Radiator/Trans Issue Question

The Gas and Diesel Engines - VQ40De, VK56DE, YD25DDTi, V9X, Transmission, Transfer Case, Oil, Differentials, Axles, Exhaust...

Moderator: volvite

DanJetta
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:47 am

Radiator/Trans Issue Question

Postby DanJetta » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:47 am

Hi guys,

Just bought an '08 V8 Pathfinder and just spent what seems like 5 hours reading through transmission/radiator posts in different forums. Here are some questions I have to which I didn't find answers:

1. Have the radiators been improved since the warranty extension? In other words, if I go to the dealer to have my radiator replaced, are they putting in the same problem child or is this a "problem fixed" version?

2. Anyone ever heard of this happening to an '08+?

3. Anyone here ever done a radiator replacement? I've done it in a Volvo and it took about an hour. I'm assuming this will be slightly more involved.

Thanks!


User avatar
smj999smj
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:13 pm
Location: Prospect, VA

Postby smj999smj » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:19 pm

The new radiators were supposedly updated under the old part number 21460-EA215, but there's no way (as far as I know) to tell the differance between the old and updated style radiators. Nissan later superceded the part number to 21460-9CA2E; those we know for sure are the updated design. So far, almost all of the radiator failures have been on the 05-07 models, which did not have a V8 option. I have only heard of a couple of '08 models that have experienced a radiator failure and they were V6 models (which would make sense since the V6 is much more common than the V8). It's hard to tell right now if the '08's are going to have the same rate of failure as the first gen R51's or if they'll be limited to just a few. Nissan's extended warranty on the radiators includes models up to 2010, so for now, I guess it's a "wait and see" situation.

As far as replacing it, it's kind of a pain in the tail! I did the one on my 06 Pathy V6 when I did my timing chain job and spark plugs. Unlike earlier Pathy's where you could just drain the coolant, disconnect the hoses, remove the lower shroud section and a couple of bolts and pull the radiator right out, the R51 is designed differently. The R51 rads have side brackets bolted to them with the mounting posts. The AC condensor mounts into the radiator brackets, so the radiator has to be tilted forward and the condensor lifted out and supported with rope or some wire to keep in from dropping down. The next obstacle is maneuvering the radiator out and between the AC lines going to the condensor. I replaced mine with a new, $92 radiator I found on Ebay with a lifetime warranty. Yeah, it was made in China (what isn't these days), but it appears to be well built and the fit was perfect. There are two different types available: a single 2-1/4" core and a dual 2-1/8" core. Both are the same as far as mounting. Which is better?...Who knows? The original was the single core; I chose the dual core to replace it. I also replaced the four foam seals on the radiator and brackets; they aren't expensive from Nissan and they make the job look more professional. I also replaced the thermostat with a genuine Nissan part while I was in there. The labor guide shows 3.1 hours to R&R the radiator and that's about right if you have a shop and the tools to do it. Might take one a bit longer if they are going it on the ground with hand tools. Just glad it's done and over with! :roll:

DanJetta
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:47 am

Postby DanJetta » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:52 pm

Thank you so much for the detailed reply! I love this forum, especially compared to the VW forums (for my wife's car), where they only want to talk about loud exhausts and how low they can get 'em. :)

Okay, so I think I'm going to wait until I hit 80K miles when the warranty expires and then look into a preventative swap. I'd rather pay $500 to have it swapped preventatively (just made that word up, you can use it) than pay $7K for a new trannie. The radiator that's in there looks brand-spanking new - I'll have to do some investigating to see if it's already been swapped. For that matter, the whole engine compartment looks like the car just rolled off the showroom floor for the first time. Not sure how they did that.

Your description of the swap is what I was afraid of, especially with the way that V8 is shoehorned in there. I might buy the service manual to get a feel for the procedure.

I'm itching to fix something on this thing! I just sold a VW so I'm used to fixing something every weekend.

User avatar
smj999smj
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:13 pm
Location: Prospect, VA

Postby smj999smj » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:07 pm

Well, the 2008 was a revision year for the Pathfinder and a lot of the problems of the 05-07 models were corrected by the 08 model. Since you have the V8, you won't have the timing chain issues of the V6 model. You do bring up a good point about the limited room with the V8. The time listed was for an 06 model and there is plenty of room in front of the V6. I don't know if the labor time is any differant for the 08 V8 model? If you're itching to do something, you may want to install a set of Airlift 1000's in the back; they make a big differance in the ride of the R51. There's a detailed thread in the suspension section about them. They are also a cheap upgrade, which makes it all the better! I agree that it is cheap insurance to do the bypass or replace the radiator compared to the risk of ruining the auto trans. I heard Griffin Radiators has an all-aluminum radiator for the R51 for around $550, which is not much more than the plastic-tanked unit from Nissan.

User avatar
volvite
Sponsored Member
Posts: 2180
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: Hill AFB, Utah West Point UT

Postby volvite » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:18 pm

Welcome to the forum. I too have an 08 with a V8 and am still watching for any failues with the V8. I've yet to see one. I have 50k miles on mine now. Fluids still look good as of now. I'm waiting until the end of the warranty and then will either replace or bypass the radiator.

User avatar
smj999smj
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:13 pm
Location: Prospect, VA

Postby smj999smj » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:00 pm

I've heard they modified the extended warranty to limit the expense to $2500 on vehicles with radiator failures with mileages between 80000-90000 and limit of $3500 for those with 90000-100000 miles. I don't know about y'all, but $2500 still puts a hurtin' on my wallet! Glad I replaced the radiator and don't have to worry about it!

User avatar
daxnizmo
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:20 am
Location: West Monroe, LA

Postby daxnizmo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:08 pm

I'm going to bump this thread with a question or 2 of my own. My wife came to me today and said her '06 SE was having a shuddering issue. Said for about a week....but says something TONITE. :x Anyways, back up a couple weeks ago and her rad level was low (heater wasn't heating as it should) and I'm thinking this was the start of the current issue.

I just went outside and checked the dipstick and it wasn't red or milky from what I could see, it's dark out. The fluid looked golden brown like fresh/new oil. ??? I know this is a ticking time bomb but should I be super concerned that the trans will grenade at any second?

Any new news on a recall for this?

User avatar
smj999smj
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:13 pm
Location: Prospect, VA

Postby smj999smj » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:13 am

There hasn't been a recall issued, only a modification of the extended warranty that I refered to in my previous post. Shuddering could be a sign of the trans failing, but these vehicles do also have issues with U-joints, as well, which could cause a vibration that might be described as "shuddering." I would definately be concerned about the loss of coolant and would find out where it's going. Perhaps there's a head gasket failure causing a misfire that's causing the shuddering? You'll have to do a little diagnostic work!

User avatar
dawgn86
Posts: 377
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:01 am
Location: Athens, GA.

Postby dawgn86 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:50 am

Just got my letter today from Nissan about the extended coverage on the radiator / transmission issue. Did my bypass at about 85k miles and now have close to 108k

My PF is a 2006 model.


Return to “R51 Engine, Driveline and Powertrain”