Yeah the gas filled shocks hold it up when its warm due to the gas in them expanding from the warmer temperature. I use a small set of vise grips tohold mine up. Its a 95 so I am not worried about replacing them.I'll try adjusting the hatch latch. I attempted to adjust it a couple of years ago, but didn't get it fixed. I don't think I was moving it forward though. That may do the trick.
The 95 doesn't have any rust on it which is great. I have an 89 Nissan 4wd truck that has rust everywhere, including large holes. They must have got the primer figured out. I replaced the plugs, cap, rotor, wires, etc. when we got the Pathfinder in 2002. It had 95,000 on it. I checked the odometer and it only has 110,000 on it now. Thought it had more on it than that. It probably could use a new fuel filter as I haven't replaced it yet.
The 95 Pathy is n automatic and engaging it in 4wd has always been rather difficult. Can't do it while moving. On the other hand, the 89 truck goes in and out on the fly, real smooth. The Scout had a chain driven transfer case which seemed to work okay. Just had to pull a knob out on the dash, but you had to lock in the hubs for pulling, etc.
I didn't realize the spare tire carrier had bearings on it. I'll have to take a look at it. The rear hatch won't stay up in cold temperatures, but it is fine when it's warmer out.
I sure would love to hear what your power loss problem turned out to be. I have the EXACT same issue.