Nissan Auto Locking Hubs

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 21:15
ThreadID: 67457 Views:11261 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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We've got a problem with the auto locking free wheeling hubs on our Patrol, and I was wondering if anyone has had the same issue.

It appears that when we're in 4wd (mostly on the beach), the hubs are slipping, making a clunking sound. We've tried manually locking them, but although it helps to a degree, the noise can sometimes still be heard. It's not constant, it's occasional.

A reputable 4x4 centre has told us that it's a common weak point in the later model Nissan Patrols (ours is a 2004 GU), and that they can be replaced with new same, second hand same, new manuals or second hand manuals. There is also the option of DIY aftermarket hubs through ARB, but we're a bit reluctant to take this path.

If anyone else has had the same problem, what did you do? Has it worked?

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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:02

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:02
I didn't have any problems with my auto hubs, but I turfed them anyway and replaced with AVM manual locking hubs.

The main reason I did this was so I could occasionally use low range without needing to be in 4x4. This can be useful when trying to (for example) push a heavy trailer up a steep concrete driveway where you need the low gearing but due to the hard surface you can't be in 4x4 (due to transmission lock-up issues).

The AVMs are reputed to not be as tough as Nissan's own manual hubs, but I have a 6.5 V8 Chev diesel and I run large tyres (315/75R16), so you'd think if anybody was going to have an issue with weak hubs, it would be me.

Having said all that, bear in mind too that your drivetrain needs to have a weak point.....if it's not the hubs it could be the CV joints, or the tail shaft could be twisted or the transmission could have a gear stripped (or the diff).
AnswerID: 357744

Reply By: mechpete - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:11

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:11
I had them on my late GQ and they were great ,after 12 yrs one had a problem and the replacement cost was way to dear . so I put afetrmarket hubs on . would rather have put auto hubs back on but its a dollar thing .
AnswerID: 357747

Reply By: kev.h - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:44

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:44
You don't say how much work they have done or if they have ever been serviced the problem can be dry sticky grease not letting them move freely and lock in properly
simple job if you are at all handy ( or have your mechanic do it )
1- remove the 6 allen head screws on the outside of the hub,
2- remove the hub - may need light tap with a hammer to break the seal-
3- once the hub is off there is a retaining ring which can be removed with a small screwdriver-this allows the hub to come apart
4- remove the centre splined section which then exposes the working bits (a spring and 3 or 4 parts )
5- note the location of all the bits so you can put them back in the right place
6- wash all the bits in a solvent with a good grease ( soft grease not hard and wax like grease)
7- reassemble in reverse order
Of course this wont help if they are worn out and simply not engaging properly but a cheap fix if it is only the grease has dried out as is the case most of the time
Cheers Kev
P.S if you need more details feel free to ask
AnswerID: 357756

Follow Up By: kev.h - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:53

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 22:53
oops 6 wash all the bits in a solvent "and regrease" with a good grease
FollowupID: 625867

Follow Up By: kym111 - Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 23:05

Thursday, Apr 02, 2009 at 23:05
the patrol had 40,000 on the clock. dont know how much work done by previous owner. Very little work done by me.
FollowupID: 625873

Reply By: Member - Donald S (WA) - Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 00:56

Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 00:56
I had a GQ Patrol with auto hubs.They made similar sounds and eventually failed. I replaced them with AVM manual hubs and never had any problems after that.

Earlier, I had a L300 van with automatic hubs. When these hubs failed I replaced them with AVM hubs and had no problems.

I have a GU Patrol, now and will replace the automatic hubs (when they fail) with AVM manual hubs.

Not only are the AVM manual hubs cheaper, I have found them more reliable and more convenient.

AnswerID: 357768

Reply By: jetcrew - Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 10:27

Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 10:27

Spent 3 weeks in Weipa last October having driven from Gladstone in my mates GU ,one evening when pulling boat from ramp his Nissan started to make a horred grinding and clicking sound.

I was driving and had engaged L4 using the auto lock system( had not turned hubs using tyre lever). However I then reversed down the embankment .

When I drove out we got the noise and grind of death all the way home even after going back to H2.

We then manually locked the hubs using tyre lever and place gearbox in H2 and went for a drive after a few meters the noise dissapeared , unlocked hubs all was good .

Next day I repeated the same as above exactly with the same outcome noise and grind and used same solution.

It all seemed very odd I then remembered about someone saying that in a gu when you use auto lock it is only good for forward travel in 4L.????

On the third day I did not engage 4L at top but instead reversed in H2 and at bottom of ramp then engaged 4L with auto lock and drove out no problems ect.

On fourth day I manually locked the hubs and reversed down and up no problem.

All we could surmise was that when using the auto lock feature when the first movement/ rotation was 20m in reverse it made the hubs grind when we then went forward. When first rotation was forward it was fine .

I am by no means a mechanic or engineer all I can say is that was our problem and thats how we fixed it vehicle has been operating fine ever since.

As a rule now my mate always uses tyre lever and locks his hubs.

Hope this may have helped

AnswerID: 357820

Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 11:39

Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 11:39
Hi Kym111

They are a wear item, and it means that the gear teeth are worn , nothing can realistically be done for them
and as per others posts, most go AVM manual aftermarket.

Mine are going the same way after 180,000km.

To get a little more life out of them I swapped them side to side and worn teeth now slip when reversing more than when going forward.

I read a post above about pulling them apart , and we actually managed to do this but its quite difficult to get bits to realgin and I wouldn't do it unless you know what your doing.

I love the auto-hubs and often use 4wd on bitumen on the fly so am relucant to go AVM myself.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 357828

Reply By: Leroy - Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 11:57

Friday, Apr 03, 2009 at 11:57
I'd be reluctant to put on manual hubs in my situation as I use them every winter to shift on the fly depending what the snow conditions are like on the road. But may not be an issue for you.
BIL had an auto hub fail a couple of years back on a '04 GU also. He replaced them with manual hubs off a DX GU as they are stronger than the AVM hubs which often fail if pushed hard.
The good thing about this is I now have a spare auto hub :)

AnswerID: 357829

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