Mortonm's 2001 Xterra Build


Expedition Leader
I bought my Xterra in December of 2011. Its actually my first 4x4 that I have owned, and my second vehicle. I drove this GTI around for 4 years before.


It is isnt my first experience with a truck though, we had lots growing up. We had 1988, 1992 and 1996 4runners as well as a 2001 Durango. Although I was too young to drive the first two (born in 84) we had the third gen 4runner long enough for me to drive it quite a bit. I loved it, it was a limited model.

After I decided it was time to move on from the GTI my first direction to look was for a third gen runner, however for similar miles and years the Xterra's kept coming out significantly cheaper. I had always liked Xterra's as well so that was okay by me.

Mine had 150,000 km on it when I purchased it for ~6000 canuck bucks. It is a 2001 SE with sunroof, roofbox and most of the features you could get. Xterras were not available in Canada with 2wd or the 2.4L 4cl so its 4x4 and 3.3L.

Here is a picture of it as it looked shortly after purchased. The 255/65 R16 Uniroyal Laredos were quickly replaced.


This was not going to be a rock crawler, but merely a vehicle for some exploration, camping and light offloading. I decided to go with 235/85 R16 BFG ATs. They fit with some very minor trimming of the splash guards. I have future plans for a PML but so far it is suiting my needs.




Here is a picture beside my brothers JK (35s, ARB lockers, snorkel etc etc)


This is the only picture I currently have of it getting dirty but I plan to change that soon. My brother and I are going on a 4 day little trip in Eastern Ontario in about 3 weeks and I hope to add a lot more to this thread and probably a trip report.


I just recently took off the side steps and have been performing lots of preventative maintenance to get everything up to snuff. Gas mileage has been okay (roughly 17mpg mixed driving).

Plan to add the PML in the near future and just use it as much as possible.

Any advice or suggestions would be more than welcome!
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Xterra Junky
Right on man.. Watch out for that MOD bug though... Once it bites..

Gen1 Xterra is a great rig to build on.. You have the room you brother doesnt ;)


Also do the rear breather mod. Brings the breather for the rear axle high enough that you don't get stuff stuck in the breather. it's pretty cheap to do .


Expedition Leader
Here are a few pics from a weekend trip my brother (and his dog buddy) and I took last weekend near our cottage. We did a bit of exploring on some dirt roads including a hydro line run.

Some PM has been done including the timing belt, water pump/ tstat etc since I have last posted.

Enjoy the pics!







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Expedition Leader
This is the first real shakedown that I have had of the X, it performed admirably.

Only issues we had was some pin-striping (impossible to avoid in Ontario this time of year) and a cracked front windshield (driving too fast on a dirt road...maybe hit a branch)




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Expedition Leader
I picked up some husky liners for the front and rear seating areas today.

They fit pretty good and will fit better with time as they flayen out after beong crunched in a box for who knows how long.

For the 2000 and 2001 Xterras there is a little bit of trimming required as the cupholders are in the way. They were changed in 2002 with the redesign.

I wanted the digital fit weather tech mats but unfortunately they don't make them for the first generation. These will do me more than fine and keep the crap on the mat.

I got the grey which matches the interior nicely. It isn't as dark as I thought but still good.
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Expedition Leader

My stock fogs are not functioning. The housings leaked and corroded sometime before I bought it. Anyone have any good reccomendations for replacements? Hella? Piaa? Something off ebay?

I have looked at some Hella products and they do have something that matches the size and it comes in fog or driving style. They aren't cheap however.


If you want to figure out shipping from BC to you . I have a set of factory fogs that work fine . One lens has a chip but didn't leak when it was on my truck. It may be your cheapest option.


Expedition Leader
New Bilsteins!

I have had the truck for almost exactly a year now.

I have had a few minor issues but overall has been exactly what i expected of it.

This past weekend I was at my in laws. I had to do an oil change, rotate the tries, rip out the old rusted fog lights (still haven't found a good replacement) and oil spray.

I thought this was a perfect time to do the shocks. He has a two post hydraulic lift and all the power and air tools you could want.

I ordered a set of the Bilstein HD shocks for the Xterra. I bought them through the Bilstein Canada website (

Pricing and shipping was actually quite reasonable and shipping was fast and prompt, couldn't be happier.

I ordered the following parts:

Heavy Duty Series (B46-1099-H2) 0-3" Lifted Front (24-187824)
Heavy Duty Series 0-2" Lift Rear (24-184908)

I am at stock height but i decided to order the ones that can be used if I so decide in the future. Note that to use these rear shocks the rear sway bar must be removed as they are thicker. Mine was already gone so not a big deal.

the stock ones were garbage, either stiff/stuck or fluid gone, could compress in my hands no issue.

Here are a few pics for comparison and of the install







The difference is absolutely night and day, the truck used to dive and get unsettled under hard braking, probably would have led to a spin in bad conditions. I cant say enough good things.

if you are on the fence....jump!
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