Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sweet old 06 6mt is seeing her last days in her current form I think. I'm getting oil pressure loss at idle, which I understand means the front cover needs to be changed along with the pump. On top of that she's burning oil. Not a ton, but it's happening, along with a little loss in power and some other noises that indicate gloom on the horizon. The desert sand seems to have found its way into the cylinders is my guess.

So instead of throwing at least 2 grand into a dying engine it's a question of replacing the motor or the truck. This poor girl has got me out of some of the ickiest, spookiest stuff without a complaint or breakdown for the 60k I've had her. DD and hunting/exploring rig. So there's nothing else wrong, she just needs a heart transplant. I mean, the seats are sat out, the speakers are spent, and there's little tiny things, but I feel like she's just broke in at 237k. On the other hand my wife refuses to drive it, the clutch is 85k old, and with the current gearing 285's can't happen.

Anyway I'm looking for opinions and wondering if anyone knows what the costs to replace are these days.

I'd happily heave a VK in her but I don't know of anyone within a day's drive doing that and it seems like there's substantial prep time involved in collecting parts. I'd go bare bones, but still. I'd love to park a beat up titan next to it and start transplanting everything but that's not going to happen even if I had a second vehicle. The female in my life says it ain't EVER going to happen. We'll see.

There are some decent options out there to start a new build on but anything worth getting is going to require borrowing which I don't want to do since we're starting to look for a house. Bottom line is that I shouldn't have gotten arrogant about how bombproof she's been.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,006 Posts
Guessing.

If your swapping your engine for another of the same, I would expect to pay somewhere between $1000 and $1500 for labor. Add in the cost of a good used engine and you should be close to a final price.
 
  • Like
Reactions: careyj

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Given the price of anything 4x4 right now I’d swap in a new engine but that’s just me. Pricing will vary from region to region but $3-$5k sounds about right to me. While the engine is out put in a new clutch. You noted the current one has 85k on it and while not bad 90% of a clutch replacement is labor and you’re already in there so might as well.

BTW you can absolutely run 285s. You have 3.54 gears. Not the best for 33’s but it’s certainly doable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Given the price of anything 4x4 right now I’d swap in a new engine but that’s just me. Pricing will vary from region to region but $3-$5k sounds about right to me. While the engine is out put in a new clutch. You noted the current one has 85k on it and while not bad 90% of a clutch replacement is labor and you’re already in there so might as well.

BTW you can absolutely run 285s. You have 3.54 gears. Not the best for 33’s but it’s certainly doable.
Thanks. I know I could but with those gears 265s already feel like they’re going to smoke the clutch, plus with the drag on yhe highway I’d never see sixth again. Maybe I’m just understimating the clutch lifespan, i still think I’m going to be walking if I half pedal it all, ha. Thought about 255/85 but I just don’t love the options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,263 Posts
Before I threw a bunch of money at her I would do a compression test, and if that is good I would think about replacing the oil gallery gaskets?

If your not rusted out then I think its worth it. I will replace mine if ever needed. Price depends a lot on where you are located and what engine you get - junkyard swap or long block with warranty type deal.

Assuming you want a rebuild - Nissan is like $5100 - but there are other rebuilders that are under $4k. For some reason I thought the shop time to swap was like 21 hours - so it depends on shop rate etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
I have a manual with 205k miles, that is also my daily/Adventure/camp rig. I run 295 series tires and stock gearing. I live in the mtns and tow a trailer fairly often. Never had a clutch issue and its never slipped on me. It has at least 100k on it and i cant find any signs that it had been replaced prior. I have some engine mods that help with the power loss from big tires, but I would not let the clutch be a factor in tires size selection unless you do a lot of slow speed rock crawling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before I threw a bunch of money at her I would do a compression test, and if that is good I would think about replacing the oil gallery gaskets?

If your not rusted out then I think its worth it. I will replace mine if ever needed. Price depends a lot on where you are located and what engine you get - junkyard swap or long block with warranty type deal.

Assuming you want a rebuild - Nissan is like $5100 - but there are other rebuilders that are under $4k. For some reason I thought the shop time to swap was like 21 hours - so it depends on shop rate etc.
I thought about compression testing, it’s not hard and I’ll probably do it, but I can also tell she’s pretty tired. Burning a half quart per thousand or so. Just starting to have that feel.
Yeah I need to get some estimates. Thankfully I should be able to get a deal of some kind with work connections.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a manual with 205k miles, that is also my daily/Adventure/camp rig. I run 295 series tires and stock gearing. I live in the mtns and tow a trailer fairly often. Never had a clutch issue and its never slipped on me. It has at least 100k on it and i cant find any signs that it had been replaced prior. I have some engine mods that help with the power loss from big tires, but I would not let the clutch be a factor in tires size selection unless you do a lot of slow speed rock crawling.
That’s really great input. Ive had her for 4 years now and it’s always on mind. Is it a manual OR/4x or just the 3.54 like me?

also what do you have for mods? I’ve kind of forgotten what’s available.

there’s a guy selling a Stillen near me for 5 grand. Makes the mouth water but I could probably find someone to vk swap for that money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
That’s really great input. Ive had her for 4 years now and it’s always on mind. Is it a manual OR/4x or just the 3.54 like me?

also what do you have for mods? I’ve kind of forgotten what’s available.

there’s a guy selling a Stillen near me for 5 grand. Makes the mouth water but I could probably find someone to vk swap for that money.
Im 3.54 like you. For first couple years of ownership i kept anticipating a clutch job at any moment but eventually put it out of mind.

For engine mods I'm running
-stock airbox mod
-magnaflo 12580 muffler with y-pipe delete
-Bully Dog tuner
-intake manifold spacer
Altogether its noticable and runs really good. Lugs well down low. When accelerating power comes on around 2,200 rpm which pairs well with shifting.

The stillens are definitely drool worthy. Every now and then a great deal pops up. But I agree for the price I'd opt for a Late model VK swap. 400+ hp from a stock reliable v8 beats squeezing 400hp from a wound up v6 IMO. Unless you're at high elevation a lot.
 

·
Registered
2012 Nissan Xterra S
Joined
·
692 Posts
I recall seeing $10k mentioned for the VK swap through a shop. Not sure if that included everything though.

I have a 2012 S model 6MT and have 285s. Also live at elevation (Denver), play in the mountains often, and tow a boat all throughout CO and never had an issue with the current clutch (25k miles). I smoked the OEM clutch moving back to CO from CA getting stuck in stop and go traffic from Frisco to Eisenhower tunnel on I70 (Ike Gauntlet). Clutch had 125k miles on it and trailer weighed 4k lbs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: careyj

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
I recall seeing $10k quoted as well but I wanna say that was if they source the motor for you too. Basically turn key. If you source your own motor and shelf parts, I heard of some knocking it out for around $6-7K. I bet its largely just how lucky you get on a motor price though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I recall seeing $10k mentioned for the VK swap through a shop. Not sure if that included everything though.

I have a 2012 S model 6MT and have 285s. Also live at elevation (Denver), play in the mountains often, and tow a boat all throughout CO and never had an issue with the current clutch (25k miles). I smoked the OEM clutch moving back to CO from CA getting stuck in stop and go traffic from Frisco to Eisenhower tunnel on I70 (Ike Gauntlet). Clutch had 125k miles on it and trailer weighed 4k lbs.
Wow. Wow okay that’s game changing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Lol that was literally my follow up, where do you live? I live at a mile up and play at 9-11k. When I drove back to the east coast I couldn’t believe I could use sixth at 70mph!
Majority of my driving is around 3500ft. Play up to 8000ft. Very few drivable places higher than that here in PNW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I believe the owner before me bought an engine from a dealer in Seattle for $1700 and then did all the work himself. So I agree anywhere from $1500-2000 is a good estimate for the engine. The radiator was also replaced at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I believe the owner before me bought an engine from a dealer in Seattle for $1700 and then did all the work himself. So I agree anywhere from $1500-2000 is a good estimate for the engine. The radiator was also replaced at the same time.
That’s good info. I got a lead today on a nissan master tech that recently signed on to a shop we work a lot with, so I’m going to try to get his opinion on it. Cool guy according to my boss and some other folks. There are some good upgrade xterras around but I’d be borrowing more than I want to with house shopping comine up, he may just recommend fixing the issue and letting it ride for a while. But still, a lower mile engine and a clutch would set me up for quite a while on a rig that has no other concerns. I should have his contacts tomorrow so we’ll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
It looks A LOT like this. My 06 SE RWD has 374k on her and still starts on the first try and gets dang near factory limelage but I decided to stop pushing my luck. Transmission was completely rebuilt in October after it started slipping badly, all OE parts. I got a reman longblock from Nissan on the Value Advantage program and sourced a bunch of other replacements/upgrades. Everything that got swapped over got cleaned/degreasd. I went thru the wiring harness and replaced all the dry cracking plastic and cleaned the begezus out of everythingI could. While the whole front clip is essentially apart I have gone thru and cleaned and painted all my black. Upgrading hood strut to hood shocks and adding 3" cube lights to hood. The motor goes back into The Blue Falcon tonight!! I will be into it for under 10k and basically have another 300k in her. I love my X!


Vehicle registration plate Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting
Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire Yellow Engineering
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Why not a 4.8 or 5.3L LS swap? Increase power a bunch, get better mileage and never do anything but change the oil. Kits are available.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top