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xylicon

Help identifying some hose/piping, 94 Pathfinder

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I noticed what looked like ATF dripping from a vent port above the passenger side wheel wheel near the firewall, see linked pictures.

 

From what I can gather with a quick glance is that its related to the transmission, is this normal or does this require more attention? I noticed it after a I came to a stop after a long mountain climb, the engine did not get hot. It did not leak at all on the back trek down, nor did it leak during the 200 mile highway trip back home.

 

zgvZjKU.jpg

 

7EHz7EY.jpg

 

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That looks like the typical routing of a clutch hard line. I'd trace the line from origin to destination just to figure out what it is. From the pics its kindof hard to tell for sure, but, you're asking the right crowd for a definitive answer.

Sent from my LG-H700 using Tapatalk

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trans oil from the vent after a long hill climb usually means the trans got extremely hot. if i was you id swap the fluid and install a cooler ASAP

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What I see in the pictures is the vent for the transmission and transfer case. I found many years ago that the trans, tcase, and front axle all had extended vent hoses that were teed together with the hard line attached to the right side firewall ending in a loop a little below the cowling. 

As was said above, transmission most likely got hot and was probably overfilled. Those conditions will force some fluid out of the vent. I would check the fluid levels in the trans and tcase. If the fluid has more than 15k miles on it, I would change it as well. It costs more, but a full synthetic fluid will do a much better job of protecting the trans and is much less expensive than a rebuild or replacement. It would be a good time to replace the lube in the axles and tcase as well. 

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I finally had some more time to mess with around with the Pathfinder, I pulled the tranny dipstick and more closely examined the oil, see pics below. (I checked with the transmission cold and engine not running, so the level readings on the dipstick are not accurate.)

 

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It looks rather ok to me and it doesn't smell burnt, but it's been atleast 15-20K miles since it's last been changed so I'll go ahead and do that. I'll also look into installing a transmission cooler and temperature gauge to better keep an eye on things.

 

What is the recommended ATF these days? I looked around at my local auto parts store and they are up to Dextron VI now.

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It does appear darker than new trans fluid and if its only been 20k miles then it definitely had its butt handed to it. Glad you paid close attention.

 

I have my radiator trans cooler bypassed and im running this Hayden trans cooler in front of my A/C condenser. This summer Ive not measured temps higher than 170degF even after towing, however im measuring temps with an IR gun so 170 might be 190-210 deep inside the transmission. I shot my transmission after a spirited drive before installing a dedicated cooler and the pan was 235degF! There is no telling how hot it would get climbing a mountain. My right leg used to stay uncomfortably hot while driving and it was because the transmission was so hot all the time. Nissan did a bad job sizing the integrated trans cooler inside the radiator. 

 

I bet if you swap that fluid and get a cooler on there you'll be fine. If you're not already experiencing issues then this little occurrence may end up greatly prolonging the life of your transmission.

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Nice thing about Dextron ATF is that it is all backwards compatible. The Dextron VI is fine for your trans. With my large Hayden trans cooler and bypassed cooler in the radiator, I have found that my trans tends to run a bit too cold. With weather in the 90's, and 33x12.50 MT's, my trans temp gauge tends to stay about 165-170°f most of the time it isn't really a problem, but does cause the converter clutch to hunt on the freeway. 

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Posted (edited)

I find the best fluid for these other than the oem or cheap dex 3 is the Amsoil ATF. Mine never ran cooler than with that fluid. It just works very well.

 

And that fluid needs to be changed, it should be a reddish pink color. That looks like it is halfway to brown/orange to me.

Edited by adamzan

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Image result for new vs old atf

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I've replaced the fluid, I was incorrect in my other post about mileage, there was easily 50k+ miles on that fluid you see on the dipstick above.

 

I also just finished adding a tranny temp gauge, its tapped into the oil pan. Cruising on the freeway it sits right around 140F, stop and go traffic is edges up a bit to 150-160F. I put some load on it on the local mountain pass (sea level to about ~3000ft.) I loaded it up pretty good, it topped out around 175F by the time I reached the top.

 

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Don't worry, my wife leaned over to take this glare free picture. ^^^

 

 

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better make some skids! that would be horrible to have ripped off by debris

i would LOVE to do this one day though great idea

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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Those temps are perfect. What fluid did you use, and are you running an external cooler?

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13 hours ago, adamzan said:

Those temps are perfect. What fluid did you use, and are you running an external cooler?

 

I don't have an external cooler installed at the moment, but I am considering it. I suspect it will get hotter than 175F when I have it loaded with all my camping gear.

 

I am using this exact fluid:

y8GU3xE.jpg

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I put that fluid in my transmission (after I had already slit its throat) and it shifted noticeably quicker, followed soon thereafter by not shifting at all but that’s irrelevant.

 

I wonder if I might use that stuff during the next interval..

 

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That fluid is fine for the trans. 195°f is still safe and ok for the trans. The synthetic oil actually lowers the trans temps a bit by itself and reduces wear. 

 

The factory cooler issues was the design of the cooler itself. 94, Nissan changed the design, went to a plate style to address the problem the earlier tube style had. The earlier cooler had small holes the fluid flowed through that tended to clog with debris restricting the fluid flow. That caused starvation in the trans causing more wear, making more debris to clog the cooler more. It was a vicious negative feedback cycle. I run an external cooler and bypass the in radiator one because I am lazy and haven't plumbed it back in since replacing the radiator (several times since the original killed my trans back in 2000), I have larger tires and more weight, and have a hard enough time keeping the engine cool. Hopefully this latest work on my cooling system solves that issue for a while. Staying out of 3'+ mudholes should help too. 

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