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*Updated: 02/06/2022 5:26PM PST


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Everything posted by Dbot

  1. Are the Homelink buttons on the mirror always active even without a key or do they require some sort of ACC/ON position to function? Pulled an OEM Gentex mirror from a r51 for the wife's xterra and wanted to find out here before potentially any thieves find out. Every once in a while, the X gets left unlocked by mistake which would either be bad or very bad depending if somebody got access to the garage.
  2. Well since the host of the site had a failure a few days ago, I'll go ahead and toss in a recap to the build from May 2021 to present since some of my build posts are gone. 2001 SE Grille: Kind of a rare find since the Bronzed Gray paint only existed in 2001 and 2002. Found it listed in a local part out. Sadly the part out had worse paint on the hood and fenders than mine but I digress. Powerstop z36 front brake kit. Local guy had a wrecked R50 that I was buying parts from. He had these new in box and wanted me to take/buy them. I didn't need brakes so I was like "uh, I can do $20" and he handed them over. For daily driving and wheeling they don't feel any different than my stock discs and pads but whatevs. Poly steering rack bushings form 4x4parts.com I rebuilt the front end with new cv axles, inner+outer tie rods, ball joints, inner+outer bearings, and rack bushings trying to find a popping noise that ended up being a control arm bushing. They don't appear to drive or feel special but I think polyurethane is supposed to be more resilient to oil than rubber so that's comforting to know while I procrastinate on replacing leaky valve covers. Missing link Made this from 1.5" x 1.5" 1/8" steel square tubing. 23 7/8" long. Ends chopped at 45 degrees. Couldn't feel any difference driving or wheeling. This later got modified for a skid plate a few months later. Skidplate. Had some trails at the offroad park that couldn't be finished because I lacked armor. After getting scammed on cheap rock sliders and Lokka taking 9 months to ship my part, my wife was very leery about me spending big bucks on car parts so I took matters into my own inexperienced hands to make my own skidplates. 3/16 thick 24x48 steel was "only" $96 so I started. I first modified the missing link by adding a 1" spacer from square tubing so the plate steel would clear the front diff. I measured and cut out the mid skid and made notches for the rear control arm bolts. I turned a lot of drill bits into smoke so drilling this took forever. I cut the front skid and notched it with an angle grinder. Apparently the plate steel had a wave to it and made it difficult to notch with the angle grinder without puncturing through the back side. Welded the creases and cleaned up the mill scale and welds after several hours Painted it with flat black rust converter for easy touch ups. Found some bolts at the hardware store. Got some washers for rocks to deflect off. Mounted it up. Just enough clearance between plate and diff Took it to the offroad park and hit the trails I had to turn around on last time. Got some scars to test it out. I think it's a winner. Whenever time allows, I'll see about making a rear skid. So that's a wrap on the build as it sits now.
  3. My memory is so fuzzy, that it's very possible I'm wrong, but I thought you could access the bolts the hold the lower oil pan on the vg33 like you can with a vq35. Might be tricky for a hand grab if you have thick wrists but magnets and whatnot should be able to grab the missing piece if it's in the upper oil pan. You'd have to make sure you don't warp or gouge the lower oil pan during removal or you're gonna have to get real serious with the rtv or order a new pan.
  4. I’ve been hanging around r50 forums and groups since I got mine in 2019. Haven’t really seen much chatter about reliability issues with the atx14a transfer case. Like any part, there’s gonna be somebody with a failure here and there but the atx14a isn’t even going to be in the top 15 issues for this platform. I have 237k miles in the clock and mine has held up to the abuse just fine. Just change the fluid at the intervals the manual specifies and if you submerged it in water or mud, just clean underneath really well so wire harnesses stay clean. In other words, don’t let the transfer case hold you back unless it acts up on a test drive
  5. This is brilliant! I’ll definitely be trying this the first chance I get. Thanks!
  6. What I'm working with: 2002 4x4 Lifted 1 year ago Reused struts and strut hats 1 yo OEM strut bearings 1 yo AC coils 1 yo Camber adjust bolts 1 yo Inner tie rods 1 yo outer tie rods 1 yo steering rack bushings 1 yo ball joints Wheeled all summer on those fresh components and everything was great. My last wheeling sesh was August. Early 2021, I developed a popping/crunching sensation in the steering. I assumed it was the ball joint so I replaced both ball joints. The issue remained unchanged. For troubleshooting, I set the front end on jack stands and prompted the noise by having somebody turn the steering wheel. Best judgements of sound and feel by hand led me to the tie rods. Struts didn't have much of a output on feel or sound, nor did cv axles or ball joints. This led me to do the following: After replacing ball joints (which were actually still good btw) I replaced the following this month: CV axles Wheel bearings (inner and outer) and both sets of races Inner tie rods Outer tie rods seemed really solid, almost like new and the grease boot didn't see compromised so i reused them. I took it to the shop for an alignment. The same guy that aligned it last summer aligned it again and said the alignment procedure was smooth and typical. After getting it from the shop, Everything feels straight and aligned but the popping/crunching is still there. I can create this by low speed tight turns such as cutting the wheel to pull into a parking spot or follow a drive thru path. It seems that the low speed + hand over hand turning of the steering wheel causes this. This does not occur if you drive straight or if say you cut the wheel for a slow turn and hold it steady at an angle. It's the action of turning the steering wheel that causes it. What's weird is this occurred months after I last wheeled it. The only abnormal abuse my front end takes is that there is a 3" step transitioning from my driveway to my street. This transition is always taken at turned angle whether backing out or pulling in. (not good for steering components). My street is a main street so occasionally my approach home from the speedy street is a bit hot which causes strut top out with those old struts on new AC coils. I guess i'm leaning toward aiming the parts cannon at the strut bearings and strut hats. Anyone have any thoughts on this before I drop another $100+ on parts and labor?
  7. He has a first person camera angle video of him driving a second gen Xterra and there is a written article either by him or his sidekick Roman that discusses the first gen Xterra. It’s very apparent that he doesn’t know much about either one to start with and he picks up on the basics about each one while doing a quick bit of research for his content. Basically mocks the name a bit for being a try hard name, talks about how mundane vibes are that it gives off. Talks about it it’s crude suspension, talks about skid plates, body on frame design and simplicity. It then clicks in his mind this is the stuff that matters and he talks about it in a “you know what, this is a cool vehicle hidden in a plastic panel disguise” kind of way ?. I don’t think he cares much for Nissan suvs for whatever reason
  8. It’s not making any noise that I’m aware of. As far as how long I want it to last? Beyond 300k. It’s more a pride thing than a money thing with this one. Lots of sweat and blood in the rig. If we all go by noise instead of mileage, I’ll leave the chains alone. As for the water pump, I suppose I could swap that when I’m behind the radiator for the alternator since you don’t actually have to remove the timing cover to access the pump.
  9. 2002 Pathfinder 235,xxx miles (acquired by me at 206,xxx) Main maintenance items: Replace leaky valve covers replace alternator Secondary maintenance items: Spark plugs Pcv valve intake gaskets pcv hose Valve cover breather hose serpentine belts I’ll be doing those items within a few weeks The two items I’m wondering are: Should I take this opportunity to replace the timing chains, and tensioners? I can’t find anything that specifies a mileage to replace that. Some say those last forever but the severed timing chain on my 2001 r50 says otherwise. if there’s an interval that I’m missing somewhere that says 100/200/250k miles, I think I should do it now while valve covers are off. the second question is how long does the water pump last? I can replace it with the timing chain cover on or off. Anyone know an interval for water pumps?
  10. For what it’s worth, you can swap seat fabric/leather between passenger and drivers seat. Just need hog rings, hog ring pliers and a box cutter. Looks oem if you take your time
  11. Anecdotally I purchased one autozone cv axle over the summer (boot split a month after lifting hence my replacement). Autozone axle looked really solid and beefy. The same day I installed it, I drove 45 minutes to a trail via highway. Wheeled for 20 minutes then hit a mud hole with headlight deep water. Immediately after coming out of the water, I could hear the wet cv boot squeaking with each rotation. It popped off and kinked where it was lopsided and rubbed the control arm every rotation. Not sure how mud water did this but whatever. I bent it back and put it close to how it originally was. I haven’t done any true wheeling since then but I’ve done thousands of road miles and a few hundred snow 4x4 road miles. Cv axle is still intact despite a compromised boot.
  12. Rode stock suspension for one year without bad boots. Then lifted with ac coils and warn hubs. Drove one month and split a boot. Half month later the other boot split.
  13. Hi r51 gang, I’m familiar and active with the r50 platform but I’m pretty new to the post 2005 stuff. I’m probably going several hours out of town to the big city for another attempt to get a worthy r51. One of the lowest mileage r51s I see is an s model. While I don’t need LE stuff, SE is the trim package Id like to own. Does anyone know what items I can swap over from a LE or SE (power seats, heated seats, fog lights etc) via my local junkyard or eBay? I’m hoping some of the stuff is prewired and plug and play. I got the idea for this question because my dad has had great luck swapping LT trim components to his ls trim Chevy. Everything was prewired and compatible
  14. Take what I say as a grain of salt but check the radio part numbers. They can look the same but have different wiring even if they came out of the same year vehicle depending on what month it was made.
  15. Hit 230k miles yesterday. I broke a trans cooler line on a rock wheeling this summer which sprayed the trans until empty. A month later the trans started acting up so I swapped it. I guess that’s my fault. Engine is rock solid though
  16. One thing I’d suggest is hitting up nissanpartsdeals.com. You can look at every single part and part number for each month of production for every year. You can put in a vin and it pulls up that particular factory build. This would be good for looking for any differences around the engine crank between auto and manual. Also would work for the intake stuff too. Also, 2001 and 2002 use throttle cables. Not sure what the cutoff on the throttle cable is but I know my April ‘00 (2001) has the cable and my November ‘01 (2002) . Additionally, one can look at the engine timing critical components such as timing sprockets, crank sprockets, cam Phasers, upper oil pan, timing chain cover, cams, flywheel, flywheel sensor and stuff all change part numbers and designs ever few months during the production. This stuff will be your biggest headache for engine swap compatibility. As far as the difficulty of turning wrenches goes, It’s not easy. I’ve pulled an engine before in salvage (haven’t installed yet). Took me 11 hours to get the trans out, then it was another 7 hours for the engine. Could probably go much faster with a second set of hands while in the comfort of your own driveway. As far as other Nissan engine swaps go, it’s not any easier than putting in something from any other car manufacturer. That’s how different the other vq35 and vq40 engines are. If you could somehow know for sure you don’t have rod knock, replacing the timing chain guides, chains and water pump will be much easier and cheaper than a new engine. You can also run a compression test, if it’s bad, you can consider pulling the engine and heads to put in a new head gasket.
  17. I went two months of driving with a finicky reverse. When it warmed up and the weather was warm, it wouldn’t engage reverse immediately. Sometimes it would engage after a few seconds, other times it had to blip the throttle. I added a trans cooler and changed fluid but it made no difference. I just went ahead and swapped the trans. I learned to park facing downhill so I always had an out
  18. I’ve totally daydreamed about this before. Throwing a bunch of oem parts on mine for a deep overhaul in a shop. Just curious what’s the plug and crush washer above the rms for?
  19. Sorry to hear that. Not much fun pulling those out. It’s interesting to see that apparently transfer cases on these don’t have paper or rubber gaskets. I’d assume it’s rtv https://imgur.com/gallery/RZSL78h
  20. My 02 is tight also. It’s about the same as my 01. I replaced the connectors on the 01 without shortening the wire. I probably should have a bit more descriptive. The metal sleeve that’s crimped around the copper strands was severed by a 1/2” belt sander wand I got from harbor freight. I imagine a Dremel could also notch the metal sleeve with precision to where you could pry open the split sleeve in order to get it to let go of the wire. This will still cause a small handful of strands to break off but you’ll be fine.
  21. You can just cut off the old clamp if you like. I've done it to both connectors on mine. Just try not to let falling copper wire strands fall down on to the alternator.
  22. I bought mine at 206k mi and did it around 212k mi but there's been people who've had the issue with the screws falling in the intake way earlier. It's a roll of the dice. You could either be missing screws right now or you could go another 50k before dropping a screw. I'd recommend doing it when you do the IACV gasket. The 2001 and 2002 Pathfinders have a IACV gasket that gets brittle and eventually fails. When it fails, it drips coolant on electronics which shorts them out which has a chain reaction that shorts out the ECU. Power Valve screws won't work themselves loose sitting in a barn, but the 18 year old rubber gasket keeps aging whether it sits or drives. I would recommend buying the cheap gasket and an impact screw driver to change this first. While you're there, you have access to the power valve screws with just a few more turns of the wrench.
  23. Wireless charging experiment: For whatever reason, my 02 LE doesn't come with that third cupholder the 03 models have. The flat spot has always just been the instinctive place I toss my phone. Its within reach, visible and it doesn't slide or bounce out of that spot. I've always wanted to give wireless charging a shot, so here's what I did. Picked up a tri coil Qi wireless charger from amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07176HT5T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Bought a 104F thermal cut off switch https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PK6892Z/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Generic 12v USB phone charger Generic wire harness plug Auto/Cancel power seat switch from salvaged LE R50 Wireless coil attached to plastic insert by jb weld Wireless coil fed by modified micro USB wire with thermal cut off switch spliced in. Modified micro USB wire connected to generic wire harness plug The other side of the wire harness plug is tapped into the 12v power socket on the dash in a parallel fashion. Blank plate on the dash has been swapped with the Auto/Cancel power seat switch. (acetone removed some of the seat graphic) Auto/cancel breaks the circuit. My experience with it has been decent so far. I'm using an iPhone Se 2020 edition with a silicone case and the phone is still able to charge. The phone has never had a chance to overheat since the thermal cutoff switch steps in really early. I had apparently made a miscalculation from Celsius for Fahrenheit. I thought initially, it would kill the circuit around 130F. Dry days with temps in the 30 (f) the charger seems to continuously charge unless I'm parked and idling a bunch. It will continuously charge in the 40s (F) on rainy days. It appears the heat is more from the engine/drivetrain and exhaust than from the wireless charging circuit. I can run maps continuously on the phone and the charger seems to be able to keep up with that. Being that winter is coming upon us, I'll leave the thermal cutoff switch in for now, and think about getting a different in the spring.
  24. More post bombardement: I have been religiously checking part outs and salvage yards for black leather seats. I have never found one that’s not ripped. As far as other materials and colors go, I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times I’ve seen other driver seats in good condition. After seeing a dozen or so good condition passenger seats I began to wonder if I could swap the material over to the driver’s side. So I bought a black leather passenger seat for this experiement. I stripped the seat down and removed the leather from the cushion using snap ring pliers to pry apart the hog rings. I looked it over to find its about 95% symmetrical on the inside. I did a trial reinstallation with new hog rings to verify I’m handy enough to put it back together. I stripped down the ghetto driver seat and swapped over the passenger seat material. All hog rings line and up and all clips connect together. Some clips are slightly offset and there are a couple millimeters of foam showing at the edge. Also, I had to cut a hole for seat controls and make a patch to cover the old seat control holes but it really wasn’t too hard. I would definitely recommend this if you need to replace a driver cushion but can’t any good ones. I hear some salvage yards sell just the cushions so this could be a very economical fix in the right circumstances. Pt 1 video: pt2 video
  25. I did my first transmission swap and knocked out a couple experimental projects along with that. I learned some things from both mistakes and unexpected differences. I thought I’d share the projects and note some differences I discovered along the way. Going back before my transmission had issues, I had pulled a salvage transmission in march intended for my 01 r50 assuming that the 01 trans would be dead by now. I pulled it from a 2004 SE 4x4. It had all the dealership paperwork and insurance paperwork showing that it sold from a Chevrolet dealership at 142,xxx miles and was wrecked with 144,xxx miles. I pulled the pan off the trans to observe normal looking and smelling ATF residue was present. This was my first time ever pulling a trans off anything, but after 11 total hours, I got it home with the torque converter. I would go back out weeks later a nab the engine and flexplate for a “maybe someday” project. Fast forward to July, the 2001 transmission is still quirky but it hasn’t gotten any worse. I wheel my newly lifted 02 about every other weekend. One particular weekend, I was in the local offroad park doing a very long, steep uphill climb on loose rock. Upon reaching the very top of the hill where a flat clearing is, I smell hot atf. I roll forward about 30 feet and stop. A minute later, I put it in D to find I don’t creep forward. (or backward in R). I hop out to look. A dense, wide path of ATF soaked the rocks and dirt from current location to about 30 feet back. Trans case and pan were fine, but the aluminum barb on the lower radiator was bent over sideways with a visible crack at the bend. This was the source of the ATF spray. Really wish I had at bought a plastic dust cover to put there beforehand. I hitched a ride to the parts store and bought a Hayden 679 cooler and some new ATF. Fixed it up and filled it up and drove it home with the stock cooler bypassed. Everything felt and smelled fine. At home, I topped it off with another pint and called it good. So I may have hammered some nails in that coffin, it just wasn’t the very last nail. That came a month later when after driving around all day, I tried to back into the driveway. It never engaged reverse. I sat there a few seconds puzzled before it finally engaged itself and let me back up. I went through the gears in my parking spot and everything seemed normal until the next day. During pizza deliveries, it would randomly decide to delay giving me reverse. Eventually, it would sometimes never grab reverse without me retrying or blipping the throttle. There were no dash lights, smells, noises, slipping or slamming. ATF level was always proper and cherry red. I replaced the radiator and used it with the Hayden cooler and replaced the trans fluid. Not a single difference. So I started researching the project and schedule some PTO to make a 5 day weekend for this. I removed it in about a day and a half, taking my time to avoid making errors. When I got it out, I compared it to the donor trans. This is where I would get hyper-obsessed with year to year differences. Despite the despite the resounding “It’s the same trans, just send it” the internet told me, I would find that no, these are not identical transmissions. The tailshaft housing is different. I think the length is the same and I know the transfer case bolt pattern is the same, but the side is different. There is one variant casting that is milled, drilled and tapped for the ATX14a transfer case linkage and the other casting variant is milled, drilled and tapped for the TX10 transfer case linkage. I assume bolting an atx14a to this could yield a functioning 2wd pathy if somebody wanted to do that. Using both VINs on nissanpartsdeal.com, I cross referenced the parts in the diagram to see that the tailshaft housing and some internal clutches were different between the two years. Thankfully the parking pawl junk inside the tailshaft housing was the same so other than a new gasket, I didn’t have to buy anything to swap tailshaft housings. The particular gasket is not reusable so I had to dig up a replacement. There are no more OEM gaskets left nor does Amazon/ebay/rockauto/auto stores carry them. I had to have a local trans rebuild shop get me in touch with their supplier to order it. It took about two days to get it so I decided, I would make a template. https://1drv.ms/b/s!AsTQm6L1QIoAhOFF-OsSBL5-AZszew For the two particular years I was working with, part “gasket-extension 31338-41x02” is a paper type gasket. The original OEM paper gaskets were blue but the aftermarket was gray. I found this gray material at autozone here: https://www.autozone.com/sealants-glues-adhesives-and-tape/gasket-material/cometic-gasket-fiber-gasket-material/105373_0_0 ( Cometic Fiber Material Sheet product number C15385. ) Now whoever stumbles upon this from a web search can make their own. Also, there aren’t any good videos online regarding RE4R01A teardowns for the pathfinder except that one that’s in 360p. So I did an overly thorough tailshaft swap video in 1080p. So with the tailshaft swapped, I focused next, on my own screwup. Months back in the salvage yard, I had just minutes to finish pulling the trans before they closed so I got sloppy and cut the trans wire harness instead of removing a couple layers of heat shielding below the plugs. I assumed that the harness would detach from the trans case like how engine wire harnesses do with engines. The revolution sensors come out of the case easy enough, but one group of wires does not. I think they control the solenoids or valves. Those can only be removed by pulling the valve body. I’m debating a rebuild attempt on my original trans so I didn’t want to steal it’s harness, so I went back to salvage and retrieved the other half the harness and I cut one from a 2003. I compared the plugs and wires on all 3 years and can confirm they are all the same. I used the 2003 harness since I cut it about 3 inches longer. I stripped, cleaned, soldered, shrink wrapped and heat shielded 23 wires. There are repeating wire colors in the harness, but each of the 4 sub groups of wire don’t have any repeating colors which made things easy. I had also observed that the 2004 flexplate and flexplate washer have a locating hole to line up with a locating dowel pin on the crankshaft. The 2002, flexpalate washer had a locating hole and the crank had the hole for the dowel pin but the flexplate did not. There also was no dowel pin. The 2004 flexplate had a different ring for the engine timing. The notches were less abundant and spaced farther apart than the 2002 flexplate. The sensors that pick up the notches were different too. The 2002 had small sensor with a chisel tip and smaller electrical plug. It was also held in place by a rubber gasket that slides in the bell housing cutout. The 2004 sensor was bigger and looked a camshaft position sensor with a slightly bigger plug. It filled up the bell housing cut out so the gasket wasn’t needed. The gasket can be swapped between bell housings though. So before I started the project, I ordered new pan bolts, input shaft o ring, a filter/gasket kit and crush washers for the trans coolers and a new rear main seal kit. With the trans out, I skimmed through the Haynes manual to find it essentially tells you to pull trans, remove the 3 RMS bolts, pry off the old seal, carefully install the new one and torque down three bolts. Nothing was mentioned about removing upper oil pan. So I pried off the old leaky RMS and began finessing the new one on. I worked every angle I could think of and used every non-sharp tool that I had before gradually upping the force to ultimately total brute force. After 45 minutes, I had broken the tension spring inside the lip seal. Defeated, I check the FSM to find out about the formerly unmentioned rtv needed on the seal corners and the upper oil pan removal and the two days of work required to do that. Two days I didn’t have. I bought a new seal and began practicing installation methods with the broken one. I found that If you sand down the black seal pan gasket, you can wedge it in there. It felt snug but I could see a hairline air gap in a low spot that I sanded. I spent about 20 minutes slowly sanding the new gasket. I sanded some slight tapers on the leading edges to help it enter the groove it sits in. Since I removed less material, It was way harder to install, but using every bit of finger strength I had, I got it in. I put on some rtv around the outside since, well why not? Anyway, video for the hack job here. By the way, the rms is leaking again, but at least I have it installed. I installed a $16 oem input shaft o ring on the shaft and installed the trans. I noted the 2004 pan is missing the two forward facing tabs that support the trans cooler lines but this doesn’t seem critical, but did explain the extra 2 10mm bolts I had laying around. I can also confirm a 2004 torque converter fits on a 2002 flexplate and uses the same bolts. Once installed, I dropped the pan, replaced the strainer, cleaned the pan and magnet. The Duralast kit from Autozone had a rubber pan gasket that didn’t match the pan. Maybe this was because I bought this for the 2001 months earlier? Maybe Duralast screwed up?. I bought a fel-pro paper gasket and installed it with new pan bolts. I dumped a gallon of dexron 3 down the tube and performed the checklist in the FSM for transmission testing. Ended up putting over 6 quarts in. I smelled burning odors off and on for a while. Could have been any of the following. Degreaser residue on back of block, degreaser residue in trans pan, brake cleaner on back of block, Paint marker on torque converter and trans case, pepsi cans used as temp exhuast clamps or greasy hand prints on exhaust tubing. Trans drove fine with no hiccups. I went 20 miles, came back and dumped the trans fluid. I refilled with 5 quarts and got the level pretty much spot on. I’ve done pizza delivery, highway crusing, backroad cruising, hard launches and some super light wheeling. At this point, I’m confident the trans is a keeper.

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