Looking at buying an xterra, questions about radiator/ transmission failure... - Nissan Xterra Forum
 
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#1 Old 10-04-2012, 07:27 PM
GODMODE
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Smile Looking at buying an xterra, questions about radiator/ transmission failure...

Hey guys, I'm new here, looking into buying an xterra. I currently drive a 94 ford Bronco on 6 inches of lift with 37's, locker in the rear, and a full sound system with a 400 watt speaker amp and a 1000 watt alpine type r sub. enough about that ride though, I'm looking to ditch it, due to the price of driving it, tires, gas (10-14 mpg) and just because it's old. It's a sweet wheeling rig, but I'm starting school in january, and I need something more fuel efficient, and that can keep up on a trail a stock jeep could do. So I'm looking into xterras. everything about them seems great, I'm just worried about the 05-06 models I'm looking at, with about 100k miles, and I've heard that the radiator can leak fluid into the transmission and destroy it, not looking to drop the coin on a transmission! so,the best fix for this is an external cooler, no? I have one installed on my bronco so I'm familiar with them. But what are the chances of it having happened and already screwing over the transmission, even if it was repaired before total failure? like say they got a new radiator and flushed the transmission, could it still be shot? I guess driving it is the best way to tell... and obviously if there's coolant in the transmission dipstick, or trans fluid in the coolant resivor? but how common is the problem? 1out of 10, 1/5 xterras? anyways, hope to own one in the next month or two, just want to be informed as possible before ditching the bronco!
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#2 Old 10-04-2012, 08:12 PM
kms1990
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just use your head and look for the signs of abuse or neglect check all he fluids look at the frame for damage and check the radiator if it looks new ask about it or call nissan dealer with the vin and ask them if all the tsbs have been done. Autocheck is a good service to look at better then carfax drive it and feel out how it shifts, most cars shift hard from 1st to 2nd after 100k miles but im sure you know that. also call nissan with the vin and check for recalls

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#3 Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I actually didn't figure it would shift hard between 1st and 2nd, 100k mile seems low to me, my bronco has 156k, and my 4x4 dodge dakota had 180k before I sold it but that. Ps, the sound system in your rig sounds sweet! I was drooling over it while reading your sig haha. oh and just for fun.. here's a pic of the bronco!

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#4 Old 10-05-2012, 09:06 AM
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If you can swing it, keep the bronco - you'll never be able to replace it for what you'll get for it. Get a cheap commuter car while you're in school.

As far as the X goes, I just replaced my radiator and rebuilt trans (new valve body), etc. after the SMOD. I was in a position where the truck was otherwise in good shape (had just spent $1000 covering all the deferred/due maintenance from the PO), and couldn't replace the truck for what it would cost to repair, so... bottom line, truck is great now, has external cooler and it cost me $5500 to fix the SMOD problem.

If the truck is in good shape, drives and shifts well, there are well documented procedures to flush and aux cool the trans before the SMOD strikes. Do check the trans dipstick - should not be frothy, milky, or brown.

Dustin Tarditi
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#5 Old 10-05-2012, 10:06 AM
ShiftingSkys
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I Personaly drive a 2002 Nissan Xterra and Love the hell out of it. It does not have any costl problems to fix especially if you are mechanically inclined. Mine is clocking at 120K and I have not had to do ANYTHING to it besides a little maintenance which I keep up with religiously. I do Mud it and trail it and abuse it from time to time. Anyway you can probably pick up a 2002 with only 80K Supercharger and 4x4 for less than 10K.


I do see you want a 05-06. In that case I would definantly recommend double and triple checking to see if the transmission is good-has been replaced or the readiater has been replaced. Once you purchase it you can do the radiator bypass modification on this forum that will PREVENT the SMOD. Saving you the 6k.

Just inspect suspension parts. See if any Ball joints or anything is cracked. Check for any interior damage make sure all cup holders are intact including the back ones. These are damaged alot of the time because of dogs or kids not paying attention. The type of interior damages you see may tell you a little about the person. driving it before you.

Check for any leaks on the motor- valve covers oil pan anywhere you can think of.

A good tactic is to go see it and test drive it and then wait a couple days and go back and see it.

Not only might it get a little bit of money off but it will allow you to see it and think clearly about it when you go back to see it.

Just for fun here is my X. 2002's can be sexy to

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#6 Old 10-05-2012, 03:56 PM
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thanks man, cool bronco, i would try to hold on to that looks like you put a lot into it! The x is sweet though, every car i have had with over 100k miles ford, mazda, toyota, nissan has shifted a little rough from 1st to 2nd but getting it flushed(if fluid is still ok, not looking like oil o smelling burned) usually fixes it some. I guess i was just getting cars that hadnt had the fluids kept up with 100% bu i make sure i dont buy one with burned or brown tranny fluid.

MY BRIGHT AZZ LIGHTS!

MY STEREO BEATS EM ALL!
My Laundry List
LIFT()
MUD TIRES()
DROP IN K&N FILTER(X)
UPGRADE STEREO(X)
RESTORE BUMPERS(X)
HID AND PIAA FOGS(X)
FIX UP HEADLINER()
WINCH()
MUFFLER UPGRADE()
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#7 Old 10-05-2012, 10:46 PM
GODMODE
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Thanks guys, I have out a lot of work into it but that's why I'm sick of it.. constantly fixing things! So make sure the transmission seems good, then order up a transmission cooler and install it, and I should be good? Ps nice xterra shiftingskys! I do like the older ones but I have to get an 03 or newer for the loan I'm getting through my bank... so that severely limits my pick of 1st gens, so I'm pretty set on a 2nd gen. I went and test drove a 2011 s model today and lived it! Much better acceleration and road manners, and visibility than my current rig. I just have to make the decision between selling my motorcycle for winter or to keep saving, because I could have an x within the week if I did that...
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#8 Old 10-06-2012, 10:59 AM
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Essentially yes GODMODE. Just rerouting the lines separate of the radiator will fix the problem through an inter-cooler. Ye the New X's are pretty sexy especially once they have been Lifted. In my opinion they look like Armoured Vehicles.

I will let some of the Second Gen owners chime in as they will know more of the perks associated with owning it.
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