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Article: Differential Bushings Replacement - Nissan Xterra

  1. #1

    wrench Differential Bushings Replacement - Nissan Xterra

    Well I had everything else up front replaced. I had a little play left to track down so I pinned it on my IFS differential bushings. There are companies that sell aftermarket polyeurethane bushings that also incorporate an offset mounting hole to compensate for lifted vehicles. While lowering the diff 3/8" doesn't sound like much, it's enough to reduce the CV axle angles back close to factory spec dramatically decreasing premature wear on those parts.

    I ordered a set of differential drop down bushings from 4x4parts.com and set about installing them myself this past weekend.


    The bushings, as I expected, did not come with any instructions but I found a few helpful hints online and an old wayback cache of an out of business company's instructions.

    Here are my removal and install instructions:

    1. Loosen lug nuts. Jack up vehicle. Place on stands. Remove wheels


    2. Unbolt differential side of front driveshaft. Put a glove on to help contain the all the blood you lost from your knuckles contacting various sharp objects like the tranny pan.
    hint: PB blaster all bolts. Especially the ones that have been heated tight near the exhaust. An improvised breaker bar will be necessary as well.


    3. Remove the bolts from inner sides of right and left front axles.
    hint: to keep axles from spinning during the process, place one lug nut back on a wheel stud and hold it with your lug wrench.


    4. Move to the front of the vehicle and remove the 2 bolts that mate the diff mounts to the cross member, then the bushing bolts. Removing the bushing bolt will be easier if you do not remove the mount bolts completely first.


    5. Remove breather hose with pliers, then remove the rear crossmember bushing bolts to release the diff.


    6. Lower diff on to chest just as a brother-in-law comes home to help you roll it off so you can breathe again. Take picture to show your solid axle friends just what the hell you were talking about.


    7. Run up to Home Depot to get a 2" hole saw for your drill and a handheld hacksaw . Run back up when you find out the hole saw you got doesn't come with an auger. Get a 2 1/8" w/ auger bit because someone restocked the 2" spot with the wrong product. Back at the vehicle, realize both drill batteries are useless and borrow neighbor's corded drill. Realize that the bit will now work with all but one of the bushings, which is 2". Start with the unbolted mount, using the hole saw bit to cut the rubber out. It will need to be a deep bit and you will need to go from both sides. This means you will have to unbolt the crossmember to get behind those bushings.


    8. Marvel to yourself that this could all work. Yay you're saving money.


    9. With the rubber out, use the hacksaw to cut through one side of the bushing's outer metal sleeve. Once you are sure you are through, grab a blade screw driver/punch and knock it right out.


    10. Hammer it right out

    11. Baby sledge it right out

    12. Sledge hammer it right out

    13. After a couple of hours of pounding in the now dark and not seeing anything close to progress on even one bushing's sleeve, disconnect the front driveshaft from the transfer case, label and bag all removed bolts, toss differential in the back of your Xterra, trust that your auto hubs won't engage the CV's hanging free, and drive to your mechanic's and leave vehicle.


    14. Think of all the money you saved to feed your mechanic
    Last edited by Skatchkins; 05-31-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Sad face...
    Touch the cow. Do it NOW!

  3. #3
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    yeah.. that was a depressing write up. It made me frustrated just reading it. lol

  4. #4
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    BUT, it was well written. : )
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanzona View Post
    BUT, it was well written. : )
    And honest. They can't all be winners. No reason to hide it.
    Plus my advice when people search and find these instructions is pay the bushings out.
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  6. #6
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    sideways highlift with something pressing onto the bushing from the base of it might have worked
    Zombie Caving
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by offroadaz View Post
    sideways highlift with something pressing onto the bushing from the base of it might have worked
    You are describing an awkward unstable press. But we also had nothing the right size to push in and nothing the right size to receive. Even with a professional press my mechanic had a mother mess of a time.
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  8. #8

    wrench

    I misspoke, his press didn't do it. He cut multiple slices into the metal ring then used a cold chisel to slowly work at the separate pieces. While he said this took him a long time, he said getting the diff to the correct position to put back into the vehicle was tricky hard too and took him longer than he thought with a motorcycle jack and pry bars.
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