Dave's build: Clara the XTerra (‘01 2.4L 5spd RWD)

David Ramsay Feb 15, 2021

  1. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    3BCA7C2F-CA7D-4E22-B699-85500E6544E1.jpeg The gist of this thread is “start small.” I got this as a daily driver, so I’m starting off with a few ease of use mods, changing and flushing every fluid, and figuring out a steering problem. Any advice or additions to the list are welcome!

    I bought this for $3500 (with 138k), to allow me to sell a ‘12 Passat TDI SEL that I can no longer afford payments on. I showed up to check it out, test drove it, negotiated down to $3500, and bought it on the spot. I drove it home, and learned manual on the way (in a car at least, historically was a dirtbike guy)

    It’s been 3 weeks, and I’m loving it. Its surprisingly good on gas (around 20 combined) and the seats and cab are very comfortable for a tall, beefy athletic build. I

    Here’s the list at the moment:

    Done:
    -50 mile oil change w/ Rotella 5w-30 (138230)
    -Double Din BT Headunit w/wireless charging phone mount
    -Universal fit weathertech mats
    -rear seat cover for doggo
    -Supply of aspirin, excedrin, bandaids, trauma kit, survival kit, 1 MRE, sleeping bag, pillow
    -dog poop bags in map pocket
    -Cooler
    -Ice scraper, even though I'm in southern NC, you never know.
    -“True North” little trees under drivers seat
    -Flush and replace diff fluid (~138500)
    -Flush and replace coolant
    -500 mi oil change w/ Rotella 5w-30 (138680)
    -exterior Plastic refresh
    -Flush and replace brake fluid

    Doing:
    -Nilight Fog lights (switch in OEM fog light switch panel)
    -Grill lights (switch next to fog lights, both on a 6-slot fuse panel being set up especially for lighting w/ additions in mind)
    -Flush and replace tranny fluid, add Lucas Oil TRANSFIX just in case
    -Flush and replace clutch fluid

    To-do:
    -DETAIL THE ENGINE BAY
    -reverse lights & lasers
    -steering squeals when fully cranked right
    -Figure out steering issue (pulls right, “straight” is wheel turned ~1 inch left of dead center)
    -1500 mi oil change w/ Rotella 5w-30(139680)
    -4000 mi first Synthetic oil change (142180)
    -fix paint peeling spots
    -exterior detail (theres 3 really bad paint peeling spots, but the frame is more or less spotless)
    -interior detail (mostly pristine, a few spots of carpet stain and APC in the cup holders would do some good though)
    -Undercoat frame w/spray wax
    -put a 2nd gen xterra emblem on the rear hatch, old one is peeling and falling apart
    -Remove fake oem nerf bars?
    -figure out service engine soon light (no codes)
    -Cold air intake from 240SX?
    8E50EFD0-225A-40D0-89B0-D6BAAAB73962.jpeg DD11F15F-D8C7-4129-A6D2-D53BB83EAF31.jpeg DC2A81F0-69FB-4E81-831C-AFC02E21215F.jpeg ABF25506-C93B-46EE-96B0-D6B0163BD560.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021 at 9:42 AM
    TheCrabby1 likes this.
  2. BEEFY

    BEEFY I Smile when Gasoline Can Freeze

    Messages:
    3,008
    Location:
    Prince George, BC, Canada
    That a nice clean looking rig.
     
  3. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Yessir, the interior looks almost dealer new. It's pretty crazy. I'm hoping to get the exterior and engine bay up to the same standard.
     
  4. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Replaced the rear diff fluid today on my lunch break. I put some Valvoline High Performance 80W-90 Gear Oil (GL4+5) in that bad girl. I would've bought synthetic, but there was only the one option for 80w-90 The stuff looks red from the outside of the bottle, clear/blue when you're pouring it, and yellow once I put my blue blocking glasses on and cleared my vacuum pump, which freaked me out because at 3 separate points in time I had that jumpy feeling where I felt like I was accidentally putting dexron, antifreeze, and brake fluid in.

    The stuff I drained was about half an inch below the drain plug, looked relatively new and didn't smell but it was definitely quite brown. Not a shred of metal on the magnetic plug, though.

    A few bloody knuckles, one improvised breaker bar, and plenty of PB blaster later... She's done.

    Next up is the tranny oil. I got Valvoline full synth 75w-90 for the old girl. Should be in the next few days here. I'll check back in.
     
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  5. kirk

    kirk I'm Shady AF. Ask Anyone. Moderator

    Messages:
    18,445
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    I like it! Great color, and it looks like you are off to a great start!

    Have you checked it for outstanding recalls? There was one for the lower steering joing on the Gen1. Worth a check, as my last two both needed it done.
     
    David Ramsay likes this.
  6. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    I haven't but thanks for pointing that out, I'll take a look at that, especially with the steering issue going on.

    EDIT: just did the check by vin thing and it says none of the recalls are open. Is there another way to check?
     
  7. kirk

    kirk I'm Shady AF. Ask Anyone. Moderator

    Messages:
    18,445
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
  8. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Yup, looks like I'm clear. I may have to swap for newer beefier steering components, I don't quite need those heavy-duty towing jobbers, but whatever I have now isn't behaving exactly how its supposed to. The real beefy ones looked like they were pretty pricey.

    This thing is simple so I want to beef up what I can for a reasonable amount of money in hopes of keeping it for a while.
     
  9. kirk

    kirk I'm Shady AF. Ask Anyone. Moderator

    Messages:
    18,445
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    The Gen1 is a great platform. it responds well to almost anything you throw at it. You are off to a good start. The only real thing ill add about the steering thing (since im not real sure what its doing) jack it up and throw it on some jackstands, with the front wheels off the ground. get a buddy and have him turn the wheel while you look for movement that shouldnt be there. should be pretty easy to see if your tie rod ends or something need replacement.
     
  10. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Will do! I'm checking out nearby junkyards to see if there are any that I could pull parts from, especially non-base model seats, and idler/pitman/control arms could be something to grab too. then again, it may be better just to buy them online, save me the work and risk of getting them off something old.

    I'm slowly learning that most of this stuff just boils down to having the patience, tools, and wit to do it right and figure out a way around the roadblocks. so far that "way" has been a left down PB Blaster boulevard and a right onto breaker bar rd.

    By the way, the oil filter location is heinous on the 2.4. I've never had to work so hard to get to one in my life. Behind the passenger side Wheel well liner? really?
     
    TheCrabby1 likes this.
  11. Richard

    Richard Bought an X

    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Oregon
    Welcome. I recognize that color. I have a '03 2.4L RWD Pavement pounder and hound hauler.
     
  12. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Nice! I was wondering how many other 2 wheelers were on here. You work in the Fintech world?
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Bought an X

    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Oregon
    I am invested but not working. I am about ready to retire from work altogether.
     
  14. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    Here's the pics of the refreshed plastics and paint damage. You can also see the hood, I have an inkling that I'll have to redo the clear coat on it entirely. Any recos on how to correct this stuff would be awesome.
    IMG-2069.jpg IMG-2072.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    TerryD likes this.
  15. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    17,051
    Location:
    Dallas
    If you want to DIY the paint, https://www.automotivetouchup.com/ is likely your best bet. You can get your paint code off the door decal for the best match. If you want to pay someone, I've heard Maaco can do good work if you choose one of the better services.

    As with any painting, prep prep prep. Removing the panel can make life easier, but I wouldn't do that with the doors (don't ask me how I know). Sand the area, remove more than just the bubbled paint; try to get to where the paint is still adhered well. I don't know if it's the picture compression or what, but it looks like someone has tried to repaint the fender already. The paint on the hood doesn't look too bad, so you may be able to just sand down the top layer, give it a coat of blue to even it out, then a couple coats of clear.

    We've had owners of other blue X's that have said that color for whatever reason, just didn't adhere like some of the others. Lots of peeling around the top of the hatch and hard corners.
     
    kirk likes this.
  16. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    I see your intake mod! looks pretty sweet- I'd love some more in-depth info about how you did it, I was thinking about grabbing a CAI from a 240sx since they have the k24de in them as well, but what you have looks smarter and less like I'd have to cut holes in the hood.

    Also, Where'd you get that American flag sticker? love it. Slightly patriotic US Marine here.
     
  17. David Ramsay

    David Ramsay Test Drive

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    NC
    I'll definitely check that out. Yeah, I've always heard that old Nissans have bad paint. I can always put stickers over those spots if I do a bad job fixing them up lol
     
  18. Richard

    Richard Bought an X

    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Oregon
    The intake is just a 3.5" schedule 80 pvc then coupled using I believe 2.5 x 3.5" coupler from Amazon. Then wrapped with titanium heat tape. Amazon stuff. There is a hole left of airbox that fits the pvc almost perfectly. I just cut the sensor plug out of airbox and epoxied into pvc. This and my 3" exhaust from cat back made a pretty big difference in running. No mpg gain though. If I wanted mpg be driving a Prius.
    The flag decal I found on etsy. Ex military here also. USAF, Army NG, USNR.

     

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