6 cylinder equipped automatic tranny accelerates & shifts up to 45-50 mph normally then wont shift into OD (overdive) unless I let off the throttle a bit or keep on the throttle and it finally kicks in after 60 mph with a bit of a thud/clunk. Before I go messing with linkage adjustment wanted to get some feedback.
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You should go right away to a nissan dealership. Your Trans cooler may be mixing your coolant and transmission fluid. After time your transmission will start shifting hard or have a delayed shift. you could also drain some trans fluid out yourself and see if it looks like your coolant. It will look pink and possibly foamy.
the throttle position sensor may be "noisey" causing computer to think your are accel. that unlocks the torque conveter. try a new one
also make sure the brake lights on coming on and off when driving that will do it to.
Check linkage at tranny, the new car use a cable to shift, Sometimes the cable slips within cover due to break in cover or cover ends. remove cable at tranny and shift by hand.Replace cable and see if it has the same amount of travel.
Try a tranny service change a place that changes the filter the pan gasket and fluid not some of these quick places that just drain a couple quarts out of the tranny lines and thats it that wont help but a complete tranny service should help.
There is no OverDrive gear in the transmission. The fourth speed is achieved by locking up the torque converter while in third gear creating a input shaft to output shaft ratio of more than 1 (the infamous over drive). If you do not feel it shifting three times while accelerating up to 45 mph then there is probably a situation with the torque converter.
It's hard to understand when you say it feels like a manual shift. Noise? Feel? I do know that the 87 auto trans does have a weak 1st to 2nd shift drum (as explained to me by my mechanic) that makes a grinding, elongated shift under heavy acceleration when it starts to wear. Under normal acceleration, 1st to 2nd shifts were normal (crisp, immediate). Since that day 8 years ago, I've avoided starting off to quickly, and so far have saved myself a tranny overhaul.