Author Topic: What have you done for your Rig lately.  (Read 208238 times)

SuperSlideStyle

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1770 on: November 11, 2019, 11:28:41 PM »
'13 Xterra PRO-4X, 112k miles, just did all three timing chains & JWT clutch upgrade.
2013 Xterra Pro4X 6 spd
2007 Murano SE AWD
2000 Xterra XE 4WD 5 spd
1989 Nissan 240SX drift car

JFanaselle

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1771 on: November 19, 2019, 02:03:29 PM »
Had a whole bunch of stuff done over the past month or so. Shortly after our trip to Afton Canyon to watch the Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive come through, I started getting the dreaded timing chain whine. My rig is a 2010, which is the same year they started producing the beefier plastic guides, but I guess my April 2010 manufacture date was still too soon to benefit from the new parts. :( Thankfully, I have a buddy who is a tech for Nissan, and he offered to do the job for a very reasonable fee. The parts are all OEM (with his employee discount), and he only charged me a few hundred dollars for all of his time and labor. I just had to leave the rig with him for a week.

I also had a new radiator that Nissan had given me a long time ago when I complained about the SMOD TSB. They didn't install it, since I wasn't actually suffering from the issue, but they said my VIN was covered under the TSB and handed me the radiator, which has been stored in my garage ever since. So I had him throw that in for me (since he had to remove the old one anyway to do the timing chain), and I had him replace the the upper and lower radiator hoses while he was at it, since those were still original. Once he got in there and pulled everything apart, he informed me that the alternator was on its last leg. Particularly, the bearing was failing, and this was actually the source of some of the noise I was hearing (although the guides were severely worn down, and the timing chain did in-fact need to be done). With my dual battery setup and the number of water crossings I've performed, this didn't surprise me to learn that my 9 year old, 108,000 mile original alternator was dying. He picked up a "Nissan Value Advantage" OEM replacement, which is essentially one that is rebuilt by Nissan, and installed that for me too.

In the end, I got a new timing chain, the updated beefier guides, new main tensioner, a new water pump, OEM rebuilt alternator, new radiator, new upper and low radiator hoses, and fresh fluids (oil, transmission, coolant, and AC evacuation/recharge) for right about $1,000. It was a deal I simply couldn't pass up! He just asked that I remove my own winch/bumper/skid plates/ARB compressor, so that he didn't have to spend the extra time and effort working around or removing all of that stuff.

When I got the rig back and with the bumper and everything still off, I decided to permanently fix the issue that I'd experienced in Afton Canyon a few weeks earlier. As some of you know from my post about that trip, I lost all electrical power while chasing the train through the canyon, and my rig was completely dead. Thankfully, knightrider was out there with us and we were able to quickly diagnose a blown fuse in the positive battery terminal fuse block (the big 140 amp one). We jumped the fuse with a short patch of wire to get us home. After getting home, I was able to further troubleshoot and discovered a short in the 4 gauge positive wire running to the winch. It turns out I had incorrectly hooked the winch up to the wrong stud on the fuse block when I installed the winch a long time ago, which passed the current through that 140 amp fuse instead of running it directly between the battery and the winch solenoid. About 6 months ago, I relocated the solenoid box within the bumper after learning that I can't trust the wireless controller, and needed to be able to access the controller plug instead. My relocation job consisted of the wires running over the top of the spool (tied up all nicely with a heavy duty 1" diameter wire loom), with the solenoid box suspended by the wires on the driver side of the winch. This allowed the wires to vibrate slightly as the box bounced around on bumpy roads, and it eventually rubbed through the insulation and shorted the positive wire out against the winch housing.

So, with two failed attempts at mounting the solenoid box in the bumper, I decided it was finally time to do it right and relocate it under the hood. I purchased a good length of high quality 4 gauge welding cable and made new 5' long runs, which I routed from the winch location, into the engine compartment and around the battery, and up to the solenoid's new location on top of the fuse box under the hood. This also required consolidating the battery isolating solenoid and 12v circuit breaker that I was already using for my dual battery setup, pushing them further back onto the larger fuse box and making some new wires for them. I also installed a battery cutoff switch, so that I can kill the power to the winch when it's not needed (since I got pretty lucky that I incorrectly hooked it up to that 140 amp fuse the first time, otherwise it likely would have caught fire in the desert).

The whole project ended up taking me a few days to complete, as I really spent a good deal of time getting it just right and making sure I wouldn't have another failure. I properly crimped all terminals onto the 4 gauge wire, installed two layers of marine grade heat-shrink tubing (with adhesive), and wrapped everything up good and tight with heavy duty plastic wire loom. I guess you could say I'm a little terrified of shorting those wires out again. :D I'm really happy with the end result, and don't think I'll experience anymore issues. As a final touch, I purchased a nice little dual-voltmeter display to monitor the primary and secondary batteries, which I hooked up to a switch and installed in the dash next to the steering wheel (it is the same size as a Carling switch, and slipped right into the empty slot already there).


Out with the old:

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In with the new. New timing chain, guides, and tensioner:

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New water pump:

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The new alternator:

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Here's the shorted 4 gauge wire for the winch. Pretty scary stuff:

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And the updated electrical work on the dual battery setup, and to relocate the winch solenoid box under the hood:

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And the new voltmeter that I installed:

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After I took all these photos, I also upgraded the battery terminals with heavy duty marine style ones, and I replaced the factory ground wire with a beefy 0 AWG run to the engine block and another 4 AWG to the chassis, for extra piece of mind. I bypassed/removed the hall effect sensor that puts the alternator into low-voltage mode when there's little load.  This causes the alternator to run at it's higher voltage all the time. Now when I start the rig up, it runs at 13.9-14.1 volts until the engine warms up, then it runs around 13.6-13.7 volts consistently, keeping my two batteries nice and topped off.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 02:14:00 PM by JFanaselle »

steve c

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1772 on: November 20, 2019, 05:24:46 PM »
Joe, it sucks that you had to spend money, but on the positive side, your truck is happy and your mind is a bit more at ease.
Nice wiring job, btw!  I like the colors.  I like colors :D lol .
Steve - KK6OFL

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RBduffer

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1773 on: November 21, 2019, 09:46:50 AM »
Very pretty indeed Joe.
1,000 bucks is a great deal for another 100,000 miles
OK, I just did the math, and its just over 1 penny per mile*

* This estimate is based on a 2.2 % GDP rate per annum amortized over 10 years.
This does not account for the effects of Global Warming, Climate Change or otherwise destruction of the would caused by, but not limited to, Ozone Layer Evacuation, Tsunami or Democrats taking over the Senate.
Of all the things I've lost...
I miss my mind the most

KJ6YPO

Celt

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1774 on: November 21, 2019, 10:05:30 AM »
or Democrats taking over the Senate.

 You mean a Zombie Apocalypse.......
Isaiah 6:8

Sage Bromax

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1775 on: November 21, 2019, 10:43:18 AM »
You mean a Zombie Apocalypse.......
Also known as TEOTWAWKI
“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

Ghost65

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1776 on: November 22, 2019, 08:14:24 AM »
Also known as TEOTWAWKI

11/21/19...Tony wins the internet.  ;D ;D


Great updates Joe, your X is one of my all time faves (must be the color... ;) )

KD6DCI

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Celt

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1777 on: November 26, 2019, 11:07:46 PM »
 Looks really nice and clean. If there was anything to chime in it would be to get rid of those OEM Nissan battery tie downs. They work great for running around town but sure as anything you get off road they are going to loosen up and start wearing into your battery where nothing good will result.
Isaiah 6:8

SuperSlideStyle

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Re: What have you done for your Rig lately.
« Reply #1778 on: November 29, 2019, 10:49:46 AM »
I did the same 2 months ago.  Myself.  It's a lot of work.
2013 Xterra Pro4X 6 spd
2007 Murano SE AWD
2000 Xterra XE 4WD 5 spd
1989 Nissan 240SX drift car