I can’t quite recall if the xterra was this noisy when I bought it 2 years ago, but one thing is for certain: the noise coming from the leaky muffler has only gotten louder over the days. Mustered enough courage to tackle the cased-on bolts today and this is what we found:
Something leads me to believe that Nissan had some build quality issues at the turn of the century. The stamp line sits upright at a slight angle, causing it to collect moisture and debris. Overtime rust hole formed and now we got a sports muffler.
The local trusty Autozone produced a bolt-on replacement, only to have one of the hinges missing. This gave me a perfect reason to not spend $120 and fix the old one myself! 1 hour later (included 10min of putting out a welding fire):
Good as new!