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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. My name is Brad Ferrell. I currently drive a FWD Chevy Equinox. I'm looking to relocate to CO or Washington and would like something more adaptable to that climate and also for extended camping trips in and around the sights of North and Central America.

Initially looking at a Chevy Suburban I began looking at the Toyota Tacoma Extended cab to save money on gas. I was impressed with the capabilities of the truck, in fact I had secretly lusted after one since I first saw Back to the Future and one shows up in Marty's garage. For the price of a 65,000 mile '04 Suburban, I was only $5000.00 off from what I wanted to spend.

Then I found the Frontier. Through my research, I found I could afford a V6 extended cab for the price of the regular cab Toyota and that the truck was not only reliable but very powerful and fun to drive. I was sold so I went out to the lot to look at one and see if I liked the interior. I had been in a Titan a few years ago and didn't like all of the plastic. While I was there I noticed the X.

The Xterra is an interesting vehicle. Based on, yet priced lower than a mid-size pickup, this SUV stole the prize from these pickups. First, I wouldn't have to give up my covered storage area. I'm a filmmaker and a lot of the gear I carry, I like to have inside the vehicle. It helps prevent theft and keeps it dry while it's being transported. The fold-down seats in my Equinox have always accomodated even the largest jib we use in the cargo area. This was a plus.

The more I looked into the Xterra, the more I liked it. I found this forum and many others like it, googling images and links and researching and reading up on everything I can.

I have not bought an Xterra yet. I'm nearing completion of a big project and am looking forward to changing vehicles and modding out the new one for expedition style travel. Here is what I'm planning on doing. Please feel free to comment on my choices of gear. I'm always interested in making this build as trouble free as possible.

First, a concept of the first stage. I don't have a preference in color. I'll take anything with low miles and a stick. I chose this image to work with because of the lift of the truck (3" claimed) and the size of the tires (31").



I was planning on adding a Gobi Stealth roof-rack but I like the look of the Xterra without a rack. It always looks a little top-heavy on the trail on Youtube, especially when I see people riding with a rack on top of the factory rack with a large spare. Plus, I don't really need the rack for the first stage anyway.

I will add a rear bumper and tire carrier during the first stage but the first thing I'd like to do is upgrade the suspension and get between 2.5"-3.0" of lift. I'm looking at this: 4x4 parts advanced crawler package. If you follow the link, you'll see that it's priced around $2000.00. That's a lot of money, but I'm looking for flexibility and ability with this suspension. I plan on taking on Utah, Colorado, Central America, and California. I'm going to be exposing this ride to alot of different climates and terrains and I want to be prepared.

I'd also like to add the clearance lights on the cab. Mostly, for looks, but I may tow with this vehicle and it's nice to know which direction those lights are going on a one-way road. I've looked at installing them myself and knowing what I do about low-voltage wiring and cars it should be a breeze. I'm post pics when I get down to it. It involves drilling the cab and removing the headliner. Add to that a little 12V wiring and it should take the good part of an afternoon.

About that rear bumper and carrier...what do I need that for? I'd like to get the spare out from under the truck for many reasons. First, the bumper will allow me to tow up to 5000 lbs. I'd like to always have that option with this truck. Second, I gain two anchor points to pull or snatch with. Third, it allows me to get the spare into an easily accessed position should I need it on or off-road. Fourth, it will allow me to put a water tank underneath should I want to free up some of the storage area on longer jouneys and it gives me added approach and ground clearance. I think it's money well spent and helps balance the vehicle's weight more evenly across the axles especially with a winch on the front.

I'm looking at the ARB front winch bumper for second gen Xterras. This is part of the second phase designed to extend the ability of the vehicle and improve it's usages.



Shrockworx is all over the place, but I like the ARB for a couple of reasons. First, the fit and finish looks great. It appears there are rubber pieces fitting it to the chassis and protecting it in front should you need to push something. I also like the integrated fog lights and indicators and the bumper is designed to work with your Airbags. That is important because I do a lot of driving on the road and want myself and my front passengers to be protected. This will be a daily driver. I like the round IPF's too for added visibility.

This bring me to the winch. The ARB bumper is designed to be used with WARN winches. They have an excellent reputation and this is something I'm going to need. I've got a long history of four-wheeling and someone else's winch has always come out to help me when I've been stuck. On top of that, I'm going to be going solo sometimes, going remote most of the time, and I'd like to be there not only for myself, but for other's on the trail while I am out there. Vehicle recovery and first aid are something I'm learning more about before I get out and need it.

I'll add some low-profile rock sliders too just for protection ($400). I've seen these in action and can say they're worth the money.

I'm going to start off with 31x10.5's and work my way up to 33"s or 285/75/16's. I don't know if I'm going to need that much rubber. 32's may be the sweet spot between performance off road and performance on road.

Everything else I plan to do is on the interior. A CB, GPS, dual-battery, water tank and pump, refrigerator, etc... I'd like to post one more pic to explain what I'm going to try and do once I get my camp kitchen and camping equipment sorted. I'm losing some interior room switching vehicles and will need the X to proceed with measurements and build.



I want to thank everyone for reading this thread and considering my choices. Please comment and ask questions. I don't want to make any mistakes and so far my research has been limited to the web. :salute:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I am concerned about recovery. One reason for a roof rack would be to put the hi-lift and other recovery gear on top and out of the vehicle. I'd still like to see if I can keep it all inside while retaining the larger of the fold-down backseats. I've seen a lot of people storing their recovery gear in drawers in the back but these will not always be accessible if you think about it. I'm planning on putting my kitchen and camping in the drawers instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just read through and realized I hadn't finished explaining stage one. After the lift, and before the rear bumper, I'm planning on adding some performance upgrades to the truck to maximize fuel efficiency and to have a power setting for the vehicle when I need it.

I'm looking at:

Nissan Xterra (D40) Long Tube Headers by Doug Thorley
AFE Stage 2 Cold Air Intake System
Bully Dog 40415 Tuner
Custom Flowmaster exhaust

I may have to add a second catalyctic converter if I want dual exhaust. Any tips with this proposed setup would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@BulldozerX - thanks I did know that. Is it my cargo needs that makes you say that? Really I only need room for an SLR, lenses, and a tripod. I intend to location scout for a spy film I am working on. When we get down to filming, we will take multiple vehicles out.
 

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If you think you're dslr gear will be safe from just being inside the your soon to buy Xterra...good luck:
 

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Addressed by point:

  • Suspension: also research package options from NissTec Lifts or PRG Products. If you end up relocating to CO, they're right there!
  • Cab lights: if you remove the roof rack, you'll have a number of bolt holes that will need to be covered, or things will get leaky really fast. You can take advantage of many of those holes to run your clearance lights and save yourself some drilling - could even throw some in back.
  • Rear tire carrier: got your choice. Hefty Fabworks, Shrockworks, Calmini, Bucksnort (community fabricator), MAXTerra (community fabricator). I would think about gas can storage if you really want to be ready for anything.
  • ARB: great choice. But just to clear up, those "rubber pieces" fitting it to the chassis under the headlights (if that's what you mean) are actually the stock bumper, cut up. While the ARB is built well, it doesn't follow the body line of the X so without parts of the stock bumper behind, you're left with a large gap.
  • Sliders: low profile is great, but those rear fender humps love obstacles. That's why I like White Knuckle (and similarly-styled) sliders, with a kick-out section to save that part of the truck. You'll definitely want skid plates too, some critical components hang below the frame (oil pan namely).
  • Tires: Will depend on the sort of terrain you plan on traveling. For rock crawling and off-the-trail stuff, the height gain with 33" tires is worth it. But for flatter terrain (desert, trails) 32s will do you fine.
  • Amenities: dual battery can fit up front if you plan it right (there are a few how-tos on the forum). Once the spare is out from the bottom there's a great amount of room there, just be sure to protect it. Don't want a tree stump messing up your water storage. Also think about an air compressor. Additionally, there's a hidden compartment under the cargo area - you can remove the cover for a little more room, or cut it out completely.
I would also wonder if a small utility trailer (military style) might help with your needs.

That's about all I got.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@nex, I know. I've personally never lost equipment to theft (knock, knock) but my colleagues are more than happy to share their stories. IMHO, nothing is safe from thieves, not even your vehicle. Especially if you get stuck in a mudhole here in Texas. They'll strip your truck to the bone while you go get help!

@ThePlasticOne, thanks for your detailed information. That's exactly what I've been looking for. Sometimes I find myself attracted to the wrong things. Thanks for the heads-up on the ARB bumper fitting. I wasn't sure if that was the stock bumper back there or not. Now I know. That's a real turn off and puts me back on the Shrockworx bumper because it fits closer to the nose of the vehicle. The one thing that bugged me about the ARB was the extension of the bumper forward.

I'm also reconsidering my plan to have a custom rack built for the back of the roof. I may as well just go with the GOBI. The size of the vehicle is starting to necessitate that I consider and use a rack. (I may need the back seat)

I like the Hefty Fabworks split bumper design. I read from a user who couldn't get his hatch open with a trailer on, so he had one fabricated with a split in the middle. I'll have to look at my options and think this one out well. Thanks for the list.

Thanks for the tip on the sliders too. I hadn't read anything in the threads about their use but I see them in action all the time on youtube. Skid plates are a must. I'm going to consult and do some more research before deciding on anything. As much as I'd like to be lazy and just learn what I need on the trail, I appreciate this interaction. You sound much more experienced than I am.

As far as tire size, the performers I'm seeing on rock, mud, and trails are 285/75/16's. Not only do I like the look (I like the look of 35's and a Titan swap too) but the fuel economy vs. performance hit is not extreme. I can more than make up for the additional size with a proper tune I'm learning.

I was looking to install the dual battery set-up under the hood as well as the ARB CKMTA12 Maximum Performance On-Board Air Supply. I'm thinking a may need a rear locker, so this can be air driven too right like the ARB. Do I need a tank with this pump or is there a better solution that doesn't take up cargo space? I know I need it for airing up and would get something less expensive if it will do the job just as well in as compressed a space. Thanks on the tip for protecting my water supply. I'm not looking to push the X to it's limits, I'm just looking for an athletic, dependable off-road ride.

Last but not least would be a trailer. I'm thinking so for gear, equipment, luggage, RTT... I will be travelling with my dog. Not sure if she'd dig being up so high. For now, I'm planning on sleeping in a ground tent for her, and my wallet...:)
 

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Stock ORs/PRO-4X comes with a 32" tire , just so you know.
It seems like you need a bigger vehicle then an Xterra.
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You May have a point and you may wish to look at a used Pathfinder Like 2011-12 before Nissan turned them in to a kid hauler! The Pathfinders just a few years go offered real frame, almost like a stretched Xterra. You a all ready to sink some money in a Xterra, so you may better suited with a 2010-12Patherinder.

Or Go with a Frontier with super cab (4door) and a solid camper shell. This would solve the people problem and yet have equipment space. I have seen some Tacoma's and Frontiers with a match shell with a storage rack on the shell.
Xosel has some excellent racks for both configurations' for Frontiers and Xterra.

But in the end the Xterra is still cool even with some perceived short comings:notworthy:.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I also wanted to give props to Creek from Expedition Portal. His X is one of the best performers I've seen. (I'm sure that has a lot to do with the driver) Check it out. His build is having me reconsider my rack decision. (really though, I don't see a lot of them being used in videos or pictures except for a hi-lift or a tire.)



One of the few I've seen dirty too. Not sure if the pic is before or after his Titan swap with the 315's. Looks like it. I think this one is with 285/75/16's and the 3" lift.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@ghostrider, I think I've seen your build. I know I've seen you're name around the forums. :)

The thing I can tell you about the Xterra over the Pathy is the price. I'm very excited because I can get into one of these Xterras AND afford the mods. I've been driving the Equinox for 7 years and I can't even raise or lower the thing. It drives me crazy.

The only thing that concerns me (and this if for trucks and 4x4's in general) is the MPG but I haven't had a proper RWD/4WD truck in 8 years. I also haven't left the pavement...except for a few months in a WRX I treated myself to but the point is gas ain't cheap. I guess I could keep this Equinox around for city driving (It gets 30 MPG) but the insurance cost wouldn't justify the difference so whatever to MPG...

I will look into the used Pathy market although I really think a rooftop rack or an offroad trailer will do the trick if I need room to expand. I like the mid-size trucks on the trail (I loved my V6 Ranger) and seriously you can't beat the price on these X's...I found an '05 with 32,000 miles for $9700.00. 4x4 and manual transmission. If I only got paid today...

I may not have explained myself properly though. When I started looking at a 4x4's again, I was attracted to the '99-'04 Chevy Suburban because I could haul a trailer, sleep in it (I had one before although I'm only 5'9"), and I could also transport clients to and from the airport in comfort (Hollywood types.) The price was right too. (Right around $15,000.)

My clients are important to me but they can take a cab if they want to come visit the resort we're looking at relocating to. I have other needs for my vehicle now and shuttling passengers is not one of them. :)

I was also attracted to the power of the 'burb's V8 but the Nissan's 4.0L V6 more than covers that for my uses. I understand the Pathfinder has a V8 available.

My dog is not large (40 lbs) and the passenger seat is usually hers. She rides with a seat-belt harness on. When I have someone in the car, it's usually one person or one person and the dog, so I do need the larger seat in the back for Dolly when there is one passenger.

I do like to camp. It's one of the reasons for the 4x4. I'd like to get off the beaten path and just get away. I'm also looking at expanding my business into this area too, either expeditions or equipment or a combination of the two. I'm not planning on sleeping in the vehicle and most (99%) of the time, I'm not hauling anything large or camera related. I have a desk job doing Post-Production right now, hence the 4x4 to get away.

Can you give me a couple of reasons to go with the Pathy? Would you make the switch or is your X perfect for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's cool. I really like this forum. It's got a different vibe from all of the camera-related forums I frequent.

I can't wait to see what happens to that rig...
 

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Haven't really been reading all the detail, just skimming, so my apologies if this comes off a bit scattered from what's already been covered and addressed (or duplicates some of the info), but here's a few thoughts:

  • Creek on the ExPo Forum = Creek on TheNewX Forum ... same truck, same guy, he's a good dude.
  • Other builds to consider checking out:
    -'GlamisDude' (white Frontier with a rear cap, may go by glamisdude7200) ... has threads here and on the ExPo Forum as well.
    -'Barlowers' (spelling may be off, apologies if so) ... a Tacoma build that's *very* well documented on the ExPo Forum.
    -'TacoDoc': another awesome and well documented Tacoma build on the ExPo Forum
    -Also 'eXpeditionXterra': a 1st Gen Xterra build also over there.
    -'usmc xterra' ... one of the OGs from here on TheNewX, and an amazing build ... don't remember if he ever did much of a 'build thread' per-se, but his mark is all over this site from way back (many of the original "How-Tos" are his).
    -'chrishaynesusa' has a great "money-is-no-object" 2nd Gen Xterra build, so that's another one to peruse here at TNX.
    -These aren't intended to try to steer you to a different vehicle, but rather just to serve as resources and research reading ... I have them all bookmarked in various places, so if you have trouble tracking the threads down, let me know and I'll dig up the links for you.​
  • On the rack situation:
    -If you only want it for overflow use but don't plan to use it all the time; consider the Gobi Stealth rack or the BajaRack RTT rack. The Stealth has a flat upper profile, giving it a deeper front basket and a very low profile rear section; as opposed to the Ranger, which is Gobi's more 'standard' rack that most folks with a Gobi rack (here at TNX) have. The Ranger has a constant depth all the way back, and therefore follows the roof profile on top.
    -The BajaRack RTT rack has been discussed on here a time or two, but I don't know if it ever made it out of pre-production into general use ... I'm sure they'd make you one, though, if you wanted it. It's got a front basket and walls (a bit deeper than the Gobi Stealth, IIRC), and then is flat at the back - with no walls, unlike the Stealth which has minimal walls after the roof 'bump' ... it's intended to be a low-profile mounting place for a roof-top tent (RTT), but certainly doesn't *have* to be used that way.
    -A third option, would be to take a look at the Front Runner racks (linky), and see if they make one that has dimensions to match the Xterra's roof ... they do have vehicle specific fitment, but I think that just comes down to the mounting brackets used to tie the platform to the roof of the vehicle; I'm sure if you contacted them for just the platform part (the attraction to the Front Runner racks, is they're just a flat platform that you can attach pretty much whatever you want to; they have a very versatile set of mounts & attachments), you could then work with a fabricator (like Fangars from Xoskel ... actually that's a good fourth Rack option ... or the folks at Gobi or someone local to you), to adapt a mounting solution for the truck.​
... anyway, just some more food for thought.
 

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Oh, and have you considered buying one that's already part way modified? There are a couple for sale right now, that may fit into your starting budget (AlpineMountain, 08whitex, and zedman86 come to mind ... for that matter, Creek's truck - which I know you've at least perused, is still for sale ... anyway, just some thoughts.
 

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Here's usmc_xterra's build w/comments from him;

I wanted an OR Model, but it was not available, so I looked at the difference and figured ARB would come out with a Locker and maybe both. So I went "S" 4X4 with power package. Of the things that would have come with an OR Model I tossed ....

[table="head"]Removed | Replaced with | Notes
Stereo | 1450 watt Model
Speakers | All Alpine, Plus a Sub and Two amps
Rims | MB Predator Rims 16X8 6-114.3 12AM | [1]
Tires | BFG 285 75 16's AT KO's
Rear Shocks | Pro Comp Adjustable 2 w/Year Warranty
Shackles | Daystar Greasable Set
Front Bumper | ShrockWorks with a mm Winch
Rear Bumper | ShrockWorks with Tire Carrier
Mudflaps (4) | Replaced em with Nothings
Floor Mats | WeatherTech in Front & Factory Rubber Rear
Roof Bin Handle | Southco Locking Bin Handle
Air Filter | K&N Filter
Fog Light Covers | Yournissanparts Fog Light Kit
License Plate Holder | Home Made Fold Down
Factory Skids | Factory One's Were Added, But replaced w/ShrockWorks
[/table]

I wish I could add:
A wider set of wheels to match the tires, or have gone with OR size tires. Maybe a set of lockers, not sure I need em though, works great without!

I did add. (In addition to the crap I replaced above)
4 KC DAYLIGHTERS Hi Lights on Roof Bin, (Removable)
Daystar Front Spacers
Shrockworks Sliders, No sliders on factory S
Shrockworks Skids, No skids, but I bought paper factory OR skids
Matching size Spare tire
CB Uniden PC78XL Road King 56 NC Mic
Cobra Radar detector
A Uniden BC12 Scanner
A sound Machine, (Had to be at ECXC to hear that!)
A Junk Rocky Mountain Radar- Radar Jammer (Don't work it's a farce)
2 alarm systems
multiple switches for things
An Under the seat Air Compressor
Carbon Fiber trim
Lots of HP (Decals)
A set of fog lamps (yellow) in addition to factory white ones
Snork for the rear Diff
A Roof Basket
2 Hi Lift Jacks, One 48 and one 60"
Locking Wheel Lugs
AC power
A SUB with the stereo
A Cool Floor liner for the back
A Bolt on Inside locking bike rack
3 Flashlight holders, 1 3D cell and two AA Cell
2 Lev O Gages
A YourNissanParts keypad! (Love it!)

And a Set Of OFF ROAD Badges.... I think it deserves them. It's much more capable than a stock OR model. They do look cool, I went with three, added one to the rear hatch above the handle.

I will be adding;
A Gibson exhaust
An Air Tank and an Air Horn
Spare water tank
Spare gas tank
A Remote start when they come out with a T harness

So, I am real glad I kept the OR package $ and used it for what I wanted. Had I got the OR package, I'd have the seat covers, and the locker left out of what comes with it. Oh! And a VDC that I would never use. So there you have it! It goes where I need it to, and places I should not go!

NOTES: [1] The numbers off the box are as follows:
#80/(AH23427)
CODE 62485
SIZE 16 X 8
OFF:12AM/71.5
PCD:6-4.5(114.3)
VENDOR NUMBER 13220
MB Motoring wheel -
PREDATOR
ANTHRACITE
MACHINE
 

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Here's usmc_xterra's build w/comments from him;

I wanted an OR Model, but it was not available, so I looked at the difference and figured ARB would come out with a Locker and maybe both. So I went "S" 4X4 with power package. Of the things that would have come with an OR Model I tossed ....REMOVEDREPLACED WITHNOTEThe stereo1450 watt modelThe speakersall Alpine, Plus a Sub and two ampsThe rimsMB Wheels Predator 16X8 6-114.3 12AM [1]The tiresBFG 285 75 16's AT KO'sThe rear shocksPro Comp adjustable 2 year warrantyThe ShacklesDaystar greasable setThe Front BumperShrockworks with a mm WinchThe Rear BumperShrockworks with Tire carrierThe Mudflaps (4) replaced em with nothingsThe Floor mattsWeathertech in front Factory rubber rearThe Roof bin handleSouthco lockingThe Air FilterK&NThe Fog light CoversYournissanparts Fog Light kitThe License plate holderhome made fold downThe factory Skids withShrockworks. Factory one's were added, waste!I wish I could add:A wider set of wheels to match the tires, or have gone with OR size tires.Maybe a set of lockers, not sure I need em though, works great without!I did add. (In addition to the crap I replaced above)4 KC DAYLIGHTERS Hi Lights on Roof Bin, (Removable)Daystar Front Spacers.Shrockworks Sliders, No sliders on factory SShrockworks Skids, No skids, but I bought paper factory OR skids.Matching size Spare tire,CB Uniden PC78XL Road King 56 NC Mic.Cobra Radar detector,A Uniden BC12 ScannerA sound Machine, (Had to be at ECXC to hear that! )A Junk Rocky Mountain Radar- Radar Jammer (Don't work it's a farce)2 alarm systems,multiple switches for things,An Under the seat Air Compressor,Carbon Fiber trim.Lots of HP (Decals)A set of fog lamps (yellow) in addition to factory white ones.Snork for the rear Diff.A Roof Basket,2 Hi Lift Jacks, One 48 and one 60"Locking Wheel Lugs,AC power,A SUB with the stereo,A Cool Floor liner for the back.A Bolt on Inside locking bike rack.3 Flashlight holders, 1 3D cell and two AA Cell.2 Lev O Gages.A YourNissanParts keypad! (Love it!)And a Set Of OFF ROAD Badges.... I think it deserves them. It's much morecapable than a stock OR model. They do look cool, I went with three, addedone to the rear hatch above the handle.I will be adding,A Gibson exhaust,An Air Tank and an Air Horn,Spare water tank,Spare gas tank.A Remote start when they come out with a T harness.So, I am real glad I kept the OR package $ and used it for what I wanted. HadI got the OR package, I'd have the seat covers, and the locker left out of what comes with it.Oh! And a VDC that I would never use. So there you have it! It goes where I need it to, andplaces I should not go!NOTES: [1] The numbers off the box are as follows. #80/(AH23427) CODE 62485 SIZE 16 X 8 OFF:12AM/71.5 PCD:6-4.5(114.3) VENDOR NUMBER 13220 MB Motoring wheel- PREDATOR ANTHRACITE MACHINE
Wwwwwow! Moderate yourself before you wreck yourself ON :p
 

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Didn't transfer over too good from a Excel File..... But fixed it.. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
@OldNavy - You're a real asset here on this forum. I was browsing through your DIY list yesterday and there are some great mods. I have to admit, I've gotten away from DIY and as a result have less money for things since I spend money on people doing things I am capable of doing. Surf and Snow's build has me turned around though. His attention to detail and explicit instructions give me the confidence to turn this around and put my hands on this new vehicle. The Equinox was a hand-me-down when my dad lost his vision. It's so limited I just lost hope and got lazy...Thanks for the lists and the footprints on this charted course.

S. America? I'll check out the thread, but I'm definitely going to have to brush up on my Spanish. It is interesting that you chose an S over an OR. I have made the same decision, since I would like to customize the vehicle personally. Alot of the factory options I don't require. I use power windows, lock, and mirrors. I like cruise control. That's about it, so why pay for them?
The radio is coming out and getting replaced eventually. I'm rediscovering AM talk radio over Katie Perry right now, so great music is not a top priority. I'd rather have a dual battery setup or an air compressor. Sound like you've got a nice truck.

@skibum, I haven't look at any member's rides yet since I don't have cash in hand, but they are always an option. I would like something with low miles though and that is going to be hard to find in a pre-owned rig. It's not a necessity. The low miles. I'd adapt my lifestyle to the right truck at the right price.

I love the baja rack. I'm thinking of designing something flat and wide like it. My issue with the stock roof rack is it's width. It's too narrow and encourages top-heavy configurations. Wouldn't a lower, wider rack make a better platform and make loaded down trail-running safer? I'm thinking something that extends a couple of inches off the roof ending up somewhere in the middle of the mirrors or fenders. Let me know what you think and thanks for the food for thought. :wave:

edit: one exception to my objections of the stock rack is Surf and Snow's drop-in rack with light bars. On a budget, that's a golden configuration. It would cost you a pretty penny to get as clean an install as that around here, so yes I could live with the stock rack for a while and his build has me reconsidering my current position. Glad I can't drop the hammer yet. I'm so bad once I get the money in my hands...
 
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