Been lurking around here for the past 8 months.
In an nut-shell, last summer I lost my job. Had a 06 F150 Lariat. truck was paid off, so when I lost my job I decided to sell the truck to help pay my monthly bills. (tough pill to swallow, I was really proud of the truck) but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Needed some cheaper wheels and came across a 2000 xterra, I do a lot of road cycling and needed something I could load my bike into.
At the time I didnt know much about the car, just that it had 140k miles on it, ran pretty well and was cheap
Fast forward to me discovering these forums this past spring. I started to wonder if the timing belt was ever serviced. No stickers, and my gut feeling suggested it never was.
After doing a ton of reading I made this decision to dive into the timing belt this past weekend.
Car now has 174k miles on it. I knew it was a ticking time bomb. Local mechanic wanted $1300 to do the belt, hoses, water pump and a full tune up.
Spent around $600 in parts. Managed to knock out the belt + tensioner, pump, bypass hose, all of the other related hoses including that bypass gasket on the gooseneck and the backside thermostat housing seal. Plus got real lucky with the #6 plug and wire. I think the mechanic gods were looking down on me yesterday... the #6 took less than 5 minutes to pull and replace (was dreading this part the most). Also knocked out the rocker cover gasket on the passenger side. Tossed in new wires.
Needless to say, the car started up like a champ. Actually runs a hell of a lot better. The original water pump was stamped with the year 99. So I have to assume none of this maintenance was never done, 170K+ miles later its all good.
Just wanted to thank everyone who contributes on this site. I sure couldn't have done it without all of the valuable info here.