TerryD's 2007 Xterra S "Pepper"

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Intro Comments: This is my build for a formidable camping and trip rig for family trips, camping, hunting and mild wheeling throughout the year. I wanted body-on-frame, solid rear axle, and IFS but didn't want to break the bank.


Username: TerryD


Make: Nissan
Year: 2007
Model: Xterra
Trim: S
Color: Midnight Blue Metallic
Xterra's Codename: "Pepper"


MODS

Driveline:

New Transmission and Radiator​
Differential Breather Extension​
Secondary Timing Set TSB (5/15/17)​
Magnaflow Primary Cats (6/19/18)​
Suspension:
Removed Rear Swaybar​
285/75/16 Nitto Terra Grapplers (5/7/21)​
Melt Mod​
Rear Radflos (4/14/18)​
Timbren Rear Bumpstops (4/14/18)​
Alcans +2" +450lb (4/14/18)​
SPC UCA's (4/14/18)​
PRG U-Bolt Flip Kit (4/14/18)​
Front Extendedish Radflos with 650lb/in Springs (5/23/18)​
Removed Front Swaybar (9-20-18)​
7/8" PRG Coilover Spacers (5-10-22)​
XterraPerformance/Nisstec Extended Brake Hoses (4/3/20)​
SuperPro Steering Rack Bushings (10-13-18)​
Energy Suspension 9.9101G Front Bump Stops with top ring cut off (4/3/20)​
PRG Shackles​

Interior:
Raingler Upper Barrier Net​
Raingler Full Attic Net (6/16/17)​
Blue Ridge Overland Gear Medium Med Pack (1/1/18)​
Weathertech Floor Mats F&R​
Raingler 1/2 Barrier Net (1/9/20)​
Ram Phone and Tablet mounts​
Custom rear drawer set​
Dual Hep's MOLLE window panels​
Gentex GNTX-202 Temp/Comp Mirror (7/3/22)​
Exterior:
Matching Spare Wheel​
Luyed LED Backup bulbs (6/26/17)​
Eagle Eye Black Bezel Headlights​
@KWSRStorm Cheap Roof Rack (2/16/18)​
Armor/Protection/Recovery
Full set of Pro4X skids​
White Knuckle 10* Sliders (12/1/17)​
ARB CKMA12 Single Compressor *pending*​
Shrockworks front bumper (9/20/18)​
Warn Zeon 10S winch (9/20/18)​
Tuffy Flip Up License Plate Bracket (9/25/18)​
ARB M226 rear diff cover​
Shock Skids​

Communication:
Lip mount nmo with 2m/440 Tram antenna​
Pictures:

China Wall near Tarryall, Co July 2019:
2019-07-25-08-21-26[1].jpg

The Day I brought her home:
20160731_185409[1].jpg



Trips:

Colorado 2019
 
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TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
A quick history:

I was in the market for a SUV after DD'ing a 2000 GMC CCSB K2500 for a few years. I wanted something nimble, that I could go exploring in and not have to worry about being able to turn around a 20' long pickup.

We had test driven some 1st Gens when the wife was SUV hunting several years ago and liked them and I've had good luck with Nissans in the past so the Pathfinder and Xterra in all their flavors were on the menu. Toyota was out because I can't afford that stuff and no one else seemed to make anything that caught my eye.

We were headed to the beach and stopped at a friend's house in Richmond as we always do and there sits an Xterra in their yard. I asked when they got it and I'm told that they were trying to sell it after putting a transmission in it (husband runs a shop there). I asked what they wanted and they priced it to me too reasonably. I wound up picking it up a few weeks later after I got the funds sorted.

Fast forward, I saved and gathered parts for a year. @josx2 and several others helped me find what I was looking for and I finally lifted it and put on the 285s. I wound up swapping out the coilover-converted 5100s I originally had for some Rad 2.0's I found on Club Frontier NIB for an also too reasonable price.

I've been very happy with it and look forward to many years of enjoyment.

My original goal was to like the Xterra as much as I liked my 1998 XJ that I sold due to rust and having 3 kids (3 car seats don't fit an XJ). I'm happy to report that I'm as happy with the X as I ever was with the XJ!
 
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TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I'm so jealous of the color of your X. I was really trying to hold out when I bought my 2nd gen. But I ran out of time and got a gray one. Now every time I see that midnight blue I want to stab my truck in the face. Hahah

For the price, color was irrelevant. I actually prefer white vehicles but have recently taken a fancy to the bright red of the later 2nd gens. Can't remember the name of the color right now. There's a couple near me and I really would like to have a red one I think.
 

IssacHunter

Test Drive
Welcome to I guess our new home Terry lol. Can't say much though I've been a lurker on here for as long as I've been on TNX. Look at my avatar. Man that was a long time ago.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Welcome to I guess our new home Terry lol. Can't say much though I've been a lurker on here for as long as I've been on TNX. Look at my avatar. Man that was a long time ago.

Yeah, my avatar still showed my 265/70s and step tubes! Gotta get some time at my computer to add a bit to the thread.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Here's a couple pictures from my recent Colorado trip with some buddies.

Leaving the Cripple Creek KOA for day 1 of wheeling.
20190716_101419.jpg

Shot from Gold Camp Rd between Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs.
20190716_111142.jpg

Switchback turn on FR379 headed up to where it and Eagle Rock intersect.

20190716_161245.jpg

Adam's Yota truggy on China Wall

20190718_135929.jpg

Brett's JKU coming down FR204 off China Wall

20190719_103606.jpg
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
This fall we've gotta get caught up on some projects around the house so Xterra money is tight. Something I'm thinking more and more about though is gearing. We're talking about getting a pop-up camper next year to supplement our travels. I'm going to HAVE to have lower gears to deal with that.

There's a little, TINY part of me that wants to try to run 295's on the X. I know I can clear them in the rear and with some trimming in the front, they shouldn't be an issue. I'd like some aftermarket wheels as well to slightly widen the track width but I'm a steel wheel junkie and I can't find anything that fits the bill. I'm also considering swapping to 17" wheels if I can find something that suits me.[/sideline]

I'm torn between dropping $1600 on a pair of 3.69 differentials with a locker and just calling it "good enough" or spending $700 on some 3.54 differentials and saying "good for now" till I can get a 4.10 M205 and regear the M226 to 4.10 and add a TrueTrac or ARB down the road. I'd really like the locker sooner rather than later but I have only NEEDED a locker once and was able to take a strap to get out. I could have used my winch if I was solo but the strap was already out and hooked to the truck in front of me.
 

General_Tarfun

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I'm torn between dropping $1600 on a pair of 3.69 differentials with a locker and just calling it "good enough" or spending $700 on some 3.54 differentials and saying "good for now" till I can get a 4.10 M205 and regear the M226 to 4.10 and add a TrueTrac or ARB down the road.

That's a tough call to make, if you really don't need the locker that often I'd vote just do the 3.54 for now since your real goal sounds like the 4.10. And half of that is coming from the 'it's kind of a PIA to swap axles' angle haha.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
good build, i like how it was dented before you bought it. haha.
Thanks! I bought it as a beater. I wanted something I could bash through the woods and not be upset about.

Everyone asks when I'm going to fix it, and I tell them I'm not. We built a 1979 F150 into a mild truggy for a buddy of mine. He did all this work replacing cab corners and bondoing them in. First real trip out in it, he hooked a tree with the passenger side and wrecked the corner, even pushed the B pillar back where we had to use hydraulic jacks and chains to pull it forward so the door would latch. The next panel he just riveted over the hole and painted it like I originally suggested.

Resized952018110395164318.jpg

He's hard on stuff:

Resized_20181103_164152.jpeg
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Was hoping that truck was yours. Wanted to see more.
I've got plenty of pictures of it on my computer. It's pretty bad ass. We built it from a $500 farm truck over about two years. He's hooked on a bone stock MB3 Jeep right now so I think the truck is still broken. I need to chew his ass about that...
 

Xterrorista

Suspension Lift
Supporting Member
Location
Denton, TX
Nice build, I'll be following suit on the locker soon, just gotta get some other must have's outta the way 1st.

The f150 looks like it was fun...for awhile at least haha..
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Nice build, I'll be following suit on the locker soon, just gotta get some other must have's outta the way 1st.

The f150 looks like it was fun...for awhile at least haha..

Yeah, house projects are holding me up at the moment. Gotta get the back porch refloored and need a roof on the garage. Plus we owe a little money on Julie's school yet so we're going to get all that taken care of then I'll get serious about gears and a locker.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Well, I'm really satisfied with where the X is at. The middle girl and I took it down to NC to camp last weekend and it did great. I have a few more projects to get done but so far, I can't find any major changes I want to make in my setup.

I want to build a set of drawers for the rear with a fridge/cooler slide to make it more useful and have more accessible storage than my current plastic totes for tools and recovery gear.

I still want to find a set of 3.69 diffs for it with a locker and get the Maxgear bumper/tire/fuel can carrier, but I think that's gonna be where the building stops. It works great for how I use it and I enjoy having a pretty dependable adventure vehicle.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I happen to know a guy who is re gearing, and taking out his stock 3.69's

I appreciate the offer, but I don't have the right rear axle so I'm looking to just buy one ready to run rather than going through an install. I can do it, but it's tedious and I think it's worth the time savings to just toss in one ready to run.
 

TheCrabby1

Suspension Lift
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
This fall we've gotta get caught up on some projects around the house so Xterra money is tight. Something I'm thinking more and more about though is gearing. We're talking about getting a pop-up camper next year to supplement our travels. I'm going to HAVE to have lower gears to deal with that.

There's a little, TINY part of me that wants to try to run 295's on the X. I know I can clear them in the rear and with some trimming in the front, they shouldn't be an issue. I'd like some aftermarket wheels as well to slightly widen the track width but I'm a steel wheel junkie and I can't find anything that fits the bill. I'm also considering swapping to 17" wheels if I can find something that suits me.[/sideline]

I'm torn between dropping $1600 on a pair of 3.69 differentials with a locker and just calling it "good enough" or spending $700 on some 3.54 differentials and saying "good for now" till I can get a 4.10 M205 and regear the M226 to 4.10 and add a TrueTrac or ARB down the road. I'd really like the locker sooner rather than later but I have only NEEDED a locker once and was able to take a strap to get out. I could have used my winch if I was solo but the strap was already out and hooked to the truck in front of me.
Hello Terry , have you looked at U S Wheels crawler series ? 044 is the # had my eye on them since their matte black finish and a white X go better then PNBJ . LOL Eddie""
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Hello Terry , have you looked at U S Wheels crawler series ? 044 is the # had my eye on them since their matte black finish and a white X go better then PNBJ . LOL Eddie""

I've about given up on changing wheels. I think I'll just try to find some OE spares and run them. The 6 x 4.5 is a difficult pattern to locate and I'd really like steelies.
 

TheCrabby1

Suspension Lift
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
These are steel and fit xterra bolt patterns plus removable rings to make hub centric for diff hub size's. This is what i'm told from the tire /rim guy at CARDID. They should have less offset then stock rims also.
 

JeffPro4x

Hot Pipe
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
Location
Glenside, PA
I appreciate the offer, but I don't have the right rear axle so I'm looking to just buy one ready to run rather than going through an install. I can do it, but it's tedious and I think it's worth the time savings to just toss in one ready to run.
I happen to know a guy that is getting rid of his 3.69 r180 and m226.







@Prime
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Thanks to the plumbing adventure this weekend what money I had been able to stash back got burnt up in a flash. Not sure I'll be in a buying position any time soon.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Well, as of Tuesday, I now have a Bank 1 Catalyst Efficiency code. Kinda pissing me off since these Magnaflow cats are only about a year and a half old and have about 20k on them.

My first thought was that one of my down stream O2 sensors was dying. To check that, I swapped my down stream sensors this evening after work. They are the same sensor but they have different plugs for some reason. I took my pocket knife and trimmed off the alignment piece on the side of both connectors that didn't match up from side to side. In later years, they apparently just simplified this and used the same part number for both sides where as on the 07, they are listed as two different sensors. Anyways, that sucked but I got it done and it didn't make any difference. I'm still getting sharp measurement dives while driving. It hasn't set the code as of yet and I'm going to fill it up with some BP gas tomorrow (used Pilot/Flying J all weekend traveling) and then drive it a while and see how it goes.

My upstream O2s went in when the cats did and are both acting similar to one another so I don't think there's an issue there. My LTFT was 3-4% higher on B1 than B2 so I cleaned my MAF (why that would affect one bank and not the other I have no idea, but it needed it regardless) and forced a LTFT reset to see what that would do.

I'm going to be livid if these $300 cats are only going to last a year. And my OE cats went to the recycler so if I have to buy OEM cats I'm going to be out the deposit.

GRRR
 

General_Tarfun

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
Is there any type of warranty on them that you could use to get replacements? I thought Magnaflows had a 3 year or something close to it.

If not and you really don't want to spend the money to do it all again you could try spacing the rear sensor, as new as those cats are I'd think they might be below the spec the truck is looking for but not completely shot and that could buy you some more time. I've been running that setup for over two years/30k now without any problems, I removed the unmonitored cats out of caution in case the primaries ever broke up on me.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Haven't heard anything from Magnaflow but the code hasn't returned yet either so we'll see how it goes.

Changed the oil today and noticed my power steering return house is leaking some. Looks like I'll have to come up with the stuff to fix that soon. It also looks like my valve covers are starting to leak too. So maybe I'll be pulling the top end apart soon anyways. Might do the intake spacer when I do that. I'm not sure about it though.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Ordered my valve cover gaskets and upper plenum gasket as well as a PCV valve. Should be here this week. They want $330 to install the stuff, think I'll do this myself one Saturday.

I'm starting to think I need a thermostat and fan clutch as well.
 

General_Tarfun

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
You might want to pick up the hose that goes to the pcv valve too, it gets extremely brittle over time and cracks easily. Did the valve cover gaskets you ordered come with the o-rings for the spark plug tubes? The set I ordered didn't and I found out too late to try and track them down. It's not a hard job really. It helps if you have a good work light and make sure to reconnect anything you had to disconnect to get them off. You also need some rtv for a small corner section (it's marked in the FSM), I used this stuff and it's never leaked or given me trouble.
 
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TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Was changing the valve cover gaskets and it was going good. Then I tried to drive a spark plug tube seal out of the cover and it turns out they aren't replaceable and wrecked the cover. So now I'm waiting till next weekend to put it back together while Courtesy ships my new covers...
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Looks like we're going to have some crappy weather this weekend. May wind up finishing the job under a canopy since the X won't physically fit in my garage. Lots of coffee and frequent bourbon breaks it is!!!

Thinking about doing the spark plugs again while I'm in there. They have about 20K on them but if I go ahead and do them now, I should be good for another 100k without pulling the intake again unless one of the passenger side coils dies *knocks on wood*.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
The weather cleared up after lunch so I went out and put the driver's side valve cover back on. Apparently the rear hood seal leaked and the rear most spark plug tube was standing full of water. I'm glad I put the valve cover back on. Who knows how much water would have gotten into the engine with the valve cover off. I'm still going to drain the engine before I start it just in case there's more in there. That would be no good.

I got the plenum pulled as well. Why Nissan saw fit to run the harness across the back of the engine and give you ZERO room to move it around is beyond me. They just don't design these things to be worked on.

My stool slid out from under my feet and I thought I has pinced one of my bits off sliding down the brush guard. That hurt...

I'm working on a list of parts to order to do this job I'll post in my thread on doing this job.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I also found where my passenger side UCA had contacted the metal fender brace where the relay box mounts. It pushed the fender liner up and bent one of the bolts so that it was holding the liner in. I had to take a screw driver and pry the liner off the bent bolt to get it out.

Look like I'll be looking into a set of the Timbren front bump stops as well now. I'll need to load this thing down pretty heavy and flex it completely out to see what all I'm hitting up there.
 
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