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Intro Comments: Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for ages. I've always loved the look of the Xterras and am especially fond of the second gens. I've owned nearly 30 cars in my life, never wrecked any of them, and nearly all of them have been extensively modified. This one is no exception. For about two years I've dreamed of getting an Xterra roller and a Titan/Armada donor and swapping the VK56de in. Titan swap the front and have some fun! Anyway, I bought my first X this past Saturday and couldn't be happier. Unfortunately, when I showed up to buy it, someone had smashed the window out and stolen the stereo just the night before so I have a window and center bezel to replace before anything else. It worked out because I ended up getting the thing for a steal and don't mind the minor repairs. With 264000 miles on the odometer, it's going to be ready for some extensive repairs soon, which is fine by me. So excited!

It is the old rig of Vorian's on here

Once my 90 VW gti project is running and my daily Scion is sold (the MK2 will take over daily duties), I'll be hunting for my VK56 donor and making that happen, retaining the 6-speed manual transmission and existing differentials. I may upgrade the front to the titan if I swap it but the track width will cause problems with safety inspection and my budget will be fully blown by the time the motor's in, so that may take a while to get geared and locked.

Anyway, I'm happy to finally be here and hope I can contribute meaningfully, especially as the swap get underway. Take care, and thanks for stopping by.

Username: dschmale

Make: Nissan
Year: 2006
Model: Xterra
Trim: Off Road
Color: Night Armor

Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Mileage: 264,000 miles

MODS

Armor:
Full set of Shrockworks skids
White Knuckle Off Road Rock Sliders
ARB Front Bumper
Maxterra Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier and Gas Can Holders
Boulder Ironworx Shock Skids

Suspension:
NissTec Radflo Extended Travel Ultimate Kit
- Radflo 2.0 Rear Emulsion Shocks 0-3" Lift
- Old Man Emu CS061R Dakar Leaf Pack w/ HD Leaf
- Adjustable Rear Lift Shackles
- Radflo 2.0 Extended Travel Adjustable Coilover
- SPC Upper Control Arms
Titan U-bolt Flip Kit
1" Coilover Spacers

Tires:
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac Load Range E 285/75/R16

Wheels:
Level 8 MK6

Exterior:
Projector Headlight Housing with 4300K HIDs & CCFL Halo Lights
Round Rear Light Cluster
Mudflap Delete
Honda Pilot Side Markers
Nissan OEM Trailer Hitch with Hitch Wiring Harness in the bumper
Xoskel Front and Rear Lo Pro Lightbar
TrekLights 4" TrekPods Quad XT Spot Lights
Totron 5" 3x3 Flood Lights
Totron 7" X Flood Lights
Totron 20" SR Flood Lightbar
Totron 7" HID Spot & Flood Lights
Hood Rod Mod
Keyless Entry Pad
DepHep Roof Rack
McMaster-Carr Rear Hatch Struts
Gobi Ladder
Diff Breather Mod
Philips LED DRLs
3' Firestik CB Antenna
Airflow Snorkel
Unique Scratch Artwork courtesy of my dog Riker
Custom Pinstriping from trail runs

Engine:
XTP Intake Manifold Spacer
Bully Dog Tuner
Magnaflow 12580

Interior:
Pioneer AVH-2440NEX Radio
PRG Short Throw Shifter
BlueSea Fuse Box above the driver side kick panel
Replaced Stock Switches with OTRATTW Switches
Locker Anytime Mod
Sunglass Holder Upgrade
Cobra 75WXST CB

Recovery:
Warn VR8000 Winch mounted in the ARB Front Bumper
30' ARB Snatch Strap & 10' ARB Tree Saver Strap
Rear Hitch Mounted Shackle

Future Wish List:@;
Titan/Armada donor and swapping the VK56de in...

PHOTOS
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Discussion Starter #4
Pulled the driver's door panel and vapor barrier, vacuumed the glass out of the door, vacuumed the whole interior, repaired the connectors damaged in the break-in and replaced the dash center bezel, ac controls, hazard switch and airbag light - all of which were damaged in the break-in. Waiting on my window glass which won't be in until next Wednesday. Then I need to "activate" the ABS and finish the poor bleed job done by a shop after replacing the master cylinder. And finally get it inspected and registered. Hopefully by next weekend for a ski trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Chasing electrical gremlins left over from the break-in. I wasn’t getting power to the stereo harness but it turns out, I’m not getting a ground. Not sure if the security system cuts grounds in valet mode (need to find the damn valet switch) or if the thieves just really did a number on the harness.

Anyway, I picked up a pioneer AVH-2440NEX headunit on sale from Crutchfield. Cheaper than anywhere else with the adapters and all too! I’m a big stereo guy and have gotten spoiled by good eq and time alignment. I’ve always run Pioneer 80PRS headunits but wanted to step it up for the dream truck.

Jumped a ground to the headunit last night and it fired right up. After wrestling the gains I can say what the Rockford system lacks in fidelity, it makes up for with VOLUME and hella mid bass. With some eq and a proper subwoofer, it should kick ass! I mean, that s is LOUD!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the glass in today. That was sketchy. You don’t realize how curved the X windows are until you try to install a new glass. Yikes! Thought I might break it for a minute there. Definitely the toughest glass I’ve had to replace before. I hear some crunching which means I missed some shards in the regulator track. Hoping to find those tomorrow and get the panel reinstalled. The tint doesn’t match the right side but for $65 I ain’t complaining.

Ordered the rca end that I need for the back up camera. Hoping to finish wiring everything up, install the stereo headunit, and reassemble the interior completely tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Had to fix a coolant leak on my wife’s MINI this weekend and didn’t get a chance to finish the stereo in the X. I did do some research however.

There’s a rumor going around that the tweeters on the X with RF stereo are 2 ohm. That is false. While it may be true of the door speakers - I haven’t checked yet - and earlier Nissan Bose systems, it certainly isn’t true of the Rockford system here. They’re stamped 4 ohm.

Replacing the factory “tweeter” with a 1” Vifa soft dome that I’ve had luck with in the past.

https://www.parts-express.com/peerless-by-tymphany-ne25vts-04-1-silk-dome-tweeter--264-1034
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In case anyone is curious, the door speakers are in fact 2 ohm. Branded “Nissan - Clarion”. Not the tweeters though. Those are definitely 4 ohm.

Desoldered the old tweeters and removed the factory harness connection. Soldering onto the new tweeters just as soon as I find where I put my damn solder...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Soldered and installed the new tweeters yesterday. They made a HUGE difference. In fact, without some eq soon, they sound out of balance. I'm still curious if the old "tweeters" were more than just tweeters - like playing mid frequencies. If they are, I'll be in need of replacements soon as these won't take anything below 2000Hz, and even that's low for a tweeter. I just double-sided taped them in place as they're frames were smaller than the old units and I didn't feel like breaking out a 90 degree drill to make new holes in the dash (there's zero clearance against the windshield).

I see a lot of people cutting their tweeter harnesses. It looks like you can't get around it on the base system, though you might with some cutting and creativity, but for the RF stuff, if you have a soldering iron and a few minutes, swap the connector over! Throw some solvent like brake cleaner on the connectors (they're glued in place), desolder the connector leads, yank the connector off with some pliers and solder those suckers onto your new tweeters. Took me less than an hour to remove everything, desolder, solder, and install the new tweeters. And I suck at soldering. They fit under the factory grills perfectly well and are way clearer than the old ones, without being metal-dome bright.
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I tried installing the headunit but I'm getting some ground pops and low-level hiss so I used a self-tapping sheet metal screw to drill a hole in the dash frame - that notorious, stupid bar running right behind your headunit interfering with your RCA cables :angry5: - and ran the grounds to it. May also turn down the gains on the line-out-converter that runs from the headunit to the RF amp, and see if that helps. It's plenty loud at 2/3 volume now so I'll give up some volume if it kills the hissing. We'll see this evening if the grounds made a difference. Still have to rebuild the reverse camera connector too. i should get a few hours to myself this evening so I'm hoping to at least get the headunit in and working (quietly).

Stay tuned!
 

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I used 90 degree RCA plugs to solve the dash frame issue, and installed a ground loop isolator to remove the popping and hissing on mine. I think the amp ground is different than the head unit ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I used 90 degree RCA plugs to solve the dash frame issue, and installed a ground loop isolator to remove the popping and hissing on mine. I think the amp ground is different than the head unit ground.
Thanks man. Definitely going to take some creativity to get around that frame. 90s, pig-tails, dremel tool... who knows what awaits. I'm sure the grounds are different too. I had no good ground off the factory harness and while I'd read somewhere that the amp was grounded through the headunit, there's nothing behind it with nearly the gauge needed to properly ground a 380 watt amp!

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I ran home on lunch and wired all the grounds to the new screw in the dash frame. Hissing is gone and I didn't get any death pop when I switched sources so I'm hoping it holds up. Sounds great right now with no "floor noise" (or whatever you'd call that static) that I can discern. I initially adjusted the gains way down but I crept them back up and the hiss didn't return.

Hopefully, I'll get the AV cable repaired tonight, drop cables for the future aftermarket subwoofer, assemble everything and run some eq and time alignment. I'm anxious to see how it sounds with the new tweeters and some eq. For now, the new tweeters are night-and-day different from the old ones. Much more lively and I couldn't be happier with how quickly the whole replacement process took. No distortion at reasonable listening levels so they must just be receiving tweeter-friendly frequencies.

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It's supposed to snow here tonight and tomorrow so I'm looking to get everything installed and cleaned up so I can go "activate" the abs a bunch of times and get the air out of the ABS pump. Bleed the brakes end of this week and try to take her skiing this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Need to get the air out of the abs unit so I’m driving around in the snow today, mashing the brakes the get the pump to cycle. Try to bleed the remaining air out tomorrow. I have a job interview next week so the ski trip and most of my repairs are out on hold to prepare for that.

Still searching for wires behind the dash. Repaired the reverse camera connector but it’s not getting power or something because I just get a black image, as if there’s no input. Need to find the Bluetooth mic connector. The existing mic is run to a good, clean location and I don’t feel like rerouting a new one.

Got the airbag light to turn off after they damaged the passenger airbag warning light. I stole this from StackExchange btw. Worked great! No scan tool, no trip to Nissan.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally got the stereo headunit installed. Unfortunately, the reverse camera wires were cut beyond repair so I have to purchase a new one and run those cables up front. Not a huge deal but frustrating because OMG! installing that was a PITA!

That dash bar is terrible. I had to install the deck so it protrudes slightly from the dash and looks a bit cheap, as such. It’s a hair crooked too. The thieves did a number on the mounting brackets and I had to bend them back into place. The thing really jams though.

Dropped a remote line and RCAs for the additional subwoofer while I was back there. Need to run power for the sub and finish the enclosure - once I find a spot for the amp as well. I’d like to keep the tool compartment for tools.

In other news, I bought a road bike. I wanted a cyclocross bike but got talked out of it. The price was right though I’ve now dumped over $300 into accessories, road-side gear, tires, etc. Bikes are expensive man. I’ll throw some pictures up when it arrives and gets assembled - probably tonight because I won’t be able to wait!

The plan is to work up to commuting a few days a week on the bike, and sharing the other days between the X and my golf, once that’s running. Here’s hoping I stick to that and didn’t just blow a ton of money on a toy that sits dormant.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I haven't done anything to the Xterra in days. Still not registered even - need to finish bleeding the brakes so I can get a safety inspection first.

HOWEVER! I did get my bike assembled and set up. The frame was matte black already but I went ahead and sprayed any branding decals matte black to keep it clean, then sticker bombed the hell out of it. Need to adjust the front fender but that's a nit-pick. It rides great. Installed some slightly larger and considerably more robust tires, set up the brakes and derailleurs really well. Super jazzed. Looking forward to strapping it to the Xterra and finding some paths around the region.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wow, this thread of mine needs some love. So does my Xterra. I've got next Thursday and Friday off so in addition to bleeding the brakes (finally), I'll be registering and inspecting the Xterra, antique tagging my "new" 1990 VW golf and pulling and rebuilding the head on that blue beauty.



Finished the seat swap on the Golf. That was a pain. I bought the golf, not running, with no back seat. My son loves my car projects and needs to be able to ride with me so I picked up a set of seats out of a 1998 Jetta (came free with the motor swap!) and did some major surgery to get them to fit. After all, Jetta seats weren't meant to swivel to access the back seats! They do now. Super funky too. Really suits the rest of the car.



I sold one of our six cars last night to a buddy for super cheap - my beater Scion Xb daily. I didn't profit from it but I didn't take a loss. He got a great deal and was in need of some help, and I needed to clear the driveway anyway. Next up for sale is the MINI Clubman S I built for my wife a few years ago. She loves that car but it kept having little nickel and dime issues that drove her to buying a new Jetta... which she got into an accident with a mile off the lot. It was a small accident but enough to put a serious damper on the whole day. We didn't even go through insurance - just wasn't worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This project has unfortunately taken a back seat to a career change and a few other projects I need to get rid of to make space for the VK56 donor. Since my last post I've taken two new jobs and had to prepare for interviews, get spun up on their technologies, etc. It's taken all of my free time that I don't give to my family these past six months.

I've been in titling hell with DC as well. I signed the wrong spot on the title and have to get the old owner to get a new title and resign it for me - or start the abandoned vehicle process. I'm flipping an older Benz convertible to finance the donor Titan/Armada in the meantime.

Pulled the rock sliders to address some rust developing on the frame in the mid-section. I'll get some pics of that process soon. Strip, POR-15, paint, reinstall. Redoing the frame and the sliders themselves. Have to drill out tons of hardware that's rusted solid over the year - including the big azz bolts for the front and rear bumpers.

This rig is too nice to be sitting idle so I've put my hands on it from time to time but the process has been slow and frustrating. I am not deterred. Consider this my return to the forums. I'll post updates periodically as they happen.
 
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