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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lot to add and organize here but wanted to just start my thread with a short first post that I will of course edit and add to as I get the time.

Purchased in January of 2022 in Seattle Washington. At first I just wanted an SUV big enough to sleep in that could get by on some dirt roads but that idea has quickly spiraled into building out a more serious offroad rig.

Make: Nissan
Year: 2011
Model: Xterra
Trim: PRO-4X
Color: Night Armor

Mods:

Rear Differential Breather
ARB M226 Diff cover
White Knuckle Rock sliders (DOM) with rear top plate
Removed OEM rear mudflaps
Hardcore Offroad rear bumper weld up kit (in process)
Trail'd spare tire water tank X2
Dual Battery under hood (in process)
ARB onboard air compressor (in process)

Picture from the previous owner:

Wheel Tire Car Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light


Picture from my last trip:

Tire Car Wheel Plant Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
While starting to work on my slide out trunk rack I had to cut out two of the six screws holding the stock tiedown rails. I initially tried cutting a new slot in one of the bolts to use a flat head on but the metal had become so soft with rust that the whole top of the screw fell apart. I ended up having to drill the bolts out while being careful to try and not damage the threads as much as possible. Once all the screws were out I ran a M6 tap back through them to try and get any metal shards out that might have been left. My plan is to use the threaded holes for the stock rails to mount a couple pieces of extrusion that I will build my pull out rack on.

Brown Wood Automotive tire Rim Natural material
Automotive tire Water Road surface Asphalt Wood
Automotive tire Road surface Motor vehicle Asphalt Automotive lighting


After I got the stock rails out I noticed a bunch of debris under the plastic molding that made me start pulling stuff out to clean. As I starting taking things apart I noticed more and more rusted bolts as well as surface rust under the storage compartment. Particularly I noticed a good amount of rust on the metal seam that the hatch seal sits on. I had noticed the rust on the latch striker before but I had hoped it hadn't spread. I'm guessing the hatch seal was bad and water was collecting and sitting behind the seal for a long time...

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The back of the truck is completely gutted now and I vacuumed up the years of dirt under the carpet and plastic molding. This week I will be removing the easier surface rust and prepping for paint. It would be nice if I could get some spray paint in the same color as the truck but I will probably settle for something close. At the end of the day no one will know about it other than me.

Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting


I will post an update later in the week. The bottom hatch seam may not be salvageable. If it's bad enough I may have to fabricate a new metal flange for the seal to sit on.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After drilling out the bolt for the hatch striker I noticed the striker bolts thread into a very flimsy piece of metal that is separate from the rest of the body. I'm not sure how it attaches to the larger floor metal but I ended up bending it down into the body when I tried to finish drilling through the rusted bolt. Maybe it was welded and the weld went bad? Annoyingly I don't think there is any way to gain access to the piece that holds the threads unless you cut a hole in the body somewhere. I tried to gain access from the hoist rod port but there is a metal wall blocking the way.

Anyways, I ended up punching the original thread plate further down and welding 1/4-20 nuts on. Unfortunately that means that plate will just stay in there now.

Prepped the metal and painted with POR-15. Only a third of the floor was done but the rest will be done eventually.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Hood Wood Bumper


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