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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some advice. About to buy this used bad boy and it has a few things to be replaced; valve cover has some leaking going on, will tighten bolts first but if that doesn't work, how difficult of a DIY project is this? Shop said they would charge $280, seems crazy with a $10 part! Any helpful youtube vids would be greatly appreciated.

I know this truck is known for the strawberry milkshake. Transmission fluid is bright red but I want to take care of it before it has a very expensive issue. What is the easiest fix for this known issue?

It needs the driver side window motor replaced which doesn't seem like a big deal. Anyone out there think otherwise?

Only other known issue is the TPMS light is on.

Thanks everyone.
 

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Valve cover gaskets aren't too bad to do. If it were me, I'd use the opportunity to install an XTP plenum spacer and, if needed, replace the spark plugs. If the spark plug tube seals are leaking, then you have to replace the entire valve cover and gasket, but they aren't too expensive.
The easiest and quickest fix for the SMOD issue is to just bypass the cooler in the radiator and cap the line fittings on the bottom tank. It's a simple re-routing of the lines and you'd be using the auxiliary trans cooler already on the vehicle. IMO, the best fix is to get an aftermarket radiator and replace it. You can get a radiator for under $100 at Rockauto.
The window motor is no big deal, but you can get the motor and window regulator assembly for the same price as just the motor, so that's the way I would go. Rockauto has an SKF brand (their parts have been pretty good from what I've tried, so far) regulator/motor assembly for only $27 at Rockauto.
95% of the time when the TPMS light is on, it is usually because of a dead battery in one or more of the TPMS sensors. My recommendation would be to wait until you need a set of tires and install a new set of TPMS sensors at the same time. You can have the shop do the registration of the TPMS sensors to your truck, or get a $15 TPMS trigger tool and do it yourself. It's not a hard job.

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Discussion Starter #3
Valve cover gaskets aren't too bad to do. If it were me, I'd use the opportunity to install an XTP plenum spacer and, if needed, replace the spark plugs. If the spark plug tube seals are leaking, then you have to replace the entire valve cover and gasket, but they aren't too expensive.
The easiest and quickest fix for the SMOD issue is to just bypass the cooler in the radiator and cap the line fittings on the bottom tank. It's a simple re-routing of the lines and you'd be using the auxiliary trans cooler already on the vehicle. IMO, the best fix is to get an aftermarket radiator and replace it. You can get a radiator for under $100 at Rockauto.
The window motor is no big deal, but you can get the motor and window regulator assembly for the same price as just the motor, so that's the way I would go. Rockauto has an SKF brand (their parts have been pretty good from what I've tried, so far) regulator/motor assembly for only $27 at Rockauto.
95% of the time when the TPMS light is on, it is usually because of a dead battery in one or more of the TPMS sensors. My recommendation would be to wait until you need a set of tires and install a new set of TPMS sensors at the same time. You can have the shop do the registration of the TPMS sensors to your truck, or get a $15 TPMS trigger tool and do it yourself. It's not a hard job.

View attachment 315354
Thanks smj999smj. Installing a new radiator seems to be the way to go from everything I have read. How big of a job is this to do yourself? I watched a video and looked like a ton of things to unattach to get the radiator out. A good tutorial out there?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should also ask, if checking the transmission fluid and seeing it as bright red, that means I shouldn't have an issue at this point, correct? Would hate to buy this and realize it needs a new transmission. Not looking to spend that kind of $$.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Upon reading, I need to check the radiator cap, duh! If that checks out, all good right?

With putting in the new radiator, I read in one post to change the rubber hoses. Recommended?
 

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Check radiator cap and the resivoir cap to make sure their not milky looking. It wouldn’t hurt to swap out hoses if you’re getting a new radiator.

Take the truck for s long drive if you’re able to.. make sure it shifts fine with no funny reactions. Check reverse also.. try 4wd high and low. 4 high you can shift on the fly but 4low you need to stop put it in neutral foot on brake and go into 4low and wait for light to quit flashing.

I would also crawl under their and see if you can tell if the transmission pan has been off or messed with.. might be able to see if it’s been worked on. Good luck and let us know if you get it
 

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Thanks for the tips. Going this afternoon to pop the hood and take it on another longer test drive. I don't believe anything has been touched regarding the transmission. In my first test drive there was oil dripping and the guy took it to his mechanic (I followed) and it was the oil filter gasket and he had it replaced (I saw the papers). In that, I spoke to the mechanic on a separate occasion to see what all had been done to the truck as the owner says he knows nothing about vehicles and always took it to this place (he has owned it the last 4 years and his step dad before that). The only work they have done aside from oil changes were: a new clock spring to fix the airbag light, I believe he said ball bearing or ball joint in the front wheel and now the gasket change on the oil filter.
 

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Their good trucks as long as the transmission issue gets taken care of right away... never know it may have already been bypassed or newer radiator put in at some point.

That’s the main thing though get to that bypass or radiator ASAP!
 

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smj999 will the trigger work on most tpms?
It depends what you mean by "most?" The trigger tool sends a signal (I believe 125 mhz, if I remember correctly) that, when applied near the TPMS sensor, will force the sensor to generate its signal. Most TPMS sensors generate either a 315 mhz or 433 mhz signal. For a long time, European makes would favor the 433 mhz signal and most US domestics and Asian makes would favor the 315 mhz, although, I think I read somewhere that the new Altima is using 433 mhz TPMS sensors? Unless the changed the most recent years of the Frontier (I doubt it), all of the D40/WD40/R51 trucks and SUV's use 315 mhz. The trigger tool shown in my post is similar to the Kent-Moore tool that Nissan uses and works on our Nissans and many GM vehicles and possibly some other manufacturers, as well. I know Ford uses a donut-shaped, magnet that is placed around the tire valve when they register their TPMS sensors on many of their vehicles. Be it the magnet or the trigger tool, these are used to help the TPMS control unit (which is part of the BCM on Nissans) recognize and register the sensor during the ID register process. The TPMS trigger tool is also necessary to "wake-up" brand new, TPMS sensors that are sold in "sleep mode" to protect the battery.
So, like on the Gen 2 Frontier, there is a TPMS diagnostic connector located near the OBD II diagnostic port, under the driver's side of the dash. The TPMS connector will often be taped up to the main harness with blue tape and it will have a white, 2-pin connector with a single wire going to it. The TPMS diagnostic connector can be used when one doesn't have a scan tool to access the TPMS trouble codes, erase the codes and also put the TPMS control unit in "ID register mode" when a new sensor, or sensors, need to be ID registered, or, "programmed," as many people say. When checking for codes, it is important to know that the TPMS control unit does not know when tires are rotated. Technically, the ID registration process should be performed every time the tires are rotated. Here's why: Let's say we have a vehicle that is getting new tires and TPMS sensors and they are all registered. Five days later, the left-front tire gets a nail in it and starts losing pressure, triggering the TPMS warning light. We check for codes and see a code for the left-front wheel and, as expected, the left-front tire pressure is low and the nail is removed and plugged. All okay, so far! Six months later, the owner rotates the tire, but doesn't relearn the TPMS sensor locations to the control unit. A couple weeks after the tire rotation, that tire plug starts leaking and the TPMS warning light comes back on. The codes are checked and it has a code for the left-front tire, rather than the right-rear where the problem actually is at. This is because it the controller still sees recognizes that TPMS sensor's signal as being at the left-front, which was where that sensor was at prior to the tire rotation and because the ID registration process was not performed after the rotation. Now this same thing could occur in the situation where a TPMS battery goes dead. The warning light goes on, we check the tire pressures and they are all good. The TPMS codes state battery low-voltage at the right-front tire. Well, if we kept up on the ID registration process every time the tires were rotated, then we know that the right-front TPMS sensor needs to be replaced. However, if there have been several tire rotations and we didn't do the ID registration process, we really have no idea if it's the right-front sensor that is faulty. In this case, the ID registration process would need to be performed in order to locate the dead sensor. When a sensor is registered in the process, the exterior lights will flash three times. If that doesn't occur, the sensor is likely dead. From there, I would continue to the next wheel in the process to make sure the other TPMS sensors are working, because there's always a chance that there is more than one sensor with a weak or dead battery. These sensors tend to last, on average, around 6-7 years...sometimes less and sometimes more. If I'm getting a set of tires and the sensors are five years old or older, I'll go ahead and install a new set of sensors, regardless, because the tire has to be removed to install said sensor and it costs money to R&R tires and rebalance a wheel.
If you have a scan tool, you can put the TPMS system into "ID Register" mode (the key will be in the "ON" position). You take the TPMS trigger tool to the left-front tire's valve stem and push the button. The TPMS sensor should register with the control unit and cause the exterior lights to flash. Next you go to the right-front tire and point the trigger tool at the valve stem and push the button. Again, exterior lights will (or should) flash, indicating the sensor was registered to the controller. This process is repeated to the right-rear valve stem and the left-rear valve stem, followed by turning the ignition key to "off." If one doesn't have a trigger tool, the sensors can be registered by driving in "ID registration mode" over 25 MPH with the tire pressures set as follows: LF-36, RF-33, RR-30 and LF-27 PSI.
Well, you don't have a scan tool, so you are going to use the manual method. The trigger tool or tire pressure set procedures remain the same. With the tire pressure set method, the TPMS warning light will be flashing in ID Registration mode until all of the sensors are registered with the controller, at which point the warning light will stop flashing and turn solid (on). We just need way to get into the registration mode with a scantool, hence the TPMS diagnostic connector. There are tools that plug into the TPMS diagnostic connector if you want to spend $20, but all I use is a wire with an alligator clip on each end and a clothes pin; some people just use a bent paper clip. Anything that can be used to ground the wire in the TPMS diagnostic connector will work. Within 10 seconds of the key being turned to "on," the wire in the TPMS diagnostic connector must be tapped to ground 6-times, which puts the TPMS controller into ID registration mode. Then you can continue with the trigger tool or tire pressure set procedure as stated before to register the TPMS sensors. When done, turn the key "off."
The TPMS diagnostic connector can also be used to retrieve stored TPMS system codes. Ground the wire in the TPMS connector and turn the key "on." The TPMS warning light will start flashing 2-digit codes by using long and short flashes; there could be more than one code. You can look up the codes in the FSM. Turn the key "off" with the connector still grounded and it should erase the codes, IIRC.
 

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My expectation is that it's dead TPMS batteries and the seller never bothered to replace the sensors. I bought four ACDelco TPMS175K, a type with rubber valvestems, for my steel wheels, and they programmed without requiring any special tools. I just set tire pressures as called for and jumpered the connector to reset and then drove until the light went off, which was around three miles. Pressures were something like 27, 30, 33, and 36 psi, I think it was right front, left front, left rear, right rear, but that info is available to doublecheck.

You could presumably test TPMS as it exists now by setting those pressures then doing the reset procedure with a jumper, then driving it as part of your test drive, but I expect that the sensors are just bad and you'll need to spend around $130 to source new ones. You can possibly replace them yourself but it's undoubtedly easier to have the tire shop do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright everyone, I bought the truck! Radiator cap was full on green and nothing but clear for coolant cap. Ran it up to 70ish mph and had no issues with the transmission.

So here is where I am at with fixes: driver side door window not moving, replace front speakers, install new radio, trip odometer stick is broken (I've read you can get this from a dealership - $4 Part number 24829-9CA0A), driver side windshield washer sprays almost straight up, new valve cover gasket (drive side is is worse than passenger) and put in a new radiator as it has the stock. I figure some of these fixes will go together (such as front speaker and driver side window).

I am going to start to troubleshoot and order parts. With the window, I know it could either be the motor or the switch. To test, in this video (around 7m) the guy shows how to test:
Might be a stupid question but I'm asking anyway: my test light has an alligator clip on the end, not a single wire like his in the video. Suggestions on how to use mine to test?

I want to switch out the radiator ASAP but while that part comes in, is it worth it to swap the lines to bypass? Everyone states it is super easy. If so, any youtube videos out there? I've read the post on here on how to do it but the images aren't great (IMO) and I am a visual learner so youtube is my best friend.

With the valve cover gaskets, looking under the hood, looks like a lot of sh!t to get out of the way. Is this a complication DIY job? To reference, the most I have done is drop my own starter or change out the rear shocks. Engine stuff intimidates me if I am being honest. Feels like a fair amount of work to me but I think a few of these jobs go together and with this virus, I've got far more time than normal! Any helpful tips, advice, videos would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If the coolant and transmission fluid is clear and the radiator is already on-order, I wouldn't bother bypassing now unless you're going to an external transmission fluid cooler entirely.

Admittedly I have not done valvecover gaskets on this engine but I have done them on older V8s and on nineties-era inline fours that had spark plug wells through the covers. Valvecover gaskets are not especially bad, usually it's only a few bolts holding the valvecovers down, though sometimes those fasteners do double-duty holding down other accessories or those other accessories are bolted to valvecovers themselves.

Once the valve covers are off, it may be necessary to clean up the gasket surfaces, and an older engine might have a bit of sludge buildup even if the engine is running well and decently lubricated, so it may be necessary to do some cleanup around the valvetrain. Either way, do your oil change after doing the service.

Some gaskets are installed dry so to let the valvecovers come off and be reinstalled without requiring a new gasket, as a holdover from when rockers had to be manually adjusted from time to time. Some may require RTV or some other sealer.

Nicoclub has the factory service manual online, you can peruse to see what the procedure entails.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If the coolant and transmission fluid is clear and the radiator is already on-order, I wouldn't bother bypassing now unless you're going to an external transmission fluid cooler entirely.
It's not on order, just got the truck!
 

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If you don’t plan on changing it soon then yes I would bypass. You have an external cooler on your truck in front of the radiator also. There’s all kinds of YouTube on the hose swap.. once you’re down there it will make more sense. How many miles on the truck?

You would think if it’s gone this long it would be ok for a while longer.. you just can’t chance it with the high cost.
 

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My expectation is that it's dead TPMS batteries and the seller never bothered to replace the sensors. I bought four ACDelco TPMS175K, a type with rubber valvestems, for my steel wheels, and they programmed without requiring any special tools. I just set tire pressures as called for and jumpered the connector to reset and then drove until the light went off, which was around three miles. Pressures were something like 27, 30, 33, and 36 psi, I think it was right front, left front, left rear, right rear, but that info is available to doublecheck.

You could presumably test TPMS as it exists now by setting those pressures then doing the reset procedure with a jumper, then driving it as part of your test drive, but I expect that the sensors are just bad and you'll need to spend around $130 to source new ones. You can possibly replace them yourself but it's undoubtedly easier to have the tire shop do it.
The order is left-front, right-front, right-rear, left rear. Like I posted earlier, you don't need the trigger tool, but for $10-$12, it makes the job of ID registering the sensors a whole lot easier because and quicker plus it allows you to wake-up new TPMS sensors if they come in sleep mode.
 

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The jets in the washer nozzles are adjustable. Just take a pin and stick it in the jet and move it to reposition it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The jets in the washer nozzles are adjustable. Just take a pin and stick it in the jet and move it to reposition it.
Doesn't move nor does sticking a pin in to clean it out work. I am afraid I am going to have to rip the whole thing apart to get to it and either soak it to clean it or buy a new one.
 

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If you don’t plan on changing it soon then yes I would bypass. You have an external cooler on your truck in front of the radiator also. There’s all kinds of YouTube on the hose swap.. once you’re down there it will make more sense. How many miles on the truck?

You would think if it’s gone this long it would be ok for a while longer.. you just can’t chance it with the high cost.
It has 169K on it. You would think but I don't want to chance it. Honestly if I order the radiator soon, should be here within the next few days and I would only plan to drive it once (4 hours) in that time.
 
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