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Auto Tranny Temperature Gauge


Precise1
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Owning the first automatic in 20 years (the first one failed on me), I am mildly paranoid about tranny problems, especially since the tranny was supposedly rebuilt by the PO with a shift kit in it. If it fails, I'll get another or do an MT swap, no biggie, but I'd like to keep this one from failing... So, in addition to the tranny cooler the PO installed, I am installing a tranny temp gauge and an inline tranny filter. It sits on the right of the steering wheel on a 95 dash. Here is what I have until I install the piece and run some wires tomorrow.

 

 

Stuff005.jpg

 

 

Difficulty rating 2/5. Reasons to do it, I'll tell you in a few weeks. Reason not to, $50+ and a couple hours of your life.

 

Ok, I went with this temp gauge because is is the smaller size (2 1/16 diameter), it is the correct temperature range, it is the same look as the stock gauges, it was added to an order because shipping was covered and it was only about $45. Here is any install info...

 

 

Stuff004b.jpg

 

 

For the temp gauge, all you need is what is circled in red. A T block with barb fittings on either end (and hose clamps) and the sender (blue X) threaded on using the provided adapters. Simply cut the first soft hose on the output line and install the fittings in either end and tighten the clamps.

 

To install the gauge you will need a 2" hole saw and a drill. That's it. Borrow one. I'm aboot 1/8" off to one side and could have gone 1/8" higher, but I eyeballed it and quite frankly, I don't care. Punch the hole (remove it first), deburr it and oversize it using a pocket knife. Put gauge in and mount it. Now all you have to do is install the bulb and run some wires to the right places. I have not done that yet, but it is simple and comes with instructions. I have no problem doing it and I suck at electronics. If you can't figure it out, take it to someone who can. Please... :D

 

Ok, the filter. That is exactly the same mounting end as my Trans-adapt oil filter relocation kit. I happened to find mine, but they are for sale many places, usually for $20-25. I put the sender block directly before the input so all I have to do is mount the filter bracket somewhere (once the ARB bumper is installed) and use the right elbows to make it easy to plumb. The filter is a spin on canister by Derale (?) sold at Summit for $18. It is specifically a tranny filter, not an oil filter, but I plan it investigate options. Still if it only gets changed when the tranny fluid is also, no problem.

 

I'll update the final picture this weekend. Inputs and Q's, of course... ;)

 

B

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I can relate to your paranoia. I have also lost a AT trans as well as a friend of mine. I installed a 12x12 cooler and it was the best $100 bucks I've spent on the truck so far. As far as piece of mind goes anyway. Prior to this install there was an enormous amount of heat that could be felt around the e-brake area and after the install nothing but cool. Leave the gauge out, that's my advice cause we both know your going to stressed out all the time if the things changes a few degrees! It's just one of those things, if it's gonna go it's gonna go, so in the mean time enjoy your ride!

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Mounting it like that ought to eliminate the problem I had. I put the T fitting inline of the hose going into the cooler. Since it had rubber hose on either end, the sensor wasn't grounded. My solution was to braze a wire onto the T fitting, then ran the wire to a ground point. Your filter mount ought to take care of the grounding as long as you don't over teflon the threads on the fittings, and actually bolt it in place (no zip-ties!)

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I can relate to your paranoia... Leave the gauge out, that's my advice cause we both know your going to stressed out all the time if the things changes a few degrees!

LOL, thanks but I prefer to have the gauge. I'm pretty good about not being paranoid, but I really would like to monitor the temperature to see what affects it the most, both out of desire not to fry the tranny and pure curiosity/edification.

 

2 Q's?

Whats the normal heat range on at's...

And is there a little switch on the bottom(under where you mounted the gauge)since my truck has one and I'm wondering what its for...

It was posted here recently, but I'll have to look it up. IIRC 150-180 degrees F was normal with 200F getting hot and 220+F possibly damaging.

Sorry, no switch there so I can't help you solve the mystery...

 

how hard is it to take the reading from the transmission computer?!

I have NO idea. I'm not very sharp when it comes to electronics, so this is by far the safest and easiest way for me to do it. Besides, it is a nice closed loop to the computers temp readings. If you are getting hot with the inline gauge and your idiot light has not come on, either time to check the bulb or just not trust it at all... ;)

 

B

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Mounting it like that ought to eliminate the problem I had. I put the T fitting inline of the hose going into the cooler. Since it had rubber hose on either end, the sensor wasn't grounded. My solution was to braze a wire onto the T fitting, then ran the wire to a ground point. Your filter mount ought to take care of the grounding as long as you don't over teflon the threads on the fittings, and actually bolt it in place (no zip-ties!)

Very good point. I decided not to count on grounding through the filter mount and drilled and tapped a couple of 4-40 threaded holes in the T body so I can run a ground wire. (machinist, not a welder)

Pictures later...

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Very good point. I decided not to count on grounding through the filter mount and drilled and tapped a couple of 4-40 threaded holes in the T body so I can run a ground wire. (machinist, not a welder)

Pictures later...

Sounds like adding extra leak points to me, but if it works, cool. :aok:

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, I was able to take some time the last few days and cob this together. The mounting bracket is a piece of 4" aluminum angle and the extension is 6" piece of aluminum bar.

 

Trannyfilter004.jpg

 

I mounted off the 2 M8x1.25 nuts welded to the frame that are usually used for a steering stabilizer. This was about the only place I could think of to put it where it was tucked out of the way but still right by the tranny fluid lines. The stock skid plate will still fit with plenty of room to spare and will shield all but the rear 1/4-1/2 of the filter. The picture shows no depth perception, but the lines are about 4" lower than the fan, so no issue there.

 

Trannyfilter006.jpg

 

Quite frankly, the mount is pretty much a hack job that I made out of a few scraps and the plumbing is a little creative as I didn't have the time or desire to rebend the hard lines to the cooler again. This is a mock up for me to test for a while. If I decide to keep it (where it is also), I'll probably reuse the current mount (after I clean it up) but will replumb the lines, probably just using the rubber hose the whole way (the sidewall of this hose is .150" thick!).

 

Tomorrow I need to run a few wires and install the lower dash section and it will be complete. I'll update with more info then.

 

FYI: The fluid output line is on the passenger side of the tranny (in a LHD truck of course), maybe that will save someone some trouble in the future.

 

B

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Good job! Very nice and clean job mounting the gauge. I like that.

I added oil pressure, auto trans temp and volts a few years ago almost the exact same way.

 

 

Still thinking of adding oil temp, diff temp and exhaust temp one day just....because I can.

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Your still keeping the filter thats in the tranny right?If not wont there be fluid pick up problems?

Yes, I'm not touching th stock tranny 'filter' (which is just a pick up with a screen in it IIRC), I'm pretty sure it has to be installed for proper tranny functioning.

 

Good job! Very nice and clean job mounting the gauge. I like that.

I added oil pressure, auto trans temp and volts a few years ago almost the exact same way.

 

 

Still thinking of adding oil temp, diff temp and exhaust temp one day just....because I can.

Thanks, Like I said though, I'll probably replumb it in spring. :shrug:

I still plan to install a 3 gauge cluster (volt meter, oil pressure and something else) but I haven't figured out where to put it yet. Probably on the roof if I can squeeze the CB under the radio... :D

 

I'd like to see an exhaust temp gauge mounted though, that would be pure silliness!! :D

 

B

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Exactly!! So, what does yours run at?? :tongue:

 

My gauge still isn't installed. I just have to wire it inside the cabin but I seem to have misplaced the illumination bulb. I only want to do this once so hopefully I'll be able to find it today after work... :blink:

 

B

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Nice gauge install, Precise1. I wonder where you got that idea :laugh: It looks oddly familiar.

 

To those asking about normal running temperature, I have a gauge and read about 140F-170F on the flats, and higher during climbs. For those of you reading this thread, I highly recommend that you keep the factory cooler in the loop after making sure its clean.

 

see

 

http://www.nissanpathfinders.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=23236&st=20&p=428975entry428975

 

for more details.

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LOL, yeah, that does look familiar!! I honestly don't know if you planted the seed and I forgot the source, or if that is the only logical place to put a solo 2" gauge... :D

 

Did you ever mount an inline filter?? Mine seems to fit pretty well, but other styles might not. I'm glad you linked your posts because I think this should be pinned eventually. As you pointed out, we don't have enough data yet to fully understand the best way to plumb and cool the trannys. Please chime in with anything else you can think of!! :aok:

 

This is a nice tidbit dug by Tungsten...

Here is something I found in the service manual on page 48:

The temperature range of 68 F - 176 F appears to be the correct operating range for this transmission.

 

B

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Bookmarked and Bookmarked.

 

Nice job you guys. I somehow missed that whole thread on which tranny cooler to buy that was posted with all that nice info.

 

Nice clean work both of you.

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Exactly!! So, what does yours run at?? :tongue:

 

My gauge still isn't installed. I just have to wire it inside the cabin but I seem to have misplaced the illumination bulb. I only want to do this once so hopefully I'll be able to find it today after work... :blink:

 

B

 

 

I have a 28,000 BTU tranny cooler.

Mine reads this time of year at 100-105 F sometimes going up to 120 for brief moments if i run it hard, then falling back down.

In the peak of summer is is at 140-150, peaking up to 180-185 for brief moments if I run it hard.

Outside temperature and tranny cooler size matter and will give various results.

Edited by Alkorahil
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I was looking around at coolers last week, and the guy in the shop said to me "I could sell you the biggest cooler I have but to be fair you only really need an 18-24k and that is if you're hauling big loads".

 

I don't know if he's right but he said defintely remove the stock cooler. Which I know is right. I should really do a gauge too but that is a lot of work right now in these frigid temps.

Edited by adamzan
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Brief update with a picture later today. Gauge is installed but with much cursing. I had noticed that Alkorahil's gauge was a bit lower on the panel than mine. There is a reason for this, there is insufficient clearance where I cut the hole, .25" higher. I had to pull the same dash peice out of the parts truck, clean it up and cut another hole as no amount of modifying the old one would have done the trick and still looked ok.

 

I pulled power for the light directly off of the dimmer switch but when I tested everything, it is completely backwards from the dash illumination; it is bright when everything else is dark and visa versa. How the hell did I do that?? :scratchhead:

I just pulled the leads and will fix that when I'm on Christmas vacation. I'm tired of wrenching on the truck after work until it gets dark and cold. I need a few weeks break at least before I get to the front hubs and start working on the locker, snorkel and other gauges... :blink:

 

B

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