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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

A couple bison took out my 2001 Xterra this weekend (half my fault, half theirs). I have a full set of Hefty Fab Works skid plates on there. The question is do I get another Gen 1 Xterra (cheaper and I can use my plates) or do I get a Gen 2? Are the Gen 2 substantially better?

Thanks for the advice,
Kevin
 

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2Gens have significantly more power, but the tradeoff is higher gearing (which can be fixed by, of course, re-gearing). They're also bigger and, IMO, comfier, but also lower suspension-wise.

Also, think about how you're going to keep another first gen going - the parts well is going to be drying up sooner rather than later.
 

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2nd gen. by a big margin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More info

The consensus is for Gen 2. Please elaborate.

Here in CO, the cost for a Gen 2 is about double; that's why I'm asking for more details.
 

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My gen 2 comes with a locker...huge advantage in colorado. I live up in summit and I use the locking diff frequently. More power is nice to get around. And the interior is much bigger. If u travel or cart people around, gen 2 is awesome


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Compare post/thread counts between the two sites.

Gen 2 hands down...more horsepower, better suspension...the list goes on IMO.

I like Gen 1's, but given the buying option a Gen 2 is more popular.
 

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They have loads more power, much better handling and ride, more cargo room, tow better, about the same offroad ability, better mpg, no timing belt, etc.

Plus, they are driven by more men than women, vs the first gen that is the opposite. :D
 

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Power is the biggest plus being the gen2's have the 4.0VQ which the VQ engine base has won its own awards; with this comes better towing capacity as well! The MT comes in a desirable 6 speed with the Dana 44 variant (m226, more aftermarket options) and takes out the Radiator/transmission cross contamination issue and they have 3.69 gearing.

The body overall aesthetically looks more pleasing to me, the interior is a serious upgrade compared to the gen 1 as it doesn't seem as "minimalist" and there is less in-cabin noise.

However, the engine alone is worth the upgrade. I understand how you feel as the CO market is on the high side for the off road type vehicles but if you could source one in AZ, KS or someplace that they are less desirable you may find a better deal. Good luck man!
 

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I like the Gen 1's, but then again, they're simpler to work on and maintain. I've owned several 1st Gens and, except for the power, I absolutely love them.

With that being said, I'm quite enjoying driving around my wife's 2nd gen. The 18mpg I could do without, but it's lifted with 33's. My 1st gen was getting 19-20mpg if I drove normally. But after the lift, tires and equipment it got down to 16mpg.

The parts well for the 1st Gens won't dry up ANY time soon. There are too many of them around. The cross platform for the 1st Gens also comes into play. You won't have to worry about parts at all.

I'd get another 1st Gen if I had the chance. An '04 would be at the top of my list, SuperCharged with the knock sensor resistor mod (I run premium anyway in my other vehicles, so I'm not concerned with running premium in a resistor mod'd S/C X), PML, 285's, nice aluminum rims (the steelies I've always run in them for wheeling just go out of balance all the time, I won't do that again and there are a ton more options for the 1st Gens for wheels since they're a normal bolt pattern with 6x5.5) and swap in a set of Nissan manual hubs.

As for the post count for 2nd Gens vs !st Gens on the forums, take into account that the original XOC made this place look like a midget in a hole (with all due respect to midgets).

Plus, for the 1st Gens, you can get t-case gearing, doing an SAS is easier with a ton of options, you still have a boxed frame, the timing belt can be done easily (vs. the timing chain and those woes of the 2nd Gen), you don't have to worry about the SMOD on the 1st Gens (besides, those transmissions are also bullet proof, like the engine) and you can swap the radio out easily, not like later years of the 2nd Gens.

If I was pulling the trigger today, 1st Gen all the way. I'll see your power and raise you the reliability all around.
 

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It really depends on what YOU want to do with it.

If you want to build an all out off roader, the simplicity of the 1st gen and the accessibility of SAS options would be the way to go.

If budget is a HUGE issue for you, then youll probably be limited to the 1st Gen as well.

If you want a reliable daily driver with some off roading prowess, than a lower mileage Gen 2 may be your better bet.

If you have a couple kids, then the Gen 2 has more space and would be more comfortable.

I like em both though. I recently had a friend trade in a highly modified Gen 1 and I wish he had come to me first because I probably would have tried to convince the wife to let me buy it. Then Id have both!
 

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I like the Gen 1's, but then again, they're simpler to work on and maintain. I've owned several 1st Gens and, except for the power, I absolutely love them.

With that being said, I'm quite enjoying driving around my wife's 2nd gen. The 18mpg I could do without, but it's lifted with 33's. My 1st gen was getting 19-20mpg if I drove normally. But after the lift, tires and equipment it got down to 16mpg.

The parts well for the 1st Gens won't dry up ANY time soon. There are too many of them around. The cross platform for the 1st Gens also comes into play. You won't have to worry about parts at all.

I'd get another 1st Gen if I had the chance. An '04 would be at the top of my list, SuperCharged with the knock sensor resistor mod (I run premium anyway in my other vehicles, so I'm not concerned with running premium in a resistor mod'd S/C X), PML, 285's, nice aluminum rims (the steelies I've always run in them for wheeling just go out of balance all the time, I won't do that again and there are a ton more options for the 1st Gens for wheels since they're a normal bolt pattern with 6x5.5) and swap in a set of Nissan manual hubs.

As for the post count for 2nd Gens vs !st Gens on the forums, take into account that the original XOC made this place look like a midget in a hole (with all due respect to midgets).

Plus, for the 1st Gens, you can get t-case gearing, doing an SAS is easier with a ton of options, you still have a boxed frame, the timing belt can be done easily (vs. the timing chain and those woes of the 2nd Gen), you don't have to worry about the SMOD on the 1st Gens (besides, those transmissions are also bullet proof, like the engine) and you can swap the radio out easily, not like later years of the 2nd Gens.

If I was pulling the trigger today, 1st Gen all the way. I'll see your power and raise you the reliability all around.
I would never buy an 05 or 06 2nd gen but they are pretty reliable after that. Except for smod, but that was like 08 get a manual and it's a non issue. Beyond 06, no timing chain issues. I would go so far as to say that my '10 is at least as reliable as a 1st gen.

Swapping the radio on my 10 couldn't have been easier. I hooked up sat radio and ran a mic for Bluetooth too. It's one of the easier installs that I've done. Of looks intimidating but the dash kit makes it very straightforward.


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So unfair Allen... You forgot your disclaimer of "1st Gen Whore, All Around Technician, Mastermind, Nissan Genius... while still being the definition of eclectic!!!" lol
Yeah, well, I'm humble... and damn good looking too! ;)

I'd like to add, I like the seats of my 1st Gens too.

Dash kit for the radio? Something else to buy. Double DIN radio for the 1st Gens fit right in, no issues.

Less electronics in the 1st Gens, no ABLS, VDC, Slip, traction control, fly-by-wire, just put gas in and go. No IPDM or CAN/COMM issues either.
 

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Gen2 have considerably more power and pulling capacity, and it has greater gearing. They're also larger and bigger than the Gen1. But as we go for the suspension the suspensions are a bit low and rides height is a bit low too.
 

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Keep in mind where you posted this and the possible (Likely) bias that comes with the posted opinions. I have a fairly modified 2001 and I have wheeled with many Gen 2's (stock and T-swapped), this is my humble opinion.

The Gen 1 is simpler and bulletproof. The main arguments against it is there is no power and no locker. I would argue that for the price difference you could buy a Gen 1, rebuild the Gen 1 engine (with some port/polishing and cams), add a rear locker, and still be money ahead. This would give you a new engine, plenty of power, and a selectable locker in a bulletproof package for less money. Gen 1's are also old enough now that they will be in most junkyards (not to mention the 3.3 was used in other vehicles), so parts will be easily accessible.

Now if you want a more comfortable ride, more bells/whistles on the interior, newer more complex, and bigger vehicle...... well the Gen 2 is better suited.
 

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Yeah, well, I'm humble... and damn good looking too! ;)

I'd like to add, I like the seats of my 1st Gens too.

Dash kit for the radio? Something else to buy. Double DIN radio for the 1st Gens fit right in, no issues.

Less electronics in the 1st Gens, no ABLS, VDC, Slip, traction control, fly-by-wire, just put gas in and go. No IPDM or CAN/COMM issues either.
I know I'm never going to convince you, but a $20 dash kit is no reason not to buy a vehicle. Plus I got mine free from Crutchfield. :D

I'm glad mine has ABLS. It got me through a lot of trails that I would have never made it up without. In my experiences, it works better than conventional ls. It still gave me traction to the wheel on the ground when I had a front wheel in the air.


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And you're correct ATL XTERRA, a $20 dash kit isn't a reason to not buy a 2nd Gen.

I prefer 1st Gens personally, that's where my loyalty lies. But given that, I'm liking driving our 2nd Gen too.

I, personally, don't like the ABLS. Inevitably, my ABLS kicks on in the 285 canyon as I'm heading into work when there's moderate moisture on the ground. I've never had an issue with traction in those areas with my 1st Gen on larger tires with the same tire pressure. I believe the computer is programmed with the 99% crowd in mind and for us 1%'ers that know how to drive in inclement conditions, know what to expect or even have a bit of fun, it's a killjoy. Keep in mind, I'm doing the speed limit too, or below, as the canyon is a massive speed trap for the town of Morrison.

And if rebuilding a 3.3 is wanted, some mild port matching, using the older 3.0 Pathfinder cams and getting new injectors (same size, just clean and new) would improve the engine greatly. The cams help move the torque down lower in the rpm range, which is better for what we do.

But, like I said, I'm just advocating for the 1st Gens. I like them. I also like the power and 5 speed auto of the 2nd Gen too.
 

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As somebody who just considered all this, I'd say if you can spend the extra money, I'd go for the 2nd gen. A lot of it has to do with how you plan to use it. If you could see yourself needing extra pulling power, go 2nd gen. The 1st gens are pretty reliable, but they had their issues too. And the timing belt maintenance and exhaust leaks at the manifold are always something you have to watch out for.

Here was what shoved me over to a 2nd gen and to me made it worth the extra 6k or so I spent.

- Better Ride
- Much better gearing and extra gear for the manual transmission and more relaxed on the freeway. the 2nd gen does like 2100 rpms at 70 where the 1st gen (with a manual) is pulling like 3k rpms.
- 5000 tow capacity (regardless of transmission, 1st gen was only 3500 with a manual)
- Roomier interior, especially back seat (I have two kids with car seats)
- electronic rear locker, vdc and electronic 4x4 that is smoother in operation than the 1st gen
- 2nd gen rigs were easier to find with well under 100k miles and still within my budget

Those were the main things that made me step up to the 2nd gen. Somebody up top said to stay away from the 05-06's but they are still good rigs, just make sure the timing chain has already been addressed. If its whining and sounds like it has a supercharger, get them down on the price and set that money aside or get an affordable extended warranty to have it fixed (that will pay for any 2 year warranty for the most part), then you'll never have to worry about it again.
 
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