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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting a loud clunking noise in my 08 Armada. It first started out when backing out my driveway and slightly turning the wheel when my front axle articulates it make a clunking sound... I took it to the dealer and they said it was my driveshaft and replaced it under warranty. Still happens and now it happened yesterday while pumpkin picking. While trying to find a place to park I had to go over a grass median with an incline. Only an SUV could have done the maneuver but nothing that I thought my Armada couldnt handle and there was alot of clunking etc during this operation.

Anyone have any suggestions.
 

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I had the same problem with my 04 LE. It ended up being the power steering rack bolts; new bolts were installed/torqued to specs. This was done back in 07 and haven't experienced it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, still a problem. Took it to my personal mechanic he has had it for 2 days now and still cant diagnose the problem. All front end components show no signs of wear (ball joints, tie rods, shocks, etc...) He said he tightened every bolt he could see and it still makes the noise.

He agrees that it definately happens when slightly turning and when suspension flexes at same time. Especially when entering and exiting driveway aprons...

The noise went from once in a blue moon to now constant. This is really odd.

Does anybody have anymore ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just found this on another forum... Anyone ever have this happen?

Close, but no cigar as someone said to Hillary....but seriously, the problem turned out to be more serious and no one diagnosed it except yours truly and only when I was under the vehicle changing the oil and noticed what the problem was. What happened is one of the front axles actually popped out of the front four wheel drive differential, about one inch, so the axle was engaging the differential gears only about 1/4' of the shaft spline, instead of the usual about 2.5 inches. When I was under the truck, I noticed an exposed portion of that axle. One mechanic told me it was "normal", but my instincts told me no. I took it to the dealer, which had a good service manager and he told me I was right. They took out the axle and the spline was all distorted and the spline gears chipped. What apparently happened is that the C clip which holds the axle in place deteriorated...what could have been a catastophic. Anyway, we were able to put a new axle in because the clip came out with the old axle. If it had been chewed up by the differential, the whole diff would have had to have been replaced.
 

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I have a clunck sound when I apply the brakes slightly! I have not isolated the cause yet as it just started to do it in the last couple days. I suspect it may be a pad or something like that
 

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Exposed Differential

I just found this on another forum... Anyone ever have this happen?

Close, but no cigar as someone said to Hillary....but seriously, the problem turned out to be more serious and no one diagnosed it except yours truly and only when I was under the vehicle changing the oil and noticed what the problem was. What happened is one of the front axles actually popped out of the front four wheel drive differential, about one inch, so the axle was engaging the differential gears only about 1/4' of the shaft spline, instead of the usual about 2.5 inches. When I was under the truck, I noticed an exposed portion of that axle. One mechanic told me it was "normal", but my instincts told me no. I took it to the dealer, which had a good service manager and he told me I was right. They took out the axle and the spline was all distorted and the spline gears chipped. What apparently happened is that the C clip which holds the axle in place deteriorated...what could have been a catastophic. Anyway, we were able to put a new axle in because the clip came out with the old axle. If it had been chewed up by the differential, the whole diff would have had to have been replaced.
Do you have any pic's of what the norm is suppose to look like when looking and the front dif and drive shafts? Suspect mine but am not 100% certain. Thanks for your time.
 

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Do you have any pic's of what the norm is suppose to look like when looking and the front dif and drive shafts? Suspect mine but am not 100% certain. Thanks for your time.
They are supposed to be tight in the differential housing... if you see any gear grooves on the shaft, it's likely loose... Mine poured gear oil out all over the ground when it came loose so there was no mistake it came out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, the truck is back to the dealer for a 3rd time regarding this problem. 1st time, couldnt find any noise, second time changed out drive shaft, then brought it to my personal mechanic and he had it for 3 days, all front end components show no signs of wear or failure, he thought the noise was from the front stabilizer bar bushing so he removed the whole stabilizer bar components and drove the truck and still the noise was there. It happening alot more frequent now. I told him about the front diff issue and he said it doesnt appear to be pulling out. He saw a TSB on springs but didnt think that was it either so he told me to bring it back to the dealer which it sits for a 3rd time... Not fun and very inconvenient.
 

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I also have an 08' and occasionally had a "low speed while turning over a bump clunk". I never really spent much time deciphering the noise and moved on. Well, recently I upgraded my swaybar brackets and bushings with Energy Suspension polyurethane bushings. What I noticed was the factory left side front bracket was coming in contact with the "stop ring" clamped to the swaybar (one ring on each side of swaybar to stop excessive lateral movement of the bar). The aftermarket bushing brackets are narrower than the factory ones and my clunk is now gone. You may want to check the factory clamps and swaybar brackets as that was the issue on mine.
 

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jkklongisland- don't forget to mention the power steering rack bolts. I stopped taking my 04 LE to several of the Long Island and Queens based service depts. The majority would always give me the typical "could not replicate" BS response.

Eventually, I ended up going to Nissan of Manhattan and they figured it out the "clunking" noise immediately.

csptk- what part number from Energy Suspension were the sway bar bracket/bushings kit? Thanks.
 

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I held off publishing the swaybar bushing upgrade because "some modifications required" caveat regarding the front....but here goes:

I'm not sure all Armadas have the same size bars but my 2008 has the following:

36mm front
27mm rear

I know some use the drop in Titan front bushings with the stock brackets, but 2mm was too much for my tastes.

Rear solution was easy, remove and replace with part number:

Energy Suspension 9.5169G (change "G" to "R" for red bushings)

These have grease fittings and replace the rear hardware with no modifications.

The fronts were a different issue. Not huge, but might be a little much for someone a little less mechanical.

I replaced the fronts with:

Energy Suspension 9.5173G

These are 35mm, the biggest universal bushing they make currently. The brackets will need the mounting holes drilled out to 1/2" plus one of them slotted. Once you see the factory brackets you'll see what I mean by slotted. Modify them just like the factory brackets and make sure the slot goes back on the top hole. I also sanded the inner race of the bushing to get rid of some bind, and mounted washers between the bracket and the frame. Those steps are totally unnecessary as the bushing fits close enough to perfect...but I race cars and I'm admittedly a little anal with car setup :)

I did the sway bar mods a few weeks before I did the front Bilsteins and can say the bushings made the bigger difference during daily driving. And all for under $40!!!! Steering response and turn-in has improved dramatically as well as the understeer.


Hope others enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Still no answer, the dealer still has my truck, they are awaiting aproval to change my front springs. They say there is a tsb on them and need aproval. He also said the new springs will lower my front end my 1 inch. Will I notice that? I dont understand why new replacement springs would do that but the dealer is saying thats what the tsb is saying, most likely a revised spring design. Very aggravated now.
 

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Yes, you'll notice 1" difference... The difference between a 2wd & 4x4 is only 0.5" and if you park next to one or drive one, the difference is very noticeable, BUT you can get used to it.

NTB10-050

http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase.html?catid=198

From reading the TSB, it does say the front will be 1" lower... I'm wondering if you are just experiencing UCA to Upper Coilbucket contact... It's very common on 2" mini-lifted Armadas and doesn't really hurt anything other then putting some small knicks in your upper coilbucket.. My upper coilbuckets are all knicked up to hell and are holding just fine... If that is the case, those other springs will not be any different other than being 1" shorter, so it's not like you'll be getting a better spring set..

I guess what I'm saying is, it's really your decision if you want to keep that 1" and accept the noise as "normal" or if you want the noise gone and are willing to give up that 1"... Because mechanically, if it's just coilbucket contact, it's not anything that will damage anything and it's not like it doesn't happen on some other Armadas..

You can look at your upper coilbuckets and if you see a small knick, that's where your clunk is coming from...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, you'll notice 1" difference... The difference between a 2wd & 4x4 is only 0.5" and if you park next to one or drive one, the difference is very noticeable, BUT you can get used to it.

NTB10-050

http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/Knowledgebase.html?catid=198

From reading the TSB, it does say the front will be 1" lower... I'm wondering if you are just experiencing UCA to Upper Coilbucket contact... It's very common on 2" mini-lifted Armadas and doesn't really hurt anything other then putting some small knicks in your upper coilbucket.. My upper coilbuckets are all knicked up to hell and are holding just fine... If that is the case, those other springs will not be any different other than being 1" shorter, so it's not like you'll be getting a better spring set..

I guess what I'm saying is, it's really your decision if you want to keep that 1" and accept the noise as "normal" or if you want the noise gone and are willing to give up that 1"... Because mechanically, if it's just coilbucket contact, it's not anything that will damage anything and it's not like it doesn't happen on some other Armadas..

You can look at your upper coilbuckets and if you see a small knick, that's where your clunk is coming from...
Thanks for the info. I am upset about the drop of 1 inch but I do want the noise gone. I bought a $30,000 truck thats 2.5 years old that sounds worse than my 75 Cordoba going over bumps...

Logically what you are saying makes sense but why would it be happening more frequently. Plus the suspension is not flexing fully. I will ask them though.

Still my gut is saying its the front axle shaft pulling out of the diff but they will not change that until they have exhausted more cost effective options. The guy is saying if it was the axle shaft than I would be leaking fluid which isnt happening but others have experienced this on other forums and have had no fluid leaks mentioned.

If they change the front springs and it still makes the noise than I want them to put the old ones back in and adress the diff.
 

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Mine poured out a huge puddle of gear oil when the half shaft came out... Luckily it was on snow so it was very noticeable and there were gear oil icicles hanging from the flange joint.. Some of it looked pink while some looked yellow... I'm guessing it must've been the sub-zero weather, lighting, or my imagination that saw it pink because the street stain was yellow after the snow melted...
 
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