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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done clutches before on a variety of vehicles, but most of them I haven't had to pull the whole trans for. Usually you get everything unbolted, slide the transmission back a bit, and swap everything out like that. I'm not sure if I'm just looking in the wrong place, but the FSM seems to suggest that I'm going to have to pull the whole transmission. Can anybody verify this, maybe point me in the direction of some good reference material. I can go through it blindly and figure it out eventually, but that usually takes considerably longer, and can lead to broken parts. All the information I've found has been for the V6 models, if it's functionally the same, that would be good to know.

I feel like an idiot for having to ask about swapping a clutch, but I'd rather look like an idiot than spend several days and beer a friend for help on something that I should be able to do in a couple hours by myself.

Thank you, any help is always appreciated.
 

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I don't believe these would have a separate bellhousing a la the old Chevy design, which would make it pretty easy to deal with. Every Datsun/Nissan PU I've ever worked on has an integral bell housing and yes, you'd typically yank the entire unit for clutch work.

By the time you get everything off an integral-bellhousing-type transmission in order to get it away from the engine, you may as well just remove it completely. There may or may not be enough room to slide the entire assembly back far enough to gain access to the flywheel & clutch assy.

A transmission jack would help immensely; you should be able to find something that would work reasonably well at Harbor Freight or equivalent-type of tool store. If you have a local Autozone, you can take advantage of their free tool rentals (with full-price deposit, refunded upon return).

Rockauto.com is a good source of parts/parts lookup and Exedy or LUK are always good choices for OE-quality clutch kits.

HTH & G'luck with the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Naw, I know this thing doesn't have the separate bell housing, pretty sure everybody figured out that wasn't a great idea as soon as they started it.

I've just never had to yank the whole trans before, done clutches before, always just moved the transmission back about six inches. You scrape some knuckles, but flat rate is flat rate.

I though autozone and Napa didn't rent/loan jacks for liability reasons? I guess I'll ask when I go back in later today.

I have the Exedy clutch kit for it.

To add to all this, this is a vehicle I bought from an Army buddy, and he swore it had maybe four shifts left in it. Got it towed home, and, while the clutch is definitely at the end of its life, it's not even slipping yet.
 

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Naw, I know this thing doesn't have the separate bell housing, pretty sure everybody figured out that wasn't a great idea as soon as they started it.

I've just never had to yank the whole trans before, done clutches before, always just moved the transmission back about six inches. You scrape some knuckles, but flat rate is flat rate.

I though autozone and Napa didn't rent/loan jacks for liability reasons? I guess I'll ask when I go back in later today.

I have the Exedy clutch kit for it.

To add to all this, this is a vehicle I bought from an Army buddy, and he swore it had maybe four shifts left in it. Got it towed home, and, while the clutch is definitely at the end of its life, it's not even slipping yet.
Seems like it doesn't make too much of a difference. You still need to pull all the bolts and the rear driveshaft and have the tranny fully supported.

I have done 3 clutch jobs on nissans (none on the frontier yet) and have always removed the tranny completely. But I don't think it was completely necessary. You do need to remove the pilot bushing so you need room to work either the slide hammer or to hammer the rod in for the grease pack trick. SO not sure how you do that with only 6 inches. I guess you can skip that but I wouldn't. Also you might need a new flywheel. You will also need to slip the alignment tool and the clutch in there. So now that i just talked my way through the change I would say NO. You NEED to remove the tranny. Maybe if you just do a half *** job and slip in a new friction disk...

I have used this tranny jack before. $100 buck is a small price to pay. You can try to balance it on a floor jack.

https://www.harborfreight.com/450-lb-low-lift-transmission-jack-61232.html
 

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I would download an FSM and go over the procedure first before attempting. I know the 2.5L uses a dual-mass flywheel like the 4.0L, which is not a big deal. But I know that on the VQ-V6 models, you need to disengage the shift fork from the throwout bearing before you attempt to remove the transmission, unlike earlier VG-V6 trucks where you didn't need to bother with the throwout bearing as it just comes out with the transmission. I believe on the VQ style, the throwout bearing snaps into the pressure plate the first time it is engaged.
 
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