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Reinforcing subframe of Nissan Pathfinder

We bought a 1992 Nissan pathfinder to tow our car across country and found out the tow hitch can’t be installed (or not suggested to) because the subframe is so rusted. Is there another way to attach a hitch, or how much do you think reinforcing should cost? What does it involve? Thanks!

If you are going to reinforce the excisting(spelling) subframe it would be better and probably cheaper to get a used subframe from a salvage yard and have that installed.

how about putting a hitch on the car ,and pulling the nissan across,thats a pretty extensive repair for a good body man,cost i have no clue ,because I cant see it. time and material type job,depends on the skill the of the man doing the job.and its not a sub frame its a full frame vehicle

good luck

Are you sure it’s a full frame, we had a tire place replace alot in the front end and told us that the “sub” frame needed reinforcing due to rust. The car is a 2002 Mercury Sable…could that tow the truck??? Thanks :slight_smile:

my mistake ,I assumed the nissan needed the hitch installed,I read the post incorrect.and no do not pull the nissan with the car.meaneyedcatz,sugg.cheapest fix.

my mistake

No you are right…we DO need the hitch installed, but a mechanic suggested NOT to install the hitch until the subframe was reinforced. Sub frame is on the back end, correct? Thanks :slight_smile:

Ok, now my husband is saying that we don’t have to have the subframe reinforced. That we can put a hitch on that doesn’t need to be welded and it’ll be fine, even though the frame is pretty rusted. What is right?

Are you really sure you want to tow a car across country? You don’t need to explain yourself, but I would suggest you may want to reconsider your plan. It is not a fun way to speed a couple of weeks. It will not be a pleasant drive. If you are moving, consider selling what you have and buying new. Just think of the gas you will save. You will get what 3.2 mpg towing a car?

they do not have to be welded,hes correct on that aspect,but it does not matter,if you bolt it to thin steel,or weld it to thin steel,it will not hold ,take it too a good body shop,and get a quote. anything else is rolling the dice(and i dont gamble) and thats a long trip .for any uncertainties.

good luck

Yes we are moving from FL or AZ and believe me I wish we COULD sell it all! I hate moving! We just don’t have the funds to sell the cars and get new. Do you think the gas would be cheaper just driving each car separate? Or the same? Thanks :slight_smile:

Have you thought about shipping one of the vehicles? For the cost of gas, a trailer hitch purchase/install, and the car trailer, you’d probably come close in cost, if not on top. Should cost around $700 to ship a vehicle from FL to AZ.

Just something to consider.

JMHO, but I think you would be better off selling one of the vehicles or driving them both. I realize that would be gasoline for two vehicles and less swapping out of driving time but when you factor in the cost of the hitch, the lowered fuel economy for the towing vehicle, cost of a tow dolly or tow bar, etc. I don’t think there will be much difference in the dollar amount.

It’s not likely anyone is going to rent a tow dolly, etc. to someone considering using a Sable as a towing vehicle. Liability issues are involved.
There are also a few other factors too. That Sable will become an absolute dog on the open road (especially on upgrades) and the automatic transaxle is going to take a severe beating from hauling that load. Chances are by the time you reach AZ the Sable may need a new trans. JMHO and hope it helps in your decision. :slight_smile:

Opps. I also misread the post. All frames will get rust on them. Just have it checked and a hitch just might bolt right up. Are you going to use a tow dolly? That would be better than a car trailer. Hope all goes well, happy motoring.

Are you sure it’s a full frame, we had a tire place replace alot in the front end and told us that the “sub” frame needed reinforcing due to rust.

The ONLY unibody pathfinders were from 1997 through 2000 (maybe 2001). All other pathfinders are body on frame.

This is NOT a trivial fix. The whole frame needs to be inspected. Even if it’s just this one section it needs to be cut out and replaced. It’ll probably cost more then the truck is worth.

If you do a private sale and purchase from a private owner, you should break even, assuming you did a fair deal at each end.

Here’s why I’d be afraid to use the Pathfinder as a tow vehicle: if they can’t weld a hitch because of rust, it’s got to be serious rust. It’s true that you can’t safely weld to a rusty surface, but you can use an angle grinder and a wire brush to clean up any piece of steel that has surface rust. If they can’t clean up the frame enough to weld to it, you have a serious rust problem, and it’s compromised the integrity of the frame. Don’t tow with the rig in that condition. Heck, I’d be looking the frame up and down for more rust damage, you might not even want to drive the thing.