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Nissan Pathfinder Club Performance Mods

nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
edited April 2014 in Nissan
Nismofreak is first! :-)

Does anyone one have any concrete information on the headers that Stillen is producing for the VQ motor? Also, will it be smog legal?

'01 SE 4wd Auto <= just waitin' to be modded!


  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I got this funny impression you're going to be the performance mods king that all of us are going to follow :-)

    I had the Stillen kit installed on my 99.5 PF LE. It was also a very tight fit. It took the Nissan mechanic 6 hours to install them both, and they ended up scratching up my fenders to boot (they had them re-clearcoated).
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    Hey Phil,

    How do mechanics scratch up your fenders installing an intake/exhaust kit?
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    It was likely the header installation (the Stillen Stage III includes intake, headers and exhaust). They never came clean with an explanation, but I suspect it was a zipper or buttons on the guys coveralls as he spent most of the 6 hours halfway inside the engine compartment (the headers are pretty low down, especially on the driver's side). All I know is that a simple fender cover (isn't that standard practice at most dealerships?) would have saved both of us alot of aggravation.
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    you're not helping me out here, phil. after an expensive detour into home theater, i finally saved up enough for a stage III kit for my 99.5 LE, and now you're telling me this. i was actually thinking about driving down to the Stillen shop in SoCal and having them do the install, that is, if i can get them to admit that it is possible to put the stage III kit on a 99.5 PF. we'll $ee . . .
  • Please... Please! PLEASE! Let us know prices, power, material type, etc. on the Stillen piece. Stillen is not know for producing the best performance parts for Nissan. Case in point, their header for the Sentra is the 3rd to 4th best out there. And they rarely develop anything themselves. They are kinda$oft. :-)

  • Would you be willing to do some research for the good of Pathy owners? :-)

    I know the VQ35 is different from yours but if you know anyone who has one, have them go visit HotShot. They make the best CAI and header system for some Nissan cars. They are big on prototyping stuff that other won't touch. And I can guarrantee they will be cheaper than $tillen.


  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    Stillen has quoted me around $1k for the kit, which includes intake, headers, and exhaust. Figure another $300 for labor, unless you feel inclined to do it yourself. For the 3.3L engine, performance gains are claimed to be 25 hp and ~19 ft-lb. Everything on the exhuast end is stainless steel. I realize that Stillen isn't the most highly regarded supplier, but it is one of the few producting parts for the PF (although you could never tell by browsing the site).

    Here's a "review" of the kit on an older PF:

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    They were using a Dynomax Turbo muffler in my kit (Walker's performance line, actually a pretty nice muffler). It's aluminized steel...not stainless. The headers were very nice units, ceramic coated no less.
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    i still don't know if i forgive you for trading in your 99.5 Stillen III for an '01 - you were my inspiration, man. these are hard times, seeing that 3.5L badge on the back and then finding a Gucci girl at the wheel . . .
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394 was a tough decision. I would say it was the auto-4wd that swung me over to the dark side. I was getting sick and tired of forgetting to take it out of 4wd every time I got into the parking garage at work (the hopping turn usually gave it away).

    The Stillen kit was a real head turner. You should have seen the grins on faces of friends and mechanics alike who would say, "I ain't never heard no Pathfinder sound like that before!". It was worth the price of admission.

    BTW, what's the deal with Stillen playing down the kit for the 99.5-2000?
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    what you mean. had a couple of scary moments when the rear end broke loose going up an icy mountain road - could have used that AWD system.

    i don't know what Stillen's deal is on the Stage III kit, to be honest. last time i inquired about it, i was told that it would not fit 3.3Ls in the redesign. why an intake/exhaust kit would no longer fit a PF with a wider track and new sheetmetal - i have no idea, but that's what i was told. i haven't pressed the issue since, but perhaps i should before i get back that money i loaned to Uncle Sam.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I just installed the K&N filter on my 2001 LE. Pretty straightforward. The gasket installation caught me off guard a bit. They include 2 gaskets to help keep the filter "snug" as it is slightly narrower than the stock filter. Did yours include these gaskets?
  • Phil47,
    Where did you get that filter? And >is< it the same one that fits old VG33 motor? I can't find anywhere that says that there is a K&N for the VQ35.

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I picked it up at a place here in Calgary called "Parts Source". Their computer told them this filter was for the 2001 PF with the 3.5 L engine. The part number is 33-2031-2. I believe it is identical to the VG33 filter except it also comes with the gaskets I refer to above (they were definitely not part of the kit for my 99.5 PF LE). Hope this helps.
  • apb3apb3 Posts: 11
    Don't think I'll go the whole way with a Stillen fit, but am interested in fitting the K&N in my 98 Chilkoot PF. Is it the general agreement of all that this is a good idea?
  • These filters are a good idea. I am running that on both my race and street cars.

    Phil47, I ordered my K&N today. There is a hold up on the order but I should be getting it in about 1.5 weeks. Did you notice a difference in throttle response?

    apb3: How far are you planning on modding your truck? Just curious.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    ...I haven't driven my PF since the install last Friday. I'll let you know about perfomance and mileage changes soon.
  • I had realised that you >just< installed it! :-)

    How many miles do you have on your LE? And have you gone synth oil yet?
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    So far I've got 5000 km (3000 miles) of trouble free, fun-filled driving. I will be switching to synthetic oil eventually only because its low temperature flow characteristics are very important for winter startups in colder climates (like here in Calgary). I will switch at around 20,000 km (12,000 miles) as this was the mileage my dealer said the Nissan techs recommended for switching. They said that by this mileage the engine had fully broken-in (not just the initial break-in).
  • duperduper Posts: 127
    Anyone has input on how louder the noise will be? My friend's 93' 4runner makes high pitch noise when the air got suck in during acceleration.

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    Have always had problems with "induction" noise. One benefit of the Stillen kit I had on my 99.5 was that the filtercharger was in the fenderwell which pretty well eliminated the induction noise. It was also drawing colder air which is better for developing HP (as opposed to drawing warm air from the engine compartment which many pop chargers w/o air dams do). I'd think very carefully before putting on a pop charger duper. Hope this helps.
  • duperduper Posts: 127
    Thanks for the advice. I was only looking to it recently but still weighting the dis/advantages. I'm afraid that the louder noise will bother me but kinda tempted by the power increase, though it's minimal.
    Guess if I want more power, I have to trade in for the new engine :)
  • apb3apb3 Posts: 11
    I am looking at mods that will improve the economy more than performance, though I guess these usually go hand in hand. I am looking at Synth oil, K&N and maybe a cat-back. I have not seen any posts on cat-backs here, I was led to believe that this was the cheapest performance mod you can do for 10-15Hp - is this BS
  • For a NA engine, if there isn't a factory header, an aftermarket header will provide the best bang for the buck. The next bang is a CAI (well designed). Cat back is usually the weakest bang for the buck because the exhaust effiency is lowered once it gets to the restrictive cat.

    Going internal to the engine can unleash a fair amount of power but that is usually price prohibitive especially if you don't do the work yourself.

    Hope this helps.
  • socal_pfsocal_pf Posts: 3
    Which performance mod are allowed by the factory warranty?
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey, I know this is on the low end of the spectrum for performance mods, but has anyone with a 2001 PF changed their air filter to k&n? How does it feel as far as power? Thanks...
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I haven't noticed any significant HP increases, but I haven't done a direct comparison (you know, 0-60 runs immediately before and after). I only had 2000 miles on the truck when I switched, so it really hadn't even broken in yet and I wasn't very familiar with its power curve. To be honest, I switched mainly for the long-term savings in airfilters, and any improvement in HP or fuel economy is just gravy :-)
  • duperduper Posts: 127
    I found this link on a Toyota 4runner site that's really interesting.

    I was thinking of trying it on my Path, but found out the airbox doesn't have a flat surface as the one on the 4runner.

    Maybe someone have a better idea of how to do it right. It could a great alternative for an jwt intake if you worry about letting water in for offroading.

  • pathy01pathy01 Posts: 2
    Weapon R has an intake available for the 2001 Pathfinder. I've been hoping for one to become available for some time now, figure some of you might be too. Check them out at They also have a ram air kit which can be used in conjunction with the intake. I've got both ordered, should be arriving soon. I'll let you know what I think of them when I get and install them.
  • I recently installed a K&N filter in my 2001 LE. However, I was speaking to technician today who warned me that oil that may be given off by the filter may damage the mass air sensor and cause it to give false readings to the onboad processor. Has anyone heard of this potential problem?
  • jecklesjeckles Posts: 87
    I have tried K&N in several vehicles and am not impressed.

    I don't want to start any flame wars or anything, but K&N filters are for race cars that get rebuilt often. Oil analysis shows wear metals and silica (sand) increase substantially after switching to K&N. I could also actually see dust accumulating on my throttle plate.

    My brother uses one when he races (just in case he really gets an extra .5 hp) and then switches back to something more safe for normal driving. I recommend either use a high quality paper filter or reusable foam.

    Just my $0.02 on the subject....
  • byroniiibyroniii Posts: 5
    Hat off to everybody,
    Name's Jerry, now doing a boring survey on car brands. Just a few questions, what do you guys think of the above 5 brands? What would u associate with each of them? Do they mean something to you? For example, some people regard Buick as for elder citizens. I don't know. I just want to know what u folks think.
  • exzaveexzave Posts: 16
    OK CAI is cold air induction got that - pretty self explanatory

    Cat-Back means putting exhaust system after factory catylitic converter. right..? New muffler and exhaust outlet right?

    What is a "header"? Is it just a specially designed exhaust manifold. Does it include new cat or work with stock one? Does one generally put in new muffler, exhaust outlet w/ new header?

    What about chips? These void warranties right? Are their any after market ECU's for pathfinders?

    Answers or links to general modding information appreciated.

  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey, I'm considering a K&N FIPK Intake & Borla cat-back (not sure if they make one) for my 2001 PF LE. What are your thoughts on these? Thanks...
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    There are several people discussing different engine mods on the forums at

    Here's a sample photo of someone who custom-made his own intake:

    (Click here to view the thread)


    Owner Notification Date: 9/11/2001
    Number of Units Potentially Affected: 31,000
    NHTSA Campaign Number: 01V282000
    Description of Recall Campaign:
    Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles. 2001 model year Nissan Pathfinder
    vehicles manufactured from December 20, 2000, through June 8, 2001, and 2001
    model year Infiniti QX4 vehicles manufacturer from January 8 to June 8, 2001.
    Some of the brackets used to attach the two gas struts to the rear door (hatch)
    may not have been made to specification. At high ambient temperature, the
    increase in gas pressure in the strut(s) may cause one or both brackets to bend,
    resulting in the struts detaching from the bracket(s) when opening or closing
    the rear door.

    If both struts detach from the brackets, the door will rapidly fall down and
    possibly strike someone, possibly causing serious injury.

    Dealers will replace the brackets for the struts free of charge.
    Owner notification is expected to begin during September 2001. Owners who
    take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and
    do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at
    1-800-647-7261. Hawaiian residents should call 1-808-836-0888. Also contact
    the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at
    1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    Just installed some 265/70R16 Michelin Cross-Terrains on my 99.5 PF and they only seem to rub on the driver's side at about 3/4 of the way to fully cranking the steering wheel to the right while backing up. There's a ridge on the plastic fender liner directly behind the foglights that connects with the tread where it meets the outer sidewall. There seems to be a 1/2" more clearance on the passenger side, which seems to be enough so that nothing rubs. I used some Velcro to pull the liner back about 1/2", but I still got it to rub once today. I might redrill the three mounting holes for the fender liner on the bottom of the bumper if I can't get the Velcro to work. Just thought some of you guys might like to know.

    BTW, 265/70s really fill up a Pathy's wheelwells - it's one of those things you have to see in person. Parked next to a Yukon and a Sequoia a few days ago, and I definately had the meatiest tires. Only downside is that my 3.3L feels even weaker as it tries to spin all that rubber.
  • How do you like your new cross terrains? These Michelins are the top rated all season in the Pathfinder size out on the Tire Rack web page. About 30 places up the food chain from the Bridgestone Dueler H/T that came on the Pathfinder. The noise is supposed to be way better (less) and the traction better. Would you agree?
  • I really like my Cross-Terrains, although I only really have the Dueler H/Ts to compare them to. I actually didn't notice much of a difference with respect to road noise. I used to run my H/Ts at 33-35 psi, while America's Tire Co. inflated the Cross-Terrains to 30 psi. At these pressures, I never thought the H/Ts were particularly noisey.

    In the handling department, the Cross-Terrains absolutely destroy the H/Ts - even with the much taller sidewall. I haven't been able to test their inclement weather handling too much, but they did handle the oily California streets much more assuredly than the H/Ts. I'll be testing their snow performance once Tahoe starts getting some pow-pow. The Cross-Terrains definately soak up bumps, potholes, expansion joints, etc. much better than the H/Ts without sacrificing any driver feedback - it's like I popped for the QX4 or something. Better handling and more comfortable - I don't know how Michelin does it.

    I knew I wanted Michelins because of their longevity and I chose the Cross-Terrains over the LTXs because of superior street handling, superior treadlife, and equal all-season traction. When I bought my tires, Michelin was giving away a pair of Motorola Talkabouts (T5300?) with each set of tires - don't know if they're still running that deal.

    Good luck.

    P.S. Keep in mind that the Tire Rack survey still has a limited number of responses for the Cross-Terrains, so it could still turn out that they're worse than Wilderness ATs or something. ;)
  • Has anybody investigated using an ECU from a Manual PF (w/ 250 hp) in an auto trans PF to boost the hp?

    It seems like a chip maker could pounce on this idea and tweak our 240hp engines to get an easily documented 10hp increase. Aside from the transmission, I don't think there are many mechanical differences.

    Just thinking out loud...
  • Last week, someone hit my rear and my rear brake(left sides only) was cracked. Whole red lens part are gone, and I can only see chrome inner housing. I believe it's one part if I need to replace. I called the local dealer and they quote me at $140 for parts.. If one sides are this expensive, I rather get some aftermarket like clear or Altezza if they are available. Where can I find them? Also, is this price reasonable? Do anybody know if there is any place selling PF parts cheaper than others? Also, what about Infiniti QX4 retrofit? I like QX4 brake light.. How much would that be? Thanks in advance.

    Last week, someone hit my rear and my rear brake(left sides only) was cracked. Whole red lens part are gone, and I can only see chrome inner housing. I believe it's one part if I need to replace. I called the local dealer and they quote me at $140 for parts.. If one sides are this expensive, I rather get some aftermarket like clear or Altezza if they are available. Where can I find them? Also, is this price reasonable? Do anybody know if there is any place selling PF parts cheaper than others? Also, what about Infiniti QX4 retrofit? I like QX4 brake light.. How much would that be? Thanks in advance.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey, I have a 2001 PF... has anyone put a K&N FIPK or other intake on their's? How did it do? Thanks...
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    K&N air filters only filter the boulders. Alot
    of air and everything else. If you want to use
    a cleanable filter use amsoil.
  • Chipping the engine to have 250 horses will not do good to the overall performance. The automatic version sacrifices a little top end power in favor of low end torque that is required by the automatic transmission. It would be sluggish off the line.
  • Thanks for the input...

    It makes sense, so I guess I'll wait and see if some aftermarket company does anything.

    It seems like there is at least 10 extra hp in there!!
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    There's extra in there, it's just a matter of finding room for proper headers. Still waiting for good quality ones that can actually be installed on a 2001/2002. Those factory manifolds look pretty restrictive. The rest of the exhaust system looks pretty good.
  • austin_paustin_p Posts: 27
    Anyone hear of a 1-2" lift kit for the PF? I have a friend with a 4runner, and it has more ground clearance than the PF. I would like to get some bigger tires under it but can't go much bigger because of lack of fender to tire height.

  • duperduper Posts: 127
    The only lift available for the unibody Pathfinders are longer spring coils. You can have your choice of 2" or 2.5" inches. Anything longer may cause struts topping out. Automotive Customizers at has them.

    A guy on AC forum lifted his '01, here are some pics

    Also, Dean Thayer has those springs on his '97 LE



  • austin_paustin_p Posts: 27
    Thanks for the info.

    Do you know if this has a much of an effect on the ride?
This discussion has been closed.