1997 Nissan Hardbody Pickup XE Kingcab 2.4 liter from North America

Summary:

Absdolutely, the best vehicle investment I have ever made

Faults:

Passenger side front wheel bearing.

2 clutches.

Evap cannister.

Starter.

General Comments:

Probably the single best investment I have ever made in a vehicle or farm implement. I needed a dependable truck at an affordable price that would also fit my 6'0 275lb size in comfort, and an extended or king cab was the only option.

Paid $12,500 as a "used" truck from the dealer - it was originally sold a few days earlier, but was brought back after the guy's credit didn't pass. I have had this truck since November of '97 and have been to 38 states including AK and HI, a few foreign countries, and a few US territories with this truck. Currently coming up on 368,000 miles with only a few repairs needed since new.

If I had known that this would be the last year of the Hardbody, I would have bought two of them and garaged the other one for future use. In reality, the 99 and '00 Frontiers are the same excluding the body work.

Repairs include two clutches ('00 & '07) as I used to haul trailers with it frequently, a front wheel bearing in '04, evap cannister at 300k in '12, and a starter last month. I have tried to buy a used one, but no one, and I mean no one is selling here in Hawaii and for good reason.

I get offers constantly to buy mine; even had one offer and in a moment of weakness agreed to sell for $5k - if the guy could get to the bank and back by the time my truck came out of the car wash. 20 minutes later I was ecstatic that he didn't make it back in time and I scurried out of the car wash!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th December, 2015

1997 Nissan Hardbody Pickup 2.4 from North America

Summary:

Nissan knew what they were doing when they built this truck

Faults:

The only things that have gone wrong with the truck were the starter, radiator and alternator.

The "swirl valve" is a different story.

The radiator was simple and only cost 47.00 on eBay.

The starter was a little more challenging, but doable.

The alternator was easy to replace also.

The swirl valve is difficult. If you have the "Service engine soon" light come on and the code P1130 comes up on a OBD2 scanner, you are in for some real fun.

For starters, let me make life easier for you and tell you where the swirl valve "really" is on a 1997 Nissan pickup. The swirl valve is located between the firewall and the back of the engine valve train cover. You will have to take off the air intake cover to see it. It looks like a small silver vacuum actuator with one vacuum hose connected to the bottom of it. The swirl valve is connected to the back of the engine block by a bracket. Removing the engine hoist pick point makes thing easier to work on. You will need a box end wrench for the pick point and a right angle #3 screw driver to remove the two screws that hold the swirl valve in place. These can be seen with a mechanic's mirror. There is also a E-clip connecting the top of the actuator to the control arm that goes into the throttle body.

I spent my Saturday and $125 bucks on a swirl valve finding out how to do this, so my truck could pass smog. I did not want to pay $400 for a mechanic to fix it. Once I replaced the swirl valve, the light went out and I passed smog. Found out later that the swirl valve can be found on eBay for $75. I used a genuine Nissan part. The part number is "14517-86G0A Actuator-Power". Good luck.

General Comments:

Don't let the size of the truck fool you, this is a tough little truck. The rear drum brakes are the same size as a full size truck. I use my truck as a daily driver, and also for side work. I have had the whole truck bed packed tight full of 6' fence pickets up to the edge. The truck rides a little low, but gets the job done.

I bought this same truck again because I used to own a 1994 Nissan pickup that I drove 100+ miles to the navy base and back every day for 10 years with zero problems, only regular maintenance and a battery. "Very reliable".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2014