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Discussion Starter #1
So I started looking for an X to build to replace my Jeep. I've found a great wealth of knowledge here and already have a good build plan started but I have a couple questions and concerns.

I keep finding "Offroad" models that don't have badges on them listed online. Did they not all have the badge on the side? Is the locker switch in the center dash next to the 4wd switch? I figure I can rule it out as an incorrect listing with a look at the interior pictures. I know from my wife's sport model that the traction control button is there along with a lot of blanks so I'm guessing that's where it goes.

The concern, all these trouble codes I'm reading about. I've been searching and reading about all sorts of things for about a month here and it seams like everyone is fighting with codes being thrown. Is it really that bad or am I just finding them all because I'm hopping around?

My TJ doesn't even have abs so I haven't had to worry about steering sensor and traction lights etc. I do all of my own mechanic work so it does scare me a bit that I would have to start taking it to the dealership all the time to get electronic problems fixed.

Thanks in advance. :eek:ccasion5:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry. Should have added I'm looking at '05-08's. Just looked at the wifes '12 and remembered that's the only switch down there. From the pictures I've seen it looks like there's more on the older models.
 

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Trouble codes get thrown on every vehicle. It happens more when you are running over big rocks and what nots. I dont have a pro4 or OR model but iirc, the locker switch is next to the vdc. Someone will correct me if I am wrong. You can also tell a pro4 or offroad by the wheels and audio upgrade. The wheels on pro4/or models are 6 spoke, and the audio system is Rockford Fosgate. Worst case scenario you can try to tell by the shocks. Only the pro4x and or models have bilstein shocks as standards.
 

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Pro-4x do not have the "offroad" badge, but there is a Pro-4x badge on the back.

My 2011 Pro-4x has the 4WD knob, VDC button, Hill Decent button, and Locker button from left to right.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all.

I was asking about the switch location so I could try to rule them out by looking at the pictures online instead of driving an hour or more to look at something someone decided was an "Off-Road" model because it had 4WD. The codes will definitely come in handy though. My wifes S has the VDC button and a nice hole to put your cell phone in so I wanted to make sure I was looking in the right place for the easy button.

As for the codes, over the last 8 years the Jeep has seen as much rock and dirt as it has pavement with no codes thrown BUT it doesn't have all the electronic nannies that other vehicles have either. I was just getting a little concerned about my decision to go a different direction after reading through the forum. It wasn't meant to be one of those "how will an X compare to my Jeep" type questions.

Thanks again.
 

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Ok, so to clarify...the offroad/pro-4x models will have the vdc, hill descent control, and locker switch all down by the 4wd knob. If there is only a vdc button there, it is NOT an offroad/pro-4x model. Lots of times I see advertisements for xterras as "offroad" and they indeed are not. The other signs are as stated above, it will have yellow bilstein shocks all the way around, it will have 6 spoke wheels, it will have the upgraded interior and audio package, as well as the badging. The offroad model has offroad written on both front doors, the pro-4x model just says pro-4x on the back, and it also has the roof lights. I have seen SOME offroad models with the roof lights.

As far as codes and such on these trucks, yes there are a lot of electrical deivces on this truck that can cause lights and things. First of all, you've got your tps light that may come on and off with fluctuation of the temperature. I don't have tps sensors, so my light is always on. You've got your 4wd light on the dash which can do some funky things if you try to put it in 4-lo without following the correct procedure, you can throw a ses light for things such as the common fuel sending unit in the gas tank, or o2 sensors, etc, some people have issues with their abs sensors which will not allow the 4wd to work, there is the smod trans issue, there is the timing chain issue. Now, this all sounds like a lot of things that can go wrong, but realistically, they are either an easy fix, or are covered under warranty. When you use your vehicle the way it was intended to, you need to keep up on the maintenance. You also have the vdc off lights, and slip lights which can blink at you if you have larger tires and are lifted, especially if your alignment is off. This is also an easy fix to get rid of. Like I said, there are lots of ways to light up your dash with warning lights, but they are usually an easy fix, or are easily avoidable. I've had almost everything go wrong on my truck as far as tranny being replaced, timing chains replaced, i now have to do the fuel sending unit as my gas gauge acts funky, my slip lights used to come on all the time, ive had my 4wd selector go out on me from not doing the proper 4-lo procedure....all in all, everything was fixed and nothing major was needed to be done. I love my xterra and I wouldn't have it any other way. My point in telling you all of this is that yes, things CAN go wrong, you CAN get a bunch of different lights to come on, but they are nothing that are of very much concern IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Bliss_X. Guess I'm just used to mechanical stuff going wrong. Sensors and lights just agrevate me.

And clearly I'm going to have to look into the proper way to get in 4 low.
 

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Regardless of Off Road or Pro-4X, yes the switches for the off road controls should all be there together. 4WD-VDC-LOCKER-HDC.

A word of caution, there are a few '05 OFF ROAD 2WD in existence. Rare, but they do exist.

As far as codes, I have a '05 with 90K. Never thrown one. Reading a forum it may seem like there are a lot of problems. Just remember most people come here because they need help. Not too many people pop in to say "hey everything is good!"
 

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Also maybe you will get lucky like I did. I got my Off Road at a great price since the dealer did not know what the differences were. It was listed as a base model and seemed to be priced as such.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Regardless of Off Road or Pro-4X, yes the switches for the off road controls should all be there together. 4WD-VDC-LOCKER-HDC.

A word of caution, there are a few '05 OFF ROAD 2WD in existence. Rare, but they do exist.

As far as codes, I have a '05 with 90K. Never thrown one. Reading a forum it may seem like there are a lot of problems. Just remember most people come here because they need help. Not too many people pop in to say "hey everything is good!"
I actually found a 2wd but the price was up with the 4wd. Otherwise i would have considered buying it and just putting Titan parts up front and maybe an Atlas. Also found an SE listing that was an OR when I looked at the pictures so I'm hoping to find that scenario when I'm ready to pull the trigger.

I was thinking that about the codes. Kind of why I asked. Just started to see a trend as I looked around and I know I plan on lifting and wheeling the X when I finally get it. I'll get over it I guess. Just something different.

Zball94 - That's what I thought it was. Thanks. Ive always had a manual tranny so just stop and push in the clutch, pull lever back to low. My old ZR2 actually needed to be rolling about 2 mph to go in when you pushed the button.
 

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A lot of dealers don't know what they got or just put Offroad on their listings cause it's a SUV and aren't aware the is actually a model called offroad.

One thing. You can't beat on a 2nd gen Xterra like you can a Jeep.
But as long as you go easy and pick your lines, a Xterra can really surprise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Noticed I'm doing a spoke count on every x I pass now.

Acasper708- I try not to beat on the jeep. Been through most of the black trails at Rausch Creek on 32's and just the rear locker but like you said, you gotta pick your lines. Stay up on the rocks instead of running into them. Trials bike experience is a big plus in the rocks.

Hoping to do the TS right from the get go and get some good armor on it. Should be interesting getting used to the wheelbase and such too.

Have to the trail guide at an event in April so I can't change vehicles yet. Driving me nuts right now but hopefully it will keep me from buying something before I know exactly what I want and what it should cost.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Noticed I'm doing a spoke count on every x I pass now.

Acasper708- I try not to beat on the jeep. Been through most of the black trails at Rausch Creek on 32's and just the rear locker but like you said, you gotta pick your lines. Stay up on the rocks instead of running into them. Trials bike experience is a big plus in the rocks.

Hoping to do the TS right from the get go and get some good armor on it. Should be interesting getting used to the wheelbase and such too.

Have to the trail guide at an event in April so I can't change vehicles yet. Driving me nuts right now but hopefully it will keep me from buying something before I know exactly what I want and what it should cost.

Thanks for the info.
If that's the direction you're leaning, I'd strongly consider going with an S model and adding the locker yourself ... if you go with an MT instead of the AT, you won't have to worry about the SMOD either (you're doing your research, so you should have run across that already ... if not, get to reading, especially for the years you're looking at). It's not a huge concern, if you know what to look for and get ahead of it; but if it bites, it'll bite hard (like new tranny & radiator in the worst case).

In a vehicle that old (6-9 yrs, with 50-100k miles) you're probably going to need to replace the shocks anyway (one benefit that folks cite for the OR/P4X models is factory Bilsteins ... IMO, nice, but not worth a huge premium, *especially* if you're already planning to upgrade suspension and don't yet even have the truck) ... and the factory locker went from 2 to 4 spiders sometime in 07, I think? Double check that if you're dead set on the factory e-locker.

The other benefit of going with the MT, is that you get the m226 (D44 HD variant) that came in the OR/Pro-4X models ... and deeper factory gearing. But the drawback to the deeper factory ratio, is that if you want the Titan m205 diff in front, you're going to have to regear it to match (there are 3.73 m205 gears available, or you can go to 4.10s all around or even 4.56s if you're not much of a highway driver).

If I was in your shoes, and looking for a vehicle to do some serious work on, I'd keep one eye on an 07-08 S model 6spd with no-frills that's been someone's well taken care of commuter ... HSA, and HDC, yeah you'd lose those if you're not getting an AT Offroad model; but personally I don't know that I'd weight them highly in my own search - of course that's coming from a guy with an MT, so I've never had them to begin with ... who knows, maybe if I had them I'd find them the greatest thing since sliced bread.

S model gets you some creature comforts (map lights, and a few other interior goodies that the X model didn't get) but often can be had quite a bit more cheaply than the Offroad/Pro-4X.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well that's something I hadn't found in my searching. I thought, from what I've read, that the m226 only came in the OR model. If I can get it just by getting an MT that may change my whole plan. So far I've only found two MT's in my short search but I have time. As for the factory locker I am not set on that. Just thought it would save me one step if it was already locked.

Seriously had to think about what HDC and HSA would be so like you, I wouldn't miss them. I'm guessing hill descent control and hill start assist? I have a brake pedal and a clutch for that.

When I bought my Jeep I almost bought a Rubicon but my wife and I couldn't justify the extra three grand. We weren't even sure we would really wheel it. It cost me almost that much two years later to swap just the rear axle from a Rubicon in and regear the front to match. Not to mention the two lift kits and three different tire sizes over 8 years. Thats why I'm going straight to TS and trying to research everything before I get started. The project is never done but at least I can skip a couple steps knowing I'll end up there eventually.

Thanks for all the great info.
 

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I have a 2008 S with 140K miles I have owned from new and it has thrown only one code - when I forget to tighten the gas cap. Of course its all stock and I am not as hard on it as many others around here.

Your jeep is obviously superior to the one I owned. At 140K on it I should have saved myself the aggravation and lit it on fire. I don't have the patience to type all the things that went wrong with it at this age. My X feels practically new to me still - steering tight, still lots of power)
 

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HDC and HSA are only on the automatics.

Most people will never have a code thrown at them. The few that do come up are pretty well known and the fix is out there.

The Off-road model got a new name in '11, now called a Pro-4x. Same thing, new name.

Why do dealers lie about being an off-road model? Because in the books that model has the highest sale value. Most used car lots have a little of every make and model. They are not specalists. They make there living off the basis of buy low and sell high. Just watch any of the TV shows on flipping used cars you find on cable.

The things that generally set an off-road model off from lesser models is the locker (switch in the center of the dash) and Bilstiens. Those are the easy to spot items. Generally you won't see people go through the effort to fake this stuff. There are a few other things like lower axle gears (3.36 instead of 3.13 in automatics) that you don't see. Wheels are fine, so long as they were never traded out. I no longer have the stock 6-spoke off-road wheels but I still have the off-road model. So someone is cruising around with my old off-road wheels on a non-off-road model.

As for the early vintage, the only big worries I have are the transmission/radiator cross contamination. Avoid that and they are pretty solid as far as a 6-9 year old used car goes.
 
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