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system_f

2002 Pathfinder...the long road to recovery (build)

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Haven't tried Photoshop.  I have it, but I do not have the Photoshop powers. I have put the stock silver wheels on and they look good.  I also put a black Steelie on and it looks ok.  First world problems....

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On 8/8/2018 at 11:27 PM, system_f said:

Tonight I got the engine out and the engine bay pressure washed.  One thing that confuses me is that the engine bay is black?!?!  The vehicle has not been repainted and I see no damage up front that would indicate a crash.  The firewall, sides and upper radiator support are all black...the rest of the truck is factory blue.

My parents r50 had a black engine bay as well, but the truck was silver. I was told by nissan a long time ago they were all like that. Even my Xterra has a greyish coloured engine bay. Guess they cheaped out in the later years?

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13 hours ago, adamzan said:

My parents r50 had a black engine bay as well, but the truck was silver. I was told by nissan a long time ago they were all like that. Even my Xterra has a greyish coloured engine bay. Guess they cheaped out in the later years?

 

Not sure it'd be the later years, though.  Between my buddy's 02 (white) and my 04 (silver), the engine bays have been color matched; I don't recall seeing it on @Astrorami's 03 (silver) either.  Only time may have been a black one at the JY.  I think I have seen it on X/Frontier's before without giving it much thought, though my 98 Frontier is also color matched.  It's definitely an odd feature, but it does look original at least.

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Not sure it'd be the later years, though.  Between my buddy's 02 (white) and my 04 (silver), the engine bays have been color matched; I don't recall seeing it on [mention=41155]Astrorami[/mention]'s 03 (silver) either.  Only time may have been a black one at the JY.  I think I have seen it on X/Frontier's before without giving it much thought, though my 98 Frontier is also color matched.  It's definitely an odd feature, but it does look original at least.

Mine is also color matched, as is my 04 frontier. My dad’s ‘00 frontier also same color.


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My silver ‘02 LE is color matched.

 

I would consider graphite/charcoal wheels as well. Frankly, aluminum alloy looks fine too. Perhaps, consider what your other accents are going to be.

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Maybe it was only economical on some of the rarer colors?  Maybe regional, or even by manufacturing plant?  I’d be curious to know the reason since it seems like extra work. 

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Posted (edited)

Holy crap TowndawgR50 , that picture looks awesome.  

 

I am leaning toward these rims and use some 1/4" spacers.  Although I hate the idea of spacers, 1/4" spacers with slightly longer studs doesn't scare me too bad.  At this width they are just big flat washers.   Looks like the Summit warehouse has wheel studs that are 12mm longer in stock, too. There is something about the big spokes and factory-ness of the wheel that makes me O.C.D. not burn so badly.

 

nissan-pathfinder-rims-62370-b.jpg

Edited by system_f
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4 hours ago, system_f said:

I am leaning toward these rims and use some 1/4" spacers.  Although I hate the idea of spacers, 1/4" spacers with slightly longer studs doesn't scare me too bad.  At this width they are just big flat washers.   Looks like the Summit warehouse has wheel studs that are 12mm longer in stock, too. There is something about the big spokes and factory-ness of the wheel that makes me O.C.D. not burn so badly.

 

If looking at wheels studs, I posted some Dorman numbers here: link

 

I'm a fan of stock wheels, too, which is why I went with spacers on longer studs.  I've been using the front and rear studs from that post for several years on 1/4" and 1/2" spacers.  No issues, though I did also put it in some nylon spacers on the studs to center the wheels spacers better. 

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The Budget won and it looks like I will be keeping the wheels I have for the time being.  This allowed me to get the stereo I want as the long trips can be tiring without entertainment.

 

It looks tight, but is actually a lot better than I imagined.  The tire should tuck into the wheel well nicely. 

 

IMG_20180816_164404-small.jpg

 

To continue my ramblings:  The other day I noticed that these 265 75 R16 tires are E rated and good for 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks.  These may ride like ass, but the extra sidewall strength will be nice offroad.

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1 hour ago, system_f said:

To continue my ramblings:  The other day I noticed that these 265 75 R16 tires are E rated and good for 3/4 ton and 1 ton trucks.  These may ride like ass, but the extra sidewall strength will be nice offroad.

 

I'm surprised you didn't notice they were rated "run-over-everything" when you paid for those bad boys. Great tires but very expensive!

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I like my KO2's. They ride pretty nice, are quiet and great for hauling. No issues Ive noticed in the 2 years I've had them.

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I bought my first Pathfinder on friday for 600bucks the 2002 Qx4's VQ35DE comes with "milky oil" & had been sitting, so It was delivered via towtruck (included in the price)-
I saw you ripped the gearboxes out as a priority to check them- is that necessary to pull the motor? This is my first engine swap, done pretty much every other operation on my dozens of cars, Nissan seems to have the largest following when it comes to the VQ engine series- any suggestions are appreciated -peace

Initial goals-
Replace Engine- upgrade suggestions?
Lightening- remove running boards/roofrack rails/spoiler/wind deflectors
Lift kit- considering just the 2" spacers and some offroad tires
I LOVE MY FACTORY 17"s

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5 minutes ago, FancyR50 said:

I bought my first Pathfinder on friday for 600bucks the 2002 Qx4's VQ35DE comes with "milky oil" & had been sitting, so It was delivered via towtruck (included in the price)-
I saw you ripped the gearboxes out as a priority to check them- is that necessary to pull the motor? This is my first engine swap, done pretty much every other operation on my dozens of cars, Nissan seems to have the largest following when it comes to the VQ engine series- any suggestions are appreciated -peace

Initial goals-
Replace Engine- upgrade suggestions?
Lightening- remove running boards/roofrack rails/spoiler/wind deflectors
Lift kit- considering just the 2" spacers and some offroad tires
I LOVE MY FACTORY 17"s

 

First of all welcome, sounds like you have a lot of questions!  I'd advise you to just expect some feedback on the engine/tranny removal question here, and go ahead and start a new thread with the rest, where you can post updates and further questions pertaining to your Pathy, since this one is dedicated to system_f's rig!

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Posted (edited)

IMG_20180818_103429-small.jpg

 

Engine, Transmission, T-case, driveshafts, exhaust are back in.  Not many pictures this weekend as we were working over time.  

 

I went to the junk yard to get a spare rim and found an R50 with the rims I want for a good price.  Unfortunately to run any stock rims with the tires i have is going to require spacers.  I ended up purchasing 4 1" Bora spacers.  

 

  There has to be something I am missing with the spacer lift.  The first lift I built for myself was 2" strut spacers and I did the AZ run 4 with this lift.  I went through 4 CVs in the first 4 days.  When climbing an obstacle and the front became unloaded allowing the wheel droop, my spotter saw one of the CVs and said that it over extended, started to pop out but instead shattered.  So my question is, what am I missing?  What do these spacer kits offer to mitigate the CVs over extending?

 

FancyR50, nice color.  Create a new topic and someone will answer your questions.

 

Edited by system_f

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2 hours ago, system_f said:

What do these spacer kits offer to mitigate the CVs over extending?

 

 

Nothing.

 

Spacers thicker than about 1" which are placed between the body and the top of the strut allow the suspension to travel beyond the max operating angle of the CV and causes them to break. It seems some brands of CV axles are less tolerant of high angles than others.

If you want a lift greater than 1" and want reliability, replace the coil springs. I have wheeled my '97 for almost 20 years with a 2" coil spring lift and I have NEVER broken a CV joint.

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Okay, that's what I thought, I have a lot of experience with blowing CVs due to over extension with spacer lifts...

 

SFD lifts can be very reliable, but I don't want to modify the vehicle that much and you have proven through the years that there is no need to with careful line choices and wheel placement.

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Today the title arrived in the mail.  It's nice to know that after all this work it is legally mine.  

 

In Texas, at least major cities, we have to get vehicles inspected (even trailers over 4k GVWR which is a freaking pain in the a$$) before we can register them.  When I was doing the title work I asked the clerk how I am supposed to drive my vehicle to get the OBDII monitors to a ready state so I can pass inspection when it is not road legal?  She said I would have to get insurance on the vehicle and get a 30 day temp tag without registration.  So tomorrow I start paying for insurance and I hope to get a temp tag so I can legally drive the thing if I am lucky enough to get it road worthy this weekend.

 

Getting closer, but it is going to be a BUSY weekend. 

 

I had to pull the passenger cat after having the exhaust completed because I installed the manifold to cat gasket incorrectly.  

 

I wish junkyards could be more sneaky with the paint markings.

 

IMG_20180822_182922-small.jpg

 

All that's left under the hood is:

-Intake manifold upper sections

-computer harness from dash

-belts

-throttle and cruise cables

-connect vacuum hoses

-A/C idler

-install battery

-drain any existing oil and take a sample <- maybe I should have done this before installing the engine

-cut open existing filter and examine <- maybe I should have done this before installing the engine

-new oil and filter

-pull plugs , vacuum cylinders, crank engine to build oil pressure

-complete cooling system installation/radiator/fan

-vacuum and charge A/C

-fill all other fluids

 

IMG_20180822_182926-small.jpg

 

Installed new rack poly bushings.

 

IMG_20180822_182934-small.jpg

 

Shinny driveshafts new ujoints and balanced

 

IMG_20180822_182940-small.jpg

 

 AND thanks my favorite junkyard for writing, in paint on the front face of the rims I purchased :(  I have to figure out how to get that paint off without damaging the machined wheel surface.

 

IMG_20180822_182953-small.jpg

 

The bag of goodies...like I said, busy weekend.  Oh, and I know all 8 of those rear link bolts are seized and are going to require cutting out with an angle grinder :(

 

Not pictured: wheel spacers (shipped today), rear brake shoes and hardware kit, plugs...and OH I forgot an air filter :(

 

IMG_20180822_183931-small.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Coming along! New wheels look good. Sounds like PBlaster on a rag should get the paint pen off. If that doesn't do it, my usual strategy is to start with a weak solvent (like PB, WD40, or alcohol) and then start trying nastier things until something works.

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I’ve also been surprised to find some of these citrus degreasers will take off stuff that windex, 99% alcohol & even paint thinner (acetone) wouldn’t take off.

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Maybe I missed it reading through the thread, but I'm curious how you sourced your new engine. I'd imagine it'd be pretty tough to find a used engine from an '02 5 speed, let alone one in decent shape.

 

Also really curious to see the cause of engine failure. My money is also on oil consumption leading to starvation.  Sucks there's not really one identified root cause and a definitive fix. I've read it could be anything from bad rings, excessive cylinder taper, bad PCV valve, bad valve cover baffles, and of course the more obvious power valves. Am i missing anything? Haha

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Posted (edited)

jjonez, it was probably oil starvation, the cam bearings are shot and eventually the right bank's exhaust cam snapped above #3.

 

My engine came from a local yard.  I wasn't worried about finding one from a manual so I got one from an automatic.  The only difference on the engine is the upper intake and the lack of a power valve solenoid. The crankshaft is the same, you just have to remove the torque converter bushing and install a pilot bearing (same parts as the VG33e).  car-parts.com is your friend.

 

Well, she runs....kind of.  She runs on 5 cylinders.  #6 is not firing.  At first I thought it was a bad coil so I swapped the coil with #2 and still had the missfire on #6.  I pulled the#6 plug and it was dry as a bone, no combustion smell. This leads me to believe it is a fueling issue ie. the injector.  This also leads me to question all of the injectors and the fuel system, so I ordered 6 injectors and plan on purging the fuel rail.

 

I am getting a CEL for the swirl valve solenoid P1130.  Based on information from the FSM this looks like a fairly easy problem to diagnosis.  No CEL from the misfire because there is not any unburnt fuel in the exhaust stream for the O2 sensors to pickup.  This further supports my theory that I have an injection issue with #6.  

 

I forgot how back-breaking suspension work can be.  The lower a-arm bushings, ball joint, lift springs and strut are installed on the driver's side.  I got to the lower a-arm bushings and ball joint on the passenger's side, but am too beat to continue.  The rear suspension is going to be an absolute beast.

 

 

Edited by system_f
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And the wheel adapters do not fit on the front :(  The flange won't clear the 4x4 hub.  Maybe this is the excuse I finally need to buy a small lathe.

 

IMG_20180826_131218-small.jpg

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IT RUNS ON all 6!!!!   I installed the new injectors and it runs like it is supposed to....except for an exhaust leak on the "secondary cat" on the passenger side.  I say that in quotes because they are not cats, but just baffles on my pathfinder.  When I get back from a fun weekend on the lake it will be rear suspension and brakes time.  My only hold up is the front wheel spacers which shipped yesterday.

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