How do you change the transmission filter? - Nissan Forum
GA16DE 1.6L Engine Engine Discussion: 91-99 Sentra, 95-98 200SX, 91-93 NX1600

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#1 Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Question How do you change the transmission filter?

On the RL4F03A (4 speed auto trans) how the hell do you change the filter?

Holding the filter is a bolt that goes all the way through the valve body with an attaching nut and washer on the other side. I just got through swapping valve bodies when I noticed the bolt is not even on the opposite side of the VB itís sandwiched in the middle somewhere. WTF!

How does Nissan expect us to change the filter?
How would a mechanic even change that filter? This seams crazy if you ask me.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Thanks
Seth
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#2 Old Feb 23rd, 2003, 09:49 PM
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Replace

Before changing the transmission filter, review the recommended service intervals in the owner's manual and look at the vehicle's maintenance history.

Some transmissions have check balls, valves, and/or springs between the valve body and the filter or screen. Do not remove these. Pay special attention to these as you remove the filter. They can fall out and be lost.

Remove the filter and inspect it.
Filters are always replaced, whereas screens are cleaned.
Screens are removed in the same way as filters.
Clean a screen with fresh solvent and a stiff brush.
Make sure the O-ring for the filter was removed with the filter and not stuck on the housing.
Remove any traces of the old pan gasket on the case housing.
Then install a new filter and gasket on the bottom of the valve body and tighten the retaining bolts to the specified torque.
CAUTION
Make sure you check the specifications. The required torque is often given in inch-pounds. You can easily break the bolts or damage something if you tighten the bolts to foot-pounds.


Some transmissions are equipped with reusable oil pan and valve body gaskets.
Check with the service manual before you throw away the old gaskets.
Remove any traces of the old pan gasket from the oil pan.
Make sure the mounting flange of the oil pan is not distorted and bent.
Then re-install the pan using the sealant recommended by the manufacturer.
Pour a little less than the required amount of fluid into the transaxle through the dipstick tube.
Always use the recommended type of automatic transmission fluid (ATF).
Start the engine and allow it to idle for at least one minute.
Then, with the parking and service brakes applied, move the gear selector lever momentarily to each position, ending in park.
Recheck the fluid level and add a sufficient amount of fluid to bring the level to about 1/8 inch (3.0 mm) below the ADD mark.
Run the engine until it reaches normal operating temperature.
Then recheck the fluid level; it should be in the HOT region on the dipstick.
Make sure the dipstick is fully seated into the dipstick tube opening. This will prevent dirt from entering into the transmission.

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#3 Old Feb 24th, 2003, 11:54 PM
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Well put!

The part I find interesting is where you said, ďFilters are always replaced, whereas screens are cleaned.Ē

Mine is a screen.
So then I shouldnít be trying to replace it, I should be cleaning it instead.
Since I canít remove the screen, because of that one bolt (check my first post), then Iíll be forced to clean the screen while itís still bolted to my trany.
Well, I guess thatís possible. I just wish Nissan had made it a little easer thatís all. I mean, when I go to Shucks to buy a pan gasket, they always try and sell me the gasket/screen kit. Now I donít need the screen, according to babyj, but I do need the gasket. Of course they donít sell just the gasket and so I always end up buying the kit.
Somethingís just plane fishy about this whole deal. Why do they even make a gasket/screen kit for the Nissan RL4F03A Transmission?
I believe given the circumstances the two parts should ONLY be made available as separates. Itís just my opinion but wouldnít that make more sense.

Oh well! I'm selling the car anyway, hello SE-R!

Last edited by Sethticlees; Feb 24th, 2003 at 11:57 PM.
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#4 Old Feb 25th, 2003, 03:55 PM
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Seth,

I see you now know what I was talking about when you picked up the transmission from me

It is a screen and not a filter. The only way to remove it to clean or replace it, is to remove the valve body.

When I went to replace it about a year ago (Not knowing then, what I do now), I took out all the bolts. When I went to bolt the new screen up, the one bolt would not thread in. I then realized I was SCREWED. After a quick look in the FSM I realized that the nut and washer were sitting on top.

So, I ended up removing the valve body and reinstalling the screen.

So, don't worry about it, because you are using my old valve body and the screen is fairly new. Plus, I did 2 flushes since then with the AMSOIL synthetic.

After discussing my fustration w/ a local Nissan mechanic, I now know the CORRECT way to keep a Nissan transmission healthy for a long time. Here is what he told me:

1)DO not change the screen. (His reasoning was that just removing and replacing the valve body HIGHLY increases your chances of dirt getting in the valve body and doing damage or damaging the valve body from other methods.)

2)Do a COMPLETE fluid flush every 30K miles.

3)Use synthetic ATF.

He said if you follow those directions, your screen should never need cleaning or replacement and the trans should last 2-300K miles fairly easily.

I followed 2) and 3) and my trans had over 150K on it when I pulled it for the swap and still was working good.

1991 Sentra SE - Auto to Manual swap, 15" Rota Subzero's, 205/50 Kuhmo 712's, Tsuru headlight conversion, SE-R front and rear disc brakes, SE-R front and rear swaybars, SE-R throttle body, SE-R rear inner taillights, HS CAI and Header, H&R springs, Koni shortened struts, ES Hyperflex kit, B&M Short Shifter, Autometer gauges.
#5 Old Feb 25th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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HahaÖ I thought youíd be chiming in here sometime soon!

Yeah, Iím not gunna change out your filter John, I just put the damn VB in and Iím not removing it anytime again soon.
You know just normal wear does indeed put a slight particle buildup on the screen. When you wipe the screen you see itís there. From here on in Iíll just clean the screen as good as possible and call it a day.

Like I said, Iím moving on to a 200sx SE-R, and a whole new can of worms.

Iím almost sad to have to part with my 1.6 auto. She runs like a top and lately Iíve been adjusting that engagement switch you showed me. Man, my little auto gets up there now, it shifts right in the sweet spot for every gear and that gives me optimum performanceÖI love it!

Well, thanks for the help guys, Iím done bitching and complaining for awhile.

The over all solution to the problem is, remove your valve body to change the filter screen or... donít try and change the screenÖperiod!

Now if only the guys at Shucks would start preaching the word, instead of insisting you can remove the filter without removing the VB.
Live and learn!

Seth

Last edited by Sethticlees; Feb 25th, 2003 at 08:24 PM.
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#6 Old Feb 26th, 2003, 07:24 PM
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i didnt know that transmissions had filters.....i only drive 5spds...maybe thats a sign...

sorry im a bored kid right now....good luck

AH HA! So they do make bigger diapers? That deceitful woman told me id have to learn to use the toilet. Well fie on the toilet! its made slaves of you all. ive seen it sitting there, lazy, slothful porcelain layabout feeding on other peoples Doo-Doos while contribution nothing to society! you get a job!!!!!
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#7 Old Feb 26th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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Engagement Switch

Where is this engagement switch? Grateful if you could share...:P
#8 Old Feb 28th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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This is what John showed me...
The throttle wire adjustment (on RL4F03A trans only) allows for adjusting the timing of engagement between gears. Undoubtedly you have noticed the stock settings force your trans to shift gears to soon. This sucks because I really like to ride out each gear to get some advantage of the higher RPM's.
So this can be fixed, at no cost, and it makes your trans feel tight and sporty.

1. locate the throttle wire adjustment
2. press the lock plate
3. slide the adjusting tube down about two clicks(down makes for more throttle before switching gears)
4. drive the car, notice the difference and repeat until the trans engages at just the right position. You'll feel it!

Don't over do it!



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#9 Old Mar 1st, 2003, 03:39 AM
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Thanks for the informative post!

Just a point of clarification:
1) Does that mean it changes the shift points for ALL gears??

I think this adjustment is timely cos I've just installed an Edge Racing Torque Converter (stall speed of 3.2K rpm). So I do need shifts higher than normal...

Thanks again!!
#10 Old Mar 1st, 2003, 01:21 PM
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Does this work on the B14s? My '95 has a RL4F03A but I couldn't find any lock plate to press or adjusting tube to slide. There's just a little black box on the underside of the engine side bracket.
#11 Old Mar 1st, 2003, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by barnoun
Does this work on the B14s? My '95 has a RL4F03A but I couldn't find any lock plate to press or adjusting tube to slide. There's just a little black box on the underside of the engine side bracket.

Yeah! Press the little black box!!!

That's the lock plate.

s
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#12 Old Mar 1st, 2003, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sethticlees
Yeah! Press the little black box!!!

That's the lock plate.

s
Hmm, I'll give it another go
#13 Old Mar 1st, 2003, 07:16 PM
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Alright, after playing with it a little I figured it out. After doing a few runs, it seems the tranny still shifts at the same rpm during WOT, but during part throttle there is definately a difference. Specifically the shifts are harder and at a higher rpm. I set it at the lowest point and now it shifts 500rpm furthur from where it was. While it feels good, the harshness is a little worrysome. Is there any reliability(longevity) issues associated with having the tranny shift as hard as possible? Why is the tranny shifting harder(besides the fact that the adjustment has been changed)?
#14 Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 10:26 AM
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After even further adjusting, I have it so it still shifts at 3500rpm(instead of 3000rpm like it was) with firm, direct shifts. It's not harsh anymore, just firm and authorative. Oh yeah, I also read and found that it works by increasing the throttle line pressure or something like that. Anyways, thanks for the tip on this free "mod," heheh
#15 Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 06:08 PM
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Hey glad to help!

Iím also glad you did some research!!!
I donít know all the pros and cons of this mod, but I really love the way my auto trany shifts now.


If you find more info about this mod and what it does please post some links here...

I'm always interested in learning more.

Thanks
s
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