Owners of 1999-2002 Nissan Frontier pickups and 2000-02 Xterra SUVs may complain of a rumble-type sound from the undercarriage under light acceleration with the transfer case in the 4WD High mode.
According to Nissan, the noise is most obvious from 15 mph to 35 mph, and is most likely due to the companion flange dust cover amplifying the sound from the transfer case bearing.
Installing a new-design companion flange with a special insulating material on the dust cover, part No. 33210-4W100, should eliminate the noise issue. After the new companion flange is positioned, install a new self-locking retaining nut.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via email at [email protected].