60th Birthday - Winter Work - '07 & '08





Broken Differential Mount

At the very end of the driving season I noticed an infrequent clicking sound upon acceleration. It sounded as if it were right under the passenger seat. It took my wife all of 5 seconds to notice it the next time she was in the car. It wasn't a CLUNK but a very gentle click so I didn't think it was the dreaded differential mount. And it didn't happen every time I took off. U-Joint maybe? Axle? I wasn't too concerned knowing that I'd be removing the differential  as part of my winter projects. So once I got the diff removed, here's what I found......a couple of surprises!

Looks OK Doesn't look quite right!

Finding one mount with a nut and the other with a bolt just didn't seem right! Once I dropped the differential. here's what I found.

Hmmmmmm........Threaded rod on both sides but one's an inny and one's an outty...so to speak

So obviously there was some "repair" work done at some point in the past........at least 10 years in the past before I bought the car.

Left side has been drilled & threaded Right side is the way it should look

I was a little too quick in saying that the right side is the way it should look..........after I looked at the mount a lot closer.

A crack on the bottom and.............. A crack at the top

I'm still undecided exactly what I'll do to repair this. Fellow TR6 friends have looked and suggested leaving the left one alone and just use a grade 8 bolt and some Locktite seeing as the the thread job was very nicely done. On the right side crack, I've been told that a skilled welder could grind the crack out, stop drill, and weld the cracks in place. A wide bead around the top mount is the way to repair it. Then box in both of the front mounts.

The gussets were made from 1/8" steel using a pattern downloaded from the VTR web site. What I found was that each bracket is just a little different............I guess it depended on the guy welding the brackets to the frame.......so I ended up grinding each gusset to fit a specific bracket. The end result was a gusset that just barely fitted alongside the bracket, effectively leaving a "V" for a bead of weld to lay in.

There's aren't too many welders doing "house calls" in my neck of the woods but Tim's Portable Welding came highly recommended and he was a local guy to boot. Besides that he returned calls, came by to review the work and give an estimate and he showed up on time to complete the work in less then the quoted time. He fixed the bottom crack, got a bead about 75% of the way around the top of both pins, got between 75% & 95% coverage on the outer gussets and 100% on the inner gussets. My bank account is $200 lighter but it's a repair that I'll never have to worry about again.

This is his truck with the small 12K watt generator. His other truck has a 15K unit
Tim, the welder, hard at work under the car Now I need to paint it with POR-15

It's just about a year later (12/2008) and Tim is back boxing in my rear mounts and re-enforcing the "U" channel. I had an intermittent sound from the rear of the car all summer and I wanted to see if the new Nissan differential had stressed any parts like the rear mounts or the axles. So I dropped the diff and, even though they look OK, had the rear mounts boxed in. I'm also installing Goodparts' brand new CVJs to replace my old hubs and axles. But more on that later.

Each side of the mounts got a top to bottom plate welded in and then the "U" channel
 got a piece welded between the mounts.