Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill? - Nissan Titan Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Hi Everyone,

Looking to purchase a new Travel Trailer, but I want to make sure the truck is ready. I have an 06 LE Crew cab, with the 3.36 gears off road package and have 136,000 miles on it. I'm doing some other non-tow fixing/upgrading on this as well so I'll just list everything. Please help where you see fit!

1. Transmission Temp Gauge. I do not have one in the dash. I assume I need to drill into my transmission pan to install THIS sensor ? I was looking at this, based off rating and color only:
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Green-M...ion+temp+gauge
1b. -- Is there a sensor/gauge package I can get that does not require drilling the pan? Please add links if you know of any Is there any chance this is installed and I just don't have a gauge? for example ppl say Bully Dog can monitor - but how if there is no sensor?

2. Tansmission flush/fill/drain/etc? Not sure what I should do here. I read posts saying you need to flush it, with 1 person pouring new fluid in and another person watching the fluid drain out. Then I read a thread that says no, just drain and fill. Your thoughts? I have never changed/drained/etc since purchased.

3. I'm pretty sure (not %100) my manifolds are cracked. Need to order Cajun cracked manifold package stage 1 -- any other way to tell other than sound? I can't tell if my truck ever sounded any different. It 'seems' a little louder when it's cold? But could just be me. It has a Borla muffler on it so it's a little louder...


I've ordered the fully assembled HD Titan front shock assemblies with Eibach springs from PRG -- still waiting for these to come in the mail

Need to install new Tie rod ends - waiting on PRG first...
Need to install prodigy p2 brake controller


Here's some truck history:

Purchased 3/2013 (around 115-120k miles, can't recall)
Replaced clock-spring in steering wheel (4/2013)
Replaced Axle seal - added Cajun Vent Kit (8/2013)
Replaced both front wheel bearings and both front lower ball joints (4/2014)
New Fuel pump (5/2015)
New Battery (5/2015)
New front brake Caliper (5/2015) 126k miles
Apparently 2016 was a good year for the T
Fixed front driver side window - getting stuck by cleaning motor (5/17)

So what else am I missing to tow? I could use big-tow mirrors, but no funds if I need stage 1 manifold fix... I could use tranny cooler and/or big pan, but again, no funds... So I need to monitor. If I have to stop b/c it's too hot, then so be it, but I need to know the temps at least.

Travel Trailer is Sportsment LE 231 BHLE It says weight is 4,630lbs. I assume that has to be dry...
Pennsylvania RV Dealer-Selling new and used travel trailer - fifth wheel RV campers. Keystone RV-Open Range RV-Highland Ridge RV-Palomino RV sales

Last edited by Rage232; 05-04-2017 at 09:11 AM.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 04:26 PM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

I feel their is a lot of confusion on what a flush is, people generally consider a flush to be forcibly pushing new fluid into the trans well others may think of it more like a fluid exchange where the trans sucks in new fluid as it pumps out old fluid itself. Its considered bad from everything I've read to do a forceful flush on any automatic.

I did a "fluid exchange" on my transmission last summer by myself and it has been great ever since. Here's the write up.

Clear greyish transmission fluid
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 06:44 AM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Considering the weight of your trailer. I'm not sure I'd worry about the transmission temp gauge as I don't think it should be a problem for that light of a load.

Not that it wouldn't hurt to have one, but not critical.


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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Cool thanks Mac - you covered #2 and hopefully I'll be doing the fluid exchange this weekend!!

I answered my own questions for 1 and 1a. Looks like I do NOT need to drill and tap for trans temp sensor:
transmission temp gauge

#3 covered, maybe. I also read elsewhere to check for the exhaust manifold leaks, you start truck cold, throw it in gear, stand on brakes, and revv it up around 3-4k - if you hear a bunch of exhaust noise up front, then likely cracked. I haven't tested this out yet. I don't want to do that super early in the am leaving for work, and dont' want to do it leaving work. lol I'll find time this weekend as well.

Anything else I need to look at before towing? I'm picking up the trailer linked above on Thursday and will have 2 hour tow home. I'm excited to see how she tow's! I've towed my Rzr and trailer over 8 hours to WV, but that's like 2200, maybe 2500lbs - wasn't noticeable towing it.


Indy - I'm not going to risk it. I'll be installing one before I go Thursday to get it
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 08:35 AM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

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Originally Posted by Rage232 View Post
Cool thanks Mac - you covered #2 and hopefully I'll be doing the fluid exchange this weekend!!

I answered my own questions for 1 and 1a. Looks like I do NOT need to drill and tap for trans temp sensor:
transmission temp gauge

#3 covered, maybe. I also read elsewhere to check for the exhaust manifold leaks, you start truck cold, throw it in gear, stand on brakes, and revv it up around 3-4k - if you hear a bunch of exhaust noise up front, then likely cracked. I haven't tested this out yet. I don't want to do that super early in the am leaving for work, and dont' want to do it leaving work. lol I'll find time this weekend as well.

Anything else I need to look at before towing? I'm picking up the trailer linked above on Thursday and will have 2 hour tow home. I'm excited to see how she tow's! I've towed my Rzr and trailer over 8 hours to WV, but that's like 2200, maybe 2500lbs - wasn't noticeable towing it.


Indy - I'm not going to risk it. I'll be installing one before I go Thursday to get it
You probably will barely notice that is back there other than the wind drag at speed, maybe a little bit of sway when large vehicles go by. My travel trailer is 7,300 lbs dry.

Have to say, I'm impressed with the weight of that Travel Trailer you bought, the one in my sig line is my old bunk house, it's 31' (so tad longer) and was just under 6,000 dry. My T pulled that without any issue, and once you do headers and UpRev, should really pull easy considering I'm just running a BullyDog Gt and that made a difference on how man does with the load.


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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 09:01 AM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

I'm in the same situation trying to get my old (new to me) Titan ready for a season of towing. I just have my tranmission to do so i cannot comment on that process yet but i am going to do the pan filter and refill then with the help of a friend run it and do the full fluid exchange.

I also would recommend doing a rear end fluid change. it is super easy and only requires a qt or so (cannot remember exactly). Some fresh royal purple will keep those gears cool while pulling uphill.

I did also add a passive transcooler and airlift helper bags but those do cost $$$.


What hitch are you using?
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Im getting a hitch from the RV dealer - hooked up and everything for me, but it is similar to this:
https://www.amazon.com/Husky-32218-C...TQ0BPKN9ENM568

Good idea on the rear end - i haven't changed that since the end of 2013 when I replaced the axle seal

I might as well do the front diff and transfer case too. Man the $$ just keep adding up!! Uprev and Cajun may be waiting even longer Or do I have a high risk of blowing the motor with cracked manifolds? I know it will throw off the 02 sensor, but not sure if it leans out or makes it more rich. More rich would be ok. if it makes it run lean, that's dangerous!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017, 01:30 PM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Yeah, I this "preventative maintenance" adds up. But i do like having the piece of mind knowing it was done right.



For a temporary fix on the crack - if you can locate it, I have had luck with the thermosteel stuff :

Blue-Magic-18003TRI-ThermoSteel-High-Temp


I know a lot a people said it sucks but i cleaned the area well and carefully applied according to directions. it is like a powdered metal in some high heat epoxy.

I also had a friend that then covered in chimney seal DAP 18854-Stove-Fireplace-Mortar-10-Ounce
He smeared it all over the manifold around the crack and used a heat gun to bake it on as per directions. It is holding up well.
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

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Originally Posted by carbonduc27 View Post
I also had a friend that then covered in chimney seal DAP 18854-Stove-Fireplace-Mortar-10-Ounce
Your friend must be an old McGyver shade tree mechanic! Several companies have made similar products over the years and more than one set of manifolds have been sealed up without welding because of them! If you have to redo every 4-5 years or so....much cheaper than any of the other options!
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Were you guys able to seal the cracks up with/out pulling the manifolds? Seems like a ton of work to pull them, then hope some magic epoxy holds up. I'm glad yours is working but dang that's a lot of work to do it again if it doesn't!!

I got the transmission exchange finished over the weekend. Not a bad job at all! Fluid didn't not seem like it was bad either, but was worth the piece of mind for me. While doing this job, I picked up all my fluids for the front diff, transfer case and rear diff as well. I noticed a leak in the seal that goes from the front diff to the transfer case... So gotta figure out what that is called and order up a new seal. Is this a DIY job? Doesn't look all too bad, but I've never done one of these.... Let me know what you think. I might even start a new post for it once I snap some pics....

Wife and I down to LerchRV and checked out the trailer, signed all the paper work. Pick up is Thursday - can't wait to see how she tow's!
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 06:22 AM
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A good scanner or phone app can read the temps, but all you really need is manual mode and a little common sense.

I would do a spill and fill, by removing the pan. That will get a little more fluid out. Assess the condition of the fluid coming out and if it's really bad you can do a spill and fill again.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Hi Lubecakes - I did the transmission fluid exchange... Didn't drop the pan though. Maybe some other time

So if I were to get a cheapy odb2 bluetooth such as this:
https://www.amazon.com/Veepeak-Scann...ds=odb2+iphone

It would let me monitor transmission temps?? I don't see it specified anywhere -- or is it moreso about the APP than it is that actual ODB2 bluethooth device?
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 09:40 AM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

With regards to obd scanners - I have a couple and use the torque app for android. it works pretty well. For the titan I got the bully dog so i did the little tune and have it permanently mounted to monitor temps while towing.


I would be sure to read reviews first. I know Iphones do not like the bluetooth scanners and you must use a wifi version. Even then some of them fail to connect. But there are enough options on amazon that i am sure you can find one that works. Most also allow you to read and clear CELs but I find the description and code is very generic but at least it gives you a little knowledge before going to a shop.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

Yeah I just read all 16 pages of this:
Torque Android App kick arse!

Doesn't appear that many get the transmission temp to work - just displays same as coolant temp... Probably best to go with the original plan and get the maxtow gauge.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 04:15 PM
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Re: Tow Prep - transmission gauge, tranny flush or drain/fill?

I thought the phone apps would display trans temp, my bad.
I have a CRP scanner that displays both temp readouts, it was about 250 bucks. I see no need for it honestly, even though it is good piece of mind. Shifting manually and keeping a lower gear is the best thing to do when hauling heavy stuff.


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