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txpath4x4

Getting back in the game... hopefully

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Hey everyone, been a while, well I think I finally convinced the wife to let me get another pathfinder. Only catch is it’s gonna have to be a R51, or possibly and armada of the same year range 07-etc. as much as I wanted another WD, or hardbody, with 4 kids I couldn’t sell the her on the idea. So hopefully in about 3 months time I will be the proud owner of another Pathy.

So my fellow gear heads, what are some pro and cons of a 4x4 R51.

Ps, the wife still has her R52, and it has been through 3 tranny rebuilds with only 109k miles on it...

 

 

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Yup, that sounds like a CVT! So glad my dad ended up getting a '16 Taco instead of an R52. Don't know how long you've been out of the game, but there's some sick R51 builds out there now.

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Three tranny rebuilds! :blink: Is it still under warranty or are you paying out of pocket each time?

 

I know a lot of guys run and love the R51. Hopefully one of them can chime in and tell you why. Having looked at a family friend's R51, I wouldn't take one for free. Theirs had SMOD, which is easy enough to prevent if you get to it before the cooler lets go, but of course they hadn't. What they had done was drive it over a mountain pass with what they thought was a misfire. :doh:We took it to a local mechanic, hoping he could just flush the trans and at least buy them some time on it, and mentioned that the oil light came on sometimes. He ran an oil pressure test (with an external gauge, because the dash gauge is fake) and found out the engine was only making 8 PSI when warm. At that point, he advised scrapping the pile rather than spending money trying to prolong its suffering.

 

Walking around it while we were waiting for the owners to get it out of our driveway, I found that the rear wiper motor was busted, the driver's door sagged worse than my WD21 did before I fixed it (Nissan found a way to make the hinges cheaper: no bushings!) and IIRC the driver's seat fabric was coming apart as well. To be fair to the car, I don't think it had seen a lot of love in its time as a daily commuting appliance. Still, that's a lot of hoopajoop'd for an eleven-year-old car.

 

If you find a clean one that's been looked after, it might be worth a look. At the very least, it shouldn't eat transmissions like your wife's R52 (provided you bypass the faulty cooler). Honestly, though, I don't know that you're gonna find what you're missing from your WD21 in an R51. I'd have a look at other makes/models with the seating you need and see if something jumps out at you.

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Xterra, 4runner. Armada should be good, same running gear as the Titan. Need to beef up the rear end if you tow a lot, and add a better tranny cooler. If you are thinking that size, the seqouia is nice. Idk what else is body on frame.

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Three tranny rebuilds! :blink: Is it still under warranty or are you paying out of pocket each time?

 

I know a lot of guys run and love the R51. Hopefully one of them can chime in and tell you why. Having looked at a family friend's R51, I wouldn't take one for free. Theirs had SMOD, which is easy enough to prevent if you get to it before the cooler lets go, but of course they hadn't. What they had done was drive it over a mountain pass with what they thought was a misfire. :doh:We took it to a local mechanic, hoping he could just flush the trans and at least buy them some time on it, and mentioned that the oil light came on sometimes. He ran an oil pressure test (with an external gauge, because the dash gauge is fake) and found out the engine was only making 8 PSI when warm. At that point, he advised scrapping the pile rather than spending money trying to prolong its suffering.

 

Walking around it while we were waiting for the owners to get it out of our driveway, I found that the rear wiper motor was busted, the driver's door sagged worse than my WD21 did before I fixed it (Nissan found a way to make the hinges cheaper: no bushings!) and IIRC the driver's seat fabric was coming apart as well. To be fair to the car, I don't think it had seen a lot of love in its time as a daily commuting appliance. Still, that's a lot of hoopajoop'd for an eleven-year-old car.

 

If you find a clean one that's been looked after, it might be worth a look. At the very least, it shouldn't eat transmissions like your wife's R52 (provided you bypass the faulty cooler). Honestly, though, I don't know that you're gonna find what you're missing from your WD21 in an R51. I'd have a look at other makes/models with the seating you need and see if something jumps out at you.

Yes luckily they were under warranty on the wife’s car... part of it had to do with the tcm, it caused the tranny to work harder, in fact there is a continuing recall on it. As far as seating I need the third row, which the r52 and armada have.

 

 

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Yup, that sounds like a CVT! So glad my dad ended up getting a '16 Taco instead of an R52. Don't know how long you've been out of the game, but there's some sick R51 builds out there now.

I had to sell my WD about the end of 2015, yeah I am looking forward to it a little. Just trying to learn the nagging problems they may have, just so I know what to expect.

 

 

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Three tranny rebuilds! :blink: Is it still under warranty or are you paying out of pocket each time?

 

I know a lot of guys run and love the R51. Hopefully one of them can chime in and tell you why. Having looked at a family friend's R51, I wouldn't take one for free. Theirs had SMOD, which is easy enough to prevent if you get to it before the cooler lets go, but of course they hadn't. What they had done was drive it over a mountain pass with what they thought was a misfire. :doh:We took it to a local mechanic, hoping he could just flush the trans and at least buy them some time on it, and mentioned that the oil light came on sometimes. He ran an oil pressure test (with an external gauge, because the dash gauge is fake) and found out the engine was only making 8 PSI when warm. At that point, he advised scrapping the pile rather than spending money trying to prolong its suffering.

 

Walking around it while we were waiting for the owners to get it out of our driveway, I found that the rear wiper motor was busted, the driver's door sagged worse than my WD21 did before I fixed it (Nissan found a way to make the hinges cheaper: no bushings!) and IIRC the driver's seat fabric was coming apart as well. To be fair to the car, I don't think it had seen a lot of love in its time as a daily commuting appliance. Still, that's a lot of hoopajoop'd for an eleven-year-old car.

 

If you find a clean one that's been looked after, it might be worth a look. At the very least, it shouldn't eat transmissions like your wife's R52 (provided you bypass the faulty cooler). Honestly, though, I don't know that you're gonna find what you're missing from your WD21 in an R51. I'd have a look at other makes/models with the seating you need and see if something jumps out at you.

 

Every time I see this story posted I think that your family friend must be absolutely terrible with car maintenance. It is a well known problem that has been documented for years... At this point its their own fault for not looking or paying attention when things go wrong. Unless this happened in like 2008.

 

I know several people locally with modded r51s and they do very well on the trails and in longer overland trips.

Edited by adamzan
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Every time I see this story posted I think that your family friend must be absolutely terrible with car maintenance. It is a well known problem that has been documented for years... At this point its their own fault for not looking or paying attention when things go wrong. Unless this happened in like 2008.

 

I know several people locally with modded r51s and they do very well on the trails and in longer overland trips.

 

You're onto something there! I told them about the SMOD issue ages ago and suggested they bypass the cooler. The response was something along the lines of "huh, how about that, guess we oughta look into that," which I'm pretty sure translates to "I have no idea what you just said and it's not currently on fire, so I'll just assume it's fine and let it ride."

 

I'm probably judging R51s too harshly based on a neglected example. It's just hard for me to wrap my head around a daily driver being that clapped out that quickly, even apart from the trans damage.

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"huh, how about that, guess we oughta look into that," which I'm pretty sure translates to "I have no idea what you just said and it's not currently on fire, so I'll just assume it's fine and let it ride."

Thank you! I almost just spit beer out my nose! So funny, I'm sure, because I can relate!

 

Aside from the smod wiping out the trans, it sounds quite possible that they weren't exactly the "maintenance is a priority" type of people. I've seen some relatively new and fairly low mileage vehicles of many kinds, in surprisingly poor shape. I've never been able to understand how some people neglect a substantial and important investment, but then again, back when I ran a lawn care business, I had a customer complain that her lawn was turning brown in the middle of a heat wave, when I told her she wasn't watering enough, her response was "for what I paid for you to install this sod lawn, I shouldn't have to water"...

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And these people vote.

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Yeah, I don't get it either. :shrug: I'm pretty sure they at least know how grass works though! That's special right there.

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BOO! Hah! Scared ya didn't I? Yes I'm still haunting these halls, I like to occasionally log in and see what's going on, this is the first time I've felt like posting in like, forever. Nice to see you trying to get back in Jason but I don't think an R51 is really where you want to be. Size wize there is no difference from a WD21 where the troops are concerned, nor is an Xterra (btw 04 model tops on these, other wise you gotta skip up to the next gen after 2005 to I don't know, 2008, 10 maybe)

 

I think you'd do much better with either the Armada with the Titan V8 and drivetrain or Seqouia. I love the look of the 1st gen Tundra and I think they are great but remember that Slartibarfasts Dad's truck once had a rear diff gear disintegrate on him, no idea if that was just a "One Off" or part of a manufacturer wide defect. We bought a 2 wheel drive 2002 4Runner SR5 back in 2016 with the 3.4L and we absolutely LOVE that truck, that is my Wife's baby, she just adores it and we got it for a song at $4400 with brand new tires and around 145,000 miles, but here again we are only 3 in my family, can have 4 comfortably, 5 is do-able but a stretch and not on a regular basis. Taco's of the same gen cost twice as much, and progressively gets worse from there.

 

I think you should look at if you want an offroad Toy beater just for you, you can do that for thousands less than if you want a bigger family vehicle that has *Emergency* curb jumping ditch plowing Holy @!*% I've got my whole family in the vehicle and we need to haul ass from danger because there is a maniac threatening us type of capability.

 

Me for one, I think I'm pretty much done with the "offroading / Family vehicle" thing....It'd be fun if I had a dedicated vehicle and we (you and I Jason, in Houston) had more friendly and accessible offroad areas for us here. The mud clean up and the repairs and getting stuck and breaking your daily / family vehicle for me got old I guess.

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You're onto something there! I told them about the SMOD issue ages ago and suggested they bypass the cooler. The response was something along the lines of "huh, how about that, guess we oughta look into that," which I'm pretty sure translates to "I have no idea what you just said and it's not currently on fire, so I'll just assume it's fine and let it ride."

 

I'm probably judging R51s too harshly based on a neglected example. It's just hard for me to wrap my head around a daily driver being that clapped out that quickly, even apart from the trans damage.

That is pretty much my parents. My mother just got rid of her 2005 maxima that had over 400k km on it.The only reason it made it that far was that I maintained it.

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I just realized I was thinking R50 the whole time instead of R51, I don't know if that came with 3rd row seating or not (if it does, then yeah..I can see that as an upgrade without having to go BIG) but you'd have to go later in the generation span to avoid the transmission recall.

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Pre-95 = WD21

96-04 = R50 - comparable size, no 3rd row

05-12 = R51 - a little larger, 3rd row, still a midsize

13-present = R52 - 3rd row, midsize crossover

 

Being the active, hands-on Dad of 2 girls (currently 3 & 5), my R50 can definitely be tight at times, but I can't pry myself away from it. Thought briefly about a year ago about "upgrading" to an R51, but in all honesty, for me anyway, if I move on from my R50 it would only be for the right Armada. After I sold my 96 I got myself a 99 Suburban, was awesome in terms of space and utility, but turned out to be a money pit, so I sold that, got my wife a 17 Rogue and took my 01 back. In retrospect, I should have kept my 06 Titan, just bought a bed cap for it, but live & learn...

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It was the front diff on my dad's Tundra that popped. Flat ground, three inches of snow. It was stuck (the joy of open diffs), he was trying to free it, and the pinion shaft just sheared off. Had the front diff assembly replaced and it's been fine since. It's had some electrical issues with the alarm (finally got that turned off) and the parking lights like to stay on for no good reason. The front tires seem to cup pretty quick, which appears to be a common issue. Tows great, though, and from what I've heard they hold their value pretty well. Looks like the Sequoia seats eight, so that's a plus for your needs.

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I'm 48 and, excluding my wife's vehicles, I've only had 4 vehicles and I still own 2 of them now. I only stopped driving my '93 Maxima SE when it was in an accident a handful of years ago. All were Nissans. That said, I'm not so sure I would go Nissan anymore. The only thing they make that I really like is the Z & GTR. Infiniti & the newer Nissans have been plagued with problems. The Q50 was the most complained about vehicle in Consumer Report's history. That said, I don't really know the pickup truck side of things so I can't comment there at all.

 

I have a family of 4 (and a dog) and the R50 doesn't cut it for our family trips anymore. For camping, I have transitioned to using a roof rack & Plano boxes to haul gear. No way your putting 5 in it for sure. It's pricey, but the 5th Gen 4Runner SR5 has a nice 3rd row option but you would still likley need to put gear on the roof for camping. I just drove a 2nd Gen Sequoia for 2500 miles in back country UT, CA & NV. It's an awfully big truck but I'm guessing that won't matter to you in TX. I had some trouble with approach and departure angles in UT (turned around or didn't attempt as it was a borrowed truck) and it was a bit too wide for the Mojave Road (could only access a portion of it without worrying about pin striping someone elses truck). Otherwise, I was otherwise impressed with how it handled itself. It would take a fair amount of modification to make it take on more technical trails but I'd bet it would last forever. I don't know if the 1st Gen would work for 5 but that's another possiblity.

 

Of course, there's the Land Cruisers/LX570s & GX470s/460s. The TLC/LX570s are just too expensive for me. I liked really like the GX470s but I think 3 in the back would only work while they're small (they have those fold down side mounted seats). The GX460 has fold away 3rd row seating but would take alot more investment to modify the front & rear (I would do a 4Runner first I think). Ultimately the GX460 was just too much work & expense for me. I would have considered a GX470 but a side swing door is simply a no go for me in our Pacific Northwest climate.

 

Again, I don't know pickups at all so I'll defer to others regarding those options.

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I hear you, Nissan has invested so heavily in the crap cvt. I wouldn't buy anything that had one.

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If you’re going to go with Toyota then you should look at the early 90’s Land Cruiser that still has a cast iron cylinder head.

 

I saw a 1994 JDM Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a 3.0L turbo diesel and 165k miles... I wanted it.. it had a third row and everything.

 

 

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BOO! Hah! Scared ya didn't I? Yes I'm still haunting these halls, I like to occasionally log in and see what's going on, this is the first time I've felt like posting in like, forever. Nice to see you trying to get back in Jason but I don't think an R51 is really where you want to be. Size wize there is no difference from a WD21 where the troops are concerned, nor is an Xterra (btw 04 model tops on these, other wise you gotta skip up to the next gen after 2005 to I don't know, 2008, 10 maybe)

 

I think you'd do much better with either the Armada with the Titan V8 and drivetrain or Seqouia. I love the look of the 1st gen Tundra and I think they are great but remember that Slartibarfasts Dad's truck once had a rear diff gear disintegrate on him, no idea if that was just a "One Off" or part of a manufacturer wide defect. We bought a 2 wheel drive 2002 4Runner SR5 back in 2016 with the 3.4L and we absolutely LOVE that truck, that is my Wife's baby, she just adores it and we got it for a song at $4400 with brand new tires and around 145,000 miles, but here again we are only 3 in my family, can have 4 comfortably, 5 is do-able but a stretch and not on a regular basis. Taco's of the same gen cost twice as much, and progressively gets worse from there.

 

I think you should look at if you want an offroad Toy beater just for you, you can do that for thousands less than if you want a bigger family vehicle that has *Emergency* curb jumping ditch plowing Holy @!*% I've got my whole family in the vehicle and we need to haul ass from danger because there is a maniac threatening us type of capability.

 

Me for one, I think I'm pretty much done with the "offroading / Family vehicle" thing....It'd be fun if I had a dedicated vehicle and we (you and I Jason, in Houston) had more friendly and accessible offroad areas for us here. The mud clean up and the repairs and getting stuck and breaking your daily / family vehicle for me got old I guess.

Hey man!! Long time no see. I am really leaning towards a 1st gen armada, with 4 kids I have to have a 3rd row, plus some storage. If I can’t find a decent one for a decent price I’m gonna start looking at suburbans. Yes you are very right, off road conditions are very freaking hostile here. That gumbo we have for mud destroys $50k built trucks... but I have to admit the ol’ WD never had too much problems (well except that one time you had to pull me out cause I fell in a YUGE rut)

The main thing is the wife has to be able to drive it Incase her car breaks.

 

 

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