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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the process of buying a 2005 Off-Road 4WD automatic trans with 114k miles, clean carfax + autocheck. It's very clean, runs great, getting it checked out by a local mechanic tomorrow. He's not particularly a Nissan expert, so would appreciate help with the proper questions to ask. It's a nice ride and I'd like to see it go well, but I could still dump this deal and only lose a small deposit, if need be.

After a couple of test drives, I will say it runs great, good power, shifts fine (cannot really feel the shifts at all, very smooth), trans fluid is pink, smells fine, not milky. Any concerns at all I should be looking for?

I've seen the SMOD threads and pics, don't want to go there. How can I tell if the radiator bypass mod has been made, and is this sufficient to prevent the problem? If the bypass is not made, will updating to new fluid always prevent the problem? Any other evidence of fixing this problem?

Anything else besides the radiator/trans issue?

Thanks for your input, much appreciated :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Well there was some goo under the radiator cap, but the radiator appears to have been replaced. Seems like someone swapped out the radiator before it killed the trans. Mechanic recommends radiator flush to get rid of any residual goo in the system, then keep an eye on it, but recommends going ahead with the purchase.

This is a V6, in the gray/gray trim, with a set of General Grabbers tires.

I will look forward to participating in this forum. Any additional thoughts out there?
 

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If you have the goo on the cap then it isn't necessarily fixed. I just went down this road with my 06 i got used. If you see the milkshake on the caps your issue is still there. I would have it checked again. I had to do full tran and rad. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Britches, I hear you, that's exactly what's bothering me, that it might not really be fixed. I will try to confirm the make/model of the new radiator. If it's really been replaced should that not eliminate the problem?
 

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If its already in the radiator and on the cap they say the damage has been done. Some have saved them with multi flushes. My Trans vibrated for a second going down the road. Felt like you ran over a rumble strip on the highway. It was only a matter of time once the leak happens. I didn't feel it on my test drive until the next day. I got swindled by a shitty Nissan Dealership. They knew it was bad but As-Is sale. They ended up paying half for new tran and rad. The cap only had a very small bit of milkshake but at the time i didn't know what i was looking for. The other issue is the timing chain noise problem...and of course i had to deal with that also, but thank god i got a GOOD aftermarket warranty that paid for that in full. Double check those 2 issues! Now mine is fixed i love it more than any car i have owned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The coolant itself looked clean, just a little goo on the cap. From what I've read, any replacement radiator should not fail the same way, so where did the stuff under the cap come from? If it's still working smoothly it sounds like bypassing the radiator trans cooler can prevent disaster, did you have any experience with that? I've driven it three times now under a variety of conditions and have not felt anything except a little tire vibration up around 80 ;)

The engine runs extremely smoothly, no chain or tensioner noise at all. Again, hard to know what has been dealt with and what is lurking.

Britches I appreciate your comments, good to hear you got it worked out. What warranty did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Likely we will buy this vehicle tonight or tomorrow. Any last words of caution or suggestion for aftermarket warranty?
 

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Its just a combination of mechanical components. You stated " clean carfax + autocheck. It's very clean, runs great" and "After a couple of test drives, I will say it runs great, good power, shifts fine (cannot really feel the shifts at all, very smooth), trans fluid is pink, smells fine, not milky". If you are getting a good enough deal on it there is nothing that could not be repaired or replaced if needed. Think worse case scenario and negotiate from there. If you like it go for it it. Good luck with your purchase!
 

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Ready, Brother, please listen. If you see goo, then the damage is probably already done. Find a transmission expert. Drive it some more. Get it up to 65 mph for about a mile. Then check the radiator and the transmission fluid again. Trust me. Read my previous posts. I nearly made the mistake of jumping at a deal that was too good to be true. Good Nissans are out there, but there are a lot of people wanting to take advantage of nice people.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SouthernDomer, yes it is my intention to give it at least one more good shake-down test drive. Have already had it up to 80 several times for several miles on the interstate. How many is enough? Will do a longer drive just to be sure. The mechanic cleaned the radiator cap on Wednesday, will see if anything comes back before starting today (hard to check after the engine is hot). There are other valid reasons for goo on the cap, too. Yes there must be a few good ones out there. Perhaps a few owners with lower mileage heard about the problem and preemptively replaced their stock radiator before anything bad happened. But it is hard to discern for sure, which is why I posted here to see what the naysayers would have to offer. So we will be prepared in our thinking to replace the trans too should the worst occur, as OnceBitten pointed out, just in case. Thanks for everyone's comments.
 

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The TCM ( computer) is in side the Trans and it works just fine submerged in trans fluid because trans fluid is non conductive , enter a little antifreeze into the trans now the trans fluid is now a conductive fluid and the TCM is shorted out . First its confused what gear to be in and that's your rumbling ride on ruff road , then high gear goes out and it want go past 30 mph. It is impossible to get the antifreeze out of the trans and tork converter, its very sticky and the trans fluid will always be conductive and TCM will always be shorted out. If Nissan thought they could just clean up the trans and add a new TCM they would but they know it wont work, so enter new trans new tork converter new radiator and now all the trans fluid is changed back to non conductive.So if see any signs it will always be there and the TCM will always be shorted out. The TCM along is $1500 for just that one part. Surly you don't want to buy a truck that has any sign of mix fluid in the trans in less the deal is good enough to have money for replacement of the trans and still come out ahead.
 
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