Thread: What to look for on the 1st generation Xterras? (2002-04, OR, SE, XE)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    PanAmerican Highway
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    130

    Question What to look for on the 1st generation Xterras? (2002-04, OR, SE, XE)

    Gents,

    After looking at early 2000s 4Runners, Cherokees, Monteros, Explorers, etc., Xterra is my #1. They seem to be currently undervalued when compared to the competition. My question is what should I look out for? I'm new to Nissan and I've done a few hours of searching and can't quite find what I'm looking for.

    I'm looking at a 2002, 2003, 2004 XTerra for around $9k. It will be the primary vehicle for my wife and myself, used for trips to Denver (3 hours west) and into the Rockies.

    - SE vs XE - Is there any practical reason to seek out the SE other than coloring?

    - We would prefer the 5spd, but is the 4spd auto trans solid?

    - What do you get with the factory tow package?

    - Lockers, Off Road package? What should I look for?
    Logan and Brianna,
    PanAmNotes.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Girdwood, AK
    Posts
    1,489
    Make sure the timing belt is done around 90 to 100k. Other than that look to see if any of the recalls were fixed, ie fuel sending unit, steering are the major ones. Good soild trucks I'm pushing 200k with mine and I'm about to get the 2nd timing belt done this summer.
    2000 Nissan D22 Last-Frontier-Build
    1974 Volkswagen Type 2
    2013 Fatback
    Expedition Portal Member #4318

    Past rigs:
    1985 BMW E28 euro M5 Summer
    1987 Volvo 240GL Winter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro,TN
    Posts
    664
    Gen 1 Xterra 2000-2001 Square lights
    3.3 v6 basic XE / SE 160-170hp
    No lockers.. Aftermarket are available (ARB)
    Timing belt needs to be changed out every 105k
    great basic 4x4 AT/MT AT pulling 5k MT 3500lbs
    Price range 3k - 6k

    Gen 1.5 2002-2004 Round lights
    3.3 v6 basic XE / SE Interior redone
    Supercharger is available (High grade gas only) (Knock sensor issues) 220hp
    No lockers.. Aftermarket are available (ARB)
    Timing belt needs to be changed out every 105k
    great basic 4x4 AT/MT AT-5000lbs pulling MT 3500lbs pulling
    Price range 4k - 10k


    These SUVs are very under valued.. Ive owned 2 of them.. both have been very solid trucks.. Based on the Nissan Frontier 1998-2004

    Look up www.xterranation.org to see what people have done to them.. From rock crawlers to overland SUVs
    2000 Xterra, 33 10.50 15 BFG KM2, Cragar Soft 8's, Cobra CB, 2"Body lift, 3" SL, RLCweldfab Front bumper, Custom B&M Rear Bumper, B&M lightbars roof basket Straight axel swap in the works
    2009 Xterra mods to come 2" Nisstec Lifts SL BFG KO 285 75 16R InSAIN Fab tire carrier Heps designs roof basket


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Surrey B.C.
    Posts
    226
    I've had 2002 X for a few years now . It has been a great truck and stone reliable. There is no major difference between se/xe as far as I know. You may have more luck finding a 5 speed super charged but there are NA 5 speed units around too. The slush box is fine though if that's what you end up with. Take your time and find the one you want , it will treat you well and get you there and back every time. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    133
    if you end up getting a Supercharged one is good to check the knock sensor, both NA and the SC are prone to get their exhaust manifold crack. Apart form that and the steering mentioned above they are sold trucks IMO. Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro,TN
    Posts
    664
    Id never buy a SC.. Too many KS issues and you can only run high grade gas...

    And the SE had a sun roof and slightly different cloth.. thats about it
    2000 Xterra, 33 10.50 15 BFG KM2, Cragar Soft 8's, Cobra CB, 2"Body lift, 3" SL, RLCweldfab Front bumper, Custom B&M Rear Bumper, B&M lightbars roof basket Straight axel swap in the works
    2009 Xterra mods to come 2" Nisstec Lifts SL BFG KO 285 75 16R InSAIN Fab tire carrier Heps designs roof basket


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2
    I have an 02' 5 speed 4x4 and I love it. Like others have said make sure the timing belt has been taken care of and also look for leaks around the oil pan and around the intake manifold.
    My truck has been solid for the 6 years I have owned it. I have changed the timing belt and replaced the intake manifold gaskets, and this summer I will be replacing the oil pan gasket.


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