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"The stock variator isn't that smooth, it's not even shiny if you remove the CVT oil from the surface." These ones are and can see reflection of sorts, in them as removed, and cleaned many times finally with brake clean so no oil. I looked with a mag glass and it is like a very fine matte finish, it is a very strange finish, like a not real fine grinding wheel yet a fairly fine finish. I need to compare to other ground items I have !. Yeah you are convincing me to really check out the finish on that primary pulley that I cleaned up.
I found this website, shows a resurfacing operation.

Are you saying you need less coefficient of friction then? Or more?
"Many have tried, but .09-.10 on standard CVT oil is about the practical limit."

Could there be a manufactured finish difference of my 09 vs yours? When I first got this apart I was (1) very surprised at how shiny the pulleys were and (2) what really good shape they and the belt were in with the 130k miles on it. At least it was babied when it did its slipping etc.
I just wish yours had some miles on it to know how well your pulley finish works out. Is that trans supposed to use NS-3? I think NS-3 is a lower viscosity than NS-2, I am using idemitsu type N for assembly and final fill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #442 ·
All good questions.

Yep, wish mine was running but I'll know soon enough and of course I'll post updates on this thread. Yes, I think the RE0F09A/B might be more polished. Anything is possible and it's an older design, before the CVT2 if I recall. Maybe Jatco/Nissan were learning and changing things. Not doubting you, but I know what the JF011E came with and it's not actually polished nor have I ever seen one polished.

Below in the 1st picture is the stock ruined pulley surface on my JF011E with the oil removed. That is not polished even in areas the belt didn't ruin it.

The 2nd picture is where I cleaned up the pulley using 400 grit. The scratch marks are more obvious than they normally would be because I switched from 45* sanding angle to a circumferential type or circular like a lathe turn type pattern. Keep in mind the belt is going to knock the edges off the sanded surface finish and "plateau" it which'll change how it looks and remove some of the scratchy look. When you touch/feel the surfaces they aren't rough, but they are "grippy" like when you are wearing rubber gloves is how I can best describe it. This is what you want, the grip without the roughness. The 400 grit gives that, 600 will too but it's almost getting slick. 800 grit is like sliding on ice, the difference is huge. The 220/320 grit feels very rough like it tear up the belt.

That 3rd picture is NOT mine, but it's covered in oil and still not polished looking. Mine looks EXACTLY like that at certain angles even with the destroyed surface which you couldn't see until the oil was cleaned off.

The 4th picture IS mine.......exact same destroyed pulley surface but WITH CVT oil coating it. It looks completely mirror polished at that angle, tricking me into thinking the CVT belt was in good shape when in fact it was completely burned out.....but it isn't mirror polished as you can see in pictures 1 and 2.

And.......finally the 5th picture without any doubt is EXACTLY how it really looks without any optical illusions. That is a precision ground finish without any doubt, I forgot about that picture. I'd call it about 320-400 grit visually and how smooth it feels but a profilometer reading would end an speculation.

You need about 0.09-0.10 coefficient of friction. More will tear up the belt, less will slip. How that is determined would be tough, thus you kind of have to compare what you had against what it was refinished to and try an match it. It's possible the RE0F09A/B version could have been polished but like I said it was an older design and maybe they were also taking a stab at what finish to actually run.

The NS-3 is really designed for less oil pump and belt drag. I wouldn't run it for the main reason the valvebody are looking for very specific viscosity thru the various orifices which are basically restrictors. I'm not taking that chance and the NS-3 was really meant for the newer CVT that was designed for it. I don't have the viscosity data so if the viscosity is close or the same then it could be safe but I'm not risking it as don't have the data.




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Yeah the last pics, look way rougher than mine. Your pulleys were a real mess, you worked wonders on those, they look way better than before. Is the C of friction given with the fluid on them or dry?
I don't notice the swirling effect like I thought I remember in some previous photos of your sanding job. I tried to photo mine but just didn't look good, are you using a phone? I'll try some other time.
The variator pulleys are sure a slippery slope, and unlike a step transmission these things are in constant slip so to say, even if the pulleys were not variating there is the action of feeding in and out of the pulleys that are of course pinching the ____ out of that belt. Quick calcs about 9.5 tons or so?
 

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The newer series transmissions like yours all the variator support bearings are open. This one the bearings on the primary are sealed? Some how they lube a small amount I suppose, do you think it is a good idea to leave the seals off? The reason I think they decided to used sealed bearings is the primary sits low in the case and would have a chance for more debris to enter them? I am removing the seals to clean the bearings, of course only one on the input side since I would likely ruin that bearing trying to remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #445 ·
The pulleys did clean up nicely. It took about 1 week to do it by hand but most guys use a lathe. Biggest issue was the surface hardness. The swirling was on there then I removed it and switched to a different sanding pattern. I used a phone for the pics, some of them suck but not too important for what I'm doing. Don't remember what the clamping force was but it's about 1 to 4 Mpa acting on a 6" diameter pulley. It's at least 16,000 lbs clamping force or possibly higher depending on CVT pressures.

Yep, the bearings are open. Nissan realized it's better to get a bearing dirty than to starve it of lubrication. But you have to see if there' a lubrication feed pipe for that bearing. Mine has them, yours may not since it's sealed currently. You might be able to jury rig a feed pipe somehow but you'd have to tap into the oil feed/cooling circuit to do it. But the JF011E with the open bearings don't really have issues with seizing up and the bearings in general all looked pretty good on mine.
 

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Top photo shows primary left and secondary right side. And the photos show more roughness than the mag glass does.
Second pic is primary
Third pic is the primary I used the 2000 on lightly
last is the secondary looks factory new at around 130K ish miles.

The secondary surface looks rough in the picture, it is not that rough with naked eye nor with a magnifying glass. Some how the photo contrasts it and enhances the texture.
I will leave the secondary alone, how should I sand the primary? It looks like it was slipping a bunch. Also my old fluid has a blue or purple effect on paper towels? Is that NS-3 that someone added? I had added a tiny amount of Vaseline into the one primary sealed bearing with CVTF, now its apart again to change the piston seal. Oh just got my seals shipped, from Transtar, now I'm lost, these are updated and interlock way better at the ends that butt together, I wonder why these type were not in the kit? I'm still thinking of just using the old seals???
I really checked out my press, that is about 95% of my pressing problem it is so loose and unstable. These pistons (both with springs) need a very stable and square press to help locate them squarely in the drum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #448 ·
Yep, you want the double lap joint Freudenberg-NOK style gap rings for the pistons. The kits are screwed up, no idea. There isn't a single kit I know that would work correctly as sold, but those gaps rings are mega critical to make everything work right. This is really why I believe many of the rebuilds ultimately fail. WIT kind of knew something because they simply recommended flipping over the original gap rings and reusing them. The double lap joint rings are now available separately so that is progress anyway. If you simply air check the pulley case then it's easy to check of the new gap rings are sealing, no big deal. I'd go for it.

I'm using a Harbor Freight press, never had an issue. Done right it's not taking massive hydraulic pressure to get the variators re-assembled, but the primary/secondary bearings require the right technique and some good WD40 or lubricating oil which drastically reduce the force required to press them on.

If you can hook that surface with a finger nail, then it needs to be sanded. If 2000 grit is working for you, then give that a try but it will take a long while to do it.
NS-3 is the wrong fluid, just use NS-2.
 

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The seal rings, I will just have the joint with the wider ear towards the outside, my thinking is that is slightly better for holding the pressure. The press I'm very careful but for some reason at the very end things distort and mess things up. Everything, every surface on the variator is covered in CVTF (to stop rust) when I go to press the piston, so plenty of lube. I know supposed to be NS-2, what fluid is purple or blue in color? I will not use 2000 grit now. I'm thinking about using gray scotch bright for the drums. The guy on youtube that does step transmissions says he uses scotch bright on any place seal rings contact? Not sure what kind of finish that leaves. I found a person on an other site that owns a transmission shop he doesn't do cvt's now but said they did some in the past, and sanded the pulleys on a lathe. I asked what grit and waiting for a reply.

A bit off this topic.
I think you mentioned it, I studied the guide balls and grooves real well when I first took the trans apart, and with the right light could see the very slight indentations in the grooves.
I think this is the cause of the balls breaking up, sooner or later those dents get deeper, and act like rut to keep the ball from moving especially under a continuous torque loading, something has to give so the balls chip and become not so nice round balls, then the destruction continues. Personally I would never use the steel balls the loading is an infinite point of contact around the groove that is if it is a perfect size match, ball to groove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #450 ·
NS-2 is green from Nissan. Scotchbrite would work too, check the abrasive ratings but you don't want to be using anything rougher than 400 grit. That grit will seal an o-ring or gap ring plenty airtight if you apply it lightly. Regarding the pulley face, you are just stripping the belt material back off that's all that's needed. A lathe is better but it can be done by hand if you carefully spin the variator on it's main bearing, just avoid getting grit into the ball bearings.
 

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So on yours did you use the 400 grit and just sand in the rotating direction? I know NS-2 is green, what would the purpleish or blueish be? What color is amsoil?
There was just that very small amount of belt material towards the center, I think I got most of it. You scared me as far as the 2000 grit, but I suppose it just plateau ed it.
Did you ever call a shop and ask what grit they used to sand them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #452 ·
Yes, just hold the sanding pad and spin the variator under it. Then move it up the pulley some and do the same. Follow the original grinding pattern. I didn’t talk to shops, wouldn’t trust them anyway. I did my own thing to try and improve the pulley traction but ultimately I went back to something that is close to the factory which I know works. AMSOIL is also a green or even natural oil color. I have no idea what that other stuff was.

Curious as to what actually failed on your CVT?
 

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Failure was low pressure, intermittent, sometimes it was somewhat ok and sometimes not. Worn flow control valve, and who knows yet with the valve body. Trans will have to be together first before attacking the valve body, bench space you know. Also only 3/4 a dixy cup of oil was in the transfercase, so another project. I also suspect input bushing to primary variator bushing since it was .007 over, it supports the shaft and would allow movement for the seal rings? So far other bushings look okay. I was not going through the weeks worth of work to remove the trans and not check everything. The biggest battle on the remove was the insanely super tight fasteners and rusted exhaust fasteners in impossible to get to places, saying nothing about the myriad of things to remove to accomplish the task, oh and can't forget the wire connectors. I did it without draining the coolant as well. Not looking forward to the install.
She got prices from $4000. plus to $6000. to fix the car. Murano's are a super difficult to remove the transmission in vehicle, I got a few prices from $2000. to $2400. to just remove and reinstall the trans.

One other thing to note, something else that could have been an issue, under the battery tray the ground cable attach to the frame etc was badly corroded internally on the wire inside the crimp for the eye the bolt goes through. Always check for good grounds.


Here are a few things I found last night mentioning sanding the pulleys.

****
mentions 320 to sand pulleys
****
mentions scotchbright
at 12:03
 

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Discussion Starter · #454 ·
Great article. The 320 grit and 400 are close in terms of particle size. It is also close to the surface roughness of the factory pulley, which is why I used it. Common sense applies here. Use whatever you are comfortable with, they both will produce high belt traction. Important thing here is to scrub these pulley with hot soap and water. Really going to have a bad day if you embed silicon carbide into the surface and prematurely wear out the CVT belt. Again, these articles are good but I wouldn’t blindly follow them.

I’d probably have the valvebody rebuilt or buy a refurb unit that was vacuum checked and had the solenoids function checked or replaced. Mine was nearly brand new as the old one had some serious issues.
 

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Oh just got my seals shipped, from Transtar, now I'm lost, these are updated and interlock way better at the ends that butt together, I wonder why these type were not in the kit? I'm still thinking of just using the old seals???
I hadn't removed them from the package yet, so I really jumped the line on this one. They are the exact same seals that were in the kit. The thick ones that my pistons need have the simple step joint, the thinner rings are the good ones, I don't understand why they did not do the same joint on the thicker rings?

The top picture is the factory Jatco ring from the transmission, the thick cross section of the lap joint. The number 2 from top is the same ring, the thin cross section of the lap joint. The number 3 from top is the Transtar kit thick ring lap joint. The number 4 from top is the Transtar kit thin ring lap joint, I wish they would have done that on the thick ring. The thick ring is what I needed, it leaked bad enough to not use it.
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Discussion Starter · #457 ·
The last pic (4) is the double overlap piston gap ring. This is OE design for the JF011E. These were not in my kit but later became available in separate ring kits, maybe now it’s included in the master kit.
That is what you want, they don’t leak and hold air perfectly. The pic 3 single overlap joint style will leak badly, don’t want those. Which came in the transtar Kit?
 

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Yes you are correct, leak bad. The OEM leaks some air but not like #3 did. 400 to 800 psi hydraulic pressure should force the OEM to seal just fine. What is wrong with the manufacture of these after market seal rings just making the single overlap for the large thickness ring? They should know its no good? (It is obvious they know how to make them correct) And they are charging a huge amount for the seal ring kit for this trans, and including the 2 worthless rings that I need, with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #459 ·
My viewpoint is leakage will only get worse at higher pressures. If it doesn’t seal well at 90 psi then there is something wrong with the seal or it was damaged during the installation which isn’t hard to do. Mine had nearly zero leakage at 90 psi but the other single overlap gap ring wouldn’t even seal no more what I did.

The kits usually have multiple sets of parts to cover different versions of CTV configurations. There were many versions of JF011e so there multiple piston gap rings but none were right for my application. That probably has changed now but 2 years back it was messed up or the guy packing the kit screwed up.
 

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I have dealt with the square or so called D ring seals in the past in the steering clutch systems. They leak air some what, but they worked and held the fluid pressure just fine. I don't remember them even having a lap joint, I think they just butted like an engine piston ring. 25 plus years ago so memory?
 
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