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stiggy

Buy, counter offer, or run away?

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A friend is offering me a '98 SE with 110k miles. initially I was excited about this car, but as I've learned what it needs, I'm getting less excited. This would be a commuter / snow bomber for me.

 

  • Stock '98 SE with 110 k miles
  • manual transmission
  • Clutch has never been done, throwout bearing is making noise
  • Throwing codes for knock sensor and evap sytem
  • Owner says brakes have been done... but vehicle doesn't stop very well
  • No rust, minor body damage on passenger rear door
  • Leather seats in good, but not perfect shape

Price $3k

 

Should I counter offer? Or does this have too many needs to make sense at anything near $3k? I've been quoted $1250 to have the clutch done.

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Although it's got relatively low miles, and the 3K asking price is fair, I would pass on it. At avg 17mpg, it doesn't make a good commuter.

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It would be a replacement for my '96 Jeep Cherokee with 207k miles. The Pathfinder is nicer than my Jeep (leather seats, sunroof). It has half the miles... but seems to have twice as many issues.

Edited by stiggy

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What are your main priorities for your "commuter/snow bomber"? aka: what exactly are you looking for? High gas mileage, with ability to handle snow? Something that can haul all your skis and boards up to the slopes, and does so pretty comfortably? Enough room for you and your buddies to do some excursions and also get you from home to work? As a commuter, the pathfinder is roomy enough, and comfortable enough to make you happy. On gas though, its not so friendly. On handling snow, the pathfinder is as capable as the driver - meaning if youre smart and know how to drive in the snow, the pathfinder will get you anywhere you need to go, but if youre a dunce of a driver, it'll be as poor of a choice as handing you a set of keys to begin with.

 

I am very happy with my choice to buy my pathfinder, and it has become exactly what I have wanted it to be: My daily driver and weekend getaway vehicle. Everyone wishes for their dollar to go further at the gas pump, and if that is you major concern, look elsewhere to find something with better mpg. But for a reliable SUV that is quite capable stock, and a great starting point if you want to build up from there, the pathfinder wont disappoint you.

 

As for whether or not this is a wise choice to invest in THIS PARTICULAR pathfinder, I think the pricing is fair enough, especially with no rust. It will be a wise choice IF this is the kind of vehicle you want. Find that out first, then the second part of the decision becomes easy. The problems mentioned have been covered here on the forums, so you will be able to fix any issues you come across.

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Depends what the codes mean. The knock sensor code could mean serious engine problems (rare) or it could just have a busted heat shield banging against the exhaust manifolds or a loose wire to the sensor. The evap code could be something as simple as a gas cap not being screwed on all the way.

 

If your friend did the brakes him/herself (and isn't a mechanic), it may just need a proper bleed job.

 

Ask when the timing belt was done last. If I remember right (someone please correct me if I'm not) the change interval for the belts on 94-01 engines is 105k. So unless the belt has been done, factor that cost in as well (perhaps ask your friend to drop the asking price by that much). A timing belt job in mine required about $200 in parts, but was $800 with labor. If the belt dies it'll take the valves with it.

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The Bearing noise if we are talking when its depressed, isn't much to worry about, Mine did it, I was told by a Nissan Tech(Who knows if this is true) is its because of the material they used. Anyway its just a noise issue not really a "problem"

 

Depending on how the clutch was treated it will last quite awhile being stock. I fried my stock one at around 125k. Mainly because I overheated it during a wheeling trip. Otherwise it had abit of life left in it. does it slip when you get on it?

 

If the T-belt hasn't been done then what Slart said, it can cost a lot if you aren't mechanically inclined. Even so, blow it up a bit to knock the price down, as your time is worth something.

 

Clutch from Nissan is around $400, Cheaper elsewhere but I think If I do it again Im going to use a Nissan clutch. My third party one isn't the best. It can be changed out with jackstands and some muscle (How I did mine)

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I would suspect the evap canniser issue here and the knock sensor harness.

 

 

  • Throwing codes for knock sensor and evap syte

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who buys an SUV for it's gas milage?

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The new generation of SUV buyers. The new Pathfinder for example.

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I say go for it, especially is you are somewhat handy mechanically, and this is why.

Good price

Good vehicle

Good replacement for the Jeep

 

Changing the clutch is easier than in a WD21 and should only cost a few hundred for the friction dish, pressure plate and throw out bearing. The throw out bearing barking might not be a big deal, but I have seen them shred the pressure plate fingers after a while and thats not good. You will want to change the TOB regardless because it is annpoying as hell to listen to it bark every time you push in the clutch and you'll quickly get tired of people staring...

The codes are probably a simple fix as Alkorahil pointed out.

Odds are the brakes just need a bleed/adjust, but even if you put in a new MC and pads, that is pretty cheap.

The timing belt is due if it hasn't been done, and that is the most work/cost of all, but if you do it yourself, you can replace everything up front for about $500.

 

So, to bring it all together, it needs about $1k of work if you do it, but you will wind up with a great reliable replacement for the ageing Jeep that shouldn't need any attention for a long time.

 

B

 

Oh, as for commuting, no, it isn't ideal, but if you install manual hubs up front, you should be able to hit 20mpg hwy...

Edited by Precise1

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It's worth about $2k IMO. But if you put the work into it it's about worth it.

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Interesting thread.

I would not worry about the clutch, you can buy one with a new clutch and have it fail because of defect or poor assembly or bad treatment.

Yes to the issues above about throwout bearing, i have also seen one pressure plate fingers damaged, and that was a long time ago. Doesn't happen very often, the bearing has to seize, and then the noise would change......

seems to me its a good deal, counter a lower price because the Timing belt replacement.

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