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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I would pack a extra distributer, and bring a OBD2 reader, and be prepared for something to break, as long trips can be rough on a vehicle, look the vehicle over, monitor tire pressures, and check fluids religiously for the duration of the trip.

That Supercharger is going to handy for the extra load.
Yeah I am planning on at least this. I have a BlueDriver so I’ll be checking that periodically as I go. I’ve heard you should only ever get the OEM dizzies. Would you agree with that? They are pretty expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
@ab1!, not a mechanic and certainly not as knowledgeable as Blackberry but in your position if you're not gonna bypass the knock sensor, do the following things:

Set your timing between 6-8 degrees -- I think stock is 10. I have mine set at about 12 and I have no issues.

Run the highest test gas you can for the drive down, and put a can of octane booster in there. If the octane booster is too much, consider getting PURE toluene, which is Octane 104. It's obtainable at paint stores:


Gen 1 Xterras have metal intakes so diluted properly this will not be a problem, AFAICT. I am not responsible for motor damage.

But, more seriously, do a proper knock sensor. At least locate it somewhere on the back of the block or extend the wiring to the front of the block. Just don't bypass with a damn resistor... That's asking for trouble and if you run 85/87 while towing, even with retarded timing, kiss that motor goodbye.
I assume to set timing I would have to take the timing cover off to rotate some things? Or is this something that can be done electronically with spark timing or the injectors or something not under the cover?
 

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04 4x4 v6, Pml, front and rear bumpers.
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Yeah I am planning on at least this. I have a BlueDriver so I’ll be checking that periodically as I go. I’ve heard you should only ever get the OEM dizzies. Would you agree with that? They are pretty expensive.
Yes if i were to get one it would be OEM, however a cheap china distributer (for back up only) to get you out of a pickle would do, or you could buy some replacement bearings.
 

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Thanks for the info. Yeah I definitely would rather make it to Texas than crash trying to go 5mph faster. You mentioned you were in “tow mode.” Do these trucks have a tow mode? I did not think they did.
I actually meant the OD on/off button on the left side of the gear shift lever. Basically the same thing as tow mode. If you're towing, you want OD turned off.
 

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Yes if i were to get one it would be OEM, however a cheap china distributer (for back up only) to get you out of a pickle would do, or you could buy some replacement bearings.
My attempts to find an OEM distributor last summer were unsuccessful. Couple places said they had them but when I placed an order they came back as no longer available. I hate it when online retailers list stuff they don't have and can't get. I ended up doing the bearing replacement. That won't work if you're broke down on the side of the road. If you can find a place that actually has one, snap it up while you can.
 

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My attempts to find an OEM distributor last summer were unsuccessful. Couple places said they had them but when I placed an order they came back as no longer available. I hate it when online retailers list stuff they don't have and can't get. I ended up doing the bearing replacement. That won't work if you're broke down on the side of the road. If you can find a place that actually has one, snap it up while you can.
@ab1! could go ahead and rebuild the distributer, as preventative maintenance.

It would be a little more unpleasant to rebuild it on the side of the road but if you had the tools with you it would be possible with some time. just a little more adventurous right!

Some aftermarket manufactures still make quality parts.

If i were to take a trip like @ab1! is, i would...

1. change the oil
2. If the timing belt was a good ways past the halfway point i would change it
3. carry or replace the thermostat
4. top off or change the rear differential fluid
5. change the air filter
6. check the tires, dry rot, broken belts, unusual wear
7. rebuild the dist
8. get under the vehicle and inspect the universal joints.
9. jack the front up by the lower control arms, and using some kind of pry bar, lift on the lower ball joints. then placing your hands at 12 and 6 o'clock on the tire, attempt to lift and push upward to check the upper ball joint. last but not least place your hands 3 and 9 o'clock and wiggle side to side to feel any slack in tie rod ends.
10. grease ball joints
11. check brake life
12 something i forgot...
yep!
 

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I have a few used OE distributors that are used for test/backup. Kind of a bummer that good parts are getting so hard to find. We’ve had ECMs discontinued on vehicles that it’s a common failure. Imagine having a worthless vehicle because it needs a computer that doesn’t exist. We’ve had mixed luck with “ECM repair” services.
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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My take on doing a radiator flush before a trip: Don't do it!

I had 2 bad experiences when doing that, several years apart. Both times I was quite a few hours from home. Both times, the water pump failed. Both times, the pump was older but not leaking. Both times, the schmutz that had gathered around the bearing seal was flushed away, and not long afterward the bearing failed.

If you just gotta flush your coolant, my recommendation (for any vehicle, not just the Xterra) is to replace the water pump, all hoses, and t-stat.

Either top off the system, or replace all parts with pliable components, such as hoses, seals, etc.
 

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My take on doing a radiator flush before a trip: Don't do it!

I had 2 bad experiences when doing that, several years apart. Both times I was quite a few hours from home. Both times, the water pump failed. Both times, the pump was older but not leaking. Both times, the schmutz that had gathered around the bearing seal was flushed away, and not long afterward the bearing failed.

If you just gotta flush your coolant, my recommendation (for any vehicle, not just the Xterra) is to replace the water pump, all hoses, and t-stat.

Either top off the system, or replace all parts with pliable components, such as hoses, seals, etc.
By all means if it causes issues don't do it.

i've only done it once on a minivan that was overheating, i replace the thermostat and noticed the fluid was rusty and had almost rubberized, so i did a flush, and haven't heard any issues since, but one doesn't mean all.

thx for the good opposition!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
My take on doing a radiator flush before a trip: Don't do it!

I had 2 bad experiences when doing that, several years apart. Both times I was quite a few hours from home. Both times, the water pump failed. Both times, the pump was older but not leaking. Both times, the schmutz that had gathered around the bearing seal was flushed away, and not long afterward the bearing failed.

If you just gotta flush your coolant, my recommendation (for any vehicle, not just the Xterra) is to replace the water pump, all hoses, and t-stat.

Either top off the system, or replace all parts with pliable components, such as hoses, seals, etc.
I was definitely going to change all the coolant since cooling is a big limiting factor with towing… this sounds pretty time consuming and expensive to change all of that.
has anyone else experienced this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Well there are two ways of doing it to my knowledge.

They make water hose connections.
And additives that you drain out.
I wish I could elaborate more but I gtg. :)
My plan was just to drain all the coolant out and then just fill it up again. Hopefully with the right stuff! I had poured some generic “asian blue” that said it covered Nissan in 2002, but I have no clue if that is actually how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I actually meant the OD on/off button on the left side of the gear shift lever. Basically the same thing as tow mode. If you're towing, you want OD turned off.
Why would you want O/D off for towing? It just doesnt let you go into 4th right? Wouldn’t the trans shift down if I needed more power?
 

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Why would you want O/D off for towing? It just doesnt let you go into 4th right? Wouldn’t the trans shift down if I needed more power?
Correct, but all that shifting will make the trans heat up and a lot of stress on that fourth gear. it's the main reason for the O/D off so that the torque converter will lock in in 3rd allowing better towing, I would use it when going through hilly areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Correct, but all that shifting will make the trans heat up and a lot of stress on that fourth gear. it's the main reason for the O/D off so that the torque converter will lock in in 3rd allowing better towing, I would use it when going through hilly areas.
O okay that makes sense. I guess I should just accept the low MPG and not try to stress the trans out.

I am going to get going on a trans cooler soon, do I have to add additional trans fluid because of that extra volume in the cooling loop? Or would the normal dipstick level still be accurate because it would account for that change in volume?
 

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O okay that makes sense. I guess I should just accept the low MPG and not try to stress the trans out.

I am going to get going on a trans cooler soon, do I have to add additional trans fluid because of that extra volume in the cooling loop? Or would the normal dipstick level still be accurate because it would account for that change in volume?
That'll be a question for @MeToo , I would assume your going to need to add after the install, but the dip stick should still be the same, as it only measures from the trans.
 

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What he said.

Adding a cooler or even just stretching the lines will cause some of the fluid in the trans to fill those, so checking the level would be good. Just use the normal dipstick and fill to the same level.
 

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Why would you want O/D off for towing? It just doesnt let you go into 4th right? Wouldn’t the trans shift down if I needed more power?
Changes the shift points (higher rpms) before it shifts to the next gear. Makes better use of the power and torque of the engine. With OD on, the ECU is programmed for peak efficiency (economy). With OD off, the programming is focused on max power and torque. Granted, the first gen X is neither economical nor powerful in the first place.

The other issue is transmission heat. Across the board for all manufacturers, the guidelines in owners manuals if the vehicle has OD on/off or tow/haul mode is to turn OD off or engage tow mode when towing. Failure to do so could overheat the trans. Excess heat is the greatest danger to an auto trans.
 

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Changes the shift points (higher rpms) before it shifts to the next gear. Makes better use of the power and torque of the engine. With OD on, the ECU is programmed for peak efficiency (economy). With OD off, the programming is focused on max power and torque. Granted, the first gen X is neither economical nor powerful in the first place.

The other issue is transmission heat. Across the board for all manufacturers, the guidelines in owners manuals if the vehicle has OD on/off or tow/haul mode is to turn OD off or engage tow mode when towing. Failure to do so could overheat the trans. Excess heat is the greatest danger to an auto trans.
I wish I had been a little more aware of this particular "feature". 🤣
 

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Oh we know....(sigh)......we know...yet still for some unexplainable reason we drive them.

My Friends couldn't believe I wanted an xterra, let alone buy one, and to this day continue to point out its downsides, MPG is everything to them, and that is an aspect that the xterra is lacking in.

Just typical friends! They're the ones who stuck a Ford emblem on it
 
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