Nissan Titan Forum banner

**DO drop pan on fluid swap/exhange on higher milage titans

8930 Views 45 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Stymees'mont
To my ignorance I had left this task go undone;

2005 Titan purchased with 76k on the ticker and one of the first things I did was install the Long trucool cooler and bypass the radiator. At that time I wanted to drop the pan and exchange all fluid but could not afford it. Added a quart maybe more or less and all was well.

Fast forward this week @ 114,XXX miles I had a whining coming from my truck that I was hoping was a power-steering pump. The whine was intermittent at first and would come and go. It responded with the RPMs and sounded similar to pump whine I have herd transmissions have and dreaded that was the cause so I shrugged it off and inspected under the hood that evening while my stepdad throttled the engine, rolled under the truck but the sound came and went and I couldn't pin point it.
Tuesday I wake up and start the truck and notice the whine sounded steady and sounded to be coming from the transmission. I tried to hurry and roll under it with a screw driver to see if I could pin point the noise but it quieted down. Drove to town and upon leaving Kwik feel I could tell something was wrong with my gears, so I limped it 2000-3000' up to autozone and backed in a spot. Rolled under neath removed front skid to check the integrity of front cooler lines they were fine, checked fluid it was darker than when I had installed the cooler. Bought p/s fluid added and started it up and drove home babying the throttle.
I then got the truck to struggle and have the constant whine when I returned and my stepdad broke the news I dreaded that he highly believed it sounded like a pump whine, as the pump is starving for fluid. He said he had many TH400s back when transmission fluid isn't want it is today have a similar whine when their fluid would break down and varnish.

First thing I did was look for our transmission pressure gauge so I could check the pressure but it was lent out to a friend. So my second thought was before I dropped the pan was to pull the front transmission cooler line (pressure side) and check the output pressure visually. Didnt appear to have a whole lot of pressure, ended up exiting most of the fluid this way *6-9qt.
I feared the worst upon starting on the 20 gosh for saken pan bolts and dropped the pan and only had a small amount of fluid to deal with. Upon looking up into the filter I didnt at first think there was much particulate or debris but upon looking further with a flash light and then finally removing I was suprised at the amount that was there. There was particulate on both magnets in the pan and a slight varnish that you can see from the finger marks on the filter but other than what was in the filter there wasn't much material.
I cleaned both the filter and pan and reinstalled both. Just wiped both gaskets off and reused both. Refilled with some multi-vehicle synth blend I had available and added Lubeguard platinum atf protection for sure measure. Originally I was going to go with the castrol import ATF but had a drum of this multi-atf from when we had our shop and at 114,XXX miles wasn't worried about seeing how the transmission liked the fluid.
Truck started no whine. **Thumbs up**
Have driven since and the transmission shifts better than it ever has and feels more responsive imo. The true test will be when I get the transmission pressure gauge back and can properly test the pressures to see what/ or if any damage was done to the pump.

It is by my own fault that I neglected to drop the pan and clean the filter and I was sick to my stomach at the fact that I was going to be in the garage tearing out my transmission. This is a fore warning to those who opt to just pull the plug and change fluid.

After seeing the size of the screen on the filter and how it can quickly get clogged with particulate I will opt to drop the pan again in another 40-60,000 miles if she makes it through.

I am hoping my pressure #s aren't far off of what the specs are, as said above the truth will be when I get a gauge on it!

Hope this helps some one in the future!

For anyone dropping the pan on their titan I advise to try to keep the original pan gasket in tack and just wipe it and the case down and re-apply and re torque the bolts down. The gaset and seal it has to the pan from factory is pretty good and removing it to add a gasket from autozone would just cause more problems than it is worth.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
You should've done that sooner, but with a clean screen I'm sure all is well now.
Looks like in going to be doing that soon I have that similar whine my fluid is new though so I might reuse it
Damn, Not bashing but I never understand why people neglect things "Because of money", Its only going to cost more in the end!
I don't know maybe it just seems better at the time
Truck is still performing fine and has had no hiccups yet.
Haven't had the opportunity to grab our gauge yet but will post results when I do.

And wasn't necessarily only funds holding me back from doing it lets just say it was near the bottom of my priority list and I am still sick that I might suffer consequences, and if so I will have man up and deal with said consequences. Which I do not really want to be pulling a titan transmission in my near future so **knock on wood** the transmission pressure #s will come back satisfactory.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
What did you use to clean the filter?
I cleaned it in our parts washer which has parts washer solvent in it, what brand I could not tell you. I also used some brakeclean and sprayed thoroughly with the air hose.
Update 2/4/16

Put another 2,500-5,000 miles on the truck after what I went through above.
Did not notice anything other than occasional light reverse engagement.
Fast foward to two weeks ago when we got hammered with 33+ inches of snow in under 24hrs.
Had a friend come down in a big 4x4 JD with a loader to plow a swipe in our driveway so at least we could get in or out with the vehicle if an emergency occurred. Drove up to the gas station and ran into walmart for some supplys and when I returned I pulled up in the driveway spread my ashes at the end of the drive and got in the truck and turned around so I could attempt to back into my driveway due to no where to turn at the house b/c of the snow.
Reverse about 25 feet into the drive and spin out due to snow. Get out assess situation and shovel a little bit at the end of our drive. Get back into the truck and go to put back into reverse and have nothing, reverse lights on but no engagement.

After a few days and someone on a nice kubota came down and plowed the whole drive out I was able to get the titan in and on stands and performed the pressure check I've been wanting to do but hadn't had the chance and have bad readings on reverse after warmed up.

Thinking I did some damage to the sealing rings and maybe burnt out the reverse pack.
Put it up in the air and started marking shafts and removing components. To my surprise everything broke loose fairly easy and the hardest part Id say on removal was getting the cross member out and the top two bell housing bolts. Thank gosh for impacts, extensions and swivel sockets.

Have it up on the bench now plan on tearing into it this weekend.

Plan on putting a full kit and torque in it.

Will update as we make progress

Came across some information last night regarding a snap ring for the reverse pack and that it is prone to fail and cause the reverse pack to burn out.

Will update if my snap ring was in fact in place or knocked out of its slot, and will post aftermarket snap ring part # when I purchase parts.
See less See more
Wow, I have over 150000 on my 04 Titan and all I have done is fluid exchanges. I have done 4 exchanges total thus far and Im the original owner. I have worked this truck hard and I live in Mn. with the harsh winters. I will consider a new filter for sure the next go around.
A new filter is not needed as much so as cleaning the filter. As pictured it is a micro screen filter opposed to a foam or paper type filter.

Stepdad disassembled the transmission today and inspected as he did. I was thrilled to see no damage to the pump sealing rings or hard parts in general. Direct frictions got a little hot but nothing to really note.

When getting to the reverse pack the snap-ring I mentioned above was in fact knocked out of its set slots and allowed the piston to travel excessively which caused the inside seal on the piston to tear and premature wear of the reverse frictions.

Will be ordering parts in the next day or so and will provide information on the upgrade snap-ring.

I will get pictures of just the snap ring laying on the bench tomorrow. The snap ring is clearly a thinner more ply-able one.

Attached are two photos of the inside of the case and the snapring mentioned. This is how it presented it self. (Out of its set location)

Superior updated snap-ring
RE5R05A Transmission Superior Double Wide Snap Ring Reverse Brake Fits Nissan | eBay


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Stepdad has been a little under the weather but have the back half of the case on and stacked nearly up to the top.

The size difference between the upgraded/updated superior snap-ring and the original is significant. Plan on getting a picture of it with measurement to show.

Not much further now!

Have to order exhaust gaskets, a few driveshaft bolts that had the threads stripped and a transmission mount.
Didnt think the mount was broke during removal but once I removed the back section of the case and looked at it up close it was cracked right in the crease. Plan on pricing a xterra mount I think I just recently read about?


See less See more
Photo 2 shows the reverse clutch piston which was the piston that had excessive play due to the snap ring being out of place and cause the burnt up clutch pack and
Photo 3) shows the inner seal from the piston that was tore


See less See more
I would be more worried about the fluid going into the trans rather than dropping the pan to clean the screen. I didnt read your entire post as my eyes hurt a little bit right now, but most Multi-Vehicle ATF doesn't even support Matic J/S. Which could be the reason the transmission went bad in the first place. There has been a lot of controversy about ATF type, and most guys (like myself), wont run anything but Matic-S, and some guys use Valvoline or Amsoil and tend to have good luck, but using stuff that isnt even compatible is asking for trouble.
If you look at the pictures at the start of the thread you will see that the filter was nearly completely plugged with debris which caused the pump to starve of fluid and cause a whining sound. I suggest dropping the pan on higher mileage titans as the fluid looked good when I purchased the truck at 77K miles and by 114 I think it was I had the filter plug.

I plan on running the synthetic multi-import ATF along with lubegard platinum protection and do not expect any problems. As long as the fluid is compatible it is fine.

This is the second JATCO re5r05a that my stepdad has built. The first one was 5-8yrs ago in a pathfinder that had the radiator fail and the coolant and ATF mixed. When he did that rebuild they did not have a service manual or a shift kit out for the transmission. Have the manual now and shift kit.

Went down this morning and put together the direct clutch pack and have the pump set down in now.
Plan on doing the shift kit later in the week after my stepdads treatment.


See less See more


See less See more
Pictures of the pump apart and it down in the case


See less See more
I would be more worried about the fluid going into the trans rather than dropping the pan to clean the screen. I didnt read your entire post as my eyes hurt a little bit right now, but most Multi-Vehicle ATF doesn't even support Matic J/S. Which could be the reason the transmission went bad in the first place. There has been a lot of controversy about ATF type, and most guys (like myself), wont run anything but Matic-S, and some guys use Valvoline or Amsoil and tend to have good luck, but using stuff that isnt even compatible is asking for trouble.
You seriously need to learn the difference between "type" and "brand". Any brand will work as long as it says it covers matic J and/or S......Legally this must be true. Matic S isn't anything special.

The Amsoil stuff says it's compatible, just like the Maxlife. Legally it has to be compatible.

All you really need to know is whether or not it's JASO 1A spec.
As LUBE said there isn't any grand difference between name brands/oem brands/off brands if they are the correct type and compatible for your transmission.

After thoroughly talking to my stepdad about this he said to me this, all of the parts are made of the same material in transmissions from the glue on the frictions to the steel in the needle bearings, the seals in the pistons, or the valves in the valvebody. ATF has came a long ways from the early days of dexron mercron type atf.

Lubegard is a great product that we used for many years from their shudder fix to their ATF protection.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
No hard feelings CVTitan, that's just how I feel about over-paying for fluids, like we discussed in another thread.

Diesel, is that all there is to the pump? Just a simple gerotor design?
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.