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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be Part 1 - how to use a fluid suction machine to pull transmission fluid via the dipstick tube.

Once I get the transmission filter (Tuesday) I will do the second half of this DIY for how to drop the pan and replace the filter.

What you need:
* up to 15 quarts of compatible transmission fluid. I have read that 8.0 - 8.5 quarts will come out when you drop the pan. With a machine like I will show below, you can exchange 8 quarts from above, drive it to mix it, and then drop the pan. As you will drain ~16 quarts from a 15 quart pan, the majority of the fluid will be removed.
* a thinner flathead screwdriver
* a ladder or step stool, as the transmission dipstick is at the firewall
* a thicker flathead screwdriver to remove the air filter arm
* (eventually) a replacement transmission filter, Nissan # 31728-EZ00A (they call it an "oil strainer")
* to be determined if truly needed every time, but there is also a transmission pan gasket, Nissan # 31397-EZ00A (they call it "gasket - oil pan")

1) You will want to remove the airbox arm to the engine for ease of access. Plan on fighting with the dipstock locking mechanism. You basically use a screwdriver to push in on the metal tab visible within the gap on the black plastic (facing the driver's side fender). I found this easiest to do on a footstool at the front of the engine, reaching back for it.

I ended up cracking the plastic, and so I figured it would help to show the mechanism once removed:



As you can see above, there is a plastic tab built into the dipstick - compressing the metal tab with the screwdriver allows this tab to open and it is a finicky process, indeed.



2) The next fight will be to remove the dipstick, which gave me a **** of a time as well for some reason. I was able to cajole it into coming out only by twisting the end of it and gently tugging until it came out... all ~18 miles of it:



In my case (20,000 miles), the fluid was perhaps a touch darker than it should be, even in as thin a sample as the dipstick:



3) Over a year ago, I purchased one of these Crew Chief fluid evacuators for my small side business and then it got buried by stuff and I never tried it out. Which I now regret, because it is fantastic. You will need an air compressor (they want you to get it up to 100-120 PSI, but it worked as low as 50 PSI. Just not as quickly). In my case, I only had the 8 quarts of transmission fluid on hand as seen below; and no Nissan dealer or parts depot within 150 miles has the transmission filter. So I wanted to at least swap part of the fluid out and got set up to pull 8 quarts of transmission fluid out via the dipstick tube:



4) To anyone else who does this, the included drain line (7' long) reaches the dipstick tube with the evacuator RIGHT next to the front bumper. You will need to go to a hardware store for rigid ice machine-style tubing (good for 120+ PSI) as the longest included suction wand isn't long enough to drain the transmission fluid via the absurdly lengthy dipstick tube on our trucks:



5a) As the fluid is suctioned out, you will be surprised at JUST how clean it looks after 20,000 miles. Or rather: you will be completely unsurprised, and instead shake your head at why/how Nissan thinks a 20,000 service interval for transmission fluid is reasonable (for anyone not towing daily in the desert). The outgoing fluid is nearly brand new:



5b) ... but in case Nissan is onto something (besides a racket with transmission fluid companies), I am sending a sample of this fluid off for full lab analysis. Their findings will be posted here.



6) After a "slight" underestimating of the 10 PSI used to drain the evacuator tank (turns out it drains FAST and can spill easily), we settled on placing our waste oil jerry can INSIDE a garbage can, to avoid the Exxon Valdez II:



7) Now, armed with a funnel which fits into the dipstick hole, a red velvet malted milkshake, and transmission fluid, add back the recently-removed transmission fluid. Go on a test drive and find it shifts noticeably better (thanks to the magic of Amsoil), and be excited that you have a way to change fluid without dropping the pan in case you can't get a filter, either, but are worried about the life of the fluid:



____________

Tuesday night, I will be doing a Part 2 of this guide, with dropping the pan etc, assuming I can get the filter and gasket from somewhere in time.
 

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Dude, a fluid evacuator...I love it. You are an equipment king. Another useful DIY writeup. I've done this before with a hand pump and some cheap plastic tubing, but now that I am older, I'm too lazy to gin all this up. Used to have a jet drive ski boat with a 428 CJ Ford with a fitting on the drain hole on the sump to use a drill pump to suck out the oil without a mess. Used a simple drill pump.

Another reason I want one of the Mag-Hytec transmission pans. They also come with that really nice drain plug with the o-ring seal...I used to just drain what I could out of the pan every year in my old 91 Dodge with the 727 Torqueflite...replaced with fresh Mobil 1 synthetic. I bought the truck with over 200,000 miles in the mid 90's. That transmission lasted me at least 80,000 more (odometer and speedometer were broken...ha) although to be honest, I never towed anything very heavy including that ski boat.

Amsoil is good stuff..good for you for taking care of the truck...I shudder to think what a trans repair job will cost on one of these modern trucks...plus I've never had anyone who could competently rebuild the things for the long haul. AZPRO4X might bust my chops, but springing for the cost of some fluid every year seems like cheap insurance to me--its about all an owner can do.
 

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my dealer recommend doing the service at 60k when we were discussing my 20k maintenance
 

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This is interesting and MUCH more reasonable to my ears... did you point out that the factory manual speaks to a 20k interval?
yes i did and the service manager said unless your doing heavy duty towing 24/7 its overkill and not necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OEM Matic-K Transmission Fluid - sample analysis from 20,000 miles

...

As the fluid is suctioned out, you will be surprised at JUST how clean it looks after 20,000 miles. Or rather: you will be completely unsurprised, and instead shake your head at why/how Nissan thinks a 20,000 service interval for transmission fluid is reasonable (for anyone not towing daily in the desert). The outgoing fluid is nearly brand new:

...
yes i did and the service manager said unless your doing heavy duty towing 24/7 its overkill and not necessary.
I second that , my dealer said 20 is ridiculous they said 40 with medium towing average just a fyi
I am either a prophet, or a Nissan dealership service manager.

Or both.

SOMEWHAT RELATED: I got the Oil Analyzers Inc test results back for the transmission fluid sample:





In short: no chemical reason whatsoever to have changed the fluid. I am absolutely unsurprised - I am just presenting this as scientific evidence for anyone else considering their options at hand.

I included the detail of what the acidity number means/implies. That said, it is rather important to say what their tech said to me, after I emailed indicating that I could not for the life of me find the actual grade/viscosity of Matic-K fluid:

Ryan @ Oil Analyzers Inc said:
I looked to see if I could find the viscosity grade too. It doesn't seem to be listed on the bottle and the website for NISSAN (www.NissanChemicals.com) which I found on a technical bulletin. Unfortunately this site seems to have been shut down as well. Generally if a product is blended to a specific grade it will be listed directly on the bottle. This isn't the case. As such I suspect it may be blended to a custom grade. This is what I have listed.

TAN question- The lubricant in use is not commonly sampled and as such we are not aware of the starting values. I think we would recommend you to submit a new lubricant reference sample. This would give us the initial starting values and should help us to more accurately flag the sample for TAN. Currently we are using a calculation derived from the levels of phos and zinc present in the lubricant to estimate the beginning value and as a result the flag for TAN.
So: I will soon drop ship them a quart of Nissan Matic-K fluid, and that will give them a baseline for the fluid's properties. It may show that my sample results were actually well within acidity tolerances.

Also: I asked them to confirm how similar/different the Amsoil Signature Series transmission fluid I put in is, versus the Matic-K.

Updates to come. Such as Part 2 of this guide when I eventually have a free moment to breathe.
 

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I am either a prophet, or a Nissan dealership service manager.

Or both.

SOMEWHAT RELATED: I got the Oil Analyzers Inc test results back for the transmission fluid sample:





In short: no chemical reason whatsoever to have changed the fluid. I am absolutely unsurprised - I am just presenting this as scientific evidence for anyone else considering their options at hand.

I included the detail of what the acidity number means/implies. That said, it is rather important to say what their tech said to me, after I emailed indicating that I could not for the life of me find the actual grade/viscosity of Matic-K fluid:



So: I will soon drop ship them a quart of Nissan Matic-K fluid, and that will give them a baseline for the fluid's properties. It may show that my sample results were actually well within acidity tolerances.

Also: I asked them to confirm how similar/different the Amsoil Signature Series transmission fluid I put in is, versus the Matic-K.

Updates to come. Such as Part 2 of this guide when I eventually have a free moment to breathe.
Here is a problem I have (couldn't get a answer from service advisor) I asked if they pump/purchase tranny fluid in bulk,and if they did is it Matic -K All I got in reply is it meets nissans spec.That tells me bulk oil supplier. I am leaning towards amsoil or schaffers synthetic. We run nothing but Schaffers products in our entire fleet with out issue.I have had good luck with amsoil in personal vehicles for 25 years plus ... Just a FYI oil is a personal choice.. Oil samples are a great tool!! Thanks mrbrefast looking forward to your future results!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Part 2: DIY Transmission Filter and Pan Drop Guide, with pics

Alright finally had some free time... after I tested out my new Biolite 2 camp stove (it has a thermoelectric generating element which creates power, which it uses to charge a phone if you want but more importantly creates a turbo for the stove - an intake fan. It lets you boil 1.5 liters of water in ~6 minutes using only twigs as fuel. I am in love.)...





... I decided to dive into finally doing the second half of this guide. Without further ado:

0) Items you will need.

*11 quarts of transmission fluid (more on that below - probably only need 10 quarts but better safe than very sorry)
*19mm socket
*10mm socket
*calibrated torque wrench capable of going down to 6 ft-lbs accurately (VITAL, to avoid snapping bolt heads off)
*nitrile gloves
*degreaser wipes + papertowels
*drain container capable of 12 quarts minimum
*replacement transmission filter
*4 clothespins.

Optional: replacement transmission gasket. It is a cork gasket so it is very much reusable after several filter changes, I would wager.

1) find the transmission pan. I am writing this as someone who had NO automotive mechanical experience a few short years ago and found forum guides to be invaluable to learn:



2) Drain the transmission fluid after loosening the drain plug with the 19mm socket. Notice how the fluid, 20,900 miles old, is analytically-clean but DON'T WORRY the OEM interval is still 20,000 miles nonetheless. I suggest allowing the fluid to drain for 20+ minutes to get as much out as possible (more on that in a bit).



3) There are 16 10mm HHCS to remove from the transmission pan. THIS IS IMPORTANT: THERE WILL STILL BE ~1/3 OF A QUART OF TRANSMISSION FLUID IN THE PAN EVEN AFTER DRAINING IT FULLY. Ask me how I know this... because it dumped all over the ground. And my face. And my arm and neck. And this is in spite of having let it drain as much as possible. So be aware of this before you dive in. And plan on dropping the transmission pan slowly and in a level manner to keep the fluid inside it. I would suggest having the drain pan still in place underneath the transmission pan - fluid will drip out from the transmission's innards.



The OEM transmission pan gasket is cork and resuable - be careful when removing the pan gasket and keep it off the ground. Examine for any cracks, tears, or breaks in the gasket and if you find none, plan on reusing it at least once or twice:



4) You will put the pan down and be able to see the filter inside the transmission with a surprising number of electronic control wires - be careful to avoid damaging or otherwise unplugging any of these wires. In this picture, I am pointing at one of the 3 10mm HHCS holding the filter in place. Remove these bolts and the filter will stay in place due to the filter neck being inside the upper portion of the transmission. THIS IS IMPORTANT: THERE WILL STILL BE FLUID INSIDE THE UPPER PORTION OF THE TRANSMISSION AND IT WILL SLOSH OUT WHEN YOU PULL THE FILTER DOWN AND OUT. Again, ask me how I know. Just be ready for it.



You will now be looking at the transmission, naked of any internal filter:



I suggest letting the filter drip further into the drain pan as the internal foam seems to hold a heck of a lot of transmission fluid, I found out:



5) Now take a look at the transmission pan and notice that the 4 magnets are absolutely covered in metal particulates. Prep to clean these off properly.



Wipe off the largest goop with a paper towel or even a degreaser wipe:



Get and use an ultrasonic parts cleaner and know true joy - add water and concentrated degreaser and be amazed at how clean you can get metal parts:





6) THIS IS IMPORTANT: lubricate the o-ring on the new transmission filter, push it up into place in the transmission, AND DON'T FORGET TO TORQUE THE 3 BOLTS to 6 FT-LBS BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU WILL REMEMBER TO DO THIS AFTER THE PAN IS ALREADY REINSTALLED... sigh. Lessons learned when wrenching-while-tired.

7) Reinstall the transmission pan gasket onto the pan. Note that the edge of the gasket with the squared off edge is to go as shown here (the hole placement around the edge of the pan won't allow any other placement)...



... and then realize that I have done this for you and learned that the gasket will NOT sit correctly and stay centered as you try and hold the pan up to install the bolts. As such, use the clothes pins in the following configuration to hold the gasket in place as you work to reinstall the drain pan:





8) Torque the transmission pan bolts to 6 ft-lbs each in an alternating pattern. Plan on this being frustrating to get to the 4 bolts near the crossmember. Plan on the clothespins being grab for holding the gasket in place and try your best to get a bolt in at each corner to ensure that the gasket stays in place when you remove the clothespins. Finally, torque the drain pan bolt to 16 ft-lbs of torque with the 19mm socket.

9) Because I like being helpful/hate relaxing/have no self-control when it comes to buying specialized but oh-so-useful shop tools, consider the following ultra-accurate info about the amount of transmission fluid which drains out. I purchased an accurately-labeled carboy, into which I emptied the entirety of the transmission fluid which got drained:



I made a mark on the carboy and I drained JUST shy of 10 quarts of transmission fluid, which is a bit odd when I read about other folks only getting 8.3 quarts out. I added in the full 10 quarts (please note that the graduations on the carboy are liters and upside down because of the spigot... but I dumped 10 of the 1-quart bottles of ATF in, so according to SCIENCE... it is 10 quarts), and probably could have splashed some more in to account for the aforementioned "OH **** THERE'S MORE FLUID HIDDEN HERE" spills that didn't 100% end up into the drain pan:



I got the airbox out of the way and the dipstick removed and figured "well gee, this carboy conveniently has a spigot with a barbed fitting so I can easily run the fluid into the dipstick" - which was partially true. The rate of flow was so slow that I ended up installing a spare tire valve stem onto the carboy's lid and pressurized it to 5 PSI:



So in short: 10 quarts of fluid on hand, but I would suggest 11 quarts in case of spillage.

10) At this point I will defer to another post on the forum which I followed for the "what to do when I want to start the truck":

... Started the truck and let it idle for a couple minutes to get the fluid moving and then shifted into R, sat for a minute, shifted to N, sat for a minute, shifted to D for a minute, then back to park. There was a little bang into the gears for the first shifts, but it settled out after the fluid got moving into the solenoids and pumps. The truck set a "shift solenoid fault" with a A/T error message. Don't worry as long as the fluid levels are good. Drove it for about a mile, checked the fluid level again, and then reset the code with a reader, and good to go ever since. Have about 600 miles on it so far and it seems to shift just like it did before as one would expect....
I did exactly what MB suggested and HO-LEE-SMOKES does the transmission make concerningly loud noises when you do this. The three-point turn to get the truck aimed at the street for my test drive nearly gave me a heart attack due to shifting between R and D so many times = a LOT of horrific clunking and shuddering. The actual engine code comes up as the P0770 code for "shift solenoid inoperable" and this puts your truck into some kind of limp mode - it starts and stays in 2nd gear only up to 45mph (as tested). Go buy a code reader from Harbor Freight or figure on a harrowing drive in 2nd gear with horrible shift clunks into gear to your nearest (automotive store with free code resets).

You will definitely see the Automatic Transmission check engine light come on, hidden behind the speedometer needle:



I am going to suggest the possibility to future DIY'ers - swap the order of operations above and IMMEDIATELY reset the engine code after letting it idle up to operating temperature BEFORE test-shifting the gears or test driving.

11) admire your stained undershirt/work shirt/skin/hair/face, now that lovely cherry-red of transmission fluid which didn't need changing:



_____________________________________________________________

Voila! You didn't pay the stealership too much money; you did this very important service for your truck by yourself; and you helped protect this far over-engineered transmission for many moons to come.

Please feel free to reach out with questions, comments, and concerns.
 

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Thank you mrbrefast for your intuitive pictures and instilling confidence in current Titan owners!

To add to this informative and enlightening posting; I have completed my transmission fluid change on my 2016 Nissan Titan XD; after following the instructions I let my truck idle for 15 min, sitting in my driveway, and then shifting and driving my 2016 Nissan Titan XD into drive, driving 3 feet, then shifting into reverse, driving 200 ft and then into neutral and back into drive without any noise or concern. Yes the AT light and warning did come up on my display console. Drove approx 10 to 15 miles above 45 mph and the AT light and warning went away. No need to delete/reset the ECU via the OBDII unit.
My truck shifts smoothly and soft as newly or better than new off the dealer lot.
NOTE: My only concern, as a personal preference, I ordered the Nissan transmission housing gasket believing it was not cork but it is. If you order a Nissan mfg replacement transmission housing gasket TORQUE to the 6 ft lbs!

I utilized Shaffers’s AT syn fluid. No way am I endorsing their product; though they meet and exceed Mfg fluid. I may very pleased with the results after 1k both 2x4 and 4x4 applicators. This same fluid I utilized for the transfer fluid case; but that is for another mrbrefast posting ?
 

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Another kudo to OP Mrbrefast, excellent picts and descriptions (and some pretty cool extra tools!) Just finished my 40K spill and fill with filter and this post was very helpful. Managed to get out the dipstick with no breakage and got a pretty good deal on Matik K from Amazon for a case at $125 so filled back up with the OE stuff. Here’s a little tip: if you have a good floor jack, remove the little rubber center if it’s still there, drill 4 holes and wire a board to it to lower the pan with, keeps it level and that extra quart or so stays in there. Helps with raising it back into place and keeping the gasket aligned with the holes, but I did add a little Hylomar to the pan to hold it a bit.... Also a pict of the dipstick...
43653BF8-F231-42EF-8DBD-3B279E4B36DF.jpeg
65A37865-66A8-4774-AD04-BBD342C18E7F.jpeg
 

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I’ll add this to my fluid change post, started it up this AM and let it idle till warm up. HARD shifts into reverse and drive, warning light on, and wouldn’t come out of 2nd but took it up to 35mph came back and turned it off. Second start had it shifting fine but still a warning light, same for the 3rd start, then warning cleared on the 4th start up.
 

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Dude, a fluid evacuator...I love it. You are an equipment king. Another useful DIY writeup. I've done this before with a hand pump and some cheap plastic tubing, but now that I am older, I'm too lazy to gin all this up. Used to have a jet drive ski boat with a 428 CJ Ford with a fitting on the drain hole on the sump to use a drill pump to suck out the oil without a mess. Used a simple drill pump.

Another reason I want one of the Mag-Hytec transmission pans. They also come with that really nice drain plug with the o-ring seal...I used to just drain what I could out of the pan every year in my old 91 Dodge with the 727 Torqueflite...replaced with fresh Mobil 1 synthetic. I bought the truck with over 200,000 miles in the mid 90's. That transmission lasted me at least 80,000 more (odometer and speedometer were broken...ha) although to be honest, I never towed anything very heavy including that ski boat.

Amsoil is good stuff..good for you for taking care of the truck...I shudder to think what a trans repair job will cost on one of these modern trucks...plus I've never had anyone who could competently rebuild the things for the long haul. AZPRO4X might bust my chops, but springing for the cost of some fluid every year seems like cheap insurance to me--its about all an owner can do.
I know this is old, but, by doing it this way a couple days apart, aren’t you mixing each part of your service with the rest of the oil that is in the system, essentially doing a spill and fill but swapping the filter? Coming up on my first service so just trying to figure out what to do. After you were all done I’m guessing you were running 25% stock atf and 75% amsoil correct? Someone else could get there esstially by their second service correct? Would I be leaving anything critical out by only doing a spill and fill every so often and swapping the filter every other or even third depending on the fluid appearance?

TIA
 
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