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Project 95 Pathfinder Resurrection

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Been trying to start a build thread for a while and couldn't figure out how to post photos. See if this works.




I bought this 1995 Pathfinder SE in 2005 with 114000 KM on it. Over the years it's been a competent daily driver and weekend wheeler. Unfortunately I don't have photos from when I first bought it, but I have a few from once I started wheeling it. I took it off the road last april to start a build. I got tired of piecing together aftermarket components and never addressing components like frame rust/timing belt/brakes and other issues. It just needed some love, and now that I have a different daily driver I have all the time I want to slowly dig into this thing. So prior to this build it had 220 000 km and I had already Installed ARB OME 3/4" lift coils, Sway Away T-bars, OME shocks on all 4 corners, 2" Body Lift, ARB front bumper, Mean Green 180A alternator, Pacesetter Headers with high flow cat and Gibson cat back exhaust, and 31 x 10.5 Procomp Extreme MT tires on factory 15" Chrome wheels. It has a bit of trail carnage but here's a few photos before I started tearing it down.







Edited by pathybuilder
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Here's some photos of the build progress so far. It's slow going, I'm not spending every evening or even weekend working on it as I have other competing priorities. The first step was to remove the rear axle and links as I'm installing 5.143 gears and a detroit locker. The rear lower links are being replaced with the "I beam" style links from a 92 and all bushings are being replaced. I'll keep using the ARB OME rear coils however I've ordered a Daystar 1 1/2" Coil spacer to add a little more lift. I removed the Transfer Case as I'm installing low range gears from Automotive Customizers. Removed Front LCA and UCA's as well as the front differential. The front diff is getting a Calmini LSD carrier and 5.143 gears. I'll be installing Rough Country UCAs, All new bushings, and have to repair the tension rod mounts. I had to cut the mounting bolt from the passenger side LCA off with an angle grinder, and am still working on getting the bushing out. I'm still debating what to do with the steering. Was thinking Calmini, but now I'm seriously considering either the Grassroots link with Dummy box or the 2wd Hardbody set-up. Kind of waiting to see the feedback on the 2wd setup. I removed the gas tank and did a thorough frame inspection with scrappers, wire bush/wheel hammer, chisels etc. There is rust in the typical rear wheel wells, but it certainly isn't swiss cheese. The drain holes are open. My plan is to coat the outside of the frame in POR-15, then hopefully find a way, either spray gun or some other means, to coat the inside of the frame as well to preserve it. I know people have differing views on the pot metal frames, and I could cut it out now and replace, but most guys in this area use POR-15 and swear by it. It has a hardening effect with moisture and stops rust. I'll just have to keep and eye on it in the future. Here's some of the build photos so far.











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  • 4 weeks later...

So I've been pretty busy the last couple weekends. I took the grinder with wire wheel to the frame and knocked off any loose scale. I then used an air compressor / shop vac to blow any loose stuff out of the inside of the frame rails. I then prepped the entire frame with Marine Clean, which is essentialy a water based degreaser prep for POR-15, followed by a water rinse. I then prepped with Metal Ready which is an etcher that leaves a coating / turns surface rust into zinc phosphate to give the POR-15 a good surface to bond to. After that was another water rinse. And left to sit for a while. Here's some photos.



After wire wheel / Before Marine Clean


After the Marine Clean / Before Metal Ready


After the Metal Ready (don't know that the photo shows it well, but you can really see a change in the surface of the metal.


I prepped some other parts as well, torsion bar x-member, LCAs, rear control arms.


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As the frame needs to be bone dry before applying POR-15, I spent part of the day tearing apart my transfer case to install T-case gears. I'll put a write-up in the garage section, not so much for instruction as those that come with the AC gear sets are pretty good. More/less just to give people an idea what they're getting into before they order lower gears. The instructions say to remove the speedo gear before disassembly, but the factory service manual doesn't recommend it for an overhaul. I should've left mine in, I royally Screwed it up trying to take it out. Even after reading posts here on how to do it, garbage aluminum housing, I broke the screw tab off, then went to destructive methods as I knew it needed to be replaced anyway. The case came apart with the gear in place, so now I'll have to push it out from the inside of the case, and try to get one from pull a part without destroying it too.








Once the control arm are painted I'll start assembling everything with new bushings. New wheels and tires will be here any day now with coil spacers, so should my rear locker, sliders, and front and rear gears. All my other parts are here. I just have to order the wear items like ball joints / TRE. It's time to start getting everything off the floor of my garage.

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Thanks, I like them a lot, They have a good spring rate for wheeling with gear (seems that's what OME products are designed around) just wish they had more lift, thats why I'm sticking with them and trying to make the Dodge coil spacer work.

Edited by pathybuilder
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  • 1 month later...

Got a few updates and some more photos. I finished the transfer case gears install a while back. Came out pretty good. This weekend I finished painting the frame with POR-15. I thought it turned out really good. I used the POR solvent to dilute the paint so I could spray it with an engine wand. I was able to fit the end of the wand into each of the inspection/drain holes in the side of the frame, and rotate it around. I'm pretty sure I coated everything inside and outside the frame. It worked way better than I expected. 2 coats to finish it off. Dried rock hard.


Here's some photos of the transfer case modification. Man it's sketchy how thin you have to make the oil gutter to fit the new low range gear.






Here's some photos of the frame work.








I painted all my control arms also.



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As I picked up my new wheels and tires I had to mock them up just for a taste. This obviously isn't ride height. They are Pro-Comp 8069 wheels with 33 x 12.5 Mickey Thompson Baha MTZ tires. I was originally going to go with steel wheels for their durability and price, but these alloys are being discontinued so I got a great deal on them. They have a similar look to the steelies, which I like but they are 15 lbs per wheel lighter.






My gears showed up so I started on the front diff today. Didn't do much other than drain the oil and remove the cover.





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That's just factory. The factory roof rack on the 94-95 years are different than pre 94 I believe. In all honesty I don't really like it. I can't find a way to lock the bars in place. I used to have a roof basket on it. If I put anything in the basket that would catch wind, everytime I stopped I would have to push everything forward again because the bars would slide.

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  • 1 month later...

Must say I can't get over ther rust on the chassis as my 88 terrano is no where near as bad as that, but I think I recall seeing on the forum somewhere about there being salt on some roads over your way due to the snow/ice being so bad but I could be mistaken..


By the way awesome job and write up so far keep it coming :)

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That's just factory. The factory roof rack on the 94-95 years are different than pre 94 I believe. In all honesty I don't really like it. I can't find a way to lock the bars in place. I used to have a roof basket on it. If I put anything in the basket that would catch wind, everytime I stopped I would have to push everything forward again because the bars would slide.

Check if you have allen bolts on your roof racks. When I got my terrano it came with a allen key to tighten those bolts.

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  • 4 months later...

Well, I finally got started on this again. After a summer of outdoor house renos, things have cooled off and I can finally start working on my truck again. I left the Diffs alone for now, as I'm not quite sure yet how I want to tackle them. I see that Rugged Rocks has an install kit with new shims and bearings for the rear H233B, but I believe for the front I would have to order the appropriate adjusting washers etc from Nissan.


I installed my new poly bushings in the UCA's and also installed the LCA poly bushings. I also went ahead and removed the transmission for a rear main seal replacement. I was glad I did, the old seal was starting to leak. The clutch doesn't even have 20000KM on it, so no need for replacement there. The flywheel was resurfaced when the clutch was replaced, so It looks in good shape too. I will load some photos of the further progress when Photobucket is working for me again.


The next thing on the list is to drop the oil pan and re-seal it as it is another leak point.


Can the Motor Mounts support the weight of the Engine without the transmission installed? As things sit now, I have the transmission out and a bottle jack with a block of wood under the oil pan. By removing that bottle jack, will it stress the motor mounts? I would like to remove the oil pan now, as I'm not sure how long it'll be before I have a "friend" to help me put the tranny back in. Any thoughts?


Oh Yeah, really glad I'm taking pictures. I marked the flywheels to crankshaft for orientation before I took it off. Then I cleaned the flywheel. Guess who washed the paint marks off? :headwall: . Looked back through my photos and was able to relate the two.

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Can the Motor Mounts support the weight of the Engine without the transmission installed?

They should be just fine. My duration was only a week, but absolutely no issues.


Guess who washed the paint marks off?

I've done something like that a few times myself so don't feel bad. Invest in an automatic center punch and a carbide scribe and don't make that mistake again. ;)



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  • 4 months later...

So, I've completed a ton since my last post on this. The last couple weekends have been really busy. Late Fall I completed the RMS replacement. I also dropped the oil pan and Replaced the rubber seals on the backside of the motor. I then applied new RTV around the bottom to seal everything up and put it back together. Put the transmission back in. Put the transfercase back in.


Then I got into the differentials....Learned a lot, but it was so worth it. When I started this build I had heard terms like "backlash, runout, and preload" but I really didn't understand what they meant or how exactly they are measured. I spend a lot of time especially on the front, putting it together, taking it apart, putting it together, taking it apart. I think I assembled and disassembled the front differential about 16 times, before I was happy with the preload, backlash, and gear pattern. I'm very happy with the results. Rear End is now running a full carrier Detroit Locker and 5.13 Gears. The Froung is a Calmini Limited Slip also with 5.13 Gears. I also opted to swap out the rear drum brakes with some disks that I found at pick n pull. I replaced the callipers, parking brake shoes, and the rotors on these before installing them axle under the truck.


I found myself waiting for differential parts to show up here and there, so I took some time and installed a snorkel. I had to make some airbox modifications using black ABS. I'm happy with how it looks, but waiting to see how it will work.


I installed all Energy Suspension Poly bushing into all rear links and installed the Daystar Coil spacers that I've talked about above and in other threads.


I had to remove my headers when I pulled the transmission, so now was a good time to paint them with VHT, not sure how well it will work. I wrap my headers as I don't like how close they run to the fuel lines. When I re-install I will continue to wrap them, however I may have to consider something else in the future.


I installed the front diff, and am in the process of assembling the front suspension. I repacked the front wheel bearing while I had the knuckles out (not that I couldn't do this once installed, it was just nice to work on a bench)




RMS needing replacement




Rubber Seals I replaced around the oil pan




Oil Pan Prepped for new seal (starting to think I should've taken an after pic with in installed)




Fuel tank painted with POR-15 and ready to go back in.




Snorkel Installed




Airbox modification

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Rear Locker before install




Installed in 3rd Member with New Gears




Front Diff with Calmini LSD and New Gears




Rear End Assembled with Disk Brakes and mounted with new bushings etc. No springs yet, still need to make some measurements...




Here I lifted one side of the axle without springs installed until it started to take the weight of the body off the jack stands. Then I used a bottle jack where the bump stop would go to move the axle down until the distance between the shock mounts on the flexed out side equalled 23.5" (the length of my OME shocks) to see what kind of compression I would have on my coil spacer once installed. With my current setup I will have 3" of compression on the coils still when the shock tops out. This may cause some hard top out. So I measured the length of the bottle jack and added 1.5" to account for the coil spacers. At this point I could use a 25.25" shock and still have 1.5" of compression on the coil spacer, This should be enough to keep it from coming out under full flex. I will likely choose to run as is for the time being, knowing that I can always upgrade to longer shocks if I choose. I did contact Old Man Emu and they have a 25.9" shock that I could order. It would keep the ride the same as I currently have.




Here's the tire clearance to the back of the rear fender at full flex, just shy of needing trimming LOL.



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This is the truck with weight on the rear springs.


This is the rear coil with spacer installed


Time to start on the front


Front Differential Installed


Here's the headers ready for paint. Can you tell which one had header wrap installed?? I know that the wrap traps heat and leads to corrosion, but it also saves other things form melting so it's kind of a double edged sword. Hopefully the new paint will last at least as long as the original pacesetter ceramic coating did. (2 years maybe)

Well I hope you guys are enjoying my build thread so far. I am learning a lot, and really enjoying building up my pathfinder. I'm to the point now where I just want to get out and wheel it.

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