1992 Nissan hardbody-Need maintenance advice - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old Jan 11th, 2004, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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1992 Nissan hardbody-Need maintenance advice

I posted this earlier at a different forum topic, but think this forum would be better. I have a 1992 Nissan hardbody truck I bought new and had air conditioning added. It currently has 107,365 miles on it. Other than routine maintenance, I have had only a new air conditioner bearing and new muffler installed. Recently I took it for lube/oil change to my favorite repair people where I have gone for years. I asked them to look for any problems (not a good thing to do as they can come up with plenty!). They told me I need two new belts, front crank seal replaced, oil pan gasket replaced. I looked at my maintenance records and noted that I had already had the front crank seal replaced and the two belts replaced a year ago (I had it done at the local Nissan dealer because the cost was better). So I took the list to Nissan and asked them to see what needed to be done. They recommended engine oil cleaner and conditioner, oil pan gasket replaced, engine flush, brake flush, clutch flush, and gear box service. I asked my friend Matt who knows alot about cars (he has many old cars from the 50's and 60's) what he thinks of the Nissan list, and he said not to do any of it! Nissan said the brake fluid is black and should be amber. The Nissan truck manual that came with truck only says to check the fluid level in brake/clutch reservoir levels and if necessary, fill them up to the max line. It mentions old and inferior fluid as being dangerous, but it doesn't say anything about flushing it or replacing all of it. To my knowledge, I don't think this has ever been done (I would have to go through all my records to see). Also my friend Matt (who lives elsewhere) says that if I use 20-50 oil all year, it will stop the weeping in the front crank seal (he didn't mention it working for the the oil pan gasket). Nissan says to use 10-30 for smaller cars in winter, then the 20-50 for rest of year. SO, my questions: considering all the advice, what does anyone on the forum recommend me having done? Should I do the flushes for engine, brake, clutch? Is it necessary or just Nissan wanting work? What about gear box service, what does it do and what happens if I don't have it done? Don't see anything in Nissan manual about this. Will changing the oil to 20-50 stop weeping in oil pan and front crank seal? What is your opinion on using the 10-30 oil in winter and 20-50 rest of year? Or should I use 20-50 rest of year? I can save about $400 by not doing any of this! I am a secretary who doesn't do much mechanical work. But I DO want to take care of my truck. You can email me at sukie1941@charter.net if you wish.

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post #2 of 5 Old Jan 11th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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I think your Friend for the most part is right. The oil pan gasket can be done by you. Are there drips of oil underneath where you park. If so then it probably is necessary. If not don't do it. Brake fluid color is a bit baffling. Brake fluid is a very dark amber color. As far as oil, multi-viscosity oils seem to confuse alot of people. I live in Michigan and the winters, I'm sure you know,can get very cold. Last weeks temps where high of 11 and low off -1. I use 10w30 all year around. My 92 hardbody has close too 300,000 miles. My 86.5 had over 500,000. I drive/drove to work(50 miles one way) every day(5 days) summer and winter.
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post #3 of 5 Old Jan 11th, 2004, 01:32 PM
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I can't believe Nissan recommends to use 20W-50 oil during the summer time. That's way too thick. Check your owner's manual. It probably states to use 5W-30 all year round. 10W-30 will work just as well. At the outside, the thickest I would go is 10W-40 (but it'll crank slower, especially when cold). If the oil pan gasket really bothers you, replace it, but you really don't have to...unless it's leaking like a seive. If it's just a drop overnight, put down an old piece of carpet and forget about it. If you don't even get a drop of oil, tell your dealership to go pack sand...they'll try to sell you anything to get your money. The pan gasket isn't in a high pressure area, and any leakage there should be very slight...unless there's a physical breach in the seal. If you're dumping oil out as you drive, change it. But if you didn't notice it before you had these folks "inspect" the truck, I certainly don't think it's anything to spend money on.

I wouldn't recommend ANY type of flush...of ANY system. All the flushing type machines are supposed to have filters to catch particles from the previous vehicle, but who knows how well that filter is working or when the last time it was changed. One of the most popular, and probably most dangerous, is the automatic transmission flush. By design, there are metal particles floating all over the auto tranny fluid and who knows if the machine really caught all of the junk from the previous guy's car. Just drain/refill any system you want cleaned out. Forget about the oil conditioners or additives. The proper bleeding procedure will "flush" all the fluid from your brake and clutch systems, and you can easily do that at home. I'm really surprised Nissan is recommending this stuff. Follow the recommendations of your owners manual. The manual isn't trying to deepen the cash pot of your local dealership, unlike the technicians and service managers who work there!

Jason Adcock
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Last edited by jadcock; Jan 11th, 2004 at 01:34 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old Jan 11th, 2004, 07:56 PM
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I have a '93 KA24E with 128,000 miles. I wouldn't reccomend doing any of the "flushes" to it either. I would stick with the regular maintenance such as filters, lubes and not venture into the "flush" realm. The only thing I flush is my radiator and that's only every 30,000 miles. I also agree that the worst thing you can do is flush an automatic transmission. My buddy took his Lincoln to get a flush. I warned him against it, but he wouldn't listen. Two weeks later and a couple of thousand miles away from home on vacation the tranny gave up. So, I think you're doing the right things as far as regular maintenance. Stick with your regular service and avoid all the "exotic" things your lube guy just wants to bill you for. I wouldn't worry about the brake fluid. Draining it will just cause you air problems. I would reccomend changing your rear end oil if you haven't done that. A good synthetic will work great for the differential. As far as your engine oil. I live in Mississippi and it's hot all the time. lol I can't help you on the different grades for different temps. I use 10w-30 year around. Good luck and I'm sure your little truck will be around for a long time to come.

2003 Nissan 350Z 11000 mi
1993 Nissan Truck 133,000k mi
1999 Mercury Mountaineer 55kmi
1966 Ford Mustang 2many k mi

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post #5 of 5 Old Jan 11th, 2004, 10:21 PM
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I'm going to go in the other direction here... Brake fluid should be almost clear, or a light amber color! There's no combustion going on in the brake system - the only thing that's changing the color of the fluid is the breakdown of the seals in your master cylinder, flex lines, and caliper seals. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air - and as it does so it becomes acidic. On the early Q45 we see major repairs bills ($1300 part) on ABS actuators with bad seals - Nissan updated the seal design later to account for poor maintenence habits in the U.S. market. Also keep in mind that old brake fluid has a much lower wet boiling point, so you'll have more brake fade in emergency stops!

Changing the oil in the transmission and differential is a good thing...just like the engine. For the hydraulic clutch, same theory as brake fluid.

For the oil leaks - just stick with what the manual says and then reseal when the leak is bad enough to bother you... Your friend who deals with old cars is right when dealing with old cars, but in modern cars, changing to too thick of an oil - especially in the winter - is bad news.

For the life of me, I can't see how dirty fluids are ever preferable to clean ones. Only in extreme instances where the fluid has been neglected for sooo long that the varnish may be the only thing holding the parts together, would I leave old fluids in.

I do complete flushes of the major systems on all of my vehicles annualy. The P/S res. gets partial exchanges at each oil change (with a turkey baster) since it's easier than a complete flush. The only oil that doesn't get changed as it should be is the A/C compressor oil since I don't have the equipment to do it.

That's my two cents worth!


1997 Nissan XE Truck - 133,000 Miles
1990 Infiniti Q45 - 91,000 Miles
2005 Infiniti G35 Sedan - 34,000 Miles

Last edited by 1997XETruck; Jan 11th, 2004 at 10:25 PM.
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