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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure nobody has done this before. But I would like to add a toggle switch to enable/disable the AWD system. I'm not talking about the stock lock/auto switch, I mean completely disabling it. The reason I wish to add a toggle switch is to lower the chances of any transfer case problems that could arise, and also to decrease the drag caused when going WOT.

I've been browsing through the service manual and it seems there is a AWD Solenoid valve in the rear end. I'm wondering if I were to add a switch inline, it would prevent the AWD control unit from turning on the solenoid. Thoughts/ideas ?

 

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There is no drag when you're at WOT. The Murano doesn't send any power to the back end unless there is wheel slip on the front end.

That said, if you can confirm that the solenoid is the critical point in engaging the rear end, then my guess would be that interrupting that circuit with a switch would work.

I figure that I paid for AWD and I want it active at all times - or I wouldn't have bought an AWD.
 

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fmp-

I like what you are attempting to do but I am not sure it will offer any benefits.

Yes, putting a switch in-line with the AWD solenoid will effectively disable the automatic function of the AWD system, but it will not idle the transfer case. The gears in the transfer case will still be in motion and rotating the driveshaft in sync with the vehicle speed.

-njjoe
 

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Discussion Starter #4
fmp-

I like what you are attempting to do but I am not sure it will offer any benefits.

Yes, putting a switch in-line with the AWD solenoid will effectively disable the automatic function of the AWD system, but it will not idle the transfer case. The gears in the transfer case will still be in motion and rotating the driveshaft in sync with the vehicle speed.

-njjoe

Ok, but it will decrease the shock in drivetrain when it does spin. Even though I know there's not much torque being put down, but it will help preserve some things.:27:

It probably is a useless venture, but I don't want my transfer case failing due to my constant romping of throttle.
 

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Seems like having a lung removed to avoid lung cancer to me. Drive it. Use it. That's why you bought it.
 

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Is there still a chance that the Tc will cause probs just using the auto awd? It just snowed here a bunch and just got a brand new "revised" TC installed a few days ago. I know tomorrow on the way to work ill be spinning abit.
 

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If you don't want the transfer case to work, I suggest trading to a FWD vehicle.
 

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Hey, lest I come off too negative, I admit that I have concerns about the transfer case. I KNOW that they rarely fail and that the reports on this forum represent a very small and atypical sample of owners. It's also not hard to guess that those who have had problems with any vehicle will seek out an Internet forum for those with similar problems...so the odds are that the reports of TC failures are astronomically higher here than among the general population of Murano owners.

That said, when I drove a Chevy blazer or Jeep Cherokee, I heard no such reports and had no such concerns.

When I buy a car or any other device, I do so with the expectation that the device will perform to 100% of its design specifications every time I call on it. Machinery is worthless (IMO) if it won't do everything it is designed to do, every time you call on it. If it won't perform, it needs to be fixed, repaired or discarded.

OTOH, I don't expect machinery to do things it is NOT designed to do. That's not a reasonable expectation. And the Murano is not designed for rock-crawling, off-road use, or high transfer case loads under extreme conditions or heavy acceleration.

It's that third part where I run into questions. How high is high? How extreme is extreme? How heavy is heavy?

If you're on an icy road and the rear axle grabs suddenly in a bare spot, does that create a loading that's outside the Murano's design capabilities? It darn well should not. But that exact situation happened to me with a 1959 Ford and when one tire bit on bare pavement, it stripped teeth off the main cluster gear in the transmission and blew teeth off the rear end differential. Not too big a problem, as I pulled and rebuilt the tranny in a day and replaced the rear end in a half-day. Does that mean the 1959 Ford 3-speed with OD transmission and the matching rear end were too light for the 292 V8 under the hood? Maybe. In the time I owned that car, I replaced the transmission cluster gear 5 times and the rear end twice. I was also 18, and I know some of those were my fault.

But I understand that little voice in the back of our heads asking whether that TC is going to last. I think the answer is that if we use it within its design parameters, it should. And NOT using the AWD means you paid for something you're not using, which is a waste of money. My decision is to use it, and if it lets me down catastrophically, I'll move on to another vehicle.
 

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First off, those thick lines in the wiring diagram mean they're DTC Detectable meaning if there's an open circuit (such as an inline open switch) then youll set an AWD DTC and completely disable the AWD until the open is repaired and DTC erased with the scan tool.

Why not just remove the rear driveshaft? I was planning on doing some comparisons this summer with and without the driveshaft to see how much MPG i gain since we don't get snow or ice here.
 

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The PTU (transfer case) is always turning when the vehicle is rolling. The RDU and its electrically controlled clutch are not going to put much if any shock into the system when AWD activates. It is a PWM system, not an on/off deal.

The technician in me would advise against installing a toggle. For one, its pretty solid ground to deny warranty claims on the AWD system. For two, there is little gain to be had.

Aside from the ever-present (seemingly) PTU-CVT seal leak, I have never had to service a PTU. The seal in question is actually in the CVT anyway.

The RDU (rear differential and clutch assy) has been very trouble free on Murano as well. Rogue has had some issues requiring a new Electro-clutch, but thats it.

If you want to remove the propshaft, its 14mm for the PTU and RDU flanges at each end, 4 each. 2 16mm to hold the carrier bearing in the middle. Removing the propshaft may set a code if the system is trying to correct a severe slip event in concert with VDC.
 

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For some of us a FWD murano was not available. And even if the OP could have bought FWD, he didn't for whatever reason. So his car is what it is. This "you bought it so you have to use it" stuff isn't very helpful.

If there was a relatively easy way to convert my murano to FWD i'd do it tomorrow.

To the posters who are explaining why the OPs idea isn't very practical, thank you.
 

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We really do need to keep things in perspective.

As much as we b!tch and moan about the transfer case being the Achilles Heel of the MO's AWD system it has proved to be relatively reliable. They are not failing in great numbers nor are they requiring any costly maintenance. It is cursed with inferior oil seals (and the fact that Nissan refuses to repair them on the component level).

The MO has been on the road for almost ten years now, and both the CVT and transfer case have shown to be relatively rugged. Most reported failures do not appear to be the direct result of towing or driving in snow where the transfer case is handling 50% of the VQ's 240 lb-ft of torque. Many of the failures appear to be the result of a lack of lubrication due to failing seals. You could be coasting down a highway in Florida, never having engaged the AWD clutch, and the transfer case will fail because the last drop of the precious oil is at mile-marker 101.

Assuming I am right, and the seals are the root cause of the majority of the transfer case failures then disabling the AWD clutch will have absolutely no effect on the longevity of the transfer case. The seals are not affected by the load, their life is based on a combination of cycles and time. So even if you remove the driveshaft, the transfer case can still fail. But, then again, they really do not fail that often. They just get a lot of mention here when they do.

-njjoe
 

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njjoe, well said.

The dirty little secret is the real problem with the seal is that there is nothing in the CVT for it to seat against, and keep it square. There is a little lip, but only on about 40% of the circumference. Thats not enough. It is an absolute pain to get the seal in square, and then you have to not bump the damn thing when re-installing the PTU.
 

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njjoe, well said.

The dirty little secret is the real problem with the seal is that there is nothing in the CVT for it to seat against, and keep it square. There is a little lip, but only on about 40% of the circumference. Thats not enough. It is an absolute pain to get the seal in square, and then you have to not bump the damn thing when re-installing the PTU.
Interesting!!

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that's the source of many of the leaks. There should always be a base lip for seals to seat against.
 

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The dirty little secret is the real problem with the seal is that there is nothing in the CVT for it to seat against, and keep it square. There is a little lip, but only on about 40% of the circumference. Thats not enough. It is an absolute pain to get the seal in square, and then you have to not bump the damn thing when re-installing the PTU.
K-

You sound very knowledgeable on the subject. Are you employed by Nissan? A mechanic, perhaps?

-njjoe
 

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For some of us a FWD murano was not available. And even if the OP could have bought FWD, he didn't for whatever reason. So his car is what it is. This "you bought it so you have to use it" stuff isn't very helpful.

If there was a relatively easy way to convert my murano to FWD i'd do it tomorrow.

To the posters who are explaining why the OPs idea isn't very practical, thank you.
FWD Muranos not available? Sure they are. If your dealer didn't have one, have them get one. Simple. You may not find it helpful but, why on earth would anyone buy an AWD vehicle, complain about a problem that may or may not come about, isn't a known major problem with that vehicle to begin with, and then want to disable the AWD system when a FWD version is, in fact, available? Makes no common sense to me.
 

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K-

You sound very knowledgeable on the subject. Are you employed by Nissan? A mechanic, perhaps?

-njjoe
Yes, I am a technician at a Nissan dealer.

FWD Muranos not available? Sure they are. If your dealer didn't have one, have them get one. Simple. You may not find it helpful but, why on earth would anyone buy an AWD vehicle, complain about a problem that may or may not come about, isn't a known major problem with that vehicle to begin with, and then want to disable the AWD system when a FWD version is, in fact, available? Makes no common sense to me.
FWD Muranos are almost as rare as hen's teeth. You have better odds of finding a stick Maxima. The few I've seen lack all desirable options as well.
 
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