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madkiwi

Manual transmission TSB

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Everyone who has a 1986.5 to 1995 4wd Truck or 1987-1995 4wd Pathfinder should be aware that the FS5R30A manual transmission up until 1995 does not provide adequate lubrication to the main and counter drive gears.

If you are experiencing transmission whine in every gear except for 4th, you have a problem. You should park your truck now and have the transmission rebuilt, the alternative is that the transmission will eventually grenade, and a $500 rebuild quickly becomes a $3000 replacement.

The tsb's show a diagram with the "fixed" transmission case, the only difference being that the fill hole was moved up 0.97 inches! That increased the oil capacity by 1.5 liters from 3.6l to 5.1l

Here are the TSBs, I'll leave them up until someone sues me.

TSB97-009 *Link Broken*
TSB97-009A

If you have one of the covered transmissions, but you don't have the symptoms, you should still add the extra 1.5 liters of gear oil to your tranny. I decided the simplest way was to go in through the top, through the gear shifter. (Some people have tried parking on a slope so the fill hole is higher, others have tried squeezing in the extra with a bottle then quickly getting the plug in before it drains out. )

How to add gear oil through the shifter hole

Pull up the carpet from the passenger side to free the gear shift, and remove the shifter boot.

Cut off the zip-tie holding the gearshift dustboot, and pull it up from the shifter assembly. You will then see a snap-ring underneath, remove it (you do have snap-ring pliers, right?) and then remove the gearshift lever. Pour 1.5 liters (1.6 US quarts) of new gear oil into the transmission.

Replace shifter, snap-ring, dustboot, shifter boot and carpet. You are done!

Note, shifter should be in neutral, and be careful when removing and inserting it as there is a plastic swivel thing on the end. (It only goes back in correctly one way, so if you are not sure it's right, make sure) You need a long replacement zip-tie for the dustboot, I think an 8" works.

Final note, do not use any gear oil rated GL-5 in the Nissan manual transmission. It says in our manual to use GL-4, and there is a difference. GL-5 oils have additives that destroy the soft bronze synchros in our transmissions. I use Red Line MT90, and it works very well.

madkiwi

Edited by RedPath88
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Thanks madkiwi for putting this up (nice format also). I'm darn glad for it and I'm sure many others will be also. Any word on your tranny yet ?

 

Bernard

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(you do have snap-ring pliers, right?)

No I have many small screwdrivers and a pair of needle nose pliers with a groove filed in the tip.

 

Thanks for the tip but now you got me worried.

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Just curious, when was this TSB issued ? What I mean is I've got an '87SE that I bought in '89, and I've never had a problem or an issue with the tranny whatsoever. Oil in it routinely maintained (maybe that's the key?), filled through the plug hole, no whines, no nada... :bow:

 

 

I couldn't get either of the links to wightman-crane to work, by the way. Serving American Samoa? Who takes their Pathy there? I don't have a snorkle.... :wacko:

 

 

Then again, I'm not real hard on vehicles ~ 159,000 plus on the clock & it still has the original clutch... :aok:

 

I do thank you for the heads-up, though.... :cool2:

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I am so sorry, I thought I had my links all sorted out but I had the file names wrong!

 

Links are now fixed.

 

Precise1:

 

Word is that it's only the throwout bearing. Of course they have to pull the tranny and double check that before I can say I dodged a bullet, mostly because of my fear of this oil starvation issue. So I am getting a new clutch and flywheel resurface, plus they will replace the crank seal while they are there. Estimate was $1200, considering the cost of labor in the San Francisco area that's not too bad. I bought my own Red Line MT90 (5 full quarts and a half bottle I had left over from the top-off I did last year) to them, and made sure they know to put all of it in.

 

hardwaretoad:

 

I work for WC&S and run the computers etc. We have more space than we need from our host, so I set up a little part of it to hold stuff like this. Yeah, it's an export company.

 

madkiwi

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Cool madkiwi... Sounds like it's not as bad as it could have been. Yeah, I got a quote here in Petaluma for $1100, but being unemployed, I figured I'd save some $ and do some poking around myself. Worked on it today; tomorow I drop the T-bars, crossmembers, and starter, and out comes the tranny. It'll run me about $400 including renting a tranny jack... I'm changing all the fluids, but going with regular oil as a 'flush'. When I put the truck on jack stands, I noticed some play in the front wheel bearings so I guess I'm redoing the hubs next, LOL. Glad I decided to do it myself, but hope I don't find anything else...

 

Bernard

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Hey all, just for kicks, I thought I'd mention jacking up the passenger side to 'overfill' or correctly fill the tranny case as per this TSB. While I haven't done it (I just did my clutch and poured 5 quarts (4.73 liters) down the shifter tube), I filled my other cases and noted that the transfer case accepted 3 pints instead of 2.4, the rear diff took 3 quarts and room for a bit more(all I had) instead of 2.95 qts at maybe 5-8degrees rear up tilt. I think you know what I'm saying. TIP your pathy, and pour it in... in the case of the tranny, at least 5+ quarts...

 

Bernard

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Guest Jose Garcia

Hi, Madkiwi. I'm new in this forum. That's excellent information; I'm sure all of us appreciate it. I recently replaced my pathy's auto tranny with a manual one. I used a gear oil labeled: GL-5, GL-4 and GL-3 and by reading your info I decided to drain it and replace the gear oil with the same kind you use, but I can't find the GL-4 kind any where. Do you know where to find it? Or, where can I find the RED LINE MT90 you use? Please help!

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Jose,

I had the same problem locating GL-4 locally. I ended up ordering some from summitracing.com.

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Guest Jose Garcia

Thank you very much jj Big Shoe. I went ahead and looked for GL-4 type gear oil at a local auto parts, but all I found was the 85w-90 type. I know Madkiwi used Red Line MT90. Do you know if it's ok the one I bought? Cause it's a little too hard to find it. If anyone else knows something about it, I'll greatly appreciate it.

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NAPA has it (pretty sure) and go to redline's website to see who deals their stuff... and yah, the multi gl# oil isn't ok although the dealers tell me that it's ok... they are in the business of making money though...

Edited by mzxtreme

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What I've heared is anything other than GL-4 has sulpher additives in it that eat up the bronze (or brass?) synchros in the manual trannies. I'd take the stuff you bought back and get the right juice.

 

Red Line MT-90 should be ok. Here's some info:

Red Line MTL is classified as a 75W/80W gear lubricant satisfying the API Service requirements of GL-3 and GL-4. MTL also satisfies motor oil viscosities SAE 5W/10W/30, and the viscosity requirements for ATFs. MT-90 is a 75W90 GL-4 and also satisfies motor oil viscosities SAE 10W/1 5W/40. The additive chemistry used is non-corrosive, so even though they will provide GL-4 performance, they will not corrode synchros or bushings.  Because of its low corrosivity, Red Line MTL and MT-90 could also be used in transmissions requiring GL-1 or GL-3 lubricants. Seal compatibility is designed to be similar to petroleum-based lubricants.

 

Amsoil also makes a synthetic GL-4 lubricant. Seems just as hard to find, though.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by jj big shoe

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I just ordered 5 quarts of MT90 for my 93 SE. The info about the TSB was a great help. I had the dealership replace my original trans and clutch at 185,000 in 2001 because of the exact problems mentioned in the TSB. It cost me around $3400. The dealership never mentioned to me about the problems they had with the filler hole being too low and not allowing enough lubricant for the gears. Now, at 263,000 miles, I think I'm starting to feel the same problems starting again but I hope I'm wrong. Looking at my transmission case, it does not look like they replaced it with the correct, higher fill hole version, but instead it looks like they used an older version so now I'm having the same problems. That's just not right. I know it's been 3 years but I'm going back to the dealership to ask them why they failed to install the correct case that holds the proper amount of lubricant. With the TSB in hand, I think I have a pretty good case against them for faulty work.

I'm going to try draining the old gear oil and installing the Redline MT90 over the weekend and we'll see if there's an improvement. I'm not experiencing the whinning, but some shutterring and rough acceleration between 50 and 60 in 4th and 5th gears. Almost feels like the clutch is not out all the way when the engine is under a load.

Thanks again for the helpful info, Bernie

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Yeah, and make sure you use the right oil. Put GL-5 in without knowing any better, had it in about 2 months, including a road trip from Vallejo up to Seattle and back. Needless to say, when I found out, I changed as fast as I could, added the extra of the right stuff. However, she is gettin louder and louder with the whines, in all gears, and I fear she is headed out to the pasture. Oh well, another thing on the list, gettin nice, so I'll just ride my bike a bit more.

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If you're taking it the the stealer anyways, I'd take it ASAP before you change the fluids. If you do change first, they could try to raise some issue with you changing it out, your method, what you used, etc. Its just one less hassle in your battle.

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I have a 2WD and am experiencing the same whine. Should I follow the same steps and add 1.5L to the current level?

 

Well, I already bought the MT-90 so I am anyway...hmm...hopefully this measure will keep me out of a rebuild for a while.

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Wow. This stuff takes HOURS to sink into the transmission from the top. I pulled everything off the right away and amazingly tear off the carpet too bad. This is at least giving me time to check all my diagnostics stuff....

 

o2 sensor doesn't register at all, like i figured..that's getting replaced for xmas

MAF sensor has a trouble code...I think i damaged it when i tried to clean it.

 

Anyway, I'll start bottle two out of four (MT-90) here in 10 minutes or so....this is agonizing........grrrrrrr

 

it would help if i weren't changing it at my girlfriend's house and her roommates weren't giving me nasty looks for taking up a garage spot.

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MAF sensor has a trouble code...I think i damaged it when i tried to clean it.

Check the wiring connector... Jiggle it. Clean it. It's a common issue

 

B

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That explains the whine that put me to sleep in this 89 SE pickup. I'm getting some Redline MT90 tomorrow.

post-24-1134364161.jpg

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Holy $#!^ !!! Just hope you and anyone else came out as good as could be !!!!

 

B

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Ok, i have a dumb question after reading this thread. Is Nissan liable to replace the tranny cases like a recall? or is this just the correct repair procedure so they can rape you after your tranny breaks? My tranny is whiney as hell, and i've kinda ignored it for the most part, one of the guys told me to swap my fluid ASAP, and i've been too busy. That's really no excuse. This is sunday's project, but i can't seem to find anyone who stocks MT90 locally. One question: would it be useful to just top up the tranny with a quart or two (or whatever it'll take) of dino oil until i get the red line? i really cannot afford to pop a tranny, be down a truck and be out the money for a replacement tranny.

Edited by lowrider

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You're better off to find any GL4 synthetic fluid, drain, and refill, using the correct amount as per the TSB. You can replace about 1L of the synthetic fluid with Lucas Oil Stabilizer for good measure, if you like.

 

I know Pennzoil makes a synthetic GL-4 lube.

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would it be useful to just top up the tranny with a quart or two (or whatever it'll take) of dino oil

That couldn't possibly hurt ! But if you do that, you may as well drain it and put in 5 qts of fresh oil (doesn't cost that much). Consider it a flush until you put in the synthetic and who knows, it may quiet the whine some...

 

Courtesy of Dowser...

Quaker State

GL-4 75W90 (NOT Synthetic)

Only available in a 19 Litre Pail

Quaker States Part #51125

 

Castrol

GL-4 75W90 (NOT Synthetic)

Only available in a 60 Litre Barrel

Castrol Part # 0686-11

 

Penzoil

Synthetic GL-4 75W90

Sold in 1 Litre Bottles

Penzoil Part # 56076

 

I haven't found any sources yet, but I haven't looked that hard either... :shrug:

 

B

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