Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

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Towncivilian
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Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:16 pm

Welcome to the general Pathfinder / QX4 information and question & answer thread. I have compiled a significant amount of information here in an attempt to reduce the amount of duplicate threads asking the same questions over and over again, and to provide general information about nearly every subject regarding maintenance of our Pathfinders and QX4s.

R50 / General Information Section | WD21 Section | R51 section | General engine oil and filter FAQ

Downloads Model Production Years
  • WD21: 1987 - 1995
  • R50: 1996 - 2004
  • JR50 (QX4): 1997 - 2003
  • R51: 2005 - 2012
  • ???: 2013 - ...
R50 Fluid Capacities
Always use the dipstick to confirm fluid levels where applicable; capacities are approximate.

VQ35DE equipped Pathfinders & QX4s, 2001-2004:
  • Engine oil
    • Drain & refill, with oil filter: 5.25 quarts
    • Drain & refill, without oil filter: 5.07 quarts
    • Dry engine (engine overhaul): 7.25 quarts
  • Cooling system (including reservoir): 9.75 quarts (2.4375 gallons)
    Reservoir capacity is 5/8ths of a quart (~0.634 quarts).
  • Manual transmission gear oil
    Use API GL-4 fluid only or risk damaging brass synchros! Scroll down for an explanation under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section. Redline MT-90 and Amsoil MTG are excellent choices.
    • 2WD: 2.96 quarts
    • 4WD: 5.39 quarts
  • Transfer fluid:
    • Part-time 4WD model: 2.32 quarts
      Use Nissan Matic D or equivalent Dexron III/Mercon, or GL-4 gear oil. ATF is used in the factory. Do not mix ATF and gear oil in the transfer case.
    • All-mode 4WD model: 3.17 quarts
      Use Nissan Matic D or equivalent Dexron III/Mercon. ATF is used in the factory.
  • Front differential: 1.95 quarts
    Use GL-5 fluid, preferably 80W-90. 75W-90 is usable as well; scroll down for more details under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
VG33E equipped Pathfinders & QX4s, 1996-2000 (1997-2000 for QX4s):
  • Engine oil
    • Drain & refill, with oil filter: 3.91 quarts
    • Drain & refill, without oil filter: 3.60 quarts
  • Cooling system (including reservoir): 11.25 quarts (2.8125 gallons)
    Reservoir capacity is 1.25 quarts.
  • Manual transmission gear oil
    Use API GL-4 fluid only or risk damaging brass synchros! Scroll down for an explanation under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section. Redline MT-90 and Amsoil MTG are excellent choices.
    • 2WD: 2.54 quarts
    • 4WD: 5.39 quarts
  • Transfer fluid: 2.32 quarts
    Use Nissan Matic D or equivalent Dexron III/Mercon, or GL-4 gear oil. ATF is used in the factory. Do not mix ATF and gear oil in the transfer case.
  • Front differential: 2.17 quarts
    Use GL-5 fluid, preferably 80W-90. 75W-90 is usable as well; scroll down for more details under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
R50 fluid capacities, all years:
  • Automatic transmission fluid:
    Use Nissan Matic D or equivalent Dexron III/Mercon fluid.
    • Dry fill: 9 quarts
    • Approximate drain and fill amount: 4 quarts
  • Rear differential: 2.96 quarts
    Use GL-5 fluid, preferably 80W-90. 75W-90 is usable as well; scroll down for more details under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
  • Power steering fluid: 0.95 quarts
    Use synthetic ATF for better cold-weather performance and lower operating temperatures; scroll down for more details under the "Other components or issues" Q&A section.
  • Brake and clutch fluid: however much you need to flush the lines until clear fluid comes out of the bleeders.
    Brake bleeding order can be found under the "Brakes" Q&A section, or in BR section of FSM under "Bleeding Brake System" subheading under "CHECK AND ADJUSTMENT" (1996-1997 FSMs) or "ON-VEHICLE SERVICE" (1998-2004 FSMs).
    Use DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1. All three are ethylene glycol based and are interchangeable; DOT4 and DOT5.1 have higher minimum wet and dry boiling points. Do not use DOT5 fluid as it is silicone based and is not miscible with the other DOT fluids. Scroll down for more details under the "Brakes" Q&A section.
  • Propeller shaft grease: NLGI No. 2 lithium soap base
    1996-2001.5 models specify grease containing molybdenum disulphide.
    Grease fittings:
    Image
    These are the only grease fittings on the vehicle from the factory. Do note that 4WD models only have a grease fitting on the front propeller shaft. Aftermarket suspension components may have grease fittings.
  • Multi-purpose grease: NLGI No. 2 lithium soap base
R50 Torque Specifications
To convert foot-pounds to inch-pounds, multiply the value by 12.
To convert inch-pounds to foot-pounds, divide the value by 12.
  • Engine oil drain plug: 22 - 29 ft-lbs
  • Transmission drain plug: 22 - 29 ft-lbs
  • Rear differential fill and drain plugs: 43 - 87 ft-lbs
  • Front differential fill and drain plugs (VG33E-equipped R50s): 43 - 87 ft-lbs
  • Front differential fill plug (VQ35DE-equipped R50s): 29 - 43 ft-lbs
  • Front differential drain plug (VQ35DE-equipped R50s): 43 - 72 ft-lbs
  • Manual transmission fill and drain plugs: 18 - 25 ft-lbs
  • Transfer case:
    • Part time transfer case & VG33E-equipped R50s:
      Fill and drain plugs: 18 - 25 ft-lbs
    • Full time transfer case (only available on VQ35DE-equipped R50s):
      Fill and drain plugs: 87 - 174 in-lbs
  • Spark plugs: 14 - 22 ft-lbs
  • Ignition coil packs (VQ35DE only): 75 - 95 in-lbs
  • Wheel lug nuts: 87 - 108 ft-lbs
  • Fuel line hose clamps: 8.7 - 13.0 in-lbs
R50 Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins: General model questions:
  • Q: How do I determine whether I have a 2001.0 or 2001.5 model year Pathfinder?
    A: Check the manufacturing date of your Pathfinder on the driver door jamb. Dates 01/01/2000-08/31/2000 are 2001.0 model years; 09/01/2000-06/03/2001 are 2001.5 model years.
  • Q: What's the difference between 2001.0 and 2001.5 model year Pathfinders?
    A: 2001.5 Pathfinders have revised spark plug coil packs to correct failures which plagued 2001.0 MY Pathfinders. Other than that, there is a newer smart entrance control unit in the latter half of the production of 2001.5 Pathfinders. If you're having a P1320 (ignition signal) engine code and have a 2001.0 Pathfinder, scroll down to the "Engine" section - there is a Q&A regarding possible fixes.
  • Q: What's my paint code?
    A: There are two places to find your vehicle's paint code. The first place is the label on the driver door jamb. On the sticker, it is the 3 character code near the bottom of the label. In the following example, the paint code is EW3:

    Image

    The second place to find your vehicle's paint code is on the placard located in the engine compartment on the firewall.

    Image
  • Q: Can I run 87 octane (regular) gasoline in my VQ35DE equipped Pathfinder?
    A: Yes, but you will experience reduced performance. In my opinion, the performance difference is quite noticeable, and the few dollars difference per fill-up between regular and premium (91 or higher) octane gasoline is well worth the difference. Using 91 or higher octane also may result in slightly higher fuel economy; see this thread.

    If you have a VG33E equipped R50, do not use anything other than 87 octane (regular) gasoline; this may result in reduced performance and/or fuel economy, as higher octane fuel is more difficult to ignite and the engine cannot advance timing to take advantage of the higher octane because it was designed to run on regular (87 octane) gas.

    You can read more about octane here.
  • Q: Why should I use the parking brake?
    A: You should use the parking brake when parking your Pathfinder or QX4 (or any vehicle, really), even on a flat surface, in order to have the vehicle's weight rest not on the transmission's parking pawl, but on the wheels. Here is the procedure I use to park my automatic Pathfinder:

    1. Come to a complete stop.
    2. Engage the parking brake.
    3. Select N (neutral).
    4. Let off the foot brake.
    5. Wait for the vehicle to completely settle and stop any movement.
    6. Move the shifter into P.

    Have you ever tried to shift out of P, but encountered resistance? This procedure will completely eliminate that resistance. The resistance is caused by the parking pawl not being completely centered. If you do not use the parking brake on a steep hill, you may encounter a significant amount of trouble attempting to shift out of P because there is so much strain on the parking pawl. Also, in the unfortunate event of someone colliding with your vehicle in a parking lot, there is less chance of the parking pawl breaking and the vehicle rolling.
Engine:
  • Q: I have a VQ35DE-equipped Pathfinder or QX4. I'm getting a P0100 code ( MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR (MAFS) ).
    A: You can attempt to clean the MAF sensor using MAF sensor cleaner and inspect the wiring. There is also a diagnostic in the EC section of the factory service manual under "DTC P0100 MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR (MAFS)". If you need to replace the MAF sensor, you can purchase this $90 OEM Maxima MAF which has been used by several members here without any problem; it's certainly cheaper than the $442 OEM Pathfinder MAF.
  • Q: I have a 2001.0 model year Pathfinder with a P1320 (ignition signal) code.
    A: Unfortunately, the 2001.0 model year Pathfinders seem to be plagued with ignition coil pack issues; with the 2001.5 model year, the ignition coil packs were revised. You cannot use these newer coil packs in your engine. If you have a P1320 code without any associated misfire code, the common fix is to replace all six spark plugs and coil packs.

    Some other things you can try first, however: As for replacement coil packs, Courtesy Parts sells OEM ignition coil packs for $92.23 each at the time of this writing: EverythingNissan.com also sells OEM ignition coil packs for $82.35 each at the time of this writing: Use OEM spark plugs (NGK PLFR5A-11). There is a spark plug replacement how-to here.
  • Q: How do I replace spark plugs on my VQ35DE-equipped Pathfinder or QX4?
    A: See the spark plug replacement how-to here.
  • Q: How do I replace spark plugs and the distributor cap & rotor on my VG33E-equipped Pathfinder or QX4?
    A: See this guide.
  • Q: What's this hoopla about needing to put threadlocker on the power valve screws of my VQ35DE-equipped Pathfinder?
    A: There is a potential issue where no threadlocker was applied to the power valve screws during assembly; this is not a very widespread issue, however. The lack of threadlocker allows the possibility of the very small screws to back out of their screw holes due to vibration, and get eventually sucked in by the engine when the power valves are actuated, potentially causing significant engine damage. It is not known which specific VINs or years are affected. Applying red threadlocker to the 12 power valve screws is a way to ensure this does not occur. There is an excellent how-to with pictures detailing the process here (thanks BowTied on NPORA for writing the original how-to). If you prefer the dealer to perform this procedure, it will cost somewhere in the range of $300.
  • Q: How do I clean the MAF sensor?
    A: See the bottom of this how-to guide. You may need to use a tamper-resistant T20 Torx bit to remove the screws securing the MAF sensor.
  • Q: How do I clean the throttle body?
    A: See this how-to. While the thread specifically applies to the 3.3L (VG33E) model R50, the general procedure is the same for most vehicles on the road today.
  • Q: How do I replace the PCV valve in my VG33E-equipped Pathfinder or QX4?
    A: See this how-to.
  • Q: How do I replace the PCV valve in my VQ35DE-equipped Pathfinder or QX4?
    A: The PCV valve is located under the lower intake manifold and is irritating to get to. This guide will show you how to get below the lower intake manifold. Here is the parts list for replacing the PCV valve. You can read my PCV valve replacement horror story if you want. :)
  • Q: What are some power adders to get better performance from my Pathfinder / QX4?
    A: For the R50s, there aren't many options; the two most popular power adders are custom exhaust and a cold air intake (or a high-flow drop-in filter). Some other power adders available for the R50 are high performance camshafts and an ECU reprogramming service. Other options include universal power adders such as upgraded spark plugs (such as Pulstar or something similar), electric fan conversion, throttle body bypass and a timing advance. The R5's have a plethora of options, including custom bent exhaust systems, a supercharger, custom headers, and high performance camshafts, as well as a slew of aftermarket ECU programmers. The R51s can also benefit from the same universal power adders listed above for the R50.

    One relatively simple mod is either the removal of the airbox resonator, or cutting/drilling some holes in it. See this thread.
Transmission and driveline:
  • Q: How do I drop the automatic transmission pan and replace the filter on my R50?
    A: See this how-to.
  • Q: The transmission fluid in my Pathfinder or QX4's automatic transmission has never been serviced. What should I do?
    A: There is a common myth that performing a flush on a high-mileage transmission without previous service can kill it. This is perpetuated by vehicle owners who begin to experience transmission failures such as slipping and harsh shifting and have never serviced the transmission previously. Thinking a complete fluid change (aka a flush) might fix everything, they have one performed. The transmission dies a week later, because the transmission was on its death bed already due to neglected maintenance; the flush is then blamed for the transmission's death instead of the owner's neglect.

    Anyways, the answer is yes, change the fluid, especially if it is brown on the dipstick and smells burnt. I would do so gently, however, with a pan drop to examine the magnet at the bottom of the transmission pan for significant debris and to change the in-pan filter/strainer (which is more like a rock catcher than a filter - even the best in-pan filters do not filter below 80 microns), then with several drain and fills of the fluid with a few weeks worth of driving in between to exchange the vast majority of the old fluid.

    Installation of a Magnefine in-line transmission filter on the transmission cooler return line is also highly recommended. The Magnefine contains a very strong magnet to catch all ferrous wear material, and filtering media in the range of 35 microns to catch anything non-ferrous. Install one on the power steering return line too to significantly prolong the usable life of the power steering fluid. Ford has tested the Magnefine (even installed backwards) and found no appreciable pressure drop with the filter installed. Ford also used to recommend a rebadged Magnefine for use after a transmission rebuild or replacement, but no longer does so for some reason (nobody knows why). A 3/8" Magnefine will fit both the transmission and power steering hoses. See a Magnefine filter in use for 23,000 miles opened here, and see one that I personally ran on my Pathfinder for 13k miles here. The transmission cooler return line is located on the passenger side, and the power steering return hose is connected to the tube on the side of the power steering fluid reservior.
  • Q: How do I perform a transmission cooler line fluid exchange?
    A: You will need:
    • 12 to 15 quarts of automatic transmission fluid, preferably Nissan Matic D
    • A clear gallon jug, something like an empty milk jug
    • Another large container to store used fluid for disposal
    1. Disconnect the transmission cooler return line and secure it in a collection bucket such as a clear gallon milk jug. This will be the hose on the passenger side of the vehicle; disconnect the end leading towards the transmission.
    2. Have a helper start the car while you watch the bucket - once it's half full (2 quarts), yell for the helper to stop the engine.
    3. Add 2 quarts of ATF through the transmission dipstick.
    4. Drain collection jug into larger jug (i.e. a Disposoil - these only hold 10 quarts though in my experience, so have something else to hold the last 5 quarts).
    5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you're out of ATF.
    6. Check fluid for proper level (see the next question and answer for details), and recycle the old ATF. Any place that takes used oil will likely recycle ATF.

    It is advisable to install a Magnefine in-line transmission filter as well. See the previous question and answer for information regarding the Magnefine.
  • Q: How do I properly check the automatic transmission fluid level?
    A:
    1. Drive around for 10 minutes in the city after the transmission is at operating temperature.
    2. Park on a level surface and apply the parking brake.
    3. With P selected, shift through every gear and return to P.
    4. Pull the transmission dipstick with the engine idling, wipe it clean, reinsert it completely, and read the level. It must be within the notched area labeled "HOT". Check for fluid contamination after wiping on a paper towel.

    Image

    The fluid should be red, and not smell burnt. If it is, do a drain & fill or a cooler line exchange.
  • Q: Should I install an auxiliary transmission cooler? Should it be installed in-line with the stock cooler?
    A: The R50 does not seem to be afflicted by the infamous "stock cooler clogging" issue that WD21 Pathfinders were plagued by. However, if you tow frequently, it would be a wise idea to install an auxiliary transmission cooler to help lower transmission temperatures. Since the stock cooler is not as prone to clogging as the WD21 transmission, it should be installed in-line with the stock cooler in the radiator. The stock cooler will help warm up the fluid to operating temperature quicker on cold starts, and a oil-to-water cooler is extremely efficient. Stacked plate type coolers are more efficient than fin and tube type coolers.

    I personally run this B&M 13,000 BTU (19,000 GVW) stacked plate transmission cooler in-line with the stock cooler, as well as a Magnefine in-line filter (described three questions above), even though I rarely tow anything and never go off-road. However, the slightly thicker B&M 70264 which is rated at 24k GVW will fit without an issue on an R50. You can find an album of photos detailing my transmission cooler install here.

    Ideally, before installing the auxiliary transmission cooler, one would clean it out. See this Nissan TSB (NTB00-056b - 1988 AND LATER NISSAN VEHICLES AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION OIL COOLER CLEANING) for details.

    If you have a WD21 and are installing an auxiliary transmission cooler, do not plumb it in-line with the stock cooler unless you clean it out and install an in-line filter.
  • Q: I have a 2001 Pathfinder or QX4. I feel a shift flare when the following conditions are met:
    "Shift flare" can be described as the transmission slipping during shifting, engine RPMs rising, and it seems that the transmission is no longer in gear.
    • During first -> second or second -> third gear shifts with moderate throttle application and only when the vehicle is cold and/or has been sitting for at least 3 hours or overnight.
    • During first -> second gear shifts when accelerating hard from a stop and then backing off the throttle, and at all temperatures.
    A: Please see NTB01-055a 2001 PATHFINDER AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 1-2 OR 2-3 SHIFT FLARE for details.

    Ensure that your transmission fluid level is correct and is fresh (see the previous question and answer for steps). Other than that, the fix as specified in the TSB can be a costly one. To my knowledge, there has not been any transmission damage as a result of this flaring, so it may be possible to simply live with the issue.
  • Q: My transmission and/or differential plugs are difficult to remove.
    A: Before you potentially cause damage to the plug by attempting to use a 1/2" square drive breaker bar, get this drain plug socket set and use its 13mm socket along with PB Blaster or other penetrating lubricant to remove the plugs. Always attempt to remove the fill plug first! If you remove the drain plug but can't loosen the fill plug, you can't move until you do.
  • Q: Why can't I use GL-5 fluid in my manual transmission?
    A: GL-5 gear oils contain additives that can be harmful to yellow metals (brass synchros). When a fluid states that it is GL-4 and GL-5 suitable, it is likely referring to use in a differential, not in a manual transmission. While GL-4 fluids can sometimes be difficult to obtain, I would not chance significant transmission damage, especially when the lubricant in question is changed out at relatively lengthy intervals, in order to save a few dollars by using an easily-obtained GL-5 rated lubricant. Redline MT-90 and Amsoil MTG are excellent options suitable for use in our manual transmissions.
  • Q: Can I use GL-5 fluid in my VQ35DE-equipped R50's part-time 4WD or VG33E-equipped R50's transfer case?
    A: I'm not sure whether there are any components in the transfer case that would be damaged by a GL-5 fluid, but I wouldn't chance it - the FSM does specify GL-4 fluid only for the transfer case, so use that. See the previous question & answer for some excellent fluid options.
  • Q: How often should I grease my driveshaft(s)?
    A: Depends on your driving style. Grease the driveshaft(s) every time after there is potential water entry, such as driving through standing water. Otherwise, if your Pathfinder primarily stays on the road, greasing every oil change is likely sufficient. If you tow, greasing more frequently is probably a wise idea.
  • Q: Why do 1996-2001.5 Pathfinders specify grease containing molybdenum disulphide?
    A: Molybdenum disulphide is an anti-wear additive that plates to metal to create a barrier against wear. I don't know why the 2002-2004 FSMs specify grease that does not contain it.
  • Q: I can't find the grease fittings on my driveshaft.
    A: Since the fittings rotate with the driveshaft, you may need to move the vehicle several feet to get the fitting facing a direction where it is accesible. Using a grease gun with a flexible hose helps in this regard as well. Do note that 4WD models only have a grease fitting on the front propeller shaft.
  • Q: Can I use 75W-90 synthetic gear oil in my differential(s)?
    A: Certainly. While the FSM says 80W-90 is preferred, there will be no problem running 75W-90 (of which most are synthetic). Synthetic gear oil will lower differential temperatures somewhat and are especially recommended if you tow frequently.
  • Q: I hear chattering from my limited-slip differential(s), especially when making turns.
    A: You may be using a fluid that does not contain LSD additive, or it does not contain enough. Add LSD additive as required until the chattering stops.
Suspension:
  • Q: My R50 sways at high speeds (on the highway), what is causing this?
    A: This is a common problem on R50 Pathfinders/QX4s that occurs when the lower control arm bushings become worn out. The issue can be fixed simply by replacing these bushings. Removal and installation of the bushings is not an easy job and requires special tools. A professional installation should be considered.

    Note: Polyurethane bushings are available to permanently alleviate this issue; however, new lower control arms (w/ new bushings included) can also be purchased. When considering the price of polyurethane bushings and the price of labor for a mechanic's removal/install - it may be cheaper to purchase completely new lower control arms and tackle the project yourself.

    This is not a difficult job, but requires some specialized tools (a press and possibly a come-a-long) to do correctly. The old bushings should be pressed out of the control arms. Doing it any other way may damage the control arms. Average labor rate to replace lower control arm bushings is about 1.2hrs.
  • Q: I could use some information about suspension lifts for my R50.
    A: See "Suspension Lifts 101".
  • Q: How do I install an AirLift 1000 rear air spring kit on my R50?
    A: See this how-to.
Brakes:
  • Q: How do I change my brake pads and rotors, and regrease my wheel bearings?
    A: See this how-to. All of the steps can also be found in the BR section of the factory service manual.
  • Q: How often should I change my brake fluid?
    A: Ethylene glycol based brake fluid (DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5.1) is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This will reduce the boiling point of the fluid, which may result in brake fade (in which case the brake pedal falls to the floor and you have reduced or no braking) if the fluid boils. The moisure also can result in corrosion and reduced life of brake components. There is no recommended service interval in either the owner's manual or factory service manual; some other makes do specify intervals, however. It is generally recommended to flush your brake fluid every 2 years. As noted in the "R50 Fluid Capacities" section, either DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1 brake fluid is usable. DOT4 has higher minimum wet/dry boiling points, and DOT5.1 has higher boiling points still. If you frequently tow, I would bleed the brakes yearly.
  • Q: What's the difference between the DOT3, 4, 5, and 5.1 types?
    A: DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5.1 are ethylene glycol based and are all compatible with each other. DOT5 is silicone based and does not mix with the other types; never use DOT5 in a brake system that specifies DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1. Even if you do a thorough flush using DOT5, there still may be old fluid left in the calipers which will just sit there and absorb moisture. DOT5 brake fluid does not absorb moisture; instead, the water may just sit in the brake fluid reservoir as a "top layer" of the fluid. This isn't too big of a deal I believe, since water is non compressible, but I digress at this point.

    Here are the dry and wet boiling points for every DOT spec brake fluid:
    Wet boiling point refers to fluid that is 3.7% water by volume.

    Code: Select all

               Dry boiling point:      Wet boiling point:
    DOT3:      205 °C (401 °F)         140 °C (284 °F)
    DOT4:      230 °C (446 °F)         155 °C (311 °F)
    DOT5:      260 °C (500 °F)         180 °C (356 °F)
    DOT5.1:    270 °C (518 °F)         190 °C (374 °F)
  • Q: How can I do a one-person brake bleed?
    A: The most common method is to use a vacuum fluid extractor, such as a MityVac. This connects to the brake bleeder and applies vacuum to draw the fluid out. All you need to do is crack the bleeder screw and ensure the master cylinder reservoir is always topped off. Always follow brake bleeding order (which is found in BR section of FSM under "Bleeding Brake System" subheading under "ON-VEHICLE SERVICE"). Also, be sure to close the bleeder screw before removing the fluid extractor's tube.
  • Q: What's the brake bleeding order?
    All orders assume the driver's side is left, passenger's side is right.

    For 1996-1997 models:
    • 1. LSV air bleeder (Models equipped with LSV)
      2. Left rear brake
      3. Right rear brake
      4. Left front brake
      5. Right front brake
    For 1998-2002 models:
    • 1. LSV air bleeder (4WD models only)
      2. Left rear brake
      3. Right rear brake
      4. Left front brake
      5. Right front brake
    For 2003-2004 models:
    • 1. Left rear brake
      2. Right rear brake
      3. Left front brake
      4. Right front brake
    The LSV valve is the load-sensing valve. Here is how you bleed it:
    • 1. Disconnect the spring.
      2. Bleed the LSV like you would a brake line, then pull the lever to the full down position and repeat. Cycling the lever a few times will help get the bubbles out, too.
      3. Lubricate parts where required (see diagram below).
      4. Continue bleeding the brakes in the correct order.
    See this diagram for reference (click to enlarge):
    Image
    Consult your year's FSM for torque specs if you're torquing something other than the air bleeder.

    As for the ABS module, I'm not sure whether it gets bled during the general bleeding procedure or not. If you want to be extremely thorough, you can bleed the brakes, actuate ABS in an empty parking lot a few times to dilute the fluid, then bleed the brakes again.
  • Q: Which brake fluid do you recommend?
    A: Anything that meets at least DOT3 specifications. Fluids that meet DOT4 specifications are easily found at most local auto parts stores.

    Some choose to use ATE Super Blue fluid due to its unique blue color and because it greatly exceeds minimum specifications. The dyed fluid allows one to easily know when all old fluid has been bled from the system. Those in Florida cannot use this fluid - see the "NOTE TO FLORIDA RESIDENTS ONLY" in the linked page. It has also been reported that this fluid's dye can stain the master cylinder reservoir. Some decide to cut the fluid 50/50 using ATE Type 200 Amber Brake Fluid in an attempt to prevent staining, which is identical to the Super Blue fluid save for the dye. Some also alternate between the Blue and Amber fluid each flush to know when all old fluid has been bled.
Wheels/Tires:
  • Q: What is the lug pattern?
    A: 6 x 139.7mm (6 x 5.5in) for WD21s and R50s, 6 x 114.3mm (6 x 4.5in) for R51s.
  • Q: What is the center bore?
    A: 100mm (3.93in)
  • Q: What is the largest tire I can run with factory suspension?
    A: It is not recommended to use a tire taller than 31" as it can cause rubbing on the fender flares or front bumper. You may be able to fit larger tires, however that would require removal of the fender flares as well as an aftermarket bumper (unless you cut away some of the front bumper) and other various trimming/bending.
  • Q: What is the largest tire I can run with the A.C. (Automotive Customizers) lift?
    A: With some serious trimming and bending you may be able to fit as large as a 34" tire, given the fender flares are removed and an aftermarket front bumper is used (unless you cut away some of the front bumper). The A.C. lift has different outcomes on different vehicles, some net more than 2" of lift (after settling) which can allow for larger tires.
  • Q: Which are better, steel or aluminum wheels?
    A: It depends on your application. Steel is much stronger and much cheaper, however it can rust very easily and it weighs significantly more than aluminum or alloy wheels. Aluminum (or alloy) wheels are much lighter and will never rust but they can be quite expensive. If the vehicle spends a lot of time off-road, then steel is recommended for strength. If the vehicle is a daily driver or spends most of its time on the road, then aluminum (or alloy) is recommended for weight savings and better fuel economy. Either wheel will perform the same in either on-road or off-road applications; it really comes down to personal preference.
  • Q: Can I paint my factory wheels a different color?
    A: Sure! It's not a simple process by any means, but it can be done in a weekend. The job is much easier if the tires are removed from the rims, although it isn't necessary. For some detailed instructions as well as some pictures of the process, check out the following threads: Painted my stock rims and Painted My Wheels
Maintenance:
  • Q: How often should I change my engine coolant?
    A: Once at 60,000 miles or 48 months, then every 30,000 miles or 24 months.
  • Q: How do I drain and fill my radiator?
    A: Here is the process I use:

    1. Set the heater controls to maximum heat and run blower motor for 10 seconds with engine off, ignition at "ON".
    2. Remove radiator cap and open rear air relief tube at rear center of engine (see picture of air relief tube; it's the tube covered with a black rubber cap in the center of the picture).
    3. Drain coolant using the drain plug at bottom of radiator. Inspect coolant for contamination such as rust, corrosion, or discoloration; if any contamination is present, consider getting a flush done.
    4. Unclamp radiator overflow reservoir hose next to radiator cap and route it below the engine so the contents of the reservoir can drain. Flush using a gallon of distilled water. Mine had a lot of sediment, which is why I used so much distilled water to flush it all out.
    5. Pre-mix 1 gallon Genuine Nissan Coolant (see below for choosing between green and blue coolants) and 1 gallon distilled water using a suitable container, such as a new gas can that holds 2+ gallons. Reinstall the drain plug, make sure the O-ring is still present! Drain plug torque is 7 - 13 in-lbs.
    6. Fill radiator to bottom of neck and wait five minutes. Fill overflow reservoir to "MAX" line. Inspect the radiator cap while you wait (see the next Q&A for instructions).
    7. Fill radiator to top of neck, then install air relief tube cap and radiator cap.
    8. Run vehicle to operating temperature (don't drive around just yet). You can rev the engine to around 2k RPM to speed this process up once the temperature gauge starts climbing. Watch for temperature spikes and verify operation of heater. Once at normal operating temperature, shut off the engine.
    9. Check overflow reservoir level. Fill to "MAX" if necessary. Once it's at "MAX," you can now drive as normal. Watch coolant reservoir level and check for leaks periodically (every time you park, ideally) and top up to "MAX" if required. If the overflow reservoir becomes empty, top up the radiator and the reservoir once your engine is cold and the rad cap is no longer hot, and continue this process until the coolant level no longer drops (or if you cannot wait for your engine to cool, just top up your reservoir and check/fill radiator at the next convenient opportunity).

    NTB01-057 - REVISED MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES states that "during standard scheduled maintenance, only the radiator is to be drained and filled; draning the engine block is no longer part of standard scheduled maintenance. If drained engine coolant contains contaminants such as rust, corrosion, or discoloration, draining the block or flushing the cooling system may be indicated."
  • Q: How can I check the condition of my radiator cap?
    A: See NTB04-018 - RADIATOR CAP INSPECTION DURING COOLANT SYSTEM SERVICE.
  • Q: Should I use the green or blue Nissan coolant?
    A: Read this quoted TSB. Either can be used as they are safe to mix. If you are getting a flush done at the dealer, ask them to use the blue coolant, but if you're just doing a drain & fill and already have the green coolant in there, use green as adding blue to green will reduce the life expectancy of the blue coolant to that of the green (which is 4 years or 60,000 miles). Always use distilled or demineralized water when servicing a coolant system.
  • Q: How often should I change my power steering fluid, and how do I do it?
    A: There is no specified interval for replacing power steering fluid. When it's brown and/or smells burnt, it's definitely time to change it - but ideally the fluid would never get to that point. You can change it using a turkey baster (not your wife's!) or a suction gun. Open the reservoir, remove the small filter, then suck most of the fluid out and replace with synthetic ATF. Synthetic ATF will reduce temperatures and provide better cold-weather performance; no longer will your power steering pump groan and moan during those cold starts in the winter months. Clean the small filter using brake cleaner if it has any contaminants on it. Recycle the used power steering fluid at any place that recycles engine oil.
  • Q: How often do I change my fuel filter in my R50?
    A: Bi-anually should be sufficient, especially if you previously replaced the fuel filter with a high-quality part such as the OEM filter or a Wix/NAPA Gold (for R50s, part # 33023 / 3023, respectively; NAPA Gold filters are manufactured by Wix). Some choose to replace it yearly, including myself. Either way, just don't forget about this; a partially restricted or clogged fuel filter will reduce performance noticeably and shorten the life of the fuel pump as it will have to work harder to pump fuel through a restricted filter. There is an excellent how-to regarding fuel filter replacement here.
  • Q: How do I change my cabin air filter in my R50?
    A: Read this thread for the replacement procedure. In my opinion, it's not worth it to purchase the OEM cabin air filter; read this thread. If you do not have a cabin air filter, see these instructions for adding one.
Common issues:
  • Q: My seatbelts are slow to retract, or don't retract by themselves at all. Is there a fix?
    A: Seatbelts on Nissan vehicles 1989-2002 are warrantied for the lifetime of the vehicle; on 2003 and newer vehicles it's 10 years. You can have your seatbelts replaced for free by Nissan or Infiniti. Read this post.
  • Q: My 2001-2004 Pathfinder's digital clock doesn't work! How do I fix it?
    A: See this thread. For you 1996-2000 owners that are wondering where the stock clock is, it was in the factory head unit. Hopefully your replacement head unit has a clock function.
  • Q: My HVAC blower motor only stays on one speed and I can't change it, or only works on the highest setting!
    A: If you have the automatic HVAC system (with LCD display), then the issue is most likely the fan control amplifier. This part basically controls the four fan speeds and it is probably burnt out and requires replacement. If you have the manual (three dials) HVAC controls, then the issue is the blower motor resistor pack. The resistor pack is a bank of resistors which control the four fan speeds. The resistors are burnt out and will need to be replaced to restore all of the fan speeds. The following thread explains both issues in detail and steps on how to replace the parts: Blower Motor Problem
  • Q: My 1996-2001 Pathfinder or QX4's blower motor fan makes a ticking noise at fan speeds 1 or 2. Is there a fix?
    A: Yes. See this thread.
  • Q: My windows are extremely slow in cold weather.
    A: Read this thread. The most common fix is to apply silicone lubricant to the window tracks to clean any dirt and grime build-up and to help lubricate the window tracks.
  • Q: One or more of my windows will roll all the way up, but then it backs down several inches.
    A: This is caused by the window limiter swith being confused. See this thread for details on resetting it.
Interior Modifications and Upgrades: Didn't see your question listed? Check the list of How-Tos, do a search, and if all else fails, feel free to post a new topic! Alternately, ask your question here and if it seems like a common question, I'll add it to this list. Feedback is also welcome, please correct me if I'm wrong or if you have something to add to a specific question or answer, say so! :dblthumb:


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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and Q&A

Postby Towncivilian » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:16 pm

R50 / General Information Section | WD21 Section | R51 section | General engine oil and filter FAQ

Downloads
  • Factory service manuals: To save a copy of the FSM, right click -> Save As on every PDF, save them into a single folder, then use fwd.pdf to navigate.
    The 1990 & 1989 FSMs are single PDF files and are rather large (about 115MB), so right click -> Save As instead of waiting for them to load in your browser window.
    The same FSM was used for the Hardbody (D21) and Pathfinder (WD21), but it's based around the Hardbody. Pathfinder-specific differences are noted in the FSM.
    There were no electronic FSMs until 1994, so that explains the lack of 1991-1993 FSMs; the two early ones are scans somebody made, and ironically look much better than Nissan's own scans.
Model Production Years
  • 2-door WD21: 1986.5 - 1990
  • 4-door WD21: 1990 - 1995
    For history about the Pathfinder's origins and the reason why the 2-door model was eliminated in 1990, read this post on NPORA - at least the first section.
WD21 Fluid Capacities
Always use the dipstick to confirm fluid levels where applicable; capacities are approximate. Capacities are from 1995 Pathfinder/Hardbody FSM.
  • Engine oil:
    VG30E:
    • 2WD:
      • With oil filter: 4.25 quarts
      • Without oil filter: 3.80 quarts
    • 4WD:
      • With oil filter: 3.60 quarts
      • Without oil filter: 3.17 quarts
    KA24E:
    • 2WD:
      • With oil filter: 4.12 quarts
      • Without oil filter: 3.70 quarts
    • 4WD:
      • With oil filter: 3.49 quarts
      • Without oil filter: 3.06 quarts
  • Cooling system (including reservoir):
    • VG30E:
      • 2WD: 11.3 quarts (approximately 3 gallons)
      • 4WD: 12.36 quarts (approrimxately 3.25 gallons)
    • KA24E:
      • 2WD: 8.56 quarts (approximately 2.14 gallons)
      • 4WD: 9.51 quarts (approrimxately 2.38 gallons)
      Reservoir capacity is 3/4ths of a quart (0.75 quarts) for all models.
  • Manual transmission gear oil:
    Use API GL-4 fluid only or risk damaging brass synchros! Scroll up for an explanation under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
    • FS5W71C
      • 2WD: 2.11 quarts
      • 4WD: 4.22 quarts
    • FS5R30A
      If you have a 4WD Pathfinder with this transmission, you must overfill the transmission. See this thread on NPORA.
      • 2WD: 2.536 quarts
      • 4WD: 3.80 quarts
  • Transfer gear oil: 2.32 quarts
    Use Genuine Nissan ATF or equivalent Type Dexron II. Dexron II and III are no longer being licensed; use a Dexron III fluid, preferably synthetic for better cold-weather performance and lower operating temperatures.
    75W-90 gear oil is also usable (it is not specified which GL rating fluid is usable; I would use GL-4 to be on the safe side), but do not mix ATF and gear oil in the transfer case.
  • Manual steering gear oil: 0.34 quarts
    Use API GL-4 fluid only.
  • Differential gear oil:
    Use GL-5 fluid, preferably 80W-90. 75W-90 is usable as well; scroll up for more details under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
    • Rear:
      • H190A: 1.58 quarts
      • C200: 1.37 quarts
      • H233B: 2.95 quarts
    • Front:
      • R180A: 1.37 quarts
      • R200A: 1.58 quarts
  • Automatic transmission fluid capacity (with torque converter):
    Use Genuine Nissan ATF or equivalent Dexron III/Mercon fluid.
    • 2WD: 8.34 quarts
    • 4WD: 8.98 quarts
  • Power steering fluid: 1.05 quarts
    Use synthetic ATF for better cold-weather performance and lower operating temperatures; scroll up for more details under the "Other components or issues" Q&A section.
  • Brake and clutch fluid: however much you need to flush the lines until clear fluid comes out of the bleeders.
    Brake bleeding order can be found under the "Brakes" Q&A section below, or in BR section of FSM under "Bleeding Brake System" subheading under "CHECK AND ADJUSTMENT".
    Use DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1. All three are ethylene glycol based and are interchangeable; DOT4 and DOT5.1 have higher minimum wet and dry boiling points. Do not use DOT5 fluid as it is silicone based and is not miscible with the other DOT fluids. Scroll up for more details under the "Brakes" Q&A section.
  • Multi-purpose grease: NLGI No. 2 lithium soap base
  • Free-running hub grease (Auto-lock): Genuine Nissan grease or equivalent
WD21 Torque Specifications
To convert foot-pounds to inch-pounds, multiply the value by 12.
To convert inch-pounds to foot-pounds, divide the value by 12.
Values obtained from 1995 Pathfinder FSM.
  • Engine oil drain plug: 22 - 29 ft-lbs
  • Transmission drain plug: 22 - 29 ft-lbs
  • Front differential:
    • R180A & R200A:
      • Filler plug: 29 - 43 ft-lbs
      • Drain plug: 29 - 43 ft-lbs
  • Rear differential:
    • H190A, H233B:
      • Filler plug: 43 - 72 ft-lbs
      • Drain plug: 43 - 72 ft-lbs
    • C200:
      • Filler plug: 29 - 43 ft-lbs
      • Drain plug: 43 - 72 ft-lbs
  • Manual transmission fill and drain plugs: 18 - 25 ft-lbs
  • Transfer case fill and drain plugs: 18 - 25 ft-lbs
  • Spark plugs: 14 - 22 ft-lbs
  • Wheel lug nuts: 87 - 108 ft-lbs
  • Fuel line hose clamps: 8.4 - 13.2 in-lbs
WD21 Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins: General model questions:
  • Q: Why was the 2-door model discontinued?
    A: For history about the Pathfinder's origins and the reason why the 2-door model was eliminated in 1990, read this post on NPORA - at least the first section, as that explains the 2-door discontinuation.
  • Q: What's the real mileage a 94 or similar model gets?
    A: Between 12-15 city, 16-20 highway. Mileage was stated at 15/18 when they were new. Depends on engine condition and maintenance. You be better off to test drive one to see if the power output is decent enough for you, if you upsize the tires you're going to lose speed/acceleration real fast. 153 HP, 180 ft-lbs of torque is what they came with new, no idea if that'll last 100K.
  • Q: What are some common problems?
    A:
    • Automatic transmission cooler clogging - scroll down to the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section for an explanation.
    • 4WD Manual transmission underfilling - scroll down to the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section for an explanation.
    • Frame rust
      Even on non-offroaded Pathys, the frame can rust out quite badly from the inside out, particularly in the rear over the wheels and above the gas tank. Tap on your frame with a small hammer or poke it with a screwdriver to see if you have more holes than you should. ALWAYS inspect any WD21 Pathfinder you wish to purchase before buying it in this regard. Other rust-prone areas are directly under the gas pedal on the floor (the catalytic converter is there and sometimes a leak can shoot superhot exhaust at the floor, which rusts it out badly), under the back seats on the floor (poor seam sealing on Nissan's part) and at the tension rod frame mounts up front. Tension rods are the short bars that go between the lower control arm and the frame in the front suspension. The tension rod mounts have a tendency to waller out and/or rust out, which can result in a broken tension rod and the need to re-weld some steel back into the mounts to fix the problem. Tension rods are also called compression rods or strut rods. I recommend using polyurethane bushings to replace stock rubber tension rod bushings whenever possible.
    • Exhaust manifolds leaking
      Very common, caused by poor exhaust stud material, the studs break and cause the manifold to leak. Usually sounds like a clicking noise at startup that gradually quiets down after driving for a little while. Broken-off rusted studs inside the head can be VERY painful to extract due to their location and the fact that if you mis-drill the hole in the head you can drill into the water jacket and then have to buy a whole new head, but studs that break off outside the head can often be hammered and extracted without drilling. The fix: use 300ZX turbo exhaust manifold studs instead. They used different steel on those.
    • Steering problems
      Have someone else turn the steering wheel back and forth quickly while you watch the steering components move underneath... excessive play or looseness in joints can add up to a hefty steering parts bill at the repair shop, mostly because 99% of the shops are crooked and want you to replace everything but also because the steering on WD21's is weeeeeaaaaak. Main problem is the centerlink design which allows the tie rods to twist torsionally, thereby wallering out the joints on both the CL AND the tie rods. The idler arm will follow suit in short order, then the balljoints. It adds up.
  • Q: How do I clean the blower motor resistor area?
    A: See this thread on NPORA. You need to clean this out once in a while, or you risk fire. This issue is not as prevalent on R50s due to the cabin air filter which is usually installed from the factory.

    Image
Engine:
  • Q: How do I change my timing belt?
    A: There is an excellent guide on NPORA here.
Transmission and driveline:
  • Q: What's this hoopla about the stock transmission cooler clogging?
    A: The tube transmission cooler at the bottom of the radiator has a tendency to clog, especially if the transmission fluid has not been maintained. If you own a WD21 and haven't yet installed an auxiliary transmission cooler and bypassed the stock cooler, go buy the largest one you can afford and install it now.
    Alternatively, you can clean the stock cooler (see NTB00-056b - 1988 AND LATER NISSAN VEHICLES AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION OIL COOLER CLEANING for details), do a cooler line exchange (the procedure is detailed in the previous post), and then install an in-line Magnefine cooler on the return line. An auxiliary transmission cooler is still highly recommended if you go with this option.
  • Q: How do I overfill my FS5R30A manual transmission on my 4WD Pathfinder?
    A: You can add gear oil through the shifter hole. Always use API GL-4 rated fluid; see the explanation in the previous post under the "Transmission and driveline" Q&A section.
    • 1. Pull up the carpet from the passenger side to free the gear shift, and remove the shifter boot.
      2. Cut off the zip-tie holding the gearshift dustboot, and pull it up from the shifter assembly. You will then see a snap-ring underneath, remove it (you do have snap-ring pliers, right?) and then remove the gearshift lever. Pour 1.5 liters (1.6 US quarts) of new gear oil into the transmission.
      3. Replace shifter, snap-ring, dustboot, shifter boot and carpet. You are done!
      Note, shifter should be in neutral, and be careful when removing and inserting it as there is a plastic swivel thing on the end. (It only goes back in correctly one way, so if you are not sure it's right, make sure) You need a long replacement zip-tie for the dustboot, I think an 8" works.
    See this NPORA thread for more details regarding the TSB and overfilling procedure.
Suspension:
  • Q: I need information regarding a body lift or a suspension lift for my WD21.
    A: Your best bet would be to search on NPORA. I don't know too much about suspensions, and as I said previously, not many of us here have WD21s.
Brakes:
  • Q: What's the brake bleeding order?
    All orders assume the driver's side is left, passenger's side is right.
    • 1. LSV air bleeder (Models equipped with LSV)
      2. Left rear brake
      3. Right rear brake
      4. Left front brake
      5. Right front brake
      6. R-ABS actuator (Models equipped with R-ABS)
    I believe the WD21 Pathfinders do not have load sensing valves (LSV).

    If you have a D21 Hardbody and are reading this, the LSV (load sensing valve) bleeding procedure is generally the same as the R50 (see previous post under "Brakes" section).
    Check the BR section of the FSM under "LOAD SENSING VALVE" if you require an exploded parts diagram.

    As far as I know, the R-ABS module bleeds just like a brake line.
Wheels/Tires:
  • Q: What is the lug pattern?
    A: 6 x 139.7mm (6 x 5.5in) for WD21s and R50s, 6 x 114.3mm (6 x 4.5in) for R51s.
  • Q: What is the center bore?
    A: 100mm (3.93in)
Many general maintenance questions have been covered in the above post, so this WD21-centric FAQ may seem a little spartan in comparison. Do a search (control + F) or scroll through the above post if you can't find something.
Another note: I have never owned a WD21 and do not have any first-hand experience with maintaining one. Much of this information has been gleaned from NPORA (Nissan Pathfinder Off Road Association). Not many of us here on NICOclub own WD21s, so you'll find a lot more support there. There is also a significant R50 presence, and I'm a frequent visitor.

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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and Q&A

Postby Towncivilian » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:16 pm

R50 / General Information Section | WD21 Section | R51 section | General engine oil and filter FAQ

Downloads R51 Fluid Capacities
For North America
Always use the dipstick to confirm fluid levels where applicable; capacities are approximate. Capacities are from the 2010 Pathfinder FSM.
  • Engine oil
    • Drain and refill
      • With oil filter change
        • VQ40DE: 5.4 quarts
        • VK56DE: 6.87 quarts
      • Without oil filter change
        • VQ40DE: 5.07 quarts
        • VK56DE: 6.55 quarts
    • Dry engine (engine overhaul)
      • VQ40DE: 6.65 quarts
      • VK56DE: 8.03 quarts
  • Coolant system (including reservior)
    • Without rear A/C: 10.77 quarts (approximately 2.7 gallons)
    • With rear A/C: 14.16 quarts (approximately 3.54 gallons)
  • Automatic transmission fluid
    Use Genuine Nissan Matic S ATF.
    • VQ40DE: 10.88 quarts
    • VK56DE: 11.2 quarts
  • Transfer fluid
    Use Genuine Nissan Matic D ATF.
    • ATX14B: 3.17 quarts
    • TX15B: 2.11 quarts
  • Rear differential oil
    Use API GL-5 75W-90 synthetic gear oil.
    • VQ40DE: 1.48 quarts
    • VK56DE: 1.85 quarts
  • Front differential oil
    Use API GL-5 80W-90 gear oil.
    • VQ40DE: 0.9 quarts
    • VK56DE: 1.69 quarts
  • Power steering fluid:
    Use synthetic ATF for better cold-weather performance and lower operating temperatures; scroll up for more details under the "Other components or issues" Q&A section.
  • Brake fluid: however much you need to flush the lines until clear fluid comes out of the bleeders.
    Brake bleeding order can be found in BR section of FSM under "Bleeding Brake System" subheading under "BRAKE FLUID" which is "ON-VEHICLE MAINTENANCE".
    Use DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.1. All three are ethylene glycol based and are interchangeable; DOT4 and DOT5.1 have higher minimum wet and dry boiling points. Do not use DOT5 fluid as it is silicone based and is not miscible with the other DOT fluids. Scroll up for more details under the "Brakes" Q&A section in the first post.
  • Multi-purpose grease: NLGI No. 2 lithium soap base
  • A/C system refrigerant: 1.87 ± 0.11 lb
    Use HFC-134a (R134a).
  • A/C system oil: 210mL (7.1 US fluid ounces)
    Use Nissan A/C System Oil Type S or equivalent.
R51 Torque Specifications
To convert foot-pounds to inch-pounds, multiply the value by 12.
To convert inch-pounds to foot-pounds, divide the value by 12.
Values obtained from 2010 Pathfinder FSM.
  • Engine oil drain plug: 25 ft-lbs
  • Transmission drain plug: 25 ft-lbs
  • Rear differential fill and drain plugs:
    • R200: 25 ft-lbs
    • R230: 25 ft-lbs
  • Front differential fill and drain plugs:
    • R180A: 25 ft-lbs
    • M205: 27 ft-lbs
  • Transfer fluid:
    • ATX14B:
      Fill and drain plugs: 26 ft-lbs
    • TX15B:
      Fill and drain plugs: 26 ft-lbs
  • Spark plugs: 18 ft-lbs
  • Ignition coil packs: 62 in-lbs
  • Wheel lug nuts: 98 ft-lbs
R51 Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins: Unfortunately, I can't think of anything to answer regarding R51s. I have even less knowledge of the R51 than I do of WD21s. Much of the general information in the first post applies to the R51 as well. If you have something to contribute, please do so!

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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and Q&A

Postby Towncivilian » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:17 pm

R50 / General Information Section | WD21 Section | R51 section | General engine oil and filter FAQ

In this section, I'll attempt to briefly explain engine oil and its characteristics, construction of oil filters, and link to additional reading.

Engine oil

What does the "W" really mean?
The "W" in a multigrade engine oil refers to how well it flows at startup temperature. All engine oil is significantly thicker at startup than at operating temperature; the colder the temperature, the thicker it gets. A 0W oil will flow easier than a 5W or 10W at startup temperature, which is desirable because it reduces engine wear at startup, lowers the time required for oil to reach operating temperature, and slightly improve gas mileage due to less friction while the engine is cold.

Aren't 0W oils too thin?
A 0W-30 and a 5W-30 oil will both be have the viscosity of a 30-grade oil when at operating temperature, and thus will offer the same protection.

Code: Select all

Oil Viscosity     Range
20:               5.6 - 9.2
30:               9.3 - 12.4
40:               12.5 - 16.2
50:               16.3 - 21.8
60:               21.9 - 26.1
(from SAE J300 - viscosities at 212°F, measured in centistokes (cSt))

Do high-mileage engines require thicker oil?
That ultimately depends on the oil pressure. If it is not up to specification at specified RPMs, it is time to move up a grade (i.e. from 5W-30 to 5W-40).

Can I switch between synthetic and conventional oils?
Absolutely. There is no harm in doing so - otherwise how would you explain synthetic blends? :) Valvoline also answers this question in their FAQ (#4).

Will synthetic oil cause seals to leak?
No. This may have been true of oils made of certain basestocks and with certain seal materials, but synthetic oil will not cause leaks.

Do I need a high-mileage oil?
High-mileage oils generally contain higher detergency and anti-wear components in their additive packages, and additional seal conditioners to help slow or stop smaller leaks. If you have a small oil leak or are experiencing oil consumption, give it a try. There is also no harm in running high-mileage oil even on a new engine, or one without leaks.

What's API SM, SN, etc?
API stands for American Petroleum Institute. API sets minimum specifications for engine oil; the current specifications is API SN. Always ensure that oil you purchase has the API certification label on the back with the current spec. The API donut looks like this:

Image

How long can I go before changing my oil?
It ultimately depends on your driving style.

If you primarily make short trips and rarely get the oil up to operating temperature (which generally takes around 20 minutes of driving), it's better to change the oil at a shorter interval such as 3,750 miles (which is the severe service interval for our Pathfinders and QX4s) using conventional oil. If you can, try to drive on the highway for half an hour each week to boil off moisture in the oil.

If most of your trips allow the oil to reach operating temperature or drive mostly on the highway, you can safely extend your oil change interval to 5,000 miles if you're using conventional oil, or 7,500 with synthetic (or longer if you decide to get a used oil analysis to evaluate the condition of the oil). Allowing the oil to reach operating temperature and stay there for a while will boil off excess moisture in the oil. Highway driving is easy for an engine oil and driveline lubricants, and allow the change intervals to be lengthened.

Should I use synthetic oil?
Once again, that depends on your driving style primarily, and secondly the additional cost of synthetic oil. Those who make short trips are not good candidates for using synthetic oil and extended drains because the oil is rarely allowed to reach operating temperature. Synthetic oil has the benefit of better cold weather performance.

In my opinion, today's conventional oils are blurring the line between conventional and synthetic oils. There is no need to run synthetic oil if you do not perform extended drain intervals.

Does synthetic oil lower oil temperatures?
The thermostat controls the engine temperature, so the general oil temperatures will remain the same. However, there are other "hot spot" areas in an engine where synthetic oil may lower temperatures, so oil temperatures may drop by a small amount, but it will never drop below the temperature that the thermostat opens.

Do I need thicker oil in hot weather?
As said in the previous statement, the thermostat controls engine temperature, so using thicker oil in extremely hot weather will not make a difference, unless perhaps your cooling system is not working properly. One can use 0W-30 all year round if desired without issue.

Should I add any additives to my engine oil?
In my opinion, no. The oil blenders know more about engine oil than you do (unless a tribologist happens to be reading this :)) - why mess with their formulations?

What is an engine oil analysis?
An analysis of a used or virgin oil sample which is used to determine its additive content, contamination, and other properties of the oil such as viscosity, flashpoint, amount of water and fuel present, amount of insolubles present, and amount of active additives left. You can read more about oil analyses here.

Oil filters

How does an oil filter work?
See this diagram:

Image

What's in an oil filter?
See this diagram:

Image

What's the difference between oil filters?
Efficiency, construction, and amount of media are the primary differences.

What constitutes poor characteristics of an oil filter?
Here is a Fram ExtraGuard cut open:

Image

Here is a Purolator PureONE PL14610 I cut open:

Image

Image

The Purolator filter has significantly more filtering media, a silicone anti-drainback valve, metal end caps, and a thread-end bypass valve.
The Fram has a nitrile combination anti-drainback valve and bypass valve, and fiber end-caps.

What are the differences?
  • More pleats: means less resistance to flow and a longer length of time before the filter would potentially clog. There is less resistance to flow only when the oil pump is in pressure relief mode; oil pumps are positive displacement, which means the oil pump maintains the same amount of flow at a given RPM regardless of the filter pressure drop.
  • Silicone anti-drainback valve: the anti-drainback valve keeps the oil in the filter when the engine is shut off to help prevent dry starts of the engine. Nitrile can become hard and brittle with heat and time, while a silicone ADBV does not.
  • Bypass valve: if the oil is too thick to flow through the media (for example, during a cold start in winter) or if the media is full, the bypass valve will open and allow the oil to bypass the filter. This particular Purolator filter has a coil spring bypass valve in the thread end of the filter; the Fram uses a combination ADBV and bypass valve
  • Combination anti-drainback valve and bypass valve: a matter of personal preference; a single piece of nitrile serving two rather important functions doesn't seem very durable to me.
  • Metal vs. fiber end-caps: once again, simply a matter of personal preference; metal seems more durable than Fram's "engineered media" end-caps.
Basically, the lower-tier Frams are horrible value for the money. Even the $2 SuperTech ST7317 filter is better constructed. Although Wal-Mart no longer sells SuperTech filters, the Purolator Classic filters which replaced them are of great quality and cheaper than the Fram ExtraGuard filters. The only Fram I would run is a Fram Ultra (also known as XtendedGuard), which has synthetic wire-backed media (synthetic media is more efficient and the wire-backing serves as further protection against media collapse for extended drain intervals), metal end caps, a silicone anti-drainback valve, and a thick heavy duty canister.

You can see many more oil filters cut open at the following links: In an effort to keep things brief, I'll end this post here. If you would like additional reading, I highly suggest browsing Bob Is The Oil Guy and their forums. There is an immense amount of information on that site on essentially every topic regarding automotive lubrication and filtering and other related topics, as well as many knowledgeable members. If you want more specific information about engine oil specifically, read this BITOG article. Beware - it's rather wordy! :crazy:

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yngw13
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby yngw13 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:44 am

:dblthumb: :dblthumb: :dblthumb:
I didn't know I had a 2001.5... Dec.00'

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BoostMyQX4
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby BoostMyQX4 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:27 pm

Nice, i also didn't know about the difference in oil filters, thanks for the dirty job :dblthumb: :dblthumb: :dblthumb:

suobs
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby suobs » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:53 pm

This is a useful thread with a lot of information. How come no owner's manuals prior to 1996? Also, is there anything like this Sticky for the pickups?

Steve

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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:07 pm

suobs wrote:This is a useful thread with a lot of information. How come no owner's manuals prior to 1996? Also, is there anything like this Sticky for the pickups?

Steve
Nissan started using native PDFs for their owner's manuals in 1996, and for the FSMs in 2000 (instead of just scans of the printed books). I'm not aware of any scans of the printed owners manuals.

There's no similar sticky for the other Nissan trucks. For your '94 the WD21 section of this guide should be applicable for most items.

fidelp11
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby fidelp11 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:29 am

Hi!

I have a 2002 pathfinder 3.5 SE and recently changed the MAF due to code error. The car worked properly for 1 week and then the engine started to jump loosing power. I took it back to diagnose and there was no more error. The mechanic checked the sparkplugs and found that 1st cylinder was not working; we changed the COIL and Sparkplug and the problem still there and NO CODE. He thought it was the ECU.

What can it be that is not giving power to 1 cylinder if is not the COIL nor the SPARK PLUG? The MAF is new and the computer was resseted. PLEASE HELP ME! thanks ;)!

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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:43 pm

Welcome to NICO.

Which MAF did you buy as a replacement?

tlrsgto
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*fully loaded R50
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby tlrsgto » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:36 pm

Hey anyone know where i can get a 2" coil spacer lift for a 1997 nissan pathfinder se.

Nissanfan80
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Car: '98 Infiniti QX 4 w/266,000 mi.

Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Nissanfan80 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:25 pm

I am new to the site and enjoy all of the helpful threads. I have a 98 qx4 with a quarter mil on the odometer. It has new battery, alternator, starter and battery ground cable. Any excess load on electrical system results in a loss of voltage causing lights to dim, radio to cut out, airbag light/ overdrive light comes on momentarily. I've reviewed the schematics looking for common points among the electrical system as a whole, please advise.....

Johnnypath
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Johnnypath » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:58 am

To Towncivilian

I might be misreading your info as my Pathfinder drivers door reads 08/00:
General model questions:
Q: How do I determine whether I have a 2001.0 or 2001.5 model year Pathfinder?
A: Check the manufacturing date of your Pathfinder on the driver door jamb. Dates 01/01/2000-08/31/2000 are 2001.0 model years; 09/01/2000-06/03/2001 are 2001.5 model years.
According to both links below :
08/2000-06/2001
08/2000-06/2001
Maybe Canada different, I might best be served by asking at Dealer to be sure?
http://www.autopartsway.ca/PartList.cfm ... enum1/tabS
http://www.hitachi-automotive.us/html/d ... atalog.pdf

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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:05 pm

Provide your VIN and I can give you a definitive answer.

Johnnypath
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Johnnypath » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:30 pm

Went to dealer after work and I have 2001.0 model
Part numbers:
cyl 1: PN: 22448-4w001 Part code:22433 $119.78 + tax
cyl 2-6: PN: 22448-4w011 Part code:22433+A $119.78 + tax
Thanks

ADA
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby ADA » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:32 pm

Hi Man

Im new bee here, but I want to ask you something. Running Pathy 3,3 LE in UAE and have touble with noise coming from front axle ( may be ). Noise similar to bearing, but all of them I have change, have checked diff fluid act. It is coming any any gear any 2H/4H/4L mainly at 40-50 KM/H. Have 235000 Km and have this car 1,5 year from 120000 KM. Was really badly maintained, but I have changed nearly all needed parts (shocks a**, lever arm,bearings, oils,CV) Everything from Nissan parts. They are very cheep here. Im very good mechanic ( European ), but with this I really don't knew

Petr
:gotme

Galiazas
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Galiazas » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:38 am

HELP.... I have a 1988 pathfinder XE, USA version, planning to replace the VG30 engine with a nissan patrol engine. is this possible? is the pathfinder chassis compatible with any nissan patrol engine? What nissan patrol engine can you recommend? I love the VG30 engine, having 240k mikes put into it, took me to the mountains and coconut plantations with no problem, however, having shipped this vehicle to a foreign country, engine parts for my VG30 engine is not always available, besides, gasoline is more expensive than diesel fuel that nissan patrol engine is using. Any suggestion?

August59
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby August59 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:00 pm

Johnnypath wrote:Went to dealer after work and I have 2001.0 model
Part numbers:
cyl 1: PN: 22448-4w001 Part code:22433 $119.78 + tax
cyl 2-6: PN: 22448-4w011 Part code:22433+A $119.78 + tax
Thanks
I know this thread is a little old, but I had a question about your post. Why is the No. 1 cylinder PN different than the PN for cylinders No.2 through 6? I'm just curious?

Thanks

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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:39 am

2001 and 2001.5 model year R50s have different coil packs for the #1 cylinder.

farfrom
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby farfrom » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:35 pm

I am in the midst of draining/flushing the coolant fluid from my '96 Path.

I have the SERVICE MANUAL (SM) (Nov 1995) and am following all of the instruction to a tee, however I have run into a problem with the removal of the passenger side cCOOLANT DRAIN PLUG BOLT, namely, I cannot freely access it enough to get the torque needed to free her. I have even gone as far as to remove the starter motor', thinking that it's wiring harness was in the way, (to no avail). The problem seems to be that in the only positions in which the offset wrench fits flush on to the bolt, there remains zero clearance left to loosen, (on one side it abuts a pop-out in the oil pan, and the other lays on the alternator). I figure that if I needed to remove the alt. that the SM would mention it. Might you have any advice? I guess I could leave it and just proceed with the flush, but ...

Also, is there any way to bleed the line of air without making use of the AIR RELIEF BOLT/BLEEDER VALVE? Mine will not budge. The box end 10mm and the vice grips are only stripping the hex. Any suggestions?
Last edited by farfrom on Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Goliat6288
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Goliat6288 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:46 am

hey guys,
First time posting but but ive been a member since march, when i bought my 07 pathfinder.

i have a question on the R51. i'm about to change the ATF fluid and the transfer case fluid so i started looking up what fluids to use. i know the info posted on this thread is from the 2010 and it says we should use the matic S for the transmission and Matic D for the transfer case. ive also read that prior to 2008 they used Matic J as ATF, havent looked up if the transfer case fluid has changed. would it be fine to use matic s or should i use matic J for my transmission?

CSP2839
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Car: 2012 Nissan Pathfinder SV

Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby CSP2839 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:39 am

Hi all, I'm hoping someone can assist me. I have a 2012 Pathfinder SV. I noticed last night one of my front side markers was out so I went to replace or and apparently blew a fuse as I no longer have any parking lights just in the front. The turn signals and hazards in front work fine.

I checked all 3 fuse boxes under hood as well as the one inside glovebox area and can find nothing labeled accordingly. The owners manual is no help at all.

I started pulling fuses in the larger of the 3 fuse boxes under the hood but can't reach some due to the wiring harnesses inside box. Can anyone help me find this elusive fuse I need to replace?

Thanks again!

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Towncivilian
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Towncivilian » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:59 am

Look for one labeled "TAIL", that one is probably the one you need.

CSP2839
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby CSP2839 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:35 pm

I found it!! It's in the larger fuse box under hood and it's under harnesses labeled CLEARANCE....go figure. Thanks though.

Tibikehauler3
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby Tibikehauler3 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 4:54 pm

Hi,

Nice write up on Tranny service. I really like the pictures; thank you for doing such a nice job.

Just bought a 2001 LE 2wd in Burnt Cherry ...driven AZ and FL. I bought it for my youngest son to drive to college. Has 180K and is very straight, wonderful non cloudy paint, most everything works (except rear glass struts and drivers fore/aft adjustment). Lots of dealer service completed; I saw list of service on carfax but do not have a copy. (I own 4 Toyota's and I can just enter VIN and site will pull up all service from Toyota). Nissan must have same type service.

I will flush when he is home next visit... but may have dealer in sons school town drop the pan..I don't know if it has been done, ever??

I am a service nut, especially in cars that my sons drive. Usually use Amsoil or Redline Synthetic; hoverer since I do not know history I will go dino for now.

I have found many of your posts very helpful.

Thank again for the time and effort.

00pathyse
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby 00pathyse » Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:43 pm

Thanks for all the great info!

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atraudes
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby atraudes » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:37 pm

In case it helps someone in the future, I bought a ⅜" Magnefine filter but found the connectors to be too large for the hose. I got the hose slipped over the end after much stretching with some spreaders, but only barely. I ordered a 5/16" filter instead and it installed nice and snug. I'd recommend that you pull the hose off the radiator and test fit before you go cutting hose in case you end up getting the wrong size too. Cheers!

dccywood
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Car: Pathfinder

Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby dccywood » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:13 pm

I changed the timing belt on a 1990 Pathfinder with the VG30E engine. We set the crankshaft at TDC for the number 1 cylinder and the the camshafts on their correct timing marks. When I installed the belt to see if the paint marked on the new timing belt lined up where they were suppose to be, they lined up correctly for the camshafts, but not crankshaft. The timing mark for the crankshaft which is suppose to be on left edge of the oil pump cover is missing. There was however, a manufactured groove at the bottom of the oil pump cover, and after resetting the cams and crankshaft at TDC, that is where the engine seems to be timed. All the texts, service manual and Nissan mechanics I have asked have never heard or seen this before. When I turn the engine over, it turns over without hitting any valves and seems correct. Does anyone know about this engine and how it is supposed to be timed? I am getting ready to start the engine as soon as I hear that my setting the cam and crank is correct.

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atraudes
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Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby atraudes » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:18 pm

Welcome to Nico!

Post a new topic with your question. This is more of a general knowledge thread so specific questions here won't get looked at.

dccywood
Posts: 2
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Car: Pathfinder

Re: Pathfinder / QX4 General Information and FAQ

Postby dccywood » Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:11 pm

Thank you for your notice. Yes, I am new to this forum and I see now that I need to ask my question as a specific topic. How do I do this.?


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