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2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I purchased this 2006 6-Sp MT base model Xterra in spring of 2020. I got it as a project truck on a budget - something to keep me busy over the summer, learn a few things and then flip it when its ready (spoiler, didn't turn out that way). I paid $3500 Cdn, a fair price given it had a SES light and Temporary Registration (red flag up here, usually means it did not pass a safety). I drove it home and set about cleaning it. It was a mess, inside and out, although the paint looked really good considering (yeah, another warning sign as I found out later).

So, exhaust leaks patched, front struts & coils replaced, a couple bulbs, a tie rod and some U joints, and I was street legal. I put it up for sale and had a few nibbles, but nothing that would see me break even. All the while, it was my daily and I liked it more and more. The 6 speed and the flomaster exhaust made it fun to drive too.

I decided to invest a bit more in the truck, a risky proposition as I am the 3rd owner and it now has 300k km (186k miles) and no maintenance history. Also, my mechanical abilities prior to this include oil changes and putting on winter tires. This was my foray into fixing cars, at 51, and with a lifetime of office jobs behind me, I knew it would be a challenge, and it is!

Year: 2006
Trim: X (Base model in Canada)
Color: Hippo Grey, for now.

Mods - Planned & completed: Currently, most almost all my work has been limited to maintenance & upkeep. The posts immediately after this describe my initial cleaning & fix-up work on the truck. Strikethrough text indicates completed, everything else in varying stages of progress.

  • OEM foglight install
  • Morimoto Xenon hi/low beams
  • LED turn/signal/brake lights
  • Panasonic reverse camera
  • Inverter & outlets in cargo area
  • Additional switched cargo lighting with Red LED
  • Roof Light bar
  • Rear lights
  • Additional low mount reversing lights
  • Optima battery
  • Axle breather mod
  • Replace thermostat
  • Replace AC compressor
  • Replace front wheel bearings
  • Clear 0442 & 0443
  • Clear 0128
  • Clear 0455
  • Fix parking brake
  • Replace front struts
  • Replace rear pax tie rod
  • Replace front driveshaft U-joints
  • Thorough cleaning
  • Replace drivers side window motor
  • Install Sony XV-5000 multi media player
  • Replace interior light with LED
  • Replace missing interior trim
  • Headliner drop & cut for new lighting, hooks, and re-cover
  • Additional switched cargo lighting with Red LED in OEM fixtures
  • Additional ceiling mounted cargo hooks
  • Fix seat belt retraction speed
  • Replace overhead console with glasses holder
  • Driver seat foam modification
  • Recover seats with OEM-NOS covers
  • Dog transporter in cargo area
  • Install 08 Pathfinder compass & homelink mirror
  • Replace cracked interior panels
  • Install USB 12V chargers to rear
  • Replace front pax seat with "fold flat" seat back from later model Xterra
  • Replace burnt out lights behind climate control knobs

  • Powder coat roof rack and re-pray plastic stanchions
  • Polish headlights
  • Avery gloss white roof wrap
  • Repair all body rust and re-spray single stage urethane paint in Subaru Khaki Blue
  • Descale frame rust and coat in fluid film
  • Powder coat OEM wheels
  • Replace bumper with OEM in decent shape
  • Replace dented side/rear bumper cover
  • Under hood LED lighting
  • Fix rear wiper
  • Fix license plate lights
  • Roof basket
  • Replace rear hatch struts
  • Install hood gas struts
  • Fix rear washer spray line
  • M101 Cdn Trailer to convert to mini camper (smiliar to US M416)馃槻
  • Wheel adapters to take OEM Nissan wheels


50 Posts
Its not that surprising. These things are a joy to drive especially with the 6 MT!

Nice clean looking 06!

103 Posts
Your avatar says you've done more than office jobs, unless your idea of an office is a Queen Mary.

Always good to see a gunner on here.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ubique! A belated St Barbara's day greeting to you BBAW.

I picked up a cyber monday deal here in Ottawa from Prolightz. Some Morimoto xenon lights to brighten things up. I went with the warm white as I believe it throws more lumens than the cool / blue high kelvin lights.


2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lucky I only needed to grind every bolt off. Only to find at 5pm on a Sunday, that the auto part guy gave me the wrong size U joint. I was more pissed off than I should have been, but luckily Canadian Tire was still open and I got the last 2 in the store.

I was hoping the new joints would eliminate the wup-wup-wup noise coming from the front, but I'm thinking its a bearing.

Gratuitous sparks photo:

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More Cyber Monday goodness from Crutchfield. The Sony head unit was heavily discounted. Will be a step up from my single CD player.

I've become a back-up camera convert now. I live on a main road to the elementary school, and backing out of the driveway I'm very cautious, but would like the extra visibility. I need to get a heater in my garage if I'm going to install any of this over winter.


2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The previous owner wasn't concerned with bringing mud into the truck, or covering the front of the seat in boogers. Yay. The more I cleaned, the more dirt I found. So, maybe a bit drastic, but I know its clean now.







2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My wife just bought a bissel pet cleaner (chocolate lab, messy doggo), and it turns out they clean car seats pretty good too. Takes a while, as in hours, but seeing the muddy water starting to turn clear was worth it.

Memory is not what it used to be, my hi-tech cheat sheet - and yet I still end up with a couple left over. Or 5.


I regret not taking a photo of the first extraction. the water was nearly black. The picture above was around the half way point.

That's looking better!


I could use some more space. Maybe a 2021 project.



2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My bumper was badly split and a bit of an eyesore. Trips to a dozen u-pulls and every bumper was gone already. Since this was a project truck with an aim for me to learn new things, bring on plastic welding!

It is barely hanging on after removing a couple pop fasteners

With the bumper removed, it gets flipped over as the work will be done on the reverse side

Dremel tool and tear drop (?) bit create a channel, this is where the melted polystyrene rods go

But before that...............................metal staples get heated up, pushed into the plastic, turn heat off, and gently twist clockwise, 'locking' them in place..

Then I welded the PS sticks. Man, I dunno, this was messy and TBH I am not sure how much strength the weld added to the staples.

It's not perfect, but a "C" is a "P" and weekends are free!

And as luck would have it, I finally got a upull bumper last weekend! And, I found a headlight stalk with the fog-light switch, so no more UFO thingies covering up the speed holes. Probably will cut the repaired bumper as other have done. Very low risk mod now that I have a spare one.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The rear wiper was n/s. Spolier - its the rusty shaft. I mean, it should be obvious, but I didn't know, so kept taking stuff apart looking for something obviously broken.


I'm kind of fascinated by how gears and lever work. Whatever field of study designs stuff like this (Mech Eng?) I would love to have pursued a career in that.

I wondered if the dents in the motor had something to do with it not working. Someone here told me they are for balancing it. Cool.


Yikes! This was after cleaning. Badly pitted, but once the rust was gone, the wiper worked. Annnnnd then I find out the rear washer doesn't work.


So there's some fittings in the washer line, I think they might be check valves or some widget that can get clogged. I tried blowing compressed air through the line where it hooks into the pump, but no dice. Then I the good idea fairy told me to blow high pressure air backwards through the line. Why, it works when I unclog the central vacuum in the house, what would stop it from working here?

I go to give it a shot of air, forgetting my compressor which had been running was now shut off. The washer hose got a 100psi blast, but, I could hear air, so that meant the line was unblocked, right?


It blew out at the pump. OK, at least I can access it. But in the process of hooking up the hose to the pump, I some how disconnect it somewhere behind the fender and before the glovebox. I figured that part out when I turn on the rear washer, and my passenger gets their ankles doused in washer fluid.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Taking the roof rack off to get it powder coated. And also to get the roof wrapped. Got my hand stung in the process....there was an entire ecosystem under the air dam.

More parts to the roof rack than I thought:

Rivnuts. Joy. Thankfully only 2 ended up like this. When I pull the headliner I may replace them or just fill the hole in. I don't think 2 will be missed on the roof rack.

2006 Xterra SE
997 Posts
Man you're really tearing into it!
Funny, when I did my spacer lift, I didn't have issues getting the upper strut bolts out, yeah a healthy dose of liquid wrench and a touch or 2 of a propane torch.... but yeah working on rusty canadian trucks.... a grinder is a must have....

103 Posts
Yeah, that was a SERIOUS clean up job! The good thing about it though is once it's done, it's done. It's not something you'll have to do again.

103 Posts
I'll be replacing my front bumper with a metal one for mounting a winch this spring. Do you want my current plastic one to replace your cracked one? You can have it for free.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's really kind of you! Thanks! But I literally grabbed one from the u-pull the other day. My next update will be all my latest junkyard finds :)

What are you going with for a metal bumper? They are all look good, but they are all pretty spendy, except for some of the DIY welding stuff if you know a mat tech.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Getting way ahead of myself here, but was provided with some Nissan logos, and some found on the web. I'll likely be popping off the 3D OEM chrome ones and replacing with painted on logos, using these as stencils.

2006 X 6MT
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Window rolls down, but won't go back up. Not as bad a repair as I'd expected. Shout out to all the youtubers who make it so even a novice can tackle these repairs.

Door panel came off using...surprise, a panel removal tool. Best $4 I've spent on a tool.


Previous owner must have replaced the factory speakers? As a X-trim level, there is no RF sound system here. Looks like a 6x9 could fit in there...

Door panel removed, and window rolled down about 3" or so

You need to roll it down until these 2 bolts are visible in the gap and the hole on the right:

Red Green would be proud. Support the window with gun tape.

And basically replace the same contorted way you get the old one out. It took some fiddling, but it works great. Got the motor off Amazon for around $50 Cdn. Sweet. The power leads were a little different from factory, but in the end there was no issue.

103 Posts
Actually, I am going with a kit that I'll have to get welded separately. I'm saving up for the aluminum front and back bumpers from Coastal Offroad in BC. I want the lighter weight of the aluminum and the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar (aka Northern Pesos).

There a lot of out-of-work welders up here right now, so I should be able to find someone who does good TIG work at a fair price. I figure I'll save a little bit on shipping this way, but there's really no appeal for me in the DIY aspect. I'm going with Coastal Offroad because I want aluminum, they will make certain small amendments to the design for me for very little extra, and they are north of the Medicine Line.
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