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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Have not made it to the dealer yet as today is Sunday. I most likely have transmission cooler/radiator failure. As I learn more, I will update the thread.

Plan for the day was to change oil/trans/front dif/rear dif/and transfer case fluids. Did oil first, then moved on to transmission.

Didn't like the color, it just seemed "off" to me. Had the "Oh chit!" moment as the thought of radiator to transmission cross contamination came to mind. Went to the radiator overfill and didn't notice anything to scare me. Went to radiator cap, and there it was, a strawberry shake in the cap.


Through this, I learned a couple of things that would be helpful to others:

Noticed a vibration around 30mph on Thursday of last week (4 days ago). Seemed like turning OD off solved the issue. Felt like very worn rumble strip. Find similar vibrations on concrete highways also.

Autozone has a part that would work if the Nissan part was not readily available.


No parts are actually needed to do this beyond the vacuum caps mentioned in post #1. Reason being if you follow the passenger side hose up the side of the radiator, there is a splice (shown in post #1) already there. Remove from the splice to where it was originally attached, and the driver's side hose will reach to that location. Here is the section of hose that I removed that went from splice to passenger's side radiator.
Here is the location of the splice on the passenger's side of the radiator.


Specs on my truck = '05 Nismo w/ 77951 miles March build date. So, for those with '05 frontiers, it might be worth it to do this as others have had issues.

Related links:
transmission cooler/radiator bypass --PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
had failure #1
had failure #2
had failure #3
newly added had failure #4
possible failure
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
What year?

How many miles?

Have you ever had the transmission flushed?
Per original post:
....Specs on my truck = '05 Nismo w/ 77951 miles March build date....
I have done drain/fill per spec prior to this.



So, went to the dealer bright and early. Waiting on extended warranty to approve/deny claim. They are sending an adjuster out because someone has an open claim on my policy in Florida (truck has never touched Florida soil). Should know by 10am tomorrow if it is approved or denied.

Now, here's the rough run down of what dealer is asking for due to this:

radiator
transmission
heater hose(s)
radiator cap(s)
front drive shaft/propeller (Dealer figures this is what causes the vibration. They test drove and trouble shot it as such. Second one to be put in the truck.) -- so vibration is thought to be non related to the transmission at this time

They desire to replace the transmission as the fear is that seals etc. inside touched by the antifreeze are probably toast. Want to replace radiator as that is the core of the issue. Hoses are swelling due to transmission fluid.

Rough total so far is $6k.
 

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I know I already gave you a "Thanks" but I also wanted to give you props for your very informative post. You not only provided a great explaination but you also included pics so that people that have not heard of the issue can follow along and then to finish it all off, you included some links to others who have had the issues. Your post is one of the most compreshensive ones I have seen and I hope others follow to start and make things a lot easier for others when they are searching.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just trying to give back a little. Actually, just went back and added some links (that were referred to) in the original post.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, good news/bad news.

Good news:
Extended warranty through CarMax is going to cover the repairs plus rental car (if I Scion can be called a car -- it's a box on wheels) for two days. Meaning $75 out of my pocket since I took it to the dealer instead of $50 at a CarMax location. Should get the truck by the end of the day tomorrow.

Bad news:
Dealer is going to replace front drive shaft (again, thought to be cause of vibration by dealer), replace radiator, flush cooling system, and flush transmission.

I have not spoken with warranty company. Dealer expressed concern about not replacing transmission and hoses. The inspector said if the transmission is going to fail, it will fail prior to the warranty being up (within the next 20K miles). I don't know what was said about hoses. Will have to find out about that.

So, the dealer went into it asking for the moon from the warranty company, and came out with less. Now, I am going to have to figure out how to pursue the warranty company to get something in writing that says transmission failure will be covered due to previous condition.

All in all, fairly painless as long as transmission doesn't fail at 20,001 miles.

I'll post back prices etc. when I have them.
 

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I have an '05 CC with 85k miles. no problems yet, but I know what I will be doing this weekend......
 

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I got my next project too. I checked my fluid today and all was ok though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Could you report back if you were able to do it without purchasing a fitting. I am not sure if
A)I lucked out
b) it's done on Nismos only
c) it's done on all frontiers that way

Just so you know, it will take longer to remove the skid plate and air damn then to actually do the bypass. Since I had drained prior to bypass, I only got maybe 2~4 oz. out of the hoses.

Thanks!

BTW, if you have questions, drop me a pm, I will get back asap. Usually here >1/day and always have email going
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I got the truck back today!!

Total cost to me = $75
Total cost including what I paid = $1542.23

I spoke with the service manager and mechanic's manager for some time when I picked up the truck since the warranty company declined to replace the transmission (said if transmission would fail, it would happen prior to coverage ending and then be covered as a result).

As it turns out, prior to my visit, they had only had one instance of this and the vehicle had 200K miles on it. Since I dropped my truck off on Monday, they have now had two other instances (one frontier and one pathfinder). They said out of the three this week, mine showed the least amount of fluids mixing. One of the others had fluid inside the transmission that was the consistency of strawberry yogurt. The mechanic's manager said it wouldn't be a bad idea to drop fluid and refill along with oil changes for a little while just in case.

Since they had a rash of these, they took apart my old radiator to find out where it failed. Had my camera been charged, I would have photos of the piece. You'll have to settle for a description.

Between the nipples where the vacuum caps are placed is an aluminium tub with a hollow core. Looks a lot like 1" black iron pipe (for those who know gas pipe). The "walls" of the pipe are where the transmission fluid go from point A to point B. The points (that's right, it was plural for mine) were where the nipples are joined to the pipe. They don't appear to be welded, maybe some sort of epoxy? There was a pinhole on each end at the joint. That is what allowed fluid to go from radiator to transmission and vice versa.

So, based on this thought, maybe it is failing due to the hoses moving? or it could be failing due to the bond between the nipple and the pipe not being correctly made.

Haven't driven the truck enough since I picked it up to test for the vibration I was feeling.

Now the breakdown of parts/labor/$$

Diagnose vibration -- labor = 103.33
Front driveshaft -- parts = 344.41
-- parts + labor = 447.74

Diagnose transmission -- labor = 197.27
Radiator -- parts = 377.00
-- parts + labor = 574.27

Cooling system flush -- labor = 128.51
-- parts = 61.48
-- parts + labor = 189.99

Flush transmission -- labor = 125.03
-- parts = 64.92
-- parts + labor = 189.95

Transmission fluid used was matic S.

I will see if I can go by tomorrow and get a picture of the cooler that failed. I need to find out why it only took 6 qts of transmission fluid to do this.

From what board has said in the past, and what dealer has said today, this seems like an early '05 issue.
 

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Could you report back if you were able to do it without purchasing a fitting. I am not sure if
A)I lucked out
b) it's done on Nismos only
c) it's done on all frontiers that way
On my '07 CC SE, I did it without a fitting. There is enough slack in the hoses to make the bypass.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great, then it sounds like it can be done on all models without purchasing another fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, vibration is gone.

I still can't personally say if the vibration was due to front drive shaft or transmission.
 

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I was fortunate enough for my dealer to find a very slight leak in the radiator its self after I complained about burbling in the heater core and a lowered coolant level.

So a brand new radiator later I'm hoping that I do not have the same luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I was fortunate enough for my dealer to find a very slight leak in the radiator its self after I complained about burbling in the heater core and a lowered coolant level.

So a brand new radiator later I'm hoping that I do not have the same luck!
I wonder if this is an indicator. I also had burbling. Did the overfill the overflow and forgot about it. A few weeks later the burble came back but I didn't really pursue it for some reason.
 

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thank god i have a manual
 

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It appears that this is an 05 to 06 model problem. I did the bypass on Saturday and went to buy an extra quart of tranny oil just in case. The dealer had 2 06's in the shop with the same problem. NOT GOOD!! THis is not looking good for nissan!
 
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