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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks, I am new to the forum and am about to buy a 2007 Nismo KC with 93K miles. I had it checked by a mechanic and all was well but for a few minor repairs. He was familiar with SMOD and didn't see any signs. However it looks to me like it has the original radiator

I want to prevent this and hear two differing recommendations.

First is to replace the radiator with a better quality and different brand than the OEM. This would allow the Trans fluid to get heated for the cold mornings which it needs to maintain a long life.

Second was to add a Trans cooler and bypass the radiator. This is because no radiator is 100% safe of contamination like a bypass to a cooler would offer. This guy is a former Advance Auto employee and said that the warmth provided for the cold is not crucial and especially here in NC. He sold many new radiators in his time and would see a few returned after a short life.

So which is best? I lean towards a bypass for the certainty.

Much Obliged
Jernigan
 

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Your Nismo should already have one "auxiliary" ATF cooler. It's not intended to be the sole means of cooling your ATF.

Even though it's physically quite small, the original in-the-radiator cooler is as effective as a much larger external cooler (mostly because fluid-to-fluid coolers are much more efficient than fluid-to-air coolers). Basically, you'd need a pretty good-sized second external cooler to match the performance of the in-the-radiator original.

Personally, at 93K, I'd probably just install an aftermarket radiator, on the theory that a radiator that's almost 10 years old now is probably not performing very well anyway.

In-the-radiator ATF coolers are VERY common in the automotive world, and fluid-to-coolant leaks are quite rare. Occasionally, some auto manufacturer installs a bad batch (as did Nissan in this instance), but the chances of having a FTC leak in any given replacement radiator are pretty small.
 

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Rogue Admin
2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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Your Nismo should already have one "auxiliary" ATF cooler. It's not intended to be the sole means of cooling your ATF.

Even though it's physically quite small, the original in-the-radiator cooler is as effective as a much larger external cooler (mostly because fluid-to-fluid coolers are much more efficient than fluid-to-air coolers). Basically, you'd need a pretty good-sized second external cooler to match the performance of the in-the-radiator original.

Personally, at 93K, I'd probably just install an aftermarket radiator, on the theory that a radiator that's almost 10 years old now is probably not performing very well anyway.

In-the-radiator ATF coolers are VERY common in the automotive world, and fluid-to-coolant leaks are quite rare. Occasionally, some auto manufacturer installs a bad batch (as did Nissan in this instance), but the chances of having a FTC leak in any given replacement radiator are pretty small.
Couldn't have said it better, Skibane. Radiator ATF coolers have been around since the 70's, they work well. I have a 2007 and replaced my rad last year and while pulling it out my AC condenser literally crumbled in 1/2. So get in there, replace what's needed and don't worry about the new rad leaking.
 

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IFF SMOD = big ticket tranny repair/replacement. Peace-of-mind is as cheap as a new radiator for a fully functioning truck/tranny. The aluminum CSF replacement looks enticing to me if I was in your boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank You. That really makes since. I also wanted to have my cooling system flushed at any rate.
What do y'all think of this one on Amazon?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004J317JC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Or is there a better brand to order?

Thanks

Thank You for the support. I wanted a flushed cooling system at any rate. What do you think of this one from Amazon?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004J317JC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Thanks
Jon
 

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Would like to hear smj999smj's opinion on that particular radiator.

This is a GREAT time to replace all your cooling system rubber hoses as well = wear items that can leave one stranded when failure occurs.
.02
 

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Denso is normally a pretty good brand; they are owned by Toyota. That said, friend of mine installed one in an 06 Pathfinder and had to replace it a month later because it developed a hairline crack in the lower tank. It's impossible for me to say it was a manufacturer's defect, something that occurred during shipping or something other, but it happened.
The most popular choice I've heard of is Spectra Premium. They are a Canadian company, but the radiators they sell for the R51 and 2nd gen Frontiers are made in China, as are a majority of the aftermarket radiators. They carry a two-year warranty.
The first radiator I purchased for my 06 Pathy was a $92 Ebay unit. It carried a lifetime warranty, but it's not worth much since the company can't be located now. That said, it's been 5 years and I've had no problems with it. It was made in China, but appeared to be made well and fit perfectly. The only thing I noticed different was the thread pitch of the drain plug...but, they supplied a new drain plug, so it wasn't really an issue. The factory radiator was a single, 2-1/4" core. I was give the choice of the same single, 2-1/4" core or a double 2-1/8" core, which I opted for. I can't really tell you which is better, if one design is actually better than the other.
The radiator I got for my 2008 Pathy (which I originally bypassed, but undid when I replaced the radiator) was a Koyorad. I got a good deal on it ($50 new in the box) from a forum member who had sold his Nissan and never got around to replacing the radiator. It was a no-brainer!
The aftermarket radiators aren't necessarily better quality than OEM; Nissan, rather Calsonic, just had a design flaw. I haven't heard of any cooler failure issues on the genuine Nissan replacement radiators ($550), the Nissan Value Line radiators ($350) or of any aftermarket radiators (can run from $75 to $175). Stillen now offers the CFS all-aluminum radiator for $350, which is increasing in popularity.
As mentioned, integral oil coolers have been very reliable and around a long time (my 65 Mustang had one). GM not only has trans fluid coolers in their radiators, but also engine oil coolers inside the radiator on some vehicles, like S-10 Blazers and trucks. There are a lot of people bypassing the radiator's internal cooler and using solely the factory-installed, auxiliary cooler, without any problems...although they do run a bit on the cool side it seems according to those that have monitored their trans fluid temps after the bypass. There really is no reason to add another cooler. Most bypassers report trans temps around 160-165 degrees F. Ideal temperature is !75-200 degrees F with a minimum recommended temperature of 150 degrees F.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the wisdom. The Denso from Amazon arrived damaged. Poor packing. So I ran with a Carquest from advance. I hope it is a good one? It's a lifetime warranty at least. It sure seems more solid than the Denso and much like the OEM. I feel at peace about SMOD. Also nice to have all new belt, hoses and thermostat.
Appreciate the help.
Jernigan


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