2002 Pathfinder...the long road to recovery (build)

About a month ago I started looking at a cheap reliable vehicle capable of being built up as an overland rig but retaining the ability to get me back and forth to work (when needed) and could maintain a decent cruising speed on the highway. I had always wanted a later model Pathfinder with the VQ and a manual transmission, but cannot spend a ton of money. As luck would have it I found a 2002 5spd MT with a blown engine, but otherwise was in good condition for a reasonable price. I contact the owner and planned on going out to pickup the Pathfinder the next weekend. We just got back from the trip to last night and today I began work on the new to me Pathfinder.

The plan:
This vehicle has a lot of miles on it and although the unibody is in amazing condition with no rust I don't know what condition the mechanical are in, except the engine, which is completely blown. Step one is to get the engine, transmission, transfer case and driveshafts out. The transmission and transfer case will be disassembled, inspected, repaired if needed, and reassembled. The driveshafts will get u-joints and and be balanced.

After the drivetrain is reinstalled and all fluids changed I will move on to the brakes, wheel bearings and suspension. Once funds are available I will be installing a 2" coil lift, wheels and tires, arb style bumper, lockers, sliders and skids. The goal is to keep weight down so that drive-ability is not lost.

Known Issues:
Right now the only two known issues besides the blown motor is that the rear windows will not roll down with the driver's switch or the rear window switches and the exhaust system past the largest muffler is completely shot.

Current Status:
Right now I only have to remove the upper engine wiring harness, bellhousing bolts and motor mounts before the engine can be removed. I will probably go ahead and pull the transmission/transfer case as a unit before removing the engine.

If you have any comment on wheels that have the proper backspacing ( I think 3.75") for 265/75 R16 please let me know and where to get them.

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I have always liked the R50. Are you just doing a rebuild on the motor or going to add to it? Are you aware of the power valve screws issue?