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Nissan Pathfinder



  • I bought mine from about a year ago. It is the thick black one like on the SE. It requires that you take out the existing window hinges and replace them with what comes in the kit. After I made a mess out of installing my simple bug deflector, I had Nissan install the back window one. Looks and works great. I honestly can't remember what I paid for it or for installation, but I know it was way less than $400.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    First of all, in my opinion, the Canadian rack is lots nicer than the US version. Sleeker looking (no big knobs), wider (more stable) cross bars, and a lock-down unit with tamper-proof hex bolts.

    Becuase the cross bars are a little wider you need to use wider clamp-ons:
    For Thule, use C35 instead of C27.
    For Yakima, use 17V instead of 10V. Also use 18H instead of ??H (I forget the number).

    I have tried all three and they all fit just fine.

  • calsigcalsig Posts: 4
    The deflector I installed was the Nissan accessory deflector for the PF XE or LE and the QX4 (standard equipment). This deflector is made out of acrylic, the same material that the sunroof deflector is made of. The color is called "smoke", a near black. This is definitely not the one that is found on the SE. From what I remember, the SE deflector is a foam filled solid wing, that requires drilling into the liftgate sheetmetal and will cost you around $400. I too preferred the SE deflector, but didn't want to drill into the metal. The LE deflector requires replacing your current hinges with the included replacement hinges. A 20-30 minute installation. As for durability of the deflector, I figure that I can get 7 of the accessory deflectors for the price of one SE deflector, so I'll take my chances.

    Future Nissan doesn't have all parts shown at their site like Irontoad does, but they do have all parts or can order them for you. Their 800 number is 800-288-5030, ask for Kevin in their Nissan Parts department. I do not have any affiliation with Future Nissan (I didn't even purchase my PF there), but they have proven to me to provide the best service and charge the least. It also doesn't hurt that they're on the way to Tahoe.

    On a side note, does anyone know if the headlight guards are illegal in California? or if the Nissan accessory ones are being redesigned and currently unavailable?
  • rush47rush47 Posts: 3
    Can anyone help me with this?

    I have a 2000 PF 4WD LE. I drive in 2WD in all but the worst conditions. I've gotten stuck a few times on ice (like going onto an icy driveway with big snowplow buildup at the bottom) and I shift into 4WD HI. Sometimes I get a clicking noise and it does not engage. I immediately shift back to 2WD because I'm afraid I'm doing damage. On reflection I think I was not completely at idle when this has happened (though I don't have to be). Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance,
  • rush47rush47 Posts: 3
    I should add that it's probable that in every case where this has happened one or both of my rear wheels were spinning on ice when I tried to engage 4WD HI.
  • Tom,
    I have experienced this only once. What happened in my instance was that rear wheels were still spinning and the fronts weren't. Make sure that >if< one set of wheels are in motion (the rear) and the others aren't (the front), then make sure you are on the brake and then switch to 4 HI when all 4 wheels have stopped. The reason why shifting on the fly works is because all four wheels are going the same speed (assuming that you are straight)

    hope this helps...
  • Hey Jon,

    Thanks for the info. What rack did you end up putting on your PF?

  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    I've experienced it a couple of times in my '99.5...once in mud and once in snow. Both times my back tires (or tire) were spinning faster than my front tires. In the mud, I was starting to bog down. When I pulled 'er into 4wd, it clicked until I took my foot off of the gas. Everything was able to engage and I was able to get right back on the gas before I sank in. As nismofreak said, all of your tires need to be turning at the same speed when you go into 4wd.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Your descriptions sound like a good argument for the advantage of the LE's AWD...would you agree, smithmd/nismofreak ?
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I'll second that. I had a bear of a time trying to get our 97 PF into 4HI this winter. And I was standing still!
  • rush47rush47 Posts: 3
    That makes a lot of sense... No spinning wheels when engaging. Thanks everyone. It would be nice to have the AWD. It wasn't available when I got mine.

  • Pathenvy;
    Jon has it right. For the yakima rack the catalog says 10V but they are too small for the 01 canadian roof rack. I looked at some of the racks at my local US dealer and although the hold down hardware is different (sleeker on the canadian model), the ones I saw had the bigger cross bars like mine. Anyway, 17V vertical mighty mounts were the best fit. With those I can easily get them on but I can still slide the ski rack back and forth if I push on it a little. I don't think this is neccesarily good but it doesn't move around by itself.
    I would like to add that the noise generated by the Yakima rack is a little annoying. It's probably the same on all ski racks. I haven't figured out a way to make it go away. It starts about 60mph and gets worse the faster you go.
  • Can anyone confirm that there is a full redesign for PF coming in 2002? Motor Trend's site lays out the plan in their Future Vehicle Forecast section. Anyone know the timeframe for release? Could really affect deal I am working on for a 2001? Thanks.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    There is probably an electronic override place somewhere to prevent the transfer case from engaging the front prop shaft if there is a great speed differential between the front and rear wheels. Make sense since there would be a great amount of stress if that was allowed to happen. After all, the front wheels/prop shaft needs to spool up to match the rear ones. Remember for PT4WD, the front and rear axles are mechanically locked together.

    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    >> Thanks for the info. What rack did you end up putting on your PF?
    >> Jerry

    Actually I have a couple setups. For skis I just use the Thule clamp-ons with the ski rack.

    For bikes I use the complete Thule rack parts (418 towers, TK1 clamps) with the Thule square cross bars. The bike racks attach to the bars. Very sturdy and of course you can add a number of other items besides bikes. The towers attach nicely to the recess rail on each side of the roof.

    I'm only a Thule fan because I have the ski and bike racks from my last vehicle. Yakima had no fit kit available for it.

    I bought the Yakima clamp-ons at a going-out-of-business sale last month. Would like to use them to make a lumber hauling setup. Not sure how I'll do it yet...

  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    I'd say it would be a decent arguement. I've got nothing against AWD or Auto 4wd. I think it is kinda like the arguement for 5-speed or auto tranny. I like the control I have over the 4wd system with a stick I pull to somewhat mechanically engage the 4wd system (I think it is vacuum assisted in some way...but I REALLY don't know). I think the PT 4wd system may be more durable in the long run...but that's just a hunch that's not based on anything. I do know that when I was riding with my father in his 4wd Expedition (with auto 4wd) that 4wd was NOT a smooth engagement at slow speeds with the auto setting. I don't want that jerking motion when 4wd engages when I'm on ice. Also, I tend to drive differently when I'm in 4wd than I do when I'm in 2wd because the physics of driving are different. If I pull that sucker into 4wd, I know it's in 4wd. When I disengage 4wd, I know I'm in 2wd (once the light goes out). By knowing exactly which wheels are pulling I can better know how to drive. Of course, the 4wd system on the Pathy is pretty stinkin' sophisticated, so I may be worrying about something that isn't an issue. Sorry for the rambling.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Yes, Ford's Control-Trac 4WD system is really unrefined in auto mode. I experienced the same jerking feeling that you described while sitting in a friend's Explorer while climbing up a snow covered slope. I immediately told him to switch over to 4WD Hi lock. Earlier (Explorer) models were even worse, with a low frequency driveline vibration caused by the front axle being partially engaged in auto mode.

    Nissan's auto 4WD is the same concept as Ford's. However, the excecution is a heck of a lot different. The Nissan's is pretty much seemless, probably due to the fact that it uses hydraulic pressure instead of Ford's mechanical setup. There is no jerking feeling whatsoever when the front wheels are being powered.

    You can use the auto 4WD mode exactly like the PT4WD mode if you like. Just leave it in 2WD mode all of the time, and then switch to 4WD Lock when you want. Of course, that would defeat the added security of the auto mode.

    The Pf's PT4WD setup is not all mechanical as you said. The electronics are the ones that engage the gearing hence the reason it can deny the engagement if the conditions are not correct.

    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    I have the full Yakima setup. The noise was killing me too. I had what I would call a ROAR at 50 mph+. I would deffinatly suggest getting the new fairing from Yakima. It got rid of all the noise by directing the wind up and over the bars. I also rotate the ski racks down when not in use (which is why I chose the Yak). this makes a difference as well. I bought the next size larger fairing (44") than was listed by Yakima because it deflects the wind up over the towers as well as the bars. Here it is at

    4wd Hi
    I use this mode at least once a week during the winter and have never had any problems at all. (SE-5spd)
  • bgritz,
    How do you mount the Yakima fairing to the factory cross bars?
    It looks like you have to have the roundbar Yakima rack to mount it.
    Also, with the Yakima rack mounted to the factory cross bars, I can't rotate the ski racks down.
    That only works with the round bars
  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    I'm glad to hear that the Pathy's auto 4wd engagement is smoother than the Ford...I'm not at all surprised. Given the smooth engagement of auto 4wd and the ability to lock in 2wd or 4wd AND 4Lo thrown in to boot, I'd have to say that the Nissan Auto 4wd would be the way to go.

    A little off of the subject, do you know how the 4wd is physically engaged on a PT 4wd? On the Auto 4wd, it is obviously electronic. But on the PT system, there is definitely some physical link between the transfer case and the 4wd stick since some road noise is transmitted through the stick.
  • Thanks for the input on the roof rack. I need to get this stuff ready now that the snow in Tahoe is starting to fall again! I think I'm going with the Thule. (goes with the Sierra Silver nicely)
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    Sorry about that. I didn't realize you were using the factory crossbar. I have the round bars/whole Yak system. You might be able to jerry-rig the fairing to the mighty-mounts somehow, but I'm not certain. As for rotating the ski racks down, I wouldn't have a clue. sorry.

    if you are worried about noise, I would highly suggest the Yak. The whole reason I bought the Yakima was because I could (VERY easily) rotate the top pieces down out of the wind.
    with the fairing on, it is quieter than the factory rack with nothing attached to it.

  • loboyloboy Posts: 75
    Glad to see this forum is more active again. I thought everyone lost interest...

    Drew - For some odd reason, the white PF costs more than any other color, $230 (Canadian invoice) to be exact. On the invoice sheet, it says Pearlglow coat paint or something to that extent. Maybe has to be with all the pearls Nissan is using..ha ha :-). I originally wanted a Bronzed Gray, but it looked a little too dark. My other choice would have been the Sahara Beige until I saw a white PF drove pass me one day and then I knew I wanted one. I only wish the door handles were of the same body color. I may consider repainting it to match come summer though.

    ssbf - I think the cost for the rear deflector was $56.00 + ship. I had a large order from them so I'm not sure what the actual shipping cost is (total shipping was about $13 for my $260+ order). The blade has pre-drilled holes so I don't see any drilling required. As I posted earlier, I'm still waiting for the stanchions to arrive before I can install. I don't know what the holdup is, but this will be my 3rd shipment from nissanpartsusa. They don't tell you if your order is on backorder and they are slow to respond. Takes them 2-3 days to respond to any of my e-mails.
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    I just posted some pictures of how the Yakima looks on out '01 Sierra Silver SE. Both up, and rotated down, out of sight & wind.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    WRT the (auto) all-mode 4WD system, it uses a multi-plate hydraulic clutch to engage drive to the front wheels. This is now reasonably common in medium duty four wheel drives, but Nissan varies the way that it is controlled: In automatic mode the clutch is engaged when sensors detect wheel spin. As you know, the driver can also select 2WD, or 4WD-Hi (or lock) with the rotary switch on the dash-board. Hydraulic pressure for the multi-plate clutch comes from two pumps, one driven from the main-shaft, the other by an electric motor for low-speed or reverse travel. When 4WD-Lo is selected, it bypasses the multi-plate clutch and gives direct access to the low range gearing.

    Good question about the PT4WD. But unfortunately, I am not very sure. I don't think the Pathfinder uses vacuum assist. The Ford/Mazda pickups in MY1998 were the first ones to do that; I can't remember what they're system is called though. I think there is some kind of servo motor inside that actually does the work for the PF's system. This is why shift on the fly is possible. The old non-shift on the fly systems needed the vehicle to be stopped before 4WD could be engaged. Perhaps someone else could elaborate? FWIW, engaging low range on my ML (which only requires a button to be pressed) also results in couple of muted clunks.

    BTW, be careful when shifting on the fly on slippery pavement as the sudden gain in traction and the sudden torsional force to the front axle could cause a slide or spin. This is probably part of the reason why the system doesn't allow the front wheels to be engaged if there is a great speed differential between front and rear wheels.

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  • loboyloboy Posts: 75
    I was wrong about the price for the rear deflector. Price I paid was $62.40+ship. $56 was for the hood deflector which I had to cancel due to extreme long lead time (3 months just to get a hood deflector).
  • This morning I had the front windows tinted to match the rear ones on my 01'White LE. Looks great! Even the beige interior looks nicer.
    I'm learning a lot about my LE here. I love this forum. AW
  • loboyloboy Posts: 75
    Aspenwhite - I'm also looking at tinting the front windows. How much did you pay for yours? and was it legal? I know some state has rules about how dark you can go with the tinting. The tint on the back windows are fairly dark so I doubt I can dublicate it here in WA state. Can someone shed some light on this?
  • lspanglerlspangler Posts: 102
    Has anybody here added a hitch to thier PF? If so, what type of hitch and how much was it? I'm getting quotes of just under $200 for a class III hitch.

    Also, how well does the '01 manual transmission due towing? The lower rating has to be more of a protection to the tranny than the vehicles inability to tow it. I can't imagine that 25 ft-lbs worth of torque would equate to 1500 lbs in towing power.

    What kind of mileage are you guys getting when towing something around 3,000 pounds?

  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139

    I have the tubular Class III from Draw-Tite & I love it. The 5-spd tows just fine. This past summer we moved into a new house had to do the landscaping. I have an 8 ft utility trailer which was loaded from everything from fencing wood, to 2,500 lbs of fill dirt. While it wasn't quites as quick, the 3.5 engine paired with the 5-speed still had power to spare, even at our 6,000 ft elevation.

    In terms of mpg, most of the towing was shorter trips in town, so I can't help you there.
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