2005 SE 4X4 Burned Auto Trans. - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old Feb 24th, 2017, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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2005 SE 4X4 Burned Auto Trans.

I purchased the truck used with 98k now at 106k the transmission has failed. I am having it rebuilt ($5k... ouch) and was wondering if I could get some advice on preventative maintenance while it is torn down. I don't know if the radiator is the original or not so I will surely be replacing that. Any suggestions on what radiator to go with? I want to make sure that there is absolutely no chance for the coolant trans. fluid mixture problem. Thanks.

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post #2 of 6 Old Feb 25th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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Here's a very informative posting from SMJ999SMJ about radiator problems on certain models:

The problem with the 2005-2010 Pathfinders/Xterras/Frontiers radiators is a design flaw in the factory radiator made by Calsonic-Kansei. The problem is limited to North American vehicles (Pathfinders made in Spain don't have this issue) and seem to be most prevelant on 05 through 07 models, although there have been a few 08 models reported. The North American vehicles come equipped with an auxilary trans cooler mounted in front of the AC condensor. Many have simply bypassed the integral cooler of the radiator by re-routing the cooler hoses so that the ATF passes though the auxilary cooler and not the radiator's integral cooler. Most have reported no problems, although, if you tow with your vehicle or live in an area that experiences very cold temperatures, I wouldn't recommend it. For one, a liquid-to-liquid cooler is far more efficient than a liquid-to-air cooler. Also, the radiator's cooler tube not only cools the ATF, but also warms it up to operating temperature quicker and maintains it in the proper range (ATF should operate in the 175 degree F range +/-).

If you want to replace the radiator, you have three choices. You can use the countermeasure genuine Nissan radiator which MSRP's around $550. For roughly the same money, you can get an all-aluminum radiator from Griffin radiators. The third choice is an aftermarket radiator for a lot less money. For my 2006 LE, I went with a brand new, $92/free shipping/lifetime warranty I found on Ebay (Parts Express...it is now listed for $120, but there is currently one for $77.90 from Radiator Classic). It may be made in China, but it appears to be quality built and the fit was perfect; I've had it installed for 7 months so far. I also replaced the 4 foam seals, which I got from Nissan (one on the upper tank of the radiator, one on the lower tank, and the other two on the side brackets). If you prefer to buy a part made in North America, you can get one made by Spectra Premium of Canada for around $150.

KA-T for life, yo!
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post #3 of 6 Old Feb 27th, 2017, 12:38 PM
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I purchased the truck used with 98k now at 106k the transmission has failed. I am having it rebuilt ($5k... ouch)
Have you priced a New Transmission from Nissan? That sounds a little high for a rebuild to me.

And when you price a New Transmission Check several choice's includeing EBay as several Dealership's sell on Ebay at substantial reduced price's compared to walking in to the same dealership. Also check several different Dealership price's by phone as not all charge the same price. Also check at Nissan Parts online,, as Nissan has a Part's price online where you put in your zip code to get the price locally.

I have found SMJ's advice, to be good, and would advise to at least check out his advice, to save money and to get the best part available.

Hope this helps you.

2013 SV V6 AT 2WD KC Frontier/Current; '93 Hardbody KC,IL4,AT,2WD, O.O./20yrs./Sold
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post #4 of 6 Old Feb 27th, 2017, 06:36 PM
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I'm following this with interest because a friend of mine has a 2005 Frontier and just commented a few days ago that the transmission had started to shudder when shifting into overdrive under certain conditions.

I told him about the radiator issue and needless to say he wasn't pleased. Original owner, had never heard anything about the problem from Nissan or elsewhere.

Hopefully it's just another issue and not the radiator cooler, but given the history of these it sure doesn't sound good. I'll post here when I find out what the problem was.........ed

p.s. I checked prices on the Spectra radiator, Rockauto.com and Summit Racing on eBay both have it for around the same shipped price, under $138.
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post #5 of 6 Old Feb 27th, 2017, 07:06 PM
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I have a 2004 with 310,000 miles, same engine and transmission. It had 7 miles when i drove it out the showroom. ( proving maintenance and quality parts pay off in the long long run). The 05 change was a defect, design or quality control issue Nissan has danced around. For a few the problem had shown itself immediately. For many others it comes after warranty and leaves the vehicles with huge repair bills and worse depreciation if anyone goes by reviews. Rogoman and BRHubble are right on the money with their comments. from my experience in the car business. The auction lines are rolling Nissan 05 + Trucks and Pathfinders with the same issue over and over again. The dealership took a run at two trucks and pathfinders and did repairs on beautiful vehicles with large repair bills that just proved they are not worth the effort for resale. The transmission cooler bypass works perfect in our environment but anything extreme I can see Rogoman's explaination being correct. ( actually never thought about it until he pointed it out, "Thanks for the insight)
Repair wise, yeah 5K is full blown new transmission retail. There is a few refurbished companies that are reputable that Nissan uses as well. If you are using an independent shop or dealer ask for a refurbished from Jasper. I was quoted $1800 for the transmission $1000 in misc partslabor. This was on my vehicle at 150,000 assuming it was going to break down, Its still running smooth. You see, the transmission is good and strong when the radiator isn't contaminating the transmission fluid with antifreeze. The antifreeze shorts out the inner parts of the transmissions electrical and can even fry the harness if not taken care of soon enough. I say, again from experience, it is a good transmission. It is simply amazing that a $180 radiator can be the culprit of a full transmission failure. I replaced my radiator ( from normal wear) with a high performance line. I don't have the issues of 05 and up, but because I do put mine through harsh driving conditions it made sense to spend more.
Hope this helps new and current owners to avoid the issues with a proactive approach with new radiators or transmission inter-cooler bypass systems which are not to expensive. $150-300 depending on parts and labor. My 2 cents is be proactive and do it before you have a AAA moment when you cant afford it. Always seems to happen that way.
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post #6 of 6 Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 01:02 AM
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Well, heard from my friends and they just had the radiator replaced and transmission flushed. Turns out the heat xchgr had failed and was just starting to mix.

I don't know if they caught it in time or it's just too late no matter how little was in the tranny, but after flushing it seems to be normal. The mechanic recommended coming back after a month for a re-flush. Probably a good idea.

Hopefully it's not a ticking time bomb but the track record on these isn't that great. Guess we'll see what happens down the road!
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