buying a pathfinder! help plz.

You gotta Love these old VG30E/i powered beasts, raw truck DNA to the core.

Moderator: volvite

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:38 am

buying a pathfinder! help plz.

Postby jasontamu » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:43 am


I'm looking for some insight. thinking of buying a pathfinder for daily driving....

BACKGROUND: Im very mechanically oreinted, so i know my way with a wrench...that said though, im not looking for a project, just a 2nd set of wheels for the time being.


My wife just started teaching so she just got her first paycheck as school system started this month for junior high...about January she will be buying her own car and i can have my old car back again...


I was searching craigslist, autotrader, etc with a min of 1500 to 2500 max and came across a ton of early to mid 90's pathfinders?.....they had clean bodies and looked more modern than anything else in the price range.......they had a decent amount that were labeled as "runs and drives strong"

I don't know anything about the VG30 engine and its reliability, and i plan on visiting pathfinder sites as im already a member at a few, but i thought i would get you guys feed back.

IF NOT A PATHFINDER? what might one leaning toward Truck or SUV just cause i can easily throw junk in the back, stop by hardware store and get stuff, etc...



sorry for long post......any insight is appreciated...

User avatar
Sponsored Member
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:38 am
Location: World Traveler

Postby blink32 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:28 pm

Start googling WD21 and to get more detailed info but FWIW the 4cylinder is low on power but the 6 isn't a speed demon either. Try to get a manual shift one if you can, regardless of the engine you choose, if you can deal with stick. The KA24E is an easy engine to work on and lots of parts. I believe the VG30 liked to break exhaust bolts or manifolds? Don't take that as gospel though. Most of my experience in these model years were with the D21 and KA24E which is the same vehicle just with a different body. A KA24DE is a direct swap IIRC for an upgrade in power.

The biggest thing is its going to be fairly old at this point. Just be aware that you should probably replace any moving part in the suspension and steering setup that may be worn. The KA's had plastic timing chain tensioners or guides, I can't remember right now, but they liked to let loose at in-opportune times. That's about all I can think of.

Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:04 am
Location: Jersey

Postby boogyman » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:04 pm

One of the biggest things is frame rot. Before you buy, crawl underneath and check the frame for excessive rust and rot. Once the frame goes, you have a junker on your hands. I have a friend that had a 96 that went over 200k and just did the routine maintenance. Timing belt every 60k with water pump and oil changes. He put it through hell and still ran fine, just looked rough after using it as a skidder (tree puller). Plus hauling way over the specified tow rating. He had a stick and I think he only replaced the clutch once. I'd say if you can find one with an owner that kept records, you have a cherry.

Return to “1986-1995 Pathfinder (WD21)”