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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
General Tarfun’s X: Blue Ridge Explorer Build
Intro Comments: I'm the original owner of this 2006 Super Black Nissan Xterra S.


Username: General Tarfun
Year: 2006
Model: Xterra
Trim: S
Color: Super Black

Factory Options:
• Auto-dim/compass mirror
• Tow Package
• Rear cargo privacy cover
• Side Molding
• Mud Flaps (removed)
• Step Rails (removed)
• Hood Wind Deflector (removed)
• Wheel Locks (removed)

Suspension/Steering Mods

Front:
Lift: 4"
• Bilstein 5100's set at 1" lift + 2" Lift Spacer
• SPC Upper Control Arms
• Moog Coil Springs
• KYB Top Plate/Coil Bushing
• Febest Rack and Pinion Bushings
• Extended Poly Bump Stops
• OEM Nissan Camber Bolts
• Sway bar delete

Rear:
Lift: 4"
• Bilstein 5125's, +3" extended version
• 4x4parts 3-Leaf Add-A-Leaf
• 4x4parts.com 1.5" Lift Shackles
• Timbren SES Bump Stop

Wheels
• 265/75R-16 Toyo Open Country AT II’s
• Spidertrax 1.5" Wheel Spacers Front + Rear

Electrical
• Philips Ultinon LED Foglight Bulbs
• Hella 80/100 watt 9007 Halogen Headlight Bulbs
• Sylvania LED rear brake lights

Interior:
• Pioneer AVH8500BHS + back up camera
• UV film applied to windshield @20k
• All other windows tinted 30% over the stock tint

Fluids
• Only Mobil 1 Synthetic 5w-30/5w-40(summer) from the first oil change onward + Nissan Oil Filters
• Matic S until 150k and Castrol Transmax Import Multi-Vehicle ATF onward
• Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Oil for Rear Diff
• Nissan 'Green' Radiator fluid

Major Repairs
• Timing Chains/Guides Replacement + thermostat + waterpump @147,000 miles, $1700.

Mods

Interior Mods
• Floor/Underdash/Console led lighting
• Center Console Compartment Light mod
• Dash/Interior LED Mod
• Rex Rug cargo area
• Noico Sound-proofing applied to the interior of all doors
• Fabricated 4 additional tie downs to cargo floor panel
• Memory foam seat mod

Exterior Mods
• Rear diff breather mod
• Painted front bumper, side molding, rear bumper corners, and roof rack with Mar-Hyde Black Satin bumper paint
• Painted rear bumper metal with Automotive Touchup KH3 Super Black matching paint
• Bedlined Rear bumper plastic top
• Painted grille with Krylon Fusion Textured Shimmer Dark Grey
• Blacked out all the badges with Black Satin paint + Automotive Touchup clear coat
• Airbox Mod

Electrical Mods
• Off-Road Mode Switch (ABS/EBD/VDC/TCS Disable)
• Fogs + High Beam mod
• Rack mounted LED Light Bar-REAR
• Front side marker conversion to turn signal mod
• Stealth headlight housing mod, painted trim with matching KH3 Super Black matching paint + clearcoat, deleted the orange sidemarker
• Custom 12-gauge wire relay harness for front headlamps + 80 watt low/100 watt high Halogens
• Front LED Light Bar + two square led fog lights
• Westin License Plate Bulb Housing Replacement Kit (for 05-07 Xterra bumpers)

My Write Ups/Projects

How-to: Change Gauge Cluster LED Color
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/275992-how-change-gauge-cluster-led-color.html

How-to: Change Passenger Airbag LED Color


How-to: Cheap OEM-Style Camber Bolts
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/275002-how-cheap-oem-style-camber-bolts.html#post4283688

How to replace the license plate light housings on a 2005 or 2006 Xterra:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/274716-how-replace-your-05-06-license-plate-light-assemblies.html

How to build an upgraded headlight wiring harness:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/274474-how-build-upgraded-headlight-wiring-harness-85-100-watt-halogen-bulbs.html

How to repair your master power window switch:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/233938-how-repair-master-power-window-switch.html

How to re-use the factory tweeter to make a wiring harness for your new one:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/258706-how-re-use-factory-tweeter-wiring-harness-aftermarket-install.html

How to fabricate the correct bushings for the Bilstein 5125 on the Nissan Xterra.
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/260282-how-take-mystery-out-bilstein-5125-bushings.html

How to change the oil cooler hose that returns coolant to the engine.
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/267258-how-change-oil-cooler-hose-coolant-return-engine.html

How to make an Off-Road Mode switch:
https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/272656-how-abs-off-version-4-a.html#post4254250

2019




Here's a pic from about a year after I bought it. The Yakima roof rack got crushed by a parking garage ceiling and the brush guard sheered off by an out of control taxi driver.



My history with brushguards.
BG #1: 60mph + Large Deer


BG#2: 5mph + taxi van driver blasting through an intersection.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I assembled new front coilovers and bought the Bilstein 5125's for a 3" lift to put on the rear. Set the fronts to 1" lift but somehow ended up with a 2", combined with the 2" lift spacer on top the front was at 37" fender height. I put in polyurethane low profile bump stops on the UCA's and another regular bump stop on the LCA. The ride is great now, I removed the rear sway bar too and the ride is much more planted without it.

It's settled some in the last week down to 36.5" and I'd be happy if it dropped another 1/2."





I had to build the lower mount bushings myself and it's pretty easy to do. The old ones press out really easily, I pressed in the new polyurethane ones that have a .75" eye. I ended up with red bushings since that's all that was available on Prime. Would have preferred black but you can't really see them anyway so I'll live.

I ordered a 12 inch section of tube from onlinemetals which has a location here in Ga just outside Atlanta. I signed up for an account and didn't do the order for a few days and I got an email from them for free shipping so I ordered in the afternoon and it was delivered by UPS the next day. After that I measured the pipe to a 1.65" length and wrapped a tie wrap around it to mark the cut point and sawed two of those off. I cleaned up the edges and applied some silicon based grease and pressed them into the bushings and they fit the stockc bolts/mounts perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Installed a double layer of 50 Mil Noico sound deadening mat on the inner side of all the doors. I cleaned the surface up with acetone and the mat stuck to it like glue.

The doors feel slightly heavier now (not a bad thing) and they close with a nice thud instead of the hollow ringing I was getting before. Road noise is definitely reduced although I don't have a decibel measurement or anything. It's funny now because I notice sounds coming from other areas that I didn't notice before so I'll tackle those next.

Nissan actually installed very tiny amounts of a similar sound deadening mat inside our doors but its not nearly enough, I covered the entire door and checked it for clearance with no issues. I also spray some white lithium grease on the power window track while I was in there and now my windows power up/down nicely again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So the front suspension hasn't sagged. It will drop 1/4" depending on the slope of where it's parked. After talking with Greg at PRG about everything he steered me towards the SPC UCA's since I don't want to lower the front or rear any. The coil bucket contact has been ridiculous and makes driving a pretty rough experience since the front wheels can't drop more than an inch.

Just got the SPC's in the mail today so they are going in tonight! I picked up a 32mm socket at Lowe's this morning and some Valvoline Moly-Fortified Multi-Purpose Grease. Part# VV633 from Napa along with grease gun.

My final front suspension setup will be this:

Bilstein 5100 set to 1" lift
Moog coil springs
KYB top plate and coil bushing
2" lift spacer
SPC Upper Control Arms

Final ride height is 37"

Tomorrow I'm putting in a Hellwig LP-15 (I think, I'm not sure if it will fit but I'm going to try so we'll have another option besides the 550's) which I think will lift the rear maybe a 3/4" so I'll get a little bit of rake back. Next job won't be as much fun! Valve Cover Gaskets...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally cleaned up my light bar wiring last night, I removed all of the old wires that were unprotected and installed new lines through a mesh sleeve. It looks so much better than before with red wires running all over the place. I pulled the firewall wiring plug and made a small incision for the wire to pass through to my switch panel and ran the wires through that. Before I just had the wires pushed through the side of it which left the plug unseated and was supposed to be temporary but it took me like a year to get back in there and do it right.



While I was there with the hood open I decided to finally do the VIAS TSB too. I bought the epoxy over a year ago and just never got around to doing it but it's super easy. All you need to get the 4 torx head bolts out is a medium bit flat head long handled screwdriver. Huge difference in noise while driving now, I must have been used to that rattling all the time. You're supposed to clean the valve with carb cleaner beforehand but since I was doing the job on a whim of course I didn't have any so I just went without. If it doesn't hold it's easy enough to take off again anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The stock reverse lights don't do much for you if you have to back up on an unfamiliar mountain trail in the dark so I decided to install a small light bar attached to the stock roof rack cross member.

I was worried that it wouldn't be high enough to point the light where I wanted it but I didn't want to put it so high that it would catch the air flowing over the roof but it turned out perfect. The light illuminates the ground about 15-20 ft behind the truck, right where you lose visibility from the stock backup lights.

I wired it down the side of the hatch and behind the taillight to where it enters the truck through a hole above where the spare tire mounts. From there it runs to a rocker switch on the dash, all in I think this entire project only cost me about 40 bucks.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^^ Pic fail.

Sounds cool though. Can you only use the light in reverse? Or can it also be used for extreme tailgaters?
Fixed!

It's wired to a rocker switch on the dash in a way where it can be turned on at any time without needing the key in the ignition so it could absolutely be used on tailgaters. I didn't plan it this way but because I blacked out the interior of the light bar it doesn't scatter much and is more like a wide spotlight so it's blinding to someone following too close but if they backed up to a safe distance the light wouldn't even affect them.

On a separate note the install survived the drive through car wash this morning without it being moved at all so I'm happy with how sturdy the mount is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yesterday I finally installed the inner tie rods that I ordered a year and a half ago. I can't remember who told me to use a pipe wrench to remove them but major credit goes to that guy. I wasted 40 dollars on a harbor freight inner tie rod tool that didn't fit and then broke...that was a fall 2016 and I didn't bother trying again until yesterday. A medium sized pipe wrench is all you need and is way easier to use. At the same time I installed new Moog lower control arms.

Between the two of them it got rid of an annoying vibration that I was getting over 70mph and the steering and ride quality feel like a new truck. I set the cams to the BRUTAL alignment specs and set the toe to slightly in and it drives great that way. I think I might set the camber to be a little less negative but that's it.
 

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I think i may need to do tie rods too, i get a slight vibration at speed mostly when braking so it could be warped rotors. do you think that the techs would notice bad tie rods when doing an alignment? Pretty soon im doing a short lift and will have to get it re aligned after that anyways.


thanks for the tip on the pipe wrench
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think i may need to do tie rods too, i get a slight vibration at speed mostly when braking so it could be warped rotors. do you think that the techs would notice bad tie rods when doing an alignment? Pretty soon im doing a short lift and will have to get it re aligned after that anyways.


thanks for the tip on the pipe wrench
It's funny with mine whenever I put it on the lift and grabbed the wheel and tried to detect any looseness it felt solid. But whenever I pulled the inner rod out the ball joint was really loose up/down but hadn't developed any play out yet. That said, when driving it there was definite play and with the new one in that went away completely. And I had it at an alignment shop just a few months prior and they didn't mention anything about it which always surprised me so def don't count on them to notice it first.

With yours happening mostly under braking I think you're probably right about the rotors, are they original? Before replacing them entirely you could try pulling the rotors off and rotating them half a turn on the hub and reinstalling them just in case it's a rotor balance issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I replaced two of my Moog cam bolts that the alignment shop had rounded out. I wanted an OEM set but the price is a bit high for what's basically a bolt with a notch in it so I wanted to see if I could find a good alternative that isn't the cheapo half bolt style.

I came up with a good solution. I bought the OEM cam washer from Nissan, reused the nut from my stock LCA bolts, and bought a Febest 0229-004 alignment bolt. I wasn't sure if the bolt would work but it's an exact match with the other hardware. I would say that they might be an OEM supplier but the bolt head is different from the Nissan one but they at least used the Nissan bolt as a guide which is nice, I feel a lot better having a solid bolt in my LCA's again.

Febest 0229-004: $6.99
Nissan 545591Z600: $6.15
Nissan Nut: $0
Total:$13.14 each

 
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