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Discussion Starter #1
Ok Nissan pros, I need some help. My girlfriends car starts and runs just fine, but makes a grinding noise when the car starts moving. I jacked the car up and turned the left front wheel to see if I could locate the noise. It sounds like its coming from the tranny. I pulled the wheel off and am trying to locate the fill and drain for the transmission. I DONT THINK SO! I cant find the dang thing. Can someone help me out. And if anyone has any ideas as to why it might be making this noise, let me know. Im going to fill the tranny fluid first to see if it was just low or not, and then I guess ill take it from there. Please HELP!
 

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It is in the front of the tranny, in the lower part. It doesn't use a socket, it uses the actual wrench that the sockets belongs on (i don't know the name.) So your looking for a square inside of a threaded circle. Good luck, if the fluid is all right, try adjusting the hydraulic clutch.
 

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when you say it grinds when the car is rolling, are you talking about a low pitched one inside the transmission, or a louder one that goes away when you get out of the gas?

it could be bad CV joints or tranny internals...

As for the tranny drain/fill plugs, there are separate plugs for it, of course.
the drain plug is on the bottom, right side near the shifter rod- points toward the passenger wheel.. it uses a 12mm wrench to remove it.
the fill plug is the large square one in the front of the transmission. it's just under the front tranny mount, and you'll need a 1/2" ratchet to remove it.

make sure the car is on level ground, then simply fill it with fluid until it starts dripping out of the fill hole. (make sure car is level when you do this, or you'll overfill the tranny by a quart and ruin your clutch and other parts in the process!) you should use 3-4 qts. usually I just dump the first 3 qts in, then slowly add the 4th until it starts dripping out.


if the transmission is making more of a growling sound when you're in 1st and 2nd gears, then it's probably the input shaft bearings on the transmission... Thus it needs a rebuild.
You can buy the bearings from nissan and do it yourself for about $150 in parts, but only consider this if you're comfortable cracking open a transmission and have the tools do to it..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Okay guys, thanks, I found the plug and added some fluid. It was BONE FREAKING DRY! I filled it up and drove the car down the block. Still makes the sound. Here's where things get interesting. I stopped the car, turned it off, jacked up the tranny side, and spun the wheel. It makes the same grinding sound. So it sounds like something having to do with the axle inside the tranny. Does anybody have any idea as to what that might be? Also, how much is a clutch and rebuilt tranny for this thing? Also, I've replaced trannys on a honda before, how much different is this? Do I have to remove the motor mounts to lower the motor to get it off or what? Can someone briefly explain dropping the tranny to me. Thanks for all the help!
 

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clutch is about $100.. tranny rebuild is about $1000, depending on problems.
I'd recommend getting one from a junkyard.

sounds to me like the differential is FUBARd in the one you have, which usually isn't touched in a tranny rebuild... a new diff is $$$, so you'd be better off with a junkyard tranny.

First though, I recommend pulling the axles out and checking them. make sure both axles are inserted completely and properly into the tranny. Nissan only made about 24 different axles for these cars and I've seen a lot of problems with not getting the correct ones (1/2" shorter or longer, splines the wrong size, all kinds of crap like that.)
This may be the case on this car as well. let's hope not because it could have done some nasty damage to the tranny.. That would also explain why it's out of fluid because it leaked out of the seal around the axle.

I would also try to find out who last worked on it- if she had someone replace the axles with the wrong ones in the past, or not get the axle seated in the tranny correctly, then this could be the result...

As for dropping the tranny, it's not hard at all. disconnect battery, remove starter, remove clutch slave cylinder, remove shift linkage, unbolt bellhousing bolts, unbolt tranny mounts, support tranny w/ jack, pull out tranny.
if it's got a stock intake, it will be much easier to do if you remove it. probably removing the Y pipe will help as well for a first-timer, but neither are absolutely necessary.

usually takes me about 45 minutes on my car...
here's the writeup I did on it several years ago...
http://www.4dsc.com/articles/drivetrain/clutch/clutch.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow...Thanks Matt, you've been a great help. I went and tried to drive it again and it drives just fine without any noise! :rolleyes: EXCEPT....4th gear. Its GONE! The rattle must have been the 4 gear rolling around. So...looks like we will be attempting to sell the vehicle for whatever we can. We plan on buying a new car anyway, so looks like the maxima is a goner. Thanks everyone for the help!
 
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