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Any help for a friend with an '03 X?

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I'm hoping some could provide some insight on a distrubing problem with my 03 Xtrerra.
Snow blanked the Seattle area last night, making the roads slick as... and while venturing out I was disturbed to find my Xterra fish-tailing like the '73 Olds Cutluss I had way back in the day - this even though I thought I had engaged the 4 wheel drive, the green light was on.

I tried various things to get it to engage - shifting at recommended speeds, disengaging, backing up, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Any suggestions?

One concern I have is the shocks were recently replaced and tires rotated. Any chance the shop could have missed/messed with something in the reassemble that wouldn't be evident until I tried to use 4-wheel?

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Thanks,

Scott T
 

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im not sure that shocks would have anything to do with the 4 wheel drive not engaging. it shouldnt matter the condition of ure alignment. i mean im not a certified mechanic or even close. one question i have is what is the condition of ure tires. i kno that it just snowed here in PA yesterday night and i have new tires and they gripped in the snow with 4 wheel drive engaged. i did notice a little bit of understear, but nothing major. i would make sure your transfer case is engaging. to do this i would say raise up all 4 wheels and put on jackstands. 4 at the minimum! then turn on ure x and engage the 4 wheel drive and see if all 4 wheels are spinning. that is what i would do, but like i said im not a certified mechanic nor an expert.
 

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If your 4x4 was engaged you should have been able to feel it, especially when turning. I am probably even less of a mechanic than xterragu4life but can't think of what they would have done to your 4wd system rotating tires and putting on new shocks.
 

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1st Gen X

More than likely its the autohubs are siezed from lack of use and cold temperatures. I would suggest pulling them apart, cleaning them out, and reassembling with a LIGHT smear of grease.

You can test them while parked in the driveway to a certain extent. With the Xfer case in 2 HI crawl underneath and turn the front driveshaft. You should only be able to turn the driveshaft a short distance and then you will feel the hubs lock and then you won't be able to turn the driveshaft either way. If the driveshaft continues to turn then it's definitely one or both autohubs. While turning the driveshaft you should be able to see the axles, the axle that continues to turn will be the side that needs looking at.

HTH
Tim
 

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I would not do the jack stands deal. to many things can go very wrong very quickly. Just engage the 4wd and slowly turn as you increase the angle of your turn you will the front end bind. My wife has an 03 and the hubs had seized on it, but was under warranty so nissan fixed it with new parts.
The hub should be easy to do your self, we used to swap the autos out for the Warn manuals.....oh to be young again...lol
Good luck! and keep us posted.
 
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