The MountainX Build

XMtnman02193 Sep 2, 2016

  1. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    To quote naturalist John Muir, "The mountains are calling, and I must go."
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    I was born and raised in Southeast Ohio for about 13 years, until my family decided to move to Southeast Idaho. We lived there for about 6 years, and due to unfortunate circumstances, had to move back to Ohio. The one thing I missed more than anything, has always been the mountains. I loved taking the forest service and blm roads in my old Jeep. I would spend my weekends in the mountains until the snowfall would make them impassable unless by snowmobile. Anyway, after moving to Ohio, I got my uncles 1986 Toyota 4runner, and used it to explore some of the backroads in our area. Then after 230xxx miles, the original head gasket gave way.

    Enter my 1997 Jeep Cherokee, dubbed "The Yeti".
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    3 inch lift, 31s, and a few other things here and there. The original plans were to began a slow overland type build. But unfortuanately, it came to an unfortunate demise.
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    Got rear-ended while I was waiting for a car to turn off the road by some one doing 60mph plus. I was the only one in the vehicle, and crawled out the passenger side. Apart from neck and shoulder pain and a few cuts, I was ok.

    Enter the 2000 Subaru Legacy Gt wagon.
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    Began planning a little unconventional overland rig build with this. 2 inch lift, roof top tent were the big plans. Owned this for about a year, and took it on the first big trip, up to the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. What a trip it was. Amazing and beautiful area. It has me hooked to keep coming back.
    Dolly Sods Wilderness
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    Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia.
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    So after leaving and coming home, about two days after the trip, the Subaru started overheating and I didn't feel like messing with it, and decided it wasn't really suited for the Overlanding I wanted to accomplish. So enter the 2001 Xterra.
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    Not even 24 hours into owning it, and had it on a trail.
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    Oh how much I missed the trails.

    First "mod", removing side steps and lower mud flaps.
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    Then another backroad run.
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    Plans are:
    -snorkel
    -lockers
    -sliders
    -roof top tent
    -front bumper & winch
    -rear tire carrier
    -gobi hatch ladder
    -rear drawer system
    -upgraded shocks

    It has the ground clearance I'd like to have already, and also has 31s on it already, so I'm fine with that. I'm hoping to come back and pick up where I left off with my overland Cherokee build plans. This is going to be a slow build, pending funds are they become available, so bear with me!
     
  2. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Did the first mod to the X by installing some Anzo LED pods.
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    Then took the first big trip with the X, back to Tucker County, West Virginia, which I have a feeling I will be visiting frequently.

    Sorry for the crappy picture, but got there at 9pm after waiting to sell the Subaru all day.
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    Woke up at 3am, and couldn't get back to sleep as I just came off night shifts, hadn't been camping in almost 5 years, and had picked a terrible place to camp. So, decide that I would drive to the top of Dolly Sods and watch the sunrise.
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    Thank goodness for the LEDs, they helped greatly.

    Slept at the upper parking lot in the front seat of the X, and awoke to the greatest sunrise ever.
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    Drove down the backside and did some fly fishing in the Potomac River in the Smoke Hole area, which it was my first time in about 5 years picking up a fly rod, and got lucky enough to catch my first fish on a fly rod.
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    Found a few PowerLine roads and followed them.
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    Here's the few more pictures from the trip.
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    Tygart River Valley
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    In all, it was a great trip, already planning another trip in October. Things I learned on this trip, are mostly that I need a larger tent, and even though it was beyond my control of waiting for someone to come buy my Subaru, get there to set up camp in the daylight! Had some extra funds after selling the Subaru, so hopefully some small mods will be on the way!
     
  3. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Great pictures. It's beautiful country out there. Been to WV many times and am familiar with Spruce Knob.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    Beautiful pictures! Looking forward to following your build.
     
  5. Cptpackrat

    Cptpackrat Sliders

    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    Gillette WY
    Awesome stuff, keep it coming!
     
  6. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    I absolutely love it there. I immediately told myself I'd be moving there before moving back out west. I spent a lot of time in Thomas, WV while there and the people are great. Do you live close to the area?
     
  7. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So I got the first "big" mod ordered, airtec snorkel from offroadgorilla.com. looking forward to getting and installing it!

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  8. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    I'm on the east coast of Virginia. But my wife's family is in Ohio. So I've been through there many times. I used to go camping a lot as a kid in West Virginia also.
     
  9. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Very nice. We have some good backroads in Southeast Ohio where I live at. Do you happen to part of VAXC? I joined them the other day, and pending when they have VAXCtober fest I may be going.
     
  10. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    I'm the regional officer for the VAXC.
     
  11. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Haha oh ok. Well you've probably seen my posts on the Facebook page then. Hoping to make it to VAXCtober fest for a day if it falls on the weekend of the 7th through 10th. I'll keep a watch out for it for sure.
     
  12. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Actually, no. I'm one of the few people on the planet that doesn't have Facebook.
     
  13. harryron

    harryron Titan Swapped / SAS'd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,493
    Location:
    ohio
    I can't really blame you for not having a Facebook; I usually just get one the groups to see what is going on and to find a good deal on parts.

    sent from the middle of a corn field.
     
  14. Darude

    Darude Bought an X

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    i like the Tan X my friend.
     
  15. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    As do I! It was a big reason I got it as I had never seen the tan before and really liked it. I've always been a fan of almost anything desert tan, so this fit the bill for me.
     
  16. bigjim247365

    bigjim247365 Tentacle Monsters 'ᴙ Me Supporting Member

    Messages:
    28,783
    Location:
    Hainesville IL
    great story man, love to see where this build goes.
     
  17. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So, not much really happening, just waiting to receive my snorkel and get that installed. Put some reflective tape on my back hatch and doors as a little bit of a safety mod. Did score some amber lenses for my led pod lights, originally $7 each, got them both for 50% off at Cabela's bargain cave. Then got some seat covers as well, and then put together a quick recovery bag as well to store in the back.

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  18. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    16,328
    Location:
    Dallas
    This is actually a really damned good idea.
     
  19. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So this weekend, made another trip to Tucker County, West Virginia. Yes, I love this place if you couldn't tell by three trips in one months time, let alone two of them within a week of each other almost. Anyway, had a great trip as always. Saw a lot of new things.

    Friday night went to The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV and watched the Hackensaw Boys play.
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    Then awoke the next morning and went on FR18, which starts outside of Thomas/Douglas, to find an overlook which I was given coordinates to from a member on the Mid-Atlantic Overland Society facebook page. Definitely glad I did that. Amazing view!
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    Also helped best I could and moved part of a tree out of the road. People had been passing rather close to the edge, and figured I'd do what I could.
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    Olsen fire tower
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    Then decided to go to Seneca rocks again.
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    And then last minute, decided to go to Virginia, just because
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    And definitely last minute, decided to go to Richmond International Raceway and finally go to my first Nascar race. Had a lot of fun and got to knock that off the bucket list.
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    Jeff Gordon driving the 88 car. Glad I got the chance to see one of my favorite drivers growing up drive!
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    Go Truex Jr!
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    Drove to Roanoke that night, which honestly was a really stupid idea. Didn't realize it was 3 hours from Richmond, but had a good reason for it. That's coming up.

    But that morning, woke up and found out the Blue Ridge Parkway was on the other side of town, so decided to cross that of the bucket list as well. Had a great time and loved the scenery.
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    Drove to the North Carolina line on the Blue Ridge, then turned back to Roanoke.
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    Dang I81 north traffic
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    My main reason for going to Roanoke, was that I found out about the Radical Reels Film showing at the Jefferson Center. Bit that wasn't the true reason for going. I found out that Mountain State Overland would be there, and I love watching their YouTube series, and they are part of the inspiration for my Xterra Build. I got the chance to talk with Jason and he gave me a few tips about setup for Overlanding and just chatted in general. Great guy and definitely one of the highlights of my trip.
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    Then it was time to turn north and get back home.
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    Trip mileage total
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  20. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Things learned this trip:

    1) Get good quality brakes! I'd say the previous owner put El cheapo brake pads on. Ceramic pads will DEFINITELY be going on. My rims started out clean and silver, now they are black and nasty looking.
    2) Auxilary electric cooling fan. Started running hot while climbing US-33 to the Virginia state line. Either going to put a thermometer close to monitor engine temps, or go ahead and get the preset harness to automatically turn it on, but may go with the first option.
    3) Fix front door speakers. They rattle, and when you hit one bump they cut out, hit the next and they come back.
    4) Mount and install CBS. This may have helped avoid the backups on I-81 north.
    5) Find someone to take trips with me. It gets boring, and laughing at your own jokes makes you feel a little like you belong in the looney bin.
     
  21. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    Awesome stuff man! If you're ever around the Asheville area, let me know!
     
  22. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    I will most likely take you up on that! I may make it down there next spring.
    I'd like to make it to Overland Expo in a few weeks, but Virginia Xterra Club is doing a ride that weekend and I may go for a day to run some trails with them.
     
  23. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

    Messages:
    4,290
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    I'd like to go to the Expo but it always falls on the weekend of my birthday and I have other stuff going on. A day on the trails is usually not a bad thing ;)
     
  24. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So got the snorkel in today and installed it. I didn't get any pictures of the install process, but when I put the template in place, I drilled the holes accordingly. However had to file some of them to get it finally fit. Didn't install the A-pillar bracket, but after driving it I may do so. Also, the air box that connects the snorkel to the engine bay air box seems to be about half an inch too long, so I am going to see if I can move the engine airbox forward enough to get the connecting box to mount, or, Oreillys has a 3" flex tube made by Spectre that may work.

    The only picture I have is after it was installed. Really like how it looks!
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  25. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So got around to installing a CB today finally. When I bought my X it had no ash tray, which didn't bother me, but it just had a big hole in the dash I didn't like. I had a Cobra 19 DX IV that was originally in my Jeep that I pulled before the insurance hauled it away after the wreck. It was just slight wider than the hole, so a little work from the Dremel helped. I also cut some of the back part out to help hold it in place.
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    Then had to trim some inside of the dash.
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    And voila!
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    I pushed it back after taking this picture so it would sit flush inside. Probably one of the better jobs I have done on something like this. I've already had someone ask me if it came from the factory like that. [emoji23] I just need to get it tuned and possibly install an inline filter on the power supply, as I tied it in off the 12v plug supply that was beside it, and possibly put a better ground on the antennae as I don't think it's really fully grounded where I have it mounted.
     
  26. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    The other mod I did, I took an ATV bungee net and made it work on my roof basket
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    I took the big plastic hooks off it, and got 4 threaded hooks and 4 flower pot hooks at walmart, then put then in place. The front edge has the lip on the basket they fit to no problem, but I may drill through just so I know they will stay put, as I did the same on the back. Very happy with how this turned out as well.
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  27. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Nice job on the radio!
     
  28. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Thanks! I'm really glad with how it turned out. Fingers crossed VAXCTOBER fest will happen to be the weekend I have put in for vacation, and get the rest of the rig prepped!
     
  29. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Finally got some trail action in! Not a lot of pictures, but these are what I have. I've been on nights for the last 3 days, so I woke up around 1030 this morning to a text from my buddy saying he was going out to the woods with some other guys and invited me out. So out the driveway I went at 1040. Had a great time despite all the dust, and the X definitely impressed me as well as the guys I was with. A lift kit and 33s are most likely going to happen next spring!

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  30. Nd4SpdSe

    Nd4SpdSe First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    Quebec, QC
    For the heat issue, it could be a few things, but if you need an upgrade to the cooling system, popping in the rad from a Supercharged X is an upgrade.
     
  31. Cptpackrat

    Cptpackrat Sliders

    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    Gillette WY
    Another thing you could do to help cooling as stated is to upgrade the Radiator. Me personally I chose to go the R34 Skyline radiator which is a 3-row and requires very little to fit. Its also solid aluminum so you dont have to worry about cracking a plastic end tank. I run at 170-175* on the highway and at about 180* on trail. It works really good and is only $40 more than the SC if you shop around. I have the how to in my signature.

    Keep it up, shaping up to be a nice build!
     
  32. Joey

    Joey First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    304
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Sounds like you have the right truck for the job. I have loved owning my X. It just keeps running and running.
     
  33. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Thank you! I really like the X and definitely seems like a great platform for any kind of build really.
     
  34. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Mounted an auxiliary electric fan on the front of the X the other day. I plan on doing the supercharged radiator next spring, so put this on for the time being. Also realized that will be a project as the lower support us rusted away, and the lower passenger side of the radiator is held in by a ziptie.

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    Busy week ahead trying to get my X prepped for VAXCtober fest with Virginia Xterra Club this coming weekend!
     
  35. Joey

    Joey First Fill-Up (of many)

    Messages:
    304
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I'll be interested in knowing how the fans work out for ya. Zip ties and duct tape O ya
     
  36. Riz98

    Riz98 Test Drive

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    lemoore, ca
  37. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    So this past weekend got a little interesting. Started out with making the trip to Harrisonburg, VA to rendezvous with some member of VAXC for VAXCtober Fest. Met up around noon and rolled up to camp in GWNF.
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    Made a quick run to the top of Flagpole Knob.
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    Woke up the next morning and went to Meadow Knob, which was a lot of fun.
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    Then made the run back up to Flagpole and then back to camp. I had to roll out to make it back to Thomas, WV. But then 6 miles out of Seneca Rock, WV...[​IMG]
    Oil light came on and made it this far before I pulled off and shut it down. Sat for 4 hours and finally decided to make as far as I could, which luckily I made it to Thomas that evening. Long story short on it, I'm gonna be replacing a motor. But had a nice Sunday to relax and enjoy Thomas more than what I usually do.
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    [​IMG]https://vimeo.com/187121333

    Got to watch Gangstagrass as well at the Purple Fiddle
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    Then got up Monday morning and picked up a Uhaul truck, had to drive to Elkins to pick up a trailer and then drive back to Thomas to get loaded up and head back home.
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    Had fun wheeling, but breaking down sucks. Now to find a motor...
     
  38. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,885
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    What is it with the motors lately?!

    That sucks man. Sorry to hear that.
     
  39. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    No real new updates, except for I determined the noise in the motor is valvetrain noise. Just waiting for the time to tear the heads off and get them rebuilt. Did replace the front shocks since I developed a thump. This is what I found on the passenger side [​IMG]

    Then actually made the snorkel the source of intake for the air. Didn't want to lose the sensor, so took a piece of 2" ABS pipe cap which fits PERFECT in the old intake spot. Drilled out the hole and put the sensor grommet in, then some clear sealant (yes it went on white but dried clear) and bam functioning snorkel finally!
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  40. XMtnman02193

    XMtnman02193 Test Drive

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    US
    Got some new shoes for Denali today. Was hoping for some 33x10.5s, but stuck with 31s till next spring at least.
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