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Discussion Starter · #81 · (Edited)
What weep hole are you referring to? Those are only used to allow for the visible presence of oil (or some other fluid) in case an external seal is leaking. On the CVT, the only weep hole that comes to mind is the one near where the CVT and transfer case mate to let you know if the transfer case and/or CVT output shaft seal are leaking.
Yes, the one you referred to. I had an internal CVT leak begin about 1.5 years after the installation of the used CVT, so I plugged that hole and just opened it up during the first CVT pan drain earlier this year. Refer to attachments...about a cup of fluid came out. I thought that weephole was to allow any internal condensation to drain away and evaporate more quickly. It does serve as a good way to detect a leak with either the CVT or TC.

MO drove fine again today and minimum pressure held at .58. Once again, except for the flashing yellow step count at 196/196 and the DTC light, MO drive's great. And uphill acceleration from a stop when started cold has greatly improved, to the point I don't see it as an issue. The overnight cold start with overtaching is the only real problem, and with the help of the app, I'm able to drive and "shift" using the gas pedal at certain marks to prevent the overtaching and get MO above 20MPH more quickly than before. No, it's not the way it should work, but it's not that big of a problem. If I had to start off on a hill in the morning, that might be a problem...
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 · (Edited)
Since draining two quarts of tranny fluid and adding a quart of MMO about five days ago, MO hasn't thrown P1778, line pressure has improved slightly and has remained above a min. of .56 (and usually stays at .59 most of the day), and P0868 stays off for about the first two hours of driving, then comes on when I'm stopped and then accelerate slowly - it used to remain on most of the time, and would typically not stay gone even after immediately clearing the code.

In a few days, I plan to drop the pan, check the magnets, remove the step motor and blow it down to make sure metal shavings aren't present and then lube the piston and ensure it moves in and out easily. I'm also planning to use a vibrating device on the underside of the valve body while blowing air and cleaning fluid into those slots, to try to flush out any jammed pieces of metal that may be affecting that pressure solenoid. It may do more harm than good, so I'll have to think more about the benefits vs consequences before doing anything. It would be easier and more thorough to simply remove the valve body and fool around with it on a bench, but I'm not that motivated to play with it. I'll then refill with CVT fluid again and see how things go.

MO really seems to be driving better and has tremendous acceleration and pep that was lacking earlier last year. Since I've recently replaced the plugs and coils, cleaned up the wiring, cleaned the throttle body, and started adding a gallon of lacquer thinner every fourth fillup, those could be the reasons for the performance increase. That possible CVT whine is gone, the loud growl is gone, and the chirp is nearly gone. FYI, the noises vanished prior to replacing the serp belt.

I haven't bothered to get into what oily subtance is making its way into the coolant reservoir. It smells like burnt motor oil. MO still has power and no leaks, and fluid levels appear normal for everything and there's no detectable contamination of the motor oil or CVT fluid, so I'm probably not going to spend any time trying to troubleshoot it. I haven't gotten around to replacing the thermostat. I might not do it.
 

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Since draining two quarts of tranny fluid and adding a quart of MMO about five days ago, MO hasn't thrown P1778, line pressure has improved slightly and has remained above a min. of .56, and P0868 stays off for about the first two hours of driving, then comes up, usually when I'm stopped and then accelerate slowly - it used to remain on all the time, even immediately after clearing the code.

In a few days, I plan to drop the pan, check the magnets, remove the step motor and blow it down to make sure metal shaving aren't present and then lube the piston and ensure it moves in and out easily. I'm also planning to use a virbrating device on the underside of the valve body while blowing air and cleaning fluid into those slots, to try to flush out any jammed pieces of metal that may be affecting that pressure solenoid. It may do more harm than good, so I'll have to think more about the benefits vs consequences before doing anything. I'll then refill with CVT fluid again and see how things go.

MO really seems to be driving better and has tremendous acceleration and pep that was lacking earlier last year. Since I've recently replaced the plugs and coils, cleaned up the wiring, cleaned the throttle body, and started adding a gallon of lacquer thinner every fourth fillup, those could be the reasons for the performance increase. That possible CVT whine is gone, the loud growl is gone, and the chirp is nearly gone. FYI, the noises vanished prior to replacing the serp belt.

I still haven't bothered to really get into what oily subtance is making its way into the coolant reservoir. It smells like burnt motor oil. MO still has power and no leaks, and fluid levels appear normal for everything and there's no detectable contamination of the motor oil or CVT fluid, so I'm probably not going to spend any time trying to troubleshoot it. I haven't gotten around to replacing the thermostat yet. I might not do it.
You would probably enjoy watching Video's by a guy called project farm on youtube. He did a head to head test of motor oils but has done a few with MMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 · (Edited)
Of course, after posting that things were great, MO went ahead and had the lowest line pressure ever this morning at .48/.49, and the P0868 code wouldn't clear from the first drive attempt. Pressure dropped late-morning, then recovered after MO sat idle for a couple. hours, maintaining .54/.56 the rest of the day. Here's a brief video explaining how I'm using the CVTz50 app to get past the cold start drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 · (Edited)
Planned to do probe into the CVT this afternoon, and decided to first change the oil in the transfer case and then do the CVT. Thiings didn't go entirely as planned. From what I can tell, changing the TC gear oil should take about 30 minutes, and you only need a wrench or ratchet wrench for the fill plug, and a hex-socket with 8" long 1/2" drive extension and breaker bar for the drain plug. My only problem was, I didn't have the correct hex-socket. The drain plug is on there very tight, and getting leverage on a too-short allen wrench was impossible, and not something I wanted to slip with and gash open my hand on all the sharp metal in that area.

Also, since it was time for an oil change I decided to throw in a quart of Lucas' "Engine Oil Stop Leaks" just for the hell of it, to see if it can solve the oil in the coolant reservoir.

UPDATE: It's been about six days and the oil is still in the overflow tank. If the radiator is the source of the leak, I wouldn't expect that Lucas product to do anything. Likewise if it were a head gasket issue. I might just head to Autozone with my original receipt and tell them the radiator failed. They'll have me buy a new one, then return the old one for a refund. I've returned defective parts to them before. They're pretty easy to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 · (Edited)
And the Dumb and Dumber act of the day goes to...

After draining two quarts of CVT fluid a few days ago and replacing it with two quarts of Marvel Mystery Oil, my pressure readings have been getting better, and today I saw the best pressure ever at .65/.66. I hit 298,000 miles and MO's running great. So, I decided to revisit the transfer case, something that really wasn't necessary given the conditon of the rear differential oil. But, I was curious...

The drain plug spun out very easily with a 10mm hex-socket and 1/2" drive ratchet with 10" extension. During the reinstallation process, I was talking for the video about certain aspects of MO, and wasn't paying attention to what I was doing while tightening the drain plug. When I finally looked at the plug, I had spun it in too far and cracked the casing. Besides my lack of focus and prevailing stupidity, the other major factor was that I didn't switch to my 3/8" drive ratchet and extension for reinstallation, both of which were lying right beside me for that exact purpose. Instead, I had grabbed and used the 1/2" drive which was way too much leverage for installing a plug in cast metal, especially if not paying attention.

For the first time in my mechanical life, I actually did major damage to something I was trying to fix. As I mentioned in another post, the one thing I hate about recording work is that it can make me lose focus by feeling compelled to entertain the viewer. I'm kind of laughing in disbelief that I've come this far with MO only to sabotage the ending by doing something highly stupid and preventable.

I removed the drain plug, cleaned up the cracks, and loaded up the plug with RTV sealant and smeared it into and around the cracked housing and will let it cure the night before refilling the TC. If this doesn't work, I'll drain it again, clean it up and press some liquid weld into it and let that cure. I might even gunk up the plug with liquid weld to try to seal everything, making draining it that way impossible. But, I only need to make it another 1950 miles...
 

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If that's only the first time you've damaged something you're working on, you're doing better than most of us. :rolleyes:
 
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Good luck. That crack say's "replacement transfer case".

That crack goes way past the where the plug stops.

Aren't you supposed to use some kind of sealer before reusing the plug?

Have a good day.
 

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I would think J-B Weld should handle that with ease. It's not under stress, and there's little to no pressure. Even the RTV should work I would think, so long as the surface was totally free of oils before application. I used the aluminum version of J-B Weld to seal some holes in the aluminum deck of my John Deere mower, it was very strong, I was impressed. I also used silicone to seal the magnesium crankcase of my Elsinore 250 with success when I was a teen...
 
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Discussion Starter · #90 · (Edited)
1) I'm not perfect and of course I've had things happen, such as exhaust bolts snapping off, electrical clip retainers sometimes breaking off, etc. Mostly small stuff, and most happening when I was younger. This is what I consider "real" damage that was 100% avoidable.

2) I used RTV sealant when installing the drain plug.

3) I had JB Weld on hand, but I thought RTV would work fine, provided I used enough cleaner to get everything out. After cleaning everything, I reinserted the clean plug to open up both sides of the crack, then a pressed RTV sealant into boths sides, then removed the plug and let the cracks close up and squeeze the sealant inward and outward. Then I loaded up the plug with sealant and spun it in a few turns, making sure not to go too far that the cracks would open up too much. I'm hoping for a "mushrooming" effect to bond the interior cracks' sealant to the plug sealant, which will, in turn, hold the exterior sealant in place.
 

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I recall working on the V6 in my (then) 1999 Blazer and having the poly intake manifold for the throttle body off. It was rather light material and sealed with an O-ring and some fairly small bolts.

When re-installing it, I set the poly manifold in place, looked at the bolts and was just ready to start torquing the bolts down. At the last minute I felt the need to double-check, and I realized that the torque spec was INCH-pounds, not FOOT-pounds. I almost tried to tighten the bolts 12x too tight, which would have broken them off, and probably also broken the manifold.

It's really easy to make such a mistake.
 
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I was a mechanic for around 10 years long long time ago..Van came in for a oil change and front end alignment..I drained the oil and realized the whool front end was shot and spent the next 4 or 5 hours rebuilding and aligning it. Boss went to drive it and realized I never put oil back in it!! I said my screw up I will pay for a new engine..Boss said no just change the oil again and it will be fine..I felt horrible..
After that I started putting the oil filter in the drivers seat so I woudln't make that mistake twice!!

I still remember that 30 years later!! And the reason I rarely let anybody touch my cars :) I wold have paid to have it replaced or did it myself
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Worst case, if patching compounds and sealants don't work, I'd consider pulling off that broken piece of housing, inserting a tube from the bottom drain plug area (but higher up) to come out the fill plug hole, then carefully use fire-rated expanding foam to seal up the entire cavity. I'm thinking of a few ideas. Not glad this happened, but I enjoy thinking about different fixes. Maybe shove a small, rubber bladder in the hole and inflate it Maybe pack the hole with Silly Putty that's been dunked in Super Glue. I could just drill a small hole beside the shifter, and have a small tube running down to the transfer case's fill hole that I can use to slowly drip-feed gear oil to the transfer case while driving. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #96 · (Edited)
So far, so good. Put on about 175 miles and was periodically checking the plug whenever I'd stop somewhere, and everything's fine. The nice thing is, if you drop to one knee and look past the front spoiler you can easily see the drain plug with a flashlight. As an extra precaution, I got some Permetex Steel Weld that I'm going to spread a few light layers of over the entire plug area to ensure the RTV sealant can't be affected by road salt or whatnot, and to really encase and trap the compromised metal to prevent a leak from forming. So, the plug will still be usable.

The only JB Weld I had on hand last night was the waterweld stuff, which probably would've worked. However, I felt given the situation, the RTV was better at adhering to itself and not pulling apart and creating micro-tears in itself as I inserted the drain plug and possibly made the cracks open a hair. I felt with heat and vibrations, RTV was a better option.

The good news that I realized while refilling the TC is, the drain plug (input shaft seal) housing is replaceable by removing a handful of bolts and pulling out out the pass-side CV axle. While not the easiest of jobs, it's better than having to replace the entire TC. I imagine there are lots of bad transfer cases just lying around junkyards that a person could cannibalize if they weren't comfortable with patching a cracked drain plug housing. Looks like the Nissan engineers put a little thought into this. Better thought would have been to create a different design that's less delicate. Maybe just have a tiny ball valve in place of the plug that you simply open to drain the fluid. Attached is a shot of the old fluid coming out and it in the catch container. There were no metal shavings and the oil didn't even appear as though it was mixed with CVT fluid. I'm perplexed. I actually bought some small containers that I was going to use to test how certain fluids I'm using interact with one another. I wonder if the CVT fluid just floats on the gear oil. Also, in looking at the "diagram" attachment, why is it showing three plugs? What is that third plug (5091A) at the bottom for?
 

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You may want to consider removing the propeller shaft since you should be able to get by with just FWD and that should reduce vibration and stress on the transfer case to some degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 · (Edited)
The vibrations I was mostly thinking about were those coming from that CV axle that's going through the drain plug housing ring. I'm not really all that concerned about the vibration, but naturally when making a repair it's always a good practice to consider all factors beforehand. I chose pliable over rigid as the main filler and sub-layer, then over-coated it with a rigid compound for good measure.

In case some of you are wondering about the Marvel Mystery Oil in the CVT, my reasons for using it aren't a mystery.

- My hope was that since MMO is a little thicker/denser, it may help seal/fill any nano-cracks in any component that may be affected by age or by abrasion due to the over-abundance of metal shavings passing through the system.

- Since there's sludge everywhere, the additives in the MMO might help break it down and flush it away, effectively cleaning some of the affected surfaces and perhaps making them operate more smoothly.

- MMO might be able to lubricate certain troubled parts in a different/better way than the CVT fluid can, which might help those troubled components work a little better.

- Since it's possible there are metal shavings stuck within a solenoid, or a seal ring, or on a piston or arm or whatever, maybe the denser MMO has a better chance of grabbing onto those metal shavings and drawing them out (or pushing them away) moreso than the thinner CVT fluid.

- As MMO appears slightly denser than CVT fluid, perhaps it can somehow retard the flow of fluid through the valves (or certain components) just a smidgeon to perhaps create a temporary blockage to aid in increasing line pressure which might create a sudden fluid surge (that wouldn't usually happen) that might create turbulence upon certain parts to aid in forcing a response or again, purging metal shavings or sludge from troubled components.

In the end, perhaps none of what I'm thinking is what's happening, or can happen. The facts are that after using MMO, code P1778 never returns until I do a drain and only add CVT fluid. I know line pressure seemed to increase a few days after draining CVT fluid and adding a heavier dose of MMO. Coincidence? Perhaps. I recently did some Googling and found a Nissan owner (I think with an Altima) who cured his troubled CVT by only using MMO.

AND TO BE CLEAR... I'm not suggesting that anyone use MMO in their CVT if it's working fine. I'm on the last leg of my journey with my MO, and I don't mind trying out a few things on a CVT that has a couple of hiccups.

FYI, I ended up canceling my Liqui Moly order a long time ago, since I felt that cleaning things too thoroughly might create more problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 · (Edited)
I was curious if CVT fluid was still making its way into the TC, so I spun out the plug and did a drain today, after about 500 miles of use. I've never changed gear oil so quickly, so I'm not sure if the swirling is simply newer-looking oil that hasn't darkened yet or if it's tainted by CVT fluid. It seems a little red and watery. I mixed MMO and CVT fluid together and was surprised how similar-looking they are. Maybe the aspects of what I was hoping was happening in the CVT using MMO due to fluid density/thickness aren't happening at all. They appear identical in appearance and mix perfectly. I also mixed some CVT fluid and gear oil, and the CVT fluid floated on the gear oil. If bored, watch the video...
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 · (Edited)
I should have left well enough alone. Since using RTV sealant to fix the cracked TC drain plug casing, I had no leaks. After cleaning it up and appyling some thin layers of steel weld last night, I had a drip about every 20 minutes this morning. Looks like I'll have to drain the TC, clean it up and try again. I'm guessing the solvent I used to clean up the area to prepare for the steel weld may have broken down some of the RTV sealant higher up on the casing, where it wasn't as thick.

Line pressure has been holding consistently above .61 and MO's running okay. Incidentally, whether the pressure is .48 or .65, I can't tell the difference. MO still seems to drive the same. The secondary pressure readings are typically staying aligned while at cruising speed, but the primary is off the target reading by about 55% most of the time.

Also, the "battery" reading on the app stayed below 13v today, going as low as 11.84. And the reading beside it showed 13.90 a few times (after reactivating engine monitoring) when it usually reads 14.40 to as low as 14.10. Engine turned over slowly the last few times I started it towards the end of the day. Not sure if the alternator may be dying.

EDIT (next day): Tested the battery and alternator and everything is fine with them. I got a P0021 this morning while going about 55MPH. Kind of felt like a clogging CAT. Cleared the code and while driving off/on the rest of the day for about 120 miles the engine was loud when trying to depress the gas pedal too far, so I stayed reserved but could drive 65MPH easily and smoothly. But hard accceleration felt off, so I didn't push it. The code never returned. The engine idled very roughly at stop lights. I did that 20-second relearn tonight and will see tomorrow if MO still has acceleration issues. At random times today, the car would start quickly, and other times it would seem like over-compression was preventing the engine from cranking smoothly. Guess I'll be pulling the battery and tray to look at the NEG cable again.
 

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