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system_f

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

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I hope everyone had a good holiday.  It feels like I did nothing but work on the Pathfinder.  I finally got fed up with the oil leak and did the oilpan gasket/re-did the clutch.  What a pain in the ass that was. That will teach me not to re-seal an engine before I install it.  Here is a list of what I accomplished:

 

-Oil pan gasket - rear seal was NOT leaking, the lip below the housing was leaking.

-New clutch, oil on the clutch was NOT the problem, the pilot bushing was defective.

-Valve cover gaskets

-New radiator <- insurance

-Rear storage system and fridge slide-out completed

-Fixed PO570, don't get a zip tie stuck between the upper and lower plenum. 

-Dropped front diff 3/4" which allows me to leave the hubs locked on the highway with little to no vibration.

 

IMG_20181223_143802-small.jpg

 

The rear seal can only be replaced by removing the oilpan.  I tried to get away with jamming that gasket between the oil pan and rear seal housing which was absolutely stupid.  This job would have gone much easier with the engine out of the vehicle.  Although I  love the VQ35DE, damn if it isn't a pain to work on.  The alternator bolt's nut requires an entire story.

 

IMG_20181223_143809-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181228_120646-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181228_120913-small.jpg

 

The slides are rated for 150lbs each and slide out a full 36".  At first I debated on getting the ARB slide because I love the quality of their products and it is ready to go, but this turned out being about 1/2 the cost and a bit more skookum. 

 

IMG_20181229_134536-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181229_134532-small.jpg

 

Damn the VQ's PCV hose.  I pulled the upper intake to get a good hose on the PCV and afterwards was getting a PO570 "Idle speed higher than expected".  I knew there was a vacuum leak but couldn't find it.  So I figured it was a good time to properly install my PCV catch can, valve cover gaskets and a new PCV valve.  Upon disassembly I found this and was relieved. 

 

Now I need your help.  I am having some strange problems and I think they are all related to the Smart Entrance Control Unit, but am not sure.  Please read the list of problems and what I have done.

 

Problems:

-Sunroof opens 2" at a time then stops, If I keep hitting the open button it will open all the way, but only goes about 2" before stopping again.

- Interior light does not shut off when left in "door" position

-When locking the vehicle sometimes the parking lights flash, sometimes they don't

-When headlights are on auto mode they never shut off after the doors are closed and vehicle locked.

-Alarm randomly goes off at night  <- this sucks for my neighbor and need to fix this.

 

What I have done:

- checked smart entrance control 7.5amp power fuses, both good

-checked that the doors  are closed and door open lamp is off...maybe I have a bad door switch???

 

The only thing I can find that relates to all of these problems is the Smart Entrance Control Unit?? Anyone have any experience with this?

 

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Next up:

 

-Winch mount that integrates with factory front bumper, looks like I have the room and until I can fab something that is a near perfect ARB clone this is what I am doing.

-I purchased the steel to start the camping trailer.

 

I also had the Pathfinder weighed:

 

Front Axle:

2450 - my weight was entirely on the front axle pad (180lbs)

 

Rear Axle:

2250 - 1/2 tank gas, had the slides and my storage system in the back including recovery gear.

 

Total was 4700, not too bad, but a bit heavier than expected without armor. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Never mind, misread something 

Edited by PathyDude17
Misread

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Details on the diff drop pretty please.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, system_f said:

Problems:

-Sunroof opens 2" at a time then stops, If I keep hitting the open button it will open all the way, but only goes about 2" before stopping again.

- Interior light does not shut off when left in "door" position

-When locking the vehicle sometimes the parking lights flash, sometimes they don't

-When headlights are on auto mode they never shut off after the doors are closed and vehicle locked.

-Alarm randomly goes off at night  <- this sucks for my neighbor and need to fix this.

 

What I have done:

- checked smart entrance control 7.5amp power fuses, both good

-checked that the doors  are closed and door open lamp is off...maybe I have a bad door switch???

 

 

And I think I can help with this.  Here is a post of mine where my 2002 had the exact symptoms as you except the sunroof thing I think.  My posts are kinda long and over-detailed, but it ended up being either a bad door jamb switch or the harness that it connects to on the front passenger.  I just unplugged it so the computer thinks the door is always closed and it's all fine now

Edited by jjonez

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Posted (edited)

[Rant on]  Nissan didn't make it easy on us.  Long ago I was a huge hater of Toyotas until I owned my 2017 Taco 6spd.  That thing had TONS of room in the engine bag, superior front suspension to all but the latest Nissan trucks and diffs that wouldn't blow up if you looked at them wrong (they were also steel housings).  This VQ motor is superior to what a 2002 4 Runner had, but that's it.  We are very limited with our front suspensions and there is no aftermarket.  I will take my VQ and its disastrous engine bay, my 17 taco had room for 3 batteries under the STOCK engine bay and better aftermarket than Jeep. I can live without the aftermarket but damn Nissan....[/Rant on]

 

In order to do a diff drop I had to cut the mounting points on the diff brackets and weld some steel in place to drop the mounting points by 3/4".  The bottom of my diff still sits just above the front subframe lower rail, but the CV angle is much better.  This worked so well I would like to get some junkyard brackets and drop it down more like 1.25"  Of course, this hasn't been tested.  They could fail causing the world to stop and life as we know it to end, but I will take my chances.

 

IMG_20181225_134357-small.jpg

Edited by system_f
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I am going to take back a little of what I said about the R50.  One thing I have noticed is that R50s look really good.  They have great lines similar too and better than a 3rd gen 4 runner.  The 4th gen 4 runner is one ugly pig as is the jeep Grand Cherokee of similar vintage (2002)  Even my best friend who owns a Grand Cherokee loves the way my R50 looks.

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My opinion of my truck also changes depending on whether I'm driving it or working on it. :lol:
 

Nice work on the diff drop! I saw a kit a while back that had bushings with the inner sleeves off-center. No welding, but if you didn't clock them perfectly, they'd be a huge PITA to get the bolts through. I like your way better. Consider preemptively replacing the bushings if you pull the brackets again, IIRC a couple guys have had weird front end rumbles turn out to be dead front diff bushings. Looking at how little rubber's actually in that bushing, I think I know why, too!

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You can drop the diff easily by dropping the subframe and keeping the engine at normal height it just requires a steering shaft. 

 

No matter what I am doing with this vehicle the start/alternator/power steering pump and associated hoses and wires were not designed with easy service in mind and the engine compartment is packed like a disorganized orgy of wires and hoses.  But the power...oh the power of the VQ.   Knowing what I know now about how the VQ drives....VG what?

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Sunroof-Anytime you disconnect the battery the sunroof has to be fully opened & closed in 2” increments to “relearn” its track. If this is repeatedly happening I suspect the sunroof control unit is intermittently loosing power (I have no idea where that unit is located). This seems to fit some of your other electrical problems as well.

 

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Yeah.. I love my VG33, and it was great to work on as an auto repair novice, but it’s performance sucks.. butt.

 

I sure do like the idea of just dropping the diff.. does it not cause a problem with the tie rods and sway bar links?

 

Edit: I was assuming that you were dropping the strut also but after actually reading, you must be looking to correct the CV geometry problem caused by adding a spacer to the spring.

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I did not add spacers to the top of my struts. I have a spring lift but I like to keep my hubs locked.  I like being able to engage 4x4 without getting out of the vehicle and in high speed situations like the flood we had last weekend. I only dropped it 3/4", did not  interfere with anything. That spacer kit without lowering the subframe (can't drop the diff alone that low) is going to leave some poor fool stranded.  That being said, if you know how to build the subframe drops that spacer kit can save you a lot of money.  It is a great deal but needs a huge disclaimer.

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Posted (edited)

Raincoat:. Nope I have been pulling the battery, that's the problem... thanks.

 

Jjonz, it was the front passenger door switch.  Dome lights, auto headlights function normally.  Now if I could just adjust the auto headlights off delay.

Edited by system_f

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On 1/1/2019 at 3:29 PM, system_f said:

I hope everyone had a good holiday.  It feels like I did nothing but work on the Pathfinder.  I finally got fed up with the oil leak and did the oilpan gasket/re-did the clutch.  What a pain in the ass that was. That will teach me not to re-seal an engine before I install it.  Here is a list of what I accomplished:

 

-Oil pan gasket - rear seal was NOT leaking, the lip below the housing was leaking.

-New clutch, oil on the clutch was NOT the problem, the pilot bushing was defective.

-Valve cover gaskets

-New radiator <- insurance

-Rear storage system and fridge slide-out completed

-Fixed PO570, don't get a zip tie stuck between the upper and lower plenum. 

-Dropped front diff 3/4" which allows me to leave the hubs locked on the highway with little to no vibration.

 

IMG_20181223_143802-small.jpg

 

The rear seal can only be replaced by removing the oilpan.  I tried to get away with jamming that gasket between the oil pan and rear seal housing which was absolutely stupid.  This job would have gone much easier with the engine out of the vehicle.  Although I  love the VQ35DE, damn if it isn't a pain to work on.  The alternator bolt's nut requires an entire story.

 

IMG_20181223_143809-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181228_120646-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181228_120913-small.jpg

 

The slides are rated for 150lbs each and slide out a full 36".  At first I debated on getting the ARB slide because I love the quality of their products and it is ready to go, but this turned out being about 1/2 the cost and a bit more skookum. 

 

IMG_20181229_134536-small.jpg

 

IMG_20181229_134532-small.jpg

 

Damn the VQ's PCV hose.  I pulled the upper intake to get a good hose on the PCV and afterwards was getting a PO570 "Idle speed higher than expected".  I knew there was a vacuum leak but couldn't find it.  So I figured it was a good time to properly install my PCV catch can, valve cover gaskets and a new PCV valve.  Upon disassembly I found this and was relieved. 

 

Now I need your help.  I am having some strange problems and I think they are all related to the Smart Entrance Control Unit, but am not sure.  Please read the list of problems and what I have done.

 

Problems:

-Sunroof opens 2" at a time then stops, If I keep hitting the open button it will open all the way, but only goes about 2" before stopping again.

- Interior light does not shut off when left in "door" position

-When locking the vehicle sometimes the parking lights flash, sometimes they don't

-When headlights are on auto mode they never shut off after the doors are closed and vehicle locked.

-Alarm randomly goes off at night  <- this sucks for my neighbor and need to fix this.

 

What I have done:

- checked smart entrance control 7.5amp power fuses, both good

-checked that the doors  are closed and door open lamp is off...maybe I have a bad door switch???

 

The only thing I can find that relates to all of these problems is the Smart Entrance Control Unit?? Anyone have any experience with this?

 

 As for the alarm going off randomly, perhaps one of the door sensors is causing this. It happened to two of mine when the rubber boot wore thin. I put a 3m rubber pad on the door where the button pressed on  ( one per door) and this solved my alarm issue. 

 

Also, I made a diff drop a few years ago for my pathfinder. Its a 3 or 4" drop. Completely bolt in and didnt have to alter the original stuff. Interested in pictures?

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On 1/4/2019 at 6:39 PM, johann_peralta said:

 As for the alarm going off randomly, perhaps one of the door sensors is causing this. It happened to two of mine when the rubber boot wore thin. I put a 3m rubber pad on the door where the button pressed on  ( one per door) and this solved my alarm issue. 

 

Also, I made a diff drop a few years ago for my pathfinder. Its a 3 or 4" drop. Completely bolt in and didnt have to alter the original stuff. Interested in pictures?

You did nothing but drop the diff, and got 3-4”? That sounds pretty cool (less involved than an SFD with similar results if I’m understanding correctly?)

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I made a diff drop that was 3-4". it isn't giving me any lift, but with my suspension it was necessary to keep the CV axles flat. It may fit also as a POSSIBLE replacement for the 6 subframe blocks in the SFD application. Not sure the consequences of having the CV axles and control arms at a different angle however. Maybe they'd hit the control arm? maybe not. Someone should try them and report back. 

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Ok cool. I won’t thread highjack, but as I consider a suspension overhaul this summer (spacers to springs) maybe I’ll ask some questions in an existing diff drop thread

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Can you explain the PCV Catch can? Is this for the oil burning issue? 

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