Brunnie's Build - Tonka

Brunnie Jul 30, 2019

  1. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Intro Comments: Tonka is a daily driver so it has remained a mostly stock Xterra. I do take it off road mainly doing roads that are rated 4 and below, which Colorado has tons of for fun exploring. We’ve been over Tincup Pass, Tomichi Pass, Cumberland Pass (and to the top of the hill there), up many of the roads in the Buena Vista, Fairplay, Alma, Como area.

    Username: Brunnie

    Xterra Nickname: Tonka

    Make: Nissan
    Year: 2011
    Model: Xterra
    Trim: S
    Color: Avalanche White

    Factory Options:
    Mud Flaps (removed)

    Suspension/Steering:
    Front:
    Pro 4 suspension
    Moog Sway Bar Links
    Lift spacer

    Rear:
    Pro 4 Shocks
    Re-arched Springs with an extra leaf added
    Nisstec Adjustable Lift Shackles (set for 1.5 inches of lift)

    Tires:
    265/70R16 Firestone Destination AT

    Interior Mods:
    LED interior lighting
    Upgraded the LED lighting in the Map Light
    LED “junk tray” lighting
    2 Additional power outlets
    DeLorme InReach SE mount in rear area
    Auto Dimming Mirror w/Temperature & Compass
    Pathfnder Overhead Temperature and Compass display
    2 Garmin Nuvis GPS mount
    Hep Design Rear window Molle panel
    Raingler Ceiling Cargo Net
    A Krieger 1100W inverter

    Exterior Mods:
    Aftermarket Fog Lights
    Aftermarket LED floodlights
    Rear Differential Breather mod (Nissan P/N 38323-C6010 or 3823-C601A barbed nipple for a C200 axle)
    16" Bosch Rear Window Wiper (Bosch p/n R1617) and new spring (Ace Hardware spring #162)
    Tow hook on Driver's side
    Gas Hood Strut Kit
    Pro-4 Skid plates
    Quick Fist Rubber Clamps
    Hi-Lift Jack Mounts
    ARB 1250x2100 Awning

    Misc Stuff:
    Funtreks Colorado Backroads &4 WD Trails Books
    Funtreks Moab Backroads & 4 WD Trails Book
    Numerous Trails Illustrated Maps
    All the NFS maps for Colorado
    Boulder Tire Deflators
    Viair 400P Portable Compressor
    GearAmerica Recovery Tow Strap
    motormic Shackle Receiver
    Home Built Cooler Retainer, recently modified by adding a small shelf (see below)
    Hi-Lift 48" jack
    Uniden Pro520XL cb and 4' Firestick antenna
    4 Tire Inflator/Deflator
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  2. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,485
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Where's dem pichas!?
     
    Fromfrontier2Xterra likes this.
  3. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Flood Lights and GPSs

    These are the floodlights up front, snagged them from the local Pnp for a whopping $8.

    Flood-1.png Flood-2.png
    I have a Nuvi 2555 for street Nav:
    Nuvi2555.jpg
    It is mounted in the upper junk tray using a RAM Mount HOL-GA52U, 2 ball mounts and a 3 inch Double Socket Arm.

    For trail Nav I have a Garmin Drive 60:
    Drive60.jpg
    There is no RAM mount for it, so I used the RAM X mount, 2 ball mounts and another 3 inch Double Socket Arm.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  4. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Hi-Lift Jack & Mounts, Shovel Mounts

    I also came across a deal on Craigslist for a Hi-Lift jack. So that meant I had to get mounts for it and here is how that turned out. The mounts are at an angle for 2 reasons. 1 - Easier to load and unload the jack while standing on the ground. 2 - They clear the garage door.

    JackMounts.jpg Mount-1.jpg Mount-2.jpg Mount-3.jpg

    I also have a need to carry a shovel at times but being the frugal person I am I didn't want to spend a bunch of money for a way to hold it. A trip to a local 4wd store and I found Quik Fist Clamps. One original size and one mini size and the shovel rides ontop of the stock crossbars.
    IMG_0972.jpg IMG_0973.jpg IMG_0975.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  5. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Cooler Holder

    Prepping for Road Trips, and this fall's trip, I got to thinking about how to keep the cooler from sliding around. Last year I didn't have any problems, even going back to Crystal Mill by Marble, CO, however I still wanted something to keep things in place so I came up with this idea.

    First I put in a tie point from a Pathfinder.

    IMG_0487.JPG

    Then I measured how far out from the track it was to the small storage space on the right side, 13" in this case, and I cut two "legs" and attached them to a 24X12 inch board. The board fits into the track so that keeps it from moving. I covered the board with black material, used for headliners, that I got from a fabric store. I glued it in place, and touched up a bit with staples. Added a little shelf to the end that goes near the wheel well. The 5 lb. propane tank sits in the section between the legs and we put a gallon water jug on the shelf.

    IMG_0490.JPG IMG_0489.JPG IMG_0987.jpg
    (Got a little sloppy with the spray glue. *ugh*)

    So here it is in actual final configuration. I used a strap to go from the tie point around the cooler and to the seat latch.

    IMG_0488.JPG complete.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  6. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Lights and Temperature Module

    A couple of weeks ago was "install a mod I was testing on the bench" day. The LED lights I put in the Map Light just weren't bright enough for me so.... it is off to the bench and grab a spare map light fixture and start experimenting.

    A while back I purchased this LED reel from Amazon for another project.
    SUPERNIGHT LED Light Strip Cool White 7000K The project left me with a surplus of light strip so I got the bright idea for modding the map light.

    The nice part about this led strip is that you can cut to length, at the marks, with 3 LEDs being the minimum. That length just fits inside the Map Light. A bit of cutting and modding the fixture itself, adding a piece of matte board cut to fit, some 30 ga wire for strip to strip connections, and finally 26 ga wire for power and ground to the posts in the fixture and it looks like this.
    Map Light 1.jpg Map Light 2.jpg

    Now everyone knows about adding a Gentex Self Dimming Temperature/Compass mirror (and I did the same) but few know about the adaption of a Pathfinder Temperature Compass Module.
    PathfinderTemperature.jpg
    This took a bit of engineering as I had to come up with an oscillator circuit to simulate the input from the speedometer. I love the fact that the "ICE" warning will stay on when the temperature drops that low. The Mirror display doesn't keep the Ice warning up very long.
     
  7. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    CB and Antenna

    Everybody has their opinion on where to mount a CB inside the rig, I'm no different, so where you mount yours is a matter of taste for you. I bought a Uniden Pro520XL radio. It has the features I wanted, and an inexpensive price tag.
    Uniden_Pro520XL.jpg Then to make it "work" I bought a 4' Firestick antenna. Firestick_Antenna.jpg

    Now where to mount the antenna is a different subject. I had seen where some had put the mount behind the tail light housing, but that also involved a bunch of filing to make a notch plus it had the potential of breaking the housing.
    So I opted to put the mount above the housing. That did involve a bit of pounding with a 2 lb sledge on an anvil to get the bracket "reshaped" a bit so it didn't hit the body.

    Antenna-2.jpg Antenna-1.jpg

    To get into the garage, I used a quick disconnect on the antenna. It all works just fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
    Blackbird SR 71 likes this.
  8. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Nice daily build! I've got the S without fogs and am considering buying a kit off Amazon and maybe getting a higher lumen yellow/amber bulb so I can see better in the actual snow and fog. Did you have wiring to the lights before you installed the aftermarket housings? I'm assuming you having an S trim, you were without fogs as well..?

    Thanks,
    Lucas
     
  9. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Thanks. I got the fog lights from Amazon, and used the wiring that came with the kit. That was way less expensive than trying to find the correct light stalk with fog lights switch.
     
    Xterrorista likes this.
  10. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Put in the part number for the Bosch 16" rear wiper blade.
     
  11. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    After seeing the Deflator/Inflator that PhullD had, I just had to build one. Sure makes deflating/inflating a lot easier.

    Parts List:
    3/8-in Barb Tee - Qty 2
    3/8-in Barb x MIP adapter Fitting - Qty 4
    1/4 to 5/8-in Screw Hose clamps - Qty 10
    Steel NPT 1/4-in Industrial - Qty 1
    3/8-in (ID) 50' PVC Air Hose - Qty 1
    1/4-in NPT Mini Ball valve - Qty 1
    Joe's Racing 32307 (0 to 60 PSI) Tire Pressure Gauge - Qty 1
    Harzole 1 Pake AC-205F Lock on air chuck - Qty 4
    1/4" NPT Female / FPT X 4 Way Cross Intersection Brass Fitting
    Teflon Tape - Qty 1 roll


    Total cost came to about $110.

    Delfator.jpg
     
  12. scoyoc

    scoyoc Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Moab, UT
    That's awesome! I just might have to build one myself.
     
  13. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Hmm.. That's pretty..cool, I think. I just got the OGorilla set that screw onto the stem but haven't done a test run yet. Do you use this here thingama'jiger to air back up too? I'm going to have to go track down PhullD's build..
     
  14. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    When we met up in Moab, I had a set of deflators and he brought out his setup. He was down to 18 lbs before I had 2 of mine down to 20.
    Later in the day, when we were back on hard road in Arches NP, he had his tires back up to pressure before I could get 3 of mine back up to 37 lbs.

    As the week wore on my GF and I developed a system for deflation that didn't use the deflators I had. They were just too slow. Inflation went quicker as she took care of the stem caps while I did the inflation and pressure measurements. Now with this setup I know that while all 4 tires are airing up I can be doing some other minor chores.

    What parts I couldn't get at Lowes I got from Amazon.
     
    scoyoc and Xterrorista like this.
  15. Xterrorista

    Xterrorista Bumpers Installed Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Aurora, CO
    Yeah, that's a pretty sweet setup.. Bout 60-70$ more than this set I've got but shoot, I bet I spend 45 mins running around trying to get 40# all around and always end up settling at 35ish just to move on. I went with a jump pack that had OBA instead of getting a dedicated pump. Now I wish I hadn't bought that big thing and went with better quality, smaller units.
    We'll have to get together and hit some trails sometime, there's a million miles of trail I haven't seen yet in these parts~
     
  16. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin Super Moderator

    Messages:
    38,485
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    That's pretty damn cool.
     
  17. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Haha nice! My only regret is not getting the ARB twin compressor, but I can fill all 4 of my 315/75R16's from 13-15psi to 35psi in 7min here. With the higher elevation in CO and UT it took a bit longer.
     
    TerryD, Xterrorista and scoyoc like this.
  18. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Installed a pair of Nisstec Adjustable Shackles.

    Now I slope nose down for a bit until I can install spacers up front. So for a while I'll get better gas mileage 'cause I'm always runnin' downhill. ;)

    Shackle.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  19. MMac

    MMac Test Drive

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Oxford Hills, Maine
    I like what you've done with your X so far! How are you liking the ride quality with the shackle/spacer lift and the 4600's? I myself don't do anything crazy off-road, eventually I would like to lift the X 1-2 inches for more clearance/aesthetics.
     
  20. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Ride quality overall hasn't changed much. It is stiff, sometimes stiffer, but that also depends on tire pressure and road conditions.
    The general impression I get is that I can tell I sit a bit higher, but that is it. I know I sit a bit higher than a friend's stock '14 Pro4.

    I haven't been out on any backroads yet but there's plenty of time for that.
     
    MMac and Xterrorista like this.
  21. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    That shackle is set on the lowest setting. With the spacer added you might want to put it on the middle setting to preserve the rake.

    The OEM leaf packs are notoriously weak, if you find it a bit bouncy or soft when loaded up, Hellwig 550 helper springs are a good solution until the OEM leafs wear out. I got another two years out of my springs with the helpers. Also I see you took the rear sway bar off, did you notice it when you took it off?
     
    MMac and Brunnie like this.
  22. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    For normal daily driving I haven't noticed any difference. I need to get it out on a trail and see what it does. I did some measuring before adding the shackle and then after the shackle and spacer and the rake is almost the same.
     
    MMac likes this.
  23. MMac

    MMac Test Drive

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Oxford Hills, Maine
    What spacer are you running up front? and are you still running stock UCA's? With the AAL and Shackles on the lowest setting, how much lift did you get out of it in the back? Sorry for all of the questions lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  24. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    The spacer is about 1/2 inch thick (I think). I didn't measure it. PhullD had it and sent it to me. Right now I still have stock UCAs, but I am going to install a set of SPCs that I have sitting on the shelf when the weather gets warmer.

    When I had the springs rebuilt, and the shop added an extra leaf, I gained about an inch of lift in the back. Now the lift is almost 2 inches. The spacer in the front raised that by about an inch.

    Last night my GF's 2013 Xterra was sitting next to mine and it was very easy to see that I was about 2 inches taller than hers. Our vehicles have the same tires, so no difference there, just the suspension changes to mine.
     
  25. MMac

    MMac Test Drive

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Oxford Hills, Maine
    Thanks for the info. Notice any driveline vibrations with 2 inch lift in the back? I have my eye on this kit from Nisstec: http://nissteclifts.com/2-Spacer-AAL-Kit-With-UCAs-05-Xterra_p_479.html I noticed it comes with the axle shims. One last question LOL, did you install Cam bolts?
     
  26. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Haven't needed cam bolts yet... (knock on wood)... but they are on the shelf when and if I need them. I haven't noticed any driveline vibration at all.
     
    bbuhlman likes this.
  27. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    More rake lol! You want like 1-1.5" when loaded, about 2" difference unloaded IMO. That rear axle needs room to articulate, it's the bread and butter offroad. That's just my opinion though. I never understood the people that wanted it the same front and rear, it always looks weird like the truck is taking a dump.

    With the front spacer only giving about an inch of lift, you might not need the cam bolts at all. It's truck specific though, Nissan didn't build them exactly the same. That goes for trimming the coil buckets with the SPC arms installed. Some people claim to not have to grind anything, others like myself had to grind about a half inch. I will say though, for the effort it is easier to just install them, the alignment shops tend not to understand that the SPC arms are adjustable too.

    As for Vibrations anything at about 2" and under you are usually ok. The vibrations you do feel when accelerating will typically "move" when the suspension settles and tend to be more when you are going approx. 60-65mph. You can try shimming, but understand that from 1-3" of lift, the shim just moves where the vibrations go, it doesn't eliminate them. Over 3" you are getting into custom shaft territory. Had Nissan put the cv joint on the other end you could correct it with shims like most 4x4 trucks, but alas the engineers who designed it likely had little offroad experience did not think about this. A double cardan or custom driveshaft can solve this issue but it will cost about 600-1200$ depending on which route you go.
     
    MMac likes this.
  28. outback97

    outback97 Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    97
    I could be wrong but I was under the impression that rear lift from shackles usually doesn't change pinion angle enough to require any shimming, while lift from leaf springs changes it enough to often require shims.

    FWIW on my '06 with OME springs and leafs (1.5" lift) I definitely have positive camber in the front that has slightly changed the wear of the tires, and I definitely had vibrations in the rear (around 35-40 MPH) that went away, pretty much completely and at all speeds, with the addition of shims.

    Which backs up your comment that it's truck specific.
     
  29. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Some of the older 2nd gens came with cam bolts from the factory as well. Makes you wonder why the later models did not.

    It doesn't matter which method lifts the rear, you are essentially moving the axle down (creating the lift) which changes the pinion angle. Shackles move it down from the rear by creating a longer arch on one end, the AAL can either increase the stiffness reducing the sagging and/or has a deeper arch pushing the leaf pack down (and of course the extra space it uses in the pack itself). A new leaf pack can do all those things, ie stiffer, longer, more arched. Even more confusing in regards to pinion angles some leaf packs have a combo of the above mentioned that makes it very difficult to rectify the shim equation that typically goes 1 degree per inch (looking at you Alcans!). If I had to choose I would always recommend the shackle on OEM setups initially because when the pack is done you can re-use it on the next setup.

    In regards to your vibrations, there are a lot of factors that play into them. There is no consistent relation with a specific lift and vibrations from one truck to the next but the rule is usually 1 degree per lift. Usually under 2" of lift a shim will correct the angle enough that the vibrations are so subtle they are no longer noticeable, or have moved to a speed that you hardly notice. It's a rotating mass, whenever it decides to resonate varies per setup and vehicle. Above that 3" driveshaft length is also a factor, and even if you don't feel them vibes over all the other noises and such (wind noise, knobby tires) it may start eating u-joints.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    MMac likes this.
  30. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Got around to moving the lift bolt to the 1.5 inch hole. With the jack mounts on the rack, I've got about 1 inch of clearance when I pull into the garage. Rake is now about 2.5 inches, give or take a bit.

    I need to get over to Garden of the Gods or someplace scenic and take a few photos. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
    PhullD likes this.
  31. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Santa brought a project.

    A Krieger 1100W inverter

    Pics to come after installation.

    PS... he also brought a new garage door torsion spring. *ugh*
    I sure wasn't counting on that breaking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
    MMac likes this.
  32. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    So the trip to Moab, down Shafer Trail (no shade), and a lunch stop, planted the idea that we really needed an awning.

    Some SuperStrut from Lowes
    4 Ubolt pipe clamps from McMaster Carr and a bit of cutting and drilling and it is mounted on the passenger side of Tonka, similiar to this:

    Awning.PNG

    Once the weather is nicer, I'll take full pics and update this.
     
  33. PhullD

    PhullD Bought an X

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    If you can, try to get it so it is spring loaded like the roll-up awnings on the old campers. I hate unfolding mine, especially if there is a bit of wind.
     
  34. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    A bit late for that. ;)
    I already got it. Wish I had the funds for a retractable awning.
     
  35. Brunnie

    Brunnie First Fill-Up (of many) Supporting Member

    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Well, it has been a while since any updates and with this Covid stuff rather hard to get any decent or good photos.

    SO.... For Christmas my GF gave me a 1100W inverter. It took me the longest time to decide where I wanted it, thinking about how we had the back end set up and how to get the wiring to it, but I finally got it all done today.

    I put the inverter on a pair of strap aluminum pieces that I bolted to the rear driver side wall. It is out of the way for the kitchen/pantry stuff and not in the way of where the stove is kept.

    Inverter.JPG

    To get power to it, I redid the battery terminals to a set of Marine terminals and then ran the power to a 100A fuse block.

    Battery.JPG

    Fuse.JPG
    Power and Ground wires go through the firewall on the driver's side using the rubber grommet then down the door channel to the back.

    Also, a while ago, I said I installed an ARB awning. Well here is a photo.

    Awning.jpg
     
    PhullD likes this.

Share This Page