Nissan Pathfinder Trans Removal

by Dan Ferrell
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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The process to remove the transmission assembly is very similar for both the two- and four-wheel-drive Nissan Pathfinder models. You remove the transmission and transfer case as a single assembly on your 4WD. This makes it necessary to use a suitable transmission jack on this model. Plan ahead of time, work in an organized manner and, when necessary, label wires, brackets and components for easy reassembly.


Make sure the engine and exhaust system are cool enough to the touch. Then remove the front and rear exhaust pipes. This will give you access to the cooler pipe hooked to the transmission. Disconnect the pipe and the dipstick tube at the transmission, and plug the pipe and ports on the transmission to prevent contamination.

Before detaching the drive shaft from the transmission, match-mark the drive shaft rear yoke and the differential flange where the rear yoke attaches. This will help you reinstall the shaft in the same exact position to keep it in balance.

If you have a 4WD model, disconnect the linkage from the transfer case or the control cable from the transmission on the 2WD. Now look for all the sensors with electrical connectors, unplug them and then remove the starter motor. If necessary, label the wires for easy reassembly.

Where the engine block and transmission attach to each other, look for a gusset and plate cover. Remove these two components, then unfasten the bolts securing the torque converter to the drive plate. You must turn the crankshaft to access all the mounting bolts.


Secure a jack to the transmission (2WD) or the transmission/transfer case assembly (4WD). Remove the rear engine mounting cross member, and unfasten the bolts securing the transmission assembly to the engine block. Double-check that there are no more components, lines or wires around or attached to the assembly that might interfere with transmission removal.

Carefully pull the transmission off the engine and, before you lower the assembly, install a holding strap to the transmission bell housing to keep the torque converter from falling off (see Resource for more information). Then lower and remove the transmission assembly from your Pathfinder.

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