The Nissan Frontier is a reliable midsize pickup truck that has been in production since 1997. Over the years, Nissan has used different rear axle assemblies in the Frontier, so it’s essential to properly identify which rear axle your truck has before doing any work or modifications.
This article will overview some different rear axles used in the Frontier and provide tips for identifying them. Knowing which rear axle you have is crucial for replacing parts or upgrading components. We’ll cover the Dana 44, Dana 50, and Corporate axles used in the Frontier over the years as well.
With the information in this article, you’ll be able to confidently identify your Nissan Frontier’s rear axle.
Table of Contents
Nissan Frontier Rear Axle Identifications
- The Dana 44 rear axle was in early Frontier models from 1997-2004. It has a ring gear diameter of 44 mm (1.73 inches). The differential cover is round in shape, and its axles have an 8.5-inch ring gear bolt pattern.
- In 2005, Nissan switched to the Dana 50 axle for some of the latest models. The Dana 50 has a larger 50 mm (1.97 inch) ring gear diameter. It has a flat differential cover with ten bolts, and it uses an 8.8-inch ring gear bolt pattern.
- The Corporate axle replaced the Dana 44 in 2005 Frontier models with 6-lug wheels. Corporate axles have an 8.0-inch ring gear bolt pattern. The differential cover is in a round shape with 11 bolts, and it has a 175 mm case width and 44 mm ring gear diameter.
- First, to identify an axle, count the number of lug nuts on your wheels – 5 lugs indicates a Dana 44, and six lugs indicates a Corporate axle. Measure the axle width and bolt pattern to further the scales.
- Your Frontier’s model year and trim package will provide clues about the axle. 4-cylinder models typically had the Dana 44 or Corporate axles, while V6 and Nismo trims had the Dana 50 axles.
Aftermarket gear ratios
OEM ratios are:
- 3.36:1 for (Dana 44)
- 3.54:1 for (Corporate)
- 3.69:1 for (Dana 50).
Remember that higher numerical ratios are aftermarket gears.
- Once you’ve identified the axle, check for part numbers stamped on the differential housing. This will fully verify the exact axle make and specifications.
- Consult the Nissan OEM service manuals for detailed axle diagrams. Having the axle ID is essential to order the correct replacement parts like bearings, seals, and gears.
- Upgrading the rear axle components are common, so don’t assume the axle is entirely original. Inspect for aftermarket parts like a modified cover, brake kit, or the suspension blocks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nissan Frontier Rear Axle Identification
Q: How can I tell if my Frontier has a Dana 44, Dana 50, or Corporate axle?
A: The easiest way is to count the lug nuts – 5 indicates a Dana 44, and 6 means a Corporate axle
Q: What’s the difference between the Dana 44 and Corporate axles?
A: Both have 44mm ring gears, but the Dana 44 is stronger with a wider 8.5-inch bolt pattern. On the other hand, the Corporate axle has an 8.0-inch pattern and a narrower case width.
Q: Are there any identification marks on the axle to verify?
A: Yes, check the differential housing for a part number stamping. This will confirm the axle specifications. Most of the time, the cover may also be marked.
Q: Do I need to know my axle type for replacement parts?
A: Yes, parts like ring and pinion gears, seals, and bearings differ between the Dana 44, Dana 50, and Corporate axles. Verify your axle before replacing the parts.