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I have "inherited" my son's 2002 Xterra (3.3L, MT, 2WD, NA) with 212K miles. It is now a backup to my 2005 Subaru Outback with 258K miles. I drive the Xterra at least once a week for a day to keep it running but it rides like a truck and really sucks gas.

Based on his maintenance records, I am changing the timing belt, accessory belts, and coolant hoses. I have removed everything necessary and am about to begin the reinstallation of the new components.

I was dreading removing the crankshaft sprocket based upon horror stories here and elsewhere, planning on dedicating all day today to the various techniques shown on Youtube and posts here and other Nissan/Infiniti forums. I was pleasantly surprised that just a touch of screwdriver showed it was loose and I could easily slide it off with my hand.

One of the camshaft seals was leaking so there is coagulated oil over the front of the engine on that side running down into the crankshaft. I am replacing them and the crankshaft seal.

I purchased an ASIN timing belt kit which includes a water pump but the one there looks in perfect condition and rotates smoothly. I'm wondering if there is a good reason to replace it?

The most important question is whether I should replace the oil pump. It's easy to do now but costs $70-80. I don't plan to heavily use the Xterra but while it's open, if there is a good reason to replace the pump, I want to do it know. Searching this forum and the internet shows a few problems reported but not a lot. Your thoughts?
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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I second replacing the water pump. It's too big to replace without having to remove the t-belt, so you are better off doing it while you're there.

Also, while doing the t-belt, replace all of the radiator and bypass hoses you can, especially the one between the lower and upper housings immediately behind the t-belt rear cover. Replace the t-stat, too.

Consider also the PS hoses, since it's easier to do it with it all open like that than it is all buttoned up.

I bought my 2001 3.3L NA in July, then in August took the time to replace the t-belt. I used the Aisin kit from Rock Auto, which included the water pump, both cam seals, and the crank seal. Like you, I discovered how easy the harmonic balancer comes off. I replaced mine since the original showed some major splits in the rubber between the inner and outer pulleys.

My PS was leaking horribly, so I replaced the pressure hose shortly after taking ownership, but PS fluid was still leaking. After opening it up for the t-belt, I replaced the other 2 hoses as well. The image below is not the actual parts I bought, but they represent them perfectly. The 3rd PS hose goes from the tank to the pump, and it has to be a special type of hose, not heater hose like I inherited. You can see the blue hose to the left in the 3rd image. The blue arrow points to the bypass hose I mentioned.

I also took the time to make sure that all 3 accessory drive belts were installed so they wording is right-side up.

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Thanks for your responses!

I have had some PS leakage on the hose from the return line to the tank but just replacing the OEM clamps resolved that.

I also am replacing all the coolant hoses and thermostat, including that notorious bypass hose.

For me, it was getting the harmonic balancer off that was the worst PITA. I had to "rent" a puller, special order 6Mx75mm bolts, clean out the threads of the holes in the balancer, and crank it out resisting every inch of the way. The balancer appears to be separating between the inner and middle pulleys so I am replacing it with a new one.

It was the crankshaft sprocket that I anticipated difficulty with because it's not possible to put the fingers of a puller behind it and people break their oil pump housing trying to lever it out.
 

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03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
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For me, it was getting the harmonic balancer off that was the worst PITA. I had to "rent" a puller, special order 6Mx75mm bolts, clean out the threads of the holes in the balancer, and crank it out resisting every inch of the way.

I own the puller and the bolts. I’ve done this plenty of times and I still hate it
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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Thanks for your responses!

I have had some PS leakage on the hose from the return line to the tank but just replacing the OEM clamps resolved that.

I also am replacing all the coolant hoses and thermostat, including that notorious bypass hose.

For me, it was getting the harmonic balancer off that was the worst PITA. I had to "rent" a puller, special order 6Mx75mm bolts, clean out the threads of the holes in the balancer, and crank it out resisting every inch of the way. The balancer appears to be separating between the inner and middle pulleys so I am replacing it with a new one.

It was the crankshaft sprocket that I anticipated difficulty with because it's not possible to put the fingers of a puller behind it and people break their oil pump housing trying to lever it out.
My balancer was a challenge as well. I bought the longest M6 bolts I could find at the hardware store, then just bent some perforated metal strapping to reach the puller. The really long bolts are just some SAE bolts I had laying around. I didn't even need to add nuts to keep them on the puller! It came off with no issues at all.

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