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2000 Nissan Xterra 3.3 V6 4wd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What upgrades should I make to my 1st gen Xterra? Almost finished with the engine swap but I want to get new parts for the x! I’m looking to get a new radiator for off road use, I would also like suggestions for new wheels, and I want to explore spot lights for the top of the X. Let me know your guy’s opinions, as well as different parts, or upgrades. Sorry for the bad write up.
 

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2006 Nissan Xterra, 3" lift, full armor
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509 Posts
I think it depends on what you plan on using the vehicle for. Do you plan on wheeling it at all? if so how hard core you plan on going? Maybe just light overlanding and boondocking setup? the skies the limit
 

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2000 Nissan Xterra 3.3 V6 4wd
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it depends on what you plan on using the vehicle for. Do you plan on wheeling it at all? if so how hard core you plan on going? Maybe just light overlanding and boondocking setup? the skies the limit
For now I’m definitely going to overlanding, and light wheeling, tons of camping, I’ve got a 2 inch suspension lift, and 31 inch tires, but im looking to make sure my truck is the most reliable it can be.
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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I am still finishing up my timing belt replacement project, so I haven't finished reinstalling all of my hardware, which includes the accessory drive belts, radiator, fans.

My suggestions:
If you haven't already, get the SC radiator with the thicker core. It bolts in place of the non-SC, which is different only in the thickness of the core. I have not installed my new, thicker radiator yet. TYC brand, PN 2409.

Consider tossing the clutch fan in favor of a single or dual electric fans. @RacerXXL has a single 14" with a shroud. I have twin 12" with no shroud. It can keep the engine cool with only 1 of the fans running, so 2 is just good insurance. I thought I needed 2 since they're smaller, but I've tested them in town and on the freeway and 1 works just fine.

Consider adding an extra trans cooler. If you continue to use the one in the radiator (instead of bypassing it altogether), then the line from the trans that pumps fluid to it should go to the radiator first, then out to the external cooler. (That's what my DeRale kit says, anyhow.)

I've decided to bypass mine. The idea is to keep as much heat out of the radiator as possible so all it has to cool is the engine. The AC will add heat if I use it, which I probably will, but moving the trans fluid out of being in direct contact with the coolant will hopefully reduce the heat load on the radiator.

I had installed it a week ago but with input from a buddy, decided to move it, which I was able to do yesterday. I had it on the corner, behind the bumper skin, below the passenger headlight. He was concerned that a parking lot fender-bender could sideline the rig, and it made sense, so I moved it. I still need to button up the hoses and fan wiring. I also moved the horns that were in the way to a new location, which was easy. The cooler sits behind the bumper at the bottom so it'll get plenty of air, and I intend to wire the fan to push air down.

Somewhere around here, I thought I had another external cooler, but it seems to have sprouted wings. Eventually I'll find it and add it in parallel for more cooling capacity. It's just for insurance and peace of mind.

(The holes in the top of the bumper are in a shortened bumper from my old 2001. It had been involved in a one-car slide off the freeway on black ice. I was not driving. I use those to attach the 2004 skin.)

 

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2006 Nissan Xterra, 3" lift, full armor
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509 Posts
I agree with a thicker radiator. I can't speak to the first gens, but overheating and running hot on the second gens seems to be a common issue in my off-roading group. Most of them opted for more fans while I opted for a dual-row radiator.
 

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I'm running the Fleabay GT-R 33 3 core rad in mine. NO over heat issues, even with slow speed wheeling in this 95* plus heat and humidity. Stock fan, no shroud (yeah, yeah - on my "when I get to it" list) I'm running with junkyard special locking hubs that I snatched from a 4cyl Hardbody, full cat delete with longtube headers, as well. I need to replace the stupid paper gasket where the "Y" pipe meets the pipe going to the muffler.
 
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2000 Nissan Xterra 3.3 V6 4wd
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm running the Fleabay GT-R 33 3 core rad in mine. NO over heat issues, even with slow speed wheeling in this 95* plus heat and humidity. Stock fan, no shroud (yeah, yeah - on my "when I get to it" list) I'm running with junkyard special locking hubs that I snatched from a 4cyl Hardbody, full cat delete with longtube headers, as well. I need to replace the stupid paper gasket where the "Y" pipe meets the pipe going to the muffler.
Thanks for the input. Definitely looking to get some work done
 

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You're welcome! There are alot of helpful knowledgeable people on here and alot of us actually go "do stuff" to and with our rigs! Check out some of the build threads for ideas, and, (for me) what NOT to do.
 
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