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dinrough

Hand-me-down 93 XE 2wd - 4wd conversion

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Hey Guys,

 

Before anyone runs me off the board ... I did search high and low.

 

I am going to inherit a 93 XE 2wd Automatic. All stock 270k miles on it (most major internal drivetrain services are done). Plans for it is to make it my primary gear hauler (MTB and road bikes, and a couple of 10' kayaks, camping gear). In its current guise, it should do just fine with a refresh on some bits here and there. But would like to have the option to have the 4wd if its a reasonable upgrade.

 

The question is how difficult is it to make this truck a 4wd truck? and is there a project/parts thread for it?

 

There are plenty 4wd hardbodies and pathfinders from this generation at the local pick and pull so parts should not be expensive to get this done.

 

Thanks,

Dinrough

 

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It would be a whole lot of work & I think you'll have as much cash in parts as you will in buying a whole running & driving 4wd. With the 3 link rear, these trucks get surprisingly good grip in 2wd. If I were in your shoes, I'd get a taller rear spring, bring the front end up a little, put some chunky tires in the rear & a winch to be safe if your afraid of getting stuck; think of it as a prerunner. If you have an open differential, you can probably pick up one with a LSD out of a junkyard for $150. It would be really straight forward to do a full axle swap. I can get just about anywhere I want in mine in 2wd, as long as I avoid deep mud.

If your carrying anything, first thing I would do is put a remote oil cooler on the transmission. The trans really heats up quickly with any trailer behind it or much of a load on it. Its probably the biggest weak link on these trucks & the most difficult thing to change out.

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+1 Mr. Ebayfish says. If it were my rig I would look into a rear locker and leave it 2wd.

 

 

Yup thats about it

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I'd go for the swap. If you have a good runner and are handy you could swap parts from a bad tranny $600 craigslist special.

 

 

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Except for you would need the 4wd tranny to bolt the Transfer case to. Lol.

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I remember seeing a 2WD to 4WD upgrade thread around here somewhere. I don't remember how detailed the thread was, or how much stuff the guy had to swap out, but he did manage it. I seem to remember there being something different in the frame or the suspension that he had to work around, but I could be entirely wrong on that.

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I believe the what you are thinking of is the cross member is different holding the torsion bars. The torsion bars are closer to the center on a 2wd, which is why the aftermarket long headers are only designed for the 4wd, the won't fit between the trans pan torsion bars.

 

Here's a short list of some of the obvious differences if swapping for stock 4wd, plus a lot more than what I can think of with rough junkyard pricing:

4wd tranny (400) or xterra tranny(650)

Transfer case (150)

Front axle (150)

Crossmember & torsion bars (100)

UCAS & lcas (150)

All steering (150)

Both driveshafts (200)

Console (50)

Front brakes (75)

Not sure if the ecu is the same (~200)

New bushings, fluids etc. (200)

...and probably 150 hrs of hard work.

 

Of course, if you can fabricate, it would be cheaper & easier at that point to mount a sb v8 & change both axles(SAS). A 302, 305 or 350 with a set of Dana 44s or a 9" rear would be a pretty awesome setup on a pathfinder, nearly doubling power & probably better fuel economy. On the flip side you can pick up a fixer up driving 4x4 pathy for $1000-1500 & throw a few hundred(or thousands) dollars fixing it up how you like it. My $800 toy has become my $4000 daily driver.

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^Pretty much...

 

SteeevO did a conversion years ago, but I can't recall if he first used Nissan components or if he went straight to a SAS (with Dana44 IIRC).

Lotta work! I told him to just sell it and buy a 4wd Pathy...

 

B

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^^That's probably it.

I would be surprised if the ECU was different for the 2x models, or at least if it was different enough to cause problems. The cluster might be, though, unless the 2WD just has an empty bulb hole for the 4x4 indicator. Probably the cheaper way to do the conversion would be to pick up a Craigslist 4x4 organ donor like daczone said, except with a blown motor/snapped T-belt instead of a dead trans. Probably best to avoid frame rot victims unless you enjoy removing the parts you need with a torch.

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The ecu will be the same if the donor has the same engine. 2wd or 4wd makes no difference for the ecu.

 

if you like a project and aren't afraid of one that will consume a bunch of time then go for it! Just inspect the 2wd truck very well (especially the frame) to make sure that it's worth the swap. If you have a healthy engine and good solid frame and chassis AND it's not your current daily driver, then why not?

 

I would also personally just find a donor vehicle with a wrecked engine or frame and use that for the parts. It will stop the nickel and dime effect of all the little bits and pieces u will need. Any of the parts that you will need shouldn't be too affected by the frame rust. You may need a torch to heat up the crossmember or drive shaft bolts but I've never really had too many issues getting parts off of even completely rotten framed vehicles. Mps (mapp) gas torch works wonders and is only about 15 bucks. .

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Yea the mps torch works great for the price. Takes a little longer than a full torch set but you work with what you've got.

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Cuong Nguyen I belive did a 2wd to 4wd but went stray to SAS as well... Might be worth searching his threads/posts here some or maby sending him a pm

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I agree with Precise and Nunya, either sell it and buy a 4x4 version, OR go straight to SAS.

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I like the 2wd idea. I Lockrite in the rear, some decent tires and maybe a winch up front would be a decent tow rig and get you to most places fairly easy. If you just need a 4wd for those more exciting adventures, I would also recommend buying another rig.

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I say if you want a 4wd pathfinder just buy one. I bought my 92 4wd pathfinder in great shape for 2k and it had 270k miles on it with a new transmission.

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I bought my last 4wd Pathfinder with a rear locker, sliders, TJM bull bar, headers, 138K miles and 6 BFG 33x12.5 muds for $1000. A little bit of work and I let her go for $1600. Definitely a beat up trail rig, but $1600 is still super cheap. Sell the 2wd to someone who wants a DD and buy a built truck. They're out there and can be had cheaper than a nice looker. I only gave $3200 for the truck in my sig. I added a Lockright, 4.6 gears, front LSD and a complete set of new tires for another $1200. It was nice and shiny when I bought it, but if you want to wheel you shouldn't worry about that. I have AZ pinstriping up and down and all around. I also have a nice reminder of why I bought the locker. It's a 2' gouge down the driver door that could have been prevented with a traction aid.

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I started off 2wd and locker, lift and tires. Then went the 4wd via front solid axle.

 

Steve went with stock 4wd components and then went full on solid front axle swap.

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I bought my last 4wd Pathfinder with a rear locker, sliders, TJM bull bar, headers, 138K miles and 6 BFG 33x12.5 muds for $1000. A little bit of work and I let her go for $1600. Definitely a beat up trail rig, but $1600 is still super cheap. Sell the 2wd to someone who wants a DD and buy a built truck. They're out there and can be had cheaper than a nice looker. I only gave $3200 for the truck in my sig. I added a Lockright, 4.6 gears, front LSD and a complete set of new tires for another $1200. It was nice and shiny when I bought it, but if you want to wheel you shouldn't worry about that. I have AZ pinstriping up and down and all around. I also have a nice reminder of why I bought the locker. It's a 2' gouge down the driver door that could have been prevented with a traction aid.

I liked your truck. I would have driven up there and bought it lol.

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Thanks guys for all the straight up answers.

 

I finally got the XE, did some extensive thinking, and 90% of where I need to go will be gravel roads. So, I'm just gonna go with the common consensus and leave it be 2wd. The plan is to just do a 2" lift, a locker diff, a trans cooler, some better tires when the current ones wear out (has nearly brand new General Altimax tires), and fix up all suspension bits. And just going to use it to keep the wear off my CM Tundra down.

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joluma09, for $400 (or less with some bargaining?), it'd might be worth it to find out. Sounds like it needs some custom work for the transmission crossmember, but not an extensive amount of custom work.

 

Here's an old old post from a guy who did it once. It's kind of funny reading it now considering the guy asking "What's SAS?" and "What's IFS?" a decade ago is the guy who's running his own company that sells Nissan parts, including a SAS kit.

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yeah I was thinking about just buying it and parting out the rest. I'll look at the link thanks hawairish.

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