Nissan Pathfinder Overland Build on 35s with Titan Swap and 6″ Lift

  • Model: 3rd Gen Nissan Pthfinder
  • Wheels: 35"
  • Category: Overland Build
  • Capability Score: 70/70
  • Build Level: Pro
  • Mods Budget: $$$$
Nissan Pathfinder with titan swapped suspension, 6.5" lift and 35 inch mud tires

The 3rd gen Nissan Pathfinder R51 is the last body-on-frame model produced under this name, which was later replaced with a unibody crossover. Key reasons why it used to be and still remains popular among fans of off-roading are the decent 4×4 capabilities in stock form, which can be further enhanced with proper upgrades.

This camo-wrapped Nissan Pathfinder off-road build, owned and modified by Nick from Coyote Overland, is a good example of how far you can take the R51 platform. With a substantial 6.5″ suspension lift and massive 35″ tires, this Pathfinder is well-equipped to explore the beautiful backcountry of the west coast, allowing Nick to access remote locations that would be out of reach for a stock SUV.

Nissan Pathfinder with Mamba hard shell overland roof top tent
Overland Vehicle Systems Mamba hard shell tent

Mods & Upgrades

Suspension:

  • Nissan Titan front suspension swap
  • Radflo coilovers
  • Custom lift in the back with heavy-duty overload springs
  • 6.5″ inches full suspension lift
  • Upcoming: New Radflo external reservoir coilovers and shocks

Wheels:

  • 35×12.5r17 tires
  • Converted to Toyota lug pattern
  • Drilled and slotted rotors

Body:

  • Custom 3-drawer build out in the back
  • Custom built rear swing-out tire carrier with hi-lift mount and jerry can mount
  • Coastal Off-Road front bumper
  • Custom roof rack
  • Snow camo wrap

Safety:

  • Dual battery system
  • Front Lokka locker
  • LSD (Limited Slip Differential) in the rear
  • Upcoming: Regear to 4.10s

Other:

  • Infinity axles
  • Inverter
  • 48qt fridge
  • Auxbeam lighting
  • In-car ham radio system
  • Overland Vehicle Systems Mamba hard shell tent
  • CVT 8-foot awning
  • Vault cargo box for recovery gear
  • On-board ARB air system
  • 6-gallon on-board water system
Nissan Titan R51 overlanding in the forest

About the build

Despite the inherently good off-road capabilities, the Pathfinder off-road modification process may not be as simple as one for a Jeep Wrangler, especially when we talk about advanced upgrades. The aftermarket support isn’t as strong, although if you’re not new to modifying cars, there certain tried and tested solutions that will help you to turn this SUV into a serious overland machine.

Suspension and Wheels

Fitting a Pathfinder with 35s is not an easy task, yet achievable with the help of a Titan front suspension swap and Radflo coilovers, which among other things allowed running 35-inch tires. Other suspension mods include Infiniti axles, drilled and slotted rotors, custom lift in the back with heavy-duty overload springs, and Toyota lug pattern conversion to ease up the choice of wheels.

Speaking of wheels, Nick managed to install 35×12.5R17 tires, which dramatically improved the off-road capabilities of his rig.

Body Armor

Nick didn’t stop at just upgrading the suspension and wheels of his Pathfinder. He went on to make significant modifications to the body armor and exterior of his rig. In the back, he installed a custom 3-drawer build-out for efficient storage and organization. He fabricated a custom rear swing-out tire carrier, complete with mounts for a hi-lift jack and a jerry can. For added protection and a rugged look, he fitted a Coastal Off-Road front bumper. To accommodate more gear and supplies, a custom roof rack was installed. Finally, to make his rig stand out from the crowd, Nick wrapped his Pathfinder in a striking snow camo pattern.

Overland Gear

Among the overland gear and upgrades are Infinity axles 48qt fridge, Auxbeam lighting, In-car ham radio system, Overland Vehicle Systems Mamba hard shell tent, CVT 8-foot awning, Vault cargo box for recovery gear, on-board water system and ARB air compressor.

Nissan Pathfinder R51 overland build custom steel bumper
Coastal Off-Road front bumper

Owner’s Insight

What are the weak and strong points of the Pathfinder platform based on your off-road experience? 

Weak point so far is the axles because it’s long travel. The factory gearing is really low so it’s sluggish. Strong points is it’s very stable and has decent power out of the V6. It does very well off-road and climbing with the lockers. 

Has it been reliable?

It’s been extremely reliable. The only thing that’s caused an issue was a cam angle sensor went out on me in a parking lot and had to replace one coil pack in the 8 years I have owned it. 

What was the most difficult part of the build?

See Also
Lifted Nissan Frontier Pro4X D41 Built for Overland & Off-Road

The most difficult part was figuring out how to lift the rear to match the front ride height. Also everything is pretty much custom so figuring out how I want everything was a challenge. You can’t just go to a website and just buy stuff for them. Aftermarket support is almost non existent for the Pathfinder platform.

Coastal Off-Road front bumper on a Nissan Pathfinder

Conclusion

The 3rd gen Nissan Pathfinder R51, though not as widely supported by the aftermarket as some other platforms, can be transformed into a highly capable off-road vehicle with the right modifications. Despite the challenges in finding suitable upgrades, the owner of this particular build, Nick from Coyote Overland, has successfully enhanced his Pathfinder’s off-road capabilities through a series of custom modifications, including a substantial suspension lift, larger tires, and various overland gear additions. The Pathfinder platform has proven to be reliable and stable off-road, with decent power from its V6 engine. Based on our off-road capability evaluation rating we can state the following:

Off-road Capability Score: 70/70

This Nissan Pathfinder achieves a perfect 70/70 off-road capability score thanks to its body-on-frame construction (+5), Titan suspension swap with 6.5″ Radflo coilover lift and 35″ tires (+30), Lokka front locker (+10), LSD rear (+10), low range (+10), and body armor (+5). It’s equipped to handle the toughest trails.

Complexity Level: Pro

The Titan swap, Radflo coilovers, tailor-made rear lift, steel bumpers and other custom solutions characterize it as a Pro-level build, with a focus on maximum off-road performance.

Budget: $$$$

With the costly suspension upgrades, body mods, and premium parts throughout, this Pathfinder represents a top-tier $$$$ build where no expense was spared in the pursuit of ultimate capability.

Watch the progress and find out more about this Nissan Pathfinder project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @coyote_overland and his YouTube channel.

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