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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy a 2005-2009 4x4 V6 AT for a daily driver, but will also want to do some mild trail riding occasionally.

Considering the current year is 2017 there will obviously be some things one may need to look out for as far as redflags, like buying any used vehicle. I am not the most mechanically inclined fella so any tips would be appreciated. Also, some of the acronyms I see on here mean nothing to me so please keep it in english =]

From searching CF.org I have read a lot about the SMOD issue in the automatics. How can one tell if the stock radiator has been replaced, or if a bypass has been done? If neither applies, how difficult is it to eliminate this concern? I've seen that it's cheap/easy insurance, but again....I am very much so a novice when it comes to automotive work.

Timing chain issues also seem to be apparent. I know to listen for the squeal when the engine is started and running, but what else can someone check or ask to find out if this has been addressed my previous owners?

Thanks for your time, and hopefully I will be doing a lot of the mods on CF thanks to the great write ups you all have shared.

Caveat: I have found an 05 LE 4x4 (no locker =[ which is a bummer) 2 owners (dad transferred it to daughter then she traded it in after a year) with 120,xxx miles for $9k that I will be going to look at in a couple of days.The photos show it to be in EXCELLENT shape cosmetically, but that's meaningless if there is a mechanical issue. It's from a very reputable small town dealership, and they offer extended warranties so I will be exploring those costs as well as what they cover. I'll be trading in my 2011 Malibu so my monthly payment will drop by about $40 to help (some) with the increased fuel costs (only avg 21mpg in the Malibu).
 

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Sounds like you have all the bases covered. SMOD and timing chain issues will most likely be your biggest concerns. I would do two things (other than the common sense used vehicle purchasing steps) if I were you. First is to get that extended warranty. I used USAA for financing as they had the best rate, they also offer an extended warranty (through Assurant or Assurance SP?) that you can cancel if there are no claims within the first two months. I got a full refund once I realized my truck was issue free. Check with your warranty company for something similar (probably won't be the case for the dealer provided warranty). Second is to replace the radiator with a NEW one

- abbreviations/acronyms

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f8/acronyms-101-a-152601/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like you have all the bases covered. SMOD and timing chain issues will most likely be your biggest concerns. I would do two things (other than the common sense used vehicle purchasing steps) if I were you. First is to get that extended warranty. I used USAA for financing as they had the best rate, they also offer an extended warranty (through Assurant or Assurance SP?) that you can cancel if there are no claims within the first two months. I got a full refund once I realized my truck was issue free. Check with your warranty company for something similar (probably won't be the case for the dealer provided warranty). Second is to replace the radiator with a NEW one

- abbreviations/acronyms

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f8/acronyms-101-a-152601/
Thanks for the acronym post! I haven't seen that yet. And I will be using USAA too coincidentally. I'll ask about their extended warranty today.
 

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There is a list somewhere on here of range of SNs or mfg date codes affected for the radiators. The big thing to look for would be rough shifts between 50-60 KM/hr it's sort of like the feeling of going over a rumble strip maybe a little quieter. Well that and frothy coolant of course. Good luck!

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OP NP.

2005 = new radiator. Cheap insurance. I bought a 2009 that was supposedly out of the range of models with known issues. Still replaced it.

Also there is a guy on CF that is from the Pathfinder forum. He knows a good bit about the timing chain issues and has done an informative write up about the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just found out that the 05 I am looking at has some damage on it's record....no way to tell how bad it was, but we'll see how it looks and feels tomorrow morning.
 

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easy glance check for the radiators is the factory nissan ones have a foam strip that faces the front of the vehicle on the radiator. all the ones ive replaced or seen replaced from nissan havent had them.
not saying its a solid marker to check, but its an easy glance tool.

it will also be clear to see on the underside if you know what you are looking at. just from the fluids that will have hung around and the shape of certain bolts.
 
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