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Old 11-27-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Transmission Filter Problems

I'm having a pretty big problem out in the garage right now. I am changing the transmission filter, and there is one nut that I cannot get loose. When I turn this nut, the bolt turns too. The other end of the bolt is inside the transmission. We tried holding the nut with needle nose pliers, and we also tried to torch the nut in hopes of loosening it, but that didn't work. What the heck do I do?

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Old 11-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #2
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Does the filter plate swing/pivot out of the way enough to allow you to get at the filter?, don't really have a solution on how to remove, just was wondering if it meant to stay in and one just pivot the plate/swings to gain access to the filter.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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Does the filter plate swing/pivot out of the way enough to allow you to get at the filter?, don't really have a solution on how to remove, just was wondering if it meant to stay in and one just pivot the plate/swings to gain access to the filter.
It turns a tiny bit each way, but that bolt has to come out to replace the filter. My new filter came with a new filter plate, and it appears to be just one combined unit.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
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I had that happen to me, i ended up drilling it out. Should have seen the look on my mom's face when i got the drill, and a small bit. If you take that approach i would say make sure you get all of the small metal scraps. Also, when i changed mine at 140,000 there was nothing in there so it may not be that important.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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I know how you can get the nut off, but I'm not sure how you will get it back together. Buy a nut splitter and cut the nut in half. Hopefully that will give you access to the other end of the fastener and you can replace it before reassembling the transmission
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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is it a bolt or a stud? Try putting a second nut on there, and tighten the two nuts together really tight (opposite direction). Then put your wrench on the original nut and try to remove it. If it is a stud it should turn right out. If it is a bolt I'm not sure what else you can try


Or you can buy a nut splitter and cut the sucker in half. But you will have the same problem getting the new nut on that bolt. I looked through the FSM on filter replacement and it is pretty vague.
I'm not going to assume I know the difference between a bolt and a stud. This thing turns when I turn the nut, that's all I know.

I will try the second nut thing and report back.

Where did you find something in the FSM about filter replacement? I looked for a long time.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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i didn't, I was looking for a how to and was hoping the crude drawings would show if it was a stud or a bolt. that double nut thing won't work, that;s why i edited my post. If it is spinning there is nothing you can do except to hold it somehow while you crank on the nut.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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i didn't, I was looking for a how to and was hoping the crude drawings would show if it was a stud or a bolt. that double nut thing won't work, that;s why i edited my post. If it is spinning there is nothing you can do except to hold it somehow while you crank on the nut.
Oops, sorry. Guess I hit reply while you were editing.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:30 PM   #9
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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I could not have that nut removed either because of the same issue and ended up not changing the strainer. I could not figure out a way to get to the head of that bolt so I could hold it while loosening the nut.
To chrys9989, after you drilled it out, how did you replace it?
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:27 PM   #11
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I'm thinking it may be safer to just not change the filter at this point. Your call.
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:53 AM   #12
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I could not have that nut removed either because of the same issue and ended up not changing the strainer. I could not figure out a way to get to the head off that bolt so I could hold it while loosening the nut.
Hmmm, that's the 3rd person to post this. I'm starting to think that that bolt was meant to turn like it does. Nissan must have wanted it to do that intentionally. I'm still left with the question of how to get it loose though. I didn't mention this earlier, but this is the only bolt that's like this. There were probably 12 others connecting this filter to the transmission, and they were your run-of-the-mill bolt, with a 10mm head fused to a threaded shaft. This one is different, and I'm starting to think Nissan meant it that way.

Does anyone have a Chilton's manual? Does it say anything in there?

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I'm thinking it may be safer to just not change the filter at this point. Your call.
I am starting to think the same thing. If I can't get any more info today, I'm just gonna clean it as best I can and slap everything back together.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:19 AM   #13
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I am starting to think the same thing. If I can't get any more info today, I'm just gonna clean it as best I can and slap everything back together.
I've read most of the automatic maintenance threads here. I think consensus is that the filter may never need replaced. Just drain and fill.

Not that I want to se your thread destroyed by a long argument stream over drain\flush\filter opinions.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:49 AM   #14
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Maybe some of the guys who've done the Transgo shift kit have found a way to remove it or maybe you can remove the valve body without taking that nut off.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:44 AM   #15
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I would suggest putting back the bolts back in and calling it a day. If you searched the forum there have been many who have had to tackle this issue, some have been ingenious to get it loose, some haven't.

BTW it is NOT a filter, it is a screen. I bet u will not find anything if u bought it down.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:02 AM   #16
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when I did mine I didnt had that problem.. but it is not necessary as it is not a filter is just a screen. If you look at my How To you will see that it is not that dirty, so dont bother taking it out. Good luck

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Old 11-28-2009, 08:50 AM   #17
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OK, consensus is that it doesn't need to be replaced, so I think I'm just going to wipe it off and put everything back together. Looks like some people had the problem, and some didn't. I haven't seen a solution from someone who had the problem though.

My tranny pan was FILTHY. I'm a little worried about the amount of shavings that were attached to the magnet. At the same time though, I guess the magnets are there for a reason, so Nissan must have anticipated some amount of metal to be sheared off.

Do you guys think this is a lot?

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Just for comparison: a clean pan:
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
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OK, consensus is that it doesn't need to be replaced, so I think I'm just going to wipe it off and put everything back together. Looks like some people had the problem, and some didn't. I haven't seen a solution from someone who had the problem though.

My tranny pan was FILTHY. I'm a little worried about the amount of shavings that were attached to the magnet. At the same time though, I guess the magnets are there for a reason, so Nissan must have anticipated some amount of metal to be sheared off.

Do you guys think this is a lot?

Click the image to open in full size.

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Click the image to open in full size.

Just for comparison: a clean pan:
Click the image to open in full size.
it is fine, mine was the same when I did it......
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:49 AM   #19
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Metal shavings are normal wear. Doesn't look too excessive to me. My old Accord had a magnetic drain plug and it looked like a chia pet every time I changed the ATF-original transmission made to 190,000 miles in that car.

The thing to worry about is if the fluid has a burnt or cooked odor to it.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:28 PM   #20
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How many miles on this car and do you know if the pan has been off b4?
Compared to mine, (did it 2 weeks ago), that is a lot of shavings. Looks like the magnets couldn't hold them all. Mine just had grey powder stuck to them - no shavings at all. Mine has 71k on it.
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:42 PM   #21
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How many miles on this car and do you know if the pan has been off b4?
Compared to mine, (did it 2 weeks ago), that is a lot of shavings. Looks like the magnets couldn't hold them all. Mine just had grey powder stuck to them - no shavings at all. Mine has 71k on it.

105,000 and I don't think the pan has ever been off before. I bought the car from a little old lady at 75,000, and she didn't seem like the type to get a lot of service done.

After visits to 2 auto parts stores and one trip to the dealer, I'm convinced this filter wasn't meant to be replaced. At least not easily. So I'm just gonna clean it as best I can and slap everything back together.

Everybody, thanks for your input and assistance. You are what makes this site great.
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:39 PM   #22
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After visits to 2 auto parts stores and one trip to the dealer, I'm convinced this filter wasn't meant to be replaced. At least not easily. So I'm just gonna clean it as best I can and slap everything back together.
Just read this thread, and you are correct. There are two of those bolts that will spin, and the only way to get at them is to remove the valve body entirely from the transmission. Not a fun time.
It's really just a screen, not a filter, so replacement isn't necessary unless it gets damaged. I just spray it a little bit with non-chlorinated brake cleaner and let it dry out real good before I put everything back together.
That fluid looked okay, but I agree with spock, that seems like a lot of metal. Mine always has the gray dusty stuff, but never any metal. Did you refill with synthetic or regular?
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:50 PM   #23
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Just wondering, was the tranny giving you any problems to start with, or was this just preventative maintenance?
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:31 PM   #24
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Just wondering, was the tranny giving you any problems to start with, or was this just preventative maintenance?
Problems. I have this issue where it can't seem to "find" 1st gear (it will only go as low as 2nd) when it has not been warmed up, and there is occasionally a shudder/jolt when shifting between 2nd and 3rd. If I go out and turn the car on 10 mins before I'm ready to leave, it solves the problem 80% of the time. But there are just some days when I don't have time to wait 10 mins for it to warm up, and I'm worried that I'm hurting the transmission. I have previously done two drain-and-refills, so this was the next step in my attempt to solve the problem.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:34 PM   #25
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Did you refill with synthetic or regular?
I used what I had in the garage, which was 2 qts. of Nissan Matic-D and 3 qts. of Castrol High Mileage Dexron III.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:08 AM   #26
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I could not have that nut removed either because of the same issue and ended up not changing the strainer. I could not figure out a way to get to the head of that bolt so I could hold it while loosening the nut.
To chrys9989, after you drilled it out, how did you replace it?
I put it back with the other bolts, it shifts just fine. The problem turned out to be my Speed sensor, now she shifts like a dream. Can't tell that I was drilling in there.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #27
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Woke up this morning and drove the car. No change--same problems. Starting to think the NTB00-039a TSB might apply to my car. Don't know what else to do at this point.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:38 PM   #28
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The grime on ur magnets is alarmingly high for 100K on the tranny. Not sure what is happening but based on ur description the tranny didn't have any PM done on it. Atleast you did 2 drains/fills, that should help.

Something is cooking inside ur tranny. You did a smart thing to take some pictures, I would run it thro a professional to be sure that the tranny is not going down. Better off if you had the ATF that came out, I will send it to a lab to get a UOA done.

I dropped my tranny pan 2 times one at 60K and another at 110K and there were no silver/aluminium particles and the magents had litttle grime but not the color in ur pictures.

Good luck.

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Old 11-30-2009, 11:04 AM   #29
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I would say with that amount of shavings you should clean that filter,If there is that much on the bottom of the pan the screen on the filter must be bad.If you have a spare filter I think you could get that bolt off by pulling down of the filter a little bit while backing off that nut.That worked for me anyway. Good luck
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:41 PM   #30
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think that tranny is going down. If it won't shift and there's that much metal in the pan....
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #31
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I think Spock is right my 2000se had none of that with 170000 miles on it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:12 PM   #32
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Normal wear for a tranny is "grey powdery muck" stuck to the magnet(s). When you get stalagmites coming off them and even more in the pan, there is some serious metal loss.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:47 PM   #33
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as lontar has stated, its not even a filter. Our transmissions don't have a filter. Don't even bother touching it. its just a silly little screen there that isn't even dirty once u remove it.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:59 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
as lontar has stated, its not even a filter. Our transmissions don't have a filter. Don't even bother touching it. its just a silly little screen there that isn't even dirty once u remove it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:45 AM   #35
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Well that metal on the magnets you don"t think that screen-filter needs to be cleaned? I would think again.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:36 AM   #36
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I was not able to get that nut off either. FYI my magnets only had a little metal dust on them and nowhere close to what you have. Mine was done at 95k
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:19 PM   #37
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Well that metal on the magnets you don"t think that screen-filter needs to be cleaned? I would think again.
With the amount of shavings stuck to the magnets along with the stuff laying in the bottom of the pan I'd be more concerned with the internal components of the tranny than the screen.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:11 AM   #38
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Well that metal on the magnets you don"t think that screen-filter needs to be cleaned? I would think again.
your opinion is unfounded. lontar has already stated that he removed the screen and there was HARDLY anything on there. Thus a waste of time. There is a reason there are magnets. the amount of shavings here is normal. Besides most OEM auto transmissions dont go past 200k anyways.

Why do you suppose nissan designed the tranny without a filter? i seriously doubt it was because they were lazy...more because...well its not needed.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:29 AM   #39
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The amount of shavings here is normal. Besides most OEM auto transmissions dont go past 200k anyways.
First off the amt of metallic parts in the pan and magnets are "abnormal". There has been serious abuse done by some person behind the wheel (neutral drops, too much WOTs etc). I will run the pics thro a professional and get an informed opinion on what is happening. I would also start shopping for a used tranny and an a shop that can put the used tranny in -- this one is going down anytime.

Second off OEM transmissions if properly maintained can last for a very long time. I know of trannies that have 375K, 285K etc of colleagues who work with me.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:12 AM   #40
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Agree with Love_Max...

My 01 GLE just went past 184K on OEM tranny.

All I do is Dex III drain and fills every 10K miles... not even synthetic as most of the folks here.

It has NONE of the issues I have read on this board for the last 3 yrs regarding auto transmissions.

It is always how you maintain and drive your car. If you seriously abuse it... why tranny, you might need a new motor at 10K itself!
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:12 AM
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