How Does Your Pathfinder Do in Snow? - Nissan Forum

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#1 Old Jan 8th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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How Does Your Pathfinder Do in Snow?

I have a 95 and it has never been too good in deep snow. It tends to float up and out and loose traction easily. I couldn't get out of my driveway in it either in 4 high or low. My neighbor drove out in his Chevy 4x4, no problem. Another neighbor drove the whole length of his drive (about 100 yards), through deep snow and back in his Mazda MVP 4x4. I tried to drive up to his house and got stuck about 20 feet into it and it did not want to track. Wanted to go off to the right and could not be controlled. I backed out without any problems. Tires are good. I have 5 sandbags in the back. Got it stuck on Christmas day and had to be pulled out. It is an automatic. Wish I had never bought an automatic.

I have 2 HB 4x4 trucks. One is about the same as the Pathfinder, but the other seems to do better. I believe the tires are narrower on the one that does better. I had an old Scout that would really go through snow well. Is there anything that can be done to improve the traction. Should I put on narrow tires?
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#2 Old Jan 8th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Well ive got 1992 Pathy but i have aftermarket rims with Sport King A/T 31x16.5 there pretty wide tires though but seem to get though snow like butter---i just drove out of my driveway today in 4-in of snow with out hitch.....and went though some heck of a huge drifts heading home the day before in winter Iowa.........

Wilbar
#3 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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I have been reading in some of the archives here. I believe the auto hubs must be malfunctioning on mine. Seems to be a common problem and they are replaced with Warn 35 spline hubs. I bet that it the problem. I am going to jack it up and take a look. I believe that right now, only the right front only is engaging. When accelerating into snow, it will not track and will pull off to the right. I bet it has always been this way since we have owned it (about 30k miles). Have had it about or 7 years. It does not really get driven that much. I read some of the personal postings/accounts about how well the 4 wheel drive works in the Pathfinder. Kind of like what you mentioned. That has not been the case with this one. I have an old blue extended cab HB, that I feed cattle with and it does much better (only a 4cyl). It is very rough though and is not road worthy at this point.

Initially, my wife bought the Pathfinder and drove it a couple of years. She goes 13 miles on back roads to work. She used it about a year and a half and switched to a Buick Lesabre. Said the Pathfinder sucked dust and the windows would not go up. Also the dome light wouldn't work and it got bad mileage. She has had a few mishaps in the Pathfinder. We had some bad ice and it slid down a hill with no one in it and it hit F 150 truck. Need to get it working right because we have had some record snow falls here recently. Not getting around too well.

I'll take a look at the front left hub and may just order replacements. It has got to do better than it has been doing.
#4 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 09:53 AM
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I was just outside looking at the hubs. They are the auto free (floating I think it said). With it in 4wd, if I back up and then put it in drive, the front wheels do not spin. The rear wheels will spin on the driveway slope and I can't move forward. If I then hit the brake and stop the wheels completely, the front wheels will then begin spinning upon acceleration and I can get out.

Here's something else though: If I put the automatic transmission in "1" (low), it will not go forward even with the gas pedal all the way to the floor. None of the wheels will spin. I drove it up to the road, turned right and stopped. I put it in reverse and there was hesitation before going into reverse, then kind of a thunk (it went in). From what I recall, it has always hesitated like this on occasion, ever since we have had it. I have noticed though that there seems to be more revving on accelerating from a stop, like something is slipping. I think the tranny is on its way out and second, I believe the auto hubs are causing problems to? Does this sound like the case?
#5 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Yes it does, but usually you can fix that issue by just repacking front hubs or ya just put manual Warn manual hubs on..........as for your tranny not sure does it have an external cooler cause i think 87-95 you wanted to install external tranny cooler and bypass the whole tranny coooler that runs into the radiator cause it clogs up easy and then can burn up your tranny

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#6 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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It has an external cooler, but it is whatever came on it. Sounds like the tranny is on its way out. I changed the fluid shortly after purchasing it. We have only put 25,0000 on it since we have owned it. It has 119k on it now. Sure wish I had stayed away from the automatic. I imagine a rebuild would run about 2,000, or more.
#7 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 09:40 PM
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Well if you mean it goes into your radiator that also cools your engine then no you don't have an external cooler which is what clogs up and burns out your tranny---you need to bypass that and use external cooler--buying one from a Auto parts or getting one from junkyard---there was guy that used two Ford Explorer coolers---there not very big in size---id do that and mine started acting up and i used a half of a can of Seafoam Trans-Tune-up which cleared but mine was more just sticking if your tranny fluid is already looking brown then may be to late---your probably looking at 800-1500 bucks for a rebuild--what i was quote while back when i thought i need repaired but was able cure itself with Seafoam Tranny Tune-up

Wilbar
#8 Old Jan 9th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith1000 View Post
I was just outside looking at the hubs. They are the auto free (floating I think it said). With it in 4wd, if I back up and then put it in drive, the front wheels do not spin. The rear wheels will spin on the driveway slope and I can't move forward. If I then hit the brake and stop the wheels completely, the front wheels will then begin spinning upon acceleration and I can get out.

Here's something else though: If I put the automatic transmission in "1" (low), it will not go forward even with the gas pedal all the way to the floor. None of the wheels will spin. I drove it up to the road, turned right and stopped. I put it in reverse and there was hesitation before going into reverse, then kind of a thunk (it went in). From what I recall, it has always hesitated like this on occasion, ever since we have had it. I have noticed though that there seems to be more revving on accelerating from a stop, like something is slipping. I think the tranny is on its way out and second, I believe the auto hubs are causing problems to? Does this sound like the case?
Sounds like its going into Limp-mode(Fail-Safe) which ya somethings wrong with your tranny and puts it in like i think 3rd gear only...... is there any lights like your OD(Overdrive) light flashing when you first start it? If not then you probably need A/T Computer checked for error codes but probably not good that reverse is acting up cause thats first signs of transmission to fail altogether unless it like pressure line solenoid that pushs the fluid i think thats what it is---mine came with the factory service manual so got the complete rebuild instructions

Wilbar
#9 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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You're right. It doesn't have an external cooler. I just crawled under and looked. The lines run to the bottom of the radiator. I thought it had a cooler. For some reason, I thought all of them came from the factory with external coolers. Looks like I'm pretty much hosed on the tranny. If I could get the tranny rebuilt for 1,500 and put on an external cooler, I might be better off than buying a different 4x4. I'll have to think about that. The engine is still good (I believe). It has low mileage at 119k. I have an 89 4x4 HB with a 3.0 6cyl. Could I drop the engine and tranny from this truck into a 95 Pathfinder? The truck is a 5 speed. Maybe I could convert the PF to a manual then send the HB to the junkyard. It is fairly rusty.
#10 Old Jan 10th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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im surely it can be done, i think theres other thread about trying it, you might want to try searching see how others have been successful.............ya only thing that you could try is getting cheap external cooler from junkyard and try changing the filter and fluid see if that helps any

Wilbar
#11 Old Jan 11th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Not as well as I'd like..

I have a 97 SE and am original owner. It has never done as well as I'd like/expect since the day I got it. Now mind you my reference point is my prior 1984 Bronco with 32 All Terrain's on it...that baby would go through 2 feet of unplowed without skipping a beat. The Pathy can't come close. Also I'm on my second set of tires...about to go to my third...and looking at General Grabbers as they've been rated well. But my gut says that the Pathy is just not a GREAT snow vehicle..BTW...mines a stick shift and stick 4WD. It's a GOOD snow vehicle...just not a great one at all. All around still very happy with the vehicle....but getting through the snow is not one it's strong points...IMO anyway based on my last 12+ years of experience with it.
#12 Old Jan 11th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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Interesting. I would tend to think that narrower tires would do better in snow. Years ago, we used to occasionally use a Ford Bronco "Cub", I believe it was called, to get over to check some fences that we could not easily access unless we walked. It had a short pick up bed on it. I think the top came off. It did very well in mud and snow. My old Scout would really go through the snow. It was fairly heavy though and had a 345 V8. It had a "limited slip" rear end. I drove it for years until the body fell apart. My wife drove a Jeep CJ7 for quite awhile. It did not do well in snow. I got it stuck more than once. I recall sliding down hill backwards. The thing would spin around because the front end was so much heavier than the back end. There was no back end to speak of. Going forward in snow, it was all over the place. We still have it, but only drive it in the summer as it has no top. Thanks for your input. I have experienced the same with the Pathfinder.
#13 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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I have a 95' SE 4x4 and I think it is awsome in the snow. During my winter camping trip 2 years ago I was pulling my buddies F-150 up the hill in 10" of snow because he couldn't make it. Good tires are key (I have Yokohama Geolander AT-S's on the stock lego wheels) and of course, as you found out, putting power to all 4 tires is even more important. My autolock hubs gave me a lot of trouble as well. I repacked them twice and still had problems with them working consistantly so I bought a set of Warn 29091 Hubs (although if I remember correct they are 28 spline, something to check). I am very happy with them, the only issue was modifying the center caps to fit the slightly larger hub diameter. A hole saw and dremel did the job pretty easy.
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#14 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinnessmike View Post
I have a 95' SE 4x4 and I think it is awsome in the snow. During my winter camping trip 2 years ago I was pulling my buddies F-150 up the hill in 10" of snow because he couldn't make it. Good tires are key (I have Yokohama Geolander AT-S's on the stock lego wheels) and of course, as you found out, putting power to all 4 tires is even more important. My autolock hubs gave me a lot of trouble as well. I repacked them twice and still had problems with them working consistantly so I bought a set of Warn 29091 Hubs (although if I remember correct they are 28 spline, something to check). I am very happy with them, the only issue was modifying the center caps to fit the slightly larger hub diameter. A hole saw and dremel did the job pretty easy.
IIRC there was a design change between 95 and 97...maybe it was a change for the worse in some ways....Appreciate the info on the Geolanders...Running the Michelin LTXs right now and was never happy with their snow traction ...so they gave me the rougher ride of an AT tire but not the traction I expect. So leaning to Highway All season next time around...Was thinking Goodyear tripletreds...but now leaning to Gen'l Grabbers. I agree tire selection matters a lot...but in the end ...some vehicles inherently do better than others in the snow. Even with limited slip diff have always been able to spin em on a hill in the rain in 2WD with the LTXs....on the plus side...I'm a few thousand short of 100K miles on one set of tires.
#15 Old Jan 12th, 2010, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinnessmike View Post
I have a 95' SE 4x4 and I think it is awsome in the snow. During my winter camping trip 2 years ago I was pulling my buddies F-150 up the hill in 10" of snow because he couldn't make it. Good tires are key (I have Yokohama Geolander AT-S's on the stock lego wheels) and of course, as you found out, putting power to all 4 tires is even more important. My autolock hubs gave me a lot of trouble as well. I repacked them twice and still had problems with them working consistantly so I bought a set of Warn 29091 Hubs (although if I remember correct they are 28 spline, something to check). I am very happy with them, the only issue was modifying the center caps to fit the slightly larger hub diameter. A hole saw and dremel did the job pretty easy.
Ya id have to agree tires differently are a big key in getting around well and when you have Limited Slip makes it even better........Ya ive never seen such a crappy Autolock hubs and seem like most Pathy owners find it best to just switch over to manual hubs.....ive own other vehicles like my 1991 Chevy truck that never had any kind of issues with autohubs locking in

Wilbar
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