Little Trucks, Big World

Hi guys, hopefully I can get a little insight as to what is going on with my transmission.

Here is the background.   I just had this transmission installed about two years ago when my original locked up when i tried to grab a downshift for an exit ramp.

This one was the only one I could locate and it was out in California, supposedly it was professionally rebuilt and I had it shipped to my installer.   

After the install I drove it for a couple months and then decided to rebuild my truck and give it a longer life so it was down for two years or so while I worked on it.   I live in a townhouse with a homeowners association that likes to get in peoples business so it was fun trying to hide all the work I was doing on it from head gasket to cutting out bad sections and welding in new ones and replacing the tank, bed, etc.

I finished it up and it looks great and drives really well also but for whatever reason, the other day when i was driving home (actually turning into the entrance for my development) I was cruising down the road in 5th gear and grabbed a downshift to 4th gear and when I went to go into 3rd the stick would not move.

When I let the clutch out it would still pull in 4th gear so I pulled into a parking lot to get out of traffic

and see what was going on.   If I pushed in the clutch it would roll backwards without any issue and if I let it out the truck would try to pull.   I checked the clutch reservoir and it is full, I also checked the slave cylinder and it is fine (and new) and the transmission has fluid.

I just took out the console to get a look but their really isn't anything to see and the small plate on the side is so hidden up in the tunnel I don't think anything of merit will be seen that way.   

I tried to pump the clutch and work the shifter and it just will not budge at all.

Have any of you had an issue like this?   If so, what did you do to fix it?

I am bouncing around what to do if this has to come out of the truck again, I would like to put in something much stronger and less prone to failure, it seems like our box is made out of toothpicks and rubber cement.

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I can't imagine getting that on top of my chest while laying under the truck, their isn't much room for moving as it is (banged my head a couple times already...#*$&!!!

I got the mount in place last night and i'm going to check on the driveshaft work today.

What did you do with the wiring, did you cut off the plug and wire it straight in or get the oppposing stock connector, i thought about going that route. Is the striped wire power or ground?

One other thing is the cosmetic boot in the cab is way to small for this new shifter, it looks like the new shifter will be much longer and it has a couple extra curves in their, i have not checked what it will look like in the cab yet or how the shift position will change.

Wanted to give an update on this little project.

I have the transmission in, the plate for the floor has been cut to adapt around the new trans. shift plate and the old hole covered by a new plate i made.

One thing I found out, by stumbling upon it in the junkyard is that their were two different shifters for this trans., the first has a couple different angles built into the lower shaft and it positions it much more forward at it's base although the top gets to the exact same point at your hand.

The second one is a lot like our original, just beefier, in that it goes straight up from the trans. to your hand.

I found (after remounting my console back farther for the shifters new location) that the shifter with more curves will hit the console and the other one will not.

Next up is getting the trans. fill plug out so I can put the gear oil in and attach the new harnesses and reinstall the seats.

I included a picture of the new "cut down driveshaft. 

Now i just need some nice weather!



I need some help.   The oil fill plug is stuck on the new transmission.

can I just fill the transmission through the top at the shifter plate instead??

I would hate to take the console and all that back out after just getting it in but that thing is not budging, i tried some P.B. and some light heat from a heat gun and as a last resort I tried a bolt remover but it was going to tear up the head so that's where i stopped.

I'm so close to being done with this but don't need any dumb mistakes. 

Any of the switches at the right height? Remove and fill.

Hmm, that's a good point.     I know the reverse switch is tucked up so high that it is not accessible but the other one might work...provided it comes out easier than the plug.

I looked around online and found some of the guys on NICO with 240's had the same problem and had filled theirs from up top at the shifter.

  • Don't know if the plug had ever been removed before and over tightened, sealant used, or if their some sort of galvanic corrosion bonding them, dunno.
Did you go with the c version? I have poured it in the top cover fine. The b version doesn't seem to want to flow. It is amazing how something that half is in oil gets so stuck.

See that largish round boss just to the left of the reverse lamp switch? That's where the fill plug goes on this side of the transmission. 280zx are usually on the right side... so yes you can fill up to the level of the reverse switch. Don't forget the shift rod is in the way I doubt you will be pouring it in very fast. There are two style of plugs, indented 1/2" square same as a differential drain plug and a protruding square. I use a pipe wrench on the protruding ones with a 2' pipe over the handle for leverage. 

Aluminum and steel tent to gall and seize. I have used plumbers tape and tightened less.

I thought about going the pipe wrench route but i didn't want to booger it up anymore than it already is.

After work today I went back in and removed the console and the shifter, went much faster this time around and it made me wish i had done it that way to begin with.

Channing, yes, it is a "C" version

Unfortunately, just as I'm about to wrap it up and test my work, the weather is supposed to get really cold and I noticed while working on the shifter/console area that a tab broke off the HVAC control on the side of the unit, under the dash on the drivers side.

The plastic tab broke off that controls one of the flaps...are those available any longer? (doubtful)  I am very certain that type plastic will not hold together with epoxy with the constant movement and pressure on it.

I tried to epoxy the piece back together and even made a small metal backing plate for extra strength, but unfortunately it came apart again.

Nissan part lookup shows it is out of production, so no luck their.

If any of you has an extra one in working order I would gladly pick it up from you.     I have included a picture of it below.


I don't have a extra plastic piece but many years ago,I bought a new cable there from the dealer,when I would try to switch it from vent to defrost,it wouldn't turn,the end of the cable was bent,ordered a new one and it works,every now and then I spray W.D-40 where it rotates..





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