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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good afternoon,

Firstly, I sincerely apologize for posting this question in two different Xterra forums, but my issue is urgent, and I need as much information as possible, so tomorrow I will delete the post that did not get any responses. Thanks,

Here is my question:

I recently purchased a 2006 xterra 4x4 and it turned out that it had the SMOD issue, but it was a "saved" car and it did not experience the catastrophic failure. The dealer tried to mask the problem by replacing the fluids, but a week later I found the leak was persistent, performed the bypass, and did a flush twice, but the transmission was doomed for a rebuild.

Now it is 4000 miles later, and the car is having trouble shifting into 4th gear and experiences bumps between 2nd and 3rd, but the engine or transmission lights never light up on the dash.

I was lucky enough to find a transmission shop that frequently works on xterras and has a 5 star rating from each of it's 32 reviewers.

I drove the car to the shop without a problem, ~20 miles. Total driven since 4th gear transmission issues popped up ~100 miles. And probably 2000 miles since I first felt any bump at all.

The prices they gave me for a rebuild are:

$1500 for a transmission overhaul without valve body/computer replacement, but new Torque converter, new clutch plates, etc.

$2500 for a transmission overhaul, same but with new valve body and computer.

The owner seems honest enough and did not try to sell me on a new computer, but he told me he had a couple XTerras in the same condition that he did not do a computer replacement on, just a transmission rebuild, and a couple months later they came back with the computer burned out.

I know that the computer is most likely to fail because something shorts out in the wire harness, not because it had previous exposure to water/radiator fluid. Like I said, it drove for 4000 miles/4 months after there was any considerable amount of water/fluid in the transmission and I did not have any issues.

I took the car to another mechanic before that and he told me the computer was fine and did not need to get replaced. But he was far more expensive,

The conundrum is that if the computer burns out after I do the rebuild, I am looking at another $2500 job. Which seems odd, because most of the transmission would be already rebuilt, and it will cost $1000 more.

I am considering asking him to check the harnesses and rebuild the valve body instead of replacing the computer if it is any cheaper.

Does anybody have any knowledge/insight about replacing the computer?
Is the computer submerged in transmission fluid or is it isolated? Is it waterproof?

I marked the question as urgent because I will like need to give an answer in the next day or so.
I really appreciate any help.

Thank you,
Have a great day
 

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I'm not sure I see any reason to change the TCM out if it is still functional. Looks like the TCM is in the pan, but can be removed/replaced without dropping the transmission. I will PM you a link to the manual.
 

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Someone (maybe Surf & Snow or Cyclemut, or someone else who has more integral/first-hand knowledge of our trans) can correct me if I'm wrong here, but it was my understanding that the valve-body and TCM are integral (one unit) ... so it may be that while the computer (chips/harness/etc) itself is actually fine, the valve body is what can be damaged by the SMOD (which follows, and I believe is borne out through thorough research of folks who have seen this problem progress to the level that a full-rebuild is necessary ... I'm recalling reports where the valve-body does get fragged by the SMOD). Since it's all an integral unit, one may unavoidably have to replace the entire thing if a significant portion of it is bad ... analogous to how the whole unit-bearing/hub assembly must be replaced if just the bearing goes bad.

That's just my cursory thought, though.
 

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In my research recently...yes valve body and computer should be replaced at the same time.

$2,500 is a very fair price.

I am looking at about $3,200 for a trans/torque converter/valve body rebuild and replacement quote here on The Left Coast.

IME after personally suffering SMOD...you may get lucky with simple repairs to delay the inevitable, but eventual full rebuild/replacement will be necessary to restore order. :)
 

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I answered in the other forum, but when I repaired my Xterra (2006 S) they replaced the valve body and shift controller - it was toast.
 

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Your likely going to be further ahead (less $$) finding a low mileage transmission from a salvage yard and paying for a swap. Not sure of the availability in your area, but I can get a trans for $800 here with only 40k kms (25,000 miles). 8 hours to swap + fluids will have you under $2,000.

I've seen may posts where overhauling the transmission has not worked well, thank-you Nissan for building suck a finicky unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just got back from the mechanic, he said the total cost is $3200, which includes torque converter, valve body and TCM ($1100) overhaul, pump, and clutch plates.

Does this seem reasonable? Is there a place I could get a cheaper valve body and TCM?

Thanks,
-D
 

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The valve body and tcm are one unit. All you need to do to replace it is drain the fluid, drop the pan, remove only the correct bolts and plugs and it comes down. It is not a $1000 job by any means. But it is really messy if you do it on your back under the truck. Trust me. $1100 is a good price for the vb/tcm if it's coming from the dealer. I would have him do the rebuild without replacing the vb and put in the new vb myself, or go somewhere else.
 
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