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madkiwi

Manual transmission TSB

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Yes, the bell housing is the same from what I understand, one of the reasons the VG33 swap into a WD21 is so popular...

I find it hard to source used Hardbody parts (or even Hardbodies themselves for that matter) around here, but yes, those should work also if the gearing is the same.

 

B

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Yes, the bell housing is the same from what I understand, one of the reasons the VG33 swap into a WD21 is so popular...

I find it hard to source used Hardbody parts (or even Hardbodies themselves for that matter) around here, but yes, those should work also if the gearing is the same.

 

B

 

I'm actually finding more hardbodies in the closest j/y. Last time I went it was 5 HB's to one 88 pathy. Found a 1998 Infiniti Qx4 that looked enough like an R50, but it was fairly stripped already.

 

Looking at exedy clutches, they use different clutch kits between the 94-95, 96-97 and 98-99's. I'm not sure what to make of that. :shrug:

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I realize this is an old thread with the last post apparenly two years in the past,

I has me stumped, however.

 

In summary, it seems that Nissan made an engineering mistake nearly 30 years ago that caused the transmissions in thousands, hundreds of thousands or more to self-distruct, even "grenade."

This defect went uncorrected for 7 years until my 1992 Pathfinder was maunufactured. It was corrected in 1995 and a Service Bulletin was issued in 1998.

I have been unable to find a copy of that bulletin, but people who have read it say that these transmissons came from the factory over a liter low in oil causing the upper gears to go unlubricated.

 

The owners manual and the shop manual I bought both recommend only inspection of the oil in vehicles with low moderately severe usage and changing it for severe service. The service manual calls for about 8 pints of GL-4. That is about 4 quarts or a gallon.

This thread says an extra quart or more is necessary for safe, continued operation.

 

I have inspected the trans oil regularly over 80,000 miles and found it full to the filler hole and clear and clean.

Thinking it would be a good idea to change it anyway, I began to think about the necessity to overfill it and the means to do it.

 

Over the past few days I have consulted with very nice and helpful folks at 3 Nissan service departments, 4 auto parts stores, 3 transmisson shops that specialize in "foreign" cars and the Nissan technical help line as well as thoroughly searching the internet.

I have to say that I expected at least one of these to have heard of the short oil problem and had printed material that called for anything but the original gallon of oil. None did.

 

What am I missing?

 

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NTB97009 is the TSB code for the transmission whine due to severe duty use (not enough fluid from the factory causing whine when vehicle is driven hard over steep Innes and declines). Nissan states there is a revised transmission case which moves the drain plug up higher on the case to increase oil capacity to 5.1 litres. Also, I believe all manual transmissions 1996 and newer have the revised case if i remember correctly.

Edited by Nefarious

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Over the past few days I have consulted with very nice and helpful folks at 3 Nissan service departments, 4 auto parts stores, 3 transmisson shops that specialize in "foreign" cars and the Nissan technical help line as well as thoroughly searching the internet.

I have to say that I expected at least one of these to have heard of the short oil problem and had printed material that called for anything but the original gallon of oil. None did.

 

What am I missing?

 

 

Jim,

 

Please see the first post of this thread, the NTB97-009a link has been updated (I am still trying to locate the other)

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Folks, I had no idea this thread was still being viewed. I am searching for the original TSB (NTB97-009) but it is not on any of my in-service PCs. I stopped working at the company who's server I used to host the files in 2007, I suppose someone finally deleted it or switched hosts (and that file did not get moved). My "old" Dell is under my desk and not plugged in, but it may have the PDF on it.

 

HOWEVER, I do remember that NTB97-009a superseeds and replaces the -009 bulletin. It contains all the information regarding models affected and the factory remedy. It only applied to R30A manual transmission on WD21 and D21 chassis (1985.5-1995 Pathfinders and Trucks with the VG30 engine and 4wd), Obviously the factory remedy (new transmission housing) is not going to happen for most of us, but filling the transmission through the gearshifter hole with 5.1 liters (5.4 US Quarts) of GL-4 oil is simple.

 

I still stand by the writeup I did 10 years ago- I use Redline MT90, my 1993 Pathfinder 4x4 XE is my winter daily driver and I do not even worry about my transmission. I now have 190.000 miles on the vehicle, and the tranny oil has been replaced once since 2004. I do not care what a Nissan service department says- NEVER use GL-5 oil in our transmission. Do you really think that the service writer who was still in diapers when this transmission was last made really knows what he is talking about? I did a lot of research about this when I did the write-up, newer improved oil standards/additives are not always backwards compatible.

 

Changing the lube through the gear shifter hole takes a couple hours, I actually pulled the drain plug before I started on removing the shifter, so by the time I was ready to refill it was completely drained. I remember that I needed to partially unscrew the filler plug to allow the fluid to drain (vent). When I read that some people say it took a long time for the oil to go in I wonder if they did not pull the shifter out first, because... well you need to. One thing to remember is that when you drain, about 0.2 of a quart will still be in the transmission. So you really only need to refill with a touch over 5 quarts. I figured this out by using the original fill hole to see how much oil went in before it was level there. Although overfilling a little is not going to be an issue.

 

Your friendly admin RedPath88 will update if I find the original TSB.

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Thanks, your contributions then, now and in between are appreciated :beer:

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Thanks, I tried that link many times before it opened today.

Even though it doesn't mention trying get more oil in the tranny by any means short of a new case (!!!), it sort of seems implied.

I still wonder why Nissan dealers ignore this TSB.

I think I will drain and fill keeping close measurements and condsider adding some above the fill hole, keeping track of that as well.

I should mention I have detected no worrisome noises.

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Jim,

 

What is or isn't implied doesn't matter, because the fix I posted is not the fix Nissan came up with. Can you imagine the outcry if Nissan said "To get the correct amount of oil in the transmission you must pull the gearshift lever out and pour it in through the hole"? They came up with their solution, $480 MSRP for the housing and 7.5 hours of shop time to replace it. Figure $1,400. My solution costs $0 (well, 10 cents for a new ziptie).

 

Nissan ignored it as much as possible because to fix all the trucks on the road would have cost them hundreds of millions.

 

Glad you have had no issues so far, maybe you never will. I was going skiing at Tahoe 2x a month back then and was worried about the hill-climbing with oil starvation to the forward part of the transmission. So I would recommend you try to increase the lube in your transmission just for peace of mind.

 

Mark

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Thanks, I tried that link many times before it opened today.

Even though it doesn't mention trying get more oil in the tranny by any means short of a new case (!!!), it sort of seems implied.

I still wonder why Nissan dealers ignore this TSB.

I think I will drain and fill keeping close measurements and condsider adding some above the fill hole, keeping track of that as well.

I should mention I have detected no worrisome noises.

In all reality, once you detect worrisome noises it is too late, the damage has been done.

 

I don't know why dealerships would ignore the TSB, but it is a known fact that for the 1996 model year that used the identical transmission coupled with the VG33, the fill hole was raised to increase the case capacity. This, along with the fact that the manual transmissions are not pressurized (just vented) means there is no harm in the 'overfilling' procedure. :shrug:

 

Thanks again for this MadKiwi, I used this procedure with my first Pathy, along with countless others, and I really don't hear many complaints about bearing whine on the forum any more. :aok:

 

B

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Regarding getting the carpet up to free the boot and gear shift, is there a guide anywhere on how to do this? I can't seem to figure out how to get up my passenger side carpet without tearing it up. :/

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For what it's worth, I just did this on a 95 SE I bought cheap and put a new motor in. It did have a slight whine in 1st and 2nd, but not too bad. I figure it will probably last a while. I used ACDelco syncromesh fluid as it was all I could find here in canada at a reasonable price.

 

As for pouring it in the shift hole, I already had it all apart so removing the shifter was cake. It did not take any time at all to pour it in like some here are saying. It seriously took all of 5 minutes to pour in...And I didn't have to cut the zip tie, I just slid it off carefully and then back on when I was done. It looks like it was never touched, but the oil that came out was clean, but was not the 5.1 litres it should have been. I just used the 5 litres of the delco fluid, and 100ml of some VW manual trans oil I had leftover from something else.

Edited by adamzan
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How about raising up the front or back instead of the passenger side? Thus it work well too?

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Timpaps, it wouldn't work nearly as well since the fill plug is on the side on the transmission.

 

The most common methods for over filling the transmission that I've seen are

 

*fill through gear shift hole

*raise side of vehicle safely

*park on an incline sideways with the fill hole on the upward slope (not the safest option but in a pinch it could work)

, just be careful)

 

You would have to raise the front or the back extremely high to be able to move the level of fluid away from the hole to be able to fit more fluid in. Is it possible? Yes. Reasonable? You'd probably be done already if you used another method mentioned above and have it done far more safely.

Edited by RCWD21

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So..... My '95 tranny is making this death whine and of course I looked up the symptoms online and found this very informative thread.

Sadly, I found out to late. I changed the oil to Redline MT-90 about 5.5 quarts, figured that would be pretty dang close to 5.1 liters.

Nothing changed.

So.... Anyone know a shop that will fix this tranny without replacing the case in the greater Seattle area? I live in Kent so anywhere close to that would be awesome....

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