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Old 06-22-2015, 09:19 AM   #1
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Please confirm or deny my theory

Hello, my TV is a 2008 Nissan Titan king cab 4x4. About a month ago I pulled my trailer about 1150 miles but also had a 550 lb riding mower in the bed. The trip was fine, no issues, pulled like a champ. A few days later and no longer towing my TV made a loud clunk toward the rear end while making a left turn. It's almost feels like the rear passenger tire momentarily losses traction and you can feel the whole trucks rear weight shift. It will only happen if I am getting on the gas pedal a good bit. I did a bunch of forum and non forum searches. There are basically two things is may be, the differential is going out or a cracked leaf spring shackle. When I get under the truck I can't see any problems or move anything around on the Leaf springs. I pretty much determined that it had to be the differential UNTIL, I was on a very twisty road and the clunk and thump happened on a tight right hand turn under braking! And it was the worst it's ever happened, I though the rear end was gonna slip out from under me. So my question is, does that pretty much rule out it being the differential? I am hoping for both money and times sake it means it's a busted shackle. Thoughts?
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:24 AM   #2
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Differential is easy to rule out. Pop off the cover and look at it. If its bad you will see it and it will have play in it If you move by hand. Have a new gasket and oil ready to reinstall if ok. Also check the drive axle make sure there is no play in the connection to the differential. Check to drained oil for metal savings. A little is normal. A lot is not. If there is a problem there Will be a lot. Inspect all the teeth of the gear for broken or chipped ones
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:29 AM   #3
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After that put the truck up on Jack stands in such a way the axle is free. Get a flashlight look everywhere and try to move the axle. Be careful and safe doing this raise it and block the truck properly.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:48 AM   #4
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Nothing to confirm or deny.


Just more experiments (testing) to do.


As had been mentioned. get that truck in the air with the wheels off and take a good look at every single component in the driveline (both front at rear). See if you can find the broken part.


If you can't then the diff cover comes off!
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:15 AM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the Titan suspension.

Many leaf springs use a pin to locate and hold the axle position to the leaf spring assembly. Check that the U-bolts/brackets haven't loosened which can allow things to slip, but then return to normal.

Don't discount shock mounts or issues. Loose or worn shock mounts can make some pretty ugly noises when they shift around.

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Old 06-22-2015, 10:16 AM   #6
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One more thing to check is the center pin between the spring pack and the rear end.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #7
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Another easy one to check is a loose exhaust. Our old car had rusted through a hanger and the exhaust was banging around but only under pretty specific conditions. It was pretty loud at times too. I always thought it was a blown strut until I grabbed it one day and moved it.

Probably not the case if you are feeling a physical shift in the vehicle when it happens.

Nothing heavy sliding around in the box??

Check wheel bearings and axle retention when on the jack stands. Try to rock the wheel and pull in and push out on the wheel as well.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:36 AM   #8
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Not really the answer I was hoping for! LOL. Thanks for the replies and ideas. I will be getting her up in some stands and taking look. Thanks again. I will post my findings.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:54 AM   #9
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This sounds like a problem with a limited slip or a self locking differential not releasing properly. The axle builds up torque between the wheels until one wheel breaks traction and spins to release the torque. There is a friction modifier additive for the differential oil to help the limited slip unit operate properly. It may be time to replace the oil in the differential. When/if you drain the unit, check for metal filings in the oil.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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Also check the rear axle bearings and double check you don't have loose lug nuts.
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