Nissan Frontier Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi just bought an 04 CC 4x4 in zonker yellow, 130k and clean as a whistle. I just traded my old '96 4.0 Ford ranger out for the nissan it's noticeably slower even with another 30 hp and only a 100lb weight penalty. For reference the ranger had 3:27 gears so it was no rocket. Am I not romping on it hard enough? Does the first gen have a adaptive trans I need to reprogram? Do I need a shift kit to hold gears longer? The only time the tach sees the high side of 3600rpm is at wot merging on the freeway and even then it's not making any real forward progress. I'm a bit disappointed, the rest of the truck is great but it can barely get out of its own way. Any things I should check or try?

It was this or a Mazda 3
Wheel Tire Car Automotive parking light Vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
You're pretty much screwed. There's nothing performance oriented about these trucks whatsoever. There's a supercharged engine but I can tell you from experience that unless you have spare time, money, skills and facilities it's not worth it for the extra 30 or whatever horsepower you get. Also a bad time to switch to premium gas.

Only thing I can offer is to advance the engine timing 3 to 5 degrees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
That is the way the way it is

People look at the HP, but it not HP what counts in real world...it is Torque what counts when moving around town or towing, and the Rangers 4.0 liter has more torque, for the simple reason IT IS A BIGGER CAPACITY ENGINE, with 700cc more and thus stronger. Specially in work vehicles, look at the torque, not HP which is more related to the top speed it could achieve....eventually

Would you install a 1000 CC, 150HP, sport's motorcycle engine in a truck, only because it has the same HP as the 4000 CC, in the Ranger? The truck will bog down, because it does not have nearly the TORQUE of the bigger truck engine, even though in the bike, it could achieve 160 mph and go to 60mph in 3 secs..

......If it is a Auto the 4-speed auto tranny is another factor, as there is a big, big gap between 1 and 2nd. Event though tranny is extremelly reliable, otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Hi! I have a 2001 xe with 224000 miles on it & have noticed the same sluggishness you're talking about, though probably not to the same degree because mine is a stick shift. About 90,000 miles ago, I got two cans of seafoam and put one in the tank & ran the other through the vacuum lines. That and cleaning the maf sensor made a noticable difference. Good luck, they're no speed demons, but they're great trucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
UPDATE

After bemoaning my slug truck problems to a local mechanic he offered to reset the TCM. He got in the truck, did a little dance with the pedals, the key, and the shifter and handed it back to me. It kicks down, holds gears and can get up to freeway speeds without matting the pedal. it's not a fast truck but at least it can get out of its own way.

for posterity, the TCM reset process was
warm up the truck
shut it off, wait 5 seconds,
Ignition on, wait a second, ignition off
key to ACC, gas to the floor, press the brake, shift to drive
key to IGN, wait for a few seconds, shifter to 2nd
feet off the pedals, shifter to first
foot on the brake, gas to the floor, foot off the gas.
wait a few seconds
shifter to park, turn off the key
TCM should be reset on restart

and for searchability
2004 Nissan frontier auto trans TCM reset
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As far as I know the TCM is adaptive and adjusts itself over time to account for driving habits. Resetting it takes it back to the stock settings. The change was immediate, it made it hold gears longer, kick down quicker and made the shifts more solid. I'm hoping it improves my mileage as well because before I had to floor it to get it to move and now it gets up to speed quick and easy.
 

·
Registered
2001 3.3 L, 6 cyl, 4 door. Automatic
Joined
·
96 Posts
i would not hold my breath on gas mileage getting better.

here is what mine got. i use fuelly to track my vehicles

Jade (Nissan Frontier) | Fuelly
I get better mpg than the fuely numbers, but it is not great. If I accelerate more rapidly or not, if I drive on the highway or now, I am getting 17.5 to a bit over 18 mpg. My guess is the machine is geared down. This represents going to work for a while on a high speed toll road. And a switch over to a low speed rural highway - about the same mileage at 60-70 as 35-50.

The ECM reset was too dizzying for me to want to run through :-( - if it were easier, I might have given it a go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm hoping I can squeeze 18 out of it with a light foot. I'll report back at the end of this tank with my mileage. As for the reset dance, if all it did was give me more positive shifts it would be worth the minute of effort. Not sure what was wrong with mine but it wouldn't kick down and it would charge up through the gears whether I was trying to accelerate or not and it made the truck a dog, much better now..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
I look at first gen Frontiers a lot like I looked at the old Toyota pickups. There was a V6 option 3.0 liter, but the small gain in power wasn't worth losing all the gas mileage. When I had a choice of a 3.0L in the Toyota I always picked the 22RE. I think if I had a first gen Frontier I would get the 4 banger because you're not getting much more in the real world with the NA v6. Obviously the supercharged version pumps it up enough (30+ hp more than NA) where it does make a significant difference over the four banger in my personal opinion depending on gas prices. I have driven both versions of the v6 and the supercharged has much more power at altitude and on the highway. Of course now that I've had the 4.0l in this little truck I wouldn't go back to anything with less horsepower than this. Now I'm used to it. Drove a 22RE last week and I thought I should get out and push it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
Yeah, I swear I could get better mileage with a budget ls swap.
I have no doubt that if properly tuned you could put a LS in there and get better gas mileage. Everybody picks on Chevy trucks lately, but then they LS swap literally everything now. LOL my truck gets pretty crudy mileage too. Oh well. But they're good trucks, both these generations. It looks pretty clean, you'll have fun with it. The really nice thing about those first gen's that nobody seems to talk much about is how easy and cheap it is to bump up that suspension type a little, if you decide to go that route. Of course that'll cost you more gas mileage.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top