Bug Out Frontier Build - Nissan Frontier Forum
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Bug Out Frontier Build

This truck is my daily driver and weekend fun rig. I think a nice balance of practical mods will bring it to the SHTF vehicle I want without completely sacrificing it's day-to-day driving. I have been meaning to start a build thread to log my progress for a while so this should be fun.

- The Rig -

Username: ctrcic
Year: 2004
Make: Nissan
Model: Frontier
Trim: XE Crew Cab Short Bed
Color: Silver

- Mods -

Interior:
- JVC Stereo

Exterior:
- Plasti-dipped Rear Bumper, Fender Flares, Grill, Fog Light Inserts, Tailgate Lettering, and Rims.
- WeatherTech Window Deflectors

Drivetrain:
- Nothing Yet

Suspension & Tires:
- 31x10.5x15 BFG AT KO2s
- Torsion Bars Cranked for 1.5" of Lift
- Low-Profile Bump Stops
- KYB Excel G Shocks (replacement for factory)

Armor:
- Nothing Yet

Performance:
- Gibson Exhaust
- Airbox Mod

Gear and Other:
- Nothing Yet

- Planned -

Interior:
- MOLLE Seat Covers
- Driver Side Concealed Carry Holster
- Rifle Rack (undecided on where and how yet)
- New Sound System (at some point)

Exterior:
- New OEM headlights DIY blacked out
- Locking Tonneau Cover
- Bed Rack w/ Rooftop Tent
- Roof rack (think Gobi Stealth Rack)

Suspension & Tires:
- 4x4 Parts 3" Suspension Lift
- Bilstein Shocks
- 32" or 33" BFG AT KO2s

Armor:
- Rear Bumper
- Rock Sliders
- Skid Plates
- Front Bumper

Performance:
- K&N CAI or Snorkel (undecided as of now)
- DT Headers (some day)

Gear and Other:
- Bed Mounted Jerry Cans
- Bed Mounted Shovel and Hi-Lift Jack
- Smitty Built Winch (mounted in front bumper)

If money were not an issue, I would kill to do a V8 swap but it probably won't happen any time soon/ever.

I took pictures and kept track of my mods as I went so even though some of these they are done as of now I'll be posting some belated pics and write ups on what I have already done! I am always happy to hear input and advice so shoot if you got it!

Below are a couple pics snapped from the day I bought it. I had the emergency brake line fixed (you can see it was snapped), power steering belt replaced (it was bad) and the timing belt changed (had no record of when it was changed). Everything else has been DIY on my part.
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Last edited by ctrcic; 08-27-2016 at 11:32 AM.
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Round 1 of Mods/Repairs: Oil Change, New Oil Filter, Drop-in K&N Filter, KYB Shocks, and Gibson Exhaust.

A little bit of routine maintenance here. The truck had 185,000 miles on it when I got it and was originally an East Coast vehicle (though thankfully got AZ side early in its life) but the stock exhaust was rusted and leaking and the stock shocks were bricks. I got the exhaust and shocks from AutoAnything on sale and the rest I picked up from my local AutoZone.

The Gibson Exhaust was really easy to install and fit like a glove. The hardest part was getting the rusted stock exhaust off. It sounds great and there is a bit of a pick up in power, probably helped by the drop-in K&N too. This really made me want to do headers and some new cats but I can't afford it yet.

The KYB Shocks were also easy to install. Only took me an hour or two and the truck rides infinitely better now. The factory shocks had lost all their spring. I compressed them after I took them out and they never expanded!
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Round 2 of Mods/Repairs: Air Box Mod, New Tires, T-Bar Crank and Low Profile Bump Stops, and a lot of Plasti-Dipping.

I had been wanting to add some contrast to my truck's look for a long time and decided Plasti-Dip was the best way to do it, after all if I didn't like it I could just peel it off. I did the rear bumper, tailgate lettering, fenders, grill, fog light inserts, and the rims. I did two coats on everything but the rims, which got five coats, and I can definitely say if you Plasti-Dip do 5+ coats for the best finish and best durability. I will be redoing all these pieces with a smooth finish bed liner later for a more durable coating. All-in-all I think Plasti-Dip is a great way to preview a look on your truck. I am looking at the Durabak Smooth Bed Liner to refinish.

Following this thread - HOW TO-get the most out of your stock intake.(1st Gen X) - I did the Airbox mod. It was really very simple and only took maybe an hour and a half. My one complaint is that it actually made the truck quieter. I didn't notice much of an increase in power, marginal at best maybe. This will do until I decide on a CAI or a Snorkel.

I desperately needed new tires so for a pretty penny I had Discount Tire put on 31x10.5x15 BFG AT KO2s. They are amazing on and off-road and thankfully incredibly quiet compared to the 1st gen BFG AT tires. They really give the truck a great stance too. When I get around to getting my lift done I will hopefully upgrade to some 32" or 33" versions.

I also did a Torsion Bar Crank. I did a write up on it here - 1st Gen Torsion Bar Crank Guide - but it was probably the easiest upgrade I have done to my truck. For the cost of low profile bump stops ( $8 ) I got a 1.5" lift up front. It was a real tease of what a lift would do for my truck, can’t wait to get that done some time soon!
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 12-26-2015, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Automatic OBD Reader

I picked up an Automatic OBD-II Reader (


) on Black Friday and have been testing it out for a few weeks now. It's a solid way to track my MPGs and it does encourage me to be a more economic driver. I keep my own gas logs and so far this device has been right on par with my own logs. The app is super easy to use (I attached a screen shot or two below) the only disappointment I have is that it can't gauge more in-depth info about my truck (torque, HP, intake temp, etc.) I downloaded an app that is supposed to read that info from the adapter and called Dash Command but I haven't had a chance to really set it up yet. The Automatic App and adapter are a painless way to track MPGs though.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Apache Trail Trip - AZ

Got to take some off road trips over the break. 1st one was Apache Trail. It was a really easy drive. The first portion was paved and the trail itself was basically just a long dirt road that was very well maintained. We ventured off trail onto an off road off shoot once and had a little fun flexing the truck. Lots of pretty scenery, it was a side of AZ I never knew was here (and I am an AZ native) I highly recommend it as a first trail or just a really pretty drive. We stopped a few times to take pictures and get out and stretch as well as eat a picnic lunch and it only took us about 5-6 hours total round trip from Tempe.

Link to Photo Bucket Album: http://s464.photobucket.com/user/col...Apache%20Trail












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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 06:28 PM
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I miss being back down there. I am from Tucson and lived in Gilbert. Went to Apache all the time. Glad you enjoyed it.

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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Devil's Bridge/Greasy Spoon Trip - AZ

Took another trip in AZ over the break! This time it was back home in Sedona. We drove out to Devil's Bridge and hiked up to it then we drove around the ride Greasy Spoon which is a Pink Jeep Trail that put the truck through a few fun tests. I still did both of these stock with only large tires and a torsion bar crank but managed them fine. The Pink Jeep driver in front of us was fairly surprised I was keeping up with him. It was a fun trip that only took us about 4 hours including the hike the Devil's Bridge. There are some vids on Photobucket.

Link to Photobucket Album: Devils Bridge And Greasy Spoon by coltontrcic | Photobucket

Devil's Bridge is pretty incredible if you've never been!


Had to take a new truck pic.


The first part of Greasy Spoon was pretty easy.


It soon turned into a series of moderately difficult rocky hills.


My girlfriend was kind enough to get out and take photos and videos. You can see the rest of the trail off to the left.


This was coming up the last hill towards a scenic lookout.


We caught up with the Pink Jeep Tour at the top.


Panorama from the scenic overlook.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Back on Topic: Upcoming Upgrades

Had some fun putting the truck to use but my next round of upgrades will be:

- Volant Cold Air Intake
- Secondary Cat Delete using Walker 50335 and 54338 pips + a new Y pipe from Walker (50350) because mine is rusted and leaking
- NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs
- NGK Premium Spark Plugs Wires

I'll post pics and details when everything gets here!
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:45 PM
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Have fun with spark plug 6, its a pain but just takes time to get out. I know after I got my plugs and wires done the truck ran a bit smother. Are you going to swap out the distributor cap and rotor as well when you do the plugs? It should not cost that much and imo its worth it when you already are doing the wires.
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nthorn View Post
Have fun with spark plug 6, its a pain but just takes time to get out. I know after I got my plugs and wires done the truck ran a bit smother. Are you going to swap out the distributor cap and rotor as well when you do the plugs? It should not cost that much and imo its worth it when you already are doing the wires.
Sorry to jack OP post. But how much did all the new stuff run you if you do not mind me asking? It was relatively cheap for my Hemi and that was 16 plugs. I found a whole tune up kit on rockauto for like $111.

https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/mor...nid=458&jpid=0
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