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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the new Pro-4X off road for the first time. I was out with a buddy who has a stock 2015 Jeep Sahara. As far as climbing, etc., I did not have much of a problem following the Jeep.

But....and this bums me out...at the end of the tail there was a "shortcut" down the hill we went up. It is a very steep and long track straight down.

My buddy went first and had zero issues. I figured no problem. Low range and first gear. As soon as I started I discovered low range is not very low. I had to pretty much ride the brakes the whole way down to keep from going too fast.
And the back end kept wanting to come around.

By the time I made it to the bottom the brakes were pretty faded and useless. If the trail was any longer, I would have been in a dangerous spot.

So what exactally do we have for transfer case gears? Any big brake kits for these trucks?
 

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When off-roading and descending a steep hill ...I just use the "Hill Descend" button it works great.

The transfer case under the Titan and Frontier/Xterra/Pathfinder is a TX15 - which is an electronically actuated chain driven case with a 2.6:1 crawl ratio.

Model rear diff Axle Gears
XE KC 4x2 5M C200k 4.083
XE KC 4x2 5A C200k 3.692
SV/SE KC 4x2 6M M226 3.538
SV/SE KC 4x2 5A C200k 3.133
SV/SE KC 4x4 6M M226 3.538
SV/SE KC 4x4 5A C200k 3.133
SV/SE CC 4x2 6M M226 3.538
SV/SE CC 4x2 5A C200k 3.133
SV/SE CC 4x4 6M M226 3.692
SV/SE CC 4x4 5A C200k 3.357
NISMO KC 4x2 5A M226 3.133
PRO-4X/NISMO KC 4x4 6M M226 3.692
PRO-4X/NISMO KC 4x4 5A M226 3.357
NISMO CC 4x2 5A M226 3.131
PRO-4X/NISMO CC 4x4 5A M226 3.357
SL/LE KC 4x2 5A C200k 2.937
SL/LE KC 4x4 5A C200k 3.133
SL/LE CC 4x2 5A C200k 3.133
SL/LE CC 4x4 5A C200k 3.357
 

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Sometimes I feel like I'm not driving the same vehicle as other members on this forum.

I've been off roading my truck an average of twice a month for the past 8 years. Only once in that time have I ever descended a hill so steep that the rear end was trying to come around, and it was ridiculously steep. Granted, mine is a manual, but still.

I know there are a lot of aftermarket brakes available for these trucks but it's not something I've looked into as I've always felt the stock brakes were fine.

Brake fade is not something I have experienced in mine. I thought that was one of the advantages of disc brakes all around.

Transfer case gears are not an option but we do have differential gears available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was VERY steep. I would not have attempted it had my buddy not went first.

I have owned the following 4X4 over the last 30 years:

1977 Toyota Land Cruiser
1978 Ford Bronco
1971 Chevy SWB
1996 Toyota Tacoma standard cab
1998 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab
2001 Chevy Trailblazer
2005 Chevy Tahoe
2000 Chevy Tracker 2dr.
2009 Nissan Xterra

Some I have wheeled, others not so much. I do not consider myself a "pro" off-roader, but know enough to know my limits.

I now know this truck does not like long, steep downgrades that overwhelmed the ability of the gearing to keep forward speed in check.
 

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You didnt acknowledge the hill decent option. Are you aware it's there?

Clint
 

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I have owned the following 4X4 over the last 30 years:

Mine is only the second vehicle I've off roaded to any degree and the first I've off roaded seriously, so maybe I just don't have enough experience to know what I'm missing.

Did you have the same problem with the '09 Xterra? Same brakes, same vehicle minus the lighter rear end.

Some hard core off roaders upgrade to an Atlas transfer case. Not sure how far you are willing to run with the T case gearing idea.
 

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If your truck is an automatic, it is equipped with 'Hill Descent Control'. It utilizes the trucks ABS system to use the brakes to limit the vehicles speed. I only use it in extreme situations and it works well. I'd suggest that the next time you are on the trail you try it. Make sure you are in 4 LO and 1st gear. Find a straight, very steep section of trail and push the button and then take your foot OFF the brake pedal completely. You will hear the system engaging the brakes, one wheel at a time, as that tire loses traction. It should limit the speed to a very slow crawl (1 -2 MPH).

I have about 7 years of wheeling in a Frontier and now an Xterra and have NEVER had brake fade. Hopefully there is not something wrong with your brakes. Differential fluid can leak from axle seals and contaminate the pads so take a look at the inside of your wheels to check for a leak.
 

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You didnt acknowledge the hill decent option. Are you aware it's there?

Clint
This. I've used my hill descent control and it is slow enough where I don't see heat build up and or brake fade being an issues. I did notice that the Descent control does take me down the hill much slower than I would using my foot on the brake pedal.

Also, Were you trying to keep up with your friend in the Jeep or going at your own pace? Trying to keep up with a much lighter and better geared vehicle is also not the best idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did not use hill descent as it just uses the brakes as well. The hill was 700 yards...yep....almost a 1/2 mile of VERY steep grade How do I know it was 700? Ranged it with my new Sig Kilo laser rangefinder as we were looking for places to shoot over 1000 yards.

The truck has 500 miles on it, so if there is a brake or trans issue it will be a replete of the 2009 Xterra I owned that was the worse vehicle I have ever owned.
Yes...bought another Nissan product hoping they had worked out the kinks since 2009.

I was not trying to keep up with my buddy. He had already made it to the bottom.

I think it was just too long of a grade for the brakes. And the gearing does not allow for the truck to "crawl". Meaning with my foot off the gas, it would speed up to unsafe speeds. Yes...low rage and 1st gear. Again..STEEP.

Is is what it is I guess. Just thought it would preform better in that instance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got it. If I ever try another hill that steep, I will give the hill decent a try.

I was expecting the low range range to be geared low enough that I could just idle down.
 

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Got it. If I ever try another hill that steep, I will give the hill decent a try.

I was expecting the low range range to be geared low enough that I could just idle down.

The stock crawl ratio on the auto Pro-4x is 33.9:1, which is far from awesome. But still, if the rear end kept trying to walk around on you, it had to have been quite a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The stock crawl ratio on the auto Pro-4x is 33.9:1, which is far from awesome. But still, if the rear end kept trying to walk around on you, it had to have been quite a hill.
Yep...felt like I has looking straight down.

The back end coming around was the scariest part of it. Because when that happened I would have to "speed up" to bring it back in line. About halfway down the ruts got bigger so that kept the truck straight.

Again, it is what it is. I am not into beating my vehicles up and the whole reason for this outing was to scout some areas to shoot long range. If my buddy had not set off down the side of the mountain, I would not have done it and went back the way we came.
90% of my off road activists are BLM/Forest Service trails and areas where I hunt. So the truck will fill that role well for me.
 

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I think the truth is you may be expecting more from the truck than it's built for... Your buddy's Jeep is more purpose built off-roader then a Frontier and I think OEM vs. OEM set ups the Jeep will out perform. Also, if the Xterra was just so awful why jump back in the saddle?
 

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i have yet to find a hill so steep my *** end comes out on my frontier. Never happened in my x either. or my Ranger. and so on. sounds to me like your tires weren't up to the task. I have a pro4 auto and never have had to use the brakes that much on ANY slope, regardless of how steep.

For sure the truck has limitations but traction shouldn't be one of them if you are taking it off road. Get the right tire. Makes all the difference in the world
 
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