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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been itching for an off road rig, and I think Xterra is going to get the nod. I’m looking at Isuzu Trooper, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Cherokee as well.

This rig will be a hunting beater that may cross over into some real off roading. I want fully off road capable, but this won’t be a dedicated overlander with Moab on the agenda.

I’m BRAND new to Xterras. Is there anything inherent to certain years / models etc to watch out for while looking for a base donor to upgrade?

I def want 4WD, auto trans, and V6. I’ve done a bit of looking, but I can’t find a detailed overview of each from level. What specifically does Pro 4X offer that makes it so desirable? Quick search shows close to $8k difference in reasonably clean non Pro4X vs an equivalent Pro4X.

Is that trim worth It for my objective? Seems like I could add A LOT on the way of after market for $8,000.

Any links or input is greatly appreciated.
 

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The Pro4x will give you a rear locker, lower gearing, Bilstein shocks and I think the better Rockford Fosgate stereo. Some came with leather seats too. You'll pay a premium for a P4x.

A v6 is your only engine choice. The auto's in the xterra are very solid and regularly run 250k+ with no issues IF you properly maintain it. 05-09's (and some '10's) were prone to SMOD (strawberry milkshake of death) which occurs when the stock radiator fails internally and mixes coolant with transmission fluid (which turns into a pink milkshake looking mixture), which destroys the transmission. It's a simple problem to avoid by spending $150 and installing a new radiator. All new radiators are built to not fail in the way the originals did (the radiator has a built in trans cooler and the originals would corrode and fail, which mixes the coolant).

05-08's also often experience timing chain component failures - the plastic guides can fail causing a high pitch whine. I believe there have been a few engine failures due to this, but not many. Still needs fixed tho.

There are a few other issues, but nothing major.

As long as the X has been maintained and you avoid the issues I mentioned you should be good to go. These things are tanks and will last you forever if you take even mildly good care of them. I bought a non running '06 for $1800 back in September and it only needed a few things to get it back on the road.
 

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^what he said.

Pro4X is nice (also known as "off Road" on older models) but I wouldn't pay $8k for it. Any 4wd trim should do what your describing. If you think you need lockers then you likely need front locker as well, then you might as well do tires - which means your re-gearing - which means you might as well go ARB locker anyway....

I will add - smod only affects auto trans obviously - if your lucky enough to find one with a manual.

I would avoid Isuzu - only due to support issues
I had a WJ jeep - not sure if your looking at it or an XJ. Nice platform but their unibody, and had a lot more day to day issues than Xterra's.
Ford Ranger might be the only ford I would buy - after owning nothing but Ford's until my mid 30's - grew up on Fords. My father and law had a couple - they were good rigs, lots of support, and readily available.

My X is the best vehicle I have ever owned - so obviously I am biased. Great community, and parts are super easy to get - since it shared parts with the Frontier all the way unitl 2019, and for its entire 10 year Gen2 run they changed almost nothing.
 

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Welcome, here's some helpful info that @TerryD put together that you should read.


 

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Personally, I'd look for a Pro4X but I most certainly wouldn't pay an extra $8K for one. The elocker and overhead lights do just fine for the few times I'd ever need them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input and links. I’ll check them out! I’m pretty mechanically inclined, just never cars specifically. These Gen 2 X seem like a good place to learn to wrench it seems.

if I get bit by the off-road / overland bug bad, how is the X for a full out overland rig?
 

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So, I've been an X owner for a few months now and absolutely love it. I've wanted one since the early 00's. However, for the past 12 years my daily driver was a 2002 Isuzu Trooper. I will say that thing went everywhere I ever wanted to go and all I ever did was change the oil and brakes. I'd still have it if a tree hadn't jumped out at me last winter. Now I'm on the X bandwagon but wanted to share my experience with the Isuzu. IMHO one of, if not the best vehicles I've owned. Hoping for another dozen years with my X.

Edit: Just wanted to share a little more info on my Xterra. I have a 2006 Basecamp 6MT w/ 184k. I paid $1800 for it back in April. The engine had a loud clicking sound. I asked the seller what it was and he (lied, probably) said something about it being the fan or idler pulley. It drove great, so i didn't think too much about it. Got home and did some research and found a couple videos of what it sounds like when the timing chain guides need replaced. Mine didn't whine, it was a clicking...like the sound of a fan blade hitting against metal. For what I paid for it, I don't really mind putting a little work into it. So, that's where I'm at now. I'm replacing the timing chains, guides, and water pump. Since I'm in there I'll also replace the plugs and boots and do the valve covers and gaskets. For around $500 and a few days of work, I'll have a solid rig when all is said and done.
 

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Been itching for an off road rig, and I think Xterra is going to get the nod. I’m looking at Isuzu Trooper, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Cherokee as well.

This rig will be a hunting beater that may cross over into some real off roading. I want fully off road capable, but this won’t be a dedicated overlander with Moab on the agenda.

I’m BRAND new to Xterras. Is there anything inherent to certain years / models etc to watch out for while looking for a base donor to upgrade?

I def want 4WD, auto trans, and V6. I’ve done a bit of looking, but I can’t find a detailed overview of each from level. What specifically does Pro 4X offer that makes it so desirable? Quick search shows close to $8k difference in reasonably clean non Pro4X vs an equivalent Pro4X.

Is that trim worth It for my objective? Seems like I could add A LOT on the way of after market for $8,000.

Any links or input is greatly appreciated.

Just to add my two cents. The x will make you a great hunting rig. I have front and rear lockers as long as one tire is touching the ground don't plan on getting stuck in mud, clay, sand, or snow. The V6 has plenty of power stock, and it comes with decent ground clearance. Just know that you can't count on the stock skid plates.

I've been on two, two week overlanding trips with my x. Its been great so far. I've pulled out 2 jeeps, winched out a 3/4 chevy out (tied myself to a tree then used the winch) and I dont remember how many UTVs, (secret, don't go straight for the deep spots.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome. I remember these coming out when I first got my license, and I e always wanted one. This thread is sealing the deal. I’m going to keep an eye out for a good donor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does color affect price for used Xterras? Seems like the blue is a premium, but other than that? Looking to see if I can save a few $ on a donor if I know I’m going to change color.
 

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Does color affect price for used Xterras? Seems like the blue is a premium, but other than that? Looking to see if I can save a few $ on a donor if I know I’m going to change color.
Nope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does anyone know the length from front end of the back seats folded down to the rear hatch? I’m trying to determine if I can reasonably make a camper out of the rear. Not sure how much space there is
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind for my off-road trailer. If you could get pics of the hitch portion I’d appreciate it.

I also wanted the dimensions to know if I can use the rear portion of the main Xterra as well.
 
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