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New R50 owner with some ideas and a half-baked plan

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Hello everyone


I just picked up a 2003 Pathfinder a few months ago, spending under $500 for the truck, the tow home, and the title. Tow was because there's a power valve screw wedged in cylinder number 3, and it's locked up. But I knew it was seized when I bought it, and went ahead and got a junkyard engine that turns and passes leakdown compression testing. It's on an engine stand in my garage now, along with boxes of parts like timing chain kit, oil pump, water pump, front and rear main seals, and so on that are going in before the engine goes into the truck.


But first, I've got to finish patching the rusty cargo floor. Previous owner was a beach mom and the kids' swimsuits and beach toys got tossed in the right rear corner for 15 years. Rust began on the inside and worked its way out in the right side cargo floor. I'm almost done cutting, beating, and welding sheetmetal into place. Once it's weathertight I'll get the old engine out and the new one in.

It has a set of 2.5" lift blocks installed up front and that's it. I plan to expand on that with a SFD, 4-6 inches of lift overall, and it's my understanding that LR Defender 90 front springs fit the back of these and give about 4" of lift? Also planning to lower the panhard bar mount accordingly. Manual front hubs and a welded front diff are also on the table. Front and rear custom bumpers will be either modified XJ stuff or fabbed up at home.  I might even do old school tube bumpers like were popular in the 80s 🙂


I'm going to be spending a lot of time reading here for sure over the next several months/years, finding what fits and works since there's not so much aftermarket support for these, unfortunately. But junkyards will be my friend, and I believe firmly in "if I can make a $200 part with $30 in steel stock and some MIG wire, I'm all over that!"


Looking forward to the journey!







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Lots of good info around here for R50s. Download the service manual from Nicoclub if you haven't yet, may come in handy with the engine swap. I don't think I've heard of a power valve screw locking one up before, that's gnarly.


Your pictures aren't showing up for me.

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I think I hit the max size. Here's one of them at 65k file size



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  • 1 month later...

I just joined the crazy journey down this "path" also. It sounds like you are in for a complete fabrication and rebuild though.


I would be tempted to drop an LS or a Hemi under the hood in your situation. 😈

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