Nissan Frontier Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were buying your first frontier and you had two trucks, all options the same but one was SC and the other was not, which would you choose and why?

I plan on towing a pontoon with my truck so the extra power is a plus but if its the cost of reliability and ease of maintenance then I would probably have to pick the NA motor. Knowing my purchase will likely be around 100K miles a timing belt job is something that seems like it will be harder with the SC... maybe not. Is there any other maintenance that the SC makes a pain in the ***?

I am looking at an 01 SC model with 118K miles. Its CC, 4wd, silver with black leather for ~10K. Pretty much what I was looking for, too bad I haven't sold my car yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,529 Posts
Have you looked into the HP/TQ curves for the NA and SCed motors? All the VGs require a timing belt at 100kish or so. Instead of removing an intake manifold, you are removing a blower so that isn't exactly harder. One thing is that the SC will get less mpg so idk if that is worth it for you. If you are towing, you can always regear to gain some more grunt if needed.

The other thing to remember is that the SC does need to be rebuilt at some point. Penski bought a used one and had to have the SC rebuilt since it was whining. I believe others have also needed this service done which isn't cheap (something like 500-700 or more).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you looked into the HP/TQ curves for the NA and SCed motors? All the VGs require a timing belt at 100kish or so. Instead of removing an intake manifold, you are removing a blower so that isn't exactly harder. One thing is that the SC will get less mpg so idk if that is worth it for you. If you are towing, you can always regear to gain some more grunt if needed.

The other thing to remember is that the SC does need to be rebuilt at some point. Penski bought a used one and had to have the SC rebuilt since it was whining. I believe others have also needed this service done which isn't cheap (something like 500-700 or more).
I havent seen the curves just some #'s here and there. I was initially looking for the NA version but wasn't sure if the SC would be "dealbreaker" for me. I would probably be better off with the NA motor as Ive never owned a FI motor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
One thing is that the SC will get less mpg so idk if that is worth it for you.
Common wisdom is that given the same driving style, a supercharger will increase fuel economy, not lessen it. However, it's harder to drive "sedately" in a souped up vehicle :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Common wisdom is that given the same driving style, a supercharger will increase fuel economy, not lessen it. However, it's harder to drive "sedately" in a souped up vehicle :)
SC models have a bigger fuel pump and bigger injectors but I agree its hard to keep your foot out of it when its fun, especially if it sounds really good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,529 Posts
Common wisdom is that given the same driving style, a supercharger will increase fuel economy, not lessen it. However, it's harder to drive "sedately" in a souped up vehicle :)
This is true. A SC will increase your hwy mileage since it requires less work to make the vehicle move but in the city, its up in the air with stop and go traffic.

I am mainly going from others experiences with the 1st gens w/ and w/o the SC. I think something like 15 NA and 10ish SC. This can be the driver or the environment but idk.

I just think that since the 1st gens are pretty low on power when compared to the 2nd gens, someone with a SC may push it more just because they think it is susposed to be just that much more powerful but in reality, it is something like 30hp or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
i remember looking at a few of those i think its less than 20 hp gain over the non SC model,really think about what was just said here something bout it sounding good when you step on it,how maney times do you think the last guy did that and why did he trade out of it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,621 Posts
I currently have a desert runner and its sc, its nice and all but with 33's on it im getting at best 10 in the city and 15 highway. As of right now im not even breaking 200 miles to a tank and its 91 octane to fill up, so for me its like $50 every fill-up which is about every 2-3 days!!!!:thatswck:

The hp gain is 40hp and the tq gain is about 40-50 or so. these have about 210 hp and 246tq stock, but with new intake, exhaust and a few other little mods you will be up over 235 hp and more torque.

I personally like the supercharger it sounds nice, maintenance is a pain in the *** though, things are a little more expensive, harder to find parts because it is a little different of an engine due to the sc over the NA. Its all a personal preference on what your wants and needs are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,430 Posts
I've towed a couple of small boats with my fathers '01 4x4 CC Fronty and never had a difficult time. It's not supercharged and drives well with 265/70/16 Destination AT's on it with no lift. He still gets 16-18mpg and when he takes it upstate he gets around 19mpg for a 253 mile trip.

My buddy had a Supercharged '01 or '03 4x4 CC, which he got rid of, and all he did was complain about getting 10-12mpg. He loved the truck, used it for work and hunting, but hated paying for fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went and drove both after work. An 01 SC 118K and an 03 SE with 10K miles less.
The SC truck was beat on. Looked great but drove like crap, steering pulled, brakes were super soft and seemed like the truck wasn't very well taken care of.
The 03 was that pewter color I dont care much for but it drove so much better and I couldn't really tell much of a difference between the power but the NA motor sounded and revved a lot smoother.

I like the interior on the 03 more even though it was cloth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,993 Posts
i bought an n/a. the dealer's tech said a s/c truck was no different, plus a bad k/s will make a cause a loss in power. go with a n/a engine, do some mods and you'll be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Common wisdom is that given the same driving style, a supercharger will increase fuel economy, not lessen it. However, it's harder to drive "sedately" in a souped up vehicle :)
True, and owning my first FI(turbocharged) vehicle I would not buy a used one since with age all the additional parts used to make it a "hybrid" engine will also need replacing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,668 Posts
I own a 02 SC Xterra. It's pretty lame. I love the X, don't get me wrong, but it can't even begin to compare to a stock 2nd gen. Not by a long shot even with performance mods. Save up a bit more and buy a 2nd gen. Better power and fuel economy.

One would think with a SC on you would actually get some performance out of it, but as my wife's daily driver it sucks gas worse than a 70s muscle car, and the "power" you get is nothing to write about. The way my truck sits, I still get better mileage than my wife's stock Xterra.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
There is a big diff in power between a S/C and N/A 3.3 fronty.
They are both slow however
The S/C 3.3 perfoms like a N/A 3.3 of that era should have performed like.

The S/C was a bandaid fix to make the Frontier more competitive unitl they released the 4.0

Niether set up has any top end power but the S/C dosent feel like its working hard around town and is failry lively off the line.

My dads 01 S/C has 218k with no major problems.
Exhaust manifolds cracked like all pre 03 3.3s do ,and the knock sensor went bad. Both replaced under warranty around 70k

Manifolds cracked again :/
The S/C is original but making a little bearing noise so its due for a rebuild.

The 4.0 in the 2nd gen is smooth and powerful and beats the dog snot out of any 3.3 ,but with all these timing chain issues I dont know what I would buy if I had to replace my 04 tomorrow.

A bad knock sensor will have little to no effect on power with the N/A 3.3
Power will drop alot with a bad knock sensor on the S/C.
 

·
Registered
2020 Toyota 4runner TRDOR
Joined
·
4,593 Posts
I did actually look at both. I went with the n/a.
consider, your gonna pay an extra 10% for fuel. Thats the same as an automatic 2mpg loss to me for not much gain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
If you were buying your first frontier and you had two trucks, all options the same but one was SC and the other was not, which would you choose and why?
I would go with the non super if it was me especially if it was getting up in the miles

1.Cost of premium Gas
2.Gas mileage
3.Superchargers cause more wear on the engine itself due to cramming more air into the combustion chamber.
4.How much "fun" did the last guy have in it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,993 Posts
There is a big diff in power between a S/C and N/A 3.3 fronty.
They are both slow however
The S/C 3.3 perfoms like a N/A 3.3 of that era should have performed like.

The S/C was a bandaid fix to make the Frontier more competitive unitl they released the 4.0

Niether set up has any top end power but the S/C dosent feel like its working hard around town and is failry lively off the line.

My dads 01 S/C has 218k with no major problems.
Exhaust manifolds cracked like all pre 03 3.3s do ,and the knock sensor went bad. Both replaced under warranty around 70k

Manifolds cracked again :/
The S/C is original but making a little bearing noise so its due for a rebuild.

The 4.0 in the 2nd gen is smooth and powerful and beats the dog snot out of any 3.3 ,but with all these timing chain issues I dont know what I would buy if I had to replace my 04 tomorrow.

A bad knock sensor will have little to no effect on power with the N/A 3.3
Power will drop alot with a bad knock sensor on the S/C.
hmmm my 04 was bought new and the salesman actually wanted to sell me a n/a engine and told me that the SOTP feel wasn't all it was cracked up to be on the s/c engine, now i never drove a s/c truck so i don't know. everyone complains about the 3.3's power being low regardless of it being n/a or s/c so i am happy that i got the n/a engine, plus i can use regular gas, get better fuel milage, and don't have to worry about performance loss when the k/s went bad, and don't have to worry about replacing the s/c when the milage gets high. plus with my intake and exhaust, i am happy with the performance my 3.3 has, it aint a tire fryer or a 1/4 mile beast but it has enough grunt to get me where i need to go, and regardless of the performance, i still think the 1.5 gen frontier is still one of the best looking small pickups on the road today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
hmmm my 04 was bought new and the salesman actually wanted to sell me a n/a engine and told me that the SOTP feel wasn't all it was cracked up to be on the s/c engine, now i never drove a s/c truck so i don't know. everyone complains about the 3.3's power being low regardless of it being n/a or s/c so i am happy that i got the n/a engine, plus i can use regular gas, get better fuel milage, and don't have to worry about performance loss when the k/s went bad, and don't have to worry about replacing the s/c when the milage gets high. plus with my intake and exhaust, i am happy with the performance my 3.3 has, it aint a tire fryer or a 1/4 mile beast but it has enough grunt to get me where i need to go, and regardless of the performance, i still think the 1.5 gen frontier is still one of the best looking small pickups on the road today.

LOL we all know most salesman dont know crap!!!
It is a difference that can most certainly be felt in one that is running right.
The N/A 3.3 will get the job done fine and do what it was ment to do ,and is one of the most trouble free engines Nissan has put out.

IMO the 1.5 gen is definently a great looking truck.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top