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andersonroad212 Profile
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Date Registered: 03-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 3
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Re: DMF or SMF?


If this is the wrong place for my question please advise where I should post instead

My 2016, T31, petrol, 2WD manual, 140 000km, X-Trail had leaking hydraulic fluid & clutch problems. Turns out CSC leak. In the process of CSC replace I found it has SMF. I had flywheel skimmed. I reconned the clutch; I could not source a new clutch kit compatible with the SMF.

Subsequently I wondered about the SMF. Best info indicates my model would have come out with DMF. Somebody converted to SMF.

My question: What bad stuff can I expect to happen with the SMF? Should I consider redoing the job and convert back to DMF despite the cost?

Last edited by Revhead Kev, 13/Mar/2021, 10:13 pm
13/Mar/2021, 3:19 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
roelofs Profile
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Date Registered: 10-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 5
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Re: Clutch issues and potential upgrades


Good morning all,

Attempting to resurrect an old thread here, and hoping I can get some insights from the collective. I bought a 2009 Petrol Exy with 6 speed manual gearbox a year ago. I've since put on about 22000km, and it's now sitting at 192000km, and it's been a remarkably solid ride. I bought the car for a relative steal at $7500 (considering the inflated 2nd hand market at the moment), and have spent around $2500 replacing front control bushes, radiator, aircon compressor, and one CV shaft. Given that it was an unplanned expense (my 2005 CRV got written off on the highway, and insurance was stingy), the hope is to get at least another 5 years/100000km out of the car.

In the last week or two, the gearbox started making rattling noises if I'm sitting on the clutch before take-off. The car has also developd a strange vibration between 2000-2500RPM, most noticeable in 3rd and 4th gear. After some calls, 1 mechanic visits, and a LOT of reading here, it seems likely my DMF is starting to let go (possibly related to shudder issue). This is absolutely not an expense I was planning on. By all accounts the car's done well getting that many kms on it, but after a lot of (sometimes conflicting) advice, I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to do.

Advice from 2 mechanics (family businesses, both referred and well reviewed) is to stick to the DMF (one flat-out refuses to do SMF conversions). Quotes range from around $3500 to $4500 for non-dealer repairs.

A third samller mechanic (my local) states that they will not replace DMF, and always replace SMF on clutch work, with a quote of around $2500.

Yet another mechanic (also well reviewed, but bigger) states that they have had no issues with SMF conversions in the past, and will do either, but with suspiciously high quote for the SMF ($3900) vs around $4400 for the DMF.

The ones that won't do the SMF conversion, state concerns around long-term extra wear on the gearbox at my mileage, and vibration issues, considering I want to keep the car for a while still.

This thread has mentioned numerous people doing SMF conversions on both T30 and T31 models. For people that have done this, how did it work out long term? Is there anyone that in retrospect would've done a normal DMF instead?

If the DMF has 'just' started letting go, how long do I have before catastrophic damage starts setting in (I do about 75% highway driving, and am not a heavy clutch user)? One mechanic told me to come in as soon as I start hearing different noise but conceded it could be weeks or months, another told me to come in ASAP.

The difference between $2500 and $4500, makes SMF an obvious choice. A DMF at $3500, becomes viable-ish given gearbox concerns, but it's still a lot of money to spend on an older car (with the risk of having to replace it again much sooner).

Or do I sell the car, and look for something with less kms on it, but run the 'devil you don't know' risk on other hidden issues?

Any help, pointers or feedback on SMF/DMF replacements done would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by roelofs, 6/Oct/2021, 12:56 pm


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Roelof (X-6089)
2009 T31 Adventure Edition 2.5 Petrol/6 Spd, 192000km
6/Oct/2021, 12:44 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Nickelass Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 76
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Re: Clutch issues and potential upgrades


Having just gone through this, all I can say is the prices are accurate. But it's a bastard of a job no matter which clutch you use. The cost of labour is epic, but so is the job.

Like you, I'd purchased the car for a similar cost mid pandemic which was a "bargain". I'd banked on a reconditioned compressor for the air con, so under $10 on road including all insurance and upgrades to the car (lift, new headunit etc) etc Everything worked great for 6 months... but then clutch began to go in stop/start traffic.

I explored both Dual Mass Flywheel and Single Mass Flywheel, and in the end my mechanic said in he'd prefer to do a DMF from a diver comfort perspective. We went a bit back and forth on it, as I'd argue that given it's a weekend warrior / camping / exploring car, and the car had done 162,000kms already, I wouldn't bother paying more comfort. No car is smooth bashing across high country tracks! His view was a new DMF would last as long as another 162,000kms again and most likely something else will brake long before then.

So in the end, went with the DMF and yeah the car drives fantastic in town and the car is faster now all my money has left my wallet emoticon .... but in hindsight I reckon SMF was probably a better option given my circumstances. But I'll never know how 'rough' the end result would have been.

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Nick
2010 ST (MY10). ** MODIFIED*** King lifted springs, Rear protection tray, Sony XAV-AX1000 headunit, CMD05 Command parking sensors, Garnish Mount reversing camera, Tow bar, Left side cargo drawer, ClicOn dash mobile mount
6/Oct/2021, 1:01 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Revhead Kev Profile
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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 6112
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Re: Clutch issues and potential upgrades


This article on Dual Mass Flywheels might help explain some of the mechanic's concern regarding fitting an SMF on an old gearbox and why it was fitted originally by Nissan.

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Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
03 Titanium Ti T30 Series 1 **MODIFIED**
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6/Oct/2021, 5:04 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Nickelass Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 76
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Re: Clutch issues and potential upgrades


Great article Kev, thanks for sharing

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Nick
2010 ST (MY10). ** MODIFIED*** King lifted springs, Rear protection tray, Sony XAV-AX1000 headunit, CMD05 Command parking sensors, Garnish Mount reversing camera, Tow bar, Left side cargo drawer, ClicOn dash mobile mount
6/Oct/2021, 5:23 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
roelofs Profile
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Date Registered: 10-2021
TOTAL POSTS: 5
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Re: Clutch issues and potential upgrades


Thank you Kev and Nick for your responses!

Kev - the article was a really good read, and sums up a lot of stuff nicely that I've seen spread around.

Nick - the DMF may have been the right call for you after all.

The 'close' quote between DMF and SMF I received yesterday, made me do some more checking, and it looks like the landscape has shifted a little over the last couple of years.

When this thread started, the major factors in favor of SMF conversions were cost of parts, and longevity of the SMF compared to the DMF. Right now, checking prices for Clutchpro and Exedy kits for the T31, there is only about a $300-400 difference between the SMF and DMF kits, with SMF still being cheaper. Prices for SMF range from around $1150-1400, and DMF from around $1400-1700. This was confirmed this morning when I phoned my local mechanic (who quoted me $2400 on an SMF), and he was happy to do the DMF for around $2700 using Clutchpro.

It would then seem that, at least from a cost perspective, sticking with a DMF kit makes sense, and trying to find a mechanic that charges a reasonable price.

The question then becomes around longevity. My car is not new, and I'd be happy to get another 100,000-120,000km out of it (150,000 would be a bonus, if nothing else major goes wrong). The major contenders seem to be Clutchpro (PN: KNI24647) and Exedy (PN: NSK-8429DMF). Clutchpro is a shade more expensive than Exedy ($100-200, depending on outlet).

Does anyone have feedback on which of the two is better, in terms of quality and performance (vibration, etc) compared to OEM parts?

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Roelof (X-6089)
2009 T31 Adventure Edition 2.5 Petrol/6 Spd, 192000km
7/Oct/2021, 9:44 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 


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