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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello to all. I am new around here. Just acquired a 2005 X in great shape. Around 80k miles. Here's the beauty:

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It already had almost new BFG KO2's 265/75R16 (32"), a DVD Bluetooth screen stereo, LED bar and a roof rack. Pretty cool! NOT the Pro4X unfortunately.

I bought the X as a dedicated adventure vehicle and to spend more quality time with my kids outdoors (less screen time). So I´m looking to turn it into a super capable Overlanding and Off Road machine in general. We are blessed to have many types of trail options around; Mountains, river side trails, desert (high speed), dunes and challenging rock crawling trails. So enough intro... This is the plan:

My first research into best suspension mods got me off course to the highly regarded Titan Swap. I am looking into the Nisstec TS kit and the PRG TS Budget kit (like the price better). First question: What are your opinions and reviews about the PRG TS kit?? It includes CV's meant to work with stock R180 front diff. This would be my first mod together with 285/75R16 (33") tire upgrade.

Because I don't have a rear diff lock, I would change my rear axle since is not a Pro4X, from a C200 (sticker says CA31) to an M226 with e-locker. This will also mean my gears would change from 3.13 to 3.36. So my front diff will need to match and this would be the perfect opportunity to go from the R180 to the Titan 3 rib M205 at 3.36. I will need to change my CV's to match the new M205 front diff. I would do this mods whenever I can get the rear axle and front diff. I assume it will not be easy to get them.

Then armor off course and a RTT. I plan on buying drawings and fabricate everything locally. Any good sources for drawings at a good price will be greatly appreciated. I plan on adding front winch bumper, rear tire bumper w/cable table, rock sliders, skid plates, molle panels and a RTT low profile roof rack.

This is my master plan. I will do it in phases since it's a lot of time and money to do it all at once. I would really appreciate your comments. Is my roadmap a good one? Am I missing something? Would you do things differently?

Any guidance and information that can spare me from rookie mistakes will go a long way. I hope my preliminary research also serves other new owners who are figuring out what path to follow on their mods to make the X a powerful off road machine.

Thank you for your attention and patience. Your young padawan,
 

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Welcome. If your Xterra has an Automatic transmission you need to replace the factory radiator immediately to avoid the dreaded SMOD. There are several options but koyo seems to be the best. I would do that ASAP and then perform normal maintenance before modding. They are pretty capable trucks as is, but with the mileage you have you should have many years to enjoy it as long as you get ahead on normal maintenance. Once you get up on maintenance the mods should begin.
 

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The x is pretty darn capable stock with good tires. I think I'd get the rooftop tent and other camping gear first to get you out with the kids now.

Going straight to the Titan swap is definitely taking the buy once cry once mentality serious.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome. If your Xterra has an Automatic transmission you need to replace the factory radiator immediately to avoid the dreaded SMOD. There are several options but koyo seems to be the best. I would do that ASAP and then perform normal maintenance before modding. They are pretty capable trucks as is, but with the mileage you have you should have many years to enjoy it as long as you get ahead on normal maintenance. Once you get up on maintenance the mods should begin.
Thank you for the fast and usefull welcome! Will look into the radiator replacement. Just learned what SMOD is on Google. Already did all general maintenance. First thing I did and found out about the pressure gauge flaw (mechanic oil pump).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The x is pretty darn capable stock with good tires. I think I'd get the rooftop tent and other camping gear first to get you out with the kids now.

Going straight to the Titan swap is definitely taking the buy once cry once mentality serious.

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I agree with you on getting the RTT first. On it. Already had some decent camping gear. My kids and I do go camping often. I have to bribe my wife though. Not an outdoors enthusiast...

Lol exactly, that's why I am doing all the research to make a plan and follow it through to buy once cry once, even if it takes me longer. Thank you for the advise,
 

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Do you have a picture of the DVD Bluetooth screen? I'm assuming that is aftermarket, don't believe that wasn't 2005 either?

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Thank you for the heads up. That is actually very confusing for me. Because the door sticker says X:

View attachment 125222
I could see why that is confusing, but that "TRIM" does not correspond to the trim level in this context. I have no idea why.

Old Navy is right, you have an "S" trim per the model code TCKZLRN-EUA .

 

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How familiar are you with off-roading in general? It sounds like you are new-ish into that hobby, so I would advise against gung-ho Titan swap right out of the gate. Like @Mastermind46 said, the Xterra will do any forest road or "green" trail right out of the box with decent tires. Blues you can do with good skill. You only really need to upgrade if you wanna take risks or if you end up carrying more weight. I would spend a few trips with it and find ways to carefully test the limits of the vehicle. Then you can find where it falls short and decide to upgrade.

I had a buddy who was about to by a Ford Ranger and build the snot out of it for crawling come with me to a 4x4 park once. After that he said "nope" and bought an old Chevy long bed that he plans to keep completely stock lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I could see why that is confusing, but that "TRIM" does not correspond to the trim level in this context. I have no idea why.

Old Navy is right, you have an "S" trim per the model code TCKZLRN-EUA .

That is very weird... Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Do you have a picture of the DVD Bluetooth screen? I'm assuming that is aftermarket, don't believe that wasn't 2005 either?

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Definitely after market and post 2005. Don’t know the year cause the previous owner installed it. Here are the pics. Sorry for the bad pics, but I'm traveling and someone else helped me taking them.

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125232
 

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Where to start.

So far I see an Xterra S 4x4
Interested in a Titan Swap
Add am M226 rear axle
Install an M205 front diff
Body Armor
Strengthen the roof to support the weight of an adult and children. (Possibly two adults) Did. Someone mention roof leaks are a pita?

If your looking for a serious offroad Xterra, I think your wasting time and cash trying to recreate a Pro4X.

If your wishing to improve your off road capability, add an air locker to your C200 rear differential. Install some body armor if there is a need, otherwise pick up some skids from a pro4x.

You can spend $10,000 over the cost of your vehicle and it wont be worth any more than a stock Xterra S and may only be marginally better offroad.
 
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Just a Hunter makes a good point. The pro4x isn't anything special. You can likely setup the c200 to be as good or better for less. There's no proof that the c200 is weaker and I think it has some aftermarket gears and air locker.

If you want to swap axles anyway, I'd go for a Titan axle to match the front track width.

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
How familiar are you with off-roading in general? It sounds like you are new-ish into that hobby, so I would advise against gung-ho Titan swap right out of the gate. Like @Mastermind46 said, the Xterra will do any forest road or "green" trail right out of the box with decent tires. Blues you can do with good skill. You only really need to upgrade if you wanna take risks or if you end up carrying more weight. I would spend a few trips with it and find ways to carefully test the limits of the vehicle. Then you can find where it falls short and decide to upgrade.

I had a buddy who was about to by a Ford Ranger and build the snot out of it for crawling come with me to a 4x4 park once. After that he said "nope" and bought an old Chevy long bed that he plans to keep completely stock lol.
That is a very good point @AlbatrossCafe. I have always enjoyed outdoors, camping, ATV's, cooking and offroading. I have never done any serious rock crawling. I recently discovered Overlanding and realized it's a mix of many things I already enjoy and do. I also like complexity, engaging in a project and following through until things happen. So I see the mods as a good project to work on too. Not only to achieve the mods but to enjoy the process as I enjoy the trail or the hike to get to a destination. I will probably not be doing serious rock crawling for the sake of it, but maybe I have to in order to reach a good campsite. Or maybe I do enjoy rock crawling after trying it. I like addrenaline rushes and problem solving. You might be right and maybe the Titan swap is over doing it, but I know I will enjoy the process and if the opportunity arises I'd be able to tackle challenging trails. I appreciate the wise "take it easy and try it first rookie".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Where to start.

So far I see an Xterra S 4x4
Interested in a Titan Swap
Add am M226 rear axle
Install an M205 front diff
Body Armor
Strengthen the roof to support the weight of an adult and children. (Possibly two adults) Did. Someone mention roof leaks are a pita?

If your looking for a serious offroad Xterra, I think your wasting time and cash trying to recreate a Pro4X.

If your wishing to improve your off road capability, add an air locker to your C200 rear differential. Install some body armor if there is a need, otherwise pick up some skids from a pro4x.

You can spend $10,000 over the cost of your vehicle and it wont be worth any more than a stock Xterra S and may only be marginally better offroad.
Lol @Just a Hunter. None of these is a good investment definitelty. I don't expect the value of the rig to ever match the money and time thrown in. It's definitely a hobby. And an expensive one.

Ok so you are saying I can just add a C200 air locker (not inexpensive) and then keep the R180 at 3.13? But what about the R180 weaknesses? I was planning on getting M226 & M205 from junkyards. Isn't that less expensive than a ARB C200 air locker?

How can I stregnten the roof? Thank you, no one had mentioned anything about roof leaks! (yet).

What a great communty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a Hunter makes a good point. The pro4x isn't anything special. You can likely setup the c200 to be as good or better for less. There's no proof that the c200 is weaker and I think it has some aftermarket gears and air locker.

If you want to swap axles anyway, I'd go for a Titan axle to match the front track width.

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Adding an air locker seems to be expensive too. I was planning on buying M226 & M205 at junkyards. So a Titan axle with an Elocker to match the front track width and gears at 3.36? It would proably be easier for me to find the Titan axle together with the M205 anyway! And no spacers needed now. Wow! Great leaning. Thank you,
 

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drive it on trails, rocks and sand for a bit, then see what you want it to do for your level of performance... then modify to suit your driving skills.
 

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Adding an air locker seems to be expensive too. I was planning on buying M226 & M205 at junkyards. So a Titan axle with an Elocker to match the front track width and gears at 3.36? It would proably be easier for me to find the Titan axle together with the M205 anyway! And no spacers needed now. Wow! Great leaning. Thank you,
If I knew anything about the Xterra when I bought mine, I would have kepted my wrecked titan to swap the axles and possibly engine down the road. I stripped the aftermarket stuff and sold the rest for $800. Maybe find a wrecked titan to swap from if your serious about going all out.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If I knew anything about the Xterra when I bought mine, I would have kepted my wrecked titan to swap the axles and possibly engine down the road. I stripped the aftermarket stuff and sold the rest for $800. Maybe find a wrecked titan to swap from if your serious about going all out.

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Wooow that is mind blowing. Buying a wrecked Titan and swapping everything including the engine... That is a cool project and $800 is a good buyout price. I'm sure is not going to be plug and play. Has anyone done it? Full engine and power train? I'll do some research. I'll keep learning. There's no rush. I preffer doing it right. Definitely on the buy once cry once train.
 
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