Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change - Page 3 - Nissan Titan Forum
Titan Engine, Transmission & Drivetrain Technical discussion about the engine, transmission, and drivetrain.

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#31 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 08:30 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

I did a transmission drain/fill on my 2007 titan a couple days ago and instantally noticed better shifting. It shifts faster and smoother than ever before, its like a new truck again. Also the dealer informed me that they replaced nissan matic J with nissan matic S. Total cost was $60.00 with tax for 5 quarts.
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#32 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 10:36 AM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

great info. just one question, has anyone followed the procedure used in post #3 in particular this one, have to have nissan do the tranny flush? . correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that one line is place in an empty bucket and another in a bucket filled with ATF and the truck's own transmission will do the rest.
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#33 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 12:23 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

I did my own a few months ago, dropped the drain plug in a small bucket with measuements with 4 1/5 qts and replaced with 4 1/2 qts...simple

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#34 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 02:57 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Anyone have a good pic or description of where the tranny drain plug is? I have the off-road package so I have the skid plate. Can I access it through the access panel at the bottom or do I have to take off the whole plate?

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#35 (permalink) Old 01-16-2011, 09:37 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

(sigh) I'm a bit reluctant to post this as I feel like a complete idiot but maybe someone will learn from my (many) mistakes.

1. Do not attempt to drop the pan of the transmission if you do not have a torque wrench that measures in inch/pounds (read that again: inch/pounds) and specifically has a labeled setting for 70 inch/pounds. Do not assume that you can extrapolate down on a torque wrench whose lowest setting is 25 foot/pounds. Stupid me, I tried to do just that. I now have one sheared off bolt on my transmission pan (but no leaking so far). Extrapolating down likely missed by 5 to 10 foot/pounds. Also, at such a low setting the "click" sound made by the wrench is so subtle I simply didn't hear it. At higher foot/pound settings the click is very obvious. With the stereo on in my garage I completely missed the click sound. 70 inch/pounds = 5.8 foot/pounds. That isn't much.

2. The correct hose to drain the fluid from comes from the passenger side of the radiator. If you have fluid coming out of the metal pipe (that comes from the transmission) then you have disconnected the wrong hose. I got to looking at the routing of the hoses going into the radiator and made a bad judgement call. It seemed to me that the hot fluid would be going into the top of the radator and cool fluid would come out the bottom (heat rises, right?). I guess I didn't follow the routing of the hoses correctly or my judgement is just plain wrong. I wasted an estimated 3 quarts of (most likely) brand new fluid because I picked the wrong hose.

3. Keep very careful track of how much comes out and how much goes in. I thought I was doing a good job of this but my screwup in #2 (above) threw off my tracking plus I think my teenage assistant who was in charge of putting hash marks down (and stopping/starting the engine) wasn't as accurate as I wish he had been. I was covered in transmission fluid and didn't want to get my pen dirty. Next time I'll use a disposable pen that will get dirty.

4. Make sure you have plenty of fluid. I started with 15 quarts. I thought I was all done with the flush and had three quarts left over. So I used two of those quarts in the transfer case (which was way more nasty than the transmission). Before doing the transfer case I checked the fluid level in the transmission multiple times. I had it warm, changed gears more than once and checked the level more that once. But what I didn't do was drive it around. When I went to do that (after the transfer case was done) it was obvious that I was low on fluid. I put the one remaining quart in and the transmission was still slipping so I'm pretty sure it's still at least a quart low. Maybe I misread the dipstick. Maybe the fluid was splashing up on to the dipstick and that threw off my reading. I don't know. The service manual says that the dipstick cap is to be inserted 180 degrees from the normal, bolted position. I didn't do that so that could also be the problem but I think it really comes down to not keeping good track of how much came out. (I did use a gallon bottle marked off in 1 qt gradiations)

5. A hot transmission gets the job done faster. I drove mine around for a good hour before I started but before doing the transmission I took care of both differentials, the engine and one rear shock absorber. The OP noted that he could not pour in new fluid fast enough to keep up with what was being drained. I had the opposite problem. I did a lot of waiting on the old fluid.

6. Buy the fluid in quart bottles. I bought one 2.5 gallon jug and then five quart bottles. Single quart bottles are easier to handle than a 2.5 gallon jug.

Not everything went wrong. The fluid did need to be changed. I had not planned to drop the pan even though I had all the necessary supplies (gasket, lint free towels, brake cleaner, etc). After draining the fluid from the pan using the drain plug I changed my mind. The fluid looked like a batch of finely pureed strawberries (for strawberry shortcake) that had been in the fridge past its Use By date. I did grab a sample that I'll send to Blackstone Labs. It wasn't horrible but I think it was well used due to off-roading and towing.

I used a plastic putty knife to get the pan to detach from the transmission. So I didn't take any gouges out of the pan or transmission.

I put clear tubing on the metal pipe and routed it into the same bottle that the black hose went into. Yes, some fluid will drip from the metal pipe. No, the transmission will not suck up fluid from the bottle. That would just be way too convenient.

Getting the rubber hoses disconnected from the metal pipes was very difficult and time consuming. I ended up gently wedging a small flat blade screw driver between the metal pipe and the rubber hose and gently prying them apart.

You probably could do the under-engine work with the skid plate in place but it's a lot easier with it removed. Plus, you don't have to clean the skid plate. As it is it looked like someone bled all over the place under my truck. Gads, what a mess. Conversely, the top of the engine is spotless. I didn't spill anything up top. I used a clear hose that fit INSIDE the dip stick tube and then a funnel that fit inside the clear hose. I used a bungy cord to hold the funnel upright when I wasn't using it. This kept the funnel from dripping on the engine and also kept it out of the way.

Keep lots of disposable gloves on hand. I think I went through 20 pair to do all the work. These are the Black Gold ones from JC Whitney. Maybe not the highest quality but I had hundreds of them.

I replaced both of the spring clamps on the rubber hoses with clamps you can screw tight. I don't know if those are the clamps people are saying go bad. But I replaced them anyhow.

Will I ever do this again? You bet. Now that I know what NOT to do I should be OK. Will I ever do this solo on someone else's Titan? No way.

Update: I added 2 quarts and everything is just fine. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the bolt I torqued off. My neighbor is a retired machinist. I'm hoping he knows some tricks to take care of it.

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Last edited by HRTKD; 06-19-2011 at 08:14 AM. Reason: post-disaster update
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#36 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 10:14 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

I have a 2008 Titan Im at 30,000miles pretty hard offroad use Im about to go to dealer to get tranny checked..My stock transmission gauge in the truck is riding close to High when offroading. I Checked the dipstick and fluid does smell burnt..To really get all the nasty burnt tranny fluid out, you have to do a flush..To just drain and fill your just adding to the bad tranny fluid that really is still in there..Who says you cant do a flush why???
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#37 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 09:37 AM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

thanks for the info guys...

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#38 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 04:22 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

thanks for the info , it was a lil pain to remove the lower hose from the cooler but at the end it came out super.. highly recommended..

also if you have any question how much you should remove. just get a big container like the one in the pic and an empty one(the shop should have some) and just remove the same amount as the full one.
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#39 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 04:29 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Johnson702 View Post
Who says you cant do a flush why???
Nissan put out a bulletin stating that a _power_ flush using an external pump should not be performed on our transmission. The type of "flush" we are using in this thread is "power" only in that the transmission is providing the power. The service manual goes into a lot more details on what needs to be done but I question how many dealers actually follow it.

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#40 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:42 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Can someone post a picture of the hose to disconnect to do the drain?

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#41 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 12:45 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

I second that....a picture of the correct hose to pull would be awesome. Anyone please?
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#42 (permalink) Old 10-10-2011, 01:30 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Found a picture on another guy's post on removing the radiator. Is it the one on the far right (passenger side)?

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#43 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:04 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Awesome information thanks username... was holding off doing this thinking it'd take me a few hours but I decided to get stuck into it this morning and was done in about an hour!
I used just under 5 gallons of Amsoil ATF (full synthetic) throughout the procedure and had definite results... I'm not sure how long the previous oil had been in there but it wasn't what I'd consider bad (still relatively bright red and no unusual smell) but from initial drain to the last quart there was a noticeable difference in colour. More importantly though, I was getting some very slight shuddering during the 2nd to 3rd gear change (primarily why I wanted to change the oil) and the new oil has completely eliminated this.

I can't say I notice anything else different with the transmission but all in all, a fairly productive outcome.

Also, to confirm for anyone else wishing to undertake this task themselves, the hose you want to pull is the passenger side (the one in the far right of the picture reposted by goldenboy81) - at least this was the case on my '06.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenboy81 View Post
Found a picture on another guy's post on removing the radiator. Is it the one on the far right (passenger side)?


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Last edited by Windza; 01-12-2012 at 01:13 PM.
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#44 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 12:36 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

I can get my transmission fluid changed for $100, so the DIY wouldn't be much use anyways.

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#45 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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Re: Writeup: DIY transmission fluid change

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Dog23 View Post
I can get my transmission fluid changed for $100, so the DIY wouldn't be much use anyways.
Presumably you know and trust the shop/person doing the job and they're providing free labour, so I say good for you... failing that - I'd be very wary of anyone giving me pricing like that and DIY would give me far more peace of mind.

Here's my logic;
I used slightly less than 5 gallons of Amsoil ATF to flush the system and my personal opinion is 4 gallons would be the minimum to do this job properly (I drained about 4 gallons before the oil really started clearing up)... at 5 gallons, the oil coming out was very close to what was going in.

Oil alone cost me $163.75 and I'm guessing even 4 gallons of the Nissan oil would run more than $100.00... I'd be asking the following questions;
- what oil are they using and is it suitable
- how much are they using and is it enough

Not even considering the labour cost, pretty much any shop in the US is going to come up short doing the job for $100.00.

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Last edited by Windza; 01-12-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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