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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I'm new here and have done a bunch of searching and a couple posts, but it seems like everything I look at is like 2 years old, alot of old posts even on forum index. My question Is do people actually come on here post and have an active forum??

I've been on a few forums and this one by far seems to be the least active.
just wondering.

could it be because of the type of car (cheap slow and little aftermarket support?) maybe the owners are mostly "non car guys/girls" and only care about point A- point B

I will be doing Some dyno before and afters and see if any one is interested in custom made products a litte later down the line.

Stuff like Ported throttle body to increase airflow/power/efficiency and mpg.

Custom made header priced as low as possible while still making a quality piece since no one makes anything good, and "custom made" can run 6-1200dollars, something that doesnt make sence or work with the typical versa owner.

Will be working on a Turbokit for the versa 1.6 after I finish my Spec V race car.
something with a small dual ball bearing Garret GT2554R turbo that should add 60-80HP @ 8psi with supporting mods, work with the CVT and not grenade it, spool ultra fast and if driven softly make the versa capable of hyper MPG.


Just some of my plans, but the atmosphere here seems rather discouraging
 

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Well not to be cute but...……..

Have you heard the expression: "making a silk purse out of a sows ear"

No matter what you do it's still a Versa with a really small engine and a poor trans (no matter which one you have).
 

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'...work with the CVT and not grenade it...'

Good luck with that one, you'll find out why as soon as you do it. The trans is notoriously unreliable even in absolute unstressed form.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, its a small engine I know, I'm not looking to build a "fast car" My sentra is at 430whp right now and at 2600lbs, that's fast. I just want to make this car a car that's more enjoyable to drive and more mpg to boot.

On the trans blowing up, I dont doubt it, but do you guys know at what power level it becomes unreliable? some say stock power (could be bad lots, 1st gens, etc etc) there is only one way tofind out 😁 I dont mind the tranny going to crap, there plentiful and not crazy expensive.

Building a kit for me is the easy part, the tuning (proper tuning no piggy backs or black boxes) is the last hurdle BUT uprev who makes tuning software for many nissan vehicles ready cracked the versa HR16DE ECU, and offer basic tuning as of now, here soon they should have full feature software compatible with larger MAF sensors, bigger injectors cam timing etc etc.

I'll start with the basics for now, and once I can I'll start diving deeper.

keep the comment coming.
 

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The CVT trans is so unreliable there is no way to get your head around it. Some tear up in 20K miles and most after 60k but before 150K. A couple even have made it to 300K. But so many have failed all over the map there is simply no way to say what power level shells them out, the early ones fail only a bit more than the later ones do and even now new ones can fail left and right. Nissan most definitely has not gotten a handle on the problem yet.

Much of it seems tied to the bearing method used to hold the pulley halves in place, both the holder and the bearing balls themselves need better heat treatment to be much harder but Nissan seems loathe to do it as it costs more money. The fluid type may add to that as it needs to be made to have a friction component to help the belt grab the smooth pulleys but then that friction makes the balls tend to gall up instead of slide or roll in use. A case of the lube arguing with itself as to what to do there and the major anachronism of the design.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well that really sucks. I know Nissans 1st gen CVTs on murano, rogue, altima etc were prone to premature failures. And I know the 2nd gen CVTs in those vehicles were "fixed" and most of the issues went away. So they do know what the problem or problems are and how to fix them, but whether it makes financial sence for them to do so is another story, sometimes OEMs will leave issues and have the consumer pay for it later that than them spending a few bucks up front, simply because it's a "cheap car"

I'm going to do some deeper research on CVT fluids used for racing, mainly stuff for offroad vehicles such as the polaris RZR and a few others also additives, there might be something that can make the nissan fluid more slippery per say for the bearings, but still provide enough friction for the pulleys and drive mechanism. who knows, maybe a simple change to better CVT fluid might go a long way?
Even tho nissan states you must use their stuff.
On my sentra I run Redline heavy duty shock proof oil that's not recommended for my trans, but 390lb ft of torque to the wheels and 7200rpm shifts on the track and I'm still on the original 02 trans and original axles. Yes different beast but just an example of how a good trans fluid can prevent damage and or prolong life.

Time to put on my nerd hat and read read read and see what I can find.

my note is a 2017 with 19k miles right now, I drive like an old man in it simply because why try and go fast when it wont. But as of now, it shifts fine, smooth and no weird or funny business and now I'm gonna go knock on wood n keep my fingers crossed lol. Same with my wifes 2016 Rogue with 70k miles

Thanks for the info.
I appreciate it. Any one else feel free to join in.
 

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Just to add my two cents worth..............I have a 2012 versa sedan, drive like a little old lady, and with less than 20000 miles on the car and the CVT went south. The check engine light went on, brought it to the dealer, and they diagnosed it as the "central control valve" in the transmission. The car was still under the powertrain warranty, and the dealer called Nissan for authorization to make the repair. They were instructed not to make the repair, but change out the entire tranny for a "new" one. It seems that Nissan has so many problems with the CVTS that they have plenty of them in the pipeline to exchange when a tranny goes bad. To show you how much confidence Nissan has in the CVT tranny, they give you a 12 month, 12000 mile extension to your powertrain warranty, and the same applies if you pay the $4000 out of pocket. Not much confidence in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just make a note to yourself: If I modify anything on this car my warranty is void...……………….
Bolt ons like intakes, header, exhaust, suspension etc, are generally seen as ok when it comes to warranty. Obviously turbos, superchargers are not.
Also changing CVT fluid to an equivalent or better "shouldn't" void powertrain warranty. just like using mobil 1 in your engine.
I did find redline make a synthetic CVT fluid
Red Line Synthetic Oil. Non-Slip CVT
https://www.redlineoil.com/non-slip-cvt

have to check reviews but it says compatible with nissan cvts. worth a look.
 

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Young grasshopper, you have much to learn or things on your planet are not as they are here on this one. Bolt-ons have LONG been used as warranty violators, exhaust alone if not a crap one like most are can lean an engine out enough to torch it without a tune to make up for it. Luckily most exhaust header makers now have not a clue what a real header is. Suspension work like lowering immediately wrecks front end geometry to again invalidate the warranty. And the use of non-Nissan CVT fluid is indeed a reason to reject warranty if they choose to go there even if the maker says it meets spec. The offroaders you speak of likely use RUBBER CVT belts which are not the same as the steel chain types cars use, and the transmissions are nowhere near the same in operation either. And we are WAAAYY past second gen CVTs now and they have most certainly NOT been 'fixed' although you can accept that if you want. They are if anything going back toward standard ATX design with the CVTs as they add more clutchpacks and planetaries to remove a bunch of the load off the CVT drive itself, an admission they know they cannot make them strong enough.
 

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The Redline CVT fluid according to their own spec does not hit Nissan fluid quality, it changes out at 30K miles while Nissan fluid goes to 60K. They as well lump both NS-2 and NS-3 into the same fluid where Nissan specifically calls out the two fluids as being different and not interchangeable with each other. The lumping together means likely that some different features of the fluids were left out. I suspect some additives at least to do with clutches as the later spec oil gets used on CVT with more clutch in them.

Aftermarket fluid makers have long been known for stretching the truth whoppingly when it comes to one fluid fitting all specs, but just try to get them in a court of law to admit it. All you will get is doubletalk. Just like with their salespeople, I used to be in parts and I messed with those guys minds every chance I got. They will tell you anything and when put on the spot let the lies flow even more.

Just ask Ford and not even an aftermarket, they claimed original spec Mercon V and simple Mercon were interchangeable and thousands of wrecked transmissions later they had to reformulate the V to make it truly so, before that Ford itself destroyed plenty of transmissions right in their dealerships.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree with the fact that manufacturers implement new designs without the proper testing and or they know their designs have issues but along as failures tend to happen after warranty, they dont care much. They dont care if their name gets drug thru the mud for a bit, look at the priuses that wouldn't stop, Volkswagens dirty diesels, BMW and their ignitions catching fire etc etc. People have no brand loyalty any more, and the oems know that "if I dont buy it, some one else will" so they dont care.

On the CVT oil being compatible or not, the only way to be certain is with a full oil analysis on the 2 nissan fluid vs redline. maybe some day when I get bored or closer to cvt fluid replacement I'll dig in to it.
I'm no young grasshopper by the way lol my car addiction was inherited from my father, and my own started in 96 when I got my 1st car (legally lol) @ 16 years old. I've owned Big block V8s, Blown V6's, 4cyl Na and turbo, crotch rockets, a couple harleys, quads etc etc.

For now, I will be doing a baseline Dyno on my Note 100% Bone stock. After that the Typical intake & exhaust and I'll be making my own header. I have a buddy that owns a dyno and ill go ahead and re dyno after each mod just so every one can see exactly what each mod will net you power, torque and drivability wise.
It's a waste of money yes I know, but it will serve as an informative guide to those wanting to mod or as was the case with a 2012 civic I had, there was a dyno proven 3hp gain on a $350 dollar intake by a couple people, that gave a reason NOT to mod and save your money.
 

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Most mods done today are pure eye candy only. A few do something but you pretty much MUST tune the software to get the most out of them and some will damage the engine not doing so.

I never did much supercharged work but plenty of carb, and so many BBC and SBC I cannot count. 450 inch smallblocks and 700+ inch bigblocks in pro stock cars in the late '80s and up to over 200 mph. I learned basics on American Motors cars in the mid '70s and those from 500-800 hp. Some Ford (true Boss) and Mopar true 426 Hemi too. We pretty much considered the Mopars as junk, way too heavy to go fast. They made big power but you needed 100 hp. more there to begin with just to overcome the weight. I did quite a bit of 1st gen Honda MC DOHC hi-perf work too, and plenty of race two strokes further back, Kaw threes being my favorite. I did a whopping amount of porting back then. We had a family hi-perf garage back all through the '70s and lots of drag cars of all types came through it. At one point we built race engines for Cigarette boats too, all the car dealer owners wanted a set there for a while.

The biggest thing in the way of a hi-perf car today is getting around the need to have new software with every mod you make.

Some think 3 hp. for $350 is a good deal. LOL. Most make the mistake of doing intake before the exhaust is taken care of, you cannot do induction and expect power with a stock exhaust, but oh so many keep trying. A decent exhaust is what makes the intake wake up and do right. A true decently designed header will net between 10%-20% power improvement just by itself but it needs to be open to do so. Once you start putting pipe on the end of it the result gets worse and worse and the higher the % you gained the more it drops with the added pipe. I got to be an expert at making systems with muffler that dropped virtually no hp. at all but you can't run pipe to the rear wheels and do that. The harder the engine is tuned to make power with open exhaust the more you lose when you put full pipes on it. I had one 304 inch AMC (375-400 hp. or so) that ran in the high 11's 1/4 lose some 75 hp. just capping the headers up, the engine was cammed really big and ported heads and intake on it with 850 Holley. Just putting the correct muffler on it and removing all pipe had it losing only 20 hp. then but you cannot run a car around town like that any longer. A true header needs to be open to air quick to extract properly, cap it up with full pipes and all you have done is turned it into the same as a cast iron manifold, the tuning is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Very nice to see some one with alot of experience and that's gotten their hands dirty. what made you get a versa if you dont mind me asking?
my reason is a 72 mile round trip and a bad focus Dual clutch trans that was acting up and fixed by ford for "free" it's a well known issue on focus n fiesta, the class action lawsuit did pretty much nothing for 90% of consumers when it came to replace the actual clutch pack, all I got was a replacement of the trans ecu that was malfunctioning ($900dolar fix if done out of pocket)

was gonna buy a new civic 1.5T sedan but spending 25k OTD on a civic that after 200k miles would be next to worthless I decided to weigh my options, the versa note looked decent, was cheap 13.3k otd used with 17k miles and will also be worthless after 200k miles if it ever makes it there reliability wise lol

Exhaust 1st, you are correct no matter how much air you can get in, if it's going thru a 1 3/4 pipe like the versa seems to have wont do much. once the exhaust is uncorked with say 2 1/4 piping on the 1.6 then an intake mod will really shine.

The ecu tuning is both correct and incorrect. Nissan has used MAF sensors on all their fuel injected cars, the sensor reads the air coming in adds fuel and mixture is correct (as long as the intake was designed with proper area in the MAF chamber) the exhaust could lean it out a bit due to scavenging and actually pulling more air out vs stock that's not very efficient at that. Tuning will help get all the mixtures correct and could also improve drivability something alot of people overlook because they want to see ××× amount of HP gain.
You have seen it, try driving a big cammed 460 around town a few days and it kinda sucks until it's up over 3-4k rpm (wont suck just wont be as fun as that 4-6800 rpm pull ) lol

there is good tuning software for the versa now, made by UpRev who specializes in late model nissan tuning software so that's a plus. again the price vs gain is something to consider here, but hp gain and drivability gain could make it worthwhile to some.

I have 75 days left on a 90 day insurance driving behavior monitor so cant do any mods yet. once that's gone, I'll start with the exhaust and see how that goes. 2nd will be intake and ported throttle body since I will be there already and to maximize the gains if any.

good to hear from you all.
 

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Well aware of the crap DCT trans, I have two early Foci and got tired of Ford making each successive car replacement worse than the one before. The cars break so much cheap made crap and made like that on purpose, it is beyond belief. Nissan it appears is not any better. Well, just like with a job, you gotta jump around to find out which line is the best value.

I took all the race mentality to turn it inward once I realized where hi-perf was going realistically and started buying the cheapest cars to work on them myself. Went to Nissan as a result of buying my son's car when he got a '17 Altima SR. I work on that one too. We never let a dealer touch our cars ever. I now use the cars to GENERATE money instead of blow it as most people do.

Owned Fords ever since AMC went away and watched them drop in quality every year, the Focus was my last Ford, they simply break everything on them that is not engine or trans. I came up with a common breakage list on the early Focus that went to over 50 items, that's utterly ridiculous. Many you can look at the parts for 30 seconds to easily figure out why they break over and over, in a lot of the instances I came up with fixes for pennies that stopped the breakage but the engineers will never do it as now crap parts are a major source of dealer throughput to keep the doors open.

Still trying to figure out what keeps Nissan from going bankrupt over the CVT, like Ford and the DCT they just don't seem to want to really fix them to stay together for the long haul.
 
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