2002 swapping the open differential for a limited slip one.

Halogen_03

Test Drive
I have a 2wd 2002 Xterra 3.3L 6cyl with no supercharger and an automatic transmission. I went to the local U-Pull-It and managed to get the rear axle for a 2003 Xterra (after confirming it has an LSD by spinning the wheels; of the three 4x4 Xterras in the yard that day, it seemed to be the only one with an LSD, the other two behaved as if they had open diffs, strangely enough).

I have a local mechanic I trust to do the installation, and dropped it off with them this morning. Their service writer called me just a little bit ago and I'll try to parse out what they've told me. I apologize ahead of time for any inaccuracies as I'm more or less relaying what they've told me and haven't had a chance to see it myself before posting this.

Basically, the open diff uses a single ABS sensor in the diff to do its job with a tone ring on the diff itself, and the LSD axle has two sensors, one in each wheel, with their own tone rings.

Our first plan was to replace the gear carrier in the OE open diff axle with the one from the donor axle, since my axle is in much better shape (little to no rust and the little bits of metal holding the brake line in place are intact on mine as opposed to the donor axle, which is noticeably more rusty and the brake line holders are gone). If we went with this route, since there is no tone ring on the LSD gear carrier, I would lose ABS on the rear axle. In my opinion, a deal breaker.

Second plan was to just to replace the axle, and I'll deal with its issues later. But, there seems to be only one plug on the wiring harness that the ABS in the diff plugs into, there isn't a second plug for a second sensor. The service writer mentioned the possibility of splicing the two ABS lines together, but we've both written that off as that would send two signals on a line the computer is only expecting one signal on. I would argue that losing ABS on one wheel is equally as deal-breaking as losing it for the entire rear axle, but I can understand if people disagreed with me on that one.

I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions? If you can think of anything we can do to make this work?

PS - If you care to know the story behind this, to make it short, during Snowmageddon back at the tail end of February, I slipped and slid on the road way too much for my liking. Including one particular incident when I was driving uphill to get home, the outer half of the road lane was cleared off, the inner half compacted snow, and I couldn't get uphill because one of my rear wheels (you can guess which one) couldn't get any traction. A particular situation that I believe is practically tailor-made to be solved by an LSD.

PPS - I also posted this on r/Xterra, and have more-or-less copy/pasted this over here
 

Prime

Some Kind of In Charge?
Admin
Location
Denver-ish
Have you reviewed the FSM to see what the difference is in the wiring? I'm guessing that the non lsd with only one plug has a different ABS computer.
 

Halogen_03

Test Drive
Have you reviewed the FSM to see what the difference is in the wiring? I'm guessing that the non lsd with only one plug has a different ABS computer.
I have not... Well, now I feel incredibly stupid.

After reading it, it looks like the computers are likely to be the same. BR-37 through BR-39 lead me to think that the sensor on the 2wd on plug into the same socket as the driver side rear wheel on the 4wd model, which means, if I wish to salvage this project, I would need to get the sensors and wires from a 4wd...

Though that still leaves the wheels. I need to take a good look at my existing axle and see if there's a point to install the sensors for the wheels, if not... I really don't want to use that axle, just because of the difference in condition.
 

Prime

Some Kind of In Charge?
Admin
Location
Denver-ish
The tone rings on the 4wd are behind the bearings. When you pull the axle shafts and the double roller outers that come with it you'd see the tone ring right there.

20160312_135728.jpg

This picture is from my 1st Gen disc brake build. You can see the tone ring is the inner most part of the assembly.
 

Prime

Some Kind of In Charge?
Admin
Location
Denver-ish
You can add wires and harnesses. It's not hard to wire stuff up. And the sensors are cheap. You would need the 4wd housing though since the holes for the sensors are in the axle tube.
 

Halogen_03

Test Drive
By 4wd housing, do you mean the axle I pulled from the 4wd Xterra? I wouldn't be able to modify my OE 2wd axle to work with it?
 
Top