I'll admit I have been stocking this forum from the shadows of the internet and decided today was the day to join. I also understand that my questions have most likely been asked and answered at least a dozen times so don't hesitate to point me to an existing thread. About a year ago I picked up my first 4x4, an 02 SE, automatic with 117k on it at the time of purchase. I've offroaded a few times in my uncle's 3rd gen 4runner and '85 Landcruiser but have not had the opportunity to have a rig of my own until now.
On the highway, the Pathfinder is a rocket ship compared to the 4runners. Even while driving at elevation the Pathfinder still out performed the 4runner climbing mountain roads. I'm 'whipped for the VQ35de. Harsh winters are common here in Nebraska and the Pathfinder handled the snow/ice this year without a hiccup. With harsh winters comes the salt on the roads. The amount of rust on the undercarriage is not terrible given the vehicle has been in the southeastern part of Nebraska its entire life. However, the plastic fender flares are packed with dirt and also trapped a lot of moisture causing some rust on the body around the wheel wells. Poor design, IMO. (see attached photo) Overall, I'm highly satisfied with my purchase and can't wait to get started on making it my own overlander.
Has anyone here ever coated the bottom half of the body with bed liner? How did it turn out? Do you regret the decision? I plan on removing the flares, cutting out the rust and trimming the well up to fit 31's and coating the bottom 1/4 or so of the body with bedliner to prevent further rusting.
Has anyone here ever installed an air locker or e locker for either of their diffs? Which brand/model did you go with and why? Have you experienced any problems with the vehicle since installing the locker?
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. Send me your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks!
I own a 2001 SE with about 175,000 miles. 5 speed manual transmission, very nice Bose sound system. 100% stock. The only mod I've made is to remove the running boards, one of which had been smashed by previous owner. This is my daily driver. I occasionally work it hard as a tow vehicle for my toys or dirt, trash, yard waste, furniture, etc. The main reason I purchased this vehicle is for utility, not sport. Haven't done much serious off road driving in my Pathfinder but have had some fun in others. I've owned a 1972 Chevy Blazer that I high centered on the crest of a hill. My next 4x4 was a gorgeous red 1997 Toyota 4Runner I bought used that was in mint condition. It was awesome! I took it on a few ATV trails and scratched up the sides a bit. My 4Runner got totaled in a head on collision. I walked away with enough insurance money to buy my Pathfinder, which had about 110,000 miles.
My Pathfinder is actually quite sporty. It handles more like a car than a truck with the unibody construction. It accelerates quite well and has plenty of torque to tow anything I want to tow. I live in ski country so I've had many opportunities to test its 4 wheel drive capabilities on snow packed roads. With the right tires, that thing is unstoppable. I am very impressed.
The reason I joined this group is to learn what I can do to install maximum diameter tires without lifting anything. I am open to cutting up the sheet metal and modifying the fender wells as necessary. I want a dual purpose machine capable of moderate off road driving in the summer and commuting in the winter snow. I am planning on two sets of tires and wheels to accomplish this. Stock with all season tires for winter. Oversized off road tires for summer. I have already secured an extra set of wheels for summertime use. Have not purchased tires yet.