Southern California Club Xterra

Southern California Club Xterra => SCCX Display Case => Topic started by: JFanaselle on June 19, 2014, 01:02:56 PM

Title: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 19, 2014, 01:02:56 PM
Username: JFanaselle
Name: Joe Fanaselle
Location: Murrieta

Vehicle info: 2010 Nissan Xterra S 4X4
Color: Avalanche White
Transmission: 5 speed automatic

Mods: (Updated 11/12/17)
 
Drive Train/Performance:
1. Rear axle assembly swapped from 3.13 C200 to 3.36 M226 w/ e-locker
2. Front diff swapped out to match 3.36 gearing after rear axle swap
3. Airflow snorkel
4. K&N drop-in air filter

Suspension/Tires:
1. Radflo 2.5 extended travel front coilovers
2. PRG Rev 2 upper control arms
3. Camber bolts
4. Front sway bar delete
5. Rear sway bar delete
6. Old Man Emu Dakar HD rear leaf springs
7. PRG u-bolt flip kit
8. PRG rear adjustable shackles
9. Bilstein 5125 rear shocks
10. Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac 285 75 16 (33") "E" tires
11. OEM early-edition "Off Road" 6-spoke wheels
12. 2 degree axle shims
13. Rear diff breather mod
14: BORA 1.5" wheel spacers front and rear (front fenders slightly trimmed)


Exterior/Armor/Recovery:
1. Hefty Fabworks aluminum front bumper and aluminum radiator skid plate
2. Smittybilt X20 10K waterproof winch with Masterpull 3/8" synthetic line and G110 hook
3. Bucksnort non-tire carrier rear bumper
4. Hefty Fabworks engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank skids
5. Shrockworks rock sliders
6. BTF M226 rear diff cover
7. Insain Fab aluminum full replacement roof rack w/ Gobi tool box and Baja Racks hi-lift mount
8. 60" Hi-lift extreme jack
9. ARB 2000 shade awning mounted to driver's side
10. (X2) Two gallon Rotopax fuel cans mounted to IF roof rack
11. OBA setup consisting of ARB twin compressor and quick disconnect fittings plumbed into the front and rear bumpers
12. Vigg Designs vinyl hood blackout
13. Blacked-out grill
14. Gobi passenger-side rear ladder


Lighting:
1. 40" single-row LED light bar
2. 7" side-facing "alley" lights mounted above driver and passenger side front doors
3. Pair of 7" rear-facing LED lights (spot beam) mounted to rear roof on custom made lightbar mount
4. Pair of flush mount cube-style LED lights (flood beam) mounted in rear corner plastics, activated by 3-way switch that allows for operation with or without reverse lights
5. Full array of amber strobe/LED warning lights, including:
   a. Pair of rear-facing Whelen LINZ6 strobes mounted to rear roof on custom made lightbar mount
   b. Pair of Whelen Vertex hideaway strobe lights mounted inside rear reverse lights, synced up to rear-facing LINZ6 lights
   c. Total of 4 SVP Signal "Mini Phantom Max" LED lights mounted inside rear hatch window and rear side windows
   d. Pair of front-facing Whelen LINZ6 strobe lights hidden behind the grill
   e. Forward-facing SVP Signal "Mini Phanton Starburst" alternating LED light in windshield (mounted to rear view mirror)
6. Whelen TIR3 red LED light mounted to rear roof on custom made lightbar mount - operates as external 3rd (4th?) brake light
7. All interior lighting converted to LED bulbs
8. HID headlight retrofit with Mini H1 projectors
9. 20" Rough Country single row LED light bar mounted to top of front bumper


Electrical/Electronics/Communications:
1. Isolated dual battery setup with Northstar group 34 deep cycle primary battery (under the hood) and Optima Yellow Top aux battery (under the driver's seat)
2. Fully isolated auxillary distribution circuit with Bussman 10 circuit fuse/relay box installed behind glove compartment
3. Waterproof 6-circuit terminal box mounted to bottom of roof rack (to simplify addition/removal/replacement of roof-mounted lighting)
4. 1000W inverter hard wired under front passenger seat
5. In-dash dual port USB charger mounted below factory 12V plug
6. Sony 6" in-dash radio w/ integrated TomTom navigation
7. XM Onyx2 satellite radio
8. Google Nexus 7 7" tablet mounted with RAM bracket on lower right dash (for trail maps, weather info, etc.)
9. Yaesu FT7800 dual band mobile ham radio
   a. Radio body mounted under passenger seat with control/face mounted to upper center console just below dash
   b. External speaker mounted inside void space under center console, just left of the gear selector
   c. Dual Band Diamond antenna mounted to passenger side of rear hatch
10. Uniden Pro520XL CB
   a. Radio body mounted inside center console
   b. 48" Firestik fiberglass antenna mounted to vehicle body near driver side tail light
11. Carling Contura V illuminated rocker switches from OTRATTW


Appearance/Interior/Convenience/Extras:
1. ARB 50 quart fridge with mounting kit. Fridge attaches to folded-down 40" rear seat and is hard-wired to aux battery
2. Gentex rear-view mirror with compass and exterior temperature sensor (with green display)
3. Dual USB charging terminal installed in the empty 12V outlet slot in the dash
4. 5 switch dash panel from leather/heated seat Frontier PRO4X model
5. Late-model Pro 4X overhead sunglasses holder/bluetooth mic console (also contains custom-installed 4 switch panel)
6. Front and rear seats swapped out for older "S" model seats with mesh sides/backs and side map pocket
7: Offroad Gorilla "hood rod mod" with gas struts
8: Weather Tech front floor mats
9: Fully tinted windows (20% rear, 35% front)
10: Stealth rear factory badges (plasti-dip)
11: Rear corner plastics coated with "Forever Black" plastic dye
12: 150# hatch strut mod (McMaster Carr version)

 
PHOTOS
 
How she sits today:
 
(https://i.imgur.com/AKU28iP.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/IJfTKwF.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/QbCvCrg.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wFb59z9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Lc2Nlns.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gS9Ry3H.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/sFJx2Sq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/QnRnYgG.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/59sl4Zw.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gepN5wp.jpg)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on June 19, 2014, 04:25:49 PM
Lose the step rails and mud flaps
Title: Re: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Toro on June 19, 2014, 09:35:05 PM


Long-term wish list:

1) 2" NISSTEC OME/Dakar lift kit
2) 285/75/16 tires
3) Skid plates


there......fixed it for you.
Title: Re: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 20, 2014, 01:35:28 PM
there......fixed it for you.

Thank you sir. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on June 20, 2014, 02:27:27 PM
What Toro said...you will want/need/prefer 285's...go for load range E so you can "air-down" to 15-20 lbs. for a nice smooth ride in the rocks/washboard/whoops/Mojave Road.  ;D  This will help with the DW's overall comfort and eventual acceptance of off roading and all things involving The Church of Dirt.  ;D

Lose the step rails and mud flaps

Or you could just run Rattlesnake Canyon...once...and let the trail mod your X for you.  

(http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae195/DzrtX/Rattlesnake%20Canyon%202012/AirdownspotShiloh.jpg) (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/DzrtX/media/Rattlesnake%20Canyon%202012/AirdownspotShiloh.jpg.html)

Ask Roadinspectress about her step rails...well..."steppin' out."  ;)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 20, 2014, 05:14:32 PM
While that sounds like an easy (and fun!) way to remove the step rails, I'd much rather just pull 'em off and sell them (or give them) to someone else who wants/needs them (some pavement princess somewhere). That being said, I need sliders before I can rip them off, because my wife likes the assistance of the step too much (even at stock height with stock tires).
Title: Re: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Toro on June 20, 2014, 06:15:11 PM
go for load range E so you can "air-down" to 15-20 lbs.

agree to disagree....
   I recommend a load range D. It's softer compound does better in crappy weather, is more compliant over rocks, requires less airing down to obtain the same effect (less likely to blow a bead...oh yes I did ;) ) and will reduce your chances of deleting entire threads.
Title: Re:
Post by: knightrider on June 20, 2014, 08:26:46 PM
I recommend white knuckle sliders for the added benefit of assisting the misses in the truck, the kick out works great when trying to get in and out of the tiny rear doors as well.

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Title: Re:
Post by: knightrider on June 20, 2014, 08:28:18 PM
Also +1 on load e. I've only debeaded a tire when running cleghorn at 4 psi :) and beat the crap out of mine and gouged the sidewalls with no I'll effects.

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Title: Re: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on June 21, 2014, 10:07:05 AM
agree to disagree....
   I recommend a load range D. It's softer compound does better in crappy weather, is more compliant over rocks, requires less airing down to obtain the same effect (less likely to blow a bead...oh yes I did ;) ) and will reduce your chances of deleting entire threads.

Ha!  :D :D :D
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: RBduffer on June 21, 2014, 12:44:25 PM
 Toro, Knightrider and Ghost are three of the smartest guys ( in that order :-*). 
And 95% of the time their word is gospel.
But..... When it comes to side wall ratings, you must have complete faith that Ghost and Knightrider are full of sh**.
Between the two of them, they have broken more beads than a big breasted bimbo at Mardi Gras.
Go with The Toro, go with 'D' rated sidewalls
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on June 21, 2014, 02:37:59 PM
LMAO
Title: Re:
Post by: Toro on June 21, 2014, 08:33:42 PM
After all that, looks like BFG might have stopped making a D All Terrain and Mud Terrain.....so E it is!
Title: Re:
Post by: Deadpilot on June 21, 2014, 09:29:47 PM
Well I was gonna say use Cooper STT which are mud terrains but they don't make them as D anymore...  so... Yea looks like ya may be stuck with E's

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Title: Re:
Post by: knightrider on June 22, 2014, 01:55:59 AM
Booya bitches

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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on June 22, 2014, 02:09:15 PM
After all that, looks like BFG might have stopped making a D All Terrain and Mud Terrain.....so E it is!

What knightrider said...and s**k it Duffman!!


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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 23, 2014, 04:31:23 PM
Does anyone ever have much luck selling their stock tires if they're not selling the wheels too? I've poked around on Craigslist but it's flooded with ads from junk tire shops so it's tough to gauge if I could get anyting for them or not. I have 265 70 series General Grabber AW tires the dealership threw on brand new just before I purchased the X (it was a "certified" used, so new tires are pretty much standard). I've put about 4k on them and they still look really good. I'm having a very hard time justifying an expensive new tire purchase to the misses when all she thinks about is "the dealer already put new tires on it before they sold it to you." I wonder if any tire shops would give me a decent credit toward a new set if I leave these ones behind for them to sell to someone else?
Title: Re:
Post by: knightrider on June 23, 2014, 08:09:23 PM
Every neighborhood has some dumb punk kids running around, blame them for "slashing" your tires ;-)

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Title: Re:
Post by: Deadpilot on June 23, 2014, 09:05:15 PM
Most big name tire places won't give a credit for used tires cause they just trash the old ones.
Just bring her out to a run and you'll see

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Title: Re:
Post by: Toro on June 23, 2014, 09:53:35 PM
I'll give you $100 for them.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 24, 2014, 01:42:41 AM
$100 is certainly better than $0, but it's still not enough to convince the wife to let me drop an additional $800 or so. But thanks for the offer! I'm thinking tires will have to wait until mine are much more worn down. :(
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on June 24, 2014, 06:23:09 AM
Does anyone ever have much luck selling their stock tires if they're not selling the wheels too? I've poked around on Craigslist but it's flooded with ads from junk tire shops so it's tough to gauge if I could get anyting for them or not. I have 265 70 series General Grabber AW tires the dealership threw on brand new just before I purchased the X (it was a "certified" used, so new tires are pretty much standard). I've put about 4k on them and they still look really good. I'm having a very hard time justifying an expensive new tire purchase to the misses when all she thinks about is "the dealer already put new tires on it before they sold it to you." I wonder if any tire shops would give me a decent credit toward a new set if I leave these ones behind for them to sell to someone else?

Honestly, those can be a tough sell.

We see a lot of the BFG Rugged Trails on steelies or stock S wheels for sale on the forums after folks upgrade to Load Range E tires.

The best scenario is to try and find an Xterra owner who wants to keep their X completely stock (shudder...;) ) and sell them there, or in late April following our Mojave Road trip. ;)

(http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae195/DzrtX/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0085.jpg) (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/DzrtX/media/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0085.jpg.html)
(http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae195/DzrtX/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0150.jpg) (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/DzrtX/media/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0150.jpg.html)
(http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/ae195/DzrtX/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0183.jpg) (http://s971.photobucket.com/user/DzrtX/media/SCCX%20Mojave%20Road%202014/DSC_0183.jpg.html)


All joking aside, Toro's offer is in the ballpark for just tires, which you could use towards the purchase of a good set of A/T's. (All Terrains). 

Also, you might Check Craigslist and thenewx.org for market pricing on stock tires. :)


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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: ultrapc40 on June 24, 2014, 02:23:14 PM
Get a lifts then when she sees how silly the small tires look, she will be ok with getting bigger tires hahaha. That actually worked for a guy on the frontier site.
Title: Re:
Post by: steve c on June 24, 2014, 03:38:11 PM
I'll give you $100 for them.

I'm trying to give you tires and you're offering this guy $100?

LOL

Come get these tires!
Title: Re:
Post by: knightrider on June 24, 2014, 08:22:21 PM
Hey I need some tires.

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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: ultrapc40 on June 24, 2014, 09:54:26 PM
U guys running 16 or 17 inch rims?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: xxSVxx on June 25, 2014, 09:31:07 AM
is this the tire line?   I need to find the tire line....
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: knightrider on June 25, 2014, 11:10:46 AM
i think we are going to need a cleanup on isle 3, maybe split this thread (not delete the whole thing...John) to a separate tire talk thread. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: FrankB on June 25, 2014, 05:27:26 PM
. . .  I've put about 4k on them and they still look really good. I'm having a very hard time justifying an expensive new tire purchase to the misses when all she thinks about is "the dealer already put new tires on it before they sold it to you."  . . .

Or, you could just run Rattlesnake Canyon . . . once . . . and let the trail take care of your tires.  Just take the stock step rails off first, so you can sell them.

By the way, I think BFG still has the AT/KO load range D in certain sizes.  I found this out when I found out that they don't have D (only C or E) in the 265/75/16 size that I want.  That's what I've had for the past 8 years or so, and they've worked great. All I wanted to do was replace with exactly what I have now, and it looks like the choices are C or E.  That sucks, since C is too light, and I think E too stiff for the amount of weight I carry.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on June 25, 2014, 11:19:35 PM
i think we are going to need a cleanup on isle 3, maybe split this thread (not delete the whole thing...John) to a separate tire talk thread. :)

Yeah, OP's answer is getting a bit "jacked"  :D

Does anyone ever have much luck selling their stock tires if they're not selling the wheels too? I've poked around on Craigslist but it's flooded with ads from junk tire shops so it's tough to gauge if I could get anyting for them or not. I have 265 70 series General Grabber AW tires the dealership threw on brand new just before I purchased the X (it was a "certified" used, so new tires are pretty much standard). I've put about 4k on them and they still look really good. I'm having a very hard time justifying an expensive new tire purchase to the misses when all she thinks about is "the dealer already put new tires on it before they sold it to you." I wonder if any tire shops would give me a decent credit toward a new set if I leave these ones behind for them to sell to someone else?

...most of us run 16's JFanaselle, which except for a few of the Xterra's out there is normal.  

IIRC...a couple of models of Xterra and Frontiers came with 17"ers just for kicks.

Frank...nice to see you posting up and coming out of the shadows.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: RBduffer on June 26, 2014, 11:25:54 AM
Good to hear from ya, Frank.
And many thanks for your support and edification on the 'D' rated side walls' superiority.

That sucks, since C is too light, and I think E too stiff for the amount of weight I carry.

J and J, bite me.

Oh yeah, what was the OP?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on June 30, 2014, 07:33:12 PM
First post has been updated with some fresh modifications from this weekend. :D Special thanks to DannyX for selling me the sliders. I spent an entire day refinishing them.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on July 08, 2014, 01:53:13 AM
Really like your roof rack
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on July 09, 2014, 11:00:15 AM
Thanks 0317. I've added the crossbars over the factory roof rack tubes now and the side-facing lighting, so now it's more of a "basket" that can hold gear better with tie-down points all the way around. I will try to grab some new pics this evening and post them. It still needs some rear-facing lighting, which I'm working on obtaining.

I was thinking about creating a new posting in the general discussion section that explains how I built it, but you're the only one who's shown an interest in it so far. It's basically a copy of some of the no-weld drop-in racks that guys built on thenewx.org with a few small changes.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: xxSVxx on July 09, 2014, 11:10:56 AM
I think it would generate interest, bud.....Danny (Toro) fabbed up my roof rack, and some guys have shown interest in how/where/etc., so a thread on how you fabbed it up would generate plenty of interest.....give it a shot!  What have you got to lose?

My .02

:)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on July 09, 2014, 11:34:00 AM
Alright, let me see what I can slap together. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on July 09, 2014, 07:47:03 PM
Write-up is complete: http://www.sccxterra.com/smf/index.php/topic,2480.0.html
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on August 03, 2014, 10:31:45 PM
Managed to take advantage of the wet weather in the Inland Empire today. Found an awesome spot in Hemet to get a little dirty and have some fun (along with my cousin in his F-150) between shooting news video of the storms.

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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on August 14, 2014, 11:10:03 AM
Added a bunch of stuff:

1) Installed a "Rugged Trail" (eBay special) PML on 8/9/14 - 1.5" lift in the rear via a new shackle and 2.5" lift in the front via a spacer. I LOVE the new ride height. I am getting very minimal coil bucket contact at full droop (so far, I've only noticed it going over speedbumps really fast) and it's really not that bad. I may just install some soft bumpstops and be happy with it. If it bugs me enough over time, I'll look into some new UCAs.

2) Installed Bilstein 5100 shocks all the way around on 8/9/14. Front are adjustable and I have them set at one notch above stock height, just to preload the OEM springs just a tiny bit in compensation for the weight from the winch up front (this added about 1/3" to the front end ride height also). After installing these, it rides like a Cadillac on the highway. :) NO COMPLAINTS at all. I've read alot of people talk about how these ride really rough, but I presume those people are trying to lift their front end using the "adjustment" on the shocks and losing all of their droop capability, resulting in a stiff ride.

3) Installed a Masterpull 75 foot long 3/8" synthetic winch line with G110 Combi hook and aluminum Hawse fairlead on 8/13/14. Picked this up brand new still in the package off of a local Jeep guy on CL for a screaming deal. This replaced the steel cable on the Badland Harbor Freight winch to reduce weight on the front end, and it's SO MUCH easier to handle. Now I just need a solution for remounting my front license plate, since the old one snapped onto the roller fairlead.

4) Installed a set of 265 75 16 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on 8/13/14. I opted to stick with the 265 75 size (which is actually a slight increase in size over the 265 70's the S trim level came with) because this is my daily driver. Plus, I wanted to keep my spare under the back of the X and I've been told I can't run a 285 sized spare under there with the hitch.

OP has been updated with new mods. As she sits today (actually, this was before the synthetic line was installed, so you can still see the roller fairlead):

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Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: xxSVxx on August 14, 2014, 02:19:04 PM
lookin good boss!
Title: Re:
Post by: CAWoody on August 14, 2014, 02:24:29 PM
If your looking for UCA's, I will be selling my Total Chaos UCA's as soon as PRG sends me the right spacers for my Titan swap.  Hopefully next week.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: RBduffer on August 14, 2014, 04:14:18 PM
Once again, I must state for the record: We are not a club, we are
             Enablers for your addiction.
Title: Re:
Post by: SoCalXTerry on August 14, 2014, 05:23:45 PM
If your looking for UCA's, I will be selling my Total Chaos UCA's as soon as PRG sends me the right spacers for my Titan swap.  Hopefully next week.

Tim was that what it was?   The spacers?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: steve c on August 14, 2014, 05:46:53 PM
Once again, I must state for the record: We are not a club, we are
             Enablers for your addiction.

A loosely associated band of merry men and women who coincidently share an enthusiasm for Nissan Xterras.  Not a club. 
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: CAWoody on August 14, 2014, 06:31:10 PM
Tim was that what it was?   The spacers?


We'll see.  Greg called today an said he is sending a new pair of UCA's that he stretched to fit.  Hopefully I will see them next week so I can install on the weekend. :-\
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: SoCalXTerry on August 14, 2014, 07:08:20 PM
Greg called today an said he is sending a new pair of UCA's that he stretched to fit. 

WHAT?????

You sound like me trying to be politically correct....
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Celt on August 15, 2014, 01:54:23 AM
Politically correct???????????/  Whhhoooaaaaaa there Mister.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on August 23, 2014, 08:09:10 AM
Joe...your X is looking great, the Duff Day mods really helped your stance!  Keep it up!  :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on April 14, 2015, 08:01:45 PM
Geeze... I really need to update my build thread. Anyway, since I missed out on the steal of a deal on the Ghost Rack, I bit the bullet and just ordered a full replacement roof rack. It's an early birthday/father's day present, so the wife said it was ok.

I'll update the build thread with photos of all of my recent mods and upgrades once the rack arrives and is installed. Too bad it won't be here in time for the Mojave Road trip.
Title: Re:
Post by: Toro on April 14, 2015, 08:54:18 PM
Wich one did you get?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: steve c on April 14, 2015, 09:09:07 PM
What are you going to do with your sweet rack (lol sweet rack) that you have on there now?

Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on April 14, 2015, 09:10:04 PM
Probably just sell it off. Interested?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on April 14, 2015, 10:17:17 PM
Gobi?


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 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on April 14, 2015, 10:29:04 PM
Nope. I got a great deal on an all aluminum one from InSain Fab. Not sure if you've seen the one they've been pushing over on TNX, but it's nice, and has mounts built in for my 40" light bar that I already own. Boulder Nissan gave me a good deal on one that was already built and sitting in their parts warehouse, so no wait time. The whole rack only weighs like 30 lbs. Can't wait for it to show up!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: knightrider on April 15, 2015, 12:55:45 AM
nice, if i didnt buy the ghost rack i would have gone for one of those aluminum jams.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on April 15, 2015, 07:00:27 AM
Very cool Joe.
Title: Re:
Post by: Toro on April 15, 2015, 09:57:51 AM
Bad ass
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Jayrat on April 15, 2015, 09:04:29 PM
They make a nice rack
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on May 22, 2015, 10:18:12 PM
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!  ;D

The rack arrived today and it is NICE! Can't wait to get this bad boy installed over the weekend!

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/mms_img-1241219664.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/mms_img-1241219664.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on May 23, 2015, 04:22:19 AM
Sweet Joe...looks great!!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: GreenGoon on May 23, 2015, 06:34:56 AM
Nice Joe!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Jayrat on May 23, 2015, 07:47:14 AM
Sweet ,Buddy
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Sage Bromax on May 23, 2015, 08:04:13 AM
Sweet Buddy
I think you might want a comma in there.  LOL
Title: Re:
Post by: Toro on May 23, 2015, 10:39:29 AM
Awesome
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: xxSVxx on May 23, 2015, 10:52:47 AM
I.....I guess I'll just be that guy.....


NICE RACK JOE!!!!   :o :o :o :o :o ;D ;D ;D ;D :D :D :D :D :D ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on May 25, 2015, 10:43:03 PM
Thanks everyone.  ;D

Spent some time on it this weekend in between family obligations. It turned out to be as big of a project as expected, complete with issues with the factory rivnuts. With pulling my OEM rack off several times, a few of them were cross threaded and one was already free spinning. Fortunately, the new rack doesn't use all of them, but that didn't stop me from having a bunch of problems to work though. The very front driver-side one came completely out of the roof, and I replaced it with a bolt that goes all the way through and some heavy silicone to seal the hole.

The rack is built really great, very stout and unbelievably light weight! I did have to enlarge two of the holes in order to compensate for some very slight misalignment, but I think that is due more to my messed up rivnuts than anything else.

Out with the old:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2003.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2003.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2002.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2002.jpg.html)

And with some help from the family:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2004.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2004.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2005.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2005.jpg.html)

In with the new:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2006.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2006.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2007.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2007.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2008.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2008.jpg.html)

I am not happy with the wind faring. It's clear that it was an afterthought in the design process and sits at a terrible angle. Plus, it's way too tall. I removed it this evening and trimmed it down. I would love to run without it entirely, but I need it to hide some wiring for all of my lights that will be resintalled on the new rack. It looks much nicer trimmed down, and I'll get a pic of it up soon.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Scott307 on May 25, 2015, 11:31:23 PM
Looks great Joe ....does this mean you will be carrying all my stuff for me on the next run?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on May 26, 2015, 08:38:36 AM
haha, I seem to remember you having a nice rack yourself Scott. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on May 26, 2015, 09:01:21 AM
Looks great Joe...wind fairing didn't look that bad.


Sent from Planet Claire
 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Scott307 on May 26, 2015, 09:12:51 AM
Lol ... I don't know if I should thank you or slap you. 😳
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Jayrat on May 26, 2015, 09:57:37 AM
I like the picture with Mini Joe in it
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on May 26, 2015, 10:40:07 AM
Some shots this morning of the newly trimmed wind faring (sorry for the gas station shots, it was too dark to take a few in my driveway before I left the house this morning). I like the look much better now:

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2004_1.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2004_1.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2005_1.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2005_1.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Roof%20Rack%2006_1.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Roof%20Rack%2006_1.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on May 26, 2015, 07:08:46 PM
Yup...mo bettah. :)


Sent from Planet Claire
 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on June 10, 2015, 04:32:26 PM
I finally figured out the light bar situation, and made an adjustment to the wind faring one more time.

I moved the faring down so that the top of it sits below the lower front bar of the rack. It serves more of a visual role in this configuration, which is fine. I really just want it in place to hide the wiring for the lights. I ran a piece of weather stripping along the top where it meets the lower bar of the rack and it's actually very quiet. Makes no more noise than the rack does without the faring.

I also finally figured out the light bar situation. I was having a tough time mounting up my 40" bar, because it's actually 41.5" wide and the space between the roof rack sides is about 40.25". I originally fabricated some brackets using 3/8" thick aluminum angle bar (2" x 3"), which attached to the tabs that are already welded onto the Insain rack and held the bar out in front of the rack, above the faring. While I liked the light in this location, the weight hanging that far out from the rack made the light bar bounce (even though the mounts were STOUT) while driving, and I was also getting a weird high pitched hum noise while driving at highway speeds.

I finally found some PIAA clamps that allowed me to fabricate some new brackets that suspend the light bar down from the upper bars on the top of the rack. The light bar sits directly behind the front bars on the rack, which is fine with me. It looks a little funny at first, but has it's benefits - it'll keep the bar protected from branches and other damage, similar to the way a light cage does. I also utilizes a small amount of space that would otherwise be wasted, as the very front of the rack is angled and wouldn't really hold anything anyway. I also had to cut the ends of the light bar down by about 1/2" on each side using a hacksaw. Hard to explain this without photos (sorry, didn't take any) but I basically removed some of the mounting surface and shortened the overall length of the light bar by an inch in order to fit between the clamps. I also had to shave down the clamps in a couple of spots, and fabricate some small "L" shaped pieces to hold the light bar exactly between the upper and lower bars on the roof rack. This is because there is BARELY enough space for the 40" bar to fit in there, with about 1/8" of clearance on both the top and bottom. If I had a single-row 40" LED bar, this wouldn't have been an issue. I ALMOST ordered a new one, but couldn't find one that met the proper width requirements.

Next up - I'm finishing a new rear mounting bar that will hold my 20" LED light bar and amber strobe lights. Should be in place by the end of the weekend. I also ordered an ARB awning that I will attach to this new rack, and am waiting to install that before I'll tackle the side-facing lights.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/mms_img-2130718252.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/mms_img-2130718252.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/mms_img1638240902.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/mms_img1638240902.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/mms_img-264461963.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/mms_img-264461963.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/mms_img33012512.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/mms_img33012512.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Alex on June 10, 2015, 06:05:08 PM
Joe that looks to be one of the best places to mount the light bar; the few metal bars around the light bar won't make a real difference in the light pattern, and it'll really help with protecting it.
All these light bars everyone has makes me want to get my own. ;D
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: ultrapc40 on June 10, 2015, 09:49:57 PM
I have some 40 inch in my garage if you are interested.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: RBduffer on June 11, 2015, 11:29:05 AM
^^^^^^^This just sounds a lot funnier if you start reading on page six^^^^^^^
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: knightrider on June 11, 2015, 11:45:06 AM
my 40inch curves.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on June 11, 2015, 02:01:50 PM
I believe they have surgeries that can correct that.

On a serious note, did you ever get that curved bar mounted? Curious how it came out.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: knightrider on June 11, 2015, 02:52:50 PM
no i actually just got some flat bar that i need to bend up so i can get it mounted.  i did a run 2 weekends ago out to borrego with it just ziptied to the rack with some wood wedges to aim it and the damn thing is bright as all get out. my roommate got some pictures ill have to see if i can get some copies.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: JFanaselle on June 12, 2015, 04:27:14 PM
Awning as been received and mounted. I ordered this on Tuesday with free "ground" shipping and it arrived Wednesday!  :o Guess the seller didn't really ship it from Texas, as his page claimed.

A few conduit clamps and a little bit of weather stripping from Home Depot did the trick just nicely.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0017.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0017.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0013.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0013.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0015.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0015.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0014.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0014.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: steve c on June 12, 2015, 04:34:11 PM
Looks great, Joe. 
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on June 12, 2015, 05:59:58 PM

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0017.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0017.jpg.html)

Flashbacks... ;)

Really looks great Joe...you're gonna love that awning.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Jayrat on June 12, 2015, 07:12:30 PM
Too cool for school Joe.
and this time  I won't call you my sweet buddy lol
Title: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: knightrider on June 12, 2015, 07:40:35 PM
Flashbacks... ;)

Really looks great Joe...you're gonna love that awning.
You had it all...

Sent from my victara using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra - updated 8/14 w/ lift, tires and more...
Post by: Ghost65 on June 12, 2015, 09:32:29 PM
You had it all...

Sent from my victara using Tapatalk

And now you have most of it...all.  ;)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on June 23, 2015, 01:57:18 PM
First post has also been updated with all recent mods and new photos.

Yesterday, I added hi-lift and shovel mount to the passenger's side of the new rack, and re-installed the rear-facing lights (I finally finished fabricating the new rear light-bar/strobe light mount). I'm still waiting for my new side-facing lights to arrive from China. :-\

The hi-lift mount is actually made by Baja Racks for their 6" tall rack. It fits the Insain rack perfectly if you cut away a small amount of the expanded metal flooring where the bottom part of the brackets go. The brackets stick off of the side of the vehicle a few inches, which gave me just enough room to mount quick fists to the top of them to hold the shovel:

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Shovel03.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Shovel03.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Shovel04.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Shovel04.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Shovel01.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Shovel01.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Lightbar02.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Lightbar02.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Lightbar01.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Lightbar01.jpg.html)



Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: Ghost65 on June 24, 2015, 09:16:56 AM
Ghost II
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on June 24, 2015, 09:20:24 AM
Ghost II

Just need the T Swap and bumpers.  8)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: xxSVxx on June 24, 2015, 09:21:42 AM
Ghost II

whoa there bubs....those are gigantic shoes to fill...not saying Joe couldn't fill them....but, that's a big responsibility...
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: Ghost65 on June 24, 2015, 09:24:42 AM
Just need the T Swap and bumpers.  8)

You're almost there!

whoa there bubs....those are gigantic shoes to fill...not saying Joe couldn't fill them....but, that's a big responsibility...

Size 10.5  ;)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on June 24, 2015, 09:28:00 AM
whoa there bubs....those are gigantic shoes to fill...not saying Joe couldn't fill them....but, that's a big responsibility...

How about Ghost Jr.? Never quite as cool as the original.

This all reminds me that I don't even have a nick name for my Xterra yet. I usually just call it the beast, but that's so un-original. :(
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: xxSVxx on June 24, 2015, 09:33:04 AM
How about Ghost Jr.? Never quite as cool as the original.

This all reminds me that I don't even have a nick name for my Xterra yet. I usually just call it the beast, but that's so un-original. :(

I have to say.  You and I have shared a trail or two in our short time as friends. 

Your rig, and, specifically, the light set-up, reminds me of a UFO.

Thus, ET.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: Ghost65 on June 24, 2015, 12:03:11 PM
Xterra Terrestrial.  ;D
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: xxSVxx on June 24, 2015, 01:04:19 PM
Xterra Terrestrial.  ;D

/mic drop
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on June 24, 2015, 01:28:14 PM
Xterra Terrestrial.  ;D

Un. Freakin. Believable.  :o

Best nick name ever! I believe a 50/50 royalty credit is due to Christiaan and Taco John. I love it! Updating the OP now. :D
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra Terrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: Celt on June 24, 2015, 06:03:37 PM
Un. Freakin. Believable.  :o

Best nick name ever! I believe a 50/50 royalty credit is due to Christiaan and Taco John. I love it! Updating the OP now. :D

 Ha that's awesome!!!!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra Terrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: RBduffer on June 24, 2015, 08:31:54 PM
Shouldn't it be: Xterra-estrial ???
Or not.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterra Terrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on June 24, 2015, 09:53:27 PM
Or maybe Xterresterial. Yeah, I like that better. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on July 30, 2015, 12:03:46 PM
1st post updated with freshly completed mods over the past week (including photos 8)).

1) Radflo 2.0 extended travel coilovers
2) PRG Rev2 UCAs
3) PRG adjustable-height rear shackles
4) 1.5" wheel spacers
5) Hood rod mod
6) Hood blackout
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: PainRoller on July 30, 2015, 01:30:16 PM
Nice MODs, Dude!  Your Rig is SICK!

(http://i.imgur.com/29XYmgE.gif)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: Ghost65 on July 30, 2015, 04:34:37 PM
Nice MODs, Dude!  Your Rig is SICK!

(http://i.imgur.com/29XYmgE.gif)

Attends a mod day...installs cool stuff on Xterra...posts funny GIFs relevant to others rigs...yes PainRoller, you are fitting in quite nicely.

(http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h196/lqdgrphcs/Seal%20Of%20Apporval/krusty_seal.gif) (http://media.photobucket.com/user/lqdgrphcs/media/Seal%20Of%20Apporval/krusty_seal.gif.html)

Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: JFanaselle on August 20, 2015, 11:14:24 PM
Calmini front winching bumper installed 8/18/15. I finally got the inner fender plastic trimmed and the radiator skid installed this morning, so I guess it's time to post it up in the build thread and make it official. :)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Food02.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Food02.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 6/23 with new mods)
Post by: PainRoller on August 21, 2015, 12:02:18 AM
Attends a mod day...installs cool stuff on Xterra...posts funny GIFs relevant to others rigs...yes PainRoller, you are fitting in quite nicely.

(http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h196/lqdgrphcs/Seal%20Of%20Apporval/krusty_seal.gif) (http://media.photobucket.com/user/lqdgrphcs/media/Seal%20Of%20Apporval/krusty_seal.gif.html)



GeoYota!  I'm overwhelmed!  My love of all things Krusty.....getting the Seal of Approval?!?!  I'm truly speechless.......sniff
(http://i.imgur.com/vuXJW.gif)

Joe....what can I say?  That bumper looks amazing on your rig!  It blends nicely with your other mods.  Well done, sir!

Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (bumper added 8/18/15)
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2015, 09:03:41 AM
Looking good Joe! And that extra horizontal middle tube will be mighty useful for mounting lights if/when, nice!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (bumper added 8/18/15)
Post by: JFanaselle on August 21, 2015, 04:05:08 PM
Thanks Alex, and you're right, the middle horizontal support actually has little tabs on it for mounting lights. I'd love to put a pair of 7" HIDs or something on there, but I've gotta relocate my amber strobe lights from behind the grill first (because anything I mount to that horizontal bar will block them), and I don't know where to put them yet. :(
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (bumper added 8/18/15)
Post by: FrankB on August 21, 2015, 04:16:34 PM
Thanks Alex, and you're right, the middle horizontal support actually has little tabs on it for mounting lights. I'd love to put a pair of 7" HIDs or something on there, but I've gotta relocate my amber strobe lights from behind the grill first (because anything I mount to that horizontal bar will block them), and I don't know where to put them yet. :(

Is there a way to mount the amber strobes on the underside of those tabs and still be able to use them for driving lights on the top, or will that huge winch you are thinking of adding get in the way?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (bumper added 8/18/15)
Post by: JFanaselle on August 21, 2015, 04:39:34 PM
(http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mTQA9iyB6L7kUMQlSb7A_eQ.jpg)

They do make small "L" brackets that I could use the way you are explaining. The light would mount to the larger surface of the bracket with the wires running through the large hole. Then I could drill a hole in the top of the bracket (the bracket would be upside down from the way it is shown in the photo above) and run a bolt through the HID light bracket, through the tab on the bumper, through the bracket for the strobe light, and put a nut on the other side. They would actually move forward from the tab, which would easily clear any kind of winch I would mount. I just don't know if I'll like them out in front like that. What I would prefer to do is surface mount them directly to the bumper on either side of the fairlead, or even better, have a shop cut out holes for them and flush mount them using a rubber gromet kit that is available:

(http://www.mhq.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/180x180/5e06319eda06f020e43594a9c230972d/r/g/rgrommet-rt.jpg)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (bumper added 8/18/15)
Post by: Motorpig77 on September 08, 2015, 03:30:54 AM
Blinky flashy yellow lights are AMAZING!!! :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on October 16, 2015, 09:26:14 AM
OP has been updated. Even though it's only been a couple months since I updated this thread, I've done a lot of major projects so it was time for a refresh.

Gobi stealth toolbox installed on roof rack
Smittybilt winch installed 9/1/15
OBA added 9/12/15
Full skid plates added 10/2/15
Odyssey battery and ARB fridge added 10/15/15


Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Ghost65 on October 16, 2015, 10:03:56 AM
OP has been updated. Even though it's only been a couple months since I updated this thread, I've done a lot of major projects so it was time for a refresh.

Gobi stealth toolbox installed on roof rack
Smittybilt winch installed 9/1/15
OBA added 9/12/15
Full skid plates added 10/2/15
Odyssey battery and ARB fridge added 10/15/15




DV ready for sure...that's quite a list!  Can't wait to see this rig in person in a few days... :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: RBduffer on October 16, 2015, 03:09:36 PM
Joe, any photos of the OBA?  My Tsunami pooped out after CANVAZ so I've been looking toward you and Bromax for guidance :o ;D
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on October 16, 2015, 06:37:48 PM
I posted a few photos in the "what have you done for your rig lately" thread as I was working on it. The setup consists of the ARB twin compressor (CKMTA12) and ARB 1 gallon aluminum air tank. The compressor has a built in relay and pressure switch, so all you have to do is wire it to the battery (using the included harness) and run one wire from the harness into the cab for the switch (also included). Then run the air lines out to the tank, or directly to a fitting if you plan to run it tankless. Again, it has an internal pressure switch so it's super easy to hook up.

I mounted the compressor and tank to a bracket I made from some "angle iron" (I'm not sure the real name for the stuff, but it's what they use to mount roll up garage doors and garage door openers and I've always heard the installers call it angle iron) and shoved the whole assembly up inside my front bumper below the winch plate. I had some custom air lines made at a local hose shop for $9.00 to run between the compressor and the tank, and from the tank into a t-fitting which then has my lines plumbed into it. They run to a fitting in the front bumper near the winch and another fitting in the rear bumper next to the license plate.

Again, if you want to run tankless, you can just bolt the compressor wherever it'll fit. It's an expensive sucker, but sure is easy to install and pumps a ton of air!

Here's the best photos I have of the installation:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0887.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0887.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0889.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0889.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0895.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0895.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0896.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0896.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0897.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0897.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0919.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0919.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0920.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0920.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0921.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0921.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0934.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0934.jpg.html)

Clearance between the setup and the radiator:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0905.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0905.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0906.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0906.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0908.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0908.jpg.html)

Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: RBduffer on October 17, 2015, 12:25:58 PM
Dude, you are the photo journalist god!  That's exactly what I was looking for ;D

Your a pretty good engineer/mechanic as well ;)

Thanks, I'm gonna get crackin' on mine now.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: chrishaynesusa on October 17, 2015, 03:12:47 PM
looking good.

I would consider an aftermarket power-steering cooler.
NAPA has them for a few bucks.
The later models of Xterra went to the tiniest finned cooler possible.

Looks like a bottlebrush. :)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on October 17, 2015, 05:02:37 PM
As promised, here are some photos of the fridge mounting setup I got from a post on TNX. Consists of attaching the ARB mounting points (which are supplied with the $25 ARB fridge mounting kit) to the existing seat mounting brackets. These are installed on the smaller side of the rear split folding seat (the smaller side). The front brackets (with the red clamps for the seat bottom) already have holes in them that accomodate the nuts/bolts supplied with the ARB kit perfectly. For the rear brackets, I had to drill two holes in the existing seat brackets, which was super quick and easy (didn't even remove them to do this).

The straps that came with the fridge are just a tad too short to go through the brackets under the seat, reach around the edges of the seat and then reach the handles on the fridge. The guy on TNX was just using some generic cinching straps with a pull-tight buckle. I took the ARB ones to a really cool shop here in town called Rancho Army/Navy, and they removed the old nylon straps, cut me new lenghts of nylon webbing and folded them over the ARB clamps and sewed them in place with a box stitch like the original ARB ones were attached. Only cost me $15 (the generic utility straps were about $2.50 each, and I would have needed 4 of them, so it made sense to go this route and use the high-quality ARB metal clamps instead).

One thing to note - after I installed the 4 brackets and was running the straps through them, I realized I could have just not installed the front ones and ran the straps throug the existing seat bracket instead. Once you remove the bottom seat, there are just two little bars there that the straps would run through perfectly. Once I got the clampy-thingies (the pieces that actually attach to the handes on the fridge) installed onto the straps, I just leave them in place under the seat bottom. When I'm ready to put the fridge in the vehicle, I simply pull the seat bottom off, fold the seat back down, hook the straps to the handles and pull them tight, and plug it in. Takes about 45 seconds. :)

I ran a hard wire for the fridge to my aux fuse box and installed a quick disconnect. Fits in this space like a glove, and is super snug when strapped down. It sure beats my old method of wraping a cargo strap around a cooler sitting on the same folded seat - that would still bounce around a little because the seat back would move up and down (the strap was only wrapped around the bottom of the folded down seat) and you'd have to un-do the strap in order to get in the cooler.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1138.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1138.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1136.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1136.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1137.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1137.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1139.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1139.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1140.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1140.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: chrishaynesusa on October 17, 2015, 07:00:53 PM
Fill it up with Stone Beer and call it good!!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on October 26, 2015, 11:28:47 AM
Well, I took the X out for a little pre-death valley shakedown run yesterday and ran into an issue. Actually, I considered CANVAZ as the shakedown trip, and she performed flawlessly. But yesterday, while playing around a little in the hills near my house, I couldn't get the 4WD to engage.

I was cruising around in 2WD and when I approached a steep climb, I came to a stop (still on flat ground) and reached over to switch it into 4-HI. The display near the odometer showed the front wheels trying to engage for about a half second, and then the display shut completely off and the 4WD light came on solid. I put the X in park, switched the 4WD switch back to 2WD mode, shut the key all the way off and waited about 30 seconds before starting it back up. The display came back (and showed I was still in 2WD) and the 4WD light was gone, so I tried it again and the exact same thing happened. I backed out and left the way I came, and tried it a few more times throughout the afternoon/evening with the same results every time.

I'm pretty convinced that it's something electronic since it's resetting the error when I shut the car off and re-triggering it when I try to engage 4 wheel drive. I dropped it off at the dealer last night (still under warranty) and called Motorpig77 to see if he had any ideas. Ironically, he had a very similar issue earlier in the year and the dealership determined it to be a bad "module" for the 4WD system (that's what the tech told me), which they replaced under warranty.

Well, my tech (same guy who replaced the "module" in Motorpig's rig) just called me and said he was replicating the problem with every attempt this morning and was even getting a code when it would happen. He didn't tell me what the code was specifically, but it was something kind of generic like a 4WD mis-shift. In an attempt to see if he could throw a different code to narrow down the bad part, he flip-flopped two of the four relays that control the 4WD system and the problem simply went away. It will engage 4-HI, 4-LO, and go back into 2WD just fine now. He switched the relays back and still can't replicate the issue anymore. He did say that one of the two relays looked to have some physical damage on the top, possibly from a screw that pokes through the top of the fuse box cover that holds my dual battery solenoid in place. But that solenoid has been installed for over a year (and I presume the damage to the top of the relay was done when it was installed), and I've never had the issue, so I have a hard time believing that the relay was damaged to the point that it wasn't working right. Plus, it doesn't really make sense that it's working fine now if one of the relays in in-fact bad. I suppose the relay could be having intermittent issues and it stopped acting up for now when he manipulated it.

He's going to keep playing with it and has already ordered a replacement relay. Just curious what everyone else's thoughts are. My fear is that If I do have a bad actuator/module like Motorpig had, I want to get it replaced before the DV trip.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Celt on October 26, 2015, 11:34:45 AM
I had a similar issue a few years ago. Seems my throw out bearing and solenoid which is think is the "Module" issue Motorpig77 may have had as well went bad so the 4l wouldn't actuate. Was a big mess and cost me a sufficient amount of money. Since you said you are still under warranty I don't think you should have much to worry about if that is the problem.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on November 02, 2015, 01:59:46 PM
Got the X back from the dealer over the weekend. They couldn't find any issues with any of the other 4WD electrical components, so they just swapped out the relay and we're all crossing our fingers that it won't act up again. Had to give myself a face palm after checking out how bad I damaged the old relay. The weird part here is that the relay worked fine for over a year after my mod that caused this damage, and it worked fine again after the tech removed it and reinstalled it. Funny how finicky electrical components can be.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1198.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1198.jpg.html)

Took it for a little shakedown run in the hills not far from the dealership and the 4WD system performed flawlessly.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1190.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1190.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1192.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1192.jpg.html)

The road started to get very rocky and rutted about half way up the hill. I didn't have my skid plates reinstalled yet, so I came back that night after they were reinstalled and made it all the way to the top with my son with me (it was a fun little climb!). Beautiful 360 degree view overlooking Hemet, Murrieta/Temecula, Winchester and Menifee from the top.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_1210.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_1210.jpg.html)

After I put my son back in his car seat, I walked around the front of the Xterra to head back over to the driver's side door and ALMOST stepped on this guy coiled up on a rock trying to gather the last warmth he could before he went to sleep for the night.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/12189848_911939195559641_8303727770013956992_n.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/12189848_911939195559641_8303727770013956992_n.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/10151346_911939238892970_6888141304777853838_n.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/10151346_911939238892970_6888141304777853838_n.jpg.html)

It's a 4' long red diamondback rattlesnake, and he never even bothered to rattle at me despite the fact that I came about 6 inches away from stepping on him. I changed course in midair like I was in a bugs bunny cartoon and barely avoided him, and and grabbed my camera to get a couple shots before heading back down the hill. Just a reminder to everyone that snakes are very much still out this time of year, and are more likely to be in the middle of the roadway or a trail as the evenings get cooler and they're trying to gather as much warmth as possible.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on November 25, 2015, 11:43:13 AM
Got a cool shot today as I was chasing a hot air balloon around that was "terrorizing" a local neighborhood. :)

They were about 20 feet above the rooftops. It was so quiet and majestic. At one point, they were right over head and I had a casual conversation with the group in a normal speaking voice. It was pretty cool.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/11.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/11.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: ghenderson21 on November 25, 2015, 12:44:14 PM
Hands down, one of the coolest pictures I've ever seen! Nice shot Joe!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: steve c on November 25, 2015, 01:44:02 PM
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/908/M4PleK.jpg) (https://imageshack.com/i/p8M4PleKj)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: xxSVxx on November 25, 2015, 02:38:03 PM
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/908/M4PleK.jpg) (https://imageshack.com/i/p8M4PleKj)

rapidly approaching creeper status bud
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: steve c on November 25, 2015, 03:20:24 PM
Jealous?

 ;D

Happy Thanksgiving!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Celt on November 25, 2015, 03:59:11 PM
HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.............................. That is one of the funniest things I have seen in a very long time!!!!!!!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Ghost65 on December 24, 2015, 06:27:15 PM

(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/908/M4PleK.jpg) (https://imageshack.com/i/p8M4PleKj)

Okay...just stop.


Sent from Cygnus X-1
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Celt on December 24, 2015, 10:02:54 PM
Okay...just stop.


Sent from Cygnus X-1

 We need to make a shirt out of that picture. You could be worth millions to us Minions!
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Ghost65 on December 25, 2015, 03:43:23 PM

We need to make a shirt out of that picture. You could be worth millions to us Minions!

I repeat...stop.


Sent from Cygnus X-1
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Sage Bromax on December 25, 2015, 11:14:02 PM
Yes, I think we have moved beyond creeper to perv stalker level.  :'(
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Toro on December 26, 2015, 08:12:55 AM
Yes, I think we have moved beyond creeper to perv stalker level.  :'(
Lol.... you guys know your just egging him on, right?
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: xxSVxx on December 26, 2015, 12:21:38 PM
Lol.... you guys know your just egging him on, right?

No means no.
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: JFanaselle on July 17, 2016, 07:25:14 PM
This is my favorite mod that I've done thus far.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_4150.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_4150.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_4175.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_4175.jpg.html)
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: RikRong on July 17, 2016, 08:57:07 PM
This is my favorite mod that I've done thus far.
I like it. I need to get some flag decals to replace the ones that are deteriorating, I think I'll get some with a blue line.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: JFanaselle's Xterrestrial (updated 10/16/15 with OBA, skids, winch, fridge)
Post by: Celt on July 17, 2016, 10:40:46 PM
This is my favorite mod that I've done thus far.

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_4150.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_4150.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_4175.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_4175.jpg.html)

Very nice Joe! I get it on all levels..
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on November 18, 2016, 10:05:33 AM
(OP has been updated with new/recent mods)

Latest update: an M226 rear axle has been acquired in 3.36 gear ratio.  O0 Need to get my hands on a few more parts before I'm ready for a swap - ABS sensors, new U-bolts (probably just going to install the PRG u-bolt flip kit). I would also really like to do new leaf springs at the same time (I need them!), but that just means the project will have to wait even longer.  :-\

My other big dilemma at this point is what to do about the front end. The easiest/cheapest solution is to swap my R180 front diff out for an R180 with 3.36 ratio. I had posted a WTB thread a while back and had several leads on people here in So Cal that have them for just a $100 or so. But, if I'm going to go through the trouble, the question becomes whether I should just do a full T-swap instead? The pros are that I already have the spacers for my extended travel Radflo's that I can use for now (they came off of a T-swapped rig previously), so I would only need to purchase the UCAs, LCAs, brake lines, tie rod extensions and front diff. Plus, I'd be able to sell my existing PRG UCAs to offset some of the cost of the new UCAs, and would spend $500-ish on the M205 front diff instead of $100-$200 on a new R180 front diff.

The biggest cons are that it will delay the project even more because I will have to source the parts (and come up with the $), and that it will make my rig too tall to fit in my garage. The too-tall problem is solved by removing my roof rack and either going back to the OEM rack, or selling it off and purchasing a new lower-profile rack (maybe a front runner with the "Toro mod"). And now it's just getting super expensive.... new UCAs, new LCAs, brake lines and tie-rod ends, new front diff, axles, new roof rack, rear wheel spacers... yikes. I need to win the damn lottery already!

Somebody give me some reason here... what does everyone think is the ideal direction to take this?
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Celt on November 18, 2016, 06:47:57 PM
Joe, since you are asking input form the guys on your project, I was wondering what's your endgame with this? I mean what type of wheeling do you reasonably see yourself doing? You thinking of going with 35's? After that, I would ask myself if I then really need the re-gear, full TS etc. If it's something you could really use then I think you answered the question for yourself. If it's something you really just want well maybe that money can be spent on other things? I still have the R-180 and love it. I'm not having any gear issues with the 35's at all. I have an upgraded suspension and driveline, I use RCV half shafts and they aren't cheap but the piece of mind is there especially after snapping them before doing a field repair, that stinks.........
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on November 21, 2016, 02:59:22 PM
ABS sensors have been acquired  8)

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on November 21, 2016, 06:38:52 PM
Well...having lived with the extended half axles and 3.36 R180...I'd choose the M205 and Titan CV route...since I'm spending your money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on November 22, 2016, 11:26:33 AM
Well...having lived with the extended half axles and 3.36 R180...I'd choose the M205 and Titan CV route...since I'm spending your money.

Thanks John. To be clear, the question isn't HOW to T-swap, but rather, WHETHER to T-swap. I guess what I'm asking, is do I just go ahead and do a full swap now, since the biggest limiting factor used to be my 3.13 gearing? Or do I just throw a 3.36 R180 in the front to match the new rear end, and forget all about T-swapping.

Although this is very helpful, because based on your advice to avoid the extended half shafts, it eliminates the concept throwing a 3.36 R180 in there now and swapping later using the extended half shafts method. That helps me narrow things down to two options: 1) never Titan swap and be happy with 3.36 gears and extended travel Xterra suspension or 2) If I want to eventually titan swap, I should just do it now and use an M205 instead of a new R180 geared at 3.36.

The biggest holdup isn't necessarily the cost of the T swap, because I'll just keep adding up parts until I'm ready. The biggest holdup is whether I'm ready to make the decision to stop parking my rig in my garage, or if I'm ok with losing my roof rack to keep it in there. I know parking in the garage isn't much of a concern for most, but it's always been a "thing" of mine. I don't like the concept of my rig sitting outside in the hot sun all week while I drive my commuter car to work, and I really don't like the idea of it being broken into or stolen in the middle of the night, which is always a very realistic possibility. I live in a very safe area, but we get targeted for a lot of property crime, especially vehicle burglaries overnight. I'd have to start keeping my camera gear in the garage instead of in my rig, to minimize the risk, and that also means it would take me longer to get on the road when I wake up in the middle of the night and need to get to an incident to take photos. I don't know, maybe I'm just being a baby and need to get over it, but it's hard to justify that many changes to my "regular" way of life in exchange for a more capable rig.

Anyone want to trade an Insain aluminum "basket" style full replacement rack for a Front Runner rack? It's only 30 lbs. :D
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: CAWoody on November 22, 2016, 02:11:54 PM
Come Joe!  REAL offroad vehicles don't park in the garage, that's for the wifes car and all of you tools. ;)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 19, 2016, 06:52:19 PM
Quite a few changes in progress. First, my Hefty swingarm rear bumper has a new home now locally. I'm replacing it with a Bucksnort rear bumper (non-tire carrier) and a Gobi ladder. I installed the ladder over the weekend but have to paint the new bumper before it'll be installed (likely a project for the week after Christmas when I'm off work, as long as the weather cooperates).

Second, I've ordered a Hefty Fab aluminum front bumper to replace my current Calmini winching bumper with safari guard. As I've mentioned before in other posts, it just sticks out too far in the front to be practical for my use (doesn't fit in my garage right, which is also the main reason I got rid of the tire carrier). I'll be listing the Calmini bumper for sale as soon as the Hefty arrives, which should be in about 12 weeks or so (I ordered it 3 weeks ago with a 12-16 estimated delivery time).

Finally, I'm continuing to acquire parts for my M226 rear axle swap. Today, I got a great deal on a slightly used R180 geared in 3.36 for the front end. It's out of a 2012 P4X with 19,000 miles on it, and I got it for $150. So that helped me make up my mind about whether or not to Titan swap. With a deal like that, I'll just put the T-swap on hold until another time, which allows me to break the projects up anyway.

Some photos:

Before (OEM bumper re-installed, no ladder yet):
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

After ladder install:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I installed some 3M grip tape on the ladder rungs, as everyone says they get slippery as hell when it's damp out:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Here's the R180 I acquired. I just noticed that the bolts for the cover are all missing, so I'll have to pull those from my existing cover I guess... Kind of makes me wonder why they pulled the cover off, but it looks almost brand new inside so I'm not too worried about it:
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I'll get some more photos posted up in a couple weeks once I get the bucksnort bumper finished and installed. Anyone have any suggestions on what to finish it with?

Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Celt on December 19, 2016, 07:32:01 PM
POR-15 then the POR-15 sunlight resistant over paint or a bedliner if you like that look and direction.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: EJsarus on December 19, 2016, 08:39:52 PM
Damn it, I missed out on the tire carrier bumper :(

im interested in the front bumper though ;)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: beedee on December 19, 2016, 09:40:42 PM
Ladder looks rad man. Any hiccups or words of advice for the install?
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 20, 2016, 06:13:38 AM
It's pretty easy. I just followed the instructions and had it on in about 20 mins. Just be sure to install that grip tape. I did that before I installed the ladder, but it would be just as easy once the ladder is already on. I purchased a roll at Home Depot for $12 in the paint department. It's 2 inches wide, so I folded it in half and cut down the middle to make 1" wide strips. Too bad you're not closer, or else I'd just give you some of what I have. The roll was like 20 feet long and I probably used 2 feet of it.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: beedee on December 20, 2016, 10:16:19 AM
Thanks man, no worries! I think I can buy some by-the-foot at the Ace Hardware near our pad!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 27, 2016, 11:49:45 PM
The visiting family finally all went home and I got a chance to apply a finish to my new Bucksnort rear bumper. I went with Raptor Liner, which I used in the past on my sliders and roof rack. I love working with this stuff, and I think the texture came out so beautiful.

Started out with bare metal, and gave it a good coat of Upol #8 self etching primer:
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Here's what it looks like all sprayed up:
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And here's the stuff I used:
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I'm going to let it sit in the garage for a couple more days to fully cure before I install it on my rig. The Raptor Liner dries to the touch in about an hour, but they say to give it 2 or 3 days before "light duty use," and 6 to 7 days before "full use." I still need to mount my license plate and light, as well as drill holes for my airline fitting and my backup camera. But overall, I'm happy with how it's coming out.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Sage Bromax on December 28, 2016, 05:44:19 AM
Looking good Joe.  From one Bucksnort owner to another, a couple things to consider: Use two of the license plate holes for your air line Schraeder valves; and be sure to straddle that cross-tube on the back of the bumper or you won't be able to access the back side of the holes.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: fourxfunk on December 29, 2016, 07:53:11 PM
Wow Joe, that came out looking good! The hole is for the factory 7 pin harness,  correct? If so would you mind measuring.. I'll be drilling one into my Hardcore ASAP.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Sage Bromax on December 29, 2016, 08:44:11 PM
Regarding the trailer electrical plug, to install it you have to disassemble the factory plug.  Look at it close and you can see where the two parts separate.  Otherwise, you won't get the 90 degree plug to go through the hole.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on January 02, 2017, 09:15:45 PM
My "backside" project is nearly complete. Bumper has finally been mounted (took forever for my license plate mount and light to arrive). The camera and air fitting hole came out great. Sorry fourxfunk... I didn't measure the hole before I installed the plug, but I have an aftermarket (non-OEM) plug anyway. :(

I also removed the rear plastic corners and treated them with a product called "forever black," plus installed LED light pods in them. The lights are wired to a single pole, double throw switch that will allow them to be on all the time, off all the time, or on with the reverse lights. Very happy with how they came out, and with how the forever black came out on the plastics (although, I had to do 4 applications before the streaking was gone).

I also removed the 20" light bar from the rear roof line and added a new Whelen TIR3 red light as a 3rd brake light in between my two Whelen amber strobes. I've followed a few rigs on desert expeditions with an aftermarket outside-mounted 3rd brake light, and it's a life saver in heavy dust! I'm awaiting the arrival of some new LED ligths that will be mounted between the strobes and the brake light to replace the 20" light bar I removed.

Some photos:

Finished product on the bumper, corners and lights:
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Process underway:
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Applying "Forever Black" to the rear plastics:
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3rd brake light added to rear lightbar mount:
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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on January 29, 2017, 10:02:49 PM
M226 axle swap project is complete. I removed the 3.13-geared C200 and replaced it with a 3.36-geared M226 with an e-locker. I also swapped out the front R180 diff for another R180 with 3.36 gearing (with help from knightrider). The project also included installation of new OME medium duty leaf springs and bushings, and a PRG u-bolt flip kit. Some photos:

Getting everything acquired and ready. This was about a 6 month process to get everything I needed, including tools, parts, fluids and other items:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0568.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0568.jpg.html)

M226 axle prepped for install. I gave it a good bath in foaming degreaser, removed the outer abs sensor wire tabs (for the u-bolt flip kit), hit a few spots with some black spray paint to prevent rust, removed the diff cover and inspected the gears, painted and re-installed the diff cover, installed the new breather tube nipple, and swapped most of the brake parts over from the C200 that was on the rig (i just kept one side of the e-brake intact, everything else moved over from my C200):
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/DSC_0626.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/DSC_0626.jpg.html)

Old axle and leafs removed. New axle sitting on it's perch, ready to be installed:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/05.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/05.jpg.html)

New OME leaf springs in place, ready for new axle to slide in:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/08.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/08.jpg.html)

New axle in place, mounted up with PRG u-bolt flip kit:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/10.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/10.jpg.html)

Finished product:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/12.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/12.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Riz98 on February 04, 2017, 10:05:17 AM
Looks great.  Having the rear locked makes such a big difference.  Have you had a chance to take it out for a shake down run yet?
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on March 27, 2017, 10:44:27 AM
New Hefty aluminum front bumper has been installed, but there is still much work to be done. Here's what I managed to accomplish so far:

Removed the old front bumper and quickly found it a new loving home:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper01.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper01.jpg.html)

I rolled around for about a week with no bumper cover (just the OEM metal bumper re-installed, for protection). I was actually starting to dig the aggressive look :)
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper02.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper02.jpg.html)

Finally had a chance to work on it more on Friday. Got my winch installed in the bumper during the day. This took much longer than expected, as I ran into some issues clocking the gearbox of the winch (the clutch lever wouldn't have fit without clocking it). The gearbox basically fell apart when I tried to clock it, and I had to put it all back together. What a horribly messy and unpleasant job. Once mounted up, I was excited that there was enough room to fit the solenoid box inside the bumper next to the winch. Note that the solenoid boxes on these X2O winches are advertised as being IP68 rated, along with the winch itself. It wedged perfectly between the edge of the bumper and motor housing:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper03.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper03.jpg.html)

New bumper brackets mounted up to the frame. The setup still uses the steel hefty brackets (only the bumper and rad skid are aluminum):
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper04.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper04.jpg.html)

The bumper is SUPER light... the whole setup with the brackets, rad skid and bumper itself is like 65 lbs. But once the winch is mounted, it's still a bit too much for one person to do without a little assistance. Thankfully, it was light enough to jockey into position and I used a floor jack to help with the rest:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper05.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper05.jpg.html)

All mounted up. I love how it looks:
(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper06.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper06.jpg.html)

(http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee234/jfanaselle/Bumper07.jpg) (http://s231.photobucket.com/user/jfanaselle/media/Bumper07.jpg.html)

What's next: I still need to mount my fog lights. The Calmini bumper held the fog light assemblies with their four bolts that attach them to the round mounting bracket that fits on the OEM bumper. Unfortunately, I discarded the round brackets when I got rid of my OEM bumper, so I'm stuck having to buy new brackets or maybe even new fog light assemblies. If I can't get my hands on a set of brackets from a junk yard or something, then I may just buy a set of cheap aftermarket "OEM style" lights and use only the brackets. I can get a set for $45 or so on eBay.

I also need to work on a way to mount my ARB twin air compressor behind the grill. I have blinky lights back there that may be in the way and may need to be relocated (I already relocated my Hella horn when I mounted the bumper). I'll have to fab up some kind of bracket to hold it in place, so plenty of internet research (mostly reviewing photographs) awaits me...

Finally, I will be painting my grill. You can probably see in the images that the bottom is scuffed up to hell from the cover I had over the winch with my old bumper. I plan to paint it black and probably install some mesh in place of the factory plastic honeycomb, but I'm still thinking about that one.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: RBduffer on March 27, 2017, 10:57:36 AM
Well done Joe.  I love the cut of that bumper, functional and just BadAss.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: GreenAcres on March 27, 2017, 04:43:04 PM
Lookin good, Joe!

I'm curious how the bump stop interfaces with the flipped u-bolt plate. Does it just nicely fit between the bolts and hit flat on the plate? More specifically, I'm wondering how the Timbren bump stops work with flipped u-bolts. I already have the Timbrens. Not sure I want to go the flip route if there are going to be interference issues.

In any case, that's a lot of mods you've got going on there, I'm sure it'll be great seeing how much it improves your rigs capability!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on March 27, 2017, 09:39:05 PM
There's actually a pretty good space between the bolts, so the bump stop gets in there ok. Honestly though, I can't remember the last time I hit my bumpstops, and I'm only at 2.5 inches of lift. I suppose if you were in a really flexy position where the rear was very articulated, you could end up hitting the bolts, but that likely would not be happening at any kind of speed, so I don't think it would damage the timbren.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Jayrat on March 29, 2017, 08:33:28 AM
Looking good Joe,
boy that rig has changed in just a few years
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: xxSVxx on March 29, 2017, 10:25:08 AM
Looking good Joe,
boy that rig has changed in just a few years

took the words right out of my mouth...man, have you done a great job, Joe!!!!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on March 29, 2017, 11:16:44 AM
Thanks guys. :) I'm very happy with how it's coming along.

Now that I'm at the proper gearing, I'm really thinking about a T-swap. I realized that I'm still dealing with a good amount of coil bucket contact, especially on the driver side. Even with PRG upper control arms, the coil buckets on the later model rigs are wider and some are worse than others. We cut/trimmed the coil buckets when we installed the lift components, but I guess we didn't do enough on the driver side. With the new lighter bumper, the front end came up about an inch and the UCA is literally resting right on the coil bucket. :( So, that means I need to pull everything apart and trim them more. But my logic is... a Titan swap takes care of that problem also.  >:D I already have a set of top spacers for my extended 2.5 radflos to make them Titan length. I understand I won't have as much travel as genuine titan length coils, but it's a good hold-over for now and would split up the cost of the project a little, allowing me to focus on acquiring the diff, UCAs/LCAs and other misc components first.

But... my roof rack is still an issue. It's very high on my priority list to keep my rig garaged, especially since I keep my camera gear in there. Property crimes are a big deal in my quiet little town, and I'll be damned if someone is going to break in and take all my stuff. So with my current roof rack setup, I can't go even an inch higher in the suspension without hitting my door on the way in. I LOVE my Insain aluminum full replacement rack, and I load the crap out of it when I take camping trips, but it's the full basket style and the sides are about 5 inches tall. So that's the compromise if I decide to do a T-swap. I did kept my OEM rack stored in my garage, but I dont' really want to give up my roof space. So it seems the most logical solution is to replace my rack with something lower profile (like a Gobi Stealth, or the Frontrunner rack with the "Toro mod"). If I get a big enough annual bonus from my work this June, I'll pull the trigger on the new rack and my aluminum Insain rack will be looking for a loving new home on the roof of another So Cal Xterra. :)

Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: CAWoody on March 29, 2017, 11:33:01 AM
When you pull that trigger, keep me in mind for your Insain rack.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: RikRong on March 29, 2017, 12:58:11 PM
I just clear my garage door.  If the fuel tank is empty or it's hot outside, I think I barely touch the seal on the door.  You've seen the truck as it sits now and it's not very high.  I think you can manage the TS, without adding a ton of height.  As it is right now, I think your truck sits higher than mine.  If you dial down the coilovers and install the spacer, you might be golden.  I'm in the same boat as you, I don't keep gear in my truck, but I refuse to let it sit outside, if at all possible.   
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: knightrider on March 30, 2017, 10:24:15 AM
another option would be to have your rack lowered, you could have all the uprights on the basket cut, maybe an inch or two and welded back together.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on March 30, 2017, 11:20:57 AM
Or...air down to garage park.  A bit of a hassle, but cheaper than re-welding or demo-ing your garage... :D
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on March 30, 2017, 03:29:04 PM
another option would be to have your rack lowered, you could have all the uprights on the basket cut, maybe an inch or two and welded back together.

I thought about this, and even talked with a fabricator already. They believed it would be more work than it was worth. Since it's already powercoated, they'd have to grind away the PC in all the spots where they had to re-weld, and then it would need to be finished again (either painted or powdercoated). He also mentioned that sometimes with aluminum, the powdercoat penetrates the metal pretty deep and it becomes difficult to get a good, strong weld without removing a good amount of material (this was all my neighbor that you met, by the way, so I don't think he was blowing smoke up my behind). He recommended removing the entire side rails behind the front "basket" area and just welding a new bar from the basket to the (now flat) platform area. I don't really like that plan, because it wasn't designed to be strong as just a platform, and without the side rails it could flex pretty bad with weight on it.

In the end, it would end up costing me much more than just selling it and buying a new one. If I could weld myself and had a hookup on powdercoating, it would be worth it. Plus, I'm liking that frontrunner rack more and more as I keep looking at it. I like that it's wider, which would move my awning another 6 or so inches off the side of the rig. With the shape of the Xterra body, I lose almost a foot of floor space in my shelter/room that attaches to the awning, and it proved to be a little bit of an issue when we used it camping last time. I think the flat shape would give me some of my MPGs back as well, as would moving the light bar under the front of the rack like Toro and PainRoller have theirs. I went from 10 MPG to 11 MPG just by swapping out my front bumper. If I could get another 1 MPG out of a lower profile roof rack, I'd be happy. :)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on March 30, 2017, 03:37:40 PM
We could jackhammer and trench your garage floor 3 inches deep, pass and driver's side...boom... :D
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Celt on March 31, 2017, 05:00:46 AM
12 MPG? Geeez man, even I get gooder gas mileage than that, you need to reef your sails buddy.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: knightrider on March 31, 2017, 09:37:45 PM
Or...air down to garage park.  A bit of a hassle, but cheaper than re-welding or demo-ing your garage... :D

I tried this in Big Bear, needed a little bit to fit my x in the 8ft tall garage with the RTT on top.  It did not work, I still needed another 1/4" and I was at around 10psi.  I had to park outside in the snow, it was icy and up hill both ways. 
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on April 24, 2017, 05:06:38 PM
Got my compressor mounted in a new location (it needed a new home ever since I swapped out my front bumper). It lives behind the grill now. This is just another version of what many others have done. Mine is very simple... just uses a couple pieces of "angle iron" that is normally used to mount garage door openers. I drilled a hole and fitted one air line connector on the top of the front bumper (in addition to the one that I already have running to the rear bumper). With the grill re-installed, you can barely even see the compressor behind it. You really have to look hard to spot it. I like this location, but will be keeping an eye on my operating temperatures going forward. As I said, many others have mounted compressors in this same location and haven't had any issues with heating up, but I did notice a coolant smell after a little shakedown run last night, and I want to make sure I'm not blocking too much airflow to the radiator.

I also installed my fog lights in the new front bumper (they were awaiting the arrival of some OEM brackets), and installed a 20" single-row light bar. Finally, I blacked out my grill and hit it with a few coats of matte clear coat.

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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Jayrat on April 24, 2017, 06:41:00 PM
Looks good Joe, Nice clean work
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Celt on April 24, 2017, 06:55:40 PM
JF, that's a nice install job. They are awlays difficult to find where to mount things on the Xterra. The only thing besides what you mentioned is trying to keep that compressor cool. They like cool air around them if you run them hard and you'll have to keep the motor running when using for things like airing up your tires. Hopefully it won't create any issues and everything runs nice and smooth.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on April 24, 2017, 07:03:26 PM
Clean install Joe...love the stealthy grille.  8)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on February 21, 2018, 09:36:38 AM
Took advantage of the holiday day off on Monday, as the boy and I went up to Big Bear and romped around in the snow for a bit. It was 15 degrees and the snow was falling hard. About 2 inches fell in the hour that we were up there, and there was at least 3 inches on the ground as we made our way back down the 38 into Redlands. It ended up taking us 3 hours to get down the hill, going about 8 miles per hour the entire way. The road was super slick, and they shut it down while we were up there (only a few of us made it through, but the Xterra did great. I LOVE my Wrangler Duratrac tires... this is exactly why I keep them over the KO2s :)) We stopped to check on several accidents and stuck vehicles, but everyone was ok and had help on the way. I did manage to pull off the road and snap a couple of photos.

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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: CAWoody on February 21, 2018, 09:53:17 AM
As always, great pictures.  I miss driving in the snow.  These desert trip just don't do it for me.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Ghost65 on February 21, 2018, 10:49:03 AM
Nice pics Joe.

I’ve been down the 38 when it’s snowing...dicey at best, glad you’re equipped!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: steve c on February 21, 2018, 10:58:37 AM
I LOVE the idea of snow adventuring. 
It's the driving up and down the mountain roads that has me scared.

I was in a rental Impala up in Idaho last winter.  Light went yellow a quarter mile in front of me while traveling 35mph.  Slid right through the intersection.  Absolutely terrifying. 

Great pics Joe.  I'd love to edit one of those raw files.  Lots of opportunity for moody muted colors.  Like ALL the popular photos on instagram, lol. 
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: beedee on February 21, 2018, 11:01:16 AM
Great pix Joe, and I'm sure even better memories for you and your son!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: RBduffer on February 21, 2018, 11:09:59 AM
Well done Joe, I love snow... in your photos or looking up from a dry valley :-[
Snow and especially ice scare me, cuz you can't always see it.  I'm sure it's a control (or lack there of) issue for me.
It's the same reason that I don't swim in the same ocean as sharks.  I want to go down fighting, not screaming.  It's the Viking in me.  OK, scared Viking.  Oh, where was I?  Yeah, very pretty snow Joe.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Jayrat on February 21, 2018, 08:34:04 PM
Very Nice your Rig looks awesome against the snow
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 17, 2019, 12:42:43 PM
Cargo drawer build in progress! We've grown quite tired of how long it takes to set up and tear down camp while out and about. Our previous method of piling everything into the back of the rig like a game of Tetris just doesn't work. The most frustrating part is dealing with bedding/sleeping bags/air mattresses that are the first things you pack away when breaking camp in the morning, but have to sit on top of everything else (tables, tent, etc.) once packed into the rig. I've been brainstorming a solution for months, but I had a lot of criteria that needed to be met. It has to allow easy access to anything that we'd bring with us without having to pull things out of the way (for example, need to be able to get to the fridge for a lunch stop or to get to tools/air hose without having to completely unpack the rig). It must be flexible and modular enough to allow for changes in what we bring, as our compliment of camping gear varies widely from trip to trip based on the distance/time, the climate, how many of us are going, and cooking/pot luck plans. It also can't break the bank, needs to be something I can build within my fairly limited skill set, and shouldn't be too heavy or fragile.

I watched countless You Tube videos and read dozens of forum posts, both specific to the Xterra platform and to other vehicles. I thought very hard about the different ways I'd pack up the rig for different types of trips, what I needed to bring and could live without, and even stacked various items inside and used some scrap lumber to formulate the best layout. Although not perfect by any means, I'm pretty happy with the design I landed on.

It incorporates a built-in drawer on the passenger side, which is equal width to the narrower side of the fold-down rear seat. The opening for the drawer is 10" tall by 16" wide, and the drawer box itself is 9" tall by 14.5" wide by 28" deep (after the heavy duty drawer slides and necessary movement spaces are accounted for). This big drawer will hold all of my recovery gear, tools, some basic survival gear, and other items that stay in my rig 100% of the time. The driver side is a large open cubby space to hold bulky items that can still be accessed when other stuff is stacked on top. Like the passenger side, it is the same width as the larger side of the split seat back, and the cubby is open on the back so that long items can fit all the way through with the seat in the folded position. This side will perfectly hold a FrontRunner Wolf Pack (or two, if I slide them into the seat area a little bit) and my Gazelle hub tent, and I can fit my camp chef folding table on top of the tent as well.

The top platform will be flat across, including removable "wings" to cover the side edges of the cargo area but still allow access. Those side areas will be a perfect place to store bungee cords and ratchet straps, spare parts, a light sweatshirt, a rain poncho, umbrellas, gloves, cold weather gear, etc. Under "daily" operating conditions, the flat platform will be perfect for the occasional bag of dog food or case of water from Costco. The cubby side should hold all of my photography and firefighting gear, and the drawer side and wings will carry what stays in the rig all the time. In "camping" form, the passenger side of the top platform will have an articulating slide mechanism mounted to it, which will hold the ARB 50 quart fridge and slide out/drop down at a 45 degree angle to allow access. The top of the driver side is open for sleeping bags, air mattresses, duffel bags, and other bulky camping items that normally bury everything else, and the cubby will hold wolf packs with food/camping items, as well as the tent and table. I'm also working on making the passenger side of the top platform removable, so that I can still sleep in the back of the rig when I take solo trips (the cubby is exactly the right width for my air mattress, by design), but I haven't actually cut it out yet because I need to ensure that the fridge slide has enough wood to mount securely to the passenger side. I'm also going to cut a large access hole in the floor of the drawer side, and may make a portion of the floor of the cubby side removable, to allow access to the storage space underneath. I will keep snow chains, spare wiper blades, and some other items under there.

The drawer slides come today and the fridge slider will arrive on Friday, so I'm hoping to have most of the project completed by the end of the weekend.

Test stacking stuff and deciding how I want the layout configured. Scrap pieces of 3/4" thick plywood proved to be very useful in this step.
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Assembling the floor piece
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With the top platform mounted. Nice and square!
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In the back of the rig (not mounted yet, just testing the fit for now)
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Here's how the Wolf Packs and the tent fit into the cubby side
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This is where the fridge should end up sitting with the articulating slide in place. Again, it'll slide out and tilt down at 45 degrees, which should bring it down to the same level or lower than if it were on the floor of the cargo area.
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The drawer box built out. I had to order 250 lb. drawer slides, as this will be a big drawer loaded down with heavy stuff.
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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Celt on December 17, 2019, 01:20:41 PM
Cargo drawer build in progress! We've grown quite tired of how long it takes to set up and tear down camp while out and about. Our previous method of piling everything into the back of the rig like a game of Tetris just doesn't work. The most frustrating part is dealing with bedding/sleeping bags/air mattresses that are the first things you pack away when breaking camp in the morning, but have to sit on top of everything else (tables, tent, etc.) once packed into the rig.

 Hey brother, that's a super easy fix. Just don't haul so much. Two direct benefits to that:
#1: Less frustration.
#2: More room for beer!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Jayrat on December 18, 2019, 06:57:43 AM
looks god Joe  O0
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 22, 2019, 08:12:35 PM
Got some more work done on the organizer project over the past few days. It's about 85% done. Just waiting for the fridge slide to show up before I permanently mount the top and carpet it. I have 3/4" aluminum trim to protect the corners and edges, and I need to make wings that will cover the ends and make the top a solid flat surface.

Replaced the factory tie down channels with extremely strong low-profile unistrut, mounted with grade 10.9 bolts. This stuff is much stronger, and can handle the extreme force of the organizer mounted to it, especially when the fridge is fully extended and articulated.
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Test fitting the drawer box, after getting the drawer slides all mounted up
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I got the drawer face cut to shape and carpeted it. I carpeted the interior of the cubby side as well, to protect whatever is stored in there. I temporarily mounted the top back on so that I can keep it in the back of the rig for now, but it's not glued on yet. I installed internal bracing on the fridge side toward the rear, to keep the box from wanting to pull apart when the fridge slide is extended and articulated downward.
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The drawer all loaded up with my recovery supplies
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I found a storage bin on Amazon that was the perfect side to slide into the cubby side. In "daily driver' mode, this cubby holds some of my fire and photography gear. It slides all the way to the back, and leaves enough space for my helmet and camera case in front.
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I also cut out a section of the floor on the cubby side and installed a recessed lip to hold it in place. This allows access to the storage under the floor.
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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on December 22, 2019, 10:20:20 PM
looks great
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: RBduffer on December 25, 2019, 04:05:32 PM
Looks super clean Joe, as usual ;)
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on December 29, 2019, 11:19:16 PM
Cargo organizer is finished. I'm really happy with how it all came out. I also picked up another little something something today ;)

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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on December 30, 2019, 12:13:13 AM
WHAT!!! a RTT. And here I am trying to get rid of mine.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: SCUBA_Dale on December 31, 2019, 09:50:34 PM
WHAT!!! a RTT. And here I am trying to get rid of mine.

What are you trying to go with?
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on January 28, 2020, 02:47:08 PM
Been working like crazy to get my rig ready for a big trip in February. Here's what I've gotten done over the past few weeks:

* Had the steering angle sensor reprogrammed (stupid Slip/VDC lights!)
* Got new tires (same I was running before - Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac 285 75 16 E rated)
* Replaced one of the TPMS sensors (stupid TPMS light! it's been on for over a year)
* Replaced both motors on my ARB twin air compressor - apparently I destroyed them (along with my alternator) while crossing the Mojave River during the last Afton Canyon trip
* Replaced the rear driver side door with a clean junkyard door (same color), and replaced the rear driver side plastic quarter panel/step. Now 90% of the damage that I did out at the Salton Sea is fixed
* had all windows re-tinted with high quality ceramic tint (I had to tint the window on the new door anyway, and there were several windows with major scratches. Plus my old tint was really cheap, non-ceramic. The guy offered me a heck of a deal, so I just did the whole thing).
* Built and installed the cargo organizer
* Added a leaf to my rear springs, repainted them, installed plastic "puck" shims, and installed new bushings
* Oil and filter change, and replaced the o-ring gasket behind the oil cooler where the filter mounts (it's been dripping for quite some time)
* changed the rear diff fluid
* acquired and installed an RTT
* installed new mounting brackets on the rear of the roof rack for my hi lift and shovel (the old location would no longer work with the RTT)
* and for some added patriotism, I installed matte black America flag decals on the rear side windows

Despite all of that, I still have a couple of projects to go!

* Front brakes (just ordered new rotors and pads today)
* replace the front passenger side CV half shaft

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Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: 0317 on January 28, 2020, 05:53:14 PM
"* and for some added patriotism, I installed matte black America flag decals on the rear side windows"

Badass, great addition
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: RikRong on January 29, 2020, 11:56:12 AM
Hey, those flags look familiar, but also oh so American! America f--- yeah!
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: FrankB on January 29, 2020, 09:35:07 PM
That looks really good Joe.
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on July 30, 2020, 12:23:45 PM
It's only been 7 months since Jessica and I picked up that used Front Runner roof top tent, but it quickly made us wonder how we ever lived without one. It's a great little tent, but I will emphasize the "little" part. I love how small and lightweight it is, making it very easy to remove and store in the garage when not in use. It's also very simple to deploy, although the low profile design makes the re-installation of the travel cover a bit of a chore. But, the concern that we simply couldn't overcome is that it's just waaaaay too small for our 3 person family. So... we decided to upgrade.

Say hello to our new CVT Mt. Rainier 2020 Hybrid Series roof top tent. This model is CVT's brand new design. It uses a smaller travel cover that only covers up the sides and wraps around the bottom, kind of like a giant "scrunchie". When folded, the top of the tent is exposed, and it is outfitted with crossbars so that you can attach toys such as mountain bikes or kayaks, strap down firewood, etc.

CVT hasn't publicly promoted it yet, but they have a new shop location that's currently being setup in Las Vegas. To save the shipping cost (and to satisfy my need for instant gratification), we did a one-day turn and burn trip. The new tent design uses 1 inch four-way aluminum t-channel extrusions (commonly called "8020") as the base rails, and unfortunately, these will not work with my existing Front Runner quick disconnect mounting kit. However, CVT did have the regular Front Runner RTT mounts available at the shop, so I was able to purchase them and have everything installed right there before driving back home.

Bobby, the owner of CVT, gave us a tour of the new facility, and I must say that it's really awesome. We are planning to make the drive back out there to enjoy the grand opening celebration, which should be within a few months. I'll probably use that opportunity to also pick up a new CVT awning... I know it sounds petty, but my existing ARB awning doesn't match the cover for the new tent, and the mismatched gray/black combination sticks out really bad, in my opinion.

In order to keep the same arrangement of only installing the RTT when we plan to use it (and keeping it stored in the garage otherwise), I've already rigged up a solution that allows the installation and removal to be a one person job, like it was with the Front Runner. It takes a little longer because you have to individually remove each of the 4 mounting bolts (within a pretty tight space, too), but the process of actually getting the tent onto and off of the roof was actually VERY easy. I've linked to a YouTube video of the solution that I utilized - I basically copied this guy's idea 100%, except that mine is installed/removed from the side of the vehicle, instead of the rear. I also installed carpet along the 2x6 boards, making the tent much easier to slide.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1FNZwHosSc

Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: Jayrat on July 30, 2020, 12:36:06 PM
Looks good Joe, the only thing I don't like is the non matching Awning LOL  lol
Seriously though, its looking good
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: steve c on July 30, 2020, 01:07:35 PM
Looks good Joe, the only thing I don't like is the non matching Awning LOL  lol
Seriously though, its looking good

Seriously, right?!  It's like he didn't even try!

:D

Looks awesome, Joe.  Makes me want to put mine back on. 
Title: Re: Joe's Xterra
Post by: JFanaselle on July 30, 2020, 01:15:54 PM
I wonder if I can just rattle-can the exterior cover of the awning  lol