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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
New AGM Battery
Absorbed Glass Mat battery: supposedly more durable.
I chose a Platinum EverStart 24F from Walmart. I usually won't shop there but the price was great ($150) and it came with a 4 year replacement warranty.
It was actually a bit of work to find an AGM in 24F. Seems most people want to put the smaller Group 35 batteries in... not me.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Car Automotive design

Technology Auto part Machine Fashion accessory Wire

Hood Automotive design Grey Automotive exterior Gadget

750 CCA
Seemed to have been made 3/22.
Made in Korea
I think this Battery is made by Delcor, a division of Clarios, formerly Johnson Controls.

I did spend a bit of time disassembling the positive lead clamp, cleaning it, oiling with CorrosionX, and reassembling. I also touched up the black paint on the black battery clamp. I just hate crusty batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Scratch Repair... Safety Stripes!

The biggest marks I found on the Xterra before I bought it was a bumper scratch.
Tire Vehicle Wheel Automotive lighting Car


I figured I'd touch it up.
I bought the paint and was pondering the job when my wife walked by and suggested I put some safety stripes on the back of the truck. We have been rear ended several times, twice totaling our vehicles (one of those was my treasured 2003 Frontier King Cab). Since then we have striped the back of our trucks... but for some reason I hadn't thought to do the X. But it seemed like it might also be a great way to cover this scratch!

Some careful measuring and cutting and 30 minutes later... poof! Safety Stripes! And the scratches are hidden too ;-).
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Tire Automotive tail & brake light Wheel Car Vehicle registration plate
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Headlight upgrade
I pulled the stock bulbs:
Automotive tire Peripheral Audio equipment Thumb Bottle cap

Dated 2014... looks like maybe the original bulbs?

I was going to put in the well reviewed Philips X-TremeVision with "100% more vision"...

but then I saw these Philips NightGuide Platinum with "130% more vision" LoL... so I bought those:
Finger Audio equipment Bottle Engineering Nail


I was curious and googled the data on the bulb... "XVG" also comes up as the "X-tremeVision G-Force" with "130% more vision" and "10G vibration resistance". Must be different marketing for different parts of the world?

At any rate, I put these NightGuide Platinum bulbs in the X!
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
It was definitely a great first expedition with the new-to-me Xterra!
Tire Wheel Sky Ecoregion Mountain

Wheel Tire Sky Automotive carrying rack Vehicle

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Sky


The truck does drive a bit differently with the bike on the back. The SumoSprings hold it up perfectly, but you can feel the weight back there, especially when making quick direction changes. But bumps were no problem, which is a credit to the SumoSprings. I also didn't drive loaded with the bike at night, but the headlights night need some adjustment. Compared to empty, when fully loaded the rear sunk about 1" (measured in the center of the wheel wells) and the front came up a little bit, maybe a 1/4" to 1/2". SO I'll have to check how it works in the dark sometime. Luckily the headlights are very easy to adjust in this truck, it can be done by hand on mine. Handling was good on curvy roads. Once I was used to it I had no truck keeping my pace very good. I was careful with braking and quick maneuvers because I have no reason to stress the straps. The MotoTote carrier seems VERY solid.
All in all a succesfful mini-adventure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
I was washing the truck and noticed the "stainless" exhaust tip was rusted. Hmm... and then I thought, do Xterras come with chrome exhaust tips? No! This is a tip the previous owner added.
Now I know the tip reduces the ground clearance a bit but I decided to replace it anyway. It was actually hard to find one that would properly fit with some clearance to the hitch tubing and I ended up buying one identical to the old rusted one.
Here is the old one:
Tin Blue Fluid Tin can Cylinder

I actually had to cut one of the bolts completely off to wiggle the old piece off.

And the new one nicely installed:
Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Automotive exhaust


In case anyone wants one... the exhaust tip is engraved "Pilot Motorsports", but the packaging is a bit different.
Material property Font Automotive wheel system Auto part Metal

Automotive design Grey Font Road surface Sleeve


I didn't test the sound, but given the construction I cannot believe it makes any difference. There is no resonator in it, its just a tip.

EDIT: I have noticed in certain conditions I hear some knocks as the replacement exhaust tip vibrates and hits the hitch tubing. It is close. I rearranged the fasteners a bit and completely removed the top fastener to get a bit more clearance between the tip and hitch. It would be better to get a smaller diameter part if you can find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
Gobi Ladder Install
I decided I wanted a left side (USA drivers side) ladder. Why:
  • When I put fuel cans and stuff on the roof, I hold the can in my right hand, and I am always looking for something to grab with my left hand on as I step up onto the bumper.
  • Also, I carry a motorcycle on on the carrier and the ladder may provide a "bumper" between the end of the handlebar and the hatch door. If the motorcycle were to swing towards the door, I'd prefer it hit the ladder.
  • Looks cool
I really wanted to buy a Roxterra Ladder, all his stuff looks great. But I found a well priced Gobi in stock online ... and I grabbed it so I could quickly find out if the ladder would work with my bike carrier. If it works well I may buy a Roxterra ladder at a later date!

First step: I put on some new hatch struts. I had already beefed up my first aid kit, and that had slowed the door opening some.

2 18.19-inch gas springs Struts 175 pounds
4 M8x1.25 thread 10mm ball sockets

Frankly, in my opinion these struts are definitely too strong if you don't have a ladder. And even with the ladder mounted they are pretty forceful. I'm hoping they loosen up a bit or I may try some slightly softer ones. Also, they are a bit longer than stock. On my X these only leave a tiny bit of clearance between the door and the hinge when fully open. And it's a long overhead reach to grab the door so I might also prefer struts that are closer to the stock length. I'm not sure if they are available 5mm shorter and maybe 165 or pounds, but I might look.
Struts installed:
Cloud Daytime Sky Hood Automotive tire


Next up was the ladder. It came quickly and looked pretty good to me. Not the nicest welds, but solid. And the "GOBI" cutout is a little sloppy and I'm not a fan of adverts on my truck... maybe I'll find a way to cover that at some point. I also noted Gobi pre-applied anti-seize to the bolts. That's messy stuff, so be aware it is there. I actually removed it all to make handling easier and then applied fresh antiseize before the final bolt installations.

Here are some pictures of the mounting pieces:
Bumper Automotive exterior Musical instrument accessory Carbon Composite material

Rectangle Wood Floor Flooring Gas


I added I piece of electrical tape to the top bracket in the crease... maybe it will protect the edge of the hatch a bit.
Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Gesture Automotive lighting


I looked at the ladder carefully and it is properly made for the curve of the door. This means it will really fit best installed exactly where they instruct. For instance, I considered mounting it closer to the center of the door, but it the clamps won't match the curve of the door as well there. I was impressed that they got this curve right, but I do recommend installing it as directed.
So I just followed the assembly directions.

Top location marked:
Hood Motor vehicle Boat Bumper Automotive lighting


Bottom location marked. I did test fit the ladder a bunch of times to make sure these marks where right where I wanted them!
Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Grille Motor vehicle


Top bracket attached to the hatch:
Automotive lighting Hood Grille Azure Motor vehicle


Doing stuff in their recommended order is important. Especially on the lower bracket, I could imagine bending the lower edge of the doors if you didn't bolt the bracket to the ladder before tightening the set screws. Do the bolts that go in the big holes in the next picture BEFORE the pinch bracket set screws.
Ladder and bottom bracket stuck on. Also the edge of the lower aluminum pinch plate can be seen:
Automotive tire Hood Blue Motor vehicle Grille

Sky Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

Cloud Sky Azure Window Automotive tire


continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
Top bracket ladder bolts:
Netbook Hood Blue Automotive design Bag


And a few shots of the completed project:
Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle registration plate

Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Automotive carrying rack Tire Car

Wheel Plant Tire Bicycle tire Automotive tire

Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle Land vehicle

Tire Vehicle registration plate Automotive tail & brake light Wheel Car


The spacing from the door looks pretty close, which is good for me. It's about 3-1/2". The handle bars from my dirt bike end up about 7" from the window when it is on the hitch carrier, so this may work really well! I'll find out next time I load the bike.

Ladder likes and dislikes so far:
likes:
  • mounting points seemed properly curved to match the door
  • tight to the door, well matches the curve

dislikes:
  • a bit too narrow
  • gobi logo is too prominent
  • the whole top bracket is a bit ugly compared to Roxterra's ladders
  • danger of kicking or stepping on the wiper
  • One other mounting issue: the top bracket is bent so it "hooks" to the top of the hatch. The instructions say to make sure that hook is against the door edge. 1) the hook is likely to wear away the paint on the door edge. I put a strip of electrical tape in the "hook", but that seems unlikely to provide much protection. 2) The hook deforms the to surface of the bracket. With the bracket hook fully seated on the door edge, the adhesive strips couldn't all be well engaged with the surface of the door. Tightening the set screws on the underside helped this, but it's not "perfect".
Overall I like it so far. Looks Great. Good grab handle when stepping up onto the rear bumper. Seem sturdy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
Won't start!?
So, I ran in to pick up a coffee and when I came out the truck wouldn't start. It has a brand new battery and wouldn't even turn over. Hmm... I played with the clutch pedal a bit and it started! For the rest of the day I used the "clutch start cancel" switch to start the truck.
When I looked at the situation when I got home, I found some bad design.
The truck has a switch under the clutch pedal that is activated when you put the pedal all the way down. To protect the switch the pedal arm has a rubber bumper on it that "softly" activates the switch. But when that bumper wears out, the hole behind it is exposed and falls right over the switch so the switch isn't activated! Aligning the hole with the switch was a bad idea... it allows a 10 cent part failure to prevent the truck from starting.
Picture below is with new rubber bumpers.
Automotive tire Electrical wiring Auto part Wire Cable

There is another identical bumper that just stops the pedal motion located just above the "switch" bumper.
While you can replace these with readily available plastic plugs, its better to use the flexible Nissan rubber bumper to protect the switch. These are:
Part No.: 46512-9BP1C RUBBER-STOPPER
Get two and replace them both.
I recommend checking yours and replacing them if they are smushed and worn. It's really easy and can prevent being stuck with a truck that won't start until you figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
LED Interior and Backup Lights
I used the Auxito brand LEDs for this.
These are the bulbs I put in the interior overhead positions.

I decided to try the same brand for the backup lights. I tried them in the driveway and they seemed great.
Here is the stock on the left and the replacement Auxito on the right:
Sleeve Dress shirt Automotive tire Auto part Electric blue




You can see the Auxito has a pigtail that plugs into the original socket. I was careful to align the LED end with the LEDs on the sides when installed. I read elsewhere that helps the side to side illumination. I also used a ziptie to secure the pigtail from rattling.
Vehicle Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Electrical wiring


My only complaint about the Auxito is that it has a generic press in fit that is adjusted with O-rings that they provide. I used two O-rings for each bulb. I'd prefer a bulb with a fixed baynet mount so there would be not chance that it rotates. We will see how these work.

Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Automotive lighting Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Rear Differential Breather
Having the tail light open for the new backup bulb, I though it was a good time to install the rear differential breather.
Motor vehicle Circuit component Electrical wiring Gas Audio equipment


I used a small K&N filter. I taped over the chrome just so it was maybe more likely to stick in place and not rattle.
And I used Gates 3/16" (4.8mm) fuel hose from the local autoparts store. Get 10 feet of hose.
I didn't want the filter's hose clamp to crush the hose, so I inserted part of a 6mm hose barb in the hose to support it at the end.
Sleeve Motor vehicle Gesture Automotive exterior Auto part

Microphone Audio equipment Gas Electronic device Cable



I bought a couple fittings to screw into the differential axle.. The threads on my truck were NOT M10-1.00.
They were G1/8 BSP male. This is the one I used.
Font Gas Fashion accessory Monochrome photography Metal


Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exhaust


Note you need a LOT of extra hose to accommodate the suspension movement. I'd suggest installing this on a lift with the wheels fully dangling. I could probably use another couple inches of slack.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tire Automotive exterior Fender


See some adjustments I made to this project here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Atoto Head Unit!
Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive design Plant


I finally installed a new head unit in the X. That was a big project so I posted about it here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Power Outlet and Volt Meter
While I had the dash all apart... I decided to "upgrade" one of the charging ports.



Note the transparent cover lets you see the battery status through it. Kind of cool.



Installing this charger was harder than I expected. Removing the stock power outlet either requires a special tool that is hard to find or some real finesse. And getting access behind the dash in this spot isn't easy either.

Here is the power outlet I used:

12 Volt USB Socket Outlet, Qidoe 30W USB C PD3.0 Waterproof USB Charger Socket & QC3.0 Power Outlet with ON/Off Switch Voltmeter for 12V-24V Car RV Golf Cart Boat Marine ATV Motorcycle and More
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Ham Radio Install (Amateur Radio 2m and 70cm Transceiver))
White Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design


I installed an Anytone AT-5888UV dual band radio in the X.

I used a red hot pick to poke starter holes in the mounting locations, and then self tapping screw to "drill" the mounting holes:
Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Finger


And then the remote head screwed right on:
Motor vehicle Automotive design Car Steering part Vehicle door


There is a cross bar under the steering column that seemed a good place to mount the body of the radio:
Automotive exterior Rectangle Auto part Fashion accessory Electronics accessory

Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Bumper


I drilled a hole in the steel under the dash on the left side of the driver's foot will and ground the paint away around the hole. I used this with a large sheet metal screw for the negative radio power lead.
Auto part Automotive exterior Bumper Electric blue Wire


I ran the positive power lead to the fusebox next to the glovebox. I found an unused circuit there and tapped it:
Motor vehicle Vehicle door Gas Machine Auto part


I mounted an external speaker on the center tunnel on the passenger side. This needs to be carefully placed to avoid hitting the glove box when open and the passenger seat when all the way forward.
Automotive tire Automotive design Hood Bumper Vehicle


And the antenna was mounted to the hatch. SWR was good on 2m and 70cm without any extra grounding.
Car Vehicle Automotive carrying rack Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Above is a Comet SBB-1 for daily use in the city. I also bought a longer SBB-5 (that stores under the back seat) for off road use. They are easily swapped on the mount's NMO type connector.

Works great!
Car Vehicle Light Satellite radio Automotive design
 

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Rear Differential Breather
Having the tail light open for the new backup bulb, I though it was a good time to install the rear differential breather.
View attachment 145018

I used a small K&N filter. I taped over the chrome just so it was maybe more likely to stick in place and not rattle.
And I used Gates 3/16" (4.8mm) fuel hose from the local autoparts store. Get 10 feet of hose.
I didn't want the filter's hose clamp to crush the hose, so I inserted part of a 6mm hose barb in the hose to support it at the end.
View attachment 145019
View attachment 145020


I bought a couple fittings to screw into the differential axle.. The threads on my truck were NOT M10-1.00.
They were G1/8 BSP male. This is the one I used.
View attachment 145021

View attachment 145022

Note you need a LOT of extra hose to accommodate the suspension movement. I'd suggest installing this on a lift with the wheels fully dangling. I could probably use another couple inches of slack.
View attachment 145023
Word of caution with that style filter, I believe it can retain moisture and potentially contaminate your diff fluid via condensation. I’m not sure if it was that or the barb threads leaking on mine but somehow water got in my diff and I do no water crossings. YMMV but you may want to keep a watch out for condensation in the line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Word of caution with that style filter, I believe it can retain moisture and potentially contaminate your diff fluid via condensation. I’m not sure if it was that or the barb threads leaking on mine but somehow water got in my diff and I do no water crossings. YMMV but you may want to keep a watch out for condensation in the line.
Interesting. But I'd be more concerned by the long hose getting condensation than just the filter head. And I was careful to hang the filter at the bottom of a loop behind the tailight, so that should prevent any drippage from the filter easily reaching the diff... I hope.
 
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