I want to buy an 08 Xterra, could use some help. - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 11-16-2012, 07:12 PM
ByeByeGTI
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I want to buy an 08 Xterra, could use some help.

Hey everyone! I'm glad to have found such a lively and friendly forum here focused on what should soon be my new ride!

Quick back story: A few years ago I moved to the urban Midwest from a small California town and have found that my current car isn't exactly ideal for handling the potholes and harsh winter weather. I also love camping and have ridden with friends off road a number of times, so I'm excited to be somewhat forced into making the switch from a back road burner to a highly capable off-roader. I started out knowing that I wanted a 4x4 on a truck frame with a solid rear axle so I'd be able to jump into some moderate off-roading while stock. Naturally I began by looking at the renowned (slightly older) Toyota 4Runners, but after driving a few of the ugly, cheap-feeling, slow, rusting, lumbering beasts I quickly decided to start looking elsewhere. Having never owned or even really even considered owning a Nissan before (except maybe dreaming about 300zxs in high school) I was pleasantly surprised to find that 08+ Xterras have very good reliability ratings. I continued my research and the more I found out about them, the more I saw myself driving one. I took a test drive today (in an 06) and have pretty much decided that an Xterra will be my next ride, assuming I find one with the right options in the right condition.

Anyway, I hope these questions aren't continuously asked here, and I did a quick search but didn't come up with much so I was hoping someone here might help me out with a few questions I had about 08 Xterras.

Can someone explain (in as much detail as possible) the differences between the X, S, SE, and Off-Road trim levels? The Google searches I've done on the topic seem to have turned up incomplete, contradicting or outright inaccurate information. For example, I've seen a few SEs listed on auto trader but they don't have audio controls on the steering wheel, nor a 6 disc changer. I thought both were standard for an SE. Also, the 06 X I drove had 2 power jacks in the dash, but more expensive trims seem to only have one? Was this a dealer option or just a year to year difference?

When I go to kick the tires on perspective rigs, what exactly should I examine, look out for, test, etc, in order to make sure I'm buying a well maintained ride that will last hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal headaches?

How off-road capable are the non Off-Road (trim level) 4x4s? I don't ever see myself traversing a field of boulders for example, but it would be nice to know I could if I needed to. Is it possible to add on the ability to lock the rear diff to an S or SE model?

That's all I can think of for now though I'm sure I'll come up with more later. Thanks in advance and since everyone likes pictures, I'll end with the car I'll be practically heartbroken to see go...



Cheers!
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#2 Old 11-17-2012, 06:24 AM
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FWIW - I sold my tuned WRX to get my Xterra. I've had quite a few sports cars and quite a few 4x4s and the 4x4s are better-riding and way more practical hands-down.

The trim level differences vary a bit based on the model year, but the off-road version does have a electronic locking rear differential. SE has a few more options than the S, particularly fog lights. There are a couple thorough threads around here with model/trim differences - that and "what tire fits" are two of the most popular questions/threads on the forum.

Any of the 4x4 versions are fairly capable off-road - while you can make them into rockcrawlers, as with most SUV/Truck "some trimming may be required." In base form, they're about as good as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, IMHO... My wife has a GC Laredo 4x4 V8 and we take my X on all our road trips... it's just more comfortable and has more practical storage - MPG is about the same. For trail duty, camping, hiking, etc. they are great vehicles in un-modified or slightly-modified form.

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#3 Old 11-17-2012, 09:10 AM
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I would say go for the Off-Road addition, just because of that locking rear diff. From the research I've done for putting one in its roughly a grand just for an air locking diff. I guess a grand doesn't seem too bad, but I've got to still do alot more work to my X right now thats more important.

Welcome to ClubXterra!

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My plans:
Paint plastics to black [1/2]
Fog Lights (fixed) [X]
PML or bigger lift [ ]
Air Intake Mod [ ]
Brakes [X]
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Breather Tube [ ]
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#4 Old 11-17-2012, 09:56 AM
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You can lock the diff in the other models but to save that hassle I would get a pro4x or OffRoad with the e locker already in it. The aw I think has the fogs and extra buttons. The extra power source could be difference in years.

One thing in 4x4s I like to check if its a used truck is make sure there are no unusual sounds coming from up front. Park in the grass engage 4wd do a circle in each direction. Doing this you ensure it engages and disengages properly and that there are is nothing unusual in the cvs, diff, transfer case, or front drive shaft. Happy hunting
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#5 Old 11-17-2012, 09:58 AM
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X2 on the ProX over the SE. I would not even bother with the S;s as they have the fewest options available.
The ProX is basically the top of the line and comes with pretty much all of this.
#1 - Electronic locking rear differential,
hill start assist
hill descent control
set of off-road tires (probably not that good of a set IMHO
foglights
roof mounted off-road driving lights
optional Pro-X leather package includes leather upholstery, passenger seatback map and eliminates the folding front passenger seat.

Other than Those options im not sure if there is much more of a differance. Things to look out for? not much that I know of.
What year did you want exactly? I saw you test drove an 06.

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#6 Old 11-17-2012, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Tarditi: Yeah, the cost of upkeep and premium fuel, the worry about when the CEL is going to come on due to one of my numerous mods failing, the stress of dodging potholes and speed traps just isn't worth it anymore. I want something I can rely on to get me anywhere I need to go with as little hassle as possible. This will be my DD so I don't want to focus mods on rock climbing but was mainly curious as to how up to the task the stock truck would be.

Ehlectric: Thanks! a grand isn't too bad considering there's a few thousand dollar difference between an S and an Off Road, even used. I know the Off Road has other added features, but there are far more S models to choose from and I could pick exactly what shocks and tires I want to get down the line.

yellowbug: I've never owned a 4x4 before so I really appreciate the advice. Don't know where I'd find a grass field around here but maybe I could find a gravel lot that could suffice.

ShiftingSkys: I'm looking at 08s because that's the first year where Consumer Reports reliability ratings go way up across the board (According to Wikipedia they moved production away from Brazil in 07) and it's also at the limit as to what I can afford. I'm afraid the 08 Off Road will be slightly out of my price range but that might not matter anyway because there aren't even any for sale near me. Do you know if the hill decent control is something that could be added on to an S? That and the e locker are the only things I'd worry about adding on, everything else I could easily do myself or just leave off entirely.

BTW, I came up with another question: I've read about the strawberry milkshake, is that something I should be concerned about with an 08 or newer?

Thanks again, all!
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#7 Old 11-17-2012, 03:54 PM
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If you did decide installing an airlocking diff, you would need an air pump which around $300. Personally I'd rather just get the Off-Road edition and then it will most likely handle what you're saying your going to throw at it. (Excluding rock crawling etc.)

The gravel does work, and don't be afraid to step on the pedal a bit eh?

'02 Xterra Supercharged 4WD

My plans:
Paint plastics to black [1/2]
Fog Lights (fixed) [X]
PML or bigger lift [ ]
Air Intake Mod [ ]
Brakes [X]
CB radio [ ]
Breather Tube [ ]
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#8 Old 11-17-2012, 04:30 PM
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The Strawberry Milkshake is something that was a problem in the 05-07s. It is for the majority fixed. Adding a lock you could do for around 1000 to 1500 you doing the work your self that is locker, pluming, air compressor and other accessories that might be needed. At a shop i am not sure.

Testing the 4x4 on gravel will be fine. As far as the hill decent I don't think you would be able to add it. It is a computer assisted program to my understanding.

http://youtu.be/jfO5TgD8Piw

Video of a second gen locked front and rear. And armored. Very capable trucks.
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#9 Old 11-17-2012, 04:55 PM
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I think I can safely say that I'm not looking to do anything that extreme, that's nuts! I winced so hard with every metallic scrape heh. I'm beginning to think that the S/SE would be plenty for my needs. Any idea what the power distribution front/rear in 4H is? Is it an LSD? BTW, I have no problem stepping on the gas, but why floor it when it seems that full power is within just the first inch of pedal travel heh. I did notice the brake feel was a bit mushy though. Would braided steel brake lines help?
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#10 Old 11-17-2012, 05:04 PM
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The s or se I think is open frond LSD rear. Not sure on the rear if it is LSD or open
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