2001 Xterra 'Nxterra' cummins 4BT and SAS build

Jbat Mar 27, 2015

  1. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    **CURRENTLY RESTORING PICTURES, CHECK BACK DAILY FOR UPDATES - 2/12/18**



    I dubbed this 2001 Xterra SE 'Nxterra' because its the Next Xterra Nissan SHOULD have given us...or at least the one I wanted them to give us. So now that this thing is finally running I figured it was time to put together a thread. I have tons of pics and info from when I started this build in May of 2013. I have used many companies but mainly Calmini for SAS kit, Down South Motorsports for coilovers, Ruffstuff Specialties for many, many, build parts, Industrial Injection, Colt cams, XDP and Diesel Power Products for many of my needs to rebuild and hop up the Cummins 4BT. What was supposed to take 6 months has now taken me almost 2 years and I'm not done yet haha. You can also follow pics of the build on instagram at #nxterra . So I bought the Xterra after it had been hit in the A-pillar and right front wheel, which crushed the door, the lower part of the A-pillar and bent right side a-arms and broke ball joints and shock on the right side. I got it thinking I might fix the suspension and drive it while I collected parts to do a diesel motor swap but had a Dana 44 front axle and Dana 60 rear axle that already had a Detroit locker in it sitting around so decided to do SAS and spring over in the rear. So I immediately started to tear into it to do the SAS and then pulled the motor and tranny to finance the diesel build. I purchased the Xterra for $1300 and sold the motor for 1200 and tranny with transfer case for 600 so I started out this project in the positive...that has all changed since haha. I knew I wanted the most kickass Xterra out there so I started with the idea of SAS and Cummins 4BT (I had decided that was the motor I was putting in no matter what the project was) and then let the details work themselves out. I'll try to keep the pics in as best of chronological order as possible. Feel free to ask questions.
    This is what the Nxterra started out as
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    I ordered the SAS kit from Calmini but they wanted too much $$$ for the shocks so I sourced them through Down South Motorsports who were very helpful and offered the best price on the coilovers I could find. I also sourced a set of rear shackels from Calmini and a Dana 60 simple swap kit from RuffStuff Specialties to do a SOA in the rear. While I waited for this stuff to come in I found a Cummins 4BT on ebay that needed rebuilt so I grabbed it and got it on its way out here from the east coast. I wanted the Cummins for its versatility as it is mechanically controlled so it could be put in anything and it's a tough little motor that can put out a lot more power than the diesel that Nissan had offered in other countries. Stock this motor put out 105HP and 265ft lbs of torque in the version I got. I am shooting for around 200hp and almost 500ft lbs of torque when I am done.
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    While continuing to wait I got started on getting all the pesky stock stuff out of my way as well as getting the rear axle in.
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    While getting all that crap out the simple swap kit for the back end came from Ruffstuff Specialties along with disc brake brackets and diff covers. The shackles also showed from Calmini so I decided to start with the rear axle swap.
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    Started mocking up the rear dana 60, unfortunately I had no shop space at the time so most of the suspension work and axle swaps were done in the dirt out back of my parents place.
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    Got the rear axle painted with POR-15 and under with discs on.
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    I got a good deal on a set of 18" XD misfits with 35s on them (tires were marginal) so I snatched them up and leaned them on Nxterra to get a better idea of what it would look like. These wheels caught my eye and even now are still ones that I don't see too often but look mighty sexy to me.
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    By now its July of 2013 and my motor has shown up so I decide to get it torn down and see whats up. Turns out somehow #3 piston came off the rod and proceeded to beat the crap out of itself and the head where it broke a valve, bent pushrods, broke tappets, damaged the cam and left all sorts of junk previously known as parts in the bottom of the oil pan. I took the block to the machine shop to be bored as well as have the head gone through and it turned out the head was cracked so I would have to have a new head. Since the cam was damaged I decided to source a stage 2 cam from Colt Cams for this motor and try to make a little more power with it. I also decided to upgrade the turbo to a Holset HX30 and have Industrial Injection rebuild and mod my injection pump and do me a set of injectors to match...but more on that later.

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    So by first of August 2013 I had the rear axle in and wheels
    bolted on, the front wheels are just propped up and my Calmini SAS kit had shown up so I decided to get started on the front axle. BTW the axles were from a '79 Ford F250 I had previously had so they were full width axles. Even then the stock WMS to WMS was 60" and WMS to WMS on these axles were at 63" so only 3" wider overall on the axles. Initially I intended to get some positive offset wheels but got such a good deal on the aforementioned wheels that I ended up with 0+- offset so they do stick out a tad further...oh well
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    So by end of August I started the front end swap and had picked up some shocks for the back end, Fabtech Dirt Logic 2.5

    Lots of cutting and grinding of old mounts and welds off, as well as fitting the long arm brackets to the new front axle. Because my axle was a little wider the brackets fit right over where the old leaf spring brackets were but that also meant that it had to go over a portion of the diff on the drivers side.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2018
  2. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Eventually I got all the brackets and crossmembers mocked up so then I pulled them back off to paint those portions of the frame with POR-15, my shocks also showed up from Down South Motorsports as well as the injection pump, turbo, and injectors from Industrial Injection.
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    Once I got the brackets welded onto the front axle I tore it apart to replace balljoints, seals, bearings etc and paint it all up with POR-15.
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    Once the front axle was all together it was time to mate the axle to the rig and my pops stayed up late one night helping me get it rolling before I had to go out of town so the first pics of the suspension in were in the dark. BTW my pops is 6'4", this thing turned out rather tall...
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    By the end of November 2013 I had finally acquired some shop space and the Nxterra was now rolling so we loaded it up to take it to a warmer, drier setting where it would await the Cummins heart transplant, this also enabled me to get some suspension pics in the daylight.
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    At the time my younger brother had a '99 TJ Wrangler with 4" lift and 33s and the Nxterra dwarfed it so I had to shoot some pics.
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    After not much progress over the winter other than some work here and there rebuilding the engine, fast forward to March of 2014 and it was time to get the A-pillar on the Nxterra replaced. I do pretty much all my own work but body work is not my strong suit and I have a buddy that does it professionally so I worked out some trade work with him to the pillar done. So out of the shop and into the sun and off it goes!
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    While the Nxterra was gone getting the A-pillar done I took the time to really get into the motor and try to get it ready to swap in. Got the crank and pistons in, then the cam, new head showed up so I decided to paint it all. It got a coating of POR-15 black and then top coated with POR-15 engine enamel in ford blue. Matches the blue on the suspension rather well I thought.
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  3. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
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    Getting the motor and tranny (NV4500) and transfer case (NP231) took pretty much all summer and so did getting the A-pillar done. That's the tough part about trade work as it takes a back burner to his full time job but my buddy does damn good work and finally in August the Nxterra came back with a new A-pillar and a door that bolted on, shut, and sealed!
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    October of 2014 I finally started fitting the motor in place to build mounts which took some cutting of the firewall and removal of the dash as the 4BT is pretty much just as long as the engine bay was. I also chose not to run a mechanical fan and will run dual electric fans instead.
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    Progress was slow and the motor went in and out multiple times and finally it was time to bolt the manifold and turbo to the motor as well as the transmission and put the motor in for the final time, once the motor and tranny was in I was able to put the transfercase in from the bottom and align the drivetrain to chassis and axles.
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    Finally last month I was able to get the motor mounts all welded up and get the motor set into the chassis for good a few weeks ago.
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    I also needed to replace the lower radiator support, weld the upper back in, and then coat it all in POR-15
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    In the meantime of this I have ordered all sorts of parts to get this thing together and have most of it at this point, including clutch hydraulics with custom master cylinder to tie to the xterra's stock clutch pedal rod, I will also be removing the ABS and installing a brake line lock into the rear brake line for a parking brake. I also have an intercooler that will mount in front of the radiator and a/c condenser. I also have dual battery boxes to hold yellow top Optimas. One goes where the stock battery did and the other I have welded in where the stock airbox used to be. In the past couple weeks I have got the battery boxes welded in, as well as mounted a sump in the bottom of my fuel tank and built a mount for a dual fuel filter/water separator setup that will mount on the frame rail. I also got my tie rod built with offset tie rod ends to clear my diff cover. The tie rod is 1.5" .250 wall DOM tubing with weld in ends from Ruffstuff Specialties.
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  4. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    So in the last week I have been able to get the radiator in and my coolant tubes built from silicone fittings and bent aluminum pipe from Silicone Intake Systems. The turbo is permanently on and oil feed and drain lines to the turbo are sorted. I also put the dual batteries in and built the battery wires out of 0 guage wire and ran a ground to body, frame, and motor so I never have to worry about good grounds as I will be running multiple lights front and back, a winch, and some decent audio equipment. My Hannemann 4" bulge fiberglass fenders also showed up.
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    And now its pretty much ready to fire up.
    So that's what I did!!!!
    http://s1112.photobucket.com/user/07midnight/media/Nxterra/Nxterra%2022mar15%20002_zps8aig7o1i.mp4.html?sort=3&o=10[/URL]
    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204994293555028[/URL]
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  5. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    And that's pretty much how it sits. I still have a lot of work left to do to have it on the road but hope to have it driving in about a month. I am also running PSC motorsports hydraulic assist steering which I already have, pump and reservoir is mounted, I still need to build a mount for the axle end of the hydraulic ram. I already have the front bumper that is off a Toyota that I will be modifying to fit the Xterra frame as well as hold my 30" lightbar. I will also have a winch mounted in it. I have also ordered a set of P&P rear corners that will be here eventually and I will build the rear bumper which will have an air tank mounted on the back side for on board air. For a spare tire carrier I will be building a carrier that mounts to the hatch and will run dual dampers on the hatch to support the added weight. I will also be caging the interior, mounting fire extinguishers in the rear, as well as many more mods here and there. I will keep updating this now that its up. Hope you enjoy.
     
  6. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
  7. Shizane2002

    Shizane2002 First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Simply awesome. Brilliant work man.
     
  8. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Fuel tank and sump is now in as well as dual fuel filter/water separator setup mounted on frame rail. Today I ran all the fuel lines in the engine bay and the return line back to the tank. Now I just need to plumb the fuel line from the sump in the bottom of the tank to the filters and the fuel plumbing will be done. Next week I'll be trying to get the floor and firewall back together to get the dash back in. The interior is currently looking kinda scary haha
     
  9. metzican

    metzican Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    2,729
    Location:
    Lafaytte, la
    Just wow. You sir have skill and Por-15. Let me know when your next project is I need to buy some stock!
     
  10. Roninjiro

    Roninjiro Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Austin,TX
    Damn, great job!
     
  11. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Thankyou! I enjoyed checkin your thread out shortly after I started this project. Its good to see other diesel enthusiasts

    Thanks, and yes I have spent a small fortune on POR-15 for this rig haha. Pretty much everything is being rustproofed with it
     
  12. drbandkgb

    drbandkgb Titan Swapped / SAS'd Founding Member

    Messages:
    11,187
    Glad to see you make it over to the fun side of XTERRA ;)

    Im enjoying this build
     
  13. 01XterraPhilly

    01XterraPhilly First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    326
    Location:
    Conshohocken, PA
    this is absolutely bad ass...i cant imagine the amount of money that you dumped in to this rig. cant wait to see wheeling vids and pics once its trail ready
     
  14. Timrich

    Timrich Super Duper Moderator Founding Member

    Messages:
    2,429
    Location:
    Central FL
    I'm in awe of what you've done with the x! Great job and I can't wait to see the progress and finished project.
     
  15. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    Wow. Great work, sir! Thanks for letting us witness this awesomeness.
     
  16. drbandkgb

    drbandkgb Titan Swapped / SAS'd Founding Member

    Messages:
    11,187
    One question... Are you using the factory Radiator? Did you at least bump this up to the larger SC rad?
     
  17. ellisfamilyokc

    ellisfamilyokc First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    OKC
    BUILD OF THE YEAR!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. emtmark

    emtmark Wheeling

    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    San Fransisco Bay aRea
    Absolutely stunning!! Bravo sir! Many have wished, you have done!
     
  19. DC xterra

    DC xterra Wheeling

    Messages:
    465
    Location:
    CT
    man im speechless, this is some great skill you got! wish i could be there to build this and learn
     
  20. lbishop

    lbishop Need Bigger Tires

    Messages:
    674
    Location:
    Polk County,TN
    Holy **** this thing is amazing :kewl:

    This is even better than the guy that dropped an ls1 in his (I think it was an ls1)
     
  21. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Thanks guys, and yes I did bump up to the s/c radiator. I was looking for an all metal but didn't have much luck so I put in the s/c radiator and we will see how it does. If it doesn't work well enough I'll be swapping it for a custom all aluminum 3 core but those bastards are spendy!
     
  22. lyons05X

    lyons05X Test Drive

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Columbus Ohio
    Can I say .... BUILD ME ONE!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  23. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    34,417
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Hole. E. Crap.

    This is a beautiful build and I'm still having a hard time picking my jaw up off the floor.
     
  24. bigjim247365

    bigjim247365 Tentacle Monsters 'ᴙ Me Supporting Member

    Messages:
    26,417
    Location:
    Hainesville IL
    everyone on this forum just got put in their place haha!

    great build man!
     
  25. Edodrian

    Edodrian Lockers Installed

    Messages:
    1,991
    Location:
    Nitro, WV
    So I have no clue when I'll get my jaw off the floor.

    This is just awesome on so many levels.

    Superb job on all of it so far!
     
  26. TheFauxFox

    TheFauxFox Titan Swapped / SAS'd Founding Member

    Messages:
    6,012
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    I read the title of this the other day.

    And then changed my pants.
     
  27. BEEFY

    BEEFY Skid Plates

    Messages:
    1,499
    Location:
    Prince George, BC, Canada
    That is one bad a$$ xterra you built there.
     
  28. Intender

    Intender Wheeling

    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Lewisville NC
    Heard of lots of people over the years talking about doing this swap, but you are the first i have seen complete it. Pretty epic undertaking. Cant wait to see it mobile.
     
  29. xterraminator

    xterraminator Wheeling

    Messages:
    440
    Location:
    Maple Ridge,BC
    This rig is simple awesome and expensive! I will be watching this thread for sure. You do very good work. When I started looking at the first couple of pictures I though what can he do with a beat up truck? Fast forward to the end and you get awesomeness.
     
  30. SASXA

    SASXA First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    Ormond Beach Florida
    Build is awesome, if I had more time and money I'd love to tackle an engine swap but sadly I don't, one thing I do recommend though is getting rid of the np231, we've blown up a few offroading with stock jeep i6's. I'd recommend an np205 since you have the torque to not need the 2.72:1 gearing the np231 has. Overall awesome build though, good work.
     
  31. Murdoch

    Murdoch Bought an X

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Toronto
    Very impressive work. Can someone tell me what an SAS build is, and yes I am a noob. He he he GM
     
  32. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra I spend more money on comic books than my X Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    27,516
    Location:
    Altoona, PA
    Removing the front independent suspension and replacing with a solid axle is the short sweet answer. But there is a lot of fab and suspension work. SAS = Solid Axle Swap.

    Sent via my walkie talkie
     
  33. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Thanks for the kudos guys, SASXA-the reason I went with the 231 is it bolts directly to the nv4500 after putting a 29 spline input in it. I have had a few jeeps with 231s and as long as you keep the chains in check they will hold up to a lot. There is also a lot of support for them. The 205 would have made for a more complicated swap as well as a longer drivetrain which I was trying to avoid.
     
  34. SASXA

    SASXA First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    Ormond Beach Florida
    I may of read passed it, what's the total length of the trans and t case?
     
  35. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    without bellhousing its 32", with bellhousing its 38 3/4"
     
  36. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Got all the fuel lines plumbed and the transmission mount finished, now I can start putting the firewall and floor back together...then the dash. Its looking pretty scary inside currently

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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  37. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    That just looks like a bad time..
     
  38. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    274
    Location:
    Utah
    Your tellin me man haha...luckily I labeled all the wiring when I took it apart so hopefully it won't take too long to get it back together. There is a dyno day at Industrial Injection on May 2 I want to make it to.
     
  39. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    That's smart. I'm about positive I'd screw it up haha. Dyno results will be awesome!
     
  40. Fromfrontier2Xterra

    Fromfrontier2Xterra I spend more money on comic books than my X Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    27,516
    Location:
    Altoona, PA
    Again this is awesome. Keep up the great work on this beast. I'm excited to see the dyno results as well.

    Sent via my walkie talkie
     

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