AlbatrossCafe's FleXterra ~ T-Swap, 35s, 4.10s, Fully Locked

AlbatrossCafe Aug 16, 2019

  1. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Username: AlbatrossCafe

    Make:
    Nissan
    Year: 2011
    Model: Xterra
    Trim: PRO-4x
    Color: Metallic Green
    Purchase Date: May, 2016
    Location: Western WA

    - Copying this over from you-know-where so I have some presence on this site. Also, damn this 10,000 character limit! I can’t insert any hyperlinks! -

    Intro Comments: Hello everyone. This is the build thread for my Xterra. This is my first foray into a 4-wheeled off-roading vehicle. Gas sucks on this so I'll primarily be using it for weekend trips & off-road expeditions and do pretty much all other driving/commuting on my bike.

    Legend:

    [+] = Done
    [-] = In progress
    [ ] = Want
    [x] = Removed/destroyed

    ------ MODS ------

    Titan Swap List:
    [+] 2012 M205 Nissan Armada Front Differential with 3.36 gears (bought with 57k miles)
    [+] Titan-Length Radflo 2.5 coilovers powdercoated ORANGE
    [+] SPC Titan Forged Upper Control Arms
    [+] Moog Titan Lower Control Arms
    [+] Moog Titan Inner/Outer Tie Rod Ends
    [+] Cardone Titan Half-shaft CV assemblies with Heavy Duty boots
    [+] Stainless steel titan-length front brake lines

    Suspension/Lift:
    Basically I HAD this kit but with an Alcan Custom Leaf Pack.
    [x] Front Coilovers/Shocks: PRG Radflo 2.0 Coilovers with 650# Spring Rate (3" lift)
    [x] Front Coilovers/Shocks: 14mm NON-STEPPED bolt for lower shock mount so that it doesn't clunk all day
    [x] Front UCAs: SPC Upper Control Arms
    [x] Front: 1" Nisstec Spacers with extended studs
    [x] Rear Shocks: PRG Radflo 2.0 rear shocks 0-3" lift (21.5" eyelet to eyelet)
    [x] Rear: Stock Shackles (cut because they fit like garbage with Alcans)
    [x] Rear Leaves: Alcan 3" full-leaf pack replacement with 250-350lb extra weight

    [+] Rear Leaves: Alcan 4" full-leaf pack replacement with 500lb extra weight
    [+] Rear Shocks: Radflo 2.0 rear shocks 3-4" lift
    [+] Rear: Nisstec 1" bump stop extensions
    [+] Rear: Longer U-bolts & U-bolt flip kit
    [+] Rear: 3-degree PRG billet aluminum shims
    [+] Rear: PRG Adjustable Shackles set at first hole (1" of lift)
    [+] Front: PRG Cam bolts
    [+] 1" Nisstec Body Lift
    [+] Wheelers Front Superbump Bumpstop mounted on the bash plate
    [+]Trimben Active Off-road rear bumpstops

    Wheels/Tires:

    [x] 285/75/R16 MasterCraft Courser MXT
    [x] BORA 1.5" Wheel Spacers

    [+] 315/75/R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3's
    [+] BORA 2" Wheel Spacers in the rear
    [x] 2011 PRO-4x Custom painted wheels
    [+] 2015 "S" custom painted wheels

    Engine/Exhaust/Drivetrain:

    [+] Intake Manifold Spacer
    [+] Airflow Snorkel
    [+] Rear differential breather valve relocate
    [+] M205 ARB Front Locker
    [+] RuggedRocks 4.10 gears

    Armor:
    [+] Hardcore Offroad Front Bumper with full guard
    [x] Shrockworks tire-carrier rear bumper
    [+] MaxGear Extended Swingarm rear bumper
    [x] BTF Differential Cover
    [+] ARB M226 Diff cover
    [x] Stock PRO-4x skids
    [+] White Knuckle Rock sliders with rear diamond top plate
    [+] Rear Shock Skids
    [+] Hefty Fabworks Aluminum Skids (full set minus rad skid)

    Exterior:
    [+] DepHep Roof Rack with rear storage extension & expanded metal floor (10% of sale <3)
    [+] Raingler cargo net for DepHep rack with orange stitching
    [x] Remove OEM "mudflaps"
    [x] Remove OEM sidestep rails

    [+] OEM Bug Deflector
    [+] "Nissan" badge off a 1986 truck
    [+] Soft rubber mudflaps on front & rear
    [+] ARB 2000 Awning with side wind-break

    Interior:
    [+] Weathertech rubber mat on front driver area only (lol)
    [+] Raingler Hybrid Ceiling Net with orange stitching
    [+] Auto-dimming, compass, AND temperature Gentex mirror swap
    [ ] Inclinometer
    [+] Custom driver's side window no-drill molle panel

    Recovery/Comms:
    [x] 48" Hi-lift jack (dad bought Circa 2001) & Roof Mount (removed because carrying/using is too cumbersome)
    [+] Powerbuilt 3-ton Jack + jackstand combo
    [+] 20' Generic ~15,000lb Tow Strap
    [+] ARB 30' 24,000lb Snatch Strap
    [+] ARB 20,000lb Snatch Block
    [+] Smittybilt 40,000lb 8' tree saver
    [+] Smittybilt X20 10k Winch with Synthetic Line
    [+] 350A continues, 600A intermittent battery cutoff switch with 12" 2 AWG cable to cutoff winch power (to prevent phantom spooling)
    [+] QUAD ORANGE SHACKLES
    [+] Midland 75-822 CB Radio
    [+] Firestik II with HD Spring and universal mount with stainless-steel U-clamp
    [+] Bigfoot 38,000lb Soft Shackle

    Lighting/Electronics:
    [+] HID Homemade Headlight Conversion (Morimoto Kit)
    [+]Odyssey Extreme Series 34-PC1500T Battery
    [+]Zheking Battery Tie-Down
    [+] Diode Dynamics Luxeon LED Fog Lights
    [+] Thrunite TC10 V2 RECHARABLE flashlight mounted inside of driver's door with quickfist

    Other:
    [+] 4-pin trailer wire harness welded to the inside of rear bumper
    [+] Trasharoo (Tan)
    [x] VIAIR 300p Portable Compressor (this thing is GREAT)
    [+] CKMA12 ARB Onboard Air Compressor with tire fill-up kit
    [+] Spare key safe
    [+]Staun Automatic Tire Deflators 6-30 PSI

    AlbEdit
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    AdventureRider81, CHUG and TerryD like this.
  2. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    ------ PHOTOS ------

    Most Recent:
    [​IMG]


    After 1" body lift and 35's:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    April 2017 TOTM:
    [​IMG]


    After Titan Swap:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Before Titan Swap:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Before Front Bumper:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Before Lift & Tires:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    With Trailer:
    [​IMG]


    Sticker Added:
    [​IMG]


    100% stock the day after purchase... (after obligatory off-road trial):
    [​IMG]


    AlbEdit
     
  3. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Reserved for something probably
     
  4. AdventureRider81

    AdventureRider81 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Long Beach
    Glad you and your build page has made the journey! One of my favorite builds.

    FYI, you can copy and paste your pics and info over to here very easily. AG won't take them from you here. :eek:
     
  5. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Carried about 800lbs of paver blocks in the back the other day. While not moving, my shock was about an inch away from bottoming out. I don't know if this is a valid concern, but on every pothole/whoop I was worried my axle was gonna snap...

    BTW - this is with 4" lift Alcans @ +500lbs

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    scoyoc likes this.
  6. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Hmm, shouldn't your bumpstops be well compressed before your shock gets to that point? I mean it's still ok but one speed bump and the shock is gonna eat it hard. Now you have me wondering... a shock that is setup for full extension of the rear is too long for full compression? Does that mean you should live with less extension? Or maybe the rear tire stuffs before full extension anyways? :S
     
  7. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    The shock is definitely the limiting factor on compression, not tire stuffage. This pic is a little misleading maybe. I actually have a 1" extension above my bumpstop to make it longer to account for the length of the shock. I think that last 1.5" of shock travel is more like 2.25" where the bumpstop is (very rough estimate), so maybe it doesn't crush the shock as you are expecting.

    Either way, I've been running like this for a while, and I intentionally try to drop my rear off a ledge sometimes to test the bumpstops. It's always smooth with no hard thud, so short of running a camera back there to observe it, I'd like to say it is sufficiently cushioned.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  8. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    So I've had a P&P lo-pro light cage for like 6 months and finally decided to get lights and go for it. I hesitated because I hate running wires, but little did I know I would be in for something much worse....

    The stupid nutserts for the air dam were spinning. And for some reason, that tiny lightweight plastic has FOUR of them. I had to pull down the front of the headliner and cut holes in the roof crossmember support to get to the nutserts so that I could ATTEMPT to hold onto them while unscrewing from the top. Spoiler alert: That doesn't work very well either. Even with the tightest I could clamp the vice grips, I barely got the first nutsert loose. The second one I tried clamping/unscrewing for about 45 min but I couldn't get it to break, even with penetrating oil.

    So naturally, I said "F it" and grinded the other 3/4 bolt heads off. Honestly I wish I would have done this sooner. There is no reason this stupid air damn needs 4 bolts to hold it in place. I'll just pop the plastic push-fasteners in at the top, and then doubleside tape at the bottom. I sealed up the holes with some goop. I'm never dealing with those nutserts again and I regret cutting the holes into the underside.

    Yes, the airdam now has grinder marks on it. But the Xterra is tall and I think they are gonna be covered up by the lights I'm putting on. If for some reason they are a massive blight, I can just get another air damn and be done with it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Preview of the lights - still need to wire, adjust spacing, etc.

    Honestly I am happy with how they are turning out. I wanted a unique look. I HATE the look of a big lightbar, so I couldn't do that. The round lights with the guard on them look sweet, but they are just so tall and the X is tall enough. This lo-pro rack with the lo-pro lights give that "old school look" with new-school LED tech and keep the height down. I did 2 spot lights in the center and 2 spot/flood combos on the edge, which I will point outwards a few degrees. The edge ones also have "side shooters" to help light up the sides of my truck. Can't wait to see if the $100 of lighting does the trick lol


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    BTW - from start to the point where I am at now took me about 17 hours. It's been a while since I've had a moment like this with my X :)
     
  9. AdventureRider81

    AdventureRider81 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Long Beach
    I've heard about those nutserts from a few folks now. Looks like I'm keeping my stock roof rack forever. Sounds like a nightmare. 17 hours.....christ on a cracker man. Looking good though. Nice work
     
    AlbatrossCafe likes this.
  10. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Granted, I've always been a slow worker on my vehicle. Usually because I'm figuring out how to do something without breaking evreything. E.g. it took me over an hour to figure out that the front seatbelts have a plastic cover that you dislodge to get to a mounting bolt
     
    TerryD and Xterrorista like this.
  11. xEndlessfight503x

    xEndlessfight503x Bought an X

    Messages:
    106
    I really love what you have done. This thing is super cool! Plus, the color is awesome!
     
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  12. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Same here, nice low setup on the roof bar and overall great build man.
     
    AlbatrossCafe likes this.
  13. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Getting closer.... spent far too long running wiring. But I got it all plugged in and working. I'm really happy I could tap another wire (the one running to my power mirror) so that I could have the switch light on when the car is on! As long as I can put the A-pillar trim pieces back one without destroying any wires I should be good to go.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Ignition "On" - switches match dash:

    [​IMG]


    Roof lights "On":

    [​IMG]
     
    TerryD likes this.
  14. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Those look awesome man!
     
  15. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Looks good. 2 switches? Are they separating side spots from floods?
     
  16. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Exactly. That and the fact that I couldn't a 4-lead wiring harness that goes to a rocker switch online lol. I can't see turning on one and not the other really but wtvr
     
    Xterrorista likes this.
  17. dixie1865

    dixie1865 Bought an X

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    What do you think about 4.10s with 35s? Do you wish you had gone with 4.56? Asking because I'm thinking about 35s and trying to decide on gears.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  18. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Perfect ratio for automatic IMO. I drive 4.10's on 33's in the winter (winter tires) and the gearing is a little too tall for highway driving. That's about equivalent to 4.56 and 35's. I am close to 3k at 70mph with that. I will say the little bit of off-road I do with 4.10's and 33's is great with that super low-range but if you never tried both you would never know the difference.

    I've never been hurting for power with the 4.10s and off-road is perfectly fine. Also, my MPG is better than my 3.36 with 33's ;)

    On winter tires:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Finally got this light project wrapped up about 28 hours (no lie - including spinning riv nuts, running wires, making wiring harnesses, sealing, drilling, etc.) later. Lol. I hope it was worth it. I think it looks pretty good at least.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Aaaand here's how they work at night. Haven't gotten to try while driving yet, but they lit up my campsite pretty well. Made set up as easy as possible. Anything helps when it is only 19 degrees...

    I wonder how long I could run all 4 lights before I have to worry about my battery?

    [​IMG]

    Close up - Table is about 100 feet away

    [​IMG]

    Also yes, I realize it says "NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING". I think that applies to summer when this campground is actually open and they won't want 15 people staying in the general-use picnic area.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  21. Zack.

    Zack. First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    How long did you have to wait for the mount from p&p?
     
  22. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    I ordered their full light cage direct from P&P at first. That took a couple weeks cus they had one in stock. This "lo-pro" light cage I ordered from Xterra Performance AKA Nisstec and it took a good 3 months. Good thing I ordered in the summer and it stays light here till 9:30pm...
     
  23. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Turned out great man!
     
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  24. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Another quick side by side of the effectiveness of the "side shooters" on my outside flood lights on the roof. The first is with spot lights only, second is with floods. I'd say they work!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    TerryD likes this.
  25. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    That's cool! Is that just reflectors in the lenses or do they have LEDs pointing out to the sides?
     
  26. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,641
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Scene lights ftw.
     
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  27. Zack.

    Zack. First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    358
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Linky for the lights?
     
  28. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    TerryD likes this.
  29. 13ADVX

    13ADVX Bought an X

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    PA
    looks dope. I rarely use my bumper lights and cant say I'd use roof lights but man they looks so good.
     
  30. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Was just thinking the same thing. Since it gets dark at like 9:30pm in June/July/August, I end up using my headlights like 5 or 6 times all summer. In the Winter I'm not really out anywhere where the lights would make sense to use (IE not on public roads). There is always another car. But like you said, at least they look cool.... lol
     
  31. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Tried taking advantage of this time to replace my lower control arm bushings. They were worn on both sides and moving pretty badly. I started with Delrin Bushings from PRG because I have a greasable ball joint. I was trying not to be "wasteful" by replacing the whole LCA when it is not needed. Well little did I know that the bushings in our LCAs are essentially "permanent". Vulcanized rubber that is basically adhered to the LCA. I spent far too long trying to burn, cut, & press those out. Not worth it.

    So then I got control arms from Rockauto. This is what I should have done all along. Open those up and slide one into the spindle. I'm trying really hard but there is something off about them.... I can't seem to fit them into the LCA mounts. Then I realized that I bought Xterra lower control arms instead of Titan ones.

    So now I have $160 bushings and $225 control arms that I can't use. I had to drop another $275 to get the Titan arms. $660 and way too many stupid hours later and I'll finally get it right. Pretty classic for me and this truck

    [​IMG]


    Bad picture but you can see how I tried to cut two lines and peel the rubber part out with a screwdriver:

    [​IMG]


    Too short:

    [​IMG]
     
    Blackbird SR 71 likes this.
  32. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    That sucks man!! Are those greaseable lower ball joints on that LCA though?
     
  33. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Yes. I ordered the same Mevotech model as Titan replacements. One of them showed up Saturday, and FedEx delivered the other one somewhere else I think (says delivered but certainly wasn't at my house). The "missing shipment" process can take up to 5 business days. So this thing gonna stuck for a while. Good thing I'm homebound with quarantine...

    Which might actually be OK because I also found that my coilbucket is cracked. Ugh

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  34. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Went to a friend's place and was able to get this welded. It was a little weird cus I brought all of my own tools, jack, jack stand, etc (RIP COVID-19). I took the wheel & coilover off, he jumped in with the welder, and I slapped everything back on.

    Just welded over the top of the crack. I was afraid to have him weld underneath because I was worried the coilover wouldn't sit right under the coil bucket. Hopefully this is sufficient. Also, somehow I took everything off, had it welded, and put back on in about 1 hour. If you know me, you know that is a damn miracle! This is normally a 6 hour operation!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Also as an added bonus... he helped stiffen up my bike rack so that it stopped having so much forward/backwards sway. Wahoo!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    TerryD likes this.
  35. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    Also, just want to say that the new LCA's tightened up steering by like 3x. Those bushings were real bad. The truck feels MUCH better now. I did an eyeball alignment for the time being until stuff is a little less crazy. I think it is close enough. I don't see any point to trying to save your LCA unless you have a custom skid plate or limit straps or something. New LCA means new bushings AND ball joints.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
    Zack. and Prime like this.
  36. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,641
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    That's a nice house you got there. Bet the views are amazing.
     
  37. jsexton

    jsexton Wheeling Supporting Member

    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    I wish I would have seen this earlier. You were almost there on those bushings! There is a metal sleeve that the rubber is vulcanized to. You have to cut through that. Once you do that they slide out pretty easy. Getting to where you got was the hard part.
     
  38. AlbatrossCafe

    AlbatrossCafe Bought an X

    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Western WA
    I knew I was just about there. You cut through the metal sleeve or do you press it out (or both)? I was worried about cutting into the LCA.

    Thanks! This is my family's vacation cabin. Now that we are all working remote I can hang out up here during the week so I feel super lucky. Here's the view if go straight through the house and look through the other side!

    [​IMG]
     
  39. jsexton

    jsexton Wheeling Supporting Member

    Messages:
    473
    Location:
    Lewis Center, OH
    Cut through the sleeve just barely towards the ball joint (basically where you were cutting). That way if you go through a little too far it’s not a big deal. After that you can easily tap the sleeve and rubber out.
     
    AlbatrossCafe likes this.
  40. Henry

    Henry Test Drive

    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Beautiful!
     
    AlbatrossCafe likes this.

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