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Poppasmurf

Winter Project

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New to the forum, probably joined the wrong forum- but there is so much expertise here. I'm an old fart and enjoy twisting wrenches. I am in the process of buying either a std trans Xterra or Pathie. I want something to tow behind our new to us motor home. I've found a pretty good body and package of 2001 Xterra with a holed engine. Question to resident experts- am I limited  (practically speaking) to replacing with another 3.3, or can one dream bigger with a 3.5 (with attending ECM and wiring problems). I don't want to hot rod the thing, just good torque and able to pull my small 16' fiberglass boat. From what I've read and understand, a standard transmission is the only way I can tow either of the mentioned vehicles. Any input would be welcome. Thanks.

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Welcome Poppa, and yes, the hive mind here knows damn near everything about Pathfinders and related motors/vehicles.

 

IIRC the 3.3 is your only reasonable option. The VQ35 is a totally different animal needing a different mounting/transmission/rear end... I don't know that anyone has done it, but I don't know everything either.

There are a few things you can do the to 3.3 to wake it up some though. Run something other than the stock intake/air box, port/polish the intake/plenum, install stage 1 cams or cams from a VG30, but I don't know about down stream exhaust mods/gains downstream of the two cats/O2 sensors.

Then there is the supercharged version of the VG33 out of a Frontier or Xterra, but those are pricey and in high demand.

 

Anyway, look around and do some searches, the info is here... ;)

 

B

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My dad had a 3.3 Xterra (non-supercharged, autotragic) and it struggled to tow a small camper trailer. 3.0 cams probably would've helped. If you want the 3.5, probably better to look for an R50, though manual 3.5 R50s aren't exactly common.

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A 3.5 R50 will have no problem towing. With the 3.5 you don’t need the manual, though they can be fun. The VAST majority are auto though.

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