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Old 07-14-2004, 07:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Xterra questions

I know this is not hard core but I am looking for an Xterra as a DD/ light wheeler. I know some of you guys add crawler gears and do straight axle swaps with these things. It's something I may do in the very far future ( I am still currently wheeling my 85 yota). I was considering getting a 4 Runner but don't want to pay a shit load of money for something that has high mileage. The Xterra seems reasonable priced for new and used (with decent mileage). I was wondering if you guys can tell me or point me in a direction where I can find info on which is the best year Xterra to buy for these posible future mods. What options to look for? Anything really. I did find a few small sites but have to register just to search. Thanks for you help.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Look for one that has 4.90 R&P gears, usually found on the non supercharged modles. I say this because gears for the nissan axle are about $600 a set, so unless you plan on swapping rear axles, get the 4.90s.

www.nissan4wheelers.com and www.nissanoffroad.net both have good forums to search for this kind of thing.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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2002+ non S/C 4x4's will have the 4.90's. 2003+ models have 10 more hp, though no one can really tell the difference. They also got a facelift and redesigned dash in 2002. Beyond that, the suspension, drivetrain, body, etc. is all pretty much the same.

If you do wheel one, replace the stock steering with a Calmini steering kit. The stock CL is a piece of shit and should never have been installed in a 4x4.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for your help. Does any one know the vehicle code for the 4.90 gears? What gears do the S/C models come with? So it looks like the first step will be to replace the steering components. Any other weak links. I think I will wait a while for a lift, I just hope I can some black steelies and some 31's under it for the time being. Any one else have any comments/ opinions? Thanks again.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh I almost forgot. It looks like most of these are automatics. How do the auto's hold up.
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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31s should fit stock. If not crank the torsion bars an inch or so.

HG49 is the code for the H233b rear axle with 4.90 gears. HG46 is 4.65, and HG43 is 4.375 and so on. The code should be on the door jamb or the plate under the hood. This rear axle is pretty beefy, 9.25in ring gear, 33spline and 1.31in diameter axle shafts.

I havent heard any complaints about the autos. Steering/CVs/Balljoints are the main complains, but those are going to be problems on any IFS rig.
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks all for your help. I ended up w/ a 04 Xterra SE automatic w/ 4.90 gears and LTD slip rear diff. These things aren't cheap. The dealer even had it marked up $4000 which I got them to get rid of. I took a little loss on my 00 VW VR6 GTI but I believe it was worth it due to the fact I can do more with adventerous trips with my family in my new ride. I'm know I will miss that FAST ass car though. I just can't wait to take out my new X. Thanks again.
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