Nissan Frontier vibrations

john285john285 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Nissan
I have a 2000 Frontier XE, 4 cyl., 4x4. With a
load, either towing or on board, there is a bad
vibration in 1st and 2nd gears, at about 2800rpm.
Two visits and 4 days at the dealer with no
results. They say they are working on the problem.


  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    pinion angle needs adjustment...but then Frontiers were not made to tow or haul...probably why dealer can't fix it.
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Member Posts: 290
    Made to tow or haul as much as any other compact truck in it's class. Gets 90% of it's tourque at about 1500 rpms (in the V6). Decent combinatation of power and pull for the price. As for the 4 cyl, good luck towing anything with any 4 cyl truck.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Frontiers are not made to tow or haul...probably why dealer can't fix it.
  • goobagooba Member Posts: 391
    Your comments are based on what?
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    personal experience. I have driven a Nissan truck reg cab 2.4L for 9 years. Truck was not made to carry no where near the 1400# max load. The only way you could tow 3500# (max towing) was if the trailer had a weight distribution system effectively eliminating tongue weight so that the Nissan could pull rather than tow. The truck has enough problems maintaining OD going up an incline on the freeway...can't imagine with a load. The 2.4 was made to be a personal hauler..truck bottoms out with 700#. When I did any type of hauling or towing...the engine screamed at 50 in 2nd gear to maintain highway speeds.

    Oh yeah, with a 700# load, the truck sits on the rubber. When accelerating from a stop, there is a shudder that's being caused by the large change in pinion angle. This is nothing new to trucks. Some do it less or not at all really depends on the truck and how it was setup at the factory.

    Also, Nissan discontinued the 2wd 4x4 King cab with the 2.4l. Truck weighed close to 4000#...and imagine it with a load...all being pulled by the 2.4l engine. The V6 has a hard time...the 2.4 doesn't stand a chance...
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    There are alot of differences between the frontier and the hardbody you had, I personally have a 4cyl 98 5spd kingcab and have towed over 3,000# with no trouble, and I have had over 800# in the bed another time, no problems, also I have seen several hardbodies towing large boats when i go out, so far as the original posters problems, I have not heard of these things, but I would agree that it is not a good idea to tow alot with the 4cylinder 4x4 there is just too much going on there with the 4x4 and a load and the weight of the truck that one is just for playing in the mud.
    If you do not think that you are getting help from the dealer you brought it to, try another, they mave have better ideas to help you.
  • goobagooba Member Posts: 391
    Before I bought my CC I had a 1984 KC Nissan 4x4 and I did not have any problems towing,or hauling with it.Granted it was no speed demon with over 1200lbs in the bed,but it got the job done.
    The pinion angle change you refer to usually presents itself the other way.The shudder will usually occur because the angularity of the driveline is so great due to putting lift kits on.As you put a load on the vehicle the angle decreases along with the shudder.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Could you explain that to GM. The GM trucks today exhibit launch shudder ONLY when carrying a load. The correct way to set pinion angle is to measure truck empty and with full load and split the difference. Todays trucks are tuned for no load since most are personal when hauling a load...
    The lift kits would depend on whether it is a body or suspension lift. They should have an adjustment made for the pinion angle, usually by relocating driveshaft.

    the true value on towing 3000# is the tongue weight. what was your tongue weight when towing the 3000#. The 800#'s that you mentioned is well within the 1400# limit of hauling, but would you do it with your 4 cylinder everyday? I don't understand why anyone would want to abuse their truck that way. You want to haul or tow, select the correct truck to do so. 800# will strain that 2.4 of yours and decrease its life not to mention what it will do to a stock suspension. I abused my Nissan truck and was rewarded by replacing the auto tranny at 32k miles. I agree that the Frontiers and Hardbodies are different, but the displacement of the motor is still 2.4l no matter how you look at it and there is no substitute for cu in when it comes to producing ground pounding torque to haul or tow.
  • goobagooba Member Posts: 391
    That is not necessarily true.The fleet of vehicles I maintain has 2 and 4wd trucks of various mfg,and none of them has experienced what you are describing.My main contact truck is a k3500 stake that is loaded to 9600lbs with a max gvw of 10000lbs and it stays loaded,and it has not exhibited the shudder you describe.The only thing I can agree with you on is that the mfg sets the alignment up with a no load truck.As soon as we load the trucks then the tires start wearing and we have to realign with the normal load.
    I guess I should have been more specific about the lift.I wrongly assumed that it was quite obvious that a body lift would have no bearing on the suspension or driveline angles.The higher lift kits do make allowances for the pinion angle,some by having you put in a 3 piece driveline with a carrier bearing and/or by rotating the differential on the springs.
    I guess by your statement to cncman that your earlier response meant that ALL compact 4 cyl trucks were not made to haul or tow,ie Toyota,S10,Ranger,Sport Trac,etc.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Yes sir, all 4 cylinder models...

    Back to launch shudder. GM does have a problem with launch shudder in their '99 - '00 Silverado 1/2 ton. If you do a search under topic 1638 2000 Chevy Silverado Vibrations II you will find quite a few experienced the launch shudder. It has been said that it is a bug that GM has to work out on their new model trucks. Apparently it is limited to the 1500 2wd and doesn't affect the 2500's. It also refers to the two piece driveshaft as the culprit. The Helm's manual for the '00 Silverado dedicates a total of 57 pages to solve vibration problems and I believe 5-6 of those pages are to troubleshoot launch shudder. Would verify that but I loaned my manual to my Chevy dealer... ;)

    Apologies for being off topic...back to the Nissan vibrations...any TSB's? Check
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    obviously you know alot more about towing and such than I do, this is my first truck, and I haven't towed before, or carried a big load, I don't know what my tongue weight was, it is my friend's boat, and when we go, I drive to his place and he hooks it up for me, I have a class II reciever hitch on mine, there really wasn't any squat to the truck,
    and I was able to maintain 50-55mph in fith gear going uphill, you said you had an automatic, I would never tow with an auto in a four cylinder,
    As for the load, of course my truck is primarily a commuter, so I don't have a load all the time, but I am not worried about it shortening the life of my trucks engine or suspension, the frontier now has progressive rate leaf springs in the back
    to prevent squatting, and a stronger frame, I do agree that if I towed a boat every weekend, or hauled alot I would prefer the V6, but the 4 does just fine when I have asked it to do alot of work.
    I am actually considering getting an '01 desert runner, because I may buy my own boat and would be towing more, then I would go with the auto because it tows 5,000lbs.
  • gmh1gmh1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Nissan Frontier XE King Cab 4x4 and when I'm hauling load, just starting it out. I get a vibration. But far as hauling any weight with my 4 cyl. Not bad!!!
  • malcummalcum Member Posts: 6
    I have a 98' 4x2 reg. cab. I just carried over a 1/2 ton of rock in my bed and did not experience any vibrations. I drove up many hills with the load and used 4th gear most of the time. It handled quite well. 40k trouble free miles so far.
  • john285john285 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Frontier 4x4, 4 cyl., that vibrates in lower gears with a load, weather towing or carrying. Nissan is aware of the problem and has no fix for same. They will not take the vehicle back since it is not a "safety" problem. The dealer also has no concern. Seems with Nissan once you buy it-GOOD LUCK.
  • dsjjwdsjjw Member Posts: 1
    In the late 70's and early 80's Datsun/Nissan had produced the king cab trucks with bad drive shafts, they did this for many years. The vibration came in at freeway speeds and droned inside the cab, very annoying! Dealers were helpless because shafts from Datsun/Nissan were bad out of the box! In approx. 84 or 85 they had a secret warranty for those who complained and hopefully the service manager was aware. It was called "720 Cab Drone". I had 5 drive shafts replaced and all were WAY out of Datsun/Nissan spec. I had the shafts retubed and balanced and that solved the problem, this was done before the secret warranty. Lets hope Nissan isn't producing bad shafts again.
  • wrench1wrench1 Member Posts: 8
    I have a '99 Frontier 2wd,at,a/c,xe King Cab, 2.4L. that has always vibrated about 38 mph to 53 mph, worse upon deceleration. I worked on cars since I was 15 and know it is a center bearing vibration coming through the driver's seat, not the wheels. Nissan sent me to the tire manufacturer3 times, of which they showed me the runout report from the machine that said the wheels and tires were fine. I drove 3 brand new 2000 King Cabs off the front line with the service manager and all three shook pretty bad, even a 5 speed. Nissan closed my case and said thats its normal! I am not a happy camper! This truck tows my 2500lb boat with no problems, no vibration either! I own a 2000 Xterra and it is fine. wrench1
  • goobagooba Member Posts: 391
    There is currently a number of people who are experiencing the same problem you are.I have a 2000 CC auto.I do not have the vibration but my carrier bearing rubber has popped out at the bottom.Nissan is replacing this.A few of the other guys have had their drivshaft assemblies replaced.Call the 800 number at Nissan and also lodge a complaint at NHTSA.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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