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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Username: TurboChris

Make: Nissan
Year: 2005
Model: Xterra
Trim: S
Color: Super Black

MODS

Suspension:
  • Bilstein 5100 Coil Overs
  • Bilstein Rear Shocks
  • AAL
  • SPC / MevoTech UCA's
  • Factory Camber Bolts
  • 2" Coilover Spacers
  • 1.5" Hub Centric Spacers ($85 on eBay)
Wheels & Tires:
  • BFG KO2's 285/75/16s
  • Factory Wheels Blacked Out
Engine/Drivetrain:
  • K&N CAI
  • Bully Dog GT
Audio:
  • JVC KW-NT810HDT with Navigation
  • Unknown Speakers
  • Unknown Amplifier
Maintenance & Misc:
  • Tinted Windows
  • Removed Mud flaps
  • Removed Steps
  • LED Interior Lights
  • LED Running / Reverse Lights
  • Replaced front power outlets with dual USB / Voltmeter
  • Hood Prop rod changed out to shocks
  • 2013+ Style Blacked Out Headlights with HID's and Projector Mod.
  • Fog Lights / LED Upgrade
  • 20" LED Light Bar in Front Bumper
  • LED Rear Lights
  • Valentine One Radar Detector
  • Installed eBay Gentex 177 Mirror with Temp & Compass
  • Relocated Rear View Mirror Up 3"
  • Added USB Ports / Voltage Gauge
  • LED Flush Mounted Rear Bumper Lighting
  • Back Up Camera
  • Uniden Dash Cam
  • ZachAttack Front Shackle Mounts
  • Train Horn
PHOTOS / BACK STORY

Well after selling off my Audi A3 and my k2500 98 Suburban (still have a 04 Nissan Quest work van) I started looking around for something that would fill the void the Suburban left. I loved the Suburban and had made it into a perfect (for me) camping / off roading truck. But the mpg was just killing me. 8 intown and 10 on the highway resulted in me just never driving it anymore. With gas over $3 a gallon....yeah, no. Prior to that I had a lifted 01 Crew Cab F250 powerstroke....and that got about 18 on the highway....that was acceptable. But it got stolen and I ended up getting the big block Suburban to replace it.

Here's the Suburban. Sold it about 4 months ago.


free pic



So I like to go out to the desert (Barstow area) to shoot about once a month. Tried taking the Quest out there....it's "do able" on dirt roads, but at 5mph just barely.... Not fun.....after a couple attempts with that I just couldn't handle the minivan anymore so I started looking at something to get that was......

A) Affordable. Times are tough. I started a new business and I can't afford toooo much.

B) Durable, CAPABLE and decent aftermarket support. All the boys in my family are car crazy. Old hotrodders at heart. LIft it or lower it but just don't leave it stock!

C) Quick enough to not get boring.

D) Big enough inside to haul all my Sh%@T when I camp. I tend to over pack...hell, I used to FILL my Suburban when we'd go for a weekend!

E) DECENT MPG. 18 or better on the highway hopefully. Edit: What was I thinking?

So first I looked at 4runners....hadn't ever looked at Nissans, But holy smokes....the fanbase is HUGE and consequently the price reflects it. Nicely modded 2005's going for 12k and up with 150k miles. More than I wanted to spend.

So I'm not even sure how but I stumbled on the Xterras. I remember way back when they first came out...I didn't think much of them cause it seemed most of them were yellow (just not for me). And 4 cylinders is not something I'm much of a fan of.

But somehow I saw one. Somehow I typed it into google and it led me here. And I've been spending a couple hours a day (min) online researching and learning and educating myself on all things Xterra. And I LIKE what I've learned.

So I found one online. About a hour away. In LA. I'm in OC. It looked good. At a AutoNation dealer. I prefer private party but most examples I was finding had way north of 100k miles and I was hoping for less. This one was advertised with 72k miles. I saw the Carfax. It was loaded with records. Easily proving the mileage was legit. 2 owner and original So Cal truck and I found it the day after it was traded in. So I called and they stated that it would be 3 or 4 days til I could see it as it had to go though service and detail etc.





So I thought...Ok I can work with this. I'll lift it. Do a spacer and AAL. I'll upgrade the stereo, do a intake and chip. Some 33" Tires and it should do ok.

So I didn't know but you can "reserve" a car that you see on Autonations website. Just sign in and you can reserve it for 3 days. Well wouldn't you know....someone else reserved it.

Arrrrgghh. F' me.

Well, luck was with me. 3 days later the car still wasn't available to see. So the other buyer moved on. So I reserved it. They said it should be available to see a couple days later so I headed over.

When I got there they stated that it had failed smog but I could see it and test drive it...just couldn't buy it till it was sorted out.

Fine....so I went to see it.

Not bad. Paint was a little dull. Had the Long Trails on it...near the end of their life. Probably 5/32's left. Interior was nice...little wear on the drivers side bolster....but I expected worse.

I popped the hood... What? A Volant?

NICE! That was a unexpected bonus. So I got down on the ground and looked under the front....wait....what?



I looked under the back.....



Nice! It's already lifted!

I got inside.....and it's got a nice JVC 7" touchscreen headunit with Nav. This is getting better!





I test drove it...lots of power. More than I expected. Noticed it had the Calsonic sticker on the radiator so I made a mental note about that.

OK, cool. I want it. So after the test drive, they parked it and just by coincidence they parked it next to a 2013 Xterra.

how do i print screen


Oh yeah, any doubt I had was gone. It's def a couple inches taller than the stocker. I'm feeling pretty good now.


The manager came out and said it had failed smog and it was because of the Volant. I told him no, the Volant is CARB approved....there's even a sticker with the E.O. number under the hood. He said he'd find out what was going on, but they'd ordered a new intake. I told him that regardless, I WANTED that intake so if they replaced it....to put the Volant in the back for me. He assured me he would. I guess maybe I could try to sell the OEM replacement.....but crap......who buys those?

I got the call a couple days later. It was ready and I could come anytime. So I headed down last Friday to get it.

When I checked out the truck it looked good. I popped the hood and what???



They put in a brand new K&N system!

Wow, I was speechless......and of course there in the back was the Volant system. Now I just gotta figure out which one I want to keep and I can sell the other. Nice!

Also, after a wash...the paint is looking much better. Still could use a proper detail on the outside....but the inside is just about perfect. I'm VERY impressed and VERY happy. The first night I had it....the first time I opened the door.....what? LED lights on the interior. And on the reverse light too. Sweet!

Hell, I wonder if the previous owner is / was on here....It'd be great to get more info on what he's done to to it. This thing is quick enough that I'm wondering if it's already had performance software installed. Wish there was a easy way to find out. Maybe one day I'll hook up with another Xterra on 285's and compare the power.

The front measures 20" from the center of the hub to the fender and 21.75" in the back. What are the stock measurements?

Here's a couple pics from this weekend. I pulled the mudflaps, the side steps, and got a new set of285/75-16 BFG KO2's ....much better!

 

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Stock measurements are about 19.5" front, and about 20.5" rear. It appears to have about an inch of lift on it. Lucky you! They do look like Bilstein 5100's. Is that an Add-a-leaf in the back as well?

Volant vs. K&N pretty much depends on one thing. Do you want a snorkel or not? If you want a snorkel, Volant is sealed and can mate up to it. K&N being open kind of defeats the purpose of a snorkel. If you don't want a snork, I'd just leave the K&N in there since it is already installed.

Careful with those 285s. The Xterra gets about 20MPG stock. If you add bigger tires (and an AT too) that mileage starts to fall. You don't wanna get into territory like I am in (getting 13MPG highway) which inches closer to your Suburban.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Stock measurements are about 19.5" front, and about 20.5" rear. It appears to have about an inch of lift on it. Lucky you! They do look like Bilstein 5100's. Is that an Add-a-leaf in the back as well?

Volant vs. K&N pretty much depends on one thing. Do you want a snorkel or not? If you want a snorkel, Volant is sealed and can mate up to it. K&N being open kind of defeats the purpose of a snorkel. If you don't want a snork, I'd just leave the K&N in there since it is already installed.

Careful with those 285s. The Xterra gets about 20MPG stock. If you add bigger tires (and an AT too) that mileage starts to fall. You don't wanna get into territory like I am in (getting 13MPG highway) which inches closer to your Suburban.
I was hoping for more than an inch......lol, and yes, looks to me like a AAL in the back. Wish I had more info on it. Aren't the front coilovers adjustable for height? Or do I have to swap springs or add spacers. If I could get another inch or so in the front easily and do shackles in the rear I'd be all over it.

Yeah, I'm gonna have to see what kinda mileage I'm getting over the next couple weeks or so. I have a couple thousand dollars credit (swapping services) at a long time old friends transmission shop. I traded out when I regeared the Suburban.....yes, 10 on the highway was AFTER regearing. Worst case I'll regear the xterra to 4.10s.

Thanks!
 

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I was hoping for more than an inch......lol, and yes, looks to me like a AAL in the back. Wish I had more info on it. Aren't the front coilovers adjustable for height? Or do I have to swap springs or add spacers. If I could get another inch or so in the front easily and do shackles in the rear I'd be all over it.Thanks!
In the pic of the front strut, it appears you still have 1 or 2 notches available for additional lift. The lower spring seat is held in place by a C-clip that recesses in these notches. Each notch (above the lowest one) is about 1/2" of lift, at least that's been my experience.
 

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TurboChris's 2005 Build Thread

I was hoping for more than an inch......lol, and yes, looks to me like a AAL in the back. Wish I had more info on it. Aren't the front coilovers adjustable for height? Or do I have to swap springs or add spacers. If I could get another inch or so in the front easily and do shackles in the rear I'd be all over it.

Most 5100s are height adjustable. They range from stock to 2” of lift, but most agree that for the best ride you want to stay at 1.5” or below.


Wow, I was speechless......and of course there in the back was the Volant system. Now I just gotta figure out which one I want to keep and I can sell the other. Nice!


*mind powers* You want to send your Volant to me. You want to give to me and I will ship it.

But seriously though, I’d take the Volant was over the K&N any day because:
1. I hate the idea of pulling and hot air from around the motor back inside my motor.
2. If you spend time in the desert (where fine particulates are plentiful). You’ll find that K&N filters don’t always get the small stuff. More flow usually means poor filtration.

This assumes that you pass smog with the Volant, which you should.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Last weekend I pulled the front coilovers and found they were adjusted on the stock setting. Haha, no wonder why it rode so nice!

So I bumped it up to 1.5" and re-installed everything. Brought me up to 37.00" to the fender in front.

So now it's nice and level....but yeah, the firmness is substancially increased. So now I'm thinking, how do I get best of both worlds...height and that plush ride I had before. Cause most of the "off-roading" I do is really just rocky dirt desert roads on the way to my shooting spots or the Mojave Road trail here in So Cal. And running those at speed I could see it rattling my teeth some.

So I ordered up a set of 2" spacers and I'm gonna throw those in today. Not sure if I'm gonna put the coilovers back all the way down or maybe on the first groove. But I'll update later when I get done.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, got the 2" spacers in, dropped the coilovers down to the first groove...and took it for a drive. Nice. So much better. Measured and still exactly at 37" so I didn't loose any height. Ran over to the college next door and ran through the parking lot (big and empty) and hit the speed bumps at speeds between 10 and 25mph...soaked right up. No odd noises. No CBC.

I'm very pleased.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Been a busy boy this last week or so. Went on a little shopping spree.

Mevotech / SPC UCA's

Fog Lights

LED Fog Bulbs

Hid Headlight Kit

Hella Supertones

Shackle tow hitch receiver (cause I can't find mine anywhere......arrrgghh)

Back Up Camera

4" Flush Mount LED's for the rear bumper

And I had to order the top pocket piece and the dash piece surrounding the stereo because they both cracked when I went to remove them. Jeeezzz they were fragile as if they were paper thin.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Being sick and having rain off and on all weekend.....didn't get out to work on the X much.......but I did get a couple simple items wrapped up. Got my mirror relocated up 3" and my Valentine One installed with a custom mount. And got my Bully Dog installed.

Before



With the mirror off..




The Adapter...

screen shot pc


With the V1 on






Side view of the V1 mount....





After





The mirror adapter is from Mirror Riser and if you're tall like me.....it's worth every penny. Made for a Tacoma but works just fine on Xterra's.

The V1 mount is https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Nice-Car-Mount-For-Rear-Mirror-Valentine-One-Radar-Detector-Cradle-Included/182615854147?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

And also, highly reccomended. Simple, cheap and just plain works.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Had half a day all to myself....so I pulled the front tires, pulled the stock UCA's and threw on the SPC's. Easy peasy. Grinded down the coil buckets while I was in there. I was a little nervous about that, not knowing exactly how much to take off, but when you prefit the UCA's you can easily see where and just keep taking some off till full range of motion is contact free. Just drove it around the block and over some speed bumps at speed and no contact. I think I'm good to go. I have a world class alignment guy so I'll be there at 8am on Monday.





pic hosting

I also got some 1.5 inch spacers. I didn't install them as I didn't have time to deal with fender work AND the SPC's. Thinking next weekend I'll really get into it and paint all the plastic...finish the wiring of all the new lights and do the spacers.



Fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Painted the rear bumper today. Used the DupliColor Adhesion Promoter then the DupliColor Trim and Bumper paint. Put another coat on the front as well....there were a couple spots that were kinda splotchy. But in the end it turned out great.

image hoster




screen capture windows
 
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