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Since I'm 7,500 miles away from my X and I can't quite see the center console from here I was thinking, would it be possible to take gpzguy's idea of a 12V DC electrical heater and instead of wiring it to a toggle or rocker switch, wire it to a push button switch, rip apart the center console and install it so that the switch is only depressed when the shifter is in park? Maybe take advantage of the movement of a mechanical linkage? This way when you warm up your engine you are also warming the tranny and when you go to drive the electrical heater is turned off and you let friction take over. Just a thought.
 

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So, in regards to location - how much of a necessity would a heater be for the tranny fluid? I live in Indiana where in the winter it can be 40F one day and -15F the next. I wanted to add the cooler but not be worried about whether or not I need to find a way to heat it?
 

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Discussion Starter #43
my honest opinion, trans heaters are not needed unless 90% of the local populace is using block/battery heaters. like everyone has said, just drive gently on SUPER cold (+10 F and under) trans fluid, or not a$$holeish on cold tranny fluid (+10 F thru +70 F). i grew up in wisconsin without block heaters. trans heaters werent necessary.
 

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doesn't look like it on the scangauge site
 

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Discussion Starter #46
it'll only show the trans temp if the vehicle has a trans temp sensor, i dont think ours does. they make aftermarket one, i was looking for the gauge pod someone had for the frontier, thinking about putting the trans temp and outside air temp gauges in there...
 

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not to threadjack, but, logisense, i was wondering how you would do the outside air temp. do the X's come with a front thermometer prewired (ie for the factory rearview temp option)?
 

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Discussion Starter #48
well...im not sure. there is a plug and what looks like a thermometer on the front of the radiator. looks like its also wired into the wire harness, engine intake air temp? if you look at the first picture in the thread, you can see a black box thing with a touch of yellow and the wires going up and over. lower right hand corner of the photo...
 

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post it up if you get it working :) it'll be one more reason to go ahead and get the scangauge for me
 

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The Xterra does in fact have a temperature sensor for the transmission temperature, but alas, only the CONSULT II and some other expensive software package (name escapes me, but Kneebuster has it on his rig I think) are able to read it. Scangauge should be able to read it, but does not. Transmission temperature is not one of the standard OBDII protocol inputs.

As I posted before, I'm speculating that there is some enineering design requirement that pushed Nissan into their design, as its a more expensive solution. I'm thinking along the lines of longevity of their specialized matic transmission fluid and economy, i.e. less fluid drag and therefore highter mpg once warmed up.
 

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So I'm thinking about taking Logisense's mod one step further (beyond adding an electric heater).

I was thinking about putting the now bypassed section of the radiator back in service. If I flush out all of the Matic tranny fluid from the radiator, then I could plumb it back in series with the engine oil cooler on the base of the oil filter.

So it would be like this: Currently chilled engine coolant is currently diverted through the oil cooler from the water pump then plumbed back in at the thermostat. As the thermostat opens, more coolant flows through the oil cooler.

What I would do is change the hose to first have the coolant from the water pump go through the portion of the radiator that previously carried tranny fluid for additional heat rejection, then into the oil cooler, providing greater heat transfer out of the engine oil due to the greater difference in temperature, and then into the thermostat.

If the problem with the radiator failing is caused by improper chemistry between the coolant and the Matic transmission fluid, there won't be any galvanic potential between the interface as the aqueous chemistry will be the same on both sides of the metal with the same coolant on each side. And if that divider fails and corrodes through like what is causing coolant into the transmission, there won't be any impact as its all the same coolant.

I'm thinking that I'm going to plan this modification for when my Shrockworks front bumper comes, and I'll do the coolant, flush the radiator, do the bypass mod and flush the trany fluid all at the same time. While I'm waiting I'll see what I can come up with for electric heat for the tranny fluid, and maybe a manual switch to bypass the thermal switch on the electric radiator fan and some good means of monitoring the transmission temperature too.
 

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I'm thinking I'm going to stick with the manufacturer's set-up. Its pretty simple set up that keeps the transmission in an optimal temperature range most of the time. I think when I get to the 60,000 mile time frame I'm going to drop a new radiator in on my own. Then flush the radiator and the tranny, and call it bananas.

I am not saying that the bypass mod is not a good idea, but I'm sure the engineers at Nissan didn't accidently run the tranny cooling line through the radiator, so I don't want change their design. Now, I do completely believe that their might be some chemistry that has caused the radiator portion to corrode and fail prematurely. However a new radiator just isn't that expensive. I think that will be my insurance, not to steer anyone away from doing the bypass as I can see the upside and have been debating whether or not to do it all week. I just have a hard time changing Nissan's design without knowing the details.
 

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However a new radiator just isn't that expensive. I think that will be my insurance, not to steer anyone away from doing the bypass as I can see the upside and have been debating whether or not to do it all week. I just have a hard time changing Nissan's design without knowing the details.
I understand what your saying, and agree to an extent. However a new radiator costs over $400 plus shipping from Courtesy Parts, more from a local stealer. So I wouldn't say its inexpensive as a preventative maintainence item.

And how do you know that replacing it at 60K miles will be sufficient?

This is a conudrum.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
<shrugs> im not worried about cold fluid in the slightest. i just dont want to mess with coolant in the trans. since im way out of warranty anyway, i'd rather something break from my fault and be pissed at me, rather than break on nissans fault and be pissed at the truck....
 

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i'm just wondering, as roygil15 said, why nissan did it this way. i understand that it helps warm the tranny fluid faster and the issue isprobably related to poor materials or chemicals, BUT, is this a standard design? do all manufacturers route the trany fluid through the radiator to warm up or is this unique? if it's unique then there shouldn't be an issue since other cars don't warm the tranny fluid in the rad, but if this is standard design then i would wonder about simply re-routing the fluid without a special heater as gpzguy is proposing. also, my thought is that only changing the fluid won't fix it since this is a corrosion issue it would be additive even with fresh coolant, though maybe slower.
 

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if iam not mistaken the radiator only has a small amount of tranny fluid in it. so iam starting to wonder just how much that small amount of fluid could really warm up the trans as it pumps through the system? maybe if we had some guys who have done this mod that live in the colder areas, chime in that would help determine if they have noticed any difference? iam sure nissan did it for a reason, but it seems to me that its more for cooling, then heating. iam not sure but do some xterras not come with the trans cooler? that would explain why they did that having one radiator for everybody is cheaper for them then using two different ones.
 

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Does anyone know if a decent aftermarket radiator would solve our problems? There were a few older threads mentioning a Koyo radiator. They supposedly have more corrosion resistant internals.
 

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Rook- Aren't you doing this mod soon? Will you please take detailed photos and explain everything in a way that non-engineers(me) can understand?

I would like to do this soon but I don't understand 99% of this thread.

I live in Wisconsin so the cold is definitely a huge issue....
 
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