Nissan Pathfinder in time for winter

Before there was a Toyota Land Cruiser in my life, there were Pathfinders. I have an uncle who at one point had a garage made up of Nissan Pathfinders and a Saab 900 Turbo for his teenage daughter.

Bring A Trailer brought me back to my youth of crawling in and out of those hard body SUVs with this current auction

This 1991 Nissan Pathfinder SE with a 5-speed manual and a two-speed transfer case is currently up for auction. It’s a really good looking truck. The interior is in great shape. The truck has 28,000 miles on it. This was also the first vehicle that I experienced as a kid with door handles in a non-standard location. I thought those rear door handles were cool and weird.

1991 Nissan Pathfinder Interior

The 3.0L V6 and the manual transmission would make this an example of slow SUV fast. The engine was rated at 153 horsepower in 1991. It’s not making that now and low mileage 28-year-old engines make me nervous. The rubber in the engine bay needs to be updated. Old coolant hoses are time bombs. It’s hard to tell in the engine bay pictures if the old hoses have been replaced, especially since it’s such a low mileage example. The fasteners on the upper radiator hose look new since they don’t appear to be rusty or caked, but clean doesn’t mean that they’re new.

1991 Nissan Pathfinder Engine Bay

I live with a 25-year-old Japanese SUV and I’m sure that this example will have its own quirks. If you’re willing to put up with some oddities then go for it.

All in all, it’s a Radwood ready example. When is Radwood Denver?

Images courtesy of Bringatrailer.com.

7 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s a clean truck. And it’s tempting, except that nothing good is sold in a BaT auction for cheap. I check the site daily for interesting rides, inspiration, and dreaming, but rarely do I see anything that doesn’t quickly get too steep for my budget.

    How was the reliability on these Nissans?

    1. They have issues with exhaust manifold studs breaking off in the engine block, but otherwise there wasn’t much on these to go wrong. They do require careful attention to the timing belt.

  2. I had two of this vintage. I had a 1993 (5 speed/3.0L) and a later 1995 (auto). These were extremely reliable. I used to take the first one on job sites and it got muddy often. The 1995 was for my wife (who could drive a stick but really didn’t liketo) . The 3.0L was smooth but definitely underpowered (even in the 1990’s where the comparable 4runners hp was similar) . These were great, honest SUVs . The Northeast usually meant tin worm if you were not on top of it, but this Denver example looks super clean.

  3. Hot. So, nostalgia-esque hot. If I ever find a clean two-door Pathfinder I’m going to jump on it. Been thinking about ~$1000-1500 winter beaters lately, and the Pathfinder comes up frequently…

  4. Dunno, such a nice specimen and “winter” in the same sentence make the conservationist in me go “huh?”. Found this 1985 Mazda 626 in unusually nice condition yesterday:
    https://www.finn.no/car/used/ad.html?finnkode=160455108
    Check out the interior. Always under cover, until 2017. As little rust as a 3 year old Mazda. That’s a 2000$ car of the best kind, and even then I would hesitate to drag it through winter road salt and basic “bad season abuse”.
    https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2019/10/vertical-3/14/l/nul/l_132066267.jpg
    https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2019/10/vertical-3/14/l/nul/l_1408208198.jpg

    1. They were a very good car, a former colleague kept one similar because he liked it so much. Hopefully someone will preserve it.

  5. Of all the cars I have yet owned, this is the one that I miss the most – a white manual 2wd (sacrilege!) 1995 example.
    As a 2WD, it wasn’t particularly good at anything, but it was still an extremely dependable, easy-to-work-on car that couldn’t crack 18 MPG.

    * does math *

    Huh, if I had kept it, instead of buying a new Civic in 2008, it would now have 270,000 miles, and I would have spent $7,000 more in gas, but saved $20,000 on a new Honda, and the air conditioner and cruise control would still be working…

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