Soon to be owner of a first gen Xterra!!

reaver Oct 3, 2019

  1. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    I don't know for sure yet if I'm buying this vehicle or not, but I'm in the market for a first gen Xterra. I'm currently looking at an '03 with 135k miles on it.

    This vehicle has been meticulously maintained. Regular oil changes every 3-5k miles or so. I also looked at the carfax, and found that it was serviced by two shops here in Boise ID. The second owner owned it at around 100k, so I called that shop to see if the timing belt was serviced. They confirmed that it was done at 111k.

    Other than a dent in the "bumper", this vehicle is super clean. There doesn't seem to be an ounce of dust on the underside of the vehicle, which, if I buy it, will be remedied in very short order, as I'm looking to build an expedition rig.

    There's a 95% chance I'm going to buy it once my mechanic gives me a call back. I'll post pictures if I do. :D
     
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  2. vmbiohazard

    vmbiohazard Test Drive

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    Location:
    PA
    Welcome and good luck with your search!
     
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  3. Airmapper

    Airmapper First Fill-Up (of many)

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    Welcome! Hope everything goes smoothly for your purchase!
     
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  4. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    I've already got my financing in place, so if the mechanic says it's sound, I'll be driving it home.
     
  5. wickedCircuits

    wickedCircuits Test Drive

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    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Good deal! Hopefully you'll be able to get that one, sounds like a good deal
     
  6. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Perfect! Post some pics when you can, and welcome!
     
  7. TerryD

    TerryD Sliders Supporting Member

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    827
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Welcome! Hopefully this one will work out but if not, keep searching.
     
  8. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    Unfortunately, this one did not. He wanted too much based on the work required (both hubs, knock sensor, and tie rod ends), and wouldn't budge on the price, so I walked. If it's still there in a month, I'll try again.

    But, I've changed my plan. I'm going to start saving so that I can pay cash for one. In the meantime, I'll continue using my colorado as my overland rig. I've definitely settled on a first gen though. I like the simplicity, manual transfer case, and beefy drive train. If I was buying it to be a daily, I'd probably go for a second gen.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  9. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    37,150
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    That's the right call. Welcome to XN and let us know if you have any questions.
     
    reaver likes this.
  10. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    I know, but I definitely didn't want to walk away. I don't know if I'll be able to find another with that kind of service record again.
     
  11. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

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    Location:
    ohio
    Welcome
     
  12. TerryD

    TerryD Sliders Supporting Member

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    827
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Well, if it's that good, it might be worth the extra money?
     
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  13. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    I also found one in Portland for 800 that needs a new shift solenoid. Body and interior look to be in good shape. I'm going to reach out and see if I can get any more information on it.
     
  14. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    Other than power, and the option of the rear diff lock in the off road/pro4x models, is there really much of a reason to go with the 2nd gen over the first? I'm finding more lower mile 2nd gens that I am 1st gen, and was honestly curious. The power isn't really much of an issue for me, as this vehicle will spend 75% of it's time in dirt.
     
  15. TerryD

    TerryD Sliders Supporting Member

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    827
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    They are a little roomier, coil over front suspension rather than torsion bars and rack steering vs box/idler set-up.
     
  16. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    Except that a coilover is a bit easier to lift, are there any real advantages of the 2nd gen over the first, barring the available diff lock?
     
  17. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    There is a 2007 4WD X model for 9k which is WAY overpriced with 163k on it. It should be closer to 6k. I'm wondering if I go and take a look at it. I did look at another one yesterday as well. I think it was an 08 XE model. Seemed pretty nice.
     
  18. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    And those early Auto trans in the Gen2 had the potential for major (SMOD) issues. I like the Gen1.

    for extra help you can always post pics/price and we can tell you our assessment. Several of us are pretty well versed in Gen1.
     
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  19. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    I'm aware of the smod issue. It's easy to bypass the stock cooler and run an aux cooler instead. I run a secondary cooler on my colorado due to an inadequate transmission cooling system.

    Out of curiosity, do the rear seats fold flat in the first gen? That's one thing I forgot to check.
     
  20. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    29388664_1694120407321036_1772595368310498749_n.jpg View attachment 11212


    Pretty damn flat. Seat bottoms come out, seat backs fold forward.
     
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  21. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
  22. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    37,150
    Location:
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    If it's going to be a dirt rig, I'd go 1st gen. Smaller, better drive train, less computers, etc. You can do 3" suspension and 2" body and wheel pretty damn hard on 33s. Then if you want to get crazy it's easy to SAS the front and run 35s.
     
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  23. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Where I'm at now I almost wish I had kept my 1st gen and SASd it.
     
  24. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    This x 100
     
  25. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    Also this
     
  26. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    While an sas build would be great if I was rock crawling, it's totally unnecessary for what I'm doing with it. But a 3" lift and 2" BL was definitely in the cards.

    But the reasons above are exactly why I think a first gen is a better fit for me.
     
    Prime likes this.
  27. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

    Messages:
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    OK, so I found this today:



    Blown head gasket, and from the pictures, it looks like the headliner is sagging a bit.

    How hard is it to pull the engine in these things? If I can score it for 750 or less, and can score a jdm engine for 725, seems like a pretty decent deal, right?
     
  28. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    Also, next question....Should I hesitate to buy one that has close to 200k on the odometer? There's a lot of cheap 1st gens out there pushing that many miles, and a few 2nd gens as well. Obviously, I'd love to put most of the miles on there myself, but realize that may not really be an option, especially if I'm looking to get one cheap.

    I will say, if I get a second gen, I think I'd like the 4x, due to the built in locker. Doesn't it also have a stronger axle under the ass end?
     
  29. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    37,150
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    If you're looking at automatic, yes the Pro4X has a better axle under the rear. Manual is the same axle just with the locker.

    I'd have no qualms about a higher mileage 1st Gen provided it has a solid maintenance history. The vg30 will run forever so long as the maintenance is kept up.
     
  30. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    Cool. That's good to hear. And yeah, I'm looking at autos. How does the suspension of the first gen hold up when most of it's miles have been on dirt roads? How often do things like bushing, ball joints, torsion bars, CV's, differential seals and the like need to get replaced. My biggest issue with the first gen colorado is, while being a reliable (for me) and fairly capable truck, the front end just isn't designed to take the abuse of heavy off roading. Because of that, I'm constantly having to replace CV's and front diff oil seals. While not terribly difficult, it's still a PITA.
     
  31. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    37,150
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    I wheeled the piss out of my 1st Gen and never had to do anything to it except upgrade the torsion bars for the weight of the steel bumper and winch. The torsion bars are a pain in the ass if you have to change them. And you have to be super careful about it. The adjusters and anchors are no longer available from the dealer. So if you ufck one up, it's off to the junk yard.
     
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  32. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
    So, what I'm hearing is that it can handle what I want to do, and that I'll need to source the adjusters ahead of time, just in case.
     
  33. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    37,150
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Sounds right to me
     
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  34. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
    UGH. I can't get that truck out of my head. The wife and I agreed to wait a bit before doing buying it. Why did I agree to this......
     
  35. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    Id buy that. I had a JDM motor put in an X once, $1100 out the door with a warranty. 10/10 would do it again. That color rules. Get it as cheap as you can and put a motor in it. Then you have a sub 2k X with a new motor and a cool color. DONE
     
  36. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
    What do you think a fair price for that rig would be? In its current state?

    There's also a Mechanic that supposedly specializes in Nissan about 10 minutes from my house. Might give him a call tomorrow and see how much it would cost to swap out the engine.

    That's a bit over my head currently, unless there's anybody on here in the Boise area with shop space and time to help me out...
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  37. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

    Messages:
    35
    So, I've chatted with the boss lady, and depending on what it would cost to get the rig up and running, I may pull the trigger on this. Regardless, it's gonna happen sooner than later. I've got 6k to use to build the whole rig.
     
    kirk likes this.
  38. kirk

    kirk Will get you lost in S. Dallas Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,246
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    As cheap as possible. 750 is pretty fair. Rust? Also check CL. I found my jdm motor importer/installer shop there. If they are reputable, probably can be done cheaper than a Nissan specialist who may want to stick you with a full coat replacement motor.


    If that rig was near me, I’d show up with about 800, and offer him 600 and start haggling. Can’t imagine too many people want xterras with bad motors. Any three digit price and I’d say you were good, I’m just cheap.
     
  39. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there's a jdm shop near me. I'm still going to give the Nissan shop a call and see what it would cost.
     
  40. reaver

    reaver Test Drive

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    35
    Well, putting a new engine in, and doing the head gasket, timing belt, water pump, etc actually works out to being about the same cost.

    2825 for motor installed, vs 2900 for rebuild.

    Before I go down that road, there are a few running examples locally that I think I'll check out for less than 3k.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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