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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, hi guys... new to Altima, not new to Nissan... previous Maxima owner and lover! However I'm now sitting on a
2008 Nissan Altima 2.5 Non-Hybrid Auto
that has had some issue's but we've worked through them ;)

Anyways, transmission failed, needing a new one. No problem doing the swap myself, already have mine out =)

The issue.... for those unknown to the transmission world of these bad boy's here's a quick listing:

Year: 2010 Nissan ALTIMA Transmission

Manual Transmission 2.5L (4 cyl)
Manual Transmission 3.5L (6 cyl)
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Fed
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 3.5L (6 cyl)
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Calif
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) Hybrid


Year: 2009 Nissan ALTIMA Transmission

Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Fed thru 6/09
Manual Transmission 2.5L (4 cyl)
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Calif from 7/09
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) Hybrid
Manual Transmission 3.5L (6 cyl)
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Calif thru 6/09
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 3.5L (6 cyl)
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid Fed from 7/09


Year: 2008 Nissan ALTIMA Transmission

Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) Hybrid
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 3.5L (6 cyl) thru 6/08
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid from 7/08 Calif
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid from 7/08 Fed
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 3.5L (6 cyl) from 7/08
Automatic Transmission (CVT) 2.5L (4 cyl) non-Hybrid thru 6/08
Manual Transmission 2.5L (4 cyl)
Manual Transmission 3.5L (6 cyl)


Notice for my particular 2008 model there are two.... one thru 6/08 and one from 7/08... of course I have the "thru 2008" model.

I have access to a 2010 non-hybrid CVT transmission... the obvious question "Will this work"?

Second to that, for those nay sayers.... "What is the difference between them?"

I've fitted several pieces into cars in the past, and it's a lot about knowing what the changes are, additional programming to the ecu, etc. Sometimes it's as simple as blocking off a new sensor or a new vent line... but on these transmissions I'm new. All I know is the stepper motor is gone as are a few other parts to the point a rebuild is silly and a waste of money with too many parts throwing codes in it.

So, help me out guys... can I use the 2010 transmission in the 2008 as simple plug and drive (of course eprom programming, which is simple)
or
are there other issues restricting me to find a transmission from a 07 or 08 thru 6/08?
 

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It's all Gravy, baby!
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5,137 Posts
As far as I know, the late 2008 and the 2010 trans should be the same, including sensors and all that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok.... update.
So I grabbed the valve body, stepper motor, and solenoids from a 2010 Altima 2.5 non hybrid.... Stepper motor
seemed to be a lot more fluid in this one so I thought for sure I was in luck.

When I dropped the pan I noticed a TON of metal shavings on the magnets.... no bueno
So I still cleaned everything, swapped out top of valve body with all new solenoids, stepper motor, etc .
New filter, new fluid... started the car with no check engine lights, no visible issues.

Car reversed smoothly, put the car in 1st and it shows the same exact issues as before, simply won't get going. However on a down hill this guy acts like a normal car, shifts gears and flies. until uphill or any struggle in which it reverts back to 1st gear and no longer wants to shift, manually or auto. Then you must turn the car off, back on and you can get a decent 1st gear.. so long as not on a hill.

Conclusion:
Actual gears/plates bad inside transmission.... stepper motor replacement and solenoid replacement does nothing to change driving condition.
New transmission is needed.

Going back to junk yard to grab the entire transmission outta the 2010 as it looks BRAND new... can see the print marks on the side perfect with no grease, car had 32k miles on it... so I'm grabbing that guy.

QUESTION REMAINING:
1) Will the 2010 CVT Transmission work in the 2008?
2) Programming.... is there a way to clear the EEPROM yourself
3) Could it be the TCM (TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULE)? maybe just swapping that with the 2010 version may fix this?

Please, give me ideas, responses and help =)
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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687 Posts
... and it shows the same exact issues as before...
Based purely on the above statement, logic suggests that your issue is likely not related to the part you changed.

Ignoring the above statement; I know more about transmissions than the average guy, but the average guy is probably unaware that there are magnets or what they are for. I'm confident that I know less than you and that I cannot be of any help other than suggesting that your problem, despite seeming like a transmission issue, might be something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Based purely on the above statement, logic suggests that your issue is likely not related to the part you changed.
No kidding, that's why there is a "Conclusion" part that takes the knowledge gained from attempting the valve body/solenoid/step motor swap that states its apparent I need the entire transmission as it must be the gears, etc.

I KNOW it's the transmission as I've had two shops tell me the transmission is shot, the goal was that it wasn't simply the step motor... which again is apparent there is more wrong.

The NEW question goes back to the OLD question, are they interchangeable as finding a pre 6/08 non hybrid transmission is very costly... vs the 2010 I just pulled from the junk yard with 38k miles on it that "looks" identical to the 2008 transmission.


****NOTE****
I did notice 1 difference. The 2008 pre 6/08 model has an additional sensor on the valve body.
The 2010 model has the exact same everything, just two less wires and a cap on where the sensor would go... so I could use the wiring from 2008, take the sensor from the 08 valve body put it on the 2010 valve body and literally have the same transmission....

Questions remaining:

QUESTION REMAINING:
1) Will the 2010 CVT Transmission work in the 2008 (where it had the pre 6/09 FED transmission)?
2) Programming.... is there a way to clear the EEPROM yourself or do I need to hit up a transmission shop/Nissan dealership?
3) Will the TCM from the 08 be the one to use or should I use the TCM from the 2010 as the ECU doesn't control these things the TCM does which connects directly to the transmission. (I grabbed it in case the 08 one doesn't work I'll try the 2010 TCM)?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hoping to get a Nissan Tech's advice... or anyone bada$$ on these transmissions.
Here's the part numbers of the TCM's

from my 2008 Altima 2.5s Auto pre 6/08 non-hybrid CVT
31036 JA02D ETC51-262N A1

from the donor 2010 Altima 2.5s Auto non-hybrid FED CVT
31036 ZX00B ETC56-101N A1

I also grabbed another from a 2011 for giggles to see difference in years, part numbers, etc:
31036 ZX00D ETC52-220N A1

notice similarities in bold
between the 2010 and 2011 the second set both start ZX00 and on mine it starts JA0.

All of which make me think I should start with the 2010 TCM and 2010 CVT Transmission
vs
2008 TCM and 2010 CVT Transmission

Again.... big question, will the 2010 TCM have any effect on the 2008 ECU as the TCM ONLY goes
directly to transmission and I believe is the ONLY thing that controls it electronically... am I right?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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If you look more carefully, you'll see that the TCM and ECM talk via CAN bus...it's not so easy...and I wouldn't put it past Nissan to program the TCM serial into the ECM.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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I agree. Based on my experience swapping out BOSE HU's, I learned that the Bluetooth module and the HU talk via the CAN bus also...and that the 'software protocol' clearly changed between 07-09 and 11-12, in order to use a '12 HU, I need to update my BT module to an '11 (which worked flawlessly with the original BT Mic and wiring BTW).

So, if you are reasonably confident that the electrical interface between the TCM and transmission is the same, you are far more likely to have success having your '08 ECM talk to an '08 TCM.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok....
Good news: Transmission is in and the car drives great!

Bad news:
There is no Park. I have to shift the car to Reverse to get it in Neutral to start it.
Drive is all the was down (just not sure if in full Drive).

Not sure if this is a computer thing or simply the shifter on top of the transmission needing adjusted, etc.
Here's a crappy video, I'll make a better one tomorrow:
https://youtu.be/l9-_3AB2FDY


Let me know your input guys?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guessing just adjustment to the shift cable bolt on the transmission... I'll play with that in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Perfecto! Took about three minutes to pop the hood, remove half the air filter housing and reach the bolt, adjust and everything is working perfect!
Thanks for those who supported.
For those of you with crappy CVT's not wanting to shell out a TON for a new one or "exact" replacement you're in luck!
I'm driving the dreaded 2008 pre 06/08 2.5 CVT non-hybrid... yeah try to find one of those guys... close to $1200 MIN
But you look for a 2010 CVT non-hybrid FED and man those guys are priced normal (see them all over for $350-$550).

Changes I made:
1) on transmission valve body there is a bolt added covering where a sensor was in the 2008... I took the sensor from the 08 and put it in the 2010 transmission.

2) Dip stick swap... on the 2010 its a few less degrees and that makes it hit the ram air filter housing, and the top radiator hose to engine.

3) I swapped the pans out because my 08 had a bolt for future draining vs the 2010 that had a rubber plug =p

4) There are two CVT cooler lines... the one closest to the header I replaced with the 2008 line vs the 2010 as they bent a little different.

Aside from that I kept my TCM from the 2008 in place and as there were no codes prior to the swap I haven't gone in for a TCM Eprom clearing



Ohhh and on the "great debate" for NS-2 fluid... I hate my local Nissan dealership in New Port Richey. Just to obtain pricing on the fluid they want my VIN number and then need to have parts call me back... which they never do! Anyways... $19.99 a bottle! and I needed 8 sooooooo did a bit of research.

Winner:
Castrol Transmax CVT fluid for $9.19 per Qt

unlike most CVT alternatives this one is red. Covers NS-1, NS-2 & NS-3

bottom line, stuff works great and there is tons of reviews about it. Even Nissan techs saying they use it =)
 

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I just recently bought 12 quarts of NS2 fluid for $140 shipped of ebay.

I highly advise going with OEM CVT fluid. Nissans NS2 fluid will last much longer than Valvolines from my experience. However I'm not familiar with Castrols, but for the price I wasn't ready to deal with a headache.

Doing the math, I got my NS2 fluid at $12 a quart.

I would also like to ask, why do you refer to the pre 2008 cvts as dreaded? I have 202k on my car, and the cvt performs exactly like the first day we baught it. No jerkiness, whining, or anything. And I have seen plenty of 08 and 07 owners put 300k miles on their cars with no major problems.
 

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2008 2.5S Sedan w/CVT
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I think Nissan/JATCO was still messing around with a lot of things with the CVT in '07 and '08, at least the controls aspect of it.

I remember reading the technical service bulletin about the "rubber band" sympton that some felt under mild acceleration and lowish speeds. The fix was a stiffer transmission mount and a reflashing of the transmission software. There was a section with a table that listed all of the TCM versions and there were a lot of versions in '07 and '08. The number of versions was way less in the newer years. Of course, that's just electronics and software, so it's about how it controls the CVT. Don't know about the hardware side of things.
Bulletin number is NTB10-121b, issued Sept 12, 2011

Here is the table I referred to above
 

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I think Nissan/JATCO was still messing around with a lot of things with the CVT in '07 and '08, at least the controls aspect of it.

I remember reading the technical service bulletin about the "rubber band" sympton that some felt under mild acceleration and lowish speeds. The fix was a stiffer transmission mount and a reflashing of the transmission software. There was a section with a table that listed all of the TCM versions and there were a lot of versions in '07 and '08. The number of versions was way less in the newer years. Of course, that's just electronics and software, so it's about how it controls the CVT. Don't know about the hardware side of things.
Bulletin number is NTB10-121b, issued Sept 12, 2011

Here is the table I referred to above
I can replicate the rubber band symptom on any cvt I drive. Whether it is a new honda cvt, or a 2013 and up cvt.

Once the cvt starts to lower into a higher gear ratio and you press the throttle slightly more, you will feel it. It's just the way a cvt works. And in my opinion it is a little smoother.

The only thing really annoying with the pre 09 models is that they always engine break. Makes coasting a headache.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 

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2010 2.5 SL
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The only thing really annoying with the pre 09 models is that they always engine break. Makes coasting a headache.
My 2010 does that. In fact, the only car I've driven in recent memory that did not do that, CVT or otherwise, was a Ford Taurus.
 
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