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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm starting my X project soon and I need some help. This entire thing will be full of dumb questions but I'm 16 and was never really taught about cars. I've worked on quad engines since I was little so i do have some idea of how things work. Currently I'm not looking to do any engine mods, just want to make my X "look cool" and be more practical for the trails I want to use it on (nothing too insane mostly flat dirt roads with ruts and small hills... and maybe sand dunes). I say nothing too crazy because I'm only 16 and don't want to put my life in danger just yet. I don't really have a budget... which is odd for a teenager, I work as a photographer (so cliche i know but I'm currently shooting professional soccer so I think I'm doing something right). Here's what i have in mind, keep in mind this will all be installed at home and checked by a professional mechanic so i can learn the in's and out's of my X.

-Dezert Runner Offroad bumper ($600)
-Rough country 2.5" leveling kit ($160)
- Cam Bolts ($30)
- "Smart Parts Co." 1.5" Wheel spacers ($100)
-"MustWin" RGB rock lights ($54)
- 31" led bar and 2 pods ($80)

I've heard both sides of the wheel spacers argument. I cant decide whether or not they are a good idea. I love how they look but I'm debating on getting them because of the "downsides" I've heard. This post isn't meant to turn the comments into a war-zone. I just need some help from people who know what they're taking about and can point me in the right direction.

I love my X and what it can become, I just don't know how to get there. I have bigger plans for the performance later down the road this is just the first few steps. i'm Itching to get started on this project. Thank you in advance to everyone (if anyone) who replied. I'm sure i'll have a lot more dumb questions in the future.
 

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Do you want the wheel spacers just to make the tires stick out a little more for a more aggressive stance? If so, maybe consider Pro Comp 7089 wheels - they look great (IMO), will stick out I think as much as the spacers you're talking about, and will be around half your listed budget for spacers. Rim Options
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you want the wheel spacers just to make the tires stick out a little more for a more aggressive stance? If so, maybe consider Pro Comp 7089 wheels - they look great (IMO), will stick out I think as much as the spacers you're talking about, and will be around half your listed budget for spacers. Rim Options
I cant find the Pro Comp 7089 wheels for anything under $118 each. The spacers are purely for giving the X a more aggressive look, sooner or later wheels are on my list but at the moment they are not.

Edit: I just saw that my original post said "Wheel Spacers ($1000". I apologize i accidentally put another "0" instead of a ")". its fixed now ?
 

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I cant find the Pro Comp 7089 wheels for anything under $118 each. The spacers are purely for giving the X a more aggressive look, sooner or later wheels are on my list but at the moment they are not.

Edit: I just saw that my original post said "Wheel Spacers ($1000". I apologize i accidentally put another "0" instead of a ")". its fixed now ?
No worries. If I hadn't been half asleep, I would've probably realized spacers wouldn't be $1,000 in the first place.
 

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My 2 cents as a father.

-Dezert Runner Offroad bumper ($600
I would think twice about this style bumper. I love the lightweight tube bumpers and will be building another shortly but you sacrifice safety a bit and need to be aware of this while driving.
-Rough country 2.5" leveling kit ($160)
Cheap, looks cool, you're young. There are much better means to do this but much more costly.
- Cam Bolts ($30)
Check to make sure you don't already have them. Will probably be necessary when you upgrade suspension down the road.
- "Smart Parts Co." 1.5" Wheel spacers ($100)
Would not be a high priority and others may chime in about bearings and such
-"MustWin" RGB rock lights ($54)
Cool-yes. other places to better spend your money-yes.
- 31" led bar and 2 pods ($80)
A big yes especially if you are in deer country. Nice to light it up at night when other vehicles aren't around.

There are a ton of mods to do to these rigs.
I would suggest a good set of seat covers if your drivers seat is not torn yet. Also some good LED's for your backup lights. Also start investing in tools and learn how to weld. You'll save a lot of money and have the satisfaction of building your truck the way you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My 2 cents as a father.

-Dezert Runner Offroad bumper ($600
I would think twice about this style bumper. I love the lightweight tube bumpers and will be building another shortly but you sacrifice safety a bit and need to be aware of this while driving.
-Rough country 2.5" leveling kit ($160)
Cheap, looks cool, you're young. There are much better means to do this but much more costly.
- Cam Bolts ($30)
Check to make sure you don't already have them. Will probably be necessary when you upgrade suspension down the road.
- "Smart Parts Co." 1.5" Wheel spacers ($100)
Would not be a high priority and others may chime in about bearings and such
-"MustWin" RGB rock lights ($54)
Cool-yes. other places to better spend your money-yes.
- 31" led bar and 2 pods ($80)
A big yes especially if you are in deer country. Nice to light it up at night when other vehicles aren't around.

There are a ton of mods to do to these rigs.
I would suggest a good set of seat covers if your drivers seat is not torn yet. Also some good LED's for your backup lights. Also start investing in tools and learn how to weld. You'll save a lot of money and have the satisfaction of building your truck the way you want it.

Thank you for the response. I'll take this all into consideration before buying. I do (luckily) already have a set of seat covers mostly because the passenger seat is ripping at one of the seams. This is just a start before i dive in with suspension lifts and bigger wheels and what-not. Most of it is to "look cooler" before I start spending the big money on the things i eventually do want to do to the X. Thanks again.
 

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Tyler.

Welcome to the forums.
If you dont mind me asking, what year is your xterra and is it an automatic?

The reason I ask is Nissan had a batch of bad radiators during the years of 2005- 2010 (apx).
The result of this for those with an automatic was radiator fluid entering the transmission and ultimately causing a failure.

Start your upgrades with general maintenance
Swap all of your fluids.
Engine oil, coolant, front and rear axle, transfer case, power steering.

If your radiator is one from a known serial number which is linked to SMOD, replace it.
Check the powertrain section of the forums for pinned topics on SMOD and another regarding the affected radiators.

A $250 radiator today may save you $2500 tomorrow .

Now that your mechanical issues are addressed, it's time to consider your other mods :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tyler.

Welcome to the forums.
If you dont mind me asking, what year is your xterra and is it an automatic?

The reason I ask is Nissan had a batch of bad radiators during the years of 2005- 2010 (apx).
The result of this for those with an automatic was radiator fluid entering the transmission and ultimately causing a failure.

Start your upgrades with general maintenance
Swap all of your fluids.
Engine oil, coolant, front and rear axle, transfer case, power steering.

If your radiator is one from a known serial number which is linked to SMOD, replace it.
Check the powertrain section of the forums for pinned topics on SMOD and another regarding the affected radiators.

A $250 radiator today may save you $2500 tomorrow .

Now that your mechanical issues are addressed, it's time to consider your other mods :)
My X is a 2011 so hopefully I dodged that issue. All the general maintenance is in check, our good friend/neighbor is a mechanic so i had him look over everything and make sure it was all looking good. Not to mention it was just in an accident that wasn't our fault (I wasn't too happy) so Insurance checked everything to make sure it was still all intact. Got all new plastics out of it and a new passenger side fender + grill. It is an automatic, which i hope to change in the future, luckily I know how to drive stick so it would be a terrible learning curve. I plan on having a few codes fun just to check for any failures/issues to see if there's anything i can fix mechanically before I do any body mods.
 

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Tyler.

I'm pleased to know you have a neighbor which was kind enough to check your Xterra for you.
We should all have such a resource. :)

I come from a family of mechanics and hope to share some insight without upsetting you.

Typically, a mechanics check is for proper level of fluids, discoloration of fluids, leaks , brake check and safety inspection.

If your engine/transmission is off color, they may recommend it be changed, but they may not know if you have average miles of use or excessive miles.

Radiator fluid: Your mechanic likely. checked for proper fluid level and discoloration. He may have used a coolant tester to make sure the coolant was rated for the lowest temperature in your region. However he has no idea how long it's been in the vehicle. Overtime coolant can break down and become acidic. In addition the rust inhibitor will weaken which will assist in corrosion taking place.

Powersteering fluid. The mechanic checked for proper level. Once again, he has no idea how long it's been there, maybe the life of the vehicle.

Front differential, transfer case, rear differential : I doubt he pulled the plug on any of these items. He may have checked for leaks. Much like your engine oil, these items are on a maintenance schedule. Do you know if they have ever been replaced?

Brake fluid. He checked your fluid was at the correct level. However brake fluid tends to draw moisture from the atmosphere. Water in the brake lines lowers the boiling point of the fluid, so stopping ability can diminish in hard stops as heat in the system increases. In addition, over time the moisture can cause internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other components

A quick check may share if your vehicle is roadworthy but it wont inform you that your on a proper maintenance routine.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it's best to assume none of the routine maintenance has been completed. Properly filled dont count.

Here is a general maintenance schedule
Replace Automatic Transmission Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Replace Transfer Case Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Front and Rear Differentials - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Brake Fluid - every two years
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tyler.

I'm pleased to know you have a neighbor which was kind enough to check your Xterra for you.
We should all have such a resource. :)

I come from a family of mechanics and hope to share some insight without upsetting you.

Typically, a mechanics check is for proper level of fluids, discoloration of fluids, leaks , brake check and safety inspection.

If your engine/transmission is off color, they may recommend it be changed, but they may not know if you have average miles of use or excessive miles.

Radiator fluid: Your mechanic likely. checked for proper fluid level and discoloration. He may have used a coolant tester to make sure the coolant was rated for the lowest temperature in your region. However he has no idea how long it's been in the vehicle. Overtime coolant can break down and become acidic. In addition the rust inhibitor will weaken which will assist in corrosion taking place.

Powersteering fluid. The mechanic checked for proper level. Once again, he has no idea how long it's been there, maybe the life of the vehicle.

Front differential, transfer case, rear differential : I doubt he pulled the plug on any of these items. He may have checked for leaks. Much like your engine oil, these items are on a maintenance schedule. Do you know if they have ever been replaced?

Brake fluid. He checked your fluid was at the correct level. However brake fluid tends to draw moisture from the atmosphere. Water in the brake lines lowers the boiling point of the fluid, so stopping ability can diminish in hard stops as heat in the system increases. In addition, over time the moisture can cause internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other components

A quick check may share if your vehicle is roadworthy but it wont inform you that your on a proper maintenance routine.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it's best to assume none of the routine maintenance has been completed. Properly filled dont count.

Here is a general maintenance schedule
Replace Automatic Transmission Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Replace Transfer Case Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Front and Rear Differentials - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Brake Fluid - every two years
Thank you. We are the original owners and just replaced all the fluids a 3 months ago. Hopefully everything is still well. No upsetting here haha I appreciate the help and insight.
 

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Tyler.

I'm pleased to know you have a neighbor which was kind enough to check your Xterra for you.
We should all have such a resource. :)

I come from a family of mechanics and hope to share some insight without upsetting you.

Typically, a mechanics check is for proper level of fluids, discoloration of fluids, leaks , brake check and safety inspection.

If your engine/transmission is off color, they may recommend it be changed, but they may not know if you have average miles of use or excessive miles.

Radiator fluid: Your mechanic likely. checked for proper fluid level and discoloration. He may have used a coolant tester to make sure the coolant was rated for the lowest temperature in your region. However he has no idea how long it's been in the vehicle. Overtime coolant can break down and become acidic. In addition the rust inhibitor will weaken which will assist in corrosion taking place.

Powersteering fluid. The mechanic checked for proper level. Once again, he has no idea how long it's been there, maybe the life of the vehicle.

Front differential, transfer case, rear differential : I doubt he pulled the plug on any of these items. He may have checked for leaks. Much like your engine oil, these items are on a maintenance schedule. Do you know if they have ever been replaced?

Brake fluid. He checked your fluid was at the correct level. However brake fluid tends to draw moisture from the atmosphere. Water in the brake lines lowers the boiling point of the fluid, so stopping ability can diminish in hard stops as heat in the system increases. In addition, over time the moisture can cause internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other components

A quick check may share if your vehicle is roadworthy but it wont inform you that your on a proper maintenance routine.

When purchasing a used vehicle, it's best to assume none of the routine maintenance has been completed. Properly filled dont count.

Here is a general maintenance schedule
Replace Automatic Transmission Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Replace Transfer Case Fluid - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Front and Rear Differentials - 30,000 miles or 24 months

Brake Fluid - every two years
Welcome aboard!
If I might add - check/clean/replace the rear diff breather. If original, it is likely clogged up and will shorten the life of your rear bearing seals greatly. If you search Differential Breather Mod you’ll see lots of easy and inexpensive ways to fix this serious shortcoming.
Diff breather -$30. New axle seals & bearings -$$$


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Maintenance and repair before modification. That cool looking truck looks like crap broke down.

That out of the way. To your list.
The lights, no issues. When running the wires keep it clean, don't pull them tight, keep them out of the way of moving parts, hot parts, and stuff you may have to get into later. That is things like the air filter box and even the fuse panel. I've seen people stick stuff on top of the fuse cover thinking it is right out in front only it really makes getting that lid off when you need it later a lot of work. Use fuses. The high power light will like a relay but the low power lights are fine without. The internet will tell you to get extra heavy gauge wire for it, reality is look at the instructions that come with it or lacking that match the wire that comes with the lights.

Lift and wheel spacers, I would avoid them. Cheap parts in critical areas are not a good idea. The suspension in Xterras does not respond well to quick and cheap suspension modifications. To me, what you plan to do, is the poser look.

I don't know the exact bumper you describe. Probably OK? shouldn't affect the overall operation of the truck.
Cam bolts only needed if alignment is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Maintenance and repair before modification. That cool looking truck looks like crap broke down.

That out of the way. To your list.
The lights, no issues. When running the wires keep it clean, don't pull them tight, keep them out of the way of moving parts, hot parts, and stuff you may have to get into later. That is things like the air filter box and even the fuse panel. I've seen people stick stuff on top of the fuse cover thinking it is right out in front only it really makes getting that lid off when you need it later a lot of work. Use fuses. The high power light will like a relay but the low power lights are fine without. The internet will tell you to get extra heavy gauge wire for it, reality is look at the instructions that come with it or lacking that match the wire that comes with the lights.

Lift and wheel spacers, I would avoid them. Cheap parts in critical areas are not a good idea. The suspension in Xterras does not respond well to quick and cheap suspension modifications. To me, what you plan to do, is the poser look.

I don't know the exact bumper you describe. Probably OK? shouldn't affect the overall operation of the truck.
Cam bolts only needed if alignment is needed.
As for right now, you would be correct. The poser look is what I’m going for until I have enough time to get to the places I want to be at. Currently I’m stretched super thin on time so that’s nearly impossible at this point. I do plan on doing the “bigger” mods like an axle swap and a manual swap later down the road. I also plan on doing a more expensive suspension lift to get more clearance in the future. Keep in mind I’m 16 so how people look at me is WAY too important to me. Which I realize isn’t an excuse to be a poser but I do plan to use it for what I make it look like in the near future. This would just be the beginning of the project.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Really guys? Tons of trucks here have a 2" spacer and a shakle/aal.
Once you get maintenance out of the way nothing wrong with that and 33's.
I would stop at 2" unless you want to spend money on new Upper control arms.
Would a 2.5” be surpassing that or do you think that would be fine with the stock upper control arms?
 

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There are a few factors which can affect whether it could be a problem. If you front springs are bit weaker it may not be. The generally accepted opinion is 2" is the limit otherwise the UCA hits the coil bucket when the suspension droops going over hard bumps, like potholes, curbs, etc.

If you haven't read this suspension sticky, please check it out, it will give you a lot of info about some of the limitations of the suspension geometry and what options we have.


You could plan it out in stages so you could build it incrementally as your budget allowed.
For example, start with a spacer and a multileaf progressive AAL, then later add lift UCAs, which would allow you to get lift coilovers which will get you 3-4" and better travel, then for the rear add maybe better leafs or if you like your AAL , a lift shakle to level it out.
For a young guy with limited funds wanting to take the soccer mom out of his ride that would be my move.
 

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Really guys? Tons of trucks here have a 2" spacer and a shakle/aal.
Once you get maintenance out of the way nothing wrong with that and 33's.
I would stop at 2" unless you want to spend money on new Upper control arms.
IntellectualRedneck +1000

Most X here are lifted with spacers and shackles. That's the way I went plus an AAD

I went up to 2.5" lift and it needs a little alignment but I didn't install the cam bolts that came with the lift kit. "Damned seized cam bolts". No coil bucket contact.
Cam bolts will be changed next week end. Next step is a small 1" body lift.
 

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This is also a good point I didnt mention.
At 2" you get the limit of acceptable camber with the siezed cam bolts. (and they will be siezed guaranteed)
At 2.5" you will "probably" as @Boostall mentions, need LCA cam bolts to bring camber in check.
You will destroy the LCA getting the bolts out , only real way is to cut them out, so that is another work/expense to factor in. Search the site for LCA and siezed bolts. There is a "How to" on it.
 

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Hey Guys.

Let me give props to everyone trying to help Tyler out.
It's great to see us sharing our knowledge with someone of his age.

It's been a while since I was 16, but I've not forgotten those years all together.
Image is everything and recognition is a close second.

There was nothing like a group seeing you pull in and knowing who arrived.
79 Firebird Formula 400ci with glass packs ....ok, for another discussion.

Anyway, I think everyone understands where I'm coming from.
Tyler dont wish to climb but two mountains and he dont need to spend a ton on his X to do such.

Step 1. Tires 265/75R16 with an aggressive tread pattern such as MT tire. Apx $160 per
Step 2. Rock Sliders. apx $350
Step 3. Rear steel bumper with welded recovery points $469
Step 4. Tinted windows
Step 6. Custom Graphics. Simple & Nothing cheesy, maybe something offroadish or a photography flair since this is how he earns his cash.
 
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This is also a good point I didnt mention.
At 2" you get the limit of acceptable camber with the siezed cam bolts. (and they will be siezed guaranteed)
At 2.5" you will "probably" as @Boostall mentions, need LCA cam bolts to bring camber in check.
You will destroy the LCA getting the bolts out , only real way is to cut them out, so that is another work/expense to factor in. Search the site for LCA and siezed bolts. There is a "How to" on it.
New LCA are in hand..List of weapons: cutting torch, plasma cutter, 7 and 5 inches cutting disk, Diablo blades... those MF.. won't last long LOL.
First try was a PITA without success . I dont foresee a third battle.
 
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