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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright folks, need some help to join the community. Looking to pick up an Xterra as a second vehicle for winter and light trail exploration. I've had multiple Jeep Wranglers over the years but want something more reliable, better road manners, and equally as capable. Keeping to a tight budget so my wife won't kill me when the mods begin (I have quite a few modified toys at the moment), I have 2 used X's and I can't decide which to pull the trigger on. Any help or advice will be appreciated, looking to make a decision by the weekend.

1st contender:

2006, not sure of the model...know it's not an offroad or SE, but it's not a base model either. 102k miles, fairly clean, all seems straight, no maintenance records but everything works, moves, sounds like it should (test drove it). Not crazy about the dark blue color, but can live with it given the price and close proximity of the dealership to home.

2nd contender:

2005 SE, 162k miles, clean, too far away (3 hour drive) to see in person but pics look good. One owner and maintenance records showing all Nissan dealer performed services its entire life. White in color, one of my top preferences.

Now under normal circumstances it would be a no brainer for me and go with number 1...except the 2nd option is $2k cheaper, has higher mileage but fully serviced at the dealer with records. I really can't make up my mind, but know if I wait I'll lose out! Already lost the exact used one I wanted, 2 miles from my house...waited 2 days before I decided to buy it and it was sold by the time I pulled the trigger.

Advice??? :confused:
 

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Welcome to the club. Make sure that you get the vin and do a carfax report. With the one at the dealer you can go and ask for a copy. They should give it you. If you don't mind what are the asking prices for both? This way we can let you know about the price as far as being way too overpriced or if the price is so low it may be not worth. For the one that you are going with a private guy on tell him that you want to take it to get a state inspection on. Granted you may be out of a bit of money but it's cheap insurance to know it will pass inspection. If he is against it or hesitant than he may be hiding something. It's easy to hide some problems with cleaning things up or know how far you can drive the truck before the problem will present itself again. I got bit once when I bought my very first car and learned from it. I now recommend that to everyone that gets a used car.
 

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Hello!

Another thing to watch out for, with either choice, is the potential for transmission damage by way of a leaky radiator hose (best way to check is to look at the transmission fluid for contamination - we call it the Strawberry Milkshake of Death). Both the 05 and 06 can suffer from it, so you'll also want to look into adding a secondary cooler for the transmission to avoid the potential for fluid contamination. Other issues that may arise are the timing chain (on earlier models the guides are plastic and wear down) and fuel sending unit (which reads wacky).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. Been doing a ton of reading and realize, regardless of the choice, the secondary trans cooler is first thing. After seeing the write up it's very simple and I've put secondary trans coolers on all my Jeeps I've towed with too. I'll be changing all the fluids right away as well, I'm really adamant about checking everything over and doing all preventative measures right out of the gate.

Both vehicles are at dealers, both will have fresh inspection and emissions so no worries there. The 05 with 162k is priced at $5900 and the 06 with 102k is priced at $7900.
 

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those are both pretty good deals. I think either one is a good choice.

on a side note, I wouldn't add a second trans cooler, unless you put it in a different location than directly behind the factory cooler. Adding a fan onto the stock cooler would be your best bet. Trust me, I've been through about 3 different configurations with my trans cooler setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
those are both pretty good deals. I think either one is a good choice.

on a side note, I wouldn't add a second trans cooler, unless you put it in a different location than directly behind the factory cooler. Adding a fan onto the stock cooler would be your best bet. Trust me, I've been through about 3 different configurations with my trans cooler setup.
I appreciate the advice, I'll go that route then. Adding a fan really isn't much more difficult.

Starting to lean towards the 05 now, even though it has 60k more miles it has a clean carfax and full dealer service history from 2007-on...and it's the color I wanted.

Biggest issue is that it's a 3 hour drive to the dealer...with the 06 I can go buy it and just tell the wife it followed me home. :laughing6:
 

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I think the lower mile X is a no brainer. I wouldn't think twice about getting the one with 60k more miles!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm starting to think either purchase would be fine, prices seems pretty darn fair for each vehicle. Before I pull the trigger on the higher mileage 05, going to haggle with the local dealer on the 06, if I can get him down to 7k-ish I'll pull the trigger without hesitating. It's the one I drove and everything seemed very well taken care of...wasn't even detailed and it was still a clean vehicle.

Still struggling with the blue color though...
 

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find out if the first one (lower mileage) has a locker. If it has a locker, it's an offroad model. I'd go that route. I still think that the lower mileage is better too.
 

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on a side note, I wouldn't add a second trans cooler, unless you put it in a different location than directly behind the factory cooler. Adding a fan onto the stock cooler would be your best bet. Trust me, I've been through about 3 different configurations with my trans cooler setup.
The issue isn't cooling, it's relocating the coolant lines.
 

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The issue isn't cooling, it's relocating the coolant lines.
What do you mean?

I ran my truck with a second cooler sandwiched onto the back of it. Once I got my bullydog, I was seeing my actual trans temps. When on the highway it was fine, but at slower speeds in stop and go traffic the trans temps would get super high. I added a fan to the cooler(s) which helped some, but because of all the stuff packed in there (two trans coolers and a fan) it was limiting airflow to the radiator, causing my engine to start to run hot. I finally bought a B&M trans cooler which is slightly larger than the stock one, and installed that with the fan, and this is my best setup yet. It allows the engine to run cooler, as well as the trans. On some of these cool nights we've had recently, it has taken my truck a WHILE to even get above 100*. Granted, I was driving it very mild-mannered.

Anyways, this was the point I was trying to make earlier. I'm not sure what you mean about the coolant lines....unless you mean that you do have to move the lines around a bit and/or add some if you run a second or aftermarket trans cooler.
 

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Hello!

Another thing to watch out for, with either choice, is the potential for transmission damage by way of a leaky radiator hose(best way to check is to look at the transmission fluid for contamination - we call it the Strawberry Milkshake of Death). Both the 05 and 06 can suffer from it, so you'll also want to look into adding a secondary cooler for the transmission to avoid the potential for fluid contamination. Other issues that may arise are the timing chain (on earlier models the guides are plastic and wear down) and fuel sending unit (which reads wacky).
Just to clarify here:

The transmission damage DOES NOT come as a result of a leaky radiator hose. It comes from an internal failure of the radiator allowing coolant to enter the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, if your anyway near this, JUMP ON IT!!!!
http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showthread.php?t=52368
Little out of the budget! Just dumped BIG money on a Ram 2500 mega cab diesel laramie then lifted and custom wheels with 37's...which is why I'm looking for low cost on the X purchase.

Got the funds in place, just need to pull the trigger on one of them but still can't really decide...:confused:
 

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Got the funds in place, just need to pull the trigger on one of them but still can't really decide...:confused:
Well, my girly advice here...If the white is among your favorite colors and you are not sure about the dark blue, make a trip out of that purchase. It's maybe long drive for now to get that white one, but that blue will bother and bug you for so many years to come ;-) Plus all the records from Nissan is kind of advantage to me (no matter what I think about Nissan stealerships, which is nothing good :)
 

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Just to clarify here:

The transmission damage DOES NOT come as a result of a leaky radiator hose. It comes from an internal failure of the radiator allowing coolant to enter the transmission.
Yep, I done goofed. Don't listen to me :)


Well, my girly advice here...If the white is among your favorite colors and you are not sure about the dark blue, make a trip out of that purchase. It's maybe long drive for now to get that white one, but that blue will bother and bug you for so many years to come ;-) Plus all the records from Nissan is kind of advantage to me (no matter what I think about Nissan stealerships, which is nothing good :)
The blue is a sweet, rare color! I wouldn't mind having a Midnight Blue X.
 

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Get a radiator replacement in the purchase deal. Then you don't have to mess with by-pass and extra cooling etc. and have a system that works as designed.
 

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This is an excellent post on the radiator issue: http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showthread.php?t=65980

Basically as mentioned above the best choice would be replacing the rad. It'll likely be as much as adding a 2nd cooler and by-passing, and the stock system setup is much more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well as an update, I done made my decision and called to put a deposit on the blue '06...and it sold an hour earlier. Alright then, apparently the white '05 must have been meant to be! Called to put a deposit on it...and somebody from California bought it that morning. Ugh :(

Scouring the interweb again...found a couple but everything is just a tad out of the price bracket. There's an '07 SE with 122k mi about 4 hours out for $8k and a base '05 with 101k mi for a little more (only 1.5 hr drive).

Hitting the phone, going to try on the 07, don't want to drive that far but :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know this isn't exactly a "sitting on the edge of your seat" thread...not very exciting for you cats. But if anyone is keeping up on a soon-to-be contributor to this site, think I may have locked up my purchase.

Looking like the '07 SE with 122k on the clock. Worked it down to $7500 and putting the finances in order. If the wife doesn't kill me in my sleep after I break the news...I just need to find a ride to pick it up (because she shure as heck ain't gonna drive me).
 
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