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Nissan Pathfinder



  • 97 PF (three years)
    00 Expedition (two years)
    02 SE PF (just purchased)

    I commented the other day (in my first post) about spending a lot of time testing the "other" SUV's and settling on a PF. I focused on 4Runner, Explorer, SC Xterra, while driving and looking at a few others.

    I'm mostly driving around town, but I am one of those few who likes to 4 wheel on occasion. 4Runner wins the 4 wheeling battle with PF and Explorer. Xterra competes with 4Runner 4 wheeling, but lacks considerably on the highway and around town. PF can do most of what I like to do off road and the ride “on road” (PF) beats 4Runner by a long shot.

    I live on a 12% grade hill on the Bench area of the Wasatch Front in Utah. Going up and down this hill several times a day to run errands and go to and from work, I can attest to a vehicle's hill climbing ability. I really liked the 4Runner for its off roading, but after several test drives up the hill, it was obvious this truck could not maintain 30 mph going up. (Too heavy for the 183 hp 3.4 L engine). Explorer (4.6 L Engine) had no trouble climbing the hill. PF, on the other hand, was still accelerating at 40 mph in 3rd gear when I had to let off the accelerator. (Speed limit on this stretch of road is 30 mph).

    Since I only 4 wheel about 3% of my driving time, weighing the better (off road) 4 Runner (and its lack of power) and the PF with more than enough power (and a decent off road performer) the end there was no comparison (for my personal needs)...PF was the winner.

    Since I have to go up and down this hill every day, the PF's power made it the best choice. Explorer is more expensive, and the ride on the road is not better than the PF, even with the new suspension (my subjective opinion). Then add the great PF stereo system and the reliability of PF and it beats Explorer for the "long hall". Yes, you get extra seating in the Explorer and there are more choices in Explorer, but when it came down to the decision of which to own, I chose PF. Currently I’m coming out of a two year Expedition lease, so there was an additional $1,500 lease incentive to purchase Explorer. But, reliability issues weigh heavy for me. Explorer has been middle of the road before the upgraded and improved 2002 versions. My Expedition has been great on reliability until just before the lease was to expire, and then things started to go down hill (another story). The bottom line is, I think Explorer will last three to five years without major expenses, but I believe PF will last five to eight years before I will have to put major money into repairs. (Again, my subjective opinion). Since I expect to own this PF for at least five years, reliability became a very important issue for me.

    For those looking into PF, I hope you find your answers in this discussion group. In the end, if you want a great ride and superior reliability, and a vehicle that can 4 wheel as good as or better than most SUV’s, PF is the “one”. And, it is a great looking truck.

    Enjoy the ride.
  • johnskevjohnskev Posts: 98
    Sure, it wouldn't hurt to use 4hi now and then, but not on the highway at 75mph. Around town isn't too bad, but taking corners could cause slight binding. The auto 4wd systems, like what you mentioned is in the Jeep and the Pathfinder LE (some SEs too, right?), can be turned on at any time because the vehicle will run at 2wd until slippage then it goes 4wd until it gets traction again. As mentioned above, high speed plus good traction will definitely cause binding and cause some serious problems with your vehicle.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Bigorange30- it's not neccessary to drive on wet pavement for the purpose of keeping the 4x4 driveline 'lubricated' - any surface will do. Just try to drive in a straight line until you shift back to 2HI.

    The practice of "lubing" the front driveline by using 4HI every now and then applies primarily to trucks with automatic or manual hubs, since on those trucks the front driveline doesn't move unless the t-case is in 4HI. Since the Pathfinder uses full-time hubs, the front differential rotates (and gets lubed) whenever the vehicle is in motion. Moving the t-case lever into 4HI just slides a collar in the t-case which transfers engine power to the front output shaft of the t-case (which is already turning anyway).

    So, "keeping the 4x4 system lubed" is not really an issue with the 96+ Pathfinder unless you install manual hubs. Auto-mode trucks don't even have to worry at all. :)
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    Just expanding on xplorx4's excellent description, the part-time 4wd system on the PF makes for a very smooth shift from 2wd - 4wd, but it also results in some parasitic drag and associated power loss even when not engaged. For this reason, a few local dealers are doing a pretty brisk business installing Warn manual hubs on the PFs (with the PT system, NOT the automode) to improve HP and fuel economy in city and especially on the highway. Something to consider for those of you looking for ways to bump gas mileage...
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Don't expect miracles, though. The manual hubs gave me about 1mpg better. They cost about $130 from + labor. They're a cinch to install, though, if you want to do it yourself and save. Find out how by clicking here.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    I had a 95 Pathfinder XE with semi manual hubs. From a dead stop, I would engage the lever, and if I disconnected 4 wd at the transfer case, and reversed a few feet, it would unlock the hubs.

    I have 30,000 km on my 2001 XE with auto shift-on-the fly hubs. I have not noticed a loss in highway fuel economy with the auto hubs, but note that the 2001 is much thristier in city driving than the 95.

    I would like to hear from anyone who wants to share fuel consumption experiences with the install of manual hubs.

    To Phil47: Are you the same individual who installed the exhaust finisher from a QX4, as well the custom wheels? If so, I would like to again see your exhaust finisher photos.


    Woody in BC
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    You can find the pics here:

    The wheel/tire package and the exhaust finisher have held up beautifully. I'm very satisified with these purchases.

  • I have an 02 PF, read about the shimmy at 55-65 MPH. I do not have a shimmy on mine as I have read about on some 01's, but it seems at those speeds on the highway I feel the most bumps even on smooth highways.

    At 70+ the truck feels great! I have to check the spedo to make sure I'm not going too fast.

    Does anyone know anything about it, or what I can do?
  • filodfilod Posts: 189
    beautiful pf! can you share the details of the wheels and tires? sizes etc... I loved the way it looks....thanks
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Thanks for the pix, Phil. I am off to Vancouver Island next week and may order one for my XE. I have had my vehicle serviced for years there at the local Infiniti/Nissan dealer. I was quoted about $60 plus taxes.

    From my recollection of your previous post, you recommend stainless steel fasteners.

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    Thanks. My wife is amused because we always seem to come back to the parking lot and someone is squatting next to the truck trying to get a better look at the wheel package!!

    Go to message #5093 and you'll find all the info you need. This was a very tricky combo to put together...not much out there for the late model PFs. I had to spend a few more $$ than anticipated.

    Woodyr1: Yes, I picked up a couple stainless steel hex head bolts from the local hardware store. They stand up to the weather MUCH better. Highly recommended.
  • Hi Phil47:
    Many thanks to you. With your advice I have my Wheel/Tire just like yours in the picture.

    The dealer was impressed with your knowledge about the above subject. It took about six week of wait, but it was worth it.

    The rides are very smooth and sharp. And for some reason the 5 speed shifting have improve too.

    My trip from NY to Ottawa, Canada and back was great. Less road noise. I was able to cover more road in less less time too.

    Again my thanks to you for all the help you gave me.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    Glad to pics!
  • couimetcouimet Posts: 130
    Entering 5093 in the Msg# box at the top of this page takes you to Msg # 4896. Entering 5295 takes you to 5093. A little off ...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    It's a feature of our software:

    pat "Lost in the Town Hall? Ask the Sedans Host for directions!" Nov 13, 2001 4:49pm

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    the automakers...sell the sizzle, not the steak...tell 'em it's a special feature, a no-charge option, if you will, that they have been given by the grace of the works every time...:):):):):):):)

  • I noticed several options by Velox and Binno for 16 to 20 inch wheels at that would probably be probably less expensive than Phil's Anteras. BTW, you could use the tire specs at to figure the right tires for the non-OEM wheels to match your 16 or 17" OEM tires (width and overall diameter). Just beware of off roading with those 18-20" wheels w/low profile rubber!

    Problem with going to manual hubs--finding wheels with open centers to allow hubs to protrude. Guess I could use the OEM wheels without the centers, but that would be butt-ugly. Guess I'll stick with the OEM "full time" hubs for now on my '02. Can't see dropping that kind of cash right now for new hubs and wheels to gain 1 mpg or less. And thanks to Dean Thayer, who pointed out that the new OEM hubs don't have to be run occasionally in 4WD to keep them "lubed" because they're constantly "engaged."

    Has anyone found anybody who produces "replica" OEM Pathfinder wheels?
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    Mike why are you selling your 2001 LE?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    We don't buy and sell on Town Hall. Try eBay Motors or our Edmunds Used PowerShopper .



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  • Hi all,

    Well, as the subject says, my Burnt Cherry 2001 LE just got key scratched from front to back on the driver's side and across the tailgate.

    How'd it happen?

    I visited a buddy in San Francisco this past weekend and was told by his girlfriend to park in front of their garage door...she told me the wrong one. The guy I was blocking was p!$$@d off! I moved and tried apologizing, but he wouldn't hear it. I came out the next morning and my Pathfinder was keyed down to the bare metal. No real way to tell if it was him or not, but go figure.

    What now?

    This is a car that I keep garaged and Zaino'd on a regular basis. Am I looking at a full re-paint? Does insurance cover this sort of thing? Are there places that can do scratch repair on something this bad? It starts from the driver's door, runs all the way back to the fuel filler and loops back to the front. Not a pretty sight at all.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Captain Ron. . .
  • Sounds like you need to open up a big ol' can of Burnt Cherry whup-[non-permissible content removed] to me! Parking in San Fran is crazy, but that justifies a killin' around here.

    I had a similar thing happen (not to my Pathfinder) -- a rolling garbage can with a protruding bolt was squeezed between two parked vehicles and scratched it stem to stern.

    A "touch up" will surely show, especially if it's down to bare metal and can't be rubbed out. You're probably looking at a re-paint of the whole side. This will easily cost a grand if done properly. I would think that insurance would cover acts of vandalism such as this and it SHOULDN'T affect your premium. Body shops all go by a standardized program for estimating hours needed for a repair, so there shouldn't be much variation in the estimates. Just make sure you pick the best shop(s) around to give you an estimate, including the Nissan dealership.

    I'm sure you're sick to your stomach over this. The good news is that a good body shop can work wonders and you shouldn't be able to tell it had ever happened once it has been fixed. Expect the repair work to take about 3 days, and don't try to rush them!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Bummer! That wouldn't make me very happy either.

    No real way to tell if it was him or not, but go figure.

    You might get the police to grill him on it considering the circumstances. You never know - the moron might slip up and reveal his guilt.

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • Hi all,

    While I'm on hold with my insurance agency (ug), I thought I'd pass along what I found on the key scratch problem... The body shops are telling me anywhere from $1500 to $1600 to repaint the driver's side front and rear doors, the rear quarter panel and the tailgate.

    Oh, just got off with the insurance agent (don't go there)'s covered under my comp ($500 deductable) as vandalism and will show up as a non-chargable, my rates shouldn't go up.

    Thanks for all the help and sympathy...

    Captain Ron. . .

    PS: It's probably good I wasn't around to see who did this...I'm normally a peaceful man, but all bets would have been off.
  • couimetcouimet Posts: 130
    Bummer indeed ...
  • Another reason I always take Bart.


    I would echo the statement by a previous poster. Give the police a call, this might not be the first time something like this has happened in the neighborhood. It may not help you, but it might be better for someone else down the road.
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    We get off into the UT backcountry (Needles/Maze) a few times/year and I was VERY pleasantly suprised at the Pathy's off-road ability. While it is substantially softer than out old Cherokee, it will do amazing things in 4L in 1st gear as long as you keep your speed down. We are going over Elephant Hill again in 6 weeks for our annual fall Canyonlands trip and can't wait to get back into the red-dirt. ;-)
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Cool! I'm planning on heading out there next April, for the 2nd annual goneMOAB (Gathering Of Nissan Enthusiasts). Even if we don't run a lot of the trails around there, it will be fun to watch the Jeepers during the Easter Jeep Safari (same time as goneMOAB).

    Are you interested in showing up for that event? More info here.

  • Does anyone know where I can purchase a chrome exhaust tip for a 2001 Pathfinder? I saw the picture in message #5409 by phil47 and it looked great. I checked with my local Nissan dealer in New Jersey to no avail. Also has anyone upgraded the speaker system in their pathy.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Check out the Accessories and the Mods boards in the Owners Club linked above too.

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  • sivi1sivi1 Posts: 82
    did nissan replace rotors under warranty. i had a 96 4runner and they took care of it. now have 02 le, just wondering.
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