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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2005 Xterra with an Automatic Transmission and just went over 100k miles. I'm running Matic-S, but still have one of the first radiators (21460 EA265). I haven't done the bypass and I've been running fine thus far, thankfully, but I'm going to change out the radiator just to be safe. I've been spending the past few days and a lot of hours researching all the threads scattered around this site.

The only two options for replacement are to go OEM or aftermarket. After calling Nissan and working through a buddy, dealer cost on the "fixed" radiator (21460 9CA2E) would be $480.88. If I go aftermarket, Koyo or Spectra seem to be the way to go for around $150-$180, or going to Discount Auto and getting one of theirs with a 2 year warranty. I really am one to err on the side of caution and usually replace with all OEM stuff, but after speaking with my mechanic, it seems that the extra money spent on OEM stuff isn't necessary.

That brings me to where I am now. While I've found countless people saying they've replaced theirs, I haven't found many updates as to how they've been working out since then. So here goes:


1. What brand did you go with?

2. Who did you buy it through?

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?

5. What has been your experience thus far?

6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight? (Hindsight is always 20/20 ;))
 

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1. What brand did you go with?
Koyo

2. Who did you buy it through?
radiator.com / 1-800-radiator

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?
Myself

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?
5k

5. What has been your experience thus far?
It works

6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight? (Hindsight is always 20/20 ;))
Replacing it is kind of a pain, but saves a bunch of money. Read the howto on here.
 

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Koyo

local radiator supplier

I did the install

around 5k as well

No problems at all

After having to replace the valve body in the tranny($2k) I decided to protect that investment with an aftermarket radiator. I was at 125k with no SMOD, I consider myself lucky. It was like a timebomb that could have gone off at any moment, and that feeling sux.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Koyo



radiator.com / 1-800-radiator



Myself



5k



It works



Replacing it is kind of a pain, but saves a bunch of money. Read the howto on here.
What this guy said.
Koyo

local radiator supplier

I did the install

around 5k as well

No problems at all

After having to replace the valve body in the tranny($2k) I decided to protect that investment with an aftermarket radiator. I was at 125k with no SMOD, I consider myself lucky. It was like a timebomb that could have gone off at any moment, and that feeling sux.
Where have you all been purchasing your Koyo radiators from?
 

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1. What brand did you go with?

Nissens (Made in Denmark with 18 month warranty)

2. Who did you buy it through?

AutoPartsWarehouse.com

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?

Hit a deer and dented the transmission cooler; had the body shop replace both tranny cooler and radiator while they had it all torn apart. I only paid additional for radiator ($193 shipped).

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?

Approximately 12,000 miles

5. What has been your experience thus far?

Can't tell any differences, but knowing I have a new radiator with no risk of ruining my transmission= very happy.

6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight?

With just over 100,000 miles on my Xterra, I was planning on switching out the radiator whenever I had the time & $$$; I had the radiator bypassed but didn't like the thought of extra heat potentially going to the transmission. I guess you could say I got "lucky" and hit a deer. Got the front end refreshed and a few new parts.

If you plan on keeping your Xterra, definitely do the bypass ASAP; if you live in a warm climate, offroad frequently, or tow something definitely consider getting a new radiator. I also recommend inspecting your radiator hoses and see if they are cracked or brittle because while you have everything apart, you might as well spend a few more $$$ and replace those too, as well as a new thermostat.

With basic tools and using the "Radiator how-to" on this site, you could probably casually do the job yourself in a day or day and a half. Whenever I get into doing a more complicated project like swapping out a radiator, etc. I always like having at least one friend over who has a little more wrench time than me, just to have someone catch any stupid mistakes. A case of good beer usually helps keep the stress levels down.
 

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Used Spectra. Ordered from Amazon, delivered right to my house. It was a perfect fit, except it was made in China. Nonetheless I have about 50K on it with no issues at all. I also did both rad hoses and thermostat at the same time. Follow the how to, its pretty easy.
 

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Griffin NIS70002

Summit Racing

Installed myself along with all the little goodies around it, about 2 hours - easy to do.

Just done, so 200 miles

Sure looks cool in there and the unit had all the attachments in the right places.

Like the peace of mind and not having to worry about this issue anymore.
From what I've heard Griffin is top notch (and the price reflects that.)

I thought you had some issues with the Koyo leaking? No?
 

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1. What brand did you go with?
Spectra Premium
2. Who did you buy it through?
Napa Auto Parts
3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?
mechanic
4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?
close to 500 km
5. What has been your experience thus far?
fine
6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight? (Hindsight is always 20/20 ;))
too fresh for a feedback, no complaints so far
 

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I like my Griffin, got it from them direct back when they were first coming out with them. Had a friend who is a Nissan Tech wrench on it. No issues whatsoever. Looks cool in there, too!
 

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Brand? Not sure but it cost ~$125 from radiator.com

Put it in myself(note on this point later)

Very happy I did it, no more worries about replacing a tranny I could not afford!

Bought my truck off the lot, leftover model 2006. Do all the maintenance myself.
So when I read about this SMOD problem I was quite concerned. Around 88000 miles I decided it was time to address it. At 1st I read about the bypass and was considering it, but after seeing the price of the RAD I decided to swap it out instead. I had misgivings about mucking around with a bypass system that was designed that way for a reason.

I now have 95000 miles without a problem, truck runs cool and shifts fine...... One suggestion though, have a friend/neighbor to help with install, it is quite an unwieldy task for one person. It is doable, just a PITA.

Just yesterday I changed out the tranny fluid too. I decided to use a valvoline synthetic ATF which stated specifically the it was a replacement for nissan matic d, matic j and matic s. I called the dealership service guys and they said it would be fine, as long as it indicated it was good for rep,acing nissan specific ATF.

I bought it at walmart( my go to oil supplier...cheap/synthetics!) for $5 a quart($12 for nissan matic s). I bought extra and will drain it 1 more time, as the first time only 3.6 liters drained out. I asked the service center and the tech advisor said that was normal and they are not allowed to flush it...... And they wanted $129 for this! Fluid was pretty dark and the last time I had the tranny serviced at nissan at 40000 miles. Now I can drain and refill multiple times till clean and still save$.

After the first drain and replenish the tranny seems to shift just a bit smoother.
 

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I went with a vista pro aka ready rad bought from advance auto.

Have driven about 30k miles since that swap. No issues.

I did it myself and wrote a howto on here.

The swap took me abt 8 hours over a couple days.

I decided to replace some of the rubber parts so had to go pick up stuff at a remote dealer.

I also replaced but rad hoses and the overflow tank hose.

Glad I did this. I flush radiator yearly and use zerex Asian.
 

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1. What brand did you go with?
CSF

2. Who did you buy it through?
Redline360.com

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?
Don't have it yet, just wanted you to be aware of it. I should get it tomorrow.
All aluminum but much cheaper than griffin. A thread on clubfrontier about it.

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?


5. What has been your experience thus far?


6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight?
 

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1. What brand did you go with?
Denso

2. Who did you buy it through?
Mechanic

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?
Mechanic

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?
500

5. What has been your experience thus far?
So far so good.


6. Any complaints, concerns, or insight?
No complaints-truck has 150k+ and had a Calsonic-better safe than sorry-the Denso runs about $120.00 to buy-the shop swapped and flushed for around $350.00-Denso has a brass cooler-no signs of SMOD prior to swap
 

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1. What brand did you go with?
Spectra Premium

2. Who did you buy it through?
Amazon, (250$ cad with express shipping because SMOD signs are starting at appear 05X 69k miles) tranny still works flawlessly.

3. Did you install it yourself, or have a mechanic do it?
mechanic

4. How many miles have you driven since replacing?
None yet, still at the garage

5. What has been your experience thus far?
Will keep you posted
 
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