L4N71B Life Expectancy

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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83_maxima
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L4N71B Life Expectancy

#1

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

The 83 max sedan I am seriously considering purchasing later in the summer has a L4N71B auto trans with 261,xxx miles on it - engine has considerably fewer miles.

Can we expect these transmissions to last to the 300,xxx mile mark? My L4N71B out of may gasser was in perfect shape at 162,xxx when I pulled it out, but I have no clue as to what to expect for life expectancy for these trannies.

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asavage
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#2

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

See diesel-man's post.

All things on this earth have a cycle of birth and death. I think that if maintained the possibility exists of a lot more miles being available on an L4N71B than 261k. However, the odds are not in your favour. It is not reasonable to expect a 20+ yr old Japanese car with that mileage to be as reliable as something newer/less used.

Despite Wayne's opinion, I don't know that the non-OD version is much more reliable, overall. The three-speed is certainly more plentiful, though!
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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83_maxima
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#3

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

This car has been taken care of very well. I would like to think that the trans has more life in it, but I may just convert this one to a manual like I did my gasser if I could find a donor car in the junkyard for the clutch assembly, etc. I already have a 280zx 5 sp laying around.

Just curious whether anyone has had any issues with a trans failing on them.

TheDieseliminator
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#4

Post by TheDieseliminator » 13 years ago

Back when my dad owned his 1981 Datsun 810 diesel sedan he retired the car after the transmission went out. He owned that car for about 2-3 years total and I believe the mileage was about 240-250,000 miles on it at the time the transmission blew. It was our first 810/Maxima diesel car owned in the family and I'll never forget it. I road in it a few years of my younger childhood. Of course I loved it! After the transmission blew he tried to store it at his dad's business property in the mean time instead of bringing it home for my mom to see. After my grandfather pressured him to remove it he ended up doing so and donated the car to charity. I always wish he would have kept the car just for a spare unit. Back then I didn't know too much about vehicles or diesels to begin with and today I'd have tried to keep the car for sure. The memories alone were great.

Salvy

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asavage
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#5

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

83_maxima wrote:I may just convert this one to a manual like I did my gasser if I could find a donor car in the junkyard for the clutch assembly, etc.
The pedal cluster can be from a gasser, likewise I'm guessing the hydraulics.

I think that the tough parts would be the LD28 flywheel and mtg parts, dust shield, rear crossmember. Clutch? I don't install used clutch parts where new is so cheap as the Nissan stuff is.

The Nissan PUs rear trans crossmember doesn't unbolt, making trans R&R a lot more difficult than it needs to be. One (more) reason why I don't own either of my two '82 720 diesel PUs.

Oh, and about durability of the manual trans when behind a diesel? Check out how the FS5W71B holds up behind the wimpy 61 HP SD22 in this post. Bearings.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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83_maxima
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#6

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

I have read through the article about the bearing issue. Mine seems to be holding up pretty well though and I drive it everyday. It came out of an 84 with less than 100K miles.

I know I can use the gasser clutch parts being the pedals, master cyl, lines, damper and slave cyl. I bought a new clutch and PP and had the flywheel surfaced when I did my gasser. I am not aware of a difference between the two, but I know that there is a difference bet the clutch and PP in the diesel vs. gasser. Rear crossmember is different and the mount holes on the body are not the same. I ended up fabricating a piece to carry the load and used the AT crossmember. I got everything off of the gas car for the coversion for less than $100 at a JY.

I cannot recall if the 81 280zx trans I have is a FS5W71B or not, I kinda think it is, but I have also never heard of this bearing failure issue on a 280zx and I read a lot about these trannies when I did the swap. I was surprised when I came across the article about those used in the SD. Do you think this happens because it is a diesel engine? I mean torque is torque, and if it will hold up in a 280zx, I see no reason why it wouldn't hold up behind a LD28

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asavage
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#7

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

Yes, the diesel is what makes the difference. Did you download the bearing life calculator that longgonesilver wrote? It shows that the input brg is quite undersized for the application, and Nissan did bump it two sizes in '86.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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83_maxima
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#8

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

The seller did say he had an extra trans - that I could probably fit in the trunk. He would like to see it (and the 4K mile engine) go with the car.

How I would get an LD28 back to CO with a maxi sedan I do not know. Perhaps u-haul has some sort of trailer / hitch set-up that could make this possible? I just don't know...

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asavage
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#9

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

83_maxima wrote:The seller did say he had an extra trans - that I could probably fit in the trunk.
Do I understand this right? You might have a "spare" diesel L4N71B???

If that's the case, I might be able to "subsidize" your purchase -- esp. if this "spare" trans is reputed to be in operable condition. Even if it's broken, it's a good core.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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83_maxima
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#10

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

L4N71B? Not 100% positive. The seller of the car I intend to purchase has said that he has an extra "transmission" and an extra LD28 that he would like to see go with the car.

From what I understand, he purchased 2 1981 LD28s in 1987. Both with 4K miles. Put one in his car and still has one that hasn't been ran since. The trans may be an 81, could be a L4N71B.

Do you know of any way I could possibly transport the extra trans and LD28 back home?

If it is a L4N71B, I will most likely keep it if the cuurent trans has 261,xxx plus miles on it.

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asavage
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#11

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

If the trans is an '81, it's a 3N71B: no lockup torque converter, no OD.

Getting an LD28 + trans home is a trailer job. This is how I transported mine:

Image Image Image Image

As you can see, just the engine alone is a pretty good-sized load. You're not going to put it in the trunk, nor in the back of a Wagon, unless you round off some (expensive) corners on that engine.

If it's truly only got 4k miles on it, it's worth finding a way to transport it. But if it's truly an '81 AT, I wouldn't have it: no lockup and no OD makes it worthless to me. At least the '82 has lockup.
Last edited by asavage 12 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

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83_maxima
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#12

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

I am going to get a hold of the seller this week and find out what kind of trans it is. If it's a diesel trans from an 82 or 83, I would be willing to take it, if it is not, I don't want it.

I do want the engine though, but am racking my brain as to how I am going to get it back. Driving a full size truck out there and back would cost as much in fuel as the purchase price of the car. Having a uhaul hitch put on it after I pick it up, would probably cost about $500 for hitch, install and trailer rental, plus the cost of the motor. Uhaul also says that the hitch recommended for the car isn't rated for more than 1000 lbs. I am pretty sure we'd be over that once the motor was on the trailer. LTL is also a possibility, but then I have to worry about getting it off of the truck when it gets here and my garage is in the alley.

So, I don't know how to logistically make this happen without breaking the bank and blowing my budget...It is very hard to pass up a spare motor and trans that are rare in every sense of the word. :scratchhead:

mbtech208
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#13

Post by mbtech208 » 13 years ago

My trans has some slippage when cold going into second and overdrive. I've been shifting manually for a while now, and it seems to be much better doing it that way. Start off in first, shift to second at about 15, third at about 30, hit the OD button at about 45. Less smoke too, since the engine isn't bogging down as much. These shift points seem to be more suitable to the powerband of the engine.
-Dave

Owner of Car and Driver's '83 Maxima "Diesel Beater" 247,000 miles

2003 Dodge Intrepid Police Package

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kassim503
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#14

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Sometimes Ill drive my automatic like a manual, with the 1-2-3-OD, its fun, and gas prices permitting ill school some ricers with my 0-60 racing (Ill stand on the gas pedal until i get to 60 mph and then let off).

I will always select the overdrive manually, I think its a good practice to prevent the tranny from surging in and out of OD.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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83_maxima
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#15

Post by 83_maxima » 13 years ago

It looks like I've got an L4N71B with 261,xxx miles original to the car and in the car now as well as a L3N71B with approx. 200,xxx miles for the spare. :?

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