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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just picked up this 2006 Xterra OR on the 2nd. It bottoms out over deep dips in the rear on the street, and bangs quite hard. That I can deal with. I already swapped in some 5100 Bilsteins and the problem is a tad better, but it still does it. At least now the rebound is better controlled and the vehicle doesnt seem to become really unsettled like it did before the shock swap.

Now my fuel level sending unit took a crap yesterday. The low fuel light came on, so I stopped in and FILLED the tank. It took 17 gallons and was full. Jumped back in the car and started it up only to still see the low fuel light still on. BAH! After some time driving around it slowly came back up to full (by the time I got to work after my morning commute this morning).

I went ahead and bit the bullet and ordered the new FLSU and O-Ring off of Amazon this morning and I will be doing the install shortly after I receive the parts.

Is there anything else that I should keep my eyes open for? Any other "common" issues that I should look out for? I had a Nissan dealer do a full multi-point inspection after I did my own inspection before buying the truck. I am not new to cars, but I dont like doing all this extra maintenence crap to them, especially when they are new (even to me).

I would rather take that $100 I spent on the FLSU and put it into some sliders or a light bar...

Im just frustrated. I love this Xterra, and it was flawless on the intermediate trail I was able to take it on last weekend. I was impressed with its offroad capability and I like driving it around town. I think I just needed to vent a bit. Thanks for reading.. lol. :drink:
 

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Regarding the bottoming out, your springs are probably shot to hell - time to reinforce (like Ricel says) or replace. Stock springs go up for sale here periodically, or you can save up for a new pack that will give you some lift (Old Man Emu is a great place to start without going into custom work).

I'm pretty sure the FSU is on recall - check with the dealership. If you've done the work already, you could try writing to Nissan USA for reimbursement but I hear that's a hassle.

There are two more things to watch for. One is the dreaded SMOD (Strawberry Milkshake of Death) - look it up, your truck is within the affected range. The community has developed some solutions, and Nissan recently settled a class-action suit to which you might (might) be entitled something. Do the radiator bypass ASAP.

Finally, something else that affected the early Xterras was the premature wear of the plastic timing chain guides. I believe these are also on recall; they will be replaced with metal ones.

Those are all the biggies to watch out for on the 05s and 06s.
 

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Rear axle as well, depending on trim level. Some had issues with spider gears, mine had a bad pinion seal the first time, and the second time it simply came apart.
 

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I got the Hellwig 550 EZ Level Helper Spring Kit from Amazon for 60 bucks and it fixed the rear bottoming out really well. Sort of a band aid - but works for now.
 

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How many miles do you have on your X?

I am a new X owner as well and have had my 05 Off-Road for a bout a month and a half now and have put 2k miles on it. its now at 84k. In the first couple weeks I had to replace the oil pressure sending unit, about $90 for the part alone if i remember right. Ive been taking it out on trails as often as I can and have thrown the code p1446 twice now. After researching on here it is the EVAP Vent Control Valve. I just cleared the code and it hasn't been back, but their is a filter kit you can get to hopefully prevent this. I love my X but in 2k miles Ive had more problems then with my previous Tacoma over 80k miles. Hoping its got all the bugs worked out now.
 

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This doesn't really surprise me, "grandma" may not have maintained or "gently" used the truck before you got it.

Fix the FSU, check the timing chain guides, and definately do the radiator bypass(look in "How To" section). Then take a look at the spark plugs and change all fluids(both diffs,t-case, PMF for trans(also in How To). Then just keep a good maintenance schedule and enjoy your truck.
 

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Bottoming Out Issue:
This is the rear leaf springs...my new 2012 Xterra did it after my first wheeling trip. I put in a 2" Add-a-leaf and everything has been good with that aspect. It is a band-aid solution; however, for me, it has been a 8000 mile band-aid solution with no noticeable affects yet. I'm sure that the AAL will flatten out as well, but it should give you at least a year to save up for a full leaf pack replacement. AAL = ~$175 for all necessary hardware, or $289 for AAL and front spacer.

FSU Issue:
Don't fill up the car with it still idling; my 2012 doesn't like that, and won't correct until I turn it off and on, from what I've noticed. When I fill it up while it's off, there is no problem at all. However, for your year, there is a Factory Recall for this issue.

Sn0
 

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I have the same truck as you, I bought mine new though so I've already been through the problems your talking about. Here's my info:

The fuel sender unit was recalled, so depending on your mileage you can have the dealership do it for free, I had mine done at a private shop before the recall for about $179. Dont fill it up with the keys in that messes it up again, also no topping off that also does. No problems since.

The 2006 Xterra suspension especially the rear is terrible. Short of buying new leaf packs for 500+ dollars I put in 5100's like you did and also bought Timbrens for the rear. They are amazing and will eliminate that slamming of the axle into the bumpstop. I put Timbrens on the front a month later and it rides even better and got rid of a bunch of body roll.

You should replace the radiator or do a bypass to prevent SMOD from happening.

Other than that the only other thing I've had to do is minor maintenance, plugs at 100k, oil and transmission fluid changes on schedule and thats about it. I'm at 113k btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I think Im going to go ahead and do the Hellwig kit, for now at least. I am planning on doing a small lift sooner or later, so a new rear leaf pack will be in future plans.

Ive looked into those Timbrens, and they look very promising. Only issue I have with them, is the bump-stops are put there for a last ditch effort to keep the suspension from slamming into the chassis.. I would like to correctly solve the issue of the bump stops coming into play at all, before resorting to bump stops that are more comfortable. lol.

I will be doing the radiator bypass likely tomorrow. Does anyone know off the tops of their heads, what size the hose is? I would like to extend everything around the radiator and still utilize the factory cooler on the front.

FSU parts are on their way to me via Amazon as we speak. I will still call the stealership and ask them about the recall on this truck, though Im at 88k miles so Im pretty sure Im going to be SOL on the recall.

I will be checking plugs and fluids while Im taking care of the FSU and Bypass, and will perform a full fluid/plug swap before the first of the year. I like to do all my own maintenance so I know its at least done correctly.

Heres a photo of the rig..
 

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I swapped the stock radiator with a Koyo instead of doing the bypass. Took a while, but there are a few good write ups on here on how to do it. I like wheeling in Death Valley so I didn't want to lose the temp stabilization offered by the radiator.

Your driver side window motor will probably go out next week or the week after. When that happens get a new one on Amazon, and it takes an hour or two to replace. Again there are howtos on here.

Replace the IPDM relay or have a spare with you and know how to replace it when it happens (the relay is a few bucks - also on factory recall). When it happens your dash will light up like a Christmas tree and the truck wont run.

Enjoy!
 

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Oh yeah, the week after next your rear hatch struts will start to fail and the hatch will bonk you on the head. Putting in new struts takes just a few minutes...
 

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I occasionally drag around a flatbed trailer with motorcycles. With two bikes its about 3500 lbs. and nominally 350 lb tongue weight. No way are the wimpy X rears going to hold that up by themselves without a lot of visits to the stops. The Timbrens look like a good solution for hard bottoming, but I needed help off the stops as well.

I have been very happy with Superspring helpers (SSA1). It never bottoms under trailer load, and raises the unloaded height by only 1-1/2 inches. They install in a 'floating' manner though. If I had more tendency to go offroad, an AAL solution would be preferred. I'm concerned these could lose their position under extreme extension while walking over stuff. However, with the extension limits of the OEM Bilsteins, they are always under some tension, so maybe it's not an issue.
 

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Oh yeah, the week after next your rear hatch struts will start to fail and the hatch will bonk you on the head. Putting in new struts takes just a few minutes...
Haha I forgot about those, definitely replace those they are 30 bucks for both from Nissan. That rear hatch feels like a entire car coming down on you when those rear struts give out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Haha I forgot about those, definitely replace those they are 30 bucks for both from Nissan. That rear hatch feels like a entire car coming down on you when those rear struts give out.
LUCKILY, those shocks are still nice and strong. As soon as I suspect them though, they are getting swapped
 
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