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Inyourface1650

R50's are getting cheap - advice

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Hey Guys,


After owning 2 D40's, 1 N50, and finally a WD21 - I sold them all and traveled the country for a couple of years. Well I'm back and need a car.

 

Noticing that R50 is getting quite cheap. And I dont really want another WD21....Homing on a QX4, because why NOT get a Pathfinder in a Tuxedo?


Anything I need to know? Looking at high mileage 2001+ VQ35DE's - 150k-180k. Its been long enough now that I don't know as much as I used to.

AFAIK I know I am looking at 

  • VQ35DE - Cam phasers were an issue if I recall? 
  • RE4R01A - Not worried about it
  • Automatic Transfer - QX4s come with the auto shift t-case - any major issues? TX10A maybe? These were really not an issue in the 2005+ Frontier/Pathfinder/Xterra but they were TX15's IIRC. I'm looking at a 2001 fully auto one, not the earlier hybrid half auto half manual ones.
  • R200A - I know all about it 
  • HB233b - weak clutch packs....


 

  • I do remember something about a 5th cross member that could be bolted on.
  • Do the QX4s come with skid plates?

 

 

Thanks Gents!

 

 

 

 

 

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Check if it's drinking oil, the VQ tends to make a fair bit disappear on a regular basis.  Not necessarily a problem, but could be if you can find where it's going.  (*Check rear main seal area.*)  As far as the t-case, just make sure it works.  Haven't heard of any issues with it (I loved AUTO mode in the winter).  Yes, you can add an additional crossmember, called a "missing link", which ties the rears of the front control arms together.  Doesn't come with any skidplates other than a plastic one on the front, if it even still has it.  You can solve both of these issues with stuff from sfcreation.com.  Also worth noting, you can get a transfer case skid from a WD21 and put it on regular t-case R50's supposedly; I got one, doesn't fit the QX4 auto-mode t-case, so don't bother!  Main thing is rust.  Especially around the front struts, it's a big issue.

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Owned my 2002 LE since new. For the R50 years, the QX4 was really only cosmetically different than the Pathfinder. The interior of the LE Pathfinders is nearly identical & even has the rear glass release as of 2003. The exterior of the QX4 has alot more plastic cladding and can be more difficult to work with for an off road rig. For example, the reverse lights are on the center rear of the QX4 which can be problematic. Also, the front bumper is a little less workable if you are going to keep it. The one thing I'm not sure of is if you get HID lows with the QX4.  Personally, I'd go for a 2003 or 2004 and decide if you want the tx14 AWD option Transfer Case - I love mine for wet, snow & easy sand but the tx10 is undoubtedly more bulletproof.

 

R50 Pathfinder Hx by Year (after Facelift):

 

2001 model year updated spring 2000
XE=Base

SE=Sport, Manual Transmission available

LE=Luxury
Shared design & V6 engine with Infiniti QX4
New twincam 3.5L V6-Prior single-cam 3.3L V6(170hp/200#ft Torque)
Auto 240hp (265#ft Torque)
Manual 250hp  (240#ft Torque)
LE's adopted QX4 tx14 Transmission/4WD system=On-Demand All-Mode setup (2WD, automatic 4WD & locked center differential in 4WD High & 4WD Low settings)

2001 Dashboard & Console restyled

2002 XE Dropped
SE grill restyled, body-color bumpers & fender flares
LE 17" alloys wheels in place of 16"
Interior trim revisions incl. new steering wheel with audio controls

2003

Dynamic Control option-antiskid/traction-control system
Front side airbags and curtain-style airbags (LE Standard, SE Option)

Navigation option dropped
LATCH child-seat anchors,

Redesigned steering wheel & center dashboard

Electronic tailgate release
LE gained standard heated front seats

2004 No major changes

 

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Thanks guys,


That's a ton of info. I have yet to see a Pathfinder LE on KSL(Utah) or Craigslist with the TX14 - most seem to have the TX10. Automatic 4WD is a must for me as the GF will be commuting in a snow state. If it was an option, it must be a rare one. I also enjoy the QX4 dash and gauge cluster better. Nicer leather too, and real wood as well if IIRC.


Really interesting R50 didn't come with skid plates, my WD21 had a full set from the factory, and they were USED. Stout and i never saw a reason to replace them.  

 

I could do a late 2003-2004 Pathfinder, but they are actually not that plentiful, and of course R51's are not THAT much more expensive and have me going hmmm.....maybe i should go R51. Small back seat though if IIRC and of course IRS. But VQ40DE,full frame, 5 speed etc etc.... I've already had a N40 (Xterra), don't really want another one but they do fit the bill as well. 

 

You can see a lot of "IIRC's" here as its been a few years unfortunately....I've been in into Ford 1 ton diesels....very unreliable BTW, stick with Nissan, LOL!

 

The hunt continues, thanks for the info!

 

 

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Found a 2004 LE with the Qx4 interior! I think the platinum came with it. AWD knob, and more importantly the vastly more attractive QX4 gauge cluster and center stack.....

 

P0507? Idle air control leak?

 

https://www.ksl.com/auto/listing/4951822?ad_cid=1

 

tempted to go offer the guy $3k....

Edited by Inyourface1650
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Looks pretty good!  I'd inspect it for signs of abuse offroad since it has nice tires.

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I'd offer him $2800 if you reaaally want it. Not passing emissions can really suck if you can't fix the problem easily and cheaply. Although, the code looks like it could be an easy fix, diagnosing could take time.The car looks like it has seen some abuse considering the tires and the lift. 

 

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Thanks guys,

 

That's a ton of info. I have yet to see a Pathfinder LE on KSL(Utah) or Craigslist with the TX14 - most seem to have the TX10. Automatic 4WD is a must for me as the GF will be commuting in a snow state. If it was an option, it must be a rare one. I also enjoy the QX4 dash and gauge cluster better. Nicer leather too, and real wood as well IIRC

 

I could do a late 2003-2004 Pathfinder, but they are actually not that plentiful

That Craig’s List posting is down, did u buy it?

 

The tx14 is in the LE models from at least 2002-4, possibly 2001. It was the only transmission in the U.S. for the LE in those years. The LE also has a nicer center stack than the SE. The center stack went to the QX4 model version in 2004 & I think 2003. To be honest, I find the fancier the center stack, the less amenable it is to modification.

 

I like the AWD mode for relatively packed sand, snow & the wet.

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Yeah its odd. I saw LE's with the wood Pathfinder center stack, Cloth seats and TX10's. LE's with wood Pathfinder center stack but Manual AC. LE's with the QX4 Center stack and the TX14a. They are ALL over the place.  The 2004 Platinum LE's consistently are the same and just using the QX4 parts - so QX4 stack and TX14a- makes sense since the QX4 was discontinued.  They are also running $4000-5000, which to me is too high. 

 

Ended up picking this sucker up for $1000. 2001 LE.  This one has the (lame) Pathfinder center stack and white sport gauges, but does have the TX14a transfer and heated seats, and sunroof. Memory too.

Salvage Title (new bumpers, pretty easy to see), and 192k miles. Reasonable tires, but does have alignment issue. Paint (besides the bumpers and rock chips on the hood) is MINT and the interior is gorgeous - just the usual rip on the driver seat. It runs very well - it had a pending CAT heater code and a SRS code flashing light in the beginning and I almost walked away. I reset both at the very beginning of the test drive and we test drove it for a good 45 minutes (without the owner) with multiple starts/stops and and quite a bit of highway - neither came back.

 

IMG_20180826_121658158_HDR.jpg

 

 

First up - emissions to make sure it passes before I spend any money on it - Torque says ODBII emissions are good though - then off to a shop for at the very least an alignment and TREs - possibly a new tire, and its off to the races for the mod list ;).

 

Ran up to Park City (over 6k feet) from Salt Lake today smooth as could be with the Auto AC blowing cold and the ECT never topping 201F.....love this motor. 

Edited by Inyourface1650
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Looks clean! Hopefully the salvage title and the alignment problems aren't connected. Keep an eye on the oil level, some of the VQs use oil.

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12 hours ago, Slartibartfast said:

Looks clean! Hopefully the salvage title and the alignment problems aren't connected. Keep an eye on the oil level, some of the VQs use oil.

Here's hoping not! The PO said he bought the truck many years ago with the salvage title and the tire/alignment thing was recent. I guess we'll see!!

 

It will be a week or two before I can get it in to a shop. I did all my own suspension work on the WD21 - ball joints, CVs, trailing arm bushings etc, but I'm not currently in a position to do any of that these days. 

 

Now the question is - replace the blown shocks and sagging springs with Moog/KYB or just go OME and be done with it....

 

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I'm actually buying a 2001 Pathfinder LE 4x4 tonight, going to be my Monday - Friday car.  Need to give my new 2018 Mustang GT a rest lol.

 

Dealership wants $5200 OTD for it, here are the specs:

 

Loaded.  All-mode, heated seats, everything.  All buttons and options work

131,000 miles

Handles well, no whines, drones, squeaking or anything.

Maintained well

 

After test driving it, and put it through it's paces, I noticed that the A/C compressor was making a racket, the brakes were awful, and I had concerns about the valve gaskets being on their way out.

 

They said they would sort it all out.  I received a call today saying all my concerns were taken care of, new gaskets, new compressor, brakes fixed.  Im going to test drive it again of course, but the vehicle, inside and out is damn solid.

 

I'm definitely not paying north of $5k for it though.  Anything else I should check?  Is this a good deal?

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55 minutes ago, Diocletian said:

I'm actually buying a 2001 Pathfinder LE 4x4 tonight, going to be my Monday - Friday car.  Need to give my new 2018 Mustang GT a rest lol.

 

Dealership wants $5200 OTD for it, here are the specs:

 

Loaded.  All-mode, heated seats, everything.  All buttons and options work

131,000 miles

Handles well, no whines, drones, squeaking or anything.

Maintained well

 

After test driving it, and put it through it's paces, I noticed that the A/C compressor was making a racket, the brakes were awful, and I had concerns about the valve gaskets being on their way out.

 

They said they would sort it all out.  I received a call today saying all my concerns were taken care of, new gaskets, new compressor, brakes fixed.  Im going to test drive it again of course, but the vehicle, inside and out is damn solid.

 

I'm definitely not paying north of $5k for it though.  Anything else I should check?  Is this a good deal?


Check for rust thoroughly.  Especially front strut towers, hard to see behind the strut but that's where you need to inspect.

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Generally, that’s reasonable. Might vary regionally but you’d pay more in the NW.

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Plenty of them for around that here in SLC too - I just couldn't pay that much. Not when R51 - which is a vastly superior vehicle-  is not much more....

 

 

Edited by Inyourface1650

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