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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2010's original transmission failed a couple of weeks ago. The car has no power mods, no Cobb, etc. I tracked the car on OEM transmission fluid twice during the first 9,000 miles, at which point I switched to the Willall WR35TM fluid and tracked it a couple more times, then changed the transmission fluid again (still Willall) at 18,000 miles, and tracked it a couple more times. The transmission failed at around 25,000 miles, on the car's 6th track day. Otherwise it's a daily driver, almost all freeway miles.

The exact cause of the failure is still a mystery, but it wasn't the infamous solenoid issue. Rather, the TCM code was something to do with "1st/reverse position malfunction." My GT-R tech said this most likely means a chipped gear tooth or some such.

Now, needless to say I switched from OEM to Willall specifically to better protect the gears. In other words, I decided to take the risk of a warranty denial because I wanted to actually do the right thing for my transmission. I am disappointed that despite using Willall with higher film strength and better temperature tolerance, I still ended up with a mechanical failure. I should note that I am not particularly aggressive on track, and that I never got my transmission oil temp above 280F while running Willall. (Even if I did, on these forums people have stated that Willall should be safe to run up to 300F, though the transmission would go into limp mode before then, IIRC.)

I suppose it's possible that the root cause of the failure had been there since even before I switched to Willall. I did track the car exactly twice on the OEM fluid, and although back then I wasn't as aggressive and I never even got the transmission oil temp above 250F, who knows what may have happened.

Also, it may be that even with Willall, I should invest in an aftermarket transmission cooler to try to keep the temps even lower.

Whatever the case may be, I now have a factory-fresh new transmission filled with OEM fluid (still on the lift at the dealer, being put together). I intend to continue tracking the car 3-4 times a year and use it as a daily driver otherwise. I live in California, so freezing temperatures are never a concern. What do people recommend I do? Stick with the OEM fluid for a while? Switch to Willall after a 1,000 mile break-in period? Switch to Willall before the car even comes off the lift? Try a different aftermarket oil? Others on these forums with new transmissions--what did you do?

Thanks in advance, much appreciated.
 

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I guess we were in the same shoe. I had my 2010 stock's transmission replaced 2 weeks ago as well due to an unknown failure. Nissan said that the computer fed back "improper gear ratio", and my issue happened when I switched back and forth between reverse and drive. The actual cause still remains a mystery. I only had a bit more than 14000 miles on it with 2 track days...and I'm in Wisconsin
 

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NickTO, I would have gone for a rebuild using upgraded parts had Nissan denied warranty. Since they honored it, I have a brand new OEM transmission with a new warranty, so no aftermarket parts for me at this time.

LaserPower, sorry to hear about yours. Now that you mention it, "improper gear ratio" was the other code my TCM threw. Maybe the same issue?

Edit: By "new warranty" I mean since the car is now back to 100% stock, with OEM transmission fluid, and the new transmission has never been tracked, for all intents and purposes my warranty is now intact for the time being, valid for another 2.5 years (for a total of 5 years' worth of powertrain warranty).
 

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Just so you know r35.2010 if you had chipped gears or missing teeth in your transmission it would sound like a box of marbles rattling when it ran - they dont sound very good at all when something is broken. More than likely it needed the Nissan TSB campaign carried out on the gear selectors if it couldnt see the gear position correctly. Its a documented fault in the gear positioning design of the transmission and Nissan are onto it as an in-field repair as they know there are problems with it - http://www.nagtroc.o...post__p__734042
Your tech 'should' be very much aware of this. If not, its only a few hours to fix in the aftermarket.

Hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Martin. Whatever the case may be, my transmission has already been replaced, so now my question is what fluid I should run in the new transmission, and when to change it.

Incidentally, I took a look at the old transmission, and the oil had the same color and consistency as when it was put in, i.e. no discoloration discernible to the naked eye.

Off-topic (but you should like hearing this): My tech told me there is currently a shortage of the Nissan-branded OEM differential fluid, so they're telling GT-R techs it's OK to use other oils, and he wanted to know more about the Willall diff oil I'm using, since he said my differential looked better than any GT-R running OEM diff oil he's ever seen.
 

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Well thats some nice news

You should never see any discoloration or visible 'wear' with WR35TM. For total peace of mind run WR35TMVS and change it every couple of years in your kind of application. No point in changing too often
 

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Willall, and Dodson are better solutions vs stock for alleviating shock load to the gears, but the problem with tracking is all those internal soft parts getting too hot w/o a dedicated tranny cooler. I had an internal piston seal failure from running at or near 285F one too many times. About time you looked at a tranny cooler.
 

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We are Willall transmission fluids exclusively, unless a customer insists on another brand. I don't think you will find a shop in the country that tracks GT-R's as much as we and our customers do. It's almost every weekend, literally, so we tend to gather some good usage data both qualitative and quantitative. I would suggest the Willall fluid ASAP, changed out roughly once a year if you are doing 4-6 track days a year plus normal daily driving.

Transmission issues and failures can occur at any time but most of the failures we've seen relate to the OEM piston seals, pressure sensors, or pressure issues. I higher quality fluid will help in all these cases but there is no telling when an OEM transmission might fail. We've seen many with over 30K miles not one issues. The good news is there are plenty of far superior aftermarket parts that will strengthen the transmission and prevent these types of failures from happening all together.
Let us know if you have any other questions.
 

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To add to what Sharif just said, they also sell a nice selection of tranny coolers. I got my Forge Tranny Cooler from them, and so far, after a single track day, it's doing its job. Although it was only 70F outside, I never saw over 239F all day, and by the time I finished the cool down lap and pitted, it was down to 212F.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, everyone. Yes, I am beginning to realize that for tracking the car in 90+ degree California desert heat, a transmission oil cooler is a must. I guess I didn't think I needed it early on, but as I get faster and more aggressive, there's just no way around the heat issue.

I am somewhat torn, because one option is to go all out, get a transmission cooler, swap the OEM fluid for Willall, and track the hell out of my car, but another option is to keep it completely stock until next spring, then sell it or trade it in, and get a 2013.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hehe, I was half-kidding about going the 2013 route, but what the hell, I'll talk to some sales managers today and see if they're willing to be reasonable (read: sell at sticker).

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
 
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