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This is a copy of a post I made on clubarmada.com. I have an Armada, but I think this information can be used for Titans.

Please help me to determine which first generation Armadas and Titans are affected by the ATF and coolant intermix issue. I have searched this site and clubarmada.com, and I did not find any posts addressing this. This is called by some the strawberry milkshake of death because the fluids look like a strawberry milkshake after they have mixed.

Background: The ATF runs through a liquid to liquid heat exchanger in the radiator in addition to the separate liquid to air ATF cooler. The liquid to air ATF cooler did not come with all early Armadas. The heat exchanger can fail and allow ATF and coolant to intermix. From my reading, this will most likely result in transmission failure even if caught early. Some people do a modification that bypasses the heat exchanger to prevent intermix from happening. There are many threads on this topic.

Affected Armadas: My understanding is this does not affect all model years and radiator part numbers. According to someone from Advanced Transmission in Denver who claim to be Nissan transmission repair experts, the latest radiator on the Armada does not have this issue. This radiator came on Armadas built after 4/2012 and the part number is 21460-ZZ90A. Knowing whether or not your radiator is one of the affected ones can help you choose whether or not to do the bypass modification. Please add to this list your knowledge about the years and radiator part numbers affected. The radiator part number may be found on a sticker on top of the radiator, but this sticker may have come off. Nissan dealers and online retailers were able to get my part number from my VIN.

Armada build date: 8/2003-10/2005 Part number: 21460-7S000

Armada build date: 10/2005-8/2006 Part number: 21460-ZC00A

Armada build date: 4/2007-4/2008 Part number: 21460-ZV00A

Armada build date: 4/2008-4/2012 Part number: 21460-9FD1B

Armada build date: 4/2012-final Part number: 21460-ZZ90A
This is the only radiator I have been told is unaffected, but I think there could be others. I have been told that all of the other part numbers are superseded to this one.

I was also told of other part numbers. I have listed them in chronological order, but I do not have the dates for them.
21460-ZQ00A
21460-ZV00A I have included this for reference because the part numbers I do not have dates for were given to me relative to this one which was put on Armadas 4/2007-4/2008.
21460-9FDOA
21460-9FDOB

The dealers were for the most part unhelpful in compiling this list. I called multiple online retailers to compile this list, and got incomplete information from multiple. The list is incomplete. There are other part numbers that were put on Armadas during some of the intervals for which I have written one part number. Someone I spoke with at nissanparts.ccand someone I spoke with at nissanraceshopoemparts.com were especially helpful.

Bypass mod harm: Without the heat exchanger in the circuit, the transmission fluid may stay too cold because the heat exchanger warms ATF up when the transmission is cold. From what I have read and been told ATF does have an optimal temperature around 175 degrees, and it can be too cold. The person from Advanced Transmissions who I spoke with said that this was not an issue because the transmission will warm itself up quickly. I have not done the bypass mod, and in my experience the transmission takes well over 10 minutes to warm up and in cold weather often does not. Someone from another transmission shop said that the mod should not be done because the transmission fluid will be too cold, and that replacing the OEM radiator with an aftermarket one is the best choice. I have had the CSF 3328 radiator recommended.

Bonus: The rubber ATF cooler hoses are known to fail, and there are threads about replacing them. Hose failure can lead to loss off transmission fluid and transmission failure. I have seen one TSB about this (NTB13-080), but there may be others. Almost all of the threads mention 5/16 transmission cooler line, but multiple auto stores listed 11/32 as the compatible part, and it appears to match the size of the hoses on my Armada. The transmission hose clamps also fail, and it is recommended to replace them with worm style clamps.
 

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Frontiers and Xterras have this problem a lot. Haven't heard of a Titan having this problem regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Frontiers and Xterras have this problem a lot. Haven't heard of a Titan having this problem regularly.
I don't know how common it is, but I've read that it does happen. If it has happened to any of you reading this would you please post with your Titan's manufacture date, and if you have it and don't mind your original radiator part number?
 

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I don't know how common it is, but I've read that it does happen. If it has happened to any of you reading this would you please post with your Titan's manufacture date, and if you have it and don't mind your original radiator part number?
I had an 05 pathfinder that I used allot off road, had just over 355,000 on it and was off road when the ATF cooler hose busted. It saved the engine, because when in pulled the radiator I found the aft section paper thin, was about to bust and damage the transmission. Got radiator swapped and separate cooler installed, new lift with Nittos ans got T-boned at just under 365k. I would buy another of the same body style in a heartbeat, as long as I bypassed the old atf cooler and set it up the same way.. love my 2018 Titan though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had an 05 pathfinder that I used allot off road, had just over 355,000 on it and was off road when the ATF cooler hose busted. It saved the engine, because when in pulled the radiator I found the aft section paper thin, was about to bust and damage the transmission. Got radiator swapped and separate cooler installed, new lift with Nittos ans got T-boned at just under 365k. I would buy another of the same body style in a heartbeat, as long as I bypassed the old atf cooler and set it up the same way.. love my 2018 Titan though!
It's great you caught that, and what a shame the car was wrecked after you put all of that time and money into it.
 

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It's great you caught that, and what a shame the car was wrecked after you put all of that time and money into it.
Agree. I think this thread has some merit. If there are some slow to show issues like this in the Titan I would love to head them off early. I hope nissan learned it’s lesson, but the dreaded engine knock threads will show you they haven’t.
 
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