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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

After doing the differential fluid service, a few members recommended I move onto the t-case. Glad I did but more of that to come later.

Info:
Nissan recommends an inspection every 24,000 miles of the transfer case fluid and differential fluid. I bought my truck used with 32k miles so I didn't maintain it myself from new. Ive changed all other fluids besides the transmission due to the involved service but will be doing it at 40-45k miles.

Supplies / Items Needed:
2 quarts of Nissan D3M Transmission Fluid ($20.xx total $10/per at my local dealer. No fully supported equivalent exists as of today that I could find)
18mm Shallow Socket
Fluid transfer Pump

Procedure:
  • I drove the vehicle up on ramps so I could easily scurry under from the driver side door to reach the T Case.
  • First I loosened the fill plug on the transfer case. It is a 18mm on my 2020 Frontier with the newer VQ38DD drivetrain. I would assume this would be the same for gen3 as well. It came out fine with no noticeable metal shavings.
  • I positioned the drain pan under the drain plug, unscrewed the plug, noticed no shavings, and let the old fluid drain out. I noted it was darker than new Nissan D3M fluid. Think like dark cranberry juice versus bright cherry syrup of some kind.

Note: From the factory, the fluid level was quite low. Nissan rates the T-Case to contain 1.5L of fluid and I don't believe any more than 750ml came out of the tcase. No leaks were apparent anywhere at the input / output shaft seals nor was there any indication of fluid leaking under the truck. If you have a 2020+, I would consider checking or just doing your T-Case fluid the next chance you get.

- I screwed the transfer pump into the Nissan D3M fluid and filled it up via the fill port. This took one bottle (946ml+ 550ish ml from the second bottle) to get the 1500ml of fluid that Nissan states in their materials.

The truck is now fully caught up on its fluids. All in all it was very easy and absolutely something any home mechanic could do versus paying dealer cost. I don't know if its just the gen2 with the new drivetrain or leading into the gen3 but the truck has been low on every fluid Ive replaced significantly except for oil. I again would review if you own a low mileage late gen2 and haven't reached these service intervals yet.

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Nissan, 2023 Frontier,4x4
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I recently change the transfer fluid in my 2023. The fill and drain plug took a 10mm Allen head socket. The Factory service manual suggest to wait several minutes to let the fluid settle in the case before final fill. Torque on the plugs are 15 ft/lbs. Took two full qt bottles to fill mine up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I recently change the transfer fluid in my 2023. The fill and drain plug took a 10mm Allen head socket. The Factory service manual suggest to wait several minutes to let the fluid settle in the case before final fill. Torque on the plugs are 15 ft/lbs. Took two full qt bottles to fill mine up.
Thats interesting. Yeah mine were 18mm bolts. no indentations that I could see. I did wait a few minutes until it was at a drop maybe every 5-10 seconds. I went by the listed capacity of 1.5L as I was pulled up on ramps so just going until it came out the fill port would've resulted in the wrong amount of fluid.
 

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Nissan, 2023 Frontier,4x4
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I stand corrected, they are pipe plugs with that use 18mm socket. The front differential uses a 10mm socket head on the plugs with washers. What brand of gear lube did you use in the diffs?
I used amsoil this time but next time I'm going to use Valvoline. I have been using Valvoline in the engine sense new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I stand corrected, they are pipe plugs with that use 18mm socket. The front differential uses a 10mm socket head on the plugs with washers. What brand of gear lube did you use in the diffs?
I used amsoil this time but next time I'm going to use Valvoline. I have been using Valvoline in the engine sense new.
Since both differentials are drain and fill setups, I will be using Valvoline. Cheaper, come in the same style bags for ease of filling, and are plentiful locally. This time I used Lucas in both the front and rear as I had some leftover from my Jeeps. For oil, Penzoil Platinum full Synthetic 0w-20 + lucas synthetic oil stabilizer and WIX filter is my go-to. Project Farm did a cool video on oil testing a while back and have been using the Penzoil since.
 

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Also with a 2020 here though only have 12K miles on mine. Interesting to hear about the low fluid in the transfer case. I wonder if anyone else has found the same in their truck or if this is an isolated case.
I've found it to be very common on all the new vehicles I've purchased. First thing I do when I get it home is check all fluids. It's just another way manufactuerers save money, if they short 100K vehicles a 1/4 pound of freon thats a million bucks saved.
 

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I've found it to be very common on all the new vehicles I've purchased. First thing I do when I get it home is check all fluids. It's just another way manufactuerers save money, if they short 100K vehicles a 1/4 pound of freon thats a million bucks saved.
Another reason why it's annoying that it's so difficult to check the tranny fluid level in the new 9-speeds
 

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2nd gens have a dipstick for tranny and half the folks on here don't use it. Every week I see guys posting that they drain their tranny fluid, measure it and put in the exact same amount, which is ridiculous as it could have been a quart low already. Doesn't make sense beings there's a dipstick to check it and get a definitively. 3rd Gens are easier because you just add fluid til it starts draining out the overfill tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
2nd gens have a dipstick for tranny and half the folks on here don't use it. Every week I see guys posting that they drain their tranny fluid, measure it and put in the exact same amount, which is ridiculous as it could have been a quart low already. Doesn't make sense beings there's a dipstick to check it and get a definitively. 3rd Gens are easier because you just add fluid til it starts draining out the overfill tube.
I have to say for those who do know how to check the fluid properly, having an easy fill port is really nice. Right now I can tell you Im highly skeptical of any fluid that came from the factory on this truck. Ill be doing the transmission service on it at 40k miles.

Also with a 2020 here though only have 12K miles on mine. Interesting to hear about the low fluid in the transfer case. I wonder if anyone else has found the same in their truck or if this is an isolated case.
I would really recommend you check your diffs and tcase fluid levels. All 3 were low on my truck.

I've found it to be very common on all the new vehicles I've purchased. First thing I do when I get it home is check all fluids. It's just another way manufactuerers save money, if they short 100K vehicles a 1/4 pound of freon thats a million bucks saved.
Thankfully nothing bad has reared its head yet. My truck is pre owned. The previous owner thankfully did religiously service it for oil changes. Definitely continuing the trend of just resetting all fluids on my vehicles when I buy them.

Another reason why it's annoying that it's so difficult to check the tranny fluid level in the new 9-speeds
Definitely irritating. Ive read the procedure in theory and it doesnt sound fun as a DIY. Im really surprised there are not any solid Nissan specific 9 speed videos yet. My service is coming up. I might have to ask a friend that owns a shop if theyd be willing to do a video with my truck.
 

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Definitely irritating. Ive read the procedure in theory and it doesnt sound fun as a DIY. Im really surprised there are not any solid Nissan specific 9 speed videos yet. My service is coming up. I might have to ask a friend that owns a shop if theyd be willing to do a video with my truck.
(y) All for this!
 
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