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Old 10-09-2003, 02:17 PM   #1
PFinder
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Questions on 1990 Pathfinder SE: timing belt, CV boots, ball joints etc...

Hello!
Just bought a 2 door SE with about 150,000 KM (90,000 Miles) and Nissan says it needs some work. The timing belt has never been changed. Does it need to be now or when? Nissan says cam and crank seals with that too - quote at $550 CAD ($410 USD). Left and right outer CV boots are cracked and said to cost $650 CAD ($485 USD)
Urgent? Also, front brake pads (includes hub repack, machine rotors) at $330 CAD ($250 USD), left front balljoint at $200 CAD ($150 USD), 2 rear bump stops at $200 CAD ($150 USD), cat back exhaust w/muffler at $450 CAD ($330 USD) and finally the blockheater cord at $90 CAD ($65 USD). What do you think about the costs and work in terms of priority? Other then that the beast is in great shape and very clean. So looking fwd to driving to the mountains for skiing this winter!

Can anyone help a fellow PFer out with some insight?

thanks!
>j-m
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Old 10-11-2003, 03:54 AM   #2
88pathoffroad
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Re: Questions on 1990 Pathfinder SE: timing belt, CV boots, ball joints etc...

If you have any mechanical ability at all, you should be able to replace half of these things easily for 1/3 of the quoted cost.

The timing belt is of utmost importance. It should be changed every 60,000 miles. If it breaks due to old age or wear, your engine will be rendered completely garbage and will need a total rebuild. This will be EXPENSIVE. The cam seals generally go with the timing belt, along with the water pump and crank seal. They should ideally all be done at the same time. I did my own timing belt, all seals, and water pump recently. The cost for the parts alone was significantly less than what the dealer or any other repair shop wanted for the work. The time invested I consider an investment in the future of my own safe and reliable offroading experience, as well as the experience of doing it myself.

It sounds as if they want to replace both of the CV axles instead of simply replacing the cracked boots. Replacing the whole axle is a completely unneccessary procedure. Fully remanufactured CV axles cost a minimum of $110 each. Boot kits cost about $20 each. Replacing either the boot or the whole axle and will require disassembly of the front end, but if you do it yourself it'll just cost you the price of the boot kit itself, no more.
Driving around with cracked CV boots won't hurt them mechanically, because the axles stay stationary during 2WD use, they do not spin. If the boots are torn open and collecting dirt and debris, however... Using 4WD with cracked/split boots is asking for rocks and dirt to comtaminate your CV grease and bearings, necessitating complete replacement of the axles.

The brakes sound like a good idea if it needs it. Get a second opinion. Do they work right? Do they pulse when stopping? If there's nothing percievably wrong with them and a second opinion seems to confirm that they're OK, leave them be.

If your balljoints are bad and will require replacing, then do it. Get a second opinion, again. It's better to be safe than sorry in this case. These things keep your wheels on, for crying out loud! I recently replaced my own balljoints, top and bottom, both sides. They cost about $25 each. Does that tell you anything about costs on those?

Rear bumpstops?? Man, are they trying to rip you off. I have no idea why they would even suggest replacing those things unless they're completely mashed and/or missing. The rear bumpstops simply prevent the back axle from banging into the vehicle's frame under severe upward travel. I cut mine in half and they still work just fine. I wouldn't even worry about them unless a second opinion reveals something extraordinarily badly wrong with them.

A performance exhaust system can be purchased for the same price as a stock cat-back setup. Look into it. Borla makes a system for Pathfinders that's a very nice setup, from what I've heard.

Do you use the block heater? If so, then replace the cord. If not, then leave it be. It's only for those sub-zero mornings that would normally prevent an engine from starting when stored outside in the cold weather.

Anything else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PFinder
Hello!
Just bought a 2 door SE with about 150,000 KM (90,000 Miles) and Nissan says it needs some work. The timing belt has never been changed. Does it need to be now or when? Nissan says cam and crank seals with that too - quote at $550 CAD ($410 USD). Left and right outer CV boots are cracked and said to cost $650 CAD ($485 USD)
Urgent? Also, front brake pads (includes hub repack, machine rotors) at $330 CAD ($250 USD), left front balljoint at $200 CAD ($150 USD), 2 rear bump stops at $200 CAD ($150 USD), cat back exhaust w/muffler at $450 CAD ($330 USD) and finally the blockheater cord at $90 CAD ($65 USD). What do you think about the costs and work in terms of priority? Other then that the beast is in great shape and very clean. So looking fwd to driving to the mountains for skiing this winter!

Can anyone help a fellow PFer out with some insight?

thanks!
>j-m
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Old 10-11-2003, 12:09 PM   #3
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that is fantastic info! thanks for all your help. i walked up to another PF owner in town and asked where he got his service done and he gave me a great contact. so i will have them do the timing belt and i will attempt to do the cv boots, balljoint, and blockheater cord (i live in cold calgary) myself. do the exhaust, brakes with whoever. any good online sources for service/tech for that year/model? otherwise i see there is a service manual on ebay for a few buks http://search-desc.ebay.com/search/s...ty=MetaEndSort

thanks!
>j-m
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