Expedition Portal Classifieds: 1986 4×4 Pathfinder 54K Original Miles

In a day and age where people don’t even blink at a van that costs $150,000, I find it refreshing to return to the movement’s roots. Back to the dream of a cheap van, the open road, and the freedom of a life not tied down by massive car payments or rent. Maybe that’s why I am seriously digging this 1986 Chevy van with an original Pathfinder 4×4 conversion and just 54,000 miles. The seller is asking $15,000, which might seem high for such an old vehicle, but tell me where you can find a 4×4 van with fewer miles for less money and I’ll be seriously impressed. Besides, a four-wheel-drive van from Sandia National Labs in New Mexico during the ’80s? This thing has cool backstory written all over it. Of course, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a story, but we’re sure you’ll come up with something.

The Details

Year: 1986

Make: Chevrolet

Model: G30 4×4 Pathfinder

Mileage: 54,000, original

Price: $15,000

Editor’s Note: The following text is presented unedited in its original format from the advertisement.

1986 Chevrolet G30 4×4 Pathfinder conversion since new. Only 54k original miles. Spent the last two years re-building this rig. 100% rust free original New Mexico van. I Bought it from the U.S. Government at Sandia National labs auction. Extremely well taken of. 

Originally a hard top I sourced a fiberglass roof from a factory model and replicated as per factory the exact cuts and holes and braces for a perfect fit. I then had the top and drip rails smith lined for zero leaks.

I completed gutted the interior had the entirety of the floor and 4 inches up the sides coated with smith lining. I sourced two other seat stands and had all four black powder coated. Added four brand new Courbeau full comfort /adjustable seats with new harness. Doors have dynamat for sound deadening and all interior surfaces have Cool Shield Double bubble insulation installed. Bed platform is built out of 2×4 wood and is sturdy as all hell. Custom made 72 x 43 high density foam has been installed on top.


Custom made roof rack/steps is made from 1.5” 1/8 wall round tubing and was professionally built as I do not have a bender. Removable lock spacer were installed so you could remove the whole racking system. Mucho $ but well worth it. I built the rear bumper from 1/8 inch plate mounted to factory holes. I cut into rear body so the bumper does not look like a sore thumb hanging off the back. Nice and flush.

Suspension is solid axel from and rear. dana 40 up front. I had new springs packs made for both front and rear which also brought it up another 1”. New pro-comp shocks all around and new steering stabilizer up front.

Powertrain comes from the original 5.7L LT9 carbureted power plant. I removed all smog equipment and the 100 feet of vacuums hoses correctly. Installed a new Edlebrock performer intake manifold and rebuilt an American made Holley 600cfm carb. Full tune up, new belts, and it runs great and has passed NM emissions with a two year tag. A/C was converted to 134a and blows a consistent 51 degrees. 

The transmission was rebuilt professionally with heavy duty discs/clutches and plenum. Built for 4×4. Stock trans cooler works perfect.

I had the stock 14 bolt rear end fully rebuilt with all new bearings and ring and pinion. 4:10 gearing now.

Wheels/Tires are from 2005 Chevrolet 2500 3/4 ton truck. Wrapped in brand new Cooper discover ATP. less than 1000 miles on them now. All brand new metric extra long wheel studs were installed as well.

Ready to go wheeling or finish the interior as you wish and take on those long overlanding trips.

Rebuilt/replaced in the last year
-turbo 350 transmission with converter
-rebuilt transfer case
-rebuilt complete rear end 4:10 ratio
-new leaf spring
-new shocks and steering stabilizer
-new 8 lug silverado wheels and metric lugs
-new tires with less than 1000 on them
-new breaks.
-rebuilt Holley 600 carb
-new door rubber all around
-rebuilt sliding door internals
-new windshield, gasket and wipers.

To view the original advertisement and view contact details, click here. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.