Author Topic: Joe's Xterra  (Read 48247 times)

JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #135 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?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 10:38:01 AM by JFanaselle »

Celt

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #136 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.........
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JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #137 on: November 21, 2016, 02:59:22 PM »
ABS sensors have been acquired  8)

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Ghost65

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #138 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.


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JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #139 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
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 02:20:21 PM by JFanaselle »

CAWoody

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #140 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. ;)
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JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #141 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):
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After ladder install:
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I installed some 3M grip tape on the ladder rungs, as everyone says they get slippery as hell when it's damp out:
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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:
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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?


Celt

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #142 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.
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EJsarus

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #143 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 ;)

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #144 on: December 19, 2016, 09:40:42 PM »
Ladder looks rad man. Any hiccups or words of advice for the install?

JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #145 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.

beedee

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #146 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!

JFanaselle

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #147 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.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 09:57:43 AM by JFanaselle »

Sage Bromax

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #148 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.
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fourxfunk

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Re: Joe's Xterra
« Reply #149 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.