Transfer control issues while away for Thanksgiving - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 Old 11-21-2012, 05:13 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
Exclamation HELP NEEDED! Transfer control issues while away for Thanksgiving

PLEASE SEE UPATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ORIGINAL POST

I recently started to experience erratic transfer case problems with my 04 Armada LE while taking my family out of town for Thanksgiving (of course it couldn't happen while I was around my house but had to wait for me to be hundreds of miles away from anything ). I read about several similar issues on this site but with one difference. Here are the symptoms:

1) 4WD mode comes on erratically while the car is in 2WD.
2) Switching to "Auto" shifts the mode to all wheel drive all of the time.
3) While driving at lower speeds (40 mph or so) the transfer case occasionally tries to switch between modes with clunking and jerking sounds and motions.

I was able to reset the controller by shutting the engine off in neutral with no brake engaged, putting the shifter to park, waiting 10 seconds, and then starting the car up again. After resetting, I've kept the car in 2WD and haven't seen the 4WD light up since (yet). No clunking, either.

From what I've read, it appears that the relays on the transfer case may be bad. Because I'm far from my tools and jacks, I can't lift the car to get underneath and look or replace relays. The transfer controller may be bad, too, but I can't determine that until I get back.

Some questions:

1) What are the steps needed to get the transfer controller to flash codes?
2) Am I on the right track with my initial hunch regarding the cause of the problem?

I will go through a full investigation when I get home, but I'm 500 miles away now and need to make sure the drive train will get me home on Sunday.

UPDATE: -- SUNDAY

DAMN, THINGS WENT TO HELL TODAY! My worst fears came true...after two days of no problems (resetting the transfer controller had been working), today everything went down the toilet while in the middle of nowhere. We were halfway between Knoxville and Asheville when the 4WD, VDC, ABC and SLIP lights came on, bucking at the transfer case, right front wheel locking up and grinding the pad to a smoldering mess. I had to pull over and let the brakes cool and then decided to limp the car back to Knoxville. Towing was not an option as we were in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE! Once we got back to Knoxville, my family rented a car one way so they could get back home for school, etc., and I will deal with the car service here until it's fixed.

The intermittent ABS braking on the front right wheel and the grinding/jerking of the transfer case in the mountains as we headed for level land made for the most frightening drive of my life. I've driven in some very dicey situations, but this one takes the cake by far. There is nothing worse than when the computers crap all over themselves and create such a dangerous situation.

Tomorrow, I will take the car a few miles from my hotel room to a Nissan dealership because I have no choice. I suspect that the BCM and front right wheel sensor are shot as well as the T/F and VDC relays and perhaps the whole transfer controller box. The front right pad and rotor are certainly fried beyond all hope and will need to be replaced. I'm hoping/praying (perhaps futilely ) that the transfer gears are okay, but I really don't know at this stage.

ANYONE WITH POINTERS, SUGGESTIONS, ETC., PLEASE PM ME OR REPLY TO THIS THREAD. I'M NOW STUCK AND NEED TO GET THIS REPAIRED AND BACK HOME. THANKS!!

UPDATE: -- MONDAY

Initial assessment from Twin Cities Nissan in Alcoa, TN: Right wheel hub began to disintegrate internally and took out the wheel sensor with it. Because of the gradual collapsing of the hub initially (and then very rapidly at the end), the wheel began to cant inward and outward and the rotor rubbed against the pads at an angle (with no brake pressure applied) and then rubbed a good 1/4" - 1/2" off of the brake caliper mount itself. CV boot was shredded from the flying metal shards coming off of the broken hub. What I thought was an ABS failure with the calipers grabbing the rotor was actually the rotor rubbing furiously on the pads and brake mount. The ABS, VDC, SLIP and 4WD lights were on due to the failed wheel sensor that either burned up from the intense friction or was taken out by the metal flying from the wheel hub itself.

the plan is to replace the caliper mount, BOTH front wheel hubs with sensors (I asked that the left one be replaced, too, since it might also fail with similar miles on it as the right one), rotors/pads, CV boot, diagnostics on the transfer case controller and BCM (just to be sure they're good), brake line flush and bleed.

Had I driven the car much further, the wheel hub would have completely failed. Since I was nearing the mountains of Western NC, such a failure would have been catastrophic. Anyone who has been on that stretch of I-40 knows what I'm talking about.

I would like to thank Kooshtaka , Webturtel, TopazM3, and ntrddragn for responding and trying to help with this problem. You guys are good in my book!

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights

Last edited by skieruscan; 11-26-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Update
skieruscan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 11-21-2012, 08:32 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
It might be that this problem is more esoteric and unusual than I thought, but if anyone has any experience with this, your insight would be greatly appreciated. Resetting the transfer case control has kept the car in 2WD and has stopped the bucking and clunking, but I want to get a permanent fix in place. From the previous threads and others experiences, I'm thinking that the problem is a bad relay, but I'm all ears if others have a different diagnosis. Thanks!

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights
skieruscan is offline  
#3 Old 11-22-2012, 04:55 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
Anyone? I'm driving another 500 miles on Sunday, so this gives me two days to get some type of fix in place. Thanks in advance for your help!

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights
skieruscan is offline  
#4 Old 11-22-2012, 07:01 PM
Kooshtaka
SHIFT_Hardcore
 
Kooshtaka's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Juneau, AK
Posts: 2,568
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Kooshtaka is on a distinguished road
sorry, wish I could give you some pointers. :/

maybe send scr38 and or pops a pm?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using AutoGuide.Com Free App

'05 Mada LE Slate
Mods Done: UpRev, Bilstein 5100s in front, PRG 2" rear spaces, R1 Premium Drilled & Slotted Rotors, PosiQuite pads, Volant GenII CAI, 8K HID Lows, LEDs by ArmaDen, 3k HID Fogs, and Delete middle row console.
Mods in progress: JBA LT, PRT 300-cell hi-flo cat'd b-pipes, Borla xlr-1 muffler w/custom tubing, LED Engine Bay LEDs, Custom Suspension Lift by PRG, Custom PRG front & rear shocks, Custom PRG Rear springs.
Mods in contemplation: GoodHood or custom hood, Steel front and rear bumpers, upgraded front springs, Custom roof rack and cargo basket, Additional lighting.
Kooshtaka is online now  
#5 Old 11-22-2012, 08:01 PM
ntrddragn
SHIFT_Hardcore
 
ntrddragn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
ntrddragn is on a distinguished road
Your problem sound familiar. Someone had a similar issue but I am not sure what the out come was. So I'm just gonna ask...did you check all your oil levels? I mean all of them. Tranny oil, steering, engine etc.

Other then that I don't have an answer for you.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using AutoGuide.Com Free App



'04 LE
ntrddragn is offline  
#6 Old 11-23-2012, 05:05 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
Thanks, guys. I will refrain from PM'ing people since it's Thanksgiving, but if scr38 or Pops come online and see these posts, I would certainly appreciate their input.

I did some further exploration and still feel that the relay has gone bad and have ordered a new one to be shipped back home (~$30). I suspect that it will arrive the day after we return home from the trip.

I have to reset the transfer controller every time I start the car, which is a pain, but it sure beats the bucking and clunking otherwise.

To add insult to injury, the front right brake pads wore through to the point where they were creating a lot of noise and I had to do a hasty brake job at the local AutoZone. Their pads seem to be okay and should suffice for the trip home. The previous ones were EBC's and I will never buy those again. They don't last very long and have been noisy from day one, even with good shims and brake silencer on them. All other pads I have used have worked well, but it was the first time I tried EBC. Maybe some people have good luck with these pads, but I really don't care for them.

I know that others have said this on this forum before, but I'm really disappointed with the Armada brake design in general. They're inadequate for the size of the vehicle and the pads wear very quickly. Other than springing $4K for Brembos, I'm not aware of any other brake options. If others have ideas about a brake upgrade, please let me know. Thanks!

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights
skieruscan is offline  
#7 Old 11-24-2012, 05:24 PM
TopazM3
SHIFT_Hardcore
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
TopazM3 is on a distinguished road
Stillen has a kit that uses larger rotors and uses a GM caliper. IIRC I paid around $900. Worked well. I tow a lot and the brakes are insufficient empty, much less towing.
TopazM3 is offline  
#8 Old 11-24-2012, 08:01 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopazM3 View Post
Stillen has a kit that uses larger rotors and uses a GM caliper. IIRC I paid around $900. Worked well. I tow a lot and the brakes are insufficient empty, much less towing.
Just found them. The pair of Stillen calipers, pads, and rotors are now $2,200. Still cheaper than Brembos, though.

Also, going to start the journey home tomorrow with the transfer controller still acting crazy as hell. The reset procedure (described in my first post) is working and should get me back until I can figure out the problem at the home garage.

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights

Last edited by skieruscan; 11-25-2012 at 08:29 AM.
skieruscan is offline  
#9 Old 11-25-2012, 05:19 PM
E&J push'n wind
SHIFT_Hardcore
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
E&J push'n wind is on a distinguished road
On the brake upgrade, someone on here IIRC has posted an upgrade to like an 08 Mada brakes. Gotta be cheaper than going to the stillen, you could perhaps get the brakes at a junk yard or an auto recycler. Just a thought.

As far as the "reset" on the xfer case, sounds like the reset is reseting ECU or one of those onboard computers. Which one I don't know, could be a relay or a firmware issue, I hope it's a relay but your guess is as good anyones. Hopefully Pops or scr38 will come on.
E&J push'n wind is online now  
#10 Old 11-25-2012, 05:58 PM
skieruscan
SHIFT_Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
skieruscan is on a distinguished road
I've just PM'd scr38 and Pops and hope to hear from them soon. Stranded here in Knoxville (see update in the first post). This has been the day from hell...

2004 LE, Volant CAI with scoop, 2* timing advance, Superchips, HID main and fog lights
skieruscan is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode


Forum Jump

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off