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Nissan Pathfinder



  • kbehnkekbehnke Posts: 60
    Unfortunately, I can speak for the structural soundness of the PF. I was recently in an accident with my 2001 SE(only 7k miles). I was driving on an interstate in the center lane, slightly ahead of a semi in the left lane. He began to change lanes(obviously not seeing me) and side-swiped me, hitting me in the rear driver's side quarter-panel. I spun out at 65 mph across the left lane. The semi hit me again, scraping along the entire driver's side. I was sandwiched between the truck and the center median barrier which was a terrifying experience. After the truck got by me, I got hung up on the median and tipped over onto the driver's side.

    Thankfully I walked away with only a few bumps and bruises(I had my seatbelt on). My PF wasn't so lucky. The initial body shop estimate is $15k in damage. I was hoping the insurance company would 'total' it, but since it's almost new they would have needed about $5000 more damage. Luckily the front end was never really damaged so the engine was ok. Actually, the Nissan mechanic said it started right up and ran fine when they inspected it. Unfortunately, no matter how good of a job the bodyshop does I'm afraid my PF will never be the same.

    I realize this accident doesn't fall into any of the crast test categories, but I can certainly vouch for the PF's structural durability. Even the body shop said the vehicle held up very well under the circumstances. I don't have any worries about this vehicle keeping me safe.

    Just my 2 cents...
  • skips2skips2 Posts: 52
    Sorry to hear about your horrible accident. Thankfully, you were not hurt badly. Thanks for sharing your expereince.
  • sabre66sabre66 Posts: 45
    Wow! That must have been a harrowing experience. Especially when you made it out of the Path and saw the damage. I'm glad you made it out safely and am sorry that they didn't estimate the damage as "totaled".

    Did your side airbag deploy when your flipped on the side? What did the truck driver say?

    Let's hope nobody else finds out how structurally sound the Paths are.

  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    Here are digital shots from this past weekends trip to the Canyonlands area of UT.

    There was our '01 Pathy running new 265/70r16's, a '96 Tacoma with 32x11.5r15's, A '00 Wrangler w/31x10.5r15's. All were 5-spds, the Taco has a 1.75" Rancho lift, the Wrangler is stock, and I put in rubber spring spacers for a 1.5" lift on the Pathy.

    Tires were aired down to 26 psi, and it worked like a charm.

    Here are the pics:

    interesting note:

    the new 265/70R16's I just put on the Pathy measure to within 1/8 of an inch of height on the year-old 32's. sort of nice. Even completely cranked into the wheel well-with one side hanging in the air, there was still space left over-(due to the 1.5" spring spacer lift)

    We ran about 78/mph out from Denver and averaged 19.32 mpg, and ran 85 mph back and got just under 18 mpg.

    The 265/70's read 1.8 mph slower on the speedo-

    i.e. 78 indicated on speedo = almost 80

    as usual, the Pathy was rock solid and a pure joy to drive. It did much better than I expected on the tough trail. There were points where the LSD really helped.

  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey BGRITZ... looked at your pics but couldn't tell... what kind of tires are those?
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    Pathfinder Sport SUV's
    They are made for the Discount Tire Chain ( Kelly-Springfield and have a 60k warrantee. They come in both a 6 and and 8ply. I tried to get a bit more aggressive tire called the Radial ATR, but they don't make them in the 265/70's, and the 265/75's were a bit too close to the struts for comfort.

    I have been very impressed with their traction and ability to flex. We haven't had any snow or rain since I put them on, but I'm thinking they should do much better than the pathetic stock Bridgestones that came on the Pathy.
  • engle3engle3 Posts: 12
    WOW! what a horrible experience! I certainly do appreciate you sharing that. Terrible thing to have a brand new truck messed up so badly.
    Way back in '88 I had a brand new Maxima station wagon hit so hard it did $9000 damage. They didn't total it either. That darn car is still out there running great with over 300,000 miles on it. It never had any big repair bills after the accident either.
    Let's hope yours will do the same.
  • Where did you get the coil spring spacers? I have seen these for Jeep TJ's to "fine tune" a coil spring lift. They were sold in 3/8" thick sizes and seems about perfect. I'm just trying to slightly level the rear of the Pathfinder. It's riding a bit low with gear I keep in the back.

    Many thanks!

    Captain Ron. . .
  • We took delivery on a silver 20001 SE automatic today and are absolutely thrilled with it. One reason we went with Nissan is because of the great experience I've had with my 95' Maxima. It's been reliable after 80,000 miles and is still a blast a drive.

    The business manager tried hard to sell me an extended warranty. His primary pitch was the increased likelihood of mechanical problems with the 4 wheel drive system. He offered a 6 year, 75,000 mile, 0 deductible, bumper to bumper, for $960. At 3.9% it would have been about 18 dollars more per month. I declined the offer.

    I told him one big reason I was buying Nissan was the excellent repair history of the product line. Anyone else had a similar sales pitch? Did you buy it? Any comments are appreciated.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721

    The same thing happened to me. I leased my 01 LE and they gave me the same line of bull. I didn't buy the warranty, because the base warranty covers my lease period. Can't blame them for trying. I'm sure if you or I were in their shoes we'd be trying to sell warranties too. That's how they make extra $$.

    Warranties aren't always a bad choice. I had a 98 Ford SVT Contour which I purchased the extended warranty for about $900 and got about $3000 of work out of it. Thank God I bought the warranty. Needless to say I got rid of the car the day the extended warranty expired. It all depends on the car and situation you in when you purchase.
  • I actually received the sales pitch, AND I was interested before he even gave the pitch. I had looked into Warranty Direct (some name like that) and a couple other online websites and had their quotes with me, but it turned out to be around the same price, therefore it would be easier to work directly with the manufacturer.
    I chose the warranty because I knew that we're going to keep this vehicle for a while and wanted the peace of mind
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    I saw them at Pep Boys, Checker, and AutoZone. I ended up getting mine at AutoZone because they were the cheapest.
    A four-pack of 2-1/4-1/2 spacers were $7.99, so the entire lift cost me $16.
    I actually paid $24 because I thought that rears would be the same as the fronts and cut them at the same time. NOPE, the rear springs are much softer and have a lighter gauge spring.
    I ended up cutting the fronts about an 3/8's inch top and bottom, but leaving the rears uncut. that gave me the 1-3/4"-2.00" lift with a half tank of gas.
    They performed good off-road. I did check them and found that the rears wanted to tilt a bit to the sides on occasion. In 4 days of hanging the tires off the ground, I just had to climb under and scoot them back up-right twice.
    I also ran a zip tie laterally through them and around the spring on the rears to make sure the would not completely fall out.

    I'll try and get some pics posted of the fronts and rears if interested. They definately give the Pathy a more muscular look.
    My original plan was to just put them in when heading to the hills, but after driving on-road with them in, I like the ride better and before. Not stiff like a truck, but slightly more firm, yet compliant.

  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    I declined the Nissan extended warranty and went with my Auto Ins. carrier...GEICO. Bumper to bumper including glass coverage with a $50.00 deductable and $250.00 deductable for everything else...yeah I know $250.00 deductable, but the cost for a 5 year/100,000 miles for a mere $190.00 for the extended warranty, I thought was a bargin.
  • pyrenuspyrenus Posts: 19
    Hey, if you guys figure out a way to get those 2nd fog lights worked out, let me know. I would love to know how to do that.

    Also, why not grab some of those yellows off a wrecked QX4 or something?

  • Is the navigation system DVD based? All states on 1 DVD? Everyone satisfied with the navigation system? Complaints, likes, dislikes? Is it the same system as in the QX4?
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    Please, do not accept anything but a total on your PF. No matter what they say, that kind of damage can't be fixed. Get some advice from someone who knows. Believe me, if the other guy was at fault, his insurance company will happily get you a new car. The price of a new PF is nothing compared to a personal injury law suit. You are entitled to a new car!
  • My wife was driving home from work, a car made a left turn right in front of her, she slammed on the brakes, she stopped just in front of the other car, the brakes worked! by the way she did get out of the car,she could just place her hand between her pathfinder and the other car.
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76

    Do these coil spacers limit suspension travel, change the driveline angle, or otherwise impair normal operation? I'm new to lifts, and I'm trying to figure out what the tradeoffs are. What does the install entail? If they're so cheap, why don't more people do it?

    Oh, if you could post pictures, that would be great.


  • omega11omega11 Posts: 36
    Thanks for the shimmy info Matt!
  • omega11omega11 Posts: 36
    I have a few questions the "auto" tranny mode on my PF. When the PF tranny switch is set to "auto" does this imply that it is AWD?

  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081 setting is AWD.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    When a fuse blew in my 2001 LE a few months ago (it was the taillight fuse which also handles the dashboard lights, which is what I noticed went out) I replaced the fuse (it was in the box under the hood) and I thought...maybe a freak thing, maybe a bad fuse. A few days ago, it happened again...same fuse position. Of course, the idea of electrical problems scares the heck out of me...has anyone had this problem? Do you think I should be concerned? Maybe a short or something in the taillights? I have a tow hitch.

  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    You probably have a wire on the trailer wiring with frayed insulation (rubbing on the body). Better check it thoroughly.
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139

    "Do these coil spacers limit suspension travel, change the driveline angle, or otherwise impair normal operation?"
    I'm not a pro, but they seem like they raise everything a bit except with no affects on normal operation. I had been looking at getting a 2" spring lift from automotive customizers (, but it actually turned out to be more like 2.5" and I was afraid of the angles it produced for the front driveline. Since no one I've found sells longer struts for the Pathy, owners with the springs noticed topping out over bumps due to the taller spring, but same shorter shock in the struts. In terms of travel, the Pathy was still able to get more articulation that the Taco we went with and he had Rancho 5k's. One thing I have noticed (and I prefer) it that when I climb in or put something in the back, there is very little sag, but it still rides great.

    What does the install entail?
    You need to get the front end unloaded using the frame or a non-swingarm point. I put a tall 2.5 ton jack under the space where the swingarms meet the frame and raise the front about 6" without getting the tires off the ground. This unloads the springs enough to put the trimmed spacers in. The rear is a bit tougher due to the lack of locations to put the jack that aren't on the axel. Since I don't actually raise the entire rear off the ground, the trailer hitch or the frame it mounts to has worked well. Since the point is a bit higher, I have to add a 4"x4" block to the top of the jack to give me the clearance I need. Once the back is raised, I slide under the rear wheel well opening and slide the full sized spacers into place.
    note: make sure that the tranny is in 4-low ,1st gear, and that the front wheels are blocked so that it won't move.
    I get a little nervous about being under a car w/only a floor jack, but I don't get completely under and if it did happen to slip, I still can slide out since tires and everything else are still on. You're just unloading the springs, not raising the whole rear end. You can also pull a rear tire and get in from the side if that makes you more comfortable.
    The entire install takes me about 15 minutes, less to remove them.

    If they're so cheap, why don't more people do it?
    I think of it more as a stopgap vs. a true lift. If someone comes out with new front struts that are a little longer I will probably trade them out and add adjustable air shocks to the rear to give me the added lift for towing and medium 4x4ing we do. For now I'm gonna give these a try and see how they work. I figure if I hate them, I've only spent $24 on them so no big loss, but so far they have exceded expectations.
    I'll try and take some pics this weekend. and post them.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    If you have any further questions about 4WD & AWD, a good place to check out is our 4WD & AWD systems explained discussion topic.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • Hi,

    I'm trying to get a picture in my head as to the type of spacers we're talking about...Obviously, actual pictures would be great! Anyway, are they the little aluminum "cams" that you just put between two of the coils and twist in? Or are they a 6" (or so) diameter "dognut" that sits on/in the spring seating pad?

    Also, ARB/Old Man Emu now makes a coil spring kit for the Pathfinder!

    I wrote: "Someone told me that ARB is developing an OME suspension kit for the '99.5-'01 Nissan Pathfinder. Any truth to this? Any details you can provide would be appreciated!"

    Their response: "hello there
    we have two front spring options and one rear spring please call 1 888 4272872
    regards, buddy king"

    Sounds like they have a heavier spring option for those with the ARB Bull-Bar/Winch option as well as two standard rates for just a lift. By the way, I saw one of these set up at an off-road expo last weekend. The ARB aluminum bumper/bull-bar looks great on the new Pathfinder!

    Captain Ron. . .
  • canadatwocanadatwo Posts: 198
    I have been checking out some used 1990 - 1993 Pathfinders.

    4-door, SE, 5-speed, V6.

    Is there anything I should watch out for?

    I found a 1990SE with 135K miles that is in great condition for $4500 US$.

    How are the 90-93 Pathfinders in the snow and ice?

    Thanks in advance!
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    I went through two fuses for the dash/tail lights before I found the culprit, a bare wire on my hitch lighting harness. I taped it up and the world is good once again.
    Spring Spacers:
    I just added a pic of the trimmed fronts to my Yahoo pics page
    They are not of our Pathy (Thanks John of 4x4 bbs), but I will post new pics on Monday of my setup.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    brian60, captainron and bgritz-

    The rubber spacers show below are what you might call "a poor-man's lift" and are at best, should be considered a temporary, stop-gap measure.


    These spacers probably work just fine under normal, everyday, on-road driving, and have the benefit of increasing the static height of the vehicle.

    There is a drawback to this approach, however:
    The spacers limit upward travel of the suspension. In other words, the spring cannot compress as fully as it was originally designed to do, so under extreme conditions, you may experience bottoming out of the spring and spacer, rather than bottoming out on the bump stop. Another factor is that wheel articulation is affected, primarily on the rear axle. The "stuffed" tire will not be able to compress as fully. (The front will likely never reach its full compression because of the antisway bar).

    When I did research on lifts and ride height modifications, I experimented with these spacers, as well as the metal "twist-in" spacers and the donut-style spacers. I wasn't happy with any of these options because I didn't feel they were the optimal approach.


    In the photo above, you can see I opted to install a set of Air Lift air springs to help deal with sagging caused by towing or heavy loads.

    As for the issues created by installing stiffer (or longer) coil springs- i.e. 2-inch lift, the "topping out" problem described on has only to do with the length of the front struts. Longer struts would have the side-effect of increasing the driveline angles, possibly exceeding the CV joint operating angle, so it's better to keep the stock length. (Incidentally, adding the spacers achieves the same effect as having stiffer springs, with the disadvantage that you have reduced upward travel.)

    Finally, 2" to 2.5" lift springs have been available for some time through Automotive Customizers (AC) and are priced in the $350 range for a set of 4. I don't know about the OME/ARB springs properties or pricing. If you are concerned about the actual spring height, and want to either lower or raise your vehicle a custom amount, you can contact Valley Spring Works who manufactures the springs for AC. I purchased my 2" lift from them direct in 1999, and the springs were custom-designed to my specs.

    Sorry this post was so long, but I hope it helps clarify some things a little.
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