I love my Pathfinder, but I gotta be honest, it's a box. First off I did the grill guard
up front, and now to balance things I've installed a spoiler on the rear hatch rim.
Picked up from 4x4parts.com
, it isn't too crazy big, and has a nice downward curve on the underside of the wing to force air over the rear window, presumably to keep the window clean and break up the drag inducing vacuum that forms behind a big square box when you try and shove it through the air at high speeds. Painted to my color key it was just $205, and was delivered well packaged and in spotless condition.
Once I started to get it mounted though the problems started...first off, no directions, even though their website specifically says "with directions", and an email to their customer service people got no reply.
With no directions or template, where do you drill the two holes in the trunk? I laid out masking tape on the corners of the hatch, had a friend help me situate the spoiler just where I wanted it and drew an outline of the spoiler feet on the masking tape.
In this process I found that the spoiler was not entirely symmetrical. It's made of hand laid fiberglass, so I don't expect total precision, but the way the curved feet grab the trunk lip there really is only one way to fit it on right, and that way has the driver's side a bit too close to the hinge compared to the passenger side. You'll see what I mean in the pics below. It's not a visible problem as you stand back and enjoy the look, but it is another annoying little detail when you look closely.
Next I put the two screws that hold the spoiler directly into the spoiler, and conveniently the heads poked out beyond the feet by just a bit, so I put grease on the heads and gently placed the wing where I wanted it by hand and then took it back off, leaving two nice grease marks on the masking tape where the holes should go.
On the passenger side, the hole I drilled had to go through *3* layers of steel. Not a big problem, but the screws they provided were not even an inch long. A trip to OSH for a longer screw that's the same size and thread pitch solved that problem.
The driver's side should have been easier, but I was stupid and didn't stop to really think about where the other side of my drilled hole would go. By amazing luck I missed all the trunk wires and shot through the rubber boot and into the body. Oh am I lame.
A little bondo goop and some touch up paint and it looks fine. Doh.
So here's how the finished product looks. I know it's subjective, but personally I love it.
Lastly, for fun I decided to see if there was any measurable effect on the Path's gas mileage. I really didn't expect any, but why not try it for fun while the holes are fresh and it's easy to test right? Cruising on a roughly 40 minute long test route at 70MPH on the freeway, I was totally shocked to find my mileage went *DOWN* by 1.5MPG!!! I tested it twice to make sure and the results were the same...
So, yeah, I love the look, but trading off 1.5MPG on the freeway is a painful pill to swallow to say the least. For me, the truck isn't my daily driver, and cleanly filling in those holes I just drilled would be a PITA to say the least, so I'm not taking the spoiler off. For anybody else though I would suggest before you buy this (or any other) spoiler, weigh the pros and cons carefully and make sure it's what you want before you bust out your drill.