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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I recently sold a 2011 2WD Pathfinder and am aiming to find an Xterra to handle the snow and access public lands after recently moving to the mountain west. I’m looking at a 2014 Pro-4X that’s at a Nissan dealer with 61k miles and am concerned about rust — I don’t have much experience here coming from the southeast. The body and interior of the truck are immaculate, but looking underneath I noticed a lot of rust. Some of this could be dust from the deserts around here, but I’d appreciate the thoughts of more experienced users here — I’ve included photos below. Excited to get back in a Nissan soon!
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I don't have an answer for you but I'm very interested in the more informed responses for my own knowledge. My 10 OR Mountain Goat is pretty clean, but I'll be buying another X (and replacing my aging F 150) at some point.
I hope the educated response is that it's possible to clean up surface rust and do an underbody rust prevention treatment

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If the rust is not to bad and can be scraped/cleaned off you can just clean it all off and add rust preventive after. POR 15 is the way to go. I’m going to be doing this soon as I will be going in water and want to avoid the whole cleaning the rust off when it does happen. Just brush POR 15 and you won’t need to worry about it rusting.
 

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I would not consider that "a lot of rust". Looks like a little bit of surface rust, nothing I'd worry about. The rear diff cover looks to be the worst of it. If it were mine, I'd hit it with a wire wheel and put some por-15 or other rust encapsulator and not worry about it.

My xterra has been in Denver it's entire life and has slightly more than that but it's an '06.
 

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Also curious to hear what people think. Looks a lot like my 2011 Pro4x w/ ~150k on it. If its not deep (give it a scrape w/ a screwdriver) it can be sanded/treated. I’m also new to rust so not sure when you really need to start doing this.

I’m wondering if you could get a few hundred off from the dealer to cover having it treated/painted in problem areas. I got another 300 taken off my truck to account for the cost of rust treatment. Again I’m honestly not sure if yours needs it, but in my case the seller saw that was a lingering concern given in new to rust myself, so was flexible to get it moved.
 

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There isn't much that needs to be done, imho. Just not worth the time and cost to rust prevent. Take a look at first and second gen Tacomas and you'll learn what rust really is. I had a '00 Tacoma for a short time until I found football sized rust holes in the frame by the rear leaf spring. I always heard how bomb proof those trucks were and bought mine in a hurry without thoroughly inspecting it, so I missed it. I got online to see if anyone else had this problem only to find that pretty much everybody has. In fact, Tacoma frames of that gen were so terrible that Toyota was replacing all of them for free, and less than 10 years later the replacement frames were starting to rust out too. Trucks were literally folding in half on lifts. So when I seen "rust" like this, I don't even pay attention to it, to be honest.

Around here (Colorado), especially with off road vehicles, the sand and gravel roads will pit things underneath eventually and cause this surface rust. Literally everything will have slight surface rust underneath.
 

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You could also ask the dealership to do the rust tx as part of the purchase price

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Nothing to fix. Anything from the real rust belt was looking like that as it left the dealer lot.
Ask a dealer to fix that, they will just find someone else to sell it to. And not have to deal with you.
Don't expect brand new on a 10 year old used truck.

None of that rust is anything to worry about. You can do some cosmetic clean up yourself if you don't like the looks. But there is nothing there that screams run away.
 
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Along the lines of what others have said, I wouldn't worry too terribly much about that amount of surface rust.

Apart from the rust discussion, that vehicle is already equipped with an Old Man Emu suspension lift and Goodyear Duratrac tires. It's a great setup for light to moderate offroading and more if you start delving into the world of sliders/bumpers/skid plates.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input, everyone. Very helpful to get insights from the group. Getting a PPI tomorrow but expect everything to check out 🤞
 

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That rust is nothing to worry about. I bought my 2007 last year and had to replace all suspension and brake components. The brake lines were so bad that they crumbled when I touched them.
I bought my X specifically looking for a project and it was a 1 owner with low miles and a low price. The only problem was rust.

If it's just surface rust it's fine, but if you can poke a screw driver through it then you need to really think about it.

Another note: I heard a saying that rust never sleeps and that's true. The rust on your X is nothing to worry about, but if I were you I would take care of it.

For mine I used a drill with wire brush, a simple wire brush, and sand paper to remove the rust until it no longer flaked or the metal had a shine to it.
Then, I painted with Rustoleum (I think rust converter) and then covered that with the rubberized spray paint.

Before and after:
130423

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I didn't spray the leaf springs. The paint would have just come off.
130425


These were some of the old parts:
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Comparison:
130427
 

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i agree that isnt too bad compared to some other vehicles. I wouldnt let that alone stop me from buying that X, as long as everything else checks out, maybe ask them for $250- $500 off the price to cover the cost of rust "repair"/ treatment.
 

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@Bangschr , most excellent work. Undercarriage looks friggin super great. I’m impressed.

My 2010 needs similar love. You’ve reinvigorated the inspiration needed to do the necessary.

Question- You replaced hard brake lines? If so where did you source them? Dealer?
 

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@MartinX , the rear brake lines (the lines that extend from left to right over the rear diff) were easy to obtain from a local Nissan dealer for about $10.

However, I couldn't buy the others. I had part numbers from a diagram but they either weren't in production any more or it was extremely expensive. There are 2 lines that run the length of the Xterra from the driver's side front wheel to a junction at the rear diff. I think I found that line but it was around $200.

So, I decided to make my own using the fittings, raw brake line, and a flaring tool that I rented from various parts stores.
Worst mistake ever.
I spent at least 2 days trying to flare the ends and somehow managed to screw up every time. Out of everything I've done to the X, that was the only time I ever wanted to kick it off the jack stands and sell it for scrap.

Anyways, I ended up buying various lengths of "pre made" brake lines such as poly armor from NAPA and other auto parts stores. I believe they were 10mm and a mix of bubble flare and double inverted flare. Then, all I had to do was bend and install.

So, learn from my mistakes and just by the pre made lines. It is much easier and can be done in only a couple of hours.
 
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