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Chris(aka-Moose), Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 621
Experience:  16 years of experience
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I am hearing a humming noise in the rear end of my 2012

Customer Question

I am hearing a humming noise in the rear end of my 2012 frontier, only during acceleration. sound is similiar to an aggressive tread tire.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

Hi Im David, thanks for visiting the site. On a lift or jacked up:

1. With the PARKING BRAKE ON, grab the drive shaft near the differential and try turning it clockwise and then quickly change directions, back-and-forth several times. Listen closely and try to locate if a 'clunk' sound is coming from either inside the differential or from the drive-shaft itself.

2. As set up above, now grasp the driveshaft near the u-joint connection at the differential and try moving it up-and-down and right-and left WITHOUT ROTATING IT. Is there any movement noticeable in the u-joint itself?

3. As set up above, now grasp the drive-shaft near the u-joint at the differential and try pulling out and pushing in the pinion shaft/u-joint assembly that goes into the differential. NO MOVEMENT should be noticeable. If any play is noticeable, then remove the driveshaft from the pinion shaft by removing the u-joint cap bolts at the rear differential.BEFORE REMOVING THE DRIVE-SHAFT, MARK THE DRIVE-SHAFT U-JOINT TO PINION CAP ALIGNMENT WITH EITHER A 'PUNCH MARK' OR CHALK? (This will insure that you replace them back in the same orientation they were in when you separated them.) Now find a THIN WALL socket that will fit the nut that is inside the end of thepinion gear shaft. Using ONLY YOUR HAND on the socket/extension, attempt to LOOSEN IT. If you can LOOSEN IT BY HAND, then the pinion nut has come loose and your pinion/ring-gear alignment is causing your noise/clunking due to improper gear mesh alignment.

If the pinion nut IS LOOSE, you can 'temporarily' tighten it with a ratchet to approximately 30 ft/lbs of torque. Then run the engine again and see if the 'clunking' is reduced or gone. If this works THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO FOLLOW PROPER PROCEDURES TO PROPERLY TORQUE AND ADJUST YOUR PINION-TO-RING GEAR ALIGNMENT. DO NOT DRIVE THE VEHICLE UNTIL THIS IS DONE PROPERLY.

4. Drain the rear differential lubricant and remove the rear differential cover and inspect the pinion/ring gear and spider gears for any chipped/damaged teeth. Clean off the bottom of the inside bottom of the differential with a rag to check for metal particles.

Expert:  david craig replied 1 year ago.

checking in to see how its going

Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for your question.

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