as little as possible until i could get the axle replaced. its not that expensive, I got one on rock auto for 50 or 60 bucks.. if you cant do the work yourself, or if you dont have a friend that knows how and can help.. I would call around. I found a guy that did mine for 180 bucks.

I would not trust your axle to not pop out again.. and i wouldn't trust that it wouldn't happen at the worst possible time.. that's my life though. perhaps you are much luckier that i
 

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How do I test to see if the transfer case was damaged. I don’t wasn’t to take this thing part and put back together twice. More info, I was on the trails and tried something I should not have, heard metal on metal grinding, most likely the drive gears spinning agains a loose cv shaft gears. After the breakage, I only had 2 wheel drive. It drove home fine , no noises no vibrations
You have to start with replacing that CV. It's going to be hard to test anything without that working. Most likely when in 4WD and open diffs, all of the power in the front just goes to that unrestricted broken-cv shaft which isn't actually driving anything. And definitely replace it since it is cheap (assuming you are doing the work yourself). The first time is a bit of a PITA but it gets better with practice.
 

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I was told to “just pop it back in” and this was common on lifted Xterra’s. Well I am thinking about new fluid and trying it. Anyone have any thoughts on just popping it back in and driving it?
You need to get better advice. Who ever told you to "pop it back in and drive it" is an idiot. That's the best way to do even more damage. CV's don't just pop out like that. Either your diff is busted, or the CV is busted, or both. You will have to replace that seal, I guarantee that's shot.

Search the how to's on this site, do some reading, and then go get your wrenches out.

1. Take it apart and see what's broken CV, Diff, etc.
2. If you take both sides apart, and remove the front drive shaft from the diff, you can easily spin the front diff by hand and you WILL FEEL if things are broken.
3. If it is broken, fix it.
 

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that is definitely not common.

like said above, either the cv, axle, diff or some combination of those need to be replaced.

if i had to guess i'd bet too much wheel spin was the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that is definitely not common.

like said above, either the cv, axle, diff or some combination of those need to be replaced.

if i had to guess i'd bet too much wheel spin was the culprit.
Yup bounce/wheel spin got me, I am hoping it’s just the axle , really don’t want to get into the diff
 

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my concern is that the way the front CV half axle assmebly is setup that shouldn't just "pop out". there isn't enough room for it to . . . so i'm questioning what we don't see. How is your Lower and upper control arm? suspension? based off of what you said you did there is a pretty decent chance that the front diff is messed up but we can't see that from a picture. If the other above mentioned things are ok then you ROYALLY messed up that half axle. i'm almost impressed.

Long story short, take it apart, the other guys are right. if you are trying to avoid that and want more advice from us then go under with a video and see what moves by hand so we can at least see that but this needs a tear down.

FYI its not too hard if you are mechanically inclined. Search on this and other forums for a CV/ half axle replacement and there are great writeups here and on clubfrontier.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My rig is lifted so I think the CV now has enough room to “pop” out under extreme conditions. I hopefully secured a spot I can tear it down this weekend. I am planning on pulling the CV axle and draining then diff. I will post more pics this weekend. I am praying I don’t have to fix/replace the diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The axle is not broken, going to replace anyway. Draining the fluid tomorrow in hopes I don’t see any metal shavings from the diff.
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Something is or was wrong. That flange at the bottom of the shaft is covered in what looks to be old dirt. That flange should have been right up against that diff seal. That CV shaft wasn't in all the way for quite a while. Meaning that c clip at the end wasn't engaged inside the diff like its supposed to be. Looks like a bad install.

Also the end of the grooved portion after the c clip is worn badly, those teeth continue to the tip of that shaft. That's what lines up the shaft when installing. Your going to want to inspect that slot in the diff very carefully, if those teeth inside the diff are worn like the teeth on shaft, you should consider replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not good, pulled the seal today and cleaned out where the CV shaft connects to the transfer case and found metal. NO metal when I drained the diff. Anyone have ideas on how to proceed. I really don’t want to replace the diff/transfer case. Can I just pop the 2 C clips out pull the bearing and shaft in the transfer case? The pic shows shiny glops of grease in a small magnetic pan. I am confident I captured non metallic stuff to.
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What the chances the metal is from CV and not internal? The splines in the TC look ok but I wouldn’t know if they had been shaved down a little by CV spinning as it came out.
 

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Not good, pulled the seal today and cleaned out where the CV shaft connects to the transfer case and found metal. NO metal when I drained the diff. Anyone have ideas on how to proceed. I really don’t want to replace the diff/transfer case. Can I just pop the 2 C clips out pull the bearing and shaft in the transfer case? The pic shows shiny glops of grease in a small magnetic pan. I am confident I captured non metallic stuff to. View attachment 125641 View attachment 125642
What the chances the metal is from CV and not internal? The splines in the TC look ok but I wouldn’t know if they had been shaved down a little by CV spinning as it came out.
I’m confused by this post. The CV shafts don’t touch the transfer case directly. Are you saying you found the metal in the transfer case where the driveshaft comes in? Or the differential?

Based on the pictures it looks like you’re referring to the differential/axle. It’s possible and based on your description it sounds like the metal either came from the CV shafts or where the shafts come into the axle. However, it’s hard to fully diagnose that based on what was provided.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No metal when I pulled the drain plug on the front wheel drive assembly (diff or transfer case?) I did find Metal from where the CV axle slid out from. After zooming a pic of the splines in the diff it looks like I took a little material from just the last 1/32 inch of the splines, pic added. Should I be pulling anything else off/apart looking for metal?
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