Just joined and have a new Xterra. I have a few NEWB questions!

tedh1979 May 1, 2019

  1. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    I just joined this site tonight. I was on another Xterra forum and it seemed like there was hardly any activity. I used to own a 2000 Nissan Xterra 2WD. It was one of these "too good to be true ads". I drove two hours one way to look at the 2000 Xterra with less than 100K and at the time less than 9 years old, for $800. I thought it would have major issues but it looked wonderful on the outside and the interior was really clean and well kept. I knew NOTHING about Xterras back then and I only bought it to sell it, but I fell in love with it. The 2000 Xterra was mint inside and out and ran like new. I didn't like the looks at first, but it grew on me. During my ownership period of a few years, the valve cover gaskets burned a little oil and I fixed that. The radiator fan had an issue and it was easy to fix.

    Last week I found another Xterra. It had the circle headlights. I HATED when they went to the circle headlights. But again I got bit by the Xterra bug and bought it. I got a 2003 Xterra, I think it's an SE? It has 4WD and black leather interior and the Rockford Fosgate stereo system. I can tell it has been well cared for because the body is very nice and rust free. The first aid kit is still there. Full disclosure, I bought it from the auto auction. I buy and sell cars. But I rarely ever see an Xterra and I decided to get it for me personally.

    It's a 2003 with 152K. I got it for $1800. I thoroughly tested it out the day before the auction. It does need some work. The exhaust is kind of loud but not terrible. But it definitely has exhaust issues. The Rockford Fosgate stereo is supposed to have a built-in 8" subwoofer but I can't hear any bass so I'm assuming the sub is blown or the stereo sucks. Just like my 2000, this one burns a little oil and it looks like the valve cover gaskets are the problem. The headliner is not ripped, but it is falling down really bad. A/C does not blow cold.

    My first question is, does the 2003 Xterra have the exact same engine as the 2000? I popped the hood and saw a whole bunch of sensors and wires that I don't remember seeing on my 2000 model. The valve covers gaskets look like a difficult job and I remembered it being easy on my 2000. Also, my 2000 was quite peppy, occasionally when I got on it, the rear end would break free. This 2003 doesn't seem to have any engine problems but it's not a peppy. Maybe due to being heavier with 4WD and leather etc...

    Next, I want to put in a double din radio with navigation and Apple Car Play and Android Auto. I plan to just use stock speakers and if the 8" subwoofer needs replaced, I'll replace it with an aftermarket sub. But how hard will it be to bypass the Rockford amplifier?

    Can anyone point me towards exhaust posts since I have no idea what is happening with the exhaust. Also can anyone recommend how to reinstall the headliner? It is REALLY BAD. And I'm hoping I can just charge the A/C but hopefully it doesn't have a bad compressor or anything like that. Last stupid question, for now, all of the bumpers that are grey and unpainted are very faded. Can these bumpers be spray painted or not? I also know they have a product to restore faded bumpers from marked up grey to being shiny again, does that work?

    And finally, it has a pop-up sun roof which of course is blocked by the roof rack. I instantly remembered having the same problem with my 2000 model. How can you use the sunroof? I look forward to reading and posting!
     
  2. Bushnut

    Bushnut First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Fredericton NB, Canada
    Congratulations! You’ll be sorry! The Xterra bug is hard to kick.
    And welcome.
    First, the engine is the vg3.3 it may or may not have a super charger. Was an option. Either way it is reliable and relatively easy to work on. Though it has 4 cylinder power and v8 fuel consumption.

    Exhaust is well exhaust. Replace whatever has holes. You’ll not gain much by going to big. 2 1/4 inch seems to make good noises.

    I know nothing about stereos. I tend to listen to the engine or talk radio.
    There are a few YouTube vids about replacing headliners. Mine was coming off at the windshield, I glued it back with shoe goo.

    And as for the sunroof...we’ll you can have it or use the basket but not both at the same time. The tie down points are threaded bolts and if you remove them you can lift the basket off.

    Happy motoring!
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  3. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    Welcome some 2 wheel drives had a 4 cyclender but yes for the most part from 2000 to 2004 the vg33 was all the same.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  4. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    Thank you guys for the information so far. I know that my 2000 had a V6 and I know that the one I bought has a V6. Neither are supercharged but my 03 engine doesn't look familiar to me. A lot more wires and sensors and parts that I don't remember being there on my 2000 model. My 2000 seemed to be peppy in my opinion and this 2003 does not. It's not the slowest thing I've ever driven but it doesn't seem to have the pep that my 2000 model did. Now, my 2003 is 4WD which makes it heavier and it has leather which adds some weight. And it has exhaust problems which could affect performance. Also, I owned my 2000 in 2009 and it had less than 100K on it. This 03 is now 16 years old and has 152K on it. So that may explain the peppy problems. Also, I went to the gas station and had to stand next to the Xterra while it was getting gas. It looks really big. I don't know why, but I think this Xterra is physically bigger than my old Xterra. The tires are on factory Nissan rims but the Nissan rims look like new! They don't seem to be 16 year old rims at all. The tires that are on the rims seem huge! I don't remember my 2000 Xterra being like this. There "may" be modifications done to the Xterra but I have no idea. I would love to meet some Xterra buddies in my area! I can't even figure out how to place a pin on the Google Map but I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
     
  5. Hetzer

    Hetzer Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Land of OZ
    You can pay an upholstery shop $400-ish to install a new headliner, or you can do it yourself (with some help) if you like a challenge. There are YouTube videos detailing how to do it, I even saw one specifically of an Xterra, I think 1st gen, but not sure. Basically all you need is the new material, some good contact cement, a few basic tools, and the willingness to take on the challenge.

    We had the headliner re-done on my wifes' Xterra, and it was right about $400 from a shop. One day job. I'm planning on doing the headliner on mine myself, as it is starting to hang down a bit. I'd rather spend the money on other things.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  6. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Welcome to XN from Denver!

    The underpinnings of the engine are identical. Yes a few more sensors, but it's the same engine. Sounds like you got a pretty good deal. The headliner is a relatively cheap fix. I had my 1st gen replaced for $250.

    If it's leaking oil my money is on the valve cover gaskets. They're notorious for leaking. If it's not bad you can just continue to monitor and fill it as needed.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  7. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    Post some pics of your xterra.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  8. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    What size tire are on it right now?
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  9. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    I've seen the Xterra YouTube replacement video and that does not look like fun.

    I think I got a good deal but it does need some attention to some things. I actually buy and sell cars as a living but I'm planning on the Xterra being my personal vehicle. I do not have a car lot but I do have access to the auto auction from my friend that is a dealer. I went the day before the auction and drove the Xterra and tested it out. The valve cover gaskets look wet so I'm assuming that is why I smell oil. Everything else looked fine as far as inspecting for oil leaks. Getting the headliner done for $250 is fine, but $400 seems way too high. My headliner has no rips, it is just peeling off the roof really bad. Does anyone know if all the grey non-painted bumpers can be spray painted? My bumpers are all faded and scratched up. If they can't be painted, I know there is a product to restore those kind of bumpers but I don't know how good the product works.

    Being that I have a lot of cars and no car lot, I keep some of my cars at my mechanic's shop or my friend's lot. I don't have the Xterra home yet. As soon as I get it home I'll post pics.

    Next time I am over at the lot, I'll check the tire size. I can't wait to get it home, but my driveway fits six cars on it, and there are six on it right now. I have a Prius that I'm planning to move out ASAP and I have a Nissan Quest that I plan to get rid of ASAP as well. Then I'll bring the Xtrerra home.
     
  10. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,244
    Location:
    Dallas
    Painting is not that hard, just do the proper prep work. Dish soap, dry thoroughly, and most any rattle can that's meant for plastic will work. Rustoleum Bed Liner was a popular choice a while back and it looked good. Here's one where the plastics, step, and the metal bumper are all black rusto.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    I was thinking of Rust-O-Leum flat black. I think gloss black would be too flashy for the vehicle. Also, I mentioned when I started this thread, that my 2000 Xterra was the V6 and the 2003 Xterra has the V6. The 03 V6 doesn't seem very peppy, but it is heavier with 4WD and leather, etc. I also mentioned though that this engine looked nothing like my 2000 Xterra engine. I looks like a V6 with mods and bolt ons and colored wires. I've noticed that the Supercharged models have different rims, and tonight I looked at my rims and they look like the supercharged engine rims. So my question is, where the rims that came on the supercharged version also available as an option for a more loaded Xterra? I just got done trying to upload the picture of the rim and it says the file is too big. The pic was from my cell phone. I transferred it to my MacBook Pro. The picture is 7.7MB and I don't know how to reduce the file size. Anyways, to describe the rim, they are not the typical 4 star rim that are on most Xterras. It is a 5 star rim, and at the end of each of the five "spokes" there are 4 decorational dots. Also the rims are 6 lug. Are regular Xterras 6 lug wheels? So yeah I don't know what I exactly have yet. I sold the Prius today, lol. So now I have a place to bring home the Xterra and start to work on it. I plan to have it home by the weekend. Let me know your thoughts everyone!
     
  12. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    So I just learned how to reduce a file size on a MacBook Pro without needing to buy software. Anyways, here are my rims. IMG_20190507_133409.jpg
     
  13. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra I spend more money on comic books than my X Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    28,593
    Location:
    Altoona, PA
    Looks like I missed this thread somehow. Welcome.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  14. Hetzer

    Hetzer Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Land of OZ
    I haven't seen any like that before (which means absolutely nothing), but I like them. I assume they must be OEM NISSAN, because they were obviously made for the stock centercaps to fit. I'm sure somebody here will be able to ID them for you!
     
  15. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    So you have the stock SC wheels by chance do you have a sc? That could be the main reason your engine looks different. If you do have an sc you need to be running premium grade gas. 1st gens SC xterra are the only ones that came stock with 17" wheels that is why I aske if yours is a super charged. It would explain why your engine looks different than your previous xterra. We would really need to see a picture of your shackles/ leaf springs to tell you if you have any type of lift on it.
     
  16. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    Post a picture of your engine when you get a chance it would answer a lot of questions.
     
    Hetzer and Fromfrontier2Xterra like this.
  17. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    Honestly I drove the Xterra for about 15 minutes. I found a gravel parking lot just to make sure the 4WD was working correctly. When I returned to the lot, I popped the hood to look at the valve cover gaskets because I can smell some oil burning and it does appear that the valve cover gaskets are wet looking so I'm guessing that is why I smell oil. I just noticed that the engine looked much different than my older 2000 Xterra. I buy and sell cars as a living. I don't have my own lot, but I store vehicles at my friend's lot when I have no room at home. I can keep 6 cars at home on my driveway. I currently have 16 cars. But I now have one spot on my driveway, so I'll be getting the Xterra home hopefully by the weekend. My only two things that I observed is that this Xterra seems taller and the tires/wheels look huge. And I also think the engine looks different. It sure didn't drive like it was supercharged though. Actually I'm hoping it's not supercharged. With gas at $3 a gallon, and not wanting to use PREMIUM fuel, I hope it is not supercharged. It does seem to have all the options that I am aware of, so maybe it is supercharged. I'll know pretty soon. Also I want to remove the headliner and spray it with bedliner but I've never done this, and I've heard it can be difficult especially since I have a sunroof.

     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  18. Hetzer

    Hetzer Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Land of OZ
    I'm curious too. I don't know anything, but I'm curious all the same. Can't believe I didn't notice that your wheels were 17 inchers. My wife would say that is typical.:oops:
     
  19. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    I think I'm going to bring it home this Saturday. I actually hope it is not a supercharged one. I don't plan on driving fast and don't ever plan on taking it off road. I'm much prefer the slightly higher fuel economy and being able to use regular gas. I will know by Saturday at the latest.
     
    harryron likes this.
  20. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    They're SE wheels. Not unique to the SE/SC models.
     
  21. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    No X is fast. Just FYI. Heh.
     
    Highpowers23 likes this.
  22. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    Sorry for the long delay but I FINALLY have an update. Here are a couple pics. I am assuming this is pic shows it is a supercharged engine? I actually am not upset that it is the supercharged engine. I have a plan, and I'm sure some of you will disagree. The supercharged engine requires 91 octane gas. There is not one gas station in this area that has that. Buying 93 octane gas is currently 80 cents per gallon higher, which makes each tank about $16 more per tank. My plan is to use 89 octane mid-grade fuel plus one bottle of octane formula per tank. The octane booster formula says one bottle is good for 20 gallons. Now I know what you're all going to say....by the time I buy a bottle of octane booster it will be the same as buying 93 octane. Well Dollar Tree sells generic octane booster. I've used it many times and it actually does work. I had a Dodge Ram with a HEMI that knocked, and once I used the Dollar Tree octane booster, it stopped knocking. Now the octane booster makes no claims of how high it boosts the octane to, but it does say that it eliminates knocking. So, mid grade fuel plus a $1 bottle of octane booster should be ok right? I hope so because I just bought a ton of $1 bottles of octane booster. Also, what is a VG33DE? I've heard of a VG33E and the supercharged VG33ER. Take a look at my VIN sticker. Obviously I'm a newbie to the Xterra even though I've owned a 2000 Xterra many years ago. I never knew they offered a S/C version. Are we in agreement that this is a supercharged engine? IMG_20190513_160752.jpg IMG_20190513_161018.jpg
     
  23. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    That is definitely a supercharger
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  24. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    I'm really confused by the engine designation. Even Wikipedia doesn't know what that is. The VG30DE was the dual cam 3L. But the VG33ER is definitely the supercharged version. That's ufcking confusing.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  25. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Especially since there was no dual cam VG33
     
  26. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,244
    Location:
    Dallas
    Unless they're counting both banks as a DOHC
     
  27. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,683
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    [​IMG]
     
  28. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    I've even GOOGLED VG33DE and I can't find anything about that! Maybe the VG33DE is a high performance rare gem that accidentally got dropped into my Xterra lol. So, that makes my Xterra worth at least 6 digits then right?
     
  29. Hetzer

    Hetzer Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Land of OZ
    Sure - But only if you keep it bone stock. ;)
     
    tedh1979 likes this.
  30. tedh1979

    tedh1979 Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    Quick Question. I was told to get an intake and a pulley and then I'd be able to hear my supercharger. I saw a Youtube video of someone revving up their throttle control on the engine, and the supercharger seemed pretty loud. They had a K&N intake but that is a ridiculous $325. Also I need a link to the proper pulley. Please provide me with a link to show me what pulley I need. And, will this intake work?https://www.ebay.com/itm/FOR-99-03-...KLE-BLACK-AIR-INTAKE-HEAT-SHIELD/151851475963
     
  31. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,350
    Location:
    ohio
    I would say that the intake should work just don't go playing in water with it because it does not offer much protection. I can't help you with the pulley.
     
    tedh1979 likes this.

Share This Page