Migrating '05 Offroad to '11 S - ideas?

Uncle-Mayhem Jul 22, 2019

  1. Uncle-Mayhem

    Uncle-Mayhem Test Drive

    Purchased my Offroad new in '05 and hoped to keep it very long term. Chose to invest in significant repairs over the last year, only to have the transmission fail last week, effectively making it no longer worth repairing. I'm actually quite sad about it. (Also needs AC compressor, windshield, has fender rust, some frame rust, etc.) Undercoated but apparently not enough. It has 190K KM.
    New parts included muffler (3 weeks ago), AT tires, brake lines, tie-rod ends, welded transfer case, brake service, etc.

    Though I have a separate car for work, I've opted to press reset on my "very long term" Xterra ownership by getting a '11 S in incredible condition. It has 170K KM but extremely well dealer maintained on all suggested repairs. This one is manual transmission but even the same color (charcoal). Immediately I'll install a hitch (it's never towed) and put an extra leaf-spring in to haul my trailer.

    I'm hoping to keep the old one as a carcass to be able to pull parts off of for a while but not sure how long my wife will accept having an X graveyard in our yard. DIY transfers are likely to include:
    - Rockford Fosgate radio -
    - Fog lights, switch
    - Tires/wheels
    - Rack cross bars
    - Storage bin (may see about having 2 on the roof)
    - Possibly some interior parts

    Any other suggestions for migrations or parts that I should try to plunder from the old one before it gets sent off? I'm not equipped for any significant mechanic work but had envisioned having someone come to tear off parts if they were needed. Or should I find a longer term storage place for the old one just in case?

    Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  2. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Honestly? The axles would be the biggest thing for me. Both if the new truck has different gears. If they're the same, then definitely the rear. Of course I'd put new bearings and brakes on it, but you now have a locking rear axle that just needs to be wired up.

    Doing the stereo will be a massive pain in the ass. The wiring was COMPLETELY different, the head unit isn't compatible, etc. I'd suggest just doing a good aftermarket head unit, new speakers, and external amplification. You can move the speakers. If you want to. They have a 1-Ohm load so they'll play louder than the stock S speakers but I don't know if the factory S radio is rated for that low of an ohm load. So you could blow the amp.

    Things to think about.
  3. Uncle-Mayhem

    Uncle-Mayhem Test Drive

    Thank you for this. Radio - yeah, looks like a lot of work and odd Ohm ratings, etc. Will remove from the old and assess further. Hadn't thought of axles. I noted the locking differential but wasn't sure of compatibility there and really only used it as a final option to avoid getting stuck, so ok for now. Sounds like good parts to keep vs. swap over immediately.
  4. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Super Moderator Supporting Member

    Glenside, PA
    Definitely the axles. Direct swap
  5. JeffNJM3

    JeffNJM3 Test Drive

    Sounds like your 05 is an automatic, and the new one is a stick. The 05 will have 3.36 gears, while the 11' will have 3.54 gears. So you will need to swap both front and rear diffs
    IM1RU likes this.
  6. Uncle-Mayhem

    Uncle-Mayhem Test Drive

    Thanks for the input. Loving the new Xterra but finding that a parts migration has become a large project. Here's an update on where I am with the migration and I can provide more detail later for those interested in similar. I did a lot of reading and research online but found the comprehensive info is hard to come by. I'll drop content here as it's all about migration, but open to moving to specific topic areas if more appropriate.

    Seats (prefer OR pre-stained version), skid plates (bolted on existing holes), cross bars, trailer harness - all migrating. Fog lights - control is different in the two X's. Look very similar and both plug in but don't fit - grrr!! Steering appears to require significant dismantling to swap radio controls so perhaps in the future.

    RF Stereo migration - As Prime suggested, migrating the RF Stereo is a massive undertaking. Removing the amp, sub, and speakers wasn't so bad with readily available instructions online, but the wiring is the main challenge. It still meant removing seats, door and various panels, cutting lots of clips and removing lots of protective sheathing while trying to avoid cutting wires. There are a variety of diagrams available but not all accurate. Part way into the project I resigned to get a headunit with CarPlay and a new set of speakers for the front doors. The OEM '11 had 2 Ohm 6x9's in the front, versus the 4 ohm 6.5 inch Kenwoods that I installed. These speakers immediately improved the sound of the '11 otherwise OEM but not enough.

    Already in deep, I decided to continue the extraction of the wiring from the Offroad to at minimum have the harnesses for the RF and to better understand how it worked/was installed (and practice dismantling). Wires run along the sides of the vehicle and under the dash - not under and across the centre console, which would have been much easier. At one point the wiring connecting the amp goes to a massive junction box under the fuse box. While I tried to trace and get the entire harness right to the radio, eventually I resolved to identify and cut the wires before the junction. From there I identified (at the doors) which wires went to the which speakers and labelled everything. (colours changes at the junction before each door).

    Dash speakers - the 05 has Phillips screws and extremely hard to remove despite a variety of approaches. Fortunately the '11 has 7 mm bolt heads. Now here is a surprise. The RF and stock dash speakers are the same Nissan speakers! Well, except that the '11 has a resistor/capacitor/?? for freq crossover I assume. My understanding is that this simply runs off the front door speakers versus directly from the RF amp in the '05. So for now, the 11 dash speakers will be repurposed and I envision using the dash for highs (front channels), which will require running new speaker wires and re-soldering the HU connections. The crossover will be handled by the speaker and not the Pioneer HU.

    Front Door speakers - will be the rear channels of the Pioneer head unit and likely to be full freq.

    Rear - Plan is to use the 05 RF amp, sub, and rear door component speakers - all which have unusual ohm ratings but built to work together. Given I have all of this gear with the wiring mapped out, it seemed reasonable to reuse. I'll run RCA line level wires down the console (RCA) and adapt them to the amp. The sub and LR speaker wires will run across under the console and I'll connect to existing speaker wires before the rear doors. I'm likely to sand/paint and reuse the interior '05 rear door panels simply because they are already designed for the RF tweeters, which I'll splice into the '11 door wires.

    Not sure where I'll find power for the system but will figure it out today.
    With the 05 interior completely dismantled and lots to try to get done today on the 11, to hopefully finally finish the project - it has been a huge project that would like have been more worthwhile (cost and time effective) to simply have a good audio shop install. Still, like many enthusiasts, I've gone down this rabbit hole which kept getting deeper but feel that I'm invested to seeing it through.

    Appreciate feedback/suggestions and while post on other migrations as they happen.

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