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Discussion Starter #1
I've had 3 instances where my tranny temp has risen to 195-199 degrees.

First Time: driving in sand on the beach during the summer in 4HI; I realized I should have been in 4LO, and driving in 4LO on the way out, I had NO issues.

2nd Time: Off-roading, sitting at a 45 degree angle trying to climb up a ledge at URE (Daniel). Engine Temp rose as well to about 220 degrees. I attribute it to the repeated attempts with limited air flow and the AC on.

Third time: After riding a 2.5 hour unmaintained road in the mountains of NC, the trans temp STAYED below 150 degrees the whole ride. Switched into 2WD once I got back to a paved road in the mountains, and the trans temp climbed, fairly quickly, from 150 to 190, then creeped up to 199 until I got to the top of a hill, threw it in Neutral and costed down for about half a mile, and the trans temp dropped down to 170's; then stayed between 150 and 170, climbing as I had to use the transmission. We stopped and had lunch, and I didn't have any issues with the temperature after stopping for about an hour.

The Xterra has under 17,000 miles on it, 2"BL and 2" spacer/AAL lift on stock rugged Trails. Any idea on why the trans temp keeps climbing so high? Normal operating temp is around 140-150 degrees measured via a Bully Dog GT Tuner.

Sn0
 

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On the first two instances, I think you probably have it figured out.

On the third instance, I don't think that is too far off from what I've observed. I have a temperature sensor brazed into the side of my transmission pan, reading fluid temp directly with an Autometer sensor/gauge. A couple of months ago I was intentionally paying very close attention to mine as I crossed a long mountain pass in Colorado, reaching over 10,000 ft elevation. Nice highway, just a slow steady climb. I drove very non-aggressively, just kept a steady pace in overdrive just to see what normal driving would do. The ATF approached 200 degrees.

My cooling system is in stock configuration, 60,000 miles, full shrockworks skids/sliders, OME 1.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2 tires. I had just performed the second ATF replacement at 60,000 miles. I do have a fan on the ATF-air cooler out front, but don't use it at highway speeds. It cooled right back down after crossing the pass.
 

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snoborderphx,

I live in NC too and have been to the beach (cape lookout, ft fisher, hatteras island) and to the mountains of western nc and have experienced high temps too but i don't consider that abnormal.

Normal/fully warmed up/operating temp for the trans is 176F per the fsm. I rarely see that around here in Raleigh unless it's stop n go traffic in summer and hot.

I have seen up to low 200s but not more than 210F climbing mt mitchell in summer.

I frequent a camp site in western nc where i need 4hi for about 1/4 mile or so but it's all up hill from about 1 mile away. That mile goes from 3400 ft to 4,000 with some good slow climbs due to the bad road conditions. I see about 200F at the top and my engine runs about same temps.

On the beach, i always use 4hi and about 15 mph. I usually keep it in 2nd gear but may put the selector in 3rd on the harder packed areas. I would never use 4lo for sustained periods. Seems to be just too hard on the engine but i may be wrong and i like to keep 4lo in reserve in case i get stuck in 4hi. If you get stuck in 4lo, what's left besides a shovel or a pull?

This past summer i went to cape lookout and had to drive about 15 miles on the sand road. Probably by mile 10 I was seeing 180F or so and it slowly crept up to 190F or so by the end where I stopped. Nothing to be concerned about IMHO.

I know 250F is the thermal cutoff for the trans so as long as you don't run that high you are golden IMHO. I would however change the trans fluid out every 12k miles, drain and fill. Maybe do a PMF every 30k or so.

that's what I do...and I am at 115,000 miles and no issues...been riding this way since day 1 or 37 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the info Silverflash. I notice my tranny temp runs around 150F though, and stays there. I guess if the thermal shutdown is at 250F, I don't have much to worry about.

Sn0
 

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Thank you for the info Silverflash. I notice my tranny temp runs around 150F though, and stays there. I guess if the thermal shutdown is at 250F, I don't have much to worry about.

Sn0
around here and on the highway, until you hit the Appalachians at least, i maintain about 149F.

I consider 210F and below "safe" for what/where i drive my truck as i have seen those numbers since way back when i first got my bully dog in 2009 or so....

where are you again? Holly Springs?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, we live LITERALLY about 2 miles apart because you live over by Holly Glen, IIRC. I live by Womble Park.

Also, we are going to URE this weekend if you have the time on Saturday. I know it's last minute, but there are about 9 people going, mostly Xterra's (1st and 2nd gen). I will be leading and bringing my two girls (20 months and 3.5 years old).

Sn0
 
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