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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm a bit new to transmissions so... I will try to explain as best I can.

I have a 2001 Nissan/Datsun Maxima SE 3.0L FI DOHC 6cyl

So, I am looking to swap out my old (damaged) transmission with a used (less mileage one), mainly as the cost of a newer transmission (or a rebuilt/remanufactured) exceeds what I paid to get it (only got it a few months back too).

Based on the vin number (through starting by looking at remanufactured ones), it seems the transmission in this one should be model: RE4F04A

Now, as I am looking up this model number I am finding it in other Nissans besides Maxima (and some other cars, but that seems to be the case with my older car that I had before this too, but never actually worked on its tranny, just looked into it).

Now my question is as such.

Autozone, claims the ones that came from say: an Altima (or made for it) will not fit and only the one that came from the Maxima will, despite that the model number for that specific tranny is the same.

The only difference I can see (as I'm not versed in trannies and as such don't know if there is a difference between them).

Is that the Altima has a 2.8 Engine where the Maxima has a 3.0

So my question is...

If both trannys have the same model number, shouldn't they be the same?
Shouldn't it fit in it regardless? Or did they actually make different versions of the same tranny.

Note, both trannys (Altima and Maxima one) as far as I can tell have the exact same specs. So I have no real reason to believe I can't swap it out with this one. My only concern is will it really not fit as the auto-parts places claim? Or is this a ploy to make me get the far more expensive (but exactly the same as far as I can tell, and the model number giving me no reason to believe they aren't)... one?

As I've had people (shops) try to do this to me in the past, get me to buy something because it costed more so they therefore make more... but there is a cheaper will fit/work part just as good and reliable.

Remember the Altima one I'm looking at is actually lesser mileage (so therefore less wear-tear) vs the Maxima one that is almost the same mileage as the one in the car (and would therefore probably be better to rebuild... and if I have to do that, I might as well just ante up the extra $1,000 for the remanufactured)... mostly as I don't have the time right now to even attempt to rebuild it myself (which is my plan with my older car, but I need a functioning car for now, thus why opting for a shop cost).

A swap out does not exceed what it cost to recently purchase the vehicle, while a rebuild or remanufacture does.

Sorry for the mini rant...

I hope at least I explained this well enough for those experts out there to tell me if they really did have different versions of the same model number of tranny or not.
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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The following info was taken from the FSMs. All the RE4F04A are the same internally, however the output shafts may be different as shown here:
2001 Altima: Engine KA24DE
Automatic transaxle model RE4F04A
Automatic transaxle assembly Model code number 80L02

2001 Maxima: Engine VQ30DE
Automatic transaxle model RE4F04B
Automatic transaxle assembly Model code number 85X05

You would have to take one of your axle shafts and see if it fits a replacement A/T of your choosing from an Altima.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
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The Altima would have a 2.4L-4 cylinder engine (Altimas never had a 2.8L). The RE4R04A is a Jatco transmission model number, however, the transmission is identified by Nissan through multiple part numbers based on the application. Each of these part numbers has specific differences, which could be internal gearing or valve body differences. There were two automatic transmission used in the 2000-2001 Maxima, the non-locking diff version (which you have) and the locking diff version, which would be an RE4R04V...which requires a different left axle. The RE4R04A transmission you need would have to come out of a 2000-2001 Maxima.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alright, thanks for the answers. At least I know now. It just weirded me out that they had the same number. I didn't know about the axel assembly difference. Thus why it is good to ask before buying and regretting getting something that would not work as its still a lot of money, even if used.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
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A good example would be the Jatco model RE5R05A 5-speed automatic transmission. It is used on the Nissan 350Z, the R51 Pathfinder (as well as the D40 Frontier/WD40 Xterra) 2WD and 4x4, and Titan 2WD & 4x4. They are all the same model transmission, but there are differences between them, even between the Pathfinder Off Road and non-Off Road trims. And, you wouldn't expect the transmission in a 350Z to be exactly the same as a Titan 4x4, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't know that much about transmissions, outside of that they tend to have different sets of gears... and may have different shift sequences. But typically unless manual... I wasn't aware of other differences (like axels). So if something said it was the same model number I assumed they were the same. But that could just be how computer stuff works... not mechanical. I'm still a bit new to this whole mechanical side of things.

I'm still learning. And that learning will one day include attempting to rebuild the tranny of my older car (not this one). So that will be something.

Awkwardly I do better on strangely complicated large projects, than the simple things for the car, so it might turn out well. I just don't personally have time to try to rebuild two transmissions. So simply replacing this one and using a shop to do the labor seemed a better bet to have at least a working car while fiddling with the older one. As I can take my sweet time on it, as it's not going anywhere (its been waiting over a year already, so it'll need a lot beside the transmission rebuilt, but it's expected). So it's my side project car. Just wanted to be sure I got the right things for this one.

I'm just more used to with computers, if something is the same model number, it will fit regardless of where it came from. xD
 
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