My 2001 Pathfinder (R50 ) mild/budget build


Here's my personal take on the matter...

You've done quite a bit to upgrade the suspension and brakes, which will be what will be most affected by the additional weight. The frame and hard suspension parts (a-arms, etc.) aren't taking the strain as much as the springs and shocks do. Because you've upgraded, those parts can now handle the load you're putting on them. An extra 300 lbs won't really make that much of a difference when distributed amongst the four corners of the truck.

One other thing to take into account is the world we live in. The US is a very... litigious society. People here like to sue other people. A lot. So when it comes to weight rating a vehicle, the manufacturers add a pretty healthy safety margin to cover their asses, generally around 20% or so before things become dangerous. By exceeding the GVWR 300 lbs in a truck that is rated for 5300 lbs, you are exceeding this maximum weight limit with a built in safety margin by... six percent. To me, that falls into the realm of acceptable as long as the vehicle still "feels" right on the road.


Good thought on checking your GVWR. With the higher load ratings of the better tires, I'm sure that will increase your GVWR s bit more to accommodate the heavier loads including the upgraded suspension. It's crazy how fast you can creep up to the maximum rating with a simple camping trip.

Your tent, bags and pads weigh 35lbs!? Yikes you can definitely shed weight there. My tent is no more than 6lbs and the combined weight of I and my girlfriends bag and pads are no more 10lbs... Clothing shouldn't be 40lbs, unless you're not rewearing clothes. I only bring extra socks, underwear and maybe a shirt and pants plus a good jacket. No more than 10lbs tops x 2. She's packing similar too but maybe an extra 5lbs max.

Grab some camping chairs that are made for backpacking. You can shed half that weight to 5lbs or so.

Find some lighter weight wheels. That will help in rotational mass and shed your wheel/tire weight especially having stock wheels.

I was going to say something but... :sombrero: Coming from a backpacking background, I had pared down my tent/bag/pad combo to about 12 pounds at max. So you may want to look into some higher-spec gear, as the lighter choice often has better materials and performance. Heck, you can even get into backpacking then, and kill two birds with one stone. That said, having two extra people with you + dog on most trips definitely does add some weight here and there in ways you wouldn't think. It's easy to cut down on what you personally bring, but getting other people to do it as well is an uphill battle.

But as said, considering you've upgraded the suspension, wheels/tires, and I'd almost say most importantly in terms of weight, brakes, you're probably in the clear with 300 extra pounds. Having replaced the bushings as well and all the little suspension components also makes a difference I think. Considering I'd be shocked if Nissan engineered those components, the last stock ones, to break at 300+ pounds over stock GVWR considering crash-worthiness and all, you should be safe.

A trailer would be nice though, and open up a whole new can of worms for mods.... :ylsmoke:


Expedition Leader
All great points and ideas guys! I'll try to answer the questions.

My 3 person tent used to be 10lbs, the 5 person tent with full height (so I can stand up) is 20lbs- not a bad compromise. We also bring nice self inflating sleeping pads. Clothing includes three duffle bags of clothing and toiletries kts, warm clothing stuff etc, for three people it's pretty close to 40lbs. We do have the standard folding chairs plus a very compact light weight REI Helix(?) chair. IMHO though all these things provide a good balance of comfort and weight- and this weight is a very small percentage of the 1200lbs of weight we're talking about so don't think cutting out weight here will save much.

Overall though I'm not too concerned about being over GVWR (particularly on pavement) but it's something to keep in mind because repeated offroading with over the GVWR will strain components overtime. Brakes while upgraded are still not where I'd like them to be. The Pathy is a bit porky compared to the 4Runner of the same generation (interestingly 300lbs lighter and has 300lbs more GVWR)- not that I will ever trade my Pathy for a 4Runner, just something to know.

I had a 17' travel trailer before; it was heaven on wheels when camping but a pain otherwise...


when I bought my Iron Man springs they advertised being abel to carry 400lbs over GVWR. the ACs should be similar.


Expedition Leader
Another fun trip this past weekend:


More pics here:


Expedition Leader
Just got back from a snow run today, had a blast:

Lots of this

A little of this too

Breaking trail, as you'll see below how deep the snow was ;)




End of the trail


Happy New Year everyone!


New member
nice.....your car/build was the first that I've been watching and motivating me to soon build mine too....and Happy New Year to you ....haha my 7 and 2 years old said that snowman is funny...


Expedition Leader
A quick Big Bear trail run report.

The initial plan was to run Gold Mountain North to South in the muddy slippery conditions but the beginning part of the South end looked decent enough that we decided to run it in the 'normal' direction. As we started going up the trail it started getting more and more muddy and slippery. We went around the first extra-credit obstacle that has a pretty good ledge to climb and it's squeezed between a tree and a large rock. However, soon we came upon another ledge that didn't look super bad but we did find some freshly broken tail lights (from an FJ cruiser it seemed). We picked a line that seemed like it would work. I hit the rear locker switch and tried to climb but the traction wasn't there and the truck started slipping sideways falling off the line or the stacked rocks. We stacked more rocks and tried different lines and angles but it just wouldn't climb up. The tires would just spin in the slush and mud. Both my almost new tires and wheels took a beating. Not wanting to be defeated and turning around we then tried another line that almost worked until the entire backend of the truck shifted sideways yet again but this time putting me at an angle that I had no way to go forward or back due to a tree literally a foot from my tail lights. The decision was quickly made to drag the back end sideways to clear the tree. ih8philly's Rubicon came to the rescue (glad I didn't buy the 'Jeep recovery vehicle' sticker for my truck lol). With Richard310 and ih8philly's help we got the rigging all setup and it worked just as we'd expected. I was then slowly able to ease down the huge slanted rock that my driver's front wheel was on.

At this point we decided it wasn't worth breaking the trucks (live to fight another day). The damage (once I had a chance to look) so far was limited to a couple of gouges on the front two wheels, bummer, too bad BFG KM2s don't have rim protectors like the BFG AT KOs did. Oh well, I guess the wheels are not new anymore so I can stop worrying ;)

At this point we headed back to the pavement and eventually to the Gold Fever trail in search of snow. However, mostly we just found soupy mud pits. Despite that we still had a good time being out on such a gorgeous day and trying out some recovery skills and toys! As for Gold Mountain, we'll be back...when it dries out.

Beautiful day

ih8philly's kitted out LJ Rubicon doing the recovery


Picture doesn't do justice to the size of those flat/ledge type rocks, but this one shows the area in question. You can also see the large rock to the left of my slider.

This is after the truck was dragged over


Heading back to pavement and then on to the Gold Fever trail (3N69)

Very little snow on the trail this time around

Mostly deep mud pits

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