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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys and gals!
New to the forum - thinking about purchasing an Xterra for some winter fun in the snow (from northeast USA) - just curious as to the experience of all of you about common trends in parts that wear faster than others, weak links in the drive train, etc etc. I am pretty mechanically sauvy so feel free to get as in depth as you can!
Look forward to hearing your responses!
Justin
 

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Welcome to the club.

It'll be a different list depending on whether you're looking at first gens (2000-2004 with some changes in 2002) or second gens (2005-2010, and beyond at this point I think)
 

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Yes, what years are you looking at, as the list is a bit different. Once you know that, we can get more details for you.
I am a gen 1 owner and the drive train is pretty tuff! I have a 5 speed, which works for me in my no traffic area, but the autos hold up well also.
The first gens are 100 hp less than the second gens, so if power is your interest, the gen 2 would be your focus.
Both gens are good sturdy rides and should hold up well.
One point about the first gen is they have timing belt that needs replacing at 105K miles. The gen 2s have a chain, but often need chain tensioner replaced up around the same mileage as the TB on the gen 1s.

The important thing to know: If you are going to get one, you are going to want to mod it to your own needs/likes. We can help your addiction along! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow!

Hey all,
First off I really appreciate the responses! And I appreciate your post on both my threads ;)
Right now i am just doing some research into what i want - and figured i would use the knowledge of owners who are part of an online community to help make the best decision possible. I am a honda/acura man - but also have been frustrated lately with the snow we have been getting (was going to get an sti - but toooooo much $$$$ lol) and not being able to utilize it to get to the mtn to do some boarding! Hence where the Xterra comes in...
So it would be a second car - i have found a gen 1 (2002) in my area (5spd; SC) with high miles which doesn't bother me at all...my brother is a mechanic and we have rebuilt engines together in the past, plus it would give me an excuse to pull it out and upgrade it, just have no idea what typically needs to be done for maintenance internally on the engine.
Only concern with a high mileage X is the drivetrain - although i do have some money saved to dump into one, i do not want it to turn into a money pit...so thats where you guys and gals come in!
i really get a feeling from your passion that comes across in the posts that they are nice SUV's...and i know i would be modifying it for a purpose built vehicle = 'when the weather isn't nice for the rsx, grab the xterra...'
let me know!
 

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You should be able to glean if the previous owner was a maintainer or abuser. Fluid changes greatly increase mechanical parts lifespan. If you deam it was fairly well maintained, I would go for it.
The S/C models are low pressure, so little more stain is put on the lower end in stock set up. I believe they are only rated 10 more horsepower. I am sure that is under rated, but still, the 3.3 V6 engine has been around a long time and is known fro holding up.

When you say high miles, what is high to you? I have seen several of these @ around 300K and still ticking.
 

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I have an '04 SE S/C. I have had a few maintenance issues but they were 100% due to the abuse I put it through off-road. I mean I beat the snot out of this thing on the rocks. Not once has it ever left me stranded on the trails though. While it may have had to limp, it has always made it home. I'm right around 100K and I do all of my maintenance myself and on time. Drivetrain-wise, the 1st gens are solid. The diffs are near bombproof (unless you're Xterror04 :D ). The only real knock I have on them is the grossly weak steering system. But with a few minor upgrades for about $100 you can really build it up pretty solid and for another $200, you can really beef it up to withstand just about everything you can throw at it.

That '02 S/C with the manual tranny is a rare find. Nissan did not produce very many of these.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You should be able to glean if the previous owner was a maintainer or abuser. Fluid changes greatly increase mechanical parts lifespan. If you deam it was fairly well maintained, I would go for it.
The S/C models are low pressure, so little more stain is put on the lower end in stock set up. I believe they are only rated 10 more horsepower. I am sure that is under rated, but still, the 3.3 V6 engine has been around a long time and is known fro holding up.

When you say high miles, what is high to you? I have seen several of these @ around 300K and still ticking.
Ya, previous owner it lists as 'Female/Non-smoker'...'very good condition inside and out' so im assuming it is well maintained all around. Optimistically anyway cant really make assumptions with car maintenance.

lists as '145,326 HWY' - which isnt too shabby at all if the engines have been being put in things by nissan for some time as you say...must make parts available pretty much anywhere and relatively inexpensive also??

Even if it only adds another 10 in stock form - i am no stranger to forced induction (drooooool) and love torque, so with a couple simple engine upgrades (make it breath easier - intake headers pipes tb) that would significantly improve while still keeping (and quite possibly increase - less resistance with air flow, more efficient) stock gas mileage, but id prob have my foot in it more hahaa.

I have an '04 SE S/C. I have had a few maintenance issues but they were 100% due to the abuse I put it through off-road. I mean I beat the snot out of this thing on the rocks. Not once has it ever left me stranded on the trails though. While it may have had to limp, it has always made it home. I'm right around 100K and I do all of my maintenance myself and on time. Drivetrain-wise, the 1st gens are solid. The diffs are near bombproof (unless you're Xterror04 :D ). The only real knock I have on them is the grossly weak steering system. But with a few minor upgrades for about $100 you can really build it up pretty solid and for another $200, you can really beef it up to withstand just about everything you can throw at it.

That '02 S/C with the manual tranny is a rare find. Nissan did not produce very many of these.

The differentials were actually the weak points in the drive train i was concerned about - so it is great to hear you say that! Now because i am feeling lazy - are the front and rear diffs limited slip/lockers/or open?? How does the transmission hold up? Are the clutches from the factory pretty decent or do they have to be beefed up too? I'm planning on having it in 4wd for a lot of its life, but also might do a decent amount of highway distance driving as well in 2wd -

How do you feel about gas mileage compared to 'fun factor' and 'enjoyment to drive a supercharged SUV'? Esp. having to load it with high test?

With the upgrades in steering what is used for parts (are there any 'how-to's' on here?)

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OOOOO and how is insurance? I dunno the demographic on the site - but i am a 25 YO male with a clean record
 

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The rear will be limited slip and the front open.
You can install air lockers for both, if you really want to be serious about off road.
Insurance should be good for you. It is not a sports car!
 

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The rear will be limited slip and the front open.
You can install air lockers for both, if you really want to be serious about off road.
Insurance should be good for you. It is not a sports car!
True story - - this is a picture of the one i am going to look at - my only concern is i thought in 2002 the xterra's that were supercharged came with the different wheels?


does also list that it is supercharged and 'very rare to find'...any insight?
 

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5 speed are fairly rare on all the gen 1 trucks.... why? I don't know!

It looks like a very nice truck!
 

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The supercharged motor puts out 210hp.. I believe non s/c is around 170hp
 

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Here we go...

Performance
Beginning with the entry-level Xterra XE SUV, performance specifications include a 2.4-litre, DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine that produces 143 horsepower and 154 lb-ft of torque. This two-wheel drive vehicle is well-suited to city driving and hauling colleagues or kids from place to place. The standard transmission is five-speed manual.

A significant change in engine capabilities is found in the next model, the Xterra XE V6 and SE V6, which boost output to 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque thanks to a 3.3-litre, SOHC, 12-valve six-cylinder engine. A SuperCharged engine is offered as an option and produces 210 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. For outstanding performance on challenging terrain, each vehicle is equipped with part-time four-wheel drive with auto-locking hubs. Standard transmission is five-speed manual, with four-speed automatic available as an option. The SE V6 model adds limited slip rear differential.
 

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Hey, sorry.... what was I thinking? Brain fart! Happens
Yes it is 210 as stated. the important thing is the 46 ft pounds of added torque, while 4 wheelin.

Thanks for correcting my blunder, Timbo.
 

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For what it's worth I drive a 2001 XE V6, it currently has 98,000 on the clock.

So far the only repairs I have had to do in the two and a half years I've owned it is flush a blockage out of the cooling system, and replace the timing belt. Other than that it has all been routine maintenance.

The biggest thing considering the mileage in my mind would be the timing belt. I would want to know if that has been done. My timing belt tensioner failed at about 88,000mi and it was making this horrendous rattle/knock. It's about a $500 job, but it's not one that you want to put off until it breaks... if the belt pops you're likely to have to do some major engine work.

I should add that I'm not easy on my truck, it has held up extremely well. If you take care of it, it should last you a LONG time.

As far as insurance, it will vary with age, location, company, driving record, etc... but I am 25 with a good driving record, and I have full coverage on mine with $500 deductibles through state farm and it's a bout $56/month, so that should give ya an idea...

Hope that helps.
 

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True story - - this is a picture of the one i am going to look at - my only concern is i thought in 2002 the xterra's that were supercharged came with the different wheels?


does also list that it is supercharged and 'very rare to find'...any insight?
Hmm there were SE-S/Cs that came with 16s but they looked different. The ones in the pic look like the normal ones.
 

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I have an '04 SE S/C. The only real knock I have on them is the grossly weak steering system. But with a few minor upgrades for about $100 you can really build it up pretty solid and for another $200, you can really beef it up to withstand just about everything you can throw at it.
Bro, high fives on the '04 SC/SE.

Are there any write ups for the steering system you can point me to, or maybe list a few things I can do to improve it?
 

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Yes, what years are you looking at, as the list is a bit different. Once you know that, we can get more details for you.
I am a gen 1 owner and the drive train is pretty tuff! I have a 5 speed, which works for me in my no traffic area, but the autos hold up well also.
The first gens are 100 hp less than the second gens, so if power is your interest, the gen 2 would be your focus.
Both gens are good sturdy rides and should hold up well.
One point about the first gen is they have timing belt that needs replacing at 105K miles. The gen 2s have a chain, but often need chain tensioner replaced up around the same mileage as the TB on the gen 1s.

The important thing to know: If you are going to get one, you are going to want to mod it to your own needs/likes. We can help your addiction along! LOL
>>>>>>> So with my 2002 xterra it only has 144,000 miles yet when i try to go over the mountain sometimes i have the pedal to the floor and it stays at 5000 rpms any suggestions
 
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