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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Username: smacame

Make: Nissan
Year: 2007
Model: Xterra
Trim: Off-Road
Color: Night Armor

Transmission: 6 speed manual

MODS:
Wheels: Pro Comp 7089
Tires: Wrangler Duratrac 285/75/R16
Tailgate lifters replaced with 175lb McMaster Special (thanks for the write up Rexterra!)
Interior lights replaced with warm white LEDs
Reversing lights replaced with super-bright Auxito LEDs
Fog lights replaced with Baja Designs Squadron-R Pros
Headlights replaced with OPT7 5000k to match color of other lights
350W high CRI MTN Lite Bar
Proclip phone holder
Molle panel in driver's side rear window


Intro Comments: I bought this truck this September (2019). It has been a rough transition to N50 Xterra ownership coming from a wonderful WD22 that I miss often. I am hoping gain confidence in this truck and take it on a trip to Los Cabos from northern California in the next few months.

How it looked November 2019:
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Purchase: September 16 - 212,580 miles - $4500
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The new X has had several issues in the short time since I brought it home. It had a bad coil in cylinder 5 when I got it. It must have been bad for a while, because the catalytic converter(s) were totally toasted. I mean literally NO honeycomb left in the upstream cat. I had the coil and both upstream cats replaced, only to encounter a very sticky P0448 code for the Evap system. When I got to replacing those parts it was clear that the previous owner had already replaced the canister and solenoids, but after replacing the under-hood valve the code stayed off long enough to pass smog (P0448 is back and I think I'll just live with it).

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Just after passing smog it became evident that the engine was burning an absurd amount of oil. The shop used a boroscope and discovered that cylinders 3 & 5 were scratched all to hell and the engine was a write off. Their hypothesis is that some of the destroyed catalytic converter managed to get back into the engine. Silver lining - a coworker of mine had a 2006 Xterra with some recent engine work get smashed by a tree in the winter of 2017. It sat in the woods for two years with a family of rats living in it. We pulled it out of the forest, and just yesterday the engine swap from his '06 was completed. I was able to drive it home today. It idles at ~1500 RPM, so I think there is a vacuum leak somewhere.

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Glamour shot of my 2000 Xterra which I sold prematurely after buying this one:
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Ha that crushed white X almost looks like a "cabriolet" or maybe a shorty-pickup version of the Xterra. I almost like it.
I'm sure once you get that thing running smoothly again you will feel better about the 2nd then than you did the first gen. IMO it is an improvement in nearly every way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the encouragement @AlbatrossCafe, I am looking forward to a smooth running truck when I get there. It's slipping out of gear in 5th while engine braking today, so that has me scratching my head.

@IntellectualRedneck I really wanted to shine as little light as possible onto the hood, so I tried to set it as low and far back as possible. I also have a strong aversion to drilling holes in roofs, so bonded wide 8020 brackets up there, and I'll be running the cable along the groove next to the A-pillar at the edge of the window. It's not perfect, but here are a few photos of the light bar installation (let me know if there are too many photos here, the how-to sticky suggests using them sparingly):
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Thanks for the encouragement @AlbatrossCafe, I am looking forward to a smooth running truck when I get there. It's slipping out of gear in 5th while engine braking today, so that has me scratching my head.

@IntellectualRedneck I really wanted to shine as little light as possible onto the hood, so I tried to set it as low and far back as possible. I also have a strong aversion to drilling holes in roofs, so bonded wide 8020 brackets up there, and I'll be running the cable along the groove next to the A-pillar at the edge of the window. It's not perfect, but here are a few photos of the light bar installation (let me know if there are too many photos here, the how-to sticky suggests using them sparingly):
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Very cool, any wind noise?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Picked up vanity plates today.

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Doing the throttle body relearn procedure a couple of times fixed the high idle issue.

I had the transmission fluid replaced this morning but it's still slipping out of 5th when coasting :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got the clutch replaced and transmission swapped before heading south on a quick Baja trip. Only managed to get away for four days this time, but next time will be longer!

I picked up a set of Pro Comp 7089s with Wrangler Duratrac 285/75/R16s on the way. I did some trimming and melting before hand, and still need to do more to eliminate the last of the rubbing.

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Just finished adding solar to the hood and a LiFePo4 battery in the bonus compartment in the trunk. Loosely inspired by: How-to: 2nd Battery - LiFePO4 in the Rear Storage Tray, I decided to do this project after the truck sat for a month while slowly I figured out a random misfire code (turned out to be plugs & coils). There are a few always-on loads that I've added that pulled the battery down to 12.00V. I thought it would start at that voltage but I was wrong! Enter the solar on the hood:
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And the four CALB 180Ah cells in the trunk. Notice the solar MPPT in the top right and fuse block in the top left.
The trunk battery has a four position switch in the trunk for diode, hard parallel, and open (plus a 'both' option which is silly). See schematic in the last photo for the final configuration. The diode is Vishay part number VS-QA250FA20. Both diodes in the package are paralleled.
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Before deciding to do the solar + accessory battery I bought a nice new AGM Odyssey 34R-PC1500 which is now a little unnecessary. I like that I can charge it to whatever voltage I want with the solar MPPT.
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Went for a solo trip this weekend. I was intending to make it to the Feather River on the Stag Point trail, but wasn't comfortable with driving that level of technical stuff alone at night. I ended up camping at the Little Grass Valley lake for the night, which was pretty nice. The new battery stayed put, and the backup camera saved my ass going back up the trail when I realized I was in over my head.

The backup camera is hooked up to a newly installed ILX-W650 head unit. My Pixel 3 won't stay connected to Android Auto for more than a few seconds at a time, which is quite frustrating. Bluetooth works.

I am contemplating getting new tires. The Wrangler Duratrac 285/75R16 s that are on there now are loud and wobbly at 60+mph. Luckily I bought them from a fellow forum user on the wheels for a reasonable price.

The truck is on new leaf springs as of last Thursday. A local shop sourced and installed them for ~$700. The front looks a little low now, so I will be considering leveling it out if the rear stays at this height over the next few weeks. I didn't get axle shims installed so I am concerned about wearing out the U-joints on the driveshaft.

There is an ugly rattle from the front of the truck when driving over bumps. It seems likely to be drivetrain rather than suspension. The shop looked at all of the control arms/bushings and gave them the thumbs up. There's some play at the front driveshaft where it exits the differential. Fingers crossed that the diff is OK.

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Nice looking rig and setup!

Have you been down to Stag before?

I think it was 2010 when I was there last, not really technical, just very steep. Biggest issue is places to pass...only remember one or two areas on the whole trail where it would be feasible. I could see not wanting to do that trail at night.

This is where you would be camping:

 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have not been there before. I headed up that way after hearing about it online while looking for places along the Feather River. I'm a novice off-roader at best, so I thought it'd be best to tackle this spot for the first time in a group. Thanks for the photos, seeing photos of another Xterra there makes me more confident that I can make it down and back!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Today I installed a Mean Well TS-1000-112A under the passenger seat. It's about the biggest inverter I could possibly fit there.
I looked at a ton of inverter options. Here's my spreadsheet: Inverter Options I'm a Meanwell brand loyalist so at the end of the day the choice was easy. The TS series has substantially higher ambient operating temperature limits and better overload capability than most other than Wilmore or other very very expensive options.

I load tested it with a space heater. It runs well on the middle setting which is about 750W, and it runs for about 10 seconds on high which is about 1200W.

Running the 6awg wire from the trunk was a piece of cake, though the little trim piece from the rear door is now missing its top clip so I'll be looking for a replacement. The wire is a little bit undersized for 1000W at 12Vdc, but it's rated to 200C so I don't anticipate having any issues.

I had to relocate the stock amplifier to make room. It's now VHB'd a few inches over rather than screwed down.

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That's one giant of an inverter you got there bud.. were you planning to charge your hybrid Jet Fighter or something lol. Very nice build so far. Thanks for sharing!
 
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