I am embarking on this adventure to eliminate the drum brakes and get better performing rear brakes. This takes place by swapping the rear disc brakes from an 88-95 Pathfinder. This truck also has the H233 rear axle, but with some differences. The axle is slightly narrower (3" total from what I've read), the axle shafts are 31 spline (as opposed to our 33 spline), the axle shafts are also a few millimeters thinner, and of course it's set up for coil springs instead of leafs. I'll be building the Xterra axle shafts with the disc brakes on the work bench before even tearing into my truck. Which means I'll also be buying new shafts for the X as well as new bearings, ABS tone rings, and parking brake cables. Once the new disc brake shafts are built, it'll be a quick and easy swap onto the truck without having to futz with rebuilding the drum parking brake with it bolted to the truck. The easy way. To accomplish the swap the backing plates from the Pathfinder have to be removed from the axles and swapped on to the X axles. This requires some special kit. First is Nissan tool part number J-45073. This is the tool for removing the axle retaining nut and bearing assembly from the axle shaft. I'll be referring to this tool many times throughout the build. I'm lucky enough to have a dealership owned by a customer of mine and they let me borrow the kit to do the work at home. Any dealership should have it and may do the work for you if you ask. The second tool is a shop press. In order to reassemble everything takes 4 tons of force according to the FSM. Other than that, its just hand tools and basic know how. As far as parts, here's what you need... Hit the junk yard and find a 4x4 SE Pathfinder. Like this one. Being that this is a "pull it your damn self" yard, I chose to take the entire axle shaft assembly including calipers and lines. If you find a yard that will press the backing plates off for you, you don't need the special tool. Yet. Plus, the calipers cost me $18 from the yard and the core on remanufactured calipers from autozone is $22. So I'll use these scrap calipers as the core and save a few bucks. 4 17mm nuts hold the axle assembly in the tube. I cut the hard line on the axle side, cut the stock parking brake cables, removed the 4 nuts and the whole thing just slides out of the axle housing. I took the caliper off in order to leave the rotors since there is no core on them and I want slotted rotors anyway. Here's what you get off the truck. Cost me $139 out the door. Here's a list of what I'm buying to make this job easier. I'll update with prices as I make the purchases. Complete Xterra axle shafts without the actual drums - These must come from a 4x4. The 2WD truck uses a different setup New Xterra parking brake cables - $41 from the dealership New Xterra ABS rings - As recommended by the FSM. Any time you remove one, replace with new. - $43 each from the dealership, 2 required 2nd gen C200 rear axle mounting studs - You need 4 of these. - Nissan P/N: 43083-EB000 - $6 each - These are longer studs required for mounting the disc brake backing plate to the axle tube. New axle bearings and seals - Required. The old bearings do not come out in one piece. - $80 each for the outer bearing from the dealership - $6 each for the outer and inner grease seals - $9 each for new lock washers (as recommended by the FSM) - $6 each for the inner axle seals Reman Pathfinder calipers (using junk yard calipers for core) - Source: AutoZone - P/N: Duralast C8156 & C8157 - Cost: $43.99 w/ $22 Core Each Parking brake hardware kit for 95 300ZX - Replaces all of the springs, pins, and adjusters for the drum parking brake - Source: RockAuto - P/N: CARLSON 17418 - Cost: $16 Parking brake shoes - Source: RockAuto - P/N: CENTRIC 11106350 - Cost: $16 I was going to do slotted rotors, but they weren't available when it came time to order them. So I got standard ones. BUT they are vented, which was unexpected and welcome. New Pathfinder rotors. Two parts. - Source: Rock Auto - P/N: PRONTO BR31071 - Cost: $15.61 Each Rear Pads. Autozone Duralast Gold for 95 Pathfinder - Source: Autozone - P/N: DG401 - Cost: $35.99 - Link: Click here Rear Pathfinder stainless soft lines - Source: 4x4Parts - P/N: BPACPF2LINES - Cost: $50 - http://www.4x4parts.com/i-18980284-pathfinder-rear-caliper-brake-lines.html - Credit to SRStaff for the link Once you have your Pathy axle shafts, this is where the tool comes in. It bolts on to those same 4 studs that held the axle to the truck and using the factory nuts pushes the axle shaft off of the backing plate. In order to do this, you need to remove the axle nut that is holding the entire assembly together. First, use a flat head screwdriver and hammer to gently flatten out all of the tabs on the lock washer that is under the nut. These flat tabs are all the way around. Once they're flattened out the special socket for the nut goes down over the axle shaft. Insert the entire axle shaft in a vise to hold it still, put a breaker bar on the socket and turn. It should just kind of POP and then thread off REALLY easily. With the nut removed, also remove the lock washer and retaining washer from the axle shaft. Throw these away. They will not be needed. Now we're ready for the puller. The outer shaft slides all the way down the axle shaft, with the locking collar over it. The 4-hole puller collar gets bolted down on the 4 studs on the axle. From here the threaded rod gets inserted in the top and tightened down. Using the metal handle in the tab on the sleeve for counter pressure. Once you get enough pressure the axle shaft will pop off the plate and allow removal. Repeat for side two. Now, the only part of these that you actually need is the plate that the parking brake and calipers mount to. Which means that the bearing cups are next to go. In order to remove them from the backing plate, you have to drive out the studs. Do this however you deem necessary, and thrown them in the trash. They are too short for the axle flange on the Xterra. Once you knock all 4 studs out the bearing cups need to be removed from the plate. This may require a press on 50% of the ones out there. I say this because I was able to knock one out fairly easily with a cheap hammer. The other won't budge w/ a 3lb sledge. With the bearing cups removed it's time for some cleanup. I'm going to completely degrease and paint the backing plates as well as cut off the old rusted dust shield. I'm also going to pick up a press this week and some Xterra axles so I can continue with this project. I was finally able to beat the other bearing cup out tonight. It took some doing, but a big enough hammer can fix a lot. So that's all in the trash. Also got the old, busted, and rusted dust shields off the plates. They're welded on. So it wasn't easy. There was a lot of prying and metal twisting. But they were so rotten, it didn't require power tools. Once I beat off all the old dust with a steel brush and drill brush. It was all ready for a fresh coat of paint. Painted both sides and all the crevasses. Next is to modify the plates to accept the Xterra parking brake cables. The Xterra cables are side specific. The short one is the drivers side and the long one is the passenger side. When you insert the cable into the backing plate, you'll notice that the aluminum goes into the hole correctly, but the bolt holes do not line up with the pretapped ones for the pathfinder cables. One 13/64 drill bit and 6mmx1.0 tap later, we now have the correct holes for the cables. Once the holes are drilled and tapped, carefully insert the bolts that were removed from the Pathfinder cables and tighten. Be careful with the outside holes as there isn't a lot of metal there, but plenty to hold them in place. Just don't over tighten them. The process is exactly the same on the other side. This concludes the first post regarding prep and disassembly of the Pathfinder disc brake plates. Next well move on to preparation and assembly of the Xterra axle shafts.