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Glad I found this forum and this thread. Just purchased a 2009 Xterra Offroad w/ 97k miles earlier today and already looking into some potential mods, upgrades, and sleep platform builds. Will definitely be purchasing a radiator in the next 2 weeks. Much appreciated!

AGREED!!! I bought a 2008 with 138k on it and the radiator was on the hit list of known to fail, mine needed an engine so I bought a Spectra radiator from Rock Auto and had it installed when the engine was swapped.. Problem avoided thanks to this forum, this is a great source of help and information.
 

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Ok, literally read every single page of this as well as other SMOD threads. Can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

I have a 2009 Off Road. It has just about 260,000 miles, owned it since 74,000. Has been well maintained, MOSTLY. Until recently, I hadn't been putting much deep thought into things. Around 100,000 miles ago I started thinking that I knew I had never done anything to the tranny. I started researching and so many places advise against tranny service for high mileage if nothing had ever been done. Well, now with learning about SMOD, and confirming my radiator is one of the confirmed serial numbers that has SMOD issues, I'm torn. Will my luck run out? Should I replace the radiator, drain and refill tranny fluid, etc even though no issues? I know it's late in the game, but is it ever too late to be preventative? I really want to hit 300k+! Thanks all!!
 

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Most rads have some internal as well external plugging that by 200k makes them pretty poor at doing the job of cooling.
Could pull a fluid sample of the tranny and see what it comes back as and what they think. PMF does not force fluid or solvents through the system like some commercial transmission machine.
 

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Ok, literally read every single page of this as well as other SMOD threads. Can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

I have a 2009 Off Road. It has just about 260,000 miles, owned it since 74,000. Has been well maintained, MOSTLY. Until recently, I hadn't been putting much deep thought into things. Around 100,000 miles ago I started thinking that I knew I had never done anything to the tranny. I started researching and so many places advise against tranny service for high mileage if nothing had ever been done. Well, now with learning about SMOD, and confirming my radiator is one of the confirmed serial numbers that has SMOD issues, I'm torn. Will my luck run out? Should I replace the radiator, drain and refill tranny fluid, etc even though no issues? I know it's late in the game, but is it ever too late to be preventative? I really want to hit 300k+! Thanks all!!
Absolutely replace the radiator and replace fluids. It’s actually pretty cheap. Koyo rads seem to be the preferred option around here. Take the opportunity with the coolant drained to go through and inspect all your hoses and replace anything wonky also.


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Ok, literally read every single page of this as well as other SMOD threads. Can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

I have a 2009 Off Road. It has just about 260,000 miles, owned it since 74,000. Has been well maintained, MOSTLY. Until recently, I hadn't been putting much deep thought into things. Around 100,000 miles ago I started thinking that I knew I had never done anything to the tranny. I started researching and so many places advise against tranny service for high mileage if nothing had ever been done. Well, now with learning about SMOD, and confirming my radiator is one of the confirmed serial numbers that has SMOD issues, I'm torn. Will my luck run out? Should I replace the radiator, drain and refill tranny fluid, etc even though no issues? I know it's late in the game, but is it ever too late to be preventative? I really want to hit 300k+! Thanks all!!
You absolutely should change the rad or at minimum do the bypass. If you get smod the decision would be made for you.

The debate on changing trans fluid in older transmissions stems from the thought that the new / clean transmission fluid would be too slick for the already worn out plates in the trans and it will start to slip. This debate is almost as old as the ford / Chevy argument. Not sure what to tell you on that. I would say at 260K miles on the original trans fluid your likely on borrowed time either way unfortunately. Your call on that one.
 

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When I got my X (2011 S 4x4 AT) I specifically looked for 2011+ to avoid smod but once and a while I see reference to smod in later years. Now that the truck is ten years old (115k on it) is it worth preemptively swapping radiators just for peace of mind? Ideally I'd just go to a completely separate tranny cooler and install a temp gauge for the tranny. I fully intend to use this as my daily driver for another 100k or so and then go all out on mods for off road use so I'm not afraid to spend money on it. I should add it's a mid model year production, I think july or August of 11 on the tag if I remember correctly.
 

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When I got my X (2011 S 4x4 AT) I specifically looked for 2011+ to avoid smod but once and a while I see reference to smod in later years. Now that the truck is ten years old (115k on it) is it worth preemptively swapping radiators just for peace of mind? Ideally I'd just go to a completely separate tranny cooler and install a temp gauge for the tranny. I fully intend to use this as my daily driver for another 100k or so and then go all out on mods for off road use so I'm not afraid to spend money on it. I should add it's a mid model year production, I think july or August of 11 on the tag if I remember correctly.
Your coming up on another all fluid change at 120k I believe like me at 119k. I did the radiator at 90 when I bought it and all fluids. Gives me peace of mind and a good baseline. Did the condenser too while I was there as it was looking pretty poor from bugs etc. A tranny cooler thats liquid cooled does way more than air cooled for the size unless pretty large and fan forced and probably as much as just replacing the Xs with a good rad. and it's KISS . Really if the X stays on the road for another 100k the output for normal maintenance and new rad etc probably won't be much more that a couple payments on another 4x4
 

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Your coming up on another all fluid change at 120k I believe like me at 119k. I did the radiator at 90 when I bought it and all fluids. Gives me peace of mind and a good baseline. Did the condenser too while I was there as it was looking pretty poor from bugs etc. A tranny cooler thats liquid cooled does way more than air cooled for the size unless pretty large and fan forced and probably as much as just replacing the Xs with a good rad. and it's KISS . Really if the X stays on the road for another 100k the output for normal maintenance and new rad etc probably won't be much more that a couple payments on another 4x4
Gotcha, just did my diffs and t-case to start my own base line. Everything looked awesome. I know the dealer did all of the fluids at 100k, I got it from the same dealer it was purchased new at and they had done all maintainace on the truck up to that point. Probably start looking though the recommended aftermarket radiators and swap that plus all the hoses, thermostat and ATF lines since that seems to brecommend if the radiator is already out.
 

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I'm hoping to have just dodged a bullet. I already had a replacement Denso radiator in-hand when the first indication of SMOD appeared. No operational symptoms before or after the changeout. (2006 OR / 98K) I have wanted to view this flaw after all the discussion, so I dismantled the old rad and pressurized the tranny cooler.

I'm guessing they used a furnace welding process to attach the nipple bosses to the tube assembly. The crack appears where the outer edge of the o-ring land lays on the top radius of the tube. Specifically, the crack follows the edge of the welding heat-affected zone, which is a weak point in nearly any weldment - especially one of aluminum. I hope my replacement radiator was manufactured differently.

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If memory serves me right, Nissan changed specs on both the ATF and coolant. So now a third possible component failure leading to the SMOD
 

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2007 X are rear wheel drove start to shudder as I call it around 155,000 miles bypassed drainer ran good guild theu to clean out changed filter added new fluid still did it slightly added a 2oz tube of shudder guard shutter stop it’s at 194,000 no issues since.

current 2008 X 132,000 miles bypassed at 124,000 but fluid was still red but wasnt taking chance..
 

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2006 Xterra Off-Road 98k miles. Bought Aug 2018

SMOD.

Not covered by powertrain warranty.
Drove for 2 years with SMOD (new rad), including trips to GA & FL from AR, about 4k after all said.

Pushed too hard on ozark mtn roads. Lost reverse, degraded performance in all gears.

New StreetSmart trans @ 106k mi $2,700 + $1,300 install for trans, rad, coolant, lines cleaned.
July 2020

Tranny swap seemed good, and StreetSmart seems solid. LKQ was $1,800 for used, and rebuilt seemed about the same. Reman, I knew was I was getting, less risk hopefully.
 

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2007 X OR, bypass last week at 143,000 miles. Will start looking for a radiator
if it's an OR then i believe it has a manual trans in which case the smod cannot affect you. So the question is, do you have a manual or automatic trans?
 

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Just went through my 2nd SMOD on my '05 4x4 S. The first was in 2011 at 78,000 miles . It was still under warranty so the dealer replaced rad and trans. Now at just 200 miles shy of 200,000 I got hit again. Seemed to start as a shudder but quickly killed the trans. No warranty to cover this one, so $5000 later I had my trans rebuilt, a new rad and the bypass put in. I just got it back and everything seems to be shifting smoothly, but I'm still experiencing the slight rumble strip shudder at 60mh. Any thoughts?
 

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Just went through my 2nd SMOD on my '05 4x4 S. The first was in 2011 at 78,000 miles . It was still under warranty so the dealer replaced rad and trans. Now at just 200 miles shy of 200,000 I got hit again. Seemed to start as a shudder but quickly killed the trans. No warranty to cover this one, so $5000 later I had my trans rebuilt, a new rad and the bypass put in. I just got it back and everything seems to be shifting smoothly, but I'm still experiencing the slight rumble strip shudder at 60mh. Any thoughts?
Keep in mid the bypass isn't a fix and has been proven to cause transmission overheating.
Was the second rad that failed another Calsonic or aftermarket?
 

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Keep in mid the bypass isn't a fix and has been proven to cause transmission overheating.
Was the second rad that failed another Calsonic or aftermarket?
I don't think it overheated, at least not at that time. I felt the shudder immediately after pulling out of the mechanics yard. Also not sure what the 2nd rad was. It was installed by the local Nissan dealer.
 

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I don't think it overheated, at least not at that time. I felt the shudder immediately after pulling out of the mechanics yard. Also not sure what the 2nd rad was. It was installed by the local Nissan dealer.
I wasn't saying that yours has already overheated. Just saying you should not be running a bypassed trans cooler.
 
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