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This may have been covered already but I did the radiator cooler bypass at about 45k and never had a problem with my transmission after 212k. Granted, we don't see the continuous cold temps here in Tennessee like some see up north, but it does get pretty hot down here. I used to occasionally tow a 4200 lb trailer and my camper and boat and the transmission never had any issues. I never had a temp gauge to keep an eye on the temp though.
 

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This may have been covered already but I did the radiator cooler bypass at about 45k and never had a problem with my transmission after 212k. Granted, we don't see the continuous cold temps here in Tennessee like some see up north, but it does get pretty hot down here. I used to occasionally tow a 4200 lb trailer and my camper and boat and the transmission never had any issues. I never had a temp gauge to keep an eye on the temp though.
Yes, there are a lot of people who bypass without any issues and do tow. We have a number of them at TheNissanPath,com that do it. When I say "areas that see extreme heat," I'm usually talking about areas like in Arizona where they can see 135 degrees F. on some days. That said, just because you do it and haven't had any problems doesn't mean the transmission fluid isn't taking a toll when you do tow on those hot days. We really don't know. I ran my own 2008 Pathy for a little while with the bypass. In the end, I replaced the radiator for two reasons. One, a member of the forum had a brand new Koyorad for $50 that he was selling because he traded-in his Pathfinder before he could install the radiator. Two, with aftermarket replacements (which are not known to have cooler issues) being available for less than $100, I thought, "why take a chance?" Nissan designed the transmission cooling system that way for a reason, so rather than re-engineer their design, I just replaced the part that is the known problem of the system (the failure-prone, factory radiator). When transmission and radiator repairs where going for around $7000 at the time, it was cheap insurance.
 

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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
YES! My Transmission Control module failed due to this reason. Also destroyed the valve body. Transmission rebuild, the whole matzo ball. This is absolutely an issue with these models, and if it hasn't happened yet, it will.
 

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Just today discovered that our new replacement radiator’s transmission circuit has been severely constricted with transmission debris. We have now done complete rebuild with new valve body but never thought to flow-test that circuit. Several fluid changes helped, but reverse pressure was inadequate in hot weather. So, another reason to bypass, even with replacement radiator
 

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I recall seeing earlier in the thread that the cross contamination was known in certain model numbers of radiators so I decided to check mine thoroughly today. 07 Frontier and I'm not sure if the radiator is original. Leaning towards no.

Mine shows 92100 EA500 on the top label and CSF Indonesia on the bottom.

Am I possibly in the "clear" for cross contamination? Checked the color on the underside of the radiator cap and it's not the strawberry shake that I see referenced at all.

307877


307878
 

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The Calsonic part number sticker you have pictured is for the A/C condenser, not the radiator. Radiator part numbers start with "21460-." However, the CSF 3196 is a part number for an aftermarket, CSF brand radiator. So, your radiator has been replaced.
 

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The Calsonic part number sticker you have pictured is for the A/C condenser, not the radiator. Radiator part numbers start with "21460-." However, the CSF 3196 is a part number for an aftermarket, CSF brand radiator. So, your radiator has been replaced.
Thank you! I looked all over and under everything and couldn't find a part number posted on the driver side of the radiator at all. This was a former dealer owned vehicle and alot has been done prior to me being the owner.
 

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Thank you! I looked all over and under everything and couldn't find a part number posted on the driver side of the radiator at all. This was a former dealer owned vehicle and alot has been done prior to me being the owner.
If it was a genuine Nissan radiator, the Calsonic label would be on the very top of the radiator tank in plain site.
 

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long time listener first time caller. Going to do this bypass over the weekend on my 2006. only owned it for about a year, has 152k on it, and have done the transmission fluid drain and fill as well as coolant and all looked normal. But not going to risk it. Being that the radiator will likely need changed sooner than later it seems the bypass will work for now until the rad is changed.

The prevailing idea is that the bypass doesn't allow the tranny to warm up as quickly as before the bypass. It sounds that this issue can somewhat minimized by allowing the truck to warm up a few minutes before going in extreme temps. In my area, near chicago, we can occasionally see some pretty cold temps, sometimes around 0 or even -5 to -10 actual air temps. Can others who have done this who may operate in similar temp extremes comment on how long they've had this bypass in place and how its worked for them.

I'm thinking that sometime in the next year I'll just replace the radiator out of prevention but right now I have numerous other projects going on this bypass is free and quick and gives me a better peice of mind. Just wondering on others who might be in cold locations how this has worked for you.
 

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I have a 2007 Frontier SE (147,000 miles) and just threw a PO717 code this past week. Sorta started getting a baseline since I bought this vehicle about 4 years ago (about 100K miles) used, private sale. So, Im not entirely sure of the history unfortunately. I do have a 21460 EA215 sticker on my radiator top. From looking at my radiator, it looks like the tranny lines go into a seperate coolant loop (silver piping) which sits in front of the engine radiator? I may be looking at the wrong lines however, the pictures in this thread are all photobucket 'blurred' so I can't see any of them.Oh, now i see a seperate radiator in front on the engine radiator (all black) it is on the passenger side, so looks like I may be either good from the factory or fixed by the dealer at some point. My truck was manufactured 07/07.

My current engine coolant looks fine colorwise/texturewise and my tranny didn't have miky fluid when I flushed it out about 25K ago, just dark. Not sure if Im living on borrowed time or if the previous owner may have already addressed this. Either way, I wanted to potentially eliminate this before I dive into the direct AT 717 code with the tranny shop.
 

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I have a 2007 Frontier SE (147,000 miles) and just threw a PO717 code this past week. Sorta started getting a baseline since I bought this vehicle about 4 years ago (about 100K miles) used, private sale. So, Im not entirely sure of the history unfortunately. I do have a 21460 EA215 sticker on my radiator top. From looking at my radiator, it looks like the tranny lines go into a seperate coolant loop (silver piping) which sits in front of the engine radiator? I may be looking at the wrong lines however, the pictures in this thread are all photobucket 'blurred' so I can't see any of them.Oh, now i see a seperate radiator in front on the engine radiator (all black) it is on the passenger side, so looks like I may be either good from the factory or fixed by the dealer at some point. My truck was manufactured 07/07.

My current engine coolant looks fine colorwise/texturewise and my tranny didn't have miky fluid when I flushed it out about 25K ago, just dark. Not sure if Im living on borrowed time or if the previous owner may have already addressed this. Either way, I wanted to potentially eliminate this before I dive into the direct AT 717 code with the tranny shop.
 

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Went thru this myself, have a 2006, never heard of this smod deal. Look underneath, trans fluid goes from the trans to the bottom of the radiator, then out the radiator to the cooler you saw, then back out to the trans. I immeadtly bypassed the radiator and ordered a new one $85 at Rock auto. So, that is a cooler you saw but it still goes thru the radiator too.
 

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Okay, thank you... indeed, after much deep examination with flashlight and crawling, looks like the metal tubes from the tranny go across the bottom of the radiator in a rubber hose, then into the bottom of the radiator on the driver side. Then on the bottom of the radiator on the passenger side, a hose comes out and goes up to the smaller radiator (second radiator). So apparently they are doing the double radiator thing because the engine radiator will get the tranny fluid warm in cold weather but then the front smaller radiator will cool it back down again... at least this is the only reason I can think of why they would put the tranny fluid through two radiators.

So, if I bypass the bottom of Radiator (hot engine radiator), Im assuming I will have some issues with my tranny fluid being too cold (especially here in Colorado where it does get fairly cold). Does your Rockauto version use engine coolant to warm back up or are you mostly just looking to 'cool' down your fluid?

Looks like I can get this from Amazon for $112 - https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premium-CU2807-Complete-Radiator/dp/B000JZSNRI/ref=sr_1_4

Compared to the performance ones, this one does have the transmission inlet/outlet on the bottom and I guess Im just hoping that this aftermarket version is solid. Noboby in the reviews mention any leaks at least in the past couple years. Guess I had better get this done before the weather turns!!!


Went thru this myself, have a 2006, never heard of this smod deal. Look underneath, trans fluid goes from the trans to the bottom of the radiator, then out the radiator to the cooler you saw, then back out to the trans. I immeadtly bypassed the radiator and ordered a new one $85 at Rock auto. So, that is a cooler you saw but it still goes thru the radiator too.
 

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It's been discussed forever, but most aftermarket radiators (even ones specified for manual transmissions) have transmission cooler in them and you just cap them off if you have a manual. It's not something specific to Nissan or the Frontier.
 

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Sorry, this is my first rodeo on this Frontier really. I was only commenting on the performance ones because the reply in the middle of this thread -> https://www.clubfrontier.org/threads/2nd-gen-frontier-radiator-part-update.305945/ mentions the CSF from Stillen, but I didn't see any with the Auto Tranny cooler, I may have just missed it however. I obviously need to have the Tranny fluid loop, so that wasn't going to work for me.

It's been discussed forever, but most aftermarket radiators (even ones specified for manual transmissions) have transmission cooler in them and you just cap them off if you have a manual. It's not something specific to Nissan or the Frontier.
 

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Im assuming I will have some issues with my tranny fluid being too cold (especially here in Colorado where it does get fairly cold).
You need to do the BYPASS as soon as possible, to avoid ruining your transmission immediately ... it's a $6,000 - 7,000 error you don't want to experience. On the other hand, you can replace your radiator at a more convenient time ... no big hurry. Cold tranny fluid does not stay cold very long, even WITHOUT the radiator connection. I live in Kansas City where it gets pretty dang cold in the winter, and I only drive 2 miles to work every day ... not enough to warm the engine, open the thermostat, or get any heat into the radiator, so thinking that the radiator will warm the tranny fluid in this kind of situation is misguided, and my tranny has operated just fine for over 14 years. Your tranny fluid will generate heat when slipping inside the torque converter under normal driving and stop-n-go situations, long before it would attain any heat from the radiator, and with modern day synthetic transmission fluid, being so cold that it doesn't flow is not a concern. Many people only make short trips in their vehicles where the radiator never comes into play, and their transmissions operate just fine for many years with "cold fluid". The major concern is avoiding "contamination" of the fluid, and overheating the fluid, so bypassing the lower radiator connection and going directly to the external cooler in the front should be your immediate concern.
 

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i bypassed the radiator on my 06 Nissan now i need to find out which one is the inlet and which is the outlet. i have 5 gallons of max life tranny fluid and two five-gallon buckets fill one up with tranny fluid and let it pump into the other.
 
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