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Nissan Frontier Desert Runner

sully454sully454 Posts: 3
edited March 7 in Nissan
I just recently bought a 2000 Nissan Frontier DR
SE V-6 and wanted to share experiences with owners
of the same vehicle. I have thoroughly enjoyed my
vehicle. I chose it after driving the GMC Sonoma,
Ford Ranger and Toyota PreRunner. It seemed to
offer the best balance of smooth power and ride and
well as exhibiting good truck handling
characteristics.

The only drawback (nothing is perfect) that I have
to say about the vehicle is a slight dash rattle
that has developed in the past week. I plan to
take it in to the dealership this week after
talking to my saleman about it. Any of you
experience the same thing?

After running 3-4 tanks of gas through, I am
getting about 18.5 mpg driving in the city. Not
bad since it lists at 19 highway.

Look forward to hearing your responses DR owners.
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Comments

  • wdoyle9752wdoyle9752 Posts: 73
    Rattle is not in the dash. Open up the hood and the metal A/C lines are clipped on to the firewall using plastic brackets, get some clear silicone to absorb and rattling.
  • sully454sully454 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info, doyle. I will try that.
  • dragon3dragon3 Posts: 8
    I also had the same noise from the ac hoses, it took two trips to the dealer to get this resolve-by the way, I don't like my local dealer service dept-another noise i encounter came from a broken
    air flap behind the cab. Other than that I think I made a excellent choice in buying my desert runner (bought 2/00- SE model w/all options except sunroof/woofer, now has 6500 miles on it). I am so glad I did not get a Toyota PreRunner if only for the fact that I do not see myself coming and going all the time, I think that this truck is pretty unique in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • I finally decided to get a 2000 XE V6 Frontier Dessert Runner, only to find out that most dealers here in the Bay Area don't have any in stock and that no more will be delivered since the 2001's are out. I don't like the styling of the 2001 Frontiers at all so it looks like I'll have to settle for the 2001 Tacoma Prerunners. I just hope their interiors are better than the current ones.
  • u better take a look at the 2001 tacomas before u buy one, they just as ugly as the frontiers
  • better yet, get a 2001 ranger Edge, same as a prerunner and desert runner, and new 4.0L SOHC V6
  • Just got mine yesterday, I am really impressed with its smoothness and comfort. Its my 7th Nissan and it seems to me they just get better. I traded in my 98 Sentra SE (2.0 SR20DE,5spd,4wdb). Sorry to let that fast SE go but this truck feels so much more "just right". Felt like I was driving a race car every day and already I am just into the nice DR quiet cruise.
  • I have a 2000 DR that just turned 10,000 mi. No problems so far. I got it from the dealer after I blew two transmissions in a 4-cyl 99 frontier. good trade for me. Can yank the trailer out from under my boat. This truck is great. Could use some weight in the bed in snow and revs high when its cold, but it works for me. Good thing I got the 2000, shouldn't need another until they come back out with chrome bumpers.
  • Nice typo in my first post - I got the XE not the SE. The V6 decal on the drivers side is faux carbon fiber while the shotgun side is chrome! Are all DRs like this?

    Just hit 675 miles. Did a roadtrip to Phoenix and the truck is very smooth. Seems to handle well also - some idiot stopped short from about 35mph and I had to evade. I did not expect the truck to respond so quickly. I didnt have time to even check the lane next to me.

    I traded in a 2.0 Sentra SE with $2100 worth of KYB AGX adjustable struts, Eibach springs and 205/40ZR17" rollers - I could take a hard corner at 60mph. My point is I have a good feel for what handles and this DR suprised me.

    Question: Stated is the DR has the 4WD suspension. Is that to say it has the same shocks and torsion bars but is 500lbs lighter up front?
    It is stiff. The ride quality is as bumpy as my Sentra without actually worrying about the bumps.
    I cant see the 4WD being this taught.

    On the road at 80mph its pretty quiet and just easy to drive. I dont miss FWD a bit - no more fighting the wheel with 150hp feeding back into it. The AC is ice cold and quiet enough and doesnt sap the engine (3.3) like the 2.0 did. The pedals (auto tranny) like the Sentra seem to need to be further toward the firewall, minor complaint.

    The 3.3 is smooth at speed but at idle seems rough, especially for not having timing chains like the 2.0. The shifter (AT) seems too tight and has sloppy play in it. Has the exact same headliner material as the Sentra that resembles worn, pilly looking cotton. Nissan could have illuminated the window controls (Sentra was) and the cruise controls. And for the cost, for God's sake put in a darn CD player. On the same note is the absence of a gas filler door release - Just why? For the $$$ driving lights would have been nice. Other than scrutinizing these minor annoyances, everything else seems top notch.

    Cant wait to hit 1K mi. and drop the hammer on the 3.3 (I follow the break-in per the manual except for the 55mph limit). It feels like its going to be powerful. I think a K&N drop in filter might be worthwile. The Jim Wolf (a fomaous Nissan tuner) intake and K&N cone filter I put on my Sentra was amazing.

    I floorjacked the rear diff and sure enough I have limited slip (both wheels turn foreward when one is rotated foreward), thats gonna be a must cruising the California sand dunes. Lastly has anyone fitted a prerunner style light bar up front with decent lights? Any suggestions towards brands?

    Regards,

    Doug Heinsdorf
    dheinsdo@crane.apscc.k12.az.us
  • A Volkswagen Bug Truck, that's what it looks like. So ugly it appeals. And if history repeats itself, well, you can imagine the rest of the story.
  • Ugly, ugly, ugly - Who is Nissan trying to appeal to? The designer must of had laser surgery and now sees double!
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    Nissan is trying to appeal to people just like me: young, male, style-conscious college types. I just ordered my 2001 SE-V6 DR two weeks ago. Although I did like the 2000 model's styling, it really was just another truck floating in a sea of look alikes. Now it definitely has it's own personality, and I will agree that it is love it or hate it affair. I love it, although I wish the new design included some chrome accents, or possibly real bolts sticking out of the fender flares instead of those plastic rivets. That aside, the other piece to consider is that it is a Nissan and is sure to be more dependable than its domestic competitors. This is important as well when considering the investment involved, regardless of what clothing it is wearing.

    I test drove all of the competition before I settled on the Nissan; what sold me was after I stepped out of the truck and was shutting the door. No shoving or clunking, just a smooth and solid motion and that was it. While driving, the near silence in the cabin and the impeccable fit and finish and attention to detail were clearly evident. The ride seemed as though it belonged to a car, not a truck, although the power department left a little something to be desired.

    In conclusion, the overall effect of the truck is positive one and shows how Nissan is willing to take risks in an otherwise lame segment of the truck market. They have my vote (and my money)!
  • How long is it going to take for your 2001 DR SEV6 to arrive? Is it fully loaded with the factory sunroof? I hope to order this truck very soon. I want to install a WAAG brushguard and tail light guards. I am also thinking about installing a shell. I was worried that this this brushguard wouldn't be installed on the 2001 but I was wrong. I saw on one on a 2001 CrewCab and it was pretty cool. I want to put bikes back there without them getting wet if it rains.
    My type of DR with the sunroof seems very rare because I haven't seen one in all the places I have visited. Good luck and thanks for any info.
    David
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    Sorry David, no sunroof. I would have gotten it if it was a power unit, I didn't really like the flip up. You have to have both the Power and Deluxe Packages to be able to consider the sunroof, and from what I've seen out, there are many with the power package, but much fewer with the deluxe package, so that limits how many they can stuff the sunroof in.

    Options line up as such:
    Power Package
    Deluxe Package
    Under rail Bedliner
    Floor mats

    Price? $18,890. My dealer matched carsdirect.com's price without so much as a whimper since they are the delivery dealer for cd.com for my region.

    I had to order mine because I wanted the 5 speed in Salsa. I am in NC and according to my dealer there were only 2 with the 5 speed from Pennsylvania to Florida with close to what I wanted, but not my color. ETA? 100-120 days I'm told by my dealer, but from other posts I've read from these Nissan forums I think it will be a little sooner than that. The only thing I hate about the wait is that I have to deal with seeing other 2001's on the road before I get mine.

    The only accessory I will get for mine will be a Pace-Edwards Roll Top Tonneau Cover for the bed. For anyone wanting a tonneau cover they are worth a look. Sometime later down the road I may swap out the stock ring and pinion in the axle (4.64:1) for the set out of the supercharged model (4.36:1) to get an increase in gas mileage if it doesn't get a little better than the EPA numbers. I do not think I will have to do that though, seeing that the Crewcab 4x4 had the same highway numbers as the Kingcab 4x2 DR, but the CC 4x4 is much heavier.

    If you do order one, make sure you get an under the rail bedliner so that camper shell can be padded to keep your paint nice. I see many more over the rail liners than under on the Nissan lots. Good luck, I don't think you will be disappointed.
  • Thanks for all the info. I had been looking at getting an xterra. This is why my online name is "gaxterra." But because my son would like to sit up front with Dad. I need to get a Frontier with a airbag switch and I like the DR runner truck.

    Did you need to place a deposit to order the truck? I saw an extended cab with the color that we wanted. It had all the options that we wanted except the sunroof(which we don't really need) but it was 4x4 which I don't really need. This may sound crazy but, sometimes I think that the dealership got this truck to teast me into getting it. I know my son would love it. The dealer know what type and color of truck I want from past dicussions.
    I need the truck really bad now because my altima has bit the dust with transmission problems. I was hoping to keep it but, I think I will trade it in on the truck.

    What other changes are you going to do to your truck? I like the 5-speed option too. But they are very few. Also why is every truck have the over the rail bedliner...This one dealer close to me has 21 2001 frontiers and everyone has this type of bedliner...
    Good luck. I know the feeling of seeing other trucks on the road and wishing you had yours. Because I am doing the same thing..
    David
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    My dealer required a $500 deposit on vehicle orders, but I do not know if it is Nissan or my dealer that controls this.

    If you do not need a 4x4, it is a waste to pay for it. Your truck will be lugging around quite a few hundred extra pounds every day of it's life, and your gas mileage will suffer accordingly. Adding 4wd increases the number of components that have to be maintained and inspected regularly and has a direct effect on the number of problems a vehicle can develop. And let's be honest, it's about $2000 more, that speaks for itself. With the limited slip differential that comes standard on the SE-V6 you should not have a problem getting around even in light snow or mud. It's definitely not for real 4 wheeling but then you would buy a 4x4 for that.

    Other small additions I will make will be a K&N air filter and Bosch Platinum +4 spark plugs, to help slightly in engine performance. When the first set of tires wears out, I will replace them (255/65R16) with the same size as the 4x4s get (265/70R16), but hopefully that will not be for quite a long time. The door speakers will probably get replaced within a year, but I will definitely keep the head unit with that 6 disc changer. Rubber floor mats and the Nissan seat covers are high on my list of additions, since my job gets me pretty dirty and I would hate to ruin the interior.

    The last purchase for the truck is the Nissan service manual. If you like to do your own work on your vehicles, then it is definitely worth the money. I have not seen the price for the new manual, but generally they can range from $80-110 from the prices I have found on other Nissans. While it is getting harder and harder to work on new vehicles, there are still plenty of things shadetree mechanics can do when fixing their own vehicles, and the best place to start is with the book written by the builder.

    I have no idea why under the rail liners are hard to find, either everyone buys them up or Nissan thinks that people do not want them. Get your dealer swap it out if you find one that suits your needs but doesn't have it. There is only $2 or $3 difference between the over raid and under rail bedliner. Generally they invoice for right at $150
  • I am looking forward to get the truck very soon.
    Here in south georgia I don't need the 4x4 because all my miles will be highway except for the rare dirt road. I want to save the $2000 additional charge so it will be 4x2 no doubt.
    I will do the same type of shadetree repairing too.
    Thanks for all the info. See you on the road.
    David
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    You are certainly welcome, glad I could be of some help. By the way, the 2 Desert Runners that my dealer had found with 5 speeds that I didn't want were both in Georgia. I do not know where exactly but that is what I was told. Of course this was weeks ago but they could still be around, have your dealer run a locator to see if they are still out there. If they give you a song and dance about not wanting to do that then they are not worthy of your business.

    Have fun.
  • Did the dealer tell you anything else about them?
    It would be pretty cool if they were close to what I need. I think I could do just about any color as long as the options I want could be there. I have been hitting the Autotrader web site trying to find my truck. I thought I found one in Texas which was red. If you get a chance to take a picture when you get your truck. My son and me would love to see it. Send it to my email address if it shows up.
    I would like to keep in touch about our trucks because it helps when someone else has close to the same truck. As soon as I get mine and have the changes made I can send you a picture.
    Take care.

    Who was your dealer? Do you think they did you right?
  • Well I am looking for a 2001 DR SE 5-speed or auto, Blue color, factory sunroof, power pkg, deluxe pkg and under the rail bedliner. This is tough truck to find. I may do like someone else on this board and place a deposit and order my truck. I have found trucks with everything but the factory sunroof. The dealer I have been working with has told me when I am ready to come on in. I hope to get the truck before thanksgiving.
    David
  • jackkajackka Posts: 25
    I had test driven the 2000 model and liked it a lot.
    I had to wait until 2001 to come up with the cash.
    When I looked at the 2001 model, I was immediately turned off by the fender flares. How do I clean around those fake rivets; worse yet, how do I wax it?
    I also was repulsed by the tailgate. Those large chrome letters spelling "FRONTIER" are going to be hard to clean and easy to damage.
    Does anyone know if the lettering can be removed without damaging the paint?
    Can the fender flares be replaced?
    These two items are the only reason I decided not to buy.
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    Now you have me wondering how to wax them as well. That's something I just did not think about when I was deciding to purchase mine. I think any medium stiffness natural bristle brush should work well for cleaning the rivets and lettering if you do not rub too hard. Waxing I suppose is another story all together.

    I do not know how those flares are attached to the fenders. The easiest solution is possibly to replace the 4x4 fender flares with slightly smaller flares from the 4cyl. 4x2s, since they have the same fenders but no "rivets", only small dimples. Size-wise the '98-00 frontier flares would fit just fine in the rear but I'm assuming that the sheetmetal underneath those flares is drilled, and you would be left with holes. The front fenders are different than the '98-00 fenders and cannot easily be changed out for the old ones due to the different hoodline and new headlight assemblies.

    I would like the lettering better if they kept the same design as the older model. I think I want to get a set of the chrome letters for the doors since the only badge that says Frontier is on the tailgate.
  • jackkajackka Posts: 25
    Thanks for your thoughts, onlyone.

    About your idea about badging on the doors: Do we need any badging at all? Anyone can tell at a glance that it's a Frontier; and who needs to know which engine or options I paid for?

    I've seen a GMC pickup with a tailgate badge that says "Truck". Perhaps GM was afraid I would mistake it for a motorcycle.
  • onlyoneonlyone Posts: 39
    I understand what you mean about options badging, I think it's silly as well, although the new Frontiers do have that oval badge denoting the trim level on the front fender. I just realized after reading your post that the SE badge is "titanium" colored like the bar in the grille and would clash with those badges anyway, scratch that idea. I just really liked that lettering design because it was different than the norm.
  • On the information that is given on the Desert Runner on Edmund's. It shows that the supercharger pkg will be available for the Desert Runner. I am wondering why it doesn't show up when pricing. Does anyone know if the SC is available at the dealers now or when it will be available?
  • The S/C Desert Runner will become available in mid-November, along with the King Cab 4x4 and the 2wd and 4x4 Crew Cabs. The S/C MSRPs for about $20K, or about $1900 over the SE DR, but there are several differences besides the factory installed Eaton supercharger. The S/C comes standard with power windows, locks, mirrors, and keyless entry. S/C models also have a slightly higher (numerically lower) rear axle ratio for better fuel economy, modified suspension that is lowered 10mm, 17" 5 spoke alloy wheels and matching lower profile tires, an enlarged radiator, and changes to the throttle linkages and auto tranny shift points. Nissan deleted the step rails that would come on the SE from the S/C trim. The only option package is the supercharger value package which includes charcoal leather interior with red stitching, in dash 6 disc changer and subwoofer, cruise, tilt wheel, security system, and a sunroof. List is $1549 for that.

    If you want good pricing, go to carsdirect.com to compare MSRP versus average selling price. Carsdirect seems to be pretty close to edmunds' TMV pricing, and I don't think you will be able to do any better when they first arrive, since Nissan is banking on them and only plans for S/C models to make up 10% of their total Frontier sales.
  • Onlyone,

    Well guess what I have seen my first Desert Runner with the supercharger. It is the color I wanted but it doesn't have a sunroof. The color was Just Blue. Here is a breakdown of prices.

    Base 21,049
    Floor Mats
    Over the rail bedliner

    No other options.

    Total price $21,947

    A couple of other things. The seats were black cloth with the SC lettering in red. Just AM/FM CD player. This was a very cool truck. If I get my funds in time this may be just the truck for me.
    I can always get my sunroof put in if I really need it. Thanks for all the info. I am hoping that they don't ask too much over list price for this truck.

    David
  • for my SE to arrive. I have not seen the SC in person yet, I guess I'll have to make a special trip to the dealer to see/drive one. From all that I've read the supercharger makes a noticeable difference for highway driving, giving the V6 more power after 65 mph, while only taking off 1 mpg in fuel efficiency. More power to you.

    Thanks for the info about the seats, I didn't know the cloth seats were embroidered like the leather seats.

    Even with all the advertising I do not believe that the dealer will adamantly try to get more than MSRP on the truck, seeing that it is available for less elsewhere (i.e. carsdirect). If they get list then they are really happy, but don't let them go crazy.
  • that you are still waiting for your SE. You are waiting for your truck and I am waiting for a insurance check. Has the dealer told you anything about your truck lately?
    I am only going to get the truck that I really want to get. I have talked so much about different trucks. My son has told me that I am driving him crazy with changes so many times. I hope I am not driving you crazy. I have the basic idea of what I need. The only thing about the SC that I don't look forward to doing is getting tires. This may decide what I need to do. I don't need the extra power or cost of insurance if you know what I mean. While I wait for the check I go crazy looking at every Frontier out there looking forward to the day I can say I got it.
    Take care and lite a fire under the factory and dealer to get your truck together.

    David
  • My dealer has not spoken to me since the day I put in the order. I am not concerned, I am not expecting the call until January, although it would be nice to know if the truck has been started yet. For me to take delivery in January it will have to be on the assembly line by next week. I do not even know if the dealer has the ability to tell me where my order is. Maybe a phone call next week can at least get me that answer. I will not light a fire under anyone until January 27th, the 121st day. That will be quite long enough. And no, I do not get annoyed from hearing about your experiences, on the contrary I find it quite informative.

    I am, however, wondering why you believe tires will be an issue. I have not seen the truck so I am not aware of what tires are OE on that truck, but I would not think they would wear much faster with the SC 3.3 than on the standard 3.3. It's not like they managed to coax 50% more torque out of the engine at the bottom of the power curve, where you would have to worry about chirping the tires with a light foot. From what I understand 0-60 times did not drop much, but the SC engine gained a lot of life where the regular 3.3 left off. My suggestion is to drive an XE or SE, then drive the SC. If you think it is really that more powerful off the line then maybe you should take the tires into consideration. It has been so long since I drove a Desert Runner (June) that I will not even recognize the feel when I get mine. This juror is still out.
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