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Worth the hassle? Xterra transmission replacement

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by SlushboxTeggy, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    I have an opportunity to pick up a 2003 Xterra for $500. Owner is a friend and says it needs a new transmission. I've been looking online and it seems I should be able to get a new/used transmission from $600-$1000. KBB on the thing is ~$4k if I fixed it.

    Anyone ever tackle one of these or something similar? Is it something I could do in the driveway? Or should I leave it up to a shop? Obviously if a shop quotes me too high, I'm not even going to buy the thing. I'm just trying to make a buck/ have a fun 4x4 for the remaining winter months.
     
  2. TurboMirage

    TurboMirage YEEAAAHHH VIP

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    Any real experience working on something bigger than a Honda? Got a few friends?

    If yes to both. Then get it!
     
  3. dc4dude

    dc4dude Member

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    Ive done a pathfinder and an xterra in my garage... You need at least two jacks and an extra pair of hands, (to lower the old one, and line up/i stall the new one) and obviously the tools... But nothing you shouldnt be able to tackle in your garage/driveway...
     
  4. FLounder

    FLounder power hungry VIP

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    Never done that job, but after owning a couple different xterras from different generations, id say they are pretty straightforward to work on. I dont see how swapping the trans could be that serious if you are handy with cars, and have a good helper and jacks to get it in and out. They are great trucks, very tough, have few problems other than not so great fuel economy.
     
  5. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    I was talking with the service manager at work. He actually pointed out something I should look into. It's very likely that this thing has never had a transmission flush (14Xk on the clock). I want to ask my friend tomorrow if it actually had a catastrophic failure, or just kind of stopped shifting. If it's the latter, I plan on going to her house on Wednesday, doing a drain and fill, and hopefully driving away... Guess we'll see.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  6. dc4dude

    dc4dude Member

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    Before you go draining fluid, check the level... The trans should shift fine no matter the condition of the fluid if the mechanicals and electricals are in good working order. If the level is super low, then that could be the culprit as to why the trans stopped working... Check for any obvious leaks. Cooler lines, are usually the culprit. Also check the coolant (dont remember if the radiator has an internal trans cooler) if the coolant id a pinkish hue, the trans cooler ruptured mixing the trans fluid and coolant. Glycol destroys most transmission seals and clutch packs.

    Let us know your findings...
     
  7. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Good call. I'll know more on Wednesday when I get to check it out.
     
  8. efhondakid

    efhondakid My name is Byron. VIP

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    Seems like a pretty sweet deal, Id snatch it up for sure. Trans jobs arent too bad just tedious mostly.
     
  9. Briansol

    Briansol Admins Admin VIP

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    There's nothing better than buying a broken car, having the guy look at you weird when he asks where is your tow dolly/etc, do the paper work... say its coming... you just want to try a few things first.... and a couple turns later you drive it away. lol

    i wish i could do it... i don't have that mechanical skill, but i know friends who have.
     
  10. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Honestly, unless the trans cooler is ruptured, I'm probably going to buy it from her. She is a good friend though, so if I do fix it with just a drain and fill, I'll probably toss her a few extra bucks. That whole karma thing. Actually, this reminds me that I have to text her a few questions.
     
  11. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    Cool deal man. I'll cross my fingers for ya.
     
  12. eg6sir

    eg6sir Supa Mod Moderator VIP

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    Give her $500, have it towed... if u cant fix it, resell for $2k... profit either way
    :
    Hell the motor alone goes for $1200-1700
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  13. invisibledemon

    invisibledemon Bored Moderator VIP

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    i'd just grab it and tow it home.
    if its a friend, you dont want to make her feel like shit by driving it away.
    its awesome to do to strangers, but the nice thing would be to tow it.
    save her some embarrassment/frustration and potential bad feeling towards you.
     
  14. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Good points by both of you. I actually didn't make it tonight. Birthday festivities prevented that. I'll hit her up first thing to grab it up. Just hope AAA doesn't fuck with me again.
     
  15. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Purchased. Sadly the battery was stone dead so I'll have to wait until Sunday to work on it. I'll post updates here.
     
  16. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    So...... ? Did you strike gold?
     
  17. dc4dude

    dc4dude Member

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    Yea. What ended up being wrong with it???
     
  18. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Saturday night a friend was in town that I hadn't seen in awhile. Needless to say, I didn't work on the truck on Sunday. I'll be there all day Wednesday though. Well, hopefully only an hour or two and I drive it away, haha.
     
  19. |Chaz|

    |Chaz| Well-Known Member VIP

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    Been watching this thread to see what happens but I hadn't posted yet. Hurry up and fix it already :p
     
  20. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    OK, got some work done yesterday, though not as much as I would have liked.

    -Drained the trans fluid- Damn. It was about a quart low and brown almost black. Didn't have a strong odor like I'm told really burnt fluid does. Could have just been that I was outside. This was exactly what a mechanic friend told me though. From the way she said it died, he said it was probably "low" on fluid because it was so old and broken down.
    -Filled it back up with 4 quarts of high mileage ATF. It was the same price as the regular and claims to have stuff to condition seals and clean up deposits. I'm probably going to do another drain and fill in a hundred miles or so, just to get as much of the old crud out as possible.
    -Strapped a new battery in. The one in it was super dead, and also not the right size. Going to have to ask this chick about that.

    Truck started right up, but at this point I was already really late to something else. I want to let the car get to temperature, then shift it through all the gears. I'm going to make sure it's engaging in each gear before I even attempt to drive it. But if all goes well (fingers crossed) I should be getting tags for it next week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
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