Rear axle noise?

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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TheDieseliminator
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Rear axle noise?

#1

Post by TheDieseliminator » 14 years ago

Today, my dad and I noticed a noise coming from the rear axle in my 82 Maxima sedan. We took a look under the car and determined that the driver's side halfshaft has got some play. We are not really sure what could be bad, if there is anything that is. We think it may be the halfshaft or the spider assembly. No experts here though. My dad doesn't have any real in depth experience on the independent rear suspension that the car uses. Plus, ever since I bought the car it would make a knocking noise in the rear as soon as you would have weight in the trunk or one or two people sitting in the back. I basically wanted to ask the members who have a lot of experience with the rear to see if they can diagnose my problem by just reading my description. How reliable are the rear axles in the 4 door sedans (mainly with the diesel engine)? My car has just over 212,000 miles and I'm curious to find out what really does go bad on these IRS rears. Thanks a lot for any help.

Salvy

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asavage
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#2

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

"Knocking noise" rings a bell.

The wagons have a live axle, but the outboard axle brgs are (IIRC) exactly the same part number for the IRS and live.

Mine made an intermittant knocking noise at the RR for about two years, and it finally got bad enough that I pulled the axle and pressed on another one.

On the live axle version, it requires a slide-hammer style axle puller. I don't know what is required for the IRS, as I've never looked at it.

The knocking noise was mostly at 40+, was slightly affected by turning and loading the axle. It got progressively worse but took a long time to become apparent that the axle bearing was at fault. For a long time, I thought it was something loose under the car flapping around, like perhaps a park brake cable.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

goglio704
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#3

Post by goglio704 » 14 years ago

One of my cars kinda groans in the back when you first set weight on it before you even move. I think that is struts. Is your noise happening when stationary or moving? I reread your post Salvy, sounds like you've got two different noises?
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

TheDieseliminator
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#4

Post by TheDieseliminator » 14 years ago

Matt, no I'm talking about I get the noise when I'm driving the car (while it's moving). Of course when weight is applied to the car in the back the suspension sags down quite a bit. I'm sure my car needs all new struts around the car, as they most likely are the originals. Right off the bat, the noise that I have sounds like a driveshaft issue. When I'm going up hills with one person in the back or some weight in the trunk the noise is more pronounced. I really don't think it's a driveshaft issue because its made that noise since I bought the car back in June 2003. As long as no one is in the back or weight is present the noise never really comes up. The car has mostly been driven with only one person or two, both sitting up front obviously. But, as soon as I have a third sit in the back and go up a hill I'll have that sound arise around 40-45 mph. Boy, you just gotta love noises huh? Haha.

goglio704
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#5

Post by goglio704 » 14 years ago

Noises can be a real PITA because one man's clunk is another man's groan or bang. Does the noise you have vary with the speed of the car?
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

TheDieseliminator
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#6

Post by TheDieseliminator » 14 years ago

Well, you can say that again. I guess you could say the noise does vary with the speed of the car. Now remember when I'm driving the car by myself I really don't have this issue. When I have weight in the rear, going up a hill, increasing the throttle more means more of this knocking noise I described above. The best thing I can do to hide the noise is to somewhat let off the throttle while going up the hill with weight in the rear. I've done that many times and you have to let off the perfect amount so you don't lose your powerband that you've gained in the diesel. But, if I do let off the knocking noise isn't as loud and just about tends to cease almost all the way. It may be the case that my driveshaft is hitting the driveline tunnel when weight is applied to the rear of the car. But, you really can't see if it's doing that while driving down the road. You know what I mean? If that's the case I guess all new rear suspension parts would be needed. I'm sure if I replaced the struts on both sides of the car in the rear I'd probably gain a solid 1/2"-1" of ground clearance. I'm sure that would help my issue guaranteed, but it may not be the real problem.

goglio704
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#7

Post by goglio704 » 14 years ago

If your driveshaft is hitting anything that will leave a mark. Are the CV boots intact? Is the diff full of lube?
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

diesel-man
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Location: Elkton, MD

#8

Post by diesel-man » 14 years ago

When the car is up off the ground (so you can fit) can you shake one halfshaft up and down, a lot more than the other side? I'm talking about the inner half next to the Diff. If you can shake the other end by the wheel it is a bearing. If that is the case the wheel should be able to be shook also.

If it is the inner half of the halfshaft that is loose, you need the whole differential & at least one halfshaft. This happened to my first Maxi. One halfshaft had a ripped boot, and the other was loose (up and down, not in and out) Since it was a 5spd (3.55 ratio) I put in a 82 auto diff. (3.36 ratio) When I checked mine out, the halfshaft engages into the "carrier" in the rear (the part the ring gear is bolted to). It is possible to replace just that part, but difficult/time consuming without the right tools to "set" the clearances on the ring & pinion, and also so it does not whine. Check the Factory Service Manual. It is quite involved, if we are talking about the same thing/problem.

The rear struts are not going to give you the lift that you are looking for. The rear springs on Maxi sedans are famous for sagging down and a new pair of springs is what you need. Never had a problem with any front ones. Nissa must have contracted them out to China years ago??? :lol:

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kassim503
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#9

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

the groaning noise coming from the car when u get in it is probably the bushings on the semitrailing arms in the back. they have the tendency to freeze and make noise when moved, try pushing down on the back of the car and look at the wheel. if u see the rim shake in the tire its probably the bushings, cant guarantee it but thats the problem on my 83 maxi.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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