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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Intro Comments: What is Tarmac Faction you ask? It's my motorcycle road racing team.

The goal is to build a rig that can:

1) Trailer my bike to the track
2) Live in it for the race weekend
3) Go off roading and camping on the weekends I'm not road racing
4) Look rugged, like a Utalitarian/Military/Baja/Safari/Jurassic Park esque type of vehicle :)

Username: pgeldz

Xterra's Nickname: eXop

Make: Nissan
Year: 2008
Model: Xterra
Trim: S
Color: Desert Stone

Mods:


Wheels/Tiires:

  • New Nissan 18-hole steelies powder coated Matte Black, with painted centers in Anodized Bronze
  • Mickey Thompson ATZ P3 in 265/75/16
Brakes:
  • EBC 3DG dimpled and slotted vented rotors
  • EBC Yellowstuff pads
Suspension:

Up Front:
  • Bilstein 5100's with Alldogs Offroad 2 " Medium Lift Springs and all new KYB upper mount hardware
  • SPC Camber Bolts
  • New Moog Lower Control Arms
Out Back:
  • Bilstein 5100's
  • Alldogs Offroad Performance 2" Leaf Packs in lIght load (good for 100 lbs over stock)
  • Alldogs Offroad Shims
  • Alldogs U-Bolts
Exterior:
  • Max Gear (maXTERRA) rear bumper w/tire carrier
  • Gobi Ladder
  • OEM Side Steps Removed
  • OEM Mud Flaps Removed
  • Some sort of antenna/safety flag (planned upgrade)
Armor:
  • White Knuckle Off Road Rock Sliders
  • Hefty Fab Full Aluminum Skid Package
LIghting:
  • TYC CAPA Certified Headlights loaded with Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Bulbs
  • Nissan Fog Light Kit loaded with Sylvania Silverstar Ultra Bulbs
  • Offroad Gorilla LIght Bar Brackets (not installed yet)
  • Rago Fabrication Ditch LIght Mounts (not installed yet)
  • KC Hilites C-Series 40" LED Light Bar (planned upgrade)
  • KC Hilites 3" C-Series C3 LED Cube lights (planned upgrade)
Overlanding:
  • Thule Tepui Ayer 2 Roof Top Tent (planned upgrade)
  • Thule Roof Rack System - Squarebar EVO with Rapid Crossroad Footpack (planned upgrade)
  • ARB Awning w/Fourtrek mounting system (planned upgrade)
Comments:

The story...

Recently got a 2008 S 4wd. It was in pretty good shape from what I saw in the pictures. It was located on a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep lot South Carolina, newly traded in. I live in Vegas, so I only saw it in pictures, not in person.

Only had 65k miles on it. Also came with a Car Fax, and it was a one owner vehicle, no accidents. It showed the service history of when and where it was serviced, and since it showed the same service center multiple times I decided to call it and see if they remembered this particular Xterra.

To my surprise, they DID remember it! Said it was well maintained and never abused. He had the owner's contact info but of course couldn't give it to me, so I gave him mine and asked to have the owner contact me because it seemed to good to be true (and when it's on a dealer lot, it usually is).

The owner actually called me! Turns out it was owned by a woman who is a performance driving instructor. Her husband restores old cars. They were total gear heads! It was her car, bought it new, and said they used it to just run about in town (it was their 5th vehicle) and tow their race car to local tracks a few times. Since it was nearing the tow limit with race car and trailer they wanted to get something else because they wanted to tow longer distances out of state, and didn't want to stress it too much. They had a relationship with the dealer and instead of selling private party they traded it in on a Full Size Dodge Crew Cab.

I was only really concerned about SMOD and the Timing Chain, and when I asked she said they knew of the SMOD problem and her husband changed the radiator as preventative maintenance after their insurance agent told them they've had a high amount of clams for transmission failures. Hmm, the insurance agent told them this? Possibly, but whatever. Everything else seem to check out so I didn't really have a reason not to believe them. No issues with Timing Chain whine.

Bought it for what I thought was a great price (9k), and had it shipped to me in Vegas.

I'm a little OCD, so I ended up replacing the radiator again anyway, and doing the trans fluid just for piece of mind.

Here's the list of stuff I ended up doing to make it 100%:

Koyo Radiator
Nissan Upper Radiator Hose
Nissan Lower Radiator Hose
Nissan Tranny Fluid
Nissan Thermostat
Nissan Coolant
Nissan Oil Cooler Seal
Engine Oil 5w30
Nissan Oil Filter
Nissan Engine Mounts
Nissan Belt Tensioner
Nissan Front Hubs/Wheel Bearings
Nissan Diff Fluid front and rear
Nissan Gas Cap
Nissan Recirculate Actuator
Nissan Rear Lock Actuator
New Wiper Blades all around


Now that the vehicle is 100%, I can get started on my build!!! :)


This is what I'm starting with - the old stock set up with the trailer:

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Stay tuned, more to come!

:)

- Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Mod #1 Addressing the brakes

The stock OEM brakes struggled with the bike and trailer in tow.

EBC to the rescue! Since EBC sponsors the race team, they wanted to make sure my support vehicle stopped as well as my race bike. We used their top of the line 3DG dimpled and slotted vented rotors with Yellowstuff pads all around.

Way better feel and no trouble putting the binders on even at extreme downhills!

.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Mod #2 Max Gear rear bumper w/tire carrier and Gobi ladder installed

So to give the X a more rugged look, I went with a Max Gear (maXTERRA) rear bumper w/tire carrier, and Gobi ladder.

The new bumper is awesome, and had it installed by Dave himself. It cleans up the underneath for more clearance, and makes the X look lifted from the rear because it has the integrated hitch, where the OEM hitch hangs below the standard bumper. The Gobi ladder just tops of the rugged look, and from the rear really makes the X look the part.

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I opted for the LED light option on the bumper itself, with LED's in the stock tail lights, as well as the protruding hitch to make it easier to clear the tire when towing my race bike, using a bicycle rack, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Mod #3 OEM Side Step and Mud Flap Delete

Removed the OEM Side Steps (actually Dave, aka, maXTERRA, did it for me after he installed my bumper).

A few days later I removed the OEM Mud Flaps for a much cleaner look overall.

The X looks like it's lifted a little bit already from a side view because your sight line is now much higher when looking at it :)

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Did the previous owners upgrade the leaf springs? I only ask because for an 08 I'd expect to see some arse end sag especially after you added the Maxterra bumper with the tire and ladder.
Xterra leaf springs are notoriously weak.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Did the previous owners upgrade the leaf springs? I only ask because for an 08 I'd expect to see some arse end sag especially after you added the Maxterra bumper with the tire and ladder.
Xterra leaf springs are notoriously weak.
No, they are stock. Surprisingly, it doesn't sag at all with the bumper and tire carrier. Probably because the bumper I think weighs less than the stock bumper and hitch. I opted for Dave's bumper without the highlift mount, so that saves 40 lbs.

Before the new bumper, when towing, it didn't sag either (the tongue weight on the Kendon stand up isn't significant).

When I get my new tires and wheels, since the tires weigh a little more than what I have now, it may sag a little, and even more so when towing possibly.

I've done exhaustive research on how to combat this, and I've found the perfect solution for my needs..more on that later, when I have pics :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Finally making some progress! Been accumulating some parts to get this project back on track :)


Some Bilstein 5100's with Alldogs Offroad 2" lift springs (still waiting on the rear 5100's and their new 2" replacement leaf packs)
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A pair of new headlights to replace my tired, scratched, and yellow ones.

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Nissan factory fog kit and some new bulbs all around

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And lastly, my wheel project is back on track (this took forever). New 18 hole steelies, had them powder coated Matte Black, then painted the centers to contrast the X's Desert Stone exterior. Still have to paint the center caps though (seems like this project is never ending, haha)

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Can't wait to get this stuff on!

:)

- Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well, some more goodies arrived, namely the rear suspension stuff. And after exhausting just about all the current options for rock sliders, I've decided on White Knuckle Offroad. The just seem to have the look I wanted...and fact that they are like 2.5 hours away means I can avoid hefty shipping charges and just use that money to have them installed when I pick them up. Drive in, drive home with them on!

LIft is going on tomorrow, and hopefully some other bits as well. Looking into a safety flag antenna with a custom flag with my logo on it for when I'm at the track with my racebike. Firestik seems to have some nice options.

Also searching for a RTT and awning. Looks like the Thule has it all covered with their crossbar system and the Thule Tepui Ayer 2 RTT. I want to get a shade also but I like the ARB a bit better than the Tepui, because it has more options for stuff (sun shades, walls, enclosed room, etc). Hope it'll fit with the Fourtrek mounts with the RTT in place.

Can't wait to get this thing finished!

Pics after lift coming soon!

Until then, sneek peak of the new custom powder coated/painted steelies installed with Mickey Thompson ATZ P3's. I decided they look more rugged without the center caps, so I left those off and will be for sale soon with the appropriate lug nuts (center caps require certain lug nuts)



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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Mod #4 Suspension Lift Install

I'm so happy it's not even funny!!! Finally acquired all my suspension bits and had a buddy of mine, a Master Nissan Tech and Shop Forman, install them yesterday.

Since I made my decision of going with 32's (a true 32"), I've scoured this site for lift pics, and determined a 2" lift would be perfect for what I was looking for.

After doing much research, I went with Alldogs Offroad Medium duty springs up front on a set of Bilstein 5100's, pre-built by them using all new KYB upper mounting hardware, with a set of SPC adjustable camber bolts, and new Moog lower control arms. Wanted to have the lca's just in case mine were hard to remove and had to be cut out. Turned out mine came off just fine, but used the new lca's anyway because they come with new ball joints :)

Out back, I went with Alldogs Offroad's new full replacement leaf packs in light load config, which is still rated for 100 lbs over stock and came with new bushings, paired with Bilstein 5100's, and Alldogs Offroad U-bolt kit and shims.

Install went without a hitch...only thing was at full droop the rear swaybar would ever so slightly make contact with the shock body.

IMG_3830.jpg


Instead of getting the swaybar relocate kit, I did some quick research on this forum and felt comfortable with just removing the rear swaybar altogether. Better for off-road, and no ill effects on the street... problem solved :)

Some finished install pics:

IMAG9203.jpg

IMAG9206.jpg

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I can say this...it's FANTASTIC!!!

Full review and photo shoot coming soon!!!
 

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Your underside is waaay too clean! I'm calling photoshopped lol!

Other than that.. looks nice and dandy there. Can't wait for the reveal pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mod #5 New Lighting

I really really wish I had a good pic of the old headlights, but sadly I tossed them after install. Think Yellow. Yellow and scratched all to hell, lol.

I was going to buy brand new OEM ones, and usually do go OEM for those kind of parts, but when the CAPA certified ones from TYC are less than half the cost, OEM in this case is hard to justify.

I also went with the factory Nissan fog light kit, which came with everything...fogs, all the clips/hardware to install them in the bumper, and the new replacement switch for the steering wheel column.

The new switch fixed another issue that always bugged me...turn signal self cancellation, or lack there of.

My original switch worked, only if I turned the wheel to almost full lock, but never for just a normal 90 degree turn.

The new switch works like you think it should, and self cancels the turn signals well before my old switch. Bonus Fix!!! Whoo Hoo! :)

Loaded all the lights (headlights and fogs) with Sylvania Silverstar Ultra bulbs before installing.

Pics of them installed. It's amazing what a new set of lights can do to make a vehicle look like new again :)

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Before I took pics this morning, I finally got around to installing the cover that goes over the rearview mirror wire. This was bugging me ever since I got the X, and since it's something I see every time I get in the thing, I'm glad it's finally taken care of :)

IMAG9201.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Pics After Lift

After a good cleaning, finally took some pics after the lift. I got exactly what I wanted, 2". Ok, it was more like 1 7/8ths all around, but we're splitting hairs at this point, LoL.

I always have a theme, or mission statement when I build a vehicle. For this one, it was:

Utalitarian/Military/Baja/Safari/Jurassic Park esque

I think I nailed it!

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IMAG9235~3.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
NICE! I do agree, it does look "military-ish" due to the painted steelies. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks! Here's the side shots:

IMAG9216.jpg

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Your underside is waaay too clean! I'm calling photoshopped lol!
Haha, it's not clean anymore, LoL! Right after I detailed it, I took it for some light wheelin' for its first outing, heck, MY first outing also, ever!

IMAG9248.jpg


Was in 2wd the whole time with no issue, and then actually got stuck on this embankment, trying to take a pic, LoL. Switched to 4wd and she pulled right out! :)

I have no idea what I'm doing, but with the help from all you fine folks on this forum, I'm hoping to learn how to wheel, not get hurt, and not break my $h!t, haha.

I read somewhere that Jeeps name themselves...well my X named itself on this trip - eXop, as in ex-Operative.

I'm retired military (did 21 years), and when I first brought the Xterra to the place we went wheelin', it looked like it was dropped from a C-130 right in the middle of some remote warzone! LoL! So eXop it is :)

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Discussion Starter #19
The mounted spare looks pretty slick with the painted rim.

Thanks!

I just ordered some White Knuckle Rock Sliders, as well as the full Skid package in aluminum from Hefty Fab to complete it's off road worthy-ness. Now about that book, "How to go 4 wheeling for Dummies"...haven't found that just yet :)
 

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Looks amazing! Go slow and scout before you commit. We've had our X for a couple of years and have taken her all over CO and eastern UT. Let's just say she's a mountain goat and FAR more capable than her driver!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 
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