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2003 Xterra V8 Swap Forums > > 2003 Xterra V8 Swap 2003 Xterra V8 Swap
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Xterra Nissan Xterra Discussion Forum

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Old 10-26-2020, 07:34 PM
tracy47246 tracy47246 is offline
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2003 Xterra
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Thumbs up 2003 Xterra V8 Swap

My son has had his 1st Gen Xterra since he was in High School he is married with a 8 year old child now and he Loves this vehicle....Well its got a rod knocking and he was really upset and heart broke I told him Id keep it out at my house. he went and bought a new Vehicle yesterday. Id love to Surprise him with it for his Birthday with either it running with a Factory motor or turn it into a Sleeper for him with a Chevy LS Motor or something. Obviously I dont wanna dump a ton of money into it. But was wondering the Groups opinion. any positive advice would be great.
Thank You in Advance
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:41 PM
smj999smj's Avatar
smj999smj smj999smj is offline
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2006 Pathfinder
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2003 Frontier KC SVE 4x4
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Prospect, VA
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The key thing I read is that you don't want to dump a ton of money into it. If you are going with a V8 swap, be it a Chevy or Nissan V8, you are going to dump a lot of money into it. You have to take into consideration not only the motor, but the ECM and wiring harness and splicing it into the Xterras's main harness, fuel pump considerations (don't LS motors spec their fuel pressure around 60 PSI? The Xterra is around 36 PSI regulated), transmission and, if 4x4, transfer case, axle, etc. Plus, all that is time consuming, as well. On the other hand, the VG33E engine is not that hard to find and are usually not that expensive. A good, used engine with warranty can be had for $2K or less with a little searching. Try Car-part.com or Ebay. They were found in 96-00 Pathfinders/Infiniti QX4's, 99-04 Frontiers and 1st gen Xterras (obviously). The VG33E will swap right in without any compatibility issues. I would replace the timing belt & tensioner/water pump/front engine seals/thermostat and drive belts and hoses. I'd also reseal the oil pan and replace the rear main seal, which are two areas infamous for oil leaks, as well as the valve cover gaskets. Nissan cap and rotor, NGK plugs and wires and it should be good to go for a long time.
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