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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently got a question about my trans temp gauge that I installed and realized there is no how to on thenewx for a trans gauge install that doesn't involve drilling into the trans pan. I think a transmission temp gauge is pretty necessary on earlier model auto transmissions that you have bypassed. The temp rises very quickly for me even with my auxilary B&M cooler during the summer climbing up mountain passes which I would not have known about without my temp gauge installed.

For those with a Bully Dog Tuner, you won't need this mod since it is already a feature, but I didn't want to spend quite that much. This is a cheap mod at around $70 and a great preventative maintenance and peace of mind mod.

This is the same as the frontier forums how to, however instead of digging through all that pages over there I wanted to make it as easy as possible for others to do the install. Link is here and I've used some pictures as reference from there: Update: Transmission Temperature Gauge Tech Info - Nissan Frontier Forum

Lastly, if anyone hasn't done the bypass or replaced their radiator on any 2005-2009 DO IT NOW before you lose your trans. Lets not have any other people get added to the SMOD hit list.

Parts list:

  • Autometer 2-1/16" Trans temp gauge PN: 2640 Z series (other models can work but this sort of matches the Xterra gauges, just be sure it reaches at least 250F) :Robot Check
  • Autometer Temperature sender 1/8"NPT PN 2259: Robot Check
  • Autometer Metric Adapter 1/8" NPT to M10 PN 2265: Robot Check
  • Gauge Pod (your choice but I went with the simplist option but still need to build a face plate for it to hide the gap): Robot Check
The goal was to make it simple, no drilling and factory as possible. I need to maybe move the gauge but for now it works.

1) Begin with locating the test port on the transmission. It will be on the right side next to the lever. I recommend putting the front of the car on an uphill ramp before unscrewing the test port plug so as to not let a lot of fluid drain out. A little will come out, but if you are quick and put the test port in you may have very little spillage.

This is looking at the trans from the right side of the truck. Front of the car is towards the sensor (right side of photo)



2) The sending unit that comes with the gauge is too long to work in our automatic transmissions. Hence why you will need the smaller one listed in the parts needed section.

Also, the transmission test port is NOT 1/8" NPT. You will need the listed Metric adapter which you will then thread the temperature sender into.

When threading the adapters together and into the transmission test port, I used some high temperature RTV on the threads to ensure I wouldn't have leaks. Do not over tighten them as they are brass. This goes for the two senders and the install into the transmission case. Treat it like sparg plug tight.



3) Connect and lead the temperature sender wire from the temperature sender up through the engine bay (I went towards the passenger side wheel well along the frame and up across the engine bay firewall and down to the hole in the drivers side firewall, seen in brown).

This is a view of the back passenger side of engine bay.



4) The gauge has the option for a backlight, but I didn't want to have it. Follow the directions for wiring up the positive, negative and temperature sender wire. I wired mine into the cigarette lighter that is switched on when the key is turned. If you did it wrong like I did initially, the temperature gauge will climb till it maxes out. You will need to switch the connection on the gauge if this happens.

GND terminal-ground to the truck
S terminal-temperature sender on trans
I terminal-12 volt ignition switch

This how to write up explains how to disassemble the dash for those curious: http://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/17744-how-install-offroad-lights.html






5) Final location and mounting. You can easily run this towards the dash or the A pillar if you prefer that location, but this was low profile and out of the way for me.






If I missed something or more pictures are required please let me know and I'll try to post them.
 

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Nice write up. I am personally not a fan of the gauge location though. If it where mine I would try to mount higher up on a pillar arm. Looks good though otherwise :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice write up. I am personally not a fan of the gauge location though. If it where mine I would try to mount higher up on a pillar arm. Looks good though otherwise :)
Thanks! There are other gauge pod options. A pillar or there is an option on the center dash cut out. I've also seen people put it directly in the dash by drilling a hole or going where the 4wd selector is.
 

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Good idea on installing a good gauge for the transmission...Wish they would put them in more oem setups, but then again most of those are just idiot gauges.

BTW - what sort of sender did you use? [EDIT - I see you show: Autometer Temperature sender 1/8"NPT PN 2259...does this work on any transmission fluid/type, do you know?

While mine is a manual, I still intend to put a temp gauge for the transmission (probably using the drain location like my CTS-V did [manual also])...

Anyhow, I plan to put it within the silver location adjacent left side of radio (see pic)...Being my is PRO-4X, the Autometer Phantom matches it really well...Prefer a mechanical unit, although I had and electrical one sitting around that I picked up for next to nothing and lucked out it will work on something; originally was gonna put it in my Frontier (which was also P4X) but sold that...just need to put in an orange lightbulb condom possibly, for night.

Here is the location in red circle (since I plan to keep it there indefinitely, no issues drilling for me):



And here is the gauge (same):

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
That sensor is clearly in the pan, not the test port. I think it is in the exact same spot that I drilled/brazed mine.

Whoops! I've been sifting through the photos I used for the build process and realized this was one from the frontier page not my own! I'll update with mine. Was that actually your picture and test port? That picture would have been from the frontier thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The picture you have posted shows the sender screwed into the pan below the trans ATF coolant tubing going into and out of the coolers. The sender is definitely not screwed into the trans case at the test port plug. You either have a pan that was previously modified or may have something unique from Nissan. I don't remember anyone mentioning that their stock pan had a threaded port. Regardless, you got lucky.

Cheers,
Jeff
I've updated the thread. I had a mess of pictures I used to help me figure this out from the frontier forum and this was not infact mine. my picture should be up there now.
 

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The links for the photos of the test port and installed sending unit are still messed up in first post, sub-paragraphs (1) and (3) (as of 1:53 pm PST 2/5/16).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thought I'd post back with an updated faceplate. I have to agree, the previous one was not so good looking. This is simple gauged sheet metal cut and bent. I've left the right side blank for future switches or a possible ultra gauge if I can find a need.
 

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I got the items from the OP and put it all in place. I purchased a Glow Shift digital gauge and when I start the truck it starts at 160 degrees and just continues to climb in temp until it maxes at 300 degree about 15 min. later. The Glow shift tech support just immediately blamed it on the Autometer Temperature sender 1/8"NPT PN 2259 since it was not the one provided by them. Haven't had a chance to troubleshoot further.
 

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Mine peaks at 165deg in Hawaii weather while not towing a trailer. I will update as soon as I tow something.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I noticed temps got up to 210degF when towing a 1000lb trailer. Anyone else care to chime in with temp readings when towing?

I think that's kinda high considering how light my trailer load was.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I just towed a 3000 lb camper for a couple thousand miles and can verify that the temps run hotter while towing. Depending on the outside temp, I usually ran 190-215 depending on how much shifting was needed, hills vs flat. While driving trough AZ when it was 121 out a couple of weeks ago, it went up to 230 and that is with a little extra cooler added and a added 9" fan running. I have bypassed my radiator though. Not sure how much difference that would have made as the water temp ran a little high in that amount of heat. Unsure how any living thing survives in that heat. A friend that lives in Phoenix said he didn't think it was a big deal and had done yard work all day that day!!!!
 
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