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There are several ECU versions for the Xterra. Dependant on year, model, trim and features.

IIRC 2007+ was a completely different ECU for Xterras.

You could try and get a new one, matched based on VIN. Likely this could be close to plug and play (though I suspect some programming from the dealer would still be involved.)

Alternatively you could reach out to UpRev. Again, IIRC they do let you mail them an ECU which they can reprogram. UpRev is a Nissan Tuning company that has successfully stripped Nissan (including Xterra's) ECUs. They may be able to help out and hell, maybe you could get a tune while you are at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I wouldn't mind getting a custom tune! Where does one go about looking for an ECU that matches my Xterra?

I found a couple on ebay that match my year...but how do I know if it will match my trim
 

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The main ecu is all the same based on trim. However it will need to be programmed by the dealer. Once set up by the deal you then can have it reflashed for a custom tune or just by a superchips or likewise
 

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I recently replaced my ECU to address a "crank, but no start" problem that only shows up when temps are sub-zero. I purchased a pre-programmed ECU from Flagship One. The unit was plug & play - no additional programming required.

A bit about Flagship One:
- Overall, I'm happy with the end result, but it took some doing to get there. I provided Flagship One my VIN so they could program the replacement unit. After ordering the ECU, they said the unit would be shipped immediately and I would receive it within 3 days. It took two weeks. The ECU I initially received did not work. It took over a month to resolve the issue. No push-back from the company...they were simply not very responsive. It took many calls to get the RMA process worked out and get the replacement unit. I'm happy to say the replacement unit worked perfectly.

The replacement:

Since the original unit was still functional, I left it in place while I tested the new unit. With a bit of effort, the new unit can be connected without removing the old. I attached a temporary ground wire to the case to ensure proper ground, connected the two connectors and started the Xterra. Worked great! Once operation verified, I replaced the ECU.


Tools: (10mm w/ ratchet and long wrench)

- The ECU is located on the passenger side engine bay near the firewall.

- Remove the plastic cover by pulling up and back.

- Remove the windshield fluid neck by unbolting and pulling up on it.

- Remove the top and bottom ECU harness by pushing down on the lock button and swinging the tab all the way to the other side.

- Tuck the harnesses out of your way.

- Unbolt the top 10mm bolt.

- Push back on the ECU to pivot it out of your way freeing up lower bolt access.

- To get to the lower bolt, I removed the washer fluid reservoir and battery. I was able to use a ratcheting combination wrench to remove the bolt.

- The amount of space is little, but it's possible without removing the fuse block and IPDM.

As for re-installation, trying to get the lower ECU bolt started was a nightmare. After much cursing and trying everything I could think of....I came up with a good hack. I used a dremmel tool to open up the bolt mounting hole - notched like the slots on top. (why, why, why Nissan would you notch the easy holes and not the hard-to-reach ones??) I started the lower bolt, then slid the ECU down on it, then tightened using my ratchet wrench. Worked like a charm.
 

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Since the original unit was still functional, I left it in place while I tested the new unit. With a bit of effort, the new unit can be connected without removing the old. I attached a temporary ground wire to the case to ensure proper ground, connected the two connectors and started the Xterra. Worked great! Once operation verified, I replaced the ECU.
You had no issue with the keys needing to be programmed?
 
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