My ongoing Xterra build thread

where did you get your springs? great job btw. you've been very inspirational with fixing and keeping your truck working. I've got a dead R50 pathfinder (to rusty to fix) that I'm considering rebuilding the engine and swapping it into the X. It's a job I've never done but I'm game to try. My X is a 02 and rust free so I want to keep it as long as possible. they just don't make trucks like this anymore:(


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I phoned these guys on Monday, they showed up Friday morning The first impressions on a longer drive that I used to bottom out all over the place on is that these are what the they should have come with from the factory. Nice smooth ride, no more bottoming out and it sits at a good height now. Really happy with these springs. Can't wait to do the front now.


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where did you get your springs? great job btw. you've been very inspirational with fixing and keeping your truck working. I've got a dead R50 pathfinder (to rusty to fix) that I'm considering rebuilding the engine and swapping it into the X. It's a job I've never done but I'm game to try. My X is a 02 and rust free so I want to keep it as long as possible. they just don't make trucks like this anymore:(
Do the r50's have a 3.3? It's not a bad engine to rebuild, if the x is clean it's definitley a great platform IMO. The tight turning circle is where it shines, there's often times it's reminded me of my old Samurai.
I've often thought about getting something newer or whatever.. but then I do the math and like, whats the point. Its got a new engine and clutch, and I basically know this thing inside and out now so I'll just keep plugging away at it.
I wanna paint it too.. just rattle can olive drab something like that, never been a fan of silver
ya 1st gen X and R50 share lots of stuff. vg33, auto trans, an or manual trans, front diff, t-case, and rear 3rd member (though on the X it is narrower then the R50) same final gear range and LSD. I had lots of adventures with the Pathy and now I'm getting to know the X. Something that is being lost in our world is taking care of something you have and making it last. most newer automobiles are not designed to become classics. they are only designed to last a certain amount of miles (kms) and then be recycled which is all well and good but not if new stuff doesn't meet your usage needs. since rust is not something I'm fighting yet, I plan on keeping the X as long as possible. At the moment I've done a PML but the rear bottoms harshly even though I've put in some AC adjustable lift shackles (sitting at 1.75in of lift) and some Timbren SES. when loaded the Timbren helps keep the springs from flexing into the negative arc range but even empty the springs sit almost flat. As for the paint, I'd use some plasti dip, if you don't like how it looks it will pull off (not as easy as claimed) but you can rip it off and start again.
I've looked at the guys you got your springs from. they seem legit. I'll be contacting them in the spring I think. As I have to work outside on the street. Shipping to Manitoba might be high but not much more than anywhere else and it is good to support Canadian business. I haven't found anything local.
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Rest assured they are awesome off road as well, you'll be very happy when you get em! They settled down an inch now and I expect them to stay there. Total lift is the 2" they said it would be.

There's been many a time that I've thought about turffing the X, and getting something new.. but then I look at how much payments would be and I quickly put my beige pants on and say nuh uh not doing it.
I like running older stuff anyways, it has character and you don't gotta worry about it so much, and the're a lot easier to work on. Every time I open the hood on my F550 service truck I cry a little on the inside, poor bastard that has to work on that stuff.

I actually went and vacuumed and wiped down my interior today haha. That's the most love it's gotten in a long time.
That's some great pictures! I was out on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island this summer as part of a larger trip (San Josef Bay - Cape Scott). There is so much potential there on the island.

This looks like a great spot!

Congrats on the new suspension!
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#makemyxterragreatagain is coming along nicely!

Re-indexed the torsion bars and installed new UCAs
You definitely need to be prepared to cut the old ones out of their home, they are quite happy to stay where they are.
I marked the old cam bolts and installed the new one to the same degree.. it got me close enough to be able to let the wife drive it to the store if need be, definitely going to get a alignment done this week.

I have all new lowers to go in as well. but I think I'll hold off on them untill I get new torisons and all new hardware for that..



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Zip wheel, it was kind of a bastard at times, probably took about 5 or 6 zip wheels cause they would wear down and then id be unable to reach the end.


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Done a few things here and there, had to replace my alternator a while back, and then I changed the supercharger for a rebuild from Jon Bond Performance, I'm really happy with that, my old one was severely wore out.
I am still waiting on some wheel spacers I ordered at the beginning of the month and also hoping to have a selectable front locker before my mid August road trip through the interior that I have planned. One of these days I want to build a swing out tire carrier because lately the cross ditches have been getting bigger and bigger and I keep dragging ass on them.



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Got me some new goodies.

Got right to work and cut out a mounting bracket from a piece of square tube lying in the scrap bin, its nice and heavy 3/16th wall. Had to ditch my cruise control to make room though, not gunna miss it.

mocked up the location, trimmed the bracket and drilled it out.

took out the useless security light and mounted the switches in the dash, front locker isn't in yet that's coming in the next two weeks.

So then obviously I had to go out for a rip and test it out.



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So begins the ARB install, I wonder how many first gens are out there with a front ARB? Im probably one of the only idiots whos not into SASin his ride haha.
So far Ive got it all back together I just need to run an air line from my compressor to it and she'll be good to go, it was a lot of work even for me and especially on a hot saturday, I can only hope I got the set up good enough for it to last.

Draining the oil, drive shaft and cv axles are already disconnected at this point, drivers cv is in pretty poor shape, and FML those driveshaft bolts are a pain in the ass, even for a professional.

Drop it like its hott

Awe, its so cute, a nice change to be able to just man handle it into place and not need to rig up my crane

Backlash before: 7 thou, backlash after: 8 thou. didn't have quite the right shims or enough fucks to give at the end of the day to get it perfect.

Making sure the carrier ring gear mounting face and carrier bearing seat measure the same between the stock carrier and the ARB. (it was within 2 thou)

Using my brass phallus to drive in the non ring gear side cv out put flange thread instert

Drilled and tapped the bulkhead fitting for the air line

Baked the bearings, and froze the carrier, one side gave me a bit of grief but i just turned the oven on hotter, it's easier and taking it down to the shop and using the press.
Top tip: Don't heat bearings above 225 fahrenheit, you can turn your oven up to 450 and leave the bearings in there for like 15 minutes or so, since air is such a **** conductor of a heat it wont really hurt them, I like to pull them out periodically and check them with a temp gun.

Same story with the ring gear, heat it up slide it on secure bolts, clamp it in the vice with some soft jaws and torque to spec with red loc tite, I reused the ring gear mounting bolts, I cleaned up the threads of all the old loc tite and made sure they all thread in nice.. these arent torque to yield so since they all came out nice I'm not concerned at all about them.

This just feels wrong...

Very wrong

Used a chainsaw file to de burr the hole

and there she is, pattern is as good as I can get it, backlash is on the looser side of things but sometimes thats all you can do.. routed the air line, trimmed it to fit, siliconed the cover back on and threw the whole shebang back in its home.. tomorrow will be air line routing day and then an inaugural test run!
Nice job man. I can't wait for the trip report.Years ago when I was on the Nissan Pathfinder forums there was rumor that the rear LSD diff from a certain year 240z would fit the front of the pathy. I always wanted to try that out. (the r50 front diff is high pinion with reverse cut gears nobody makes a damn thing for it)
btw...I though my day of fighting with a stuck brake caliper pin was a though day, but then I'm not an auto mechanic.


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Yeah, Sometimes I wish I had a truck that they made more things for, like even a second gen or a toyota. At least there's lockers available for mine, and the CVS are still cheap and easy to replace! and there's definitely more stuff for my X than there is Pathys.

yeah it can really suck when a simple job turns south real quick.
I now have a 1.5 gen X though non SC'd. ( Long live the Pathfinder..RIP Eugene) very fun. I've done almost the same mods as you...AC UCAs, and AAL but only 2 out of 3 as I also run the AC adjustable lift shackles. Rancho 9000s, warn manual hubs and 265/75/16 Falken at3w E rated tires. DIY roof rack and rear storage. have you checked out good bunch of folk with lots of experience. I'm gonna meet up with one of them on my trip out to the eastcost and will check out his matching truck and offroad trailer made out of a Fronteer.
keep up the good work
love the trip reports. the west coast is so stunning.