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Discussion Starter #21
Glove Box Conversion

*sorry to string such a small project along for so long. I have been busy and forgot to get back to it.

Basically, after I got my auxiliary fuse block built, I added some bus bars, soldered up the output and switch connector harnesses, mounted everything to a piece of steel mesh, and installed it where my glovebox used to be. It's not the cleanest setup, but it's much cleaner than the old setup.

Goals Accomplished:
- All the relays and fuses are centrally located and easily accessible.
- CB radio no longer mounted on dashboard (wouldn't fit cleanly anywhere else... too large, really).
- Occupied myself with another ghetto/tech project.


Power from switches coming from left hand size, wrapped in black loom. Power going to accessories on the right side (red/white wires, not in loom). Black wires coming back to ground from accessories on the right in black weave sleeve. Everything bolted to the back of the steel mesh. I cut the mesh to fit in glove box area - mounts using same bolt holes as glove box did.


Steel mesh with accessories mounted. I cannibalized the old glove box and cut the right size of the bezel off. I mounted that cut-off piece on the right size to cover up some of the wires, factory cutouts, bolt holes, etc.

I used various L-brackets I had laying around to mount the CB and the fuse/relay box. If you notice, just used bailing wire to tie the power inverter in place because I'm planning on replacing it at some point with a larger one.

So, anyways, it's not the prettiest thing, and if this were a much newer Tacoma or Pro-4X, I definitely wouldn't have done it this way... but that's part of the joy of owning a 20 year old truck; I'm not too afraid to cut it up just a little.

To come:
- Upgraded on-board-air setup (louder, faster, stronger)
- Rack stuff (maybe... if I have enough pictures/ideas to make a post)
- Ordered a Shrockworks rear bumper... but 3 month lead time. Hopefully mid November.

Check back soon for more.
Cheer.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Dual On-Board-Air Compressor Setup

I have been running a single air compressor for about 18 months (since may 2017). I've been running the Viair Constant Duty Air System. It has worked perfectly for this entire time. My only concern is the tank, because it seems to be rusting a little bit on the inside.

I also have a Firestone 2 Gallon Air Tank attached with a short leader hose to the other air tank.

System - 4.5 gal reservoir at 145 psi. Pressure switch turns compressors on if pressure drops below 120 psi and off at 145 psi.

Basic problem - I've run out of air in the tank when I'm filling up tires for myself and other people I'm wheeling with who don't have compressors. Not a bad problem, but it just takes longer to get back on the highway. Plus, the Viair 100% Duty Cycle Compressor 2-pack was on sale on Amazon, so one of my friends and I split a 2-pack so we each could run dual compressors.

For power management, I ran a power and ground 8-gauge wire from the battery to the bed. The 8-gauge +12V line is fused (50A Max Blade Fuse) at the battery as well to protect against any shorts I could develop along the way. I installed a pretty basic 6-way Fuse Block in the bed so that I can run other things from this point as well.



The air system is as follows. So I've got the 2 tanks mounted near the top of the bed. I put fuel hose over some U-bolts and bolted them to the side of the bed. Then, I used 8" hose clamps (had to order online) with radiator hose wrapped around them to clamp the tanks to the u-bolts. The hoses act as vibration isolation and protect the tank from the metal U-bolt.


I was painting the side of the bed as I went. It was getting pretty scratched up from years of projects.


Got the tanks mounted up on the side of the bed.

Next I built a bracket for the compressors. I used some 18 gauge steel plates cut to size, and some Simpson Reinforced L-Brackets from Home Depot. It was either these or the Everbilt Corner Brace. In retrospect, they probably both would work just as well. I liked the truss look of the framing brackets, so I used those.

Painted everything up with Rust-Oleum spray-on bed liner (getting to be my new favorite) and bolted up a simple L-shaped compressor mount.





Staggered the mounting position just a bit to get the compressors closer together. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I used all stainless hardware in case the elements get into the bed area, as they sometimes do.

I mounted a steel plate under the the bed-liner to bolt the compressor bracket to. I think this will make it a lot more stable than just bolting it to the plastic bed liner itself.





The pipe routing isn't super pretty in this picture. Ultimately, I ended up running the pressure outlet from the rear tank to ensure ability to move air through the whole system (hopefully keep it dryer and keep the water to a minimum).

If you remember form an earlier post, I had a box built over the air tank system. I put the same setup back over the air tanks and compressors. Maybe I'll build a nicer one some day... but not today. Here's a reminder of what that looks like:



Conclusion -

I'm glad I went through the effort to get the power management setup correctly this time. Additionally, I recently took a trip and aired-down to 17 psi all around. Aired back up to 32 psi, and still had 70 psi in the tanks. The dual compressors can keep up pretty well!
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Cooling System Overhaul/Continued Supercharger Troubleshooting

Backstory and technical stuff:
Ever since I supercharged the truck, I have had some pinging/knocking going on when the outside temperatures are hot (maybe above 90F). I did the supercharger swap during the fall last year (2018), when ambient temperatures were already beginning to drop here in Colorado. All winter, I didn't have any knocking. This summer, I started hearing some pinging. It definitely correlated to hot days when the engine was under a large load in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear (occasionally slightly in 1st and 2nd, but usually not). I assumed it was because of bad gasoline, as sometimes it seemed better depending on where I fueled up. I always use premium since the supercharger swap, but wasn't sure if I was always getting 93 octane... I don't know all the ins and outs of that industry, and how reliable or consistent the number on the pump really is.

I started comparing part numbers between the naturally aspirated 2000 Frontier and Supercharged 2001 Frontier. I had already done several part updates like MAP sensor, knock sensor, fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator, ECU, etc. Basically, there are a lot of different part numbers between the 2000 N/A engines and 2001 S/C engines, even though the block, distributor, compression ratios, and even the heads are the same. But interestingly, most of those part numbers that are different from 2000 to 2001 are the same part numbers between the S/C and N/A engines from 2001 onward.. so I assume the engines were all built slightly differently starting in 2001 so that all of them could handle the supercharger's increased cylinder temp/pressure, but only some were fitted with superchargers at the factory.

Anyways, long story short, I have a few more parts to swap, mainly, the ECU. My truck is a manual transmission, but the ECU I am currently running is from a 2003 Supercharged Xterra with an automatic transmission. I have a check engine light on for "automatic transmission control module failure" since I do not have an automatic transmission control module. This may be throwing off the fuel injection set points in the ECU? My plan is ultimately to find a computer from a manual transmission supercharged Frontier or Xterra and try that.

So while I was tracking down these issues, I noticed that sometimes when it is the most hot outside, my temperature needle was rising above the normal level, even when I was cruising on the highway when it seems that airflow through the radiator should be most... odd. I also realized that sometimes when the temperature was above normal level, I couldn't hear the cooling fan idling up unless I shifted into neutral and revved up the engine. Even then, sometimes the fan wouldn't come on, sometimes it would... also odd.

What I replaced:

thermostat:
Did some digging and found out that I could get a lower temperature thermostat. OE thermostat is designed to open at 180F. I ordered a Gates Thermostat that opens at 170F from RockAuto. The new thermostat is on the right below. Because I was experiencing some overheating at times, I wanted to make sure that the thermostat was opening, so I had better replace it. Since I got a slightly cooler thermostat, the temperature of the coolant in the water jacket should be slightly lower, thus hopefully lowering the cylinder temperature and reducing pinging... hopefully.



cooling fan clutch: I figured I would get a new fan clutch too since I was going to be in there. It would be necessary to remove the old one to do the thermostat anyways, so I ordered a new Carquest Cooling Fan Clutch from Advance Auto Parts. After pulling the parts, it seems that the thermal spring in the fan clutch was pretty dirty, possibly jamming the inner ring from rotating correctly? I'm not totally sure, but it was only $30, so I figured better safe than sorry. It seems like this may be part of the cooling system issue since there were times when I was overheating that it took a lot higher engine temperature for the fan to kick on than it should have. New vs. old fan clutch images below.



radiator: I decided that since my truck still had the ORIGINAL RADIATOR from March of 2000, I should do that too. I had a 1996 Honda Accord before I had this truck. The radiator cracked at the case-core interface in 2014, so the car was 18 years old then and had ~235,000 miles on it if I remember correctly. Since the truck is 19.5 years old this month, and I have 252,000 miles on the factory radiator, it maybe close to the same state as the one in my old Honda. Maybe not, but maybe... After all, the new one only cost me $75. I ordered a Spectra Premium Radiator from Amazon. After removing the old one, this seems like it was probably the most likely candidate for the overheating I was having. The original radiator was was full of fur, feathers, bugs, and mud. I considered just cleaning it and returning the new one to get my money back, but then the thought of my old Honda radiator failing returned to me, and I decided that the $75 was better than getting stuff out in the middle of nowhere when my 20 year old radiator blows... take a look at the old verses new here. I'm sure there have been worse, but this was probably the worst one I personally have replaced.



So that's about it... I did a pretty standard operation. Drained the fluid, removed the radiator, fan clutch, and thermostat, and installed all the new parts. I should have done a full system flush with de-ionized/distilled water before filling it back up, but the system was pretty well empty since I pulled so much of it out. I hopefully got most of the junk and crud out of the cooling system just by draining it. I may try some sort of system flush/cleaner at some point if the problem persists. I didn't do write-ups on these replacement parts and I'm not going to because this is a build thread and all the information to do these jobs is already posted in other places in this forum or on YouTube.

Conclusion: I think I will have at least some decrease in pinging after doing all this work. Fall is starting again here in Colorado, so we may not have any more days that are hot enough for me to test this work out completely. My final conclusion may have to wait until next year when ambient temps go up again, but I'm optimistic.

Hope you learned something or at least enjoyed reading. Cheers!

(P.S. here's a little teaser for the next entry I'm going to write... do you know what it is?)
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Roof Rack Setup

(this is going to be a long post, but the roof of my truck gets a lot of use, so there is a lot of info to share. I'll try to keep it focused).
I've mentioned various rack setups several times in earlier posts, but I want to capture the progression, as I think I have a pretty final setup here. Some of this will be repeated info from other posts.

Original Equipment and Early Renditions
If you're familiar with the Crew Cab Frontiers, you may know that starting in 2000, when the crew cab was introduced, they had some pretty cool-looking 2" tubular roof racks available on some trims with a factory fairing on the front. It is very similar to what was on the Xterra for it's entire production career. I used this rack extensively. I never liked the fat, tubular cross-bars, so I removed those pretty early on. I had several different second-hand roof baskets mounted between the rails for quite a long time. I liked to keep it low profile, so I always had the baskets mounted between the rails rather than on top of the cross bars. Problem was, most of the racks that were a bit more modular and versatile didn't fit between the rails. I think it was like 36" or something like that. Here's a few pictures of the various setups I had over the years...

OE rack worked alright for some things, but it was always harder to find ski clamps that fit those big bars... So I removed the cross bars and used some u-bolts to hold a Cheap Roof Basket that I found on Craigslist between the rail. This setup was actually really solid because the frame of the basket was really stiff and strong, but the basket rungs were pretty wimpy. I ran this setup for quite a while.


Meanwhile, I also had a quick-release, locking, removable crossbar setup on the bed. It was a Thule Tracker II foot pack and I had bolted the mounting feet directly to the bed.


When I got my topper, I moved the Thule setup on top of the topper. It sat just about flush with the OE Nissan cab roof rack rails, and I mounted another basket between (again, not above) those cross bars as well. I ran this setup for a long time. It was versatile and carried a lot of stuff. On longer trips when I was not wheeling with anyone else, I could throw an extra spare wheel/tire on the roof, wood on the rear rack, and still had loots of room up top or in the bed for other things if necessary. Honestly, I liked the look of the truck best at this point. it wasn't overdone, but still had a lot of the functionality I wanted for the types of trips I was doing.





Thule Tracks and Roof Top Tent
Eventually, I got a roof top tent and shuffled my setup around... Biggest difference was that I removed the factory 2" rails and added Thule Tracks to the roof of the truck. This gave me the ability to run the Thule Tracker II feet on both the cab and the topper. It made mounting ski clamps and lights to the truck cab way easier than it had been before. No more custom mounts. I could just use the standard Thule Snap-Around clips. When I got the Smittybilt Roof Top Tent, I was trying to mount it as low as possible. I had the tent on a pulley system in the garage, but once mounted on the cross bars, it was too tall to get out of the garage. I cut out as much height as I could, and ultimately,I removed all the original RTT mounting hardware. I mounted the tent directly to the Thule cross bars that were mounted flush to the top of the topper. Basically, the base of the tent sat 1" above the topper instead of 4.5" above the roof like it had been.



Overall, it was a solid setup, very functional, but not as clean as I wanted it to be.

Rocky Mountain Racks (Ft. Collins, CO)
Eventually, I stumbled across a company called "Rocky Mountain Racks," now re-branded as Sherpa Equipment Company. Check them out. The racks are similar in some ways to Prinsu Racks. They have aluminum side plates and crossbars made form extruded aluminum. I started off by buying one of their Antero Racks. it is designed to fit the 3rd generation 4Runners, but I figured that with the Thule tracks on my cab, I could make it fit. I went up there and they got me setup with an Antero with 46" cross bars. It actually fit really well and matched the contour of the roof almost perfectly. It was a bit too long, so I squared up the back of the rack and mounted my side-facing lights there.

See below - original contour, then see how I chopped it up and made a square back to it. This was December of 2018.



Overall they are very adjustable, strong, light weight, low profile, and I finally have a clean setup that works for me and doesn't have any exhaust clamps or u-bolts holding it all together.

Fast forward to this summer, the same company finally released a rack called the Crows Nest for the short bed Toyota Tacoma topper. Again, figured I could fit it, and went to pick one up. It mounted directly to the Thule tracks on the topper. SIDE NOTE on my crossbar modification: I have modified each cross bar to have cutout to allow me to drop hardware into the tracks from the top. Although there are plenty of Roll-in-T-Nuts available, I sometimes use carriage bolts and other types of t-nuts for certain applications. I used a CNC to machine these cutouts in each crossbar slot at each end. I'm very pleased with this added functionality.




I love this setup a lot so far. I have so many mounting options for things. I can run bikes fork-mounted to the top, or back. The back works well for off-road trails to MTB areas because the bikes stay pretty high up away from the ground. I strap the rear tires to the bumper and they are pretty solid.

Final Roof Top Tent Setup

Well, with the added height of the new topper roof rack, I can't quite get the Smittybilt RTT to fit in and out of the garage anymore, even with the tires aired down to almost nothing. Time to move on. I picked up a gently used Roofnest Falcon at a really good price. It mounts directly to some 10/10 (1" square) extruded aluminum, which I cut to fit in between the roof rack side plates. I just drop it in and go. I think it's the fastest and best setup I'll ever have. The tent literally setups up in 10 seconds. Undo the latches, and the gas lifts raise the roof up. It takes me about 30 seconds to completely collapse and lock it back down. It's 6.5" tall, which means that it's so low profile so I can fit in and out of the garage without airing down the tires, and i have a good 4" to spare. The low profile makes it way more aerodynamic as well. I've had it on for a week or so, and don't notice any drag. I forget it's up there when I'm driving. The only downside I see so far is that it's kinda large and heavy, although it's only about 20 lbs heavier than the RTT I had before.

I added some LED strips on the ceiling for lighting in there. They're color adjustable and dimable.



The mounting hardware the guy gave me was a hodge-podge of metric and standard, mostly rusted and corroded, and didn't fit well. I made up some brackets of my own. They are made from dissected zinc-plated L-brackets, old aluminum Yakima fairing mount hardware, and some stainless carriage bolts I sanded down to fit in the bottom of the tent tracks. Left them long to be able to fit over a 2" crossbar in the future if ever necessary. The are pretty simple and really solid as well. I'm happy with how they came out.



I'm pretty excited to get this setup out in the woods soon.

Going to be getting my Shrockworks Rear Steel Bumper in sometime in November. Also probably going to some better rear leaf springs, and maybe motor mounts... I've been tracking down a knocking noise that only happens only 1x when I turn, like something is shifting back and forth in the chassis somewhere. It's not in the front suspension, and I think I've narrowed it down to the rear leaf spring bushings or the motor mounts... which are fluid filled and probably just getting worn out after 250,000+ miles.

That was a lot... if you read it, hope you enjoyed it. If you just scrolled through the pictures, hope you enjoyed those as well.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Bunch of little items in this update.

1). Just a heads up...

I'm probably going to keep using this Forum to post updates to my build, but I'm probably going to move a lot of my content to the Expedition Portal Forum because there is a lot of info to be shared and gathered there. Check it out over there as well. For now, I'll keep updating this as the build progresses.

2.) Got out in the new tent a week or two ago. Here are a few pictures of that:
Headed out of Denver at 9:30pm. Hit the trail head by 10:30ish... You can't see it well in the picture, but it was raining/snowing on us (first week of October).






3). More broken parts... Managed to mangle another idler arm... I didn't think I was driving it that hard, but apparently I was...


Got that warranty-replaced since it's a Moog. I think I'm going to try to weld a gusset onto this one and see if it keeps it from bending so easily. If I get that done, I'll put pictures of it up here.

4). Prototyped a power outlet setup I've been thinking about... 12V lighter outlet, USB outlets, and volt meter to the back of the compressor box. This was a rough draft. Got a plan to make it better (maybe this week) and add more functionality to it. This is how I'm powering the USB lights in the tent. Was originally running a USB to the lighter outlet up front, but I added this for easy of use and because the USB going through the window wasn't very efficient or clean.


5). NEW LEAF PACKS COMING SOON. I got some new ARB (Old Man Emu) leaf springs sitting on my bench right now. Got bushings for them, but one of the eyelets is much bigger than the bolt on my truck. I would just drill the hole out and use a bigger bolt, but my rock sliders are welded on, so I can't actually get a drill bit in line with the bolt hole (gas tank blocks it from the inside of the frame rail). I got some 303 Stainless bar stock and I'm going to make some eyelets this weekend at a machine shop I can get access to and hopefully get back out on the trails soon!

Current bushings are toast (knocking badly, rubber is shot). I would just do the bushings if the springs were good, but even with the add-a-leaf, they are sagging more and more all the time. Time to do it right. The new leaf packs look awesome and the eyelets in the rear are just big enough to allow me to keep my adjustable shackle. Very excited about that.


6). 2nd Gen Twin: Found a 2nd gen Frontier that was done up similarly to mine (kinda... ) I don't like how tall his/hers sits. It had 33's and about a 3-inch lift. Looked good overall, but looks pretty top-heavy with that huge iKamper on top of the Front Runner rack.



Check back soon for the Leaf Springs hopefully.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
New Leaf Springs

I got the Old Man Emu springs installed this weekend, as well as a longer rear brake line.
Admittedly, this first part is lengthy... skip about the first half of this post if you just want to see everything installed.



Here's my parts list:
Technical Stuff (*unless you're really invested, you can probably skip this part):
Ultimately, I found out through ARB Australia's website which leaf springs would fit my truck (Part Number: CS031R). No suspension options for the D22 Navara from 1997-2000 were listed, but I knew that the frame is the same from 1997-2004 Frontier (D22) in the US, so the 1997-2015 Navara (D22) in Australia should all be the same as well. The springs were listed under this category, so I reasoned that they would fit my 2000 Frontier.

Then, I was going to have a hard time getting the spring bushings that were recommended by ARB for this leaf pack. Summit Racing can supposedly get them (part number OMESB105), but I called to get info and they said they would be ordering from ARB directly, and it could be up to 3 weeks. I didn't want to wait that long because my OE eyelets had both given up and the leafs were sliding around inside the frame mount during even the lightest of corners around town. I figured I could do it without the "right" kit. So after doing some research, I ordered several different bushing kits through 4WP from ARB, Energy Suspension, and Nolathane.

I ordered 3 different sets to cover my bases and make sure I had enough different bushing to make the springs would work, even if I had to cherry-pick bushings from different kits. Ultimately, the bushing kit from Energy Suspension for the Nissan Hardbody (part number 7.2102R) fit perfectly EXCEPT for the front steel eyelet. Since this kit was nearly perfect, I didn't pursue getting the one that is actually recommended by ARB Australia (again, OMESB105 kit) and just returned the other 2 bushing sets I wasn't going to use.

The Nissan Hardbody in the US must have an M18 (18mm diameter) bolt for the front leaf spring mount. My truck has an M14 (14mm diameter) bolt in the front leaf mount. I would have preferred to just drill out the hole in the frame to fit an 18mm bolt except there are 2 problems; First, my sliders are welded on, so to get a drill bit lined up with the holes from the outside of the frame, I would have to cut the slider off, then weld them back on. To drill out the thru-holes from the inside of the frame, it would require dropping the gas tank to do the passenger side. I wasn't interested in doing that and it would have taken more effort than simply making a couple eyelets to fit. And secondly, even with the frame drilled out, M18 bolts are actually kinda hard to find at a decent price... most hardware stores skip from M16 to M20... weird.

Oh well. I have a mechanical engineering degree so I have been around machine shops quite a bit, so I knew that I could easily make the eyelet I needed (22mm OD, 14mm ID, 70mm length). The ones that came with all the bushing kits were 22mm OD, 18mm ID (for the M18 bolt), and 70mm length.

Process:
Gathered all the parts on the list above, as well as some Stainless 303 1" bar stock that I got from Metals Supermarket (fantastic supplier). One of my brothers has access to a good machine shop around here, so we went in after-hours and lathed out some bushing eyelets from the round bar stock that I got. Check them out here. The gold-colored ones are the ones that came with the kit, the stainless ones are the ones I made. Perfect fit.


Installing the Springs

I removed the old springs and yeah, the bonded rubber eyelets were in bad shape. One of the eyelets literally fell out when I dropped the spring out of the frame. The other one was close... They gave out pretty suddenly a few months ago and they've been clunking badly. Needless to say, I'm glad to have this done.



Removed the rubber eyelet and metal cup from the upper shackle mount on the frame (fun times). The urethane bushings fit great in the fame and springs. BONUS - the eyelets that came in the kit for the shackle end of the spring were slightly over-sized on the ID. They fit a 1/2" bolt perfectly, even though they are designed to fit the factory shackles which have an M12 bolt (0.4724 inches). I can keep using my adjustable shackles with 1/2" hardware without any modification to eyelets. Got all new Grade 8 standard and 10.9 metric hardware for the springs and mounted everything up.





New U-bolts:


Wheels on the ground, brake line installed and bled:


I'm probably going to add some height using the adjustable shackles after driving it for a bit. I'll let everything settle (if it's going to), then dial in the final ride height of the rear. I would highly recommend these springs if you're still running a 1st gen. They're much more responsive and the overload leaves make the springs more progressive than the factory setup. The worn-out Add-A-Leaf setup I had was sagging, bushings were shot, and overall, they were pretty apathetic when going over bumps. These new springs cured all those things for sure.




Cheers, and thanks for reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Hand Tool Storage

I have been figuring this system out for a long time, but I think I finally figured out my best option. I got a few ammo cases this week because I realized that they would fit behind the back seat of my truck. I have all my tools down to 2 ammo cases and 1 concrete test cylinder (leftovers from my previous line of work; these containers are awesome). I'll just put a few of the pictures here.
Here's everything I carry, minus the ratchets and breaker bar, which didn't make it in the picture somehow.


It all condenses into these 3 containers.


Which all fits behind the back seat. Note, there are some other tools there too, including an electrical kit (i'll add that here later if I remember).


Finally, I mounted all my air tools to the metal mesh inside the topper window right above my air compressor. I used Hood Support Rod Retaining Clips. The zip ties add support, because the clips aren't really that strong. I've already had tools going in and out of the clips at about freezing temperature and they held up well. I have high hopes (but the pack had a lot of extras if I need them).


Basically, none of my gear storage is very fancy. It is, however, very space and time efficient for my particular use. I have been attempting to make my setup as efficient as possible for a while now, and this system all works very well for me. It's no ball-bearing drawer slides or Cap-Pack system (not that I'm knocking on those, both are good options), but they are light weight and fast options for my use.

Cheers!
 

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Crap. Photos didn’t load for me in your last post.

I dig your build, man. I’m not a fan of the typical RTT, but yours I like.

I’ll come back & revisit this post later & maybe forum juju will let me see your storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Well... That's not great.
310081

310082

Got swiped on the bedside this evening while driving home. Truck is drivable but the bed is probably not repairable. Insurance may want to total the truck out because the bed is 1 piece and replacing it may be more costly than the actual value of the value of the truck itself (very low, obviously, with 255,000 miles) but I will probably keep it and take a payout of some sort.

What will be next then? Replace truck and swap parts over? Repair? Flatbed build? Only time will tell. It's frustrating but also maybe an opportunity to make this truck even more unique.

I've always wanted a green one, so if anyone knows of a 2000 to 2004 in decent shape and green, lemme know, haha.

Check back later for more!
Cheers.
 

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Sh!t!!!:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
The Damage

Thanks to you guys who were encouraging about the damage. It isn't as bad as I initially thought... (Hopefully I didn't sound too dramatic before, haha). The axle, brakes, frame, and suspension are all fine. The tire only went flat because the other drivers tire broke the valve stem in my tire. I had the wheel spun and it's still true; and the tire checked out, and it isn't damaged.

Main damage is to the bed. Not sure what I'm gonna do about it yet. Leaning towards getting my new Shrockworks bumper modified by the guy who built my sliders. I ordered it a few months ago, should be here in a couple weeks. I'll get it high-clearanced and braced underneath to the frame. By doing this, I will be cutting most of the damaged bed off to make room for the bumper sides, so that's good. I'll keep my eye out for a blue truck on car-part.com and pick up a bed if I ever find a nice one. Not really worth it to get a new one ($300-500), then have it painted to match ($800? to have it done right?).

For now, I put new tail lights in, pushed out most of the large dents, sanded the chipped paint areas, and put some bedliner over the damage to keep it from rusting this winter.

Funny story, someone was selling a set of new, never-installed tail lights for my truck on Craigslist for $40 locally. Not bad for a set.

Here's a few pictures. The bedside isn't pretty, but it'll do for now.

310240
310241

310242


On to the next adventure...
 

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This thread is EPIC! I can't believe all you have done to that truck. And yes, first generation Frontys are so cool! I think the bed ads character to a truck that has done so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
The fender flare came into Boulder Nissan today, so I went to pick it up and I installed it in the parking lot. Got the splash guard put back in as well. It's looking a lot better already, but I've still got a bit of re-shaping to do on the bed. Have a look.


Additionally, I got my hands on a brand new 285/70 r17 Wrangler Duratrac and got it mounted up on the last spare Toyota wheel I had hanging around. I got it on the truck this week to clearance some things. Going to be getting a set of 285's (~33") this week, although I'm not going with the Duratracs (it'll be a wicked spare if I ever need it on the trail!). Here's some comparison photos of the 265/70 r17 vs. 285/70 r17 (looks weird with the damage on the rear, and was still missing the flare, but use your imagination).






I'm pretty excited. I almost went with 33's last time I got new tires, and I wish I would have. Although my current tires have some life left yet, I'm going to use some of the insurance to go up a size. I'll sell the used ones locally so someone can finish off their life.

Also, the spare fits under the bed! With the tire butted up against the hitch, it still clears the axle (barely). It fits between the shackles too (again, barely), and with a bit of modification (chopping) to the tailpipe, it fits!



Excited for the small and big changes that are coming.
Cheers.
 

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Hell yeah! The build is coming along great! I say definitely go with the 285's this time around, what brands are you looking at? I still have 265's, but I want to either upgrade to 285/75r16 or 255/85r16. Can't decide if I want the cookie cutter wheels or not.

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Discussion Starter #38
Hell yeah! The build is coming along great! I say definitely go with the 285's this time around, what brands are you looking at? I still have 265's, but I want to either upgrade to 285/75r16 or 255/85r16. Can't decide if I want the cookie cutter wheels or not.

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Thanks!

I'm going with the Goodyear Wrangler UltraTerrain. I've run Wrangler All Terrain Adventurers, Nitto Terra Grapplers, and most recently, the Wildpeaks. One of my brothers is running the UltraTerrains on his 2001 4Runner and I've watched him walk through some deep mud, snow, and rocks with zero drama, so I'm going to give them a shot. I have high hopes.
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
New Shoes (and other items)

Got the new tires on this week. One of my brothers works at Discount Tire in Oklahoma, so I went out to see my family and got a friends/family discount on a new set of shoes. I went with the 285/70 R17 Goodyear Wrangler UltraTerrains. If you want to know my reasoning, feel free to message me. Here's a few shots of the new rubber below. I think that the 33's look just right on this truck. (I only had the tent opened to air out the condensation from the previous night of camping. I camped at a state park in Kansas on my way out to Oklahoma from Denver.)


Had to flex it out a bit on the dirt pile to check my clearances. They clear pretty well with minimal rubbing on the front pinch weld, fender liners, etc. I'll trim them up soon.
These pictures are the closest points, front and rear respectively.




OOPS...

When I trimmed the exhaust pipe to clear the 33" spare underneath the bed, I didn't realize I had pointed it directly at the new leaf springs bushings. Here's what happened after my 8 hour drive...


I put a new down-turn pipe on the end of my trimmed exhaust pipe (you can see it in the pictures above). Now the exhaust clears the tire and springs. Thanks to Amazon's next-day delivery, I was able to get another set of Energy Suspension bushings and pop one in. Good as new.



Lesson learned... oh well, at least it' wasn't catastrophic. Back home in Colorado now. Waiting on a few parts to come in, including my new rear bumper (Shrockworks) and a center link from Grassroots4x4.com. Once I get the steering link in, I'd like to go get some snow wheeling in and test out some of the recent upgrades.

Thanks for reading!
 
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