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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
INFO
USERNAME: drrobinson
YEAR: 2020
TRIM: SV 4x4 King Cab
COLOR: Silver

LATEST UPDATE: [022] Front Shocks & Cam Bolts

PHILOSOPHY
This is our adventure truck. It's built for reliability to take us where we want to go. We live in Colorado and have ample opportunities to get out outside. This Frontier is a replacement for our 2011 Xterra which was built out with the same idea. We never got permanently stuck in that vehicle.

We recently started towing a Hiker Trailer (5x9 Offroad Extreme) and it became obvious we needed to re-gear or swap vehicles. After a lot of research, we decided to move over to Frontier land. So now we start all over with a new truck. A lot of this will be just like the Xterra that we had pretty dialed, but I am sure the Frontier will bring it's own unique challenges.

I'll be relying on you all for inspiration and education. I didn't create a build thread for the Xterra, but I'll try to keep up with this one since I have a fresh start.


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NOTE: The number at the beginning of the list items below denotes the original post # in this thread.

SUSPENSION
[008] Firestone RideRite Air Springs
[022] Front Shocks & Cam Bolts

WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
[009] Falken Wildpeak A/T3W 265/75-16
[020] Trailer Brake Controller


EXTERIOR/ARMOR
[007] Decked Drawer System & OBA
[017] AVS Bugflector II

LIGHTING RELATED
[018] Katana LED Headlight Bulbs


INTERIOR AND ACCESSORIES
[003] Jump seat removal - first mod
[004] Front Floor Mats


COMMS


ENGINE-AREA RELATED


GUIDES & HOW-TO WRITE-UPS


EOL / ARCHIVED / ITEMS SOLD OR REMOVED

[002] From the showroom
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
JUMP SEAT REMOVAL - FIRST MOD

WHY
This is our adventure truck, and that means the dog gets her own space. What's an adventure without your dog?

PARTS
  • Dynamat Extreme
WORK
  • Remove headrests
  • Remove jump seat bottoms
  • Remove under-seat storage tray
  • Remove seatbelts
321499

  • Dynamat cab back and rear most portion of the floor
  • Replace trim and seat backs
  • Added some velcro tabs on the trim pieces under the seat backs so they stay in place (they originally snapped into the hinge assembly which is now gone.
321497


RESULTS

321498


I kept the seat backs for padding when we are bouncing along the trail. Also kept the lower tether point to attach the dog harness. Her dog bed goes on the floor.
 

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2019 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab
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19 Posts
Those floor mats look nice! I hate the stock cloth ones, they get really nasty in wet weather
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
DECKED DRAWER SYSTEM & OBA

WHY
Giving up the Xterra meant reworking all the storage for the normal load out of the truck. Drawers seemed to be the best option. Inspiration from this youtube video.

PARTS
NOTES
  • Instructions are pretty straight forward. Follow along and you should be golden. Most important, don't tighten anything with power tools.
  • I had spray in bed liner already as part of the "Value Truck Package", so no additional prep needed. If you have a plastic bed liner, you have to pull it out.
  • There is not mention of the Utilitrack on the bed floor in the instructions. After some confirmation with a level and some measurements, you can leave them in place. The drawers clear by a 1/4". So if you ever pull the drawers out, you have your tracks in place. Also no open holes in the bed underneath. The upper Utilitrack clear the deck just fine.
  • You do have to drill 8 holes on the bed of your truck. Make sure you put some self-etching primer on the bare metal in the holes. All the hole locations are exposed in the side of the bed and the front of the bed between the cab.
  • Despite the fact it looks "wrong" the center shims do go off-center. Ask me how I know ;)
  • The rear / out-board most shims (both sides) need to be shortened 3" in order to sit flat. Not sure if this is unique to the 2020 truck (I kinda doubt it).
  • Part way through the install I realized there was a great spot to mount my air compressor. The location I used in the Xterra in the engine compartment is way to crowded in the 2020 Frontier and since the front passenger corner of the bed under the deck is unused, might as well get the compressor out of the head. The plan is to run the quick connect on a bulkhead fitting through the decking in the front corner of the bed. That's going to require another trip to the hardware store later. I used a backer plate on the other side of the bed wall for strength. I'm starting to like the fact that on pickup trucks it is a lot easier to get to the back side of panels!
  • In case you are wondering, this thing weighs 210 lbs., after I loaded the drawers with our emergency and recovery gear that lives in the truck, that was another 90ish, so almost 300 lbs in the bed. Dropped the ride height 1" in the rear and 1/4" in front (no suspension mods yet, so this is from stock).
RESULTS

Before
321785


Great spot for the air compressor
321786


After

321784
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
FIRESTONE RIDERITE AIR SPRINGS

WHY
We only want a mild lift (1") so I was thinking AAL and adjustable Bilstein 5100 up front. However, the normal load-out on our truck is 300 lbs. in the bed, 2 adults and 1 canine. When we take the trailer there is another 200 lbs. of tongue weight. That means I have to deal with either a nice level truck until I hook up the trailer and the rear end sags. Or, go the AAL route and have it be a little high and stiff without the trailer, but setup to tow level. After talking with the folks at All Dogs Offroad and reading everything I could find about air springs here and on TNX, I convinced myself that being able to control the spring rate (sort of) and adjust ride height (within reason, I only want 1" of lift) with air springs sounded like it was worth a try. I'll still be going Bilstein 5100 in front to get my plus 1". So this is an experiment.

PARTS
NOTES

Evap Canister Interference
  • From my research I expected to have to do some minor trimming on the driver side, due to interference with the evap canister mount. The upper air spring mounting plate interferes with the evap canister mount on the inboard side. Also very close to the brake hard lines.
321793


  • Well it turns out that it's major trimming to the evap canister mounting bracket to get everything to line up. I was hoping I could follow this advice and do a little Z-bend in the bracket, but no way that was going to work. I think they have changed the evap canister and mounting bracket again in the 2020 truck. I went about trimming on the evap canister mounting brackets (2 piece). I had that thing in and out of there 4 times before everything ultimately lined up and cleared (barely). Basically that entire rear corner of the bracket had to go.
  • Ultimately that meant taking some structure out of the bracket, so I'll be keeping an eye on it. It felt really solid when it was all bolted back up, but I'm sure that those reinforcing ribs are there for a reason.
Bottom Bracket Bolts
  • As others have pointed out, the supplied carriage bolts are way to long and would interfere with the parking brake cable and the rear brake line. The recommendation was to cut them off at 3". After test fitting I decided to go down to 2 3/4" which still allowed sufficient threads showing past the nut, but gave a little more clearance on the brake lines. I suspect that if you have AAL or heavier aftermarket spring packs, you might need longer, for my stock leaf packs, 2 3/4" was the ticket.
Air Lines
  • After much internal debate I decided to go with a single fill fitting and a tee. Effectively tying the two bags together into one system. On the pro side, this make it easy to match pressures. On the con side, if you spring a leak, you lose the whole system. I guess I ultimately decided that if leaks become a problem, I'll reconsider the whole thing. In the mean time, I'm throwing a a pair of push-fitting couplers and a short piece of air hose into my spares kit. If I pop a bag, I'm screwed :( . I'll update this post if I eventually regret this decision.
RESULTS

321794
321795


Air fill fitting on rear bumper
321796
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
FALKEN WILDPEAK A/T3W 265/75-16"

WHY
Stock tires were total crap. For a slight increase in clearance and without having to re-gear, I decided to go with baby 32". No clearance issues, speedo calibration for free, what's not to like:)

We had a really good experience with 2 sets of Falken Wildpeak A/T3W on our Xterra. I don't run the LTs, they are quite a bit heavier, and for our uses, I'm not worried about the sidewall strength. 50k worth of experience on the SL load range and we had no problems. Going with the same shoes on this truck. We use this same tire on the trailer, so why mess with success.

PARTS
NOTES
  • Pretty straight forward. Discount Tire is my goto on tires.
  • I'm going to run the stock wheels until I fall in love with something else. Might be a long time.
  • Yes, I swapped the spare;)
  • Anyone who wants the take offs, they are going cheap.
RESULTS

321797


Still at stock ride height
 

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The EVAP can bracket is different in the earlier year Frontiers. I did not have that interference issues. What did you do with the brake lines. I thought that Firestone changed the bracket design so there was no inference.

I however had to pull the brake hardline plastic guide off the frame and slide the u-bolts behind. This was cause some slight /occasional rubbing of the brake hardline on the u-bolts. I guess everything was ok as after 13 or so years I did not have any issue with the brake lines rubbing through.

A few weeks ago I finalyl pulled the air bags and RR'ed the top mount. I welded 4 small tabs on the frame and bolted the top mount directly to these tabs.

I love how clean your NEW truck is. Enjoyed reading your write up.
20200830_145455.jpg
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter #11
The EVAP can bracket is different in the earlier year Frontiers. I did not have that interference issues. What did you do with the brake lines. I thought that Firestone changed the bracket design so there was no inference.

I however had to pull the brake hardline plastic guide off the frame and slide the u-bolts behind. This was cause some slight /occasional rubbing of the brake hardline on the u-bolts. I guess everything was ok as after 13 or so years I did not have any issue with the brake lines rubbing through.
View attachment 321806
They must have changed the drivers side bracket, because the rear-most u-bolt is wider than the rest so it just goes right over those hard lines with no worries.

The forward part of the upper spring bracket is where the trouble is on the 2020 at least. You have to do major trimming on the evap canister brackets to allow the air spring bracket to go far enough forward. Once you get that done, the forward u-bolt slips under the hard lines and clears (barely). They provide some wire loom to put over the u-bolt to cushion just in case. Mine was not rubbing when all bolted down.

I’d have to say, way to much fiddling around for the 2020 truck. You need to be pretty committed to cut that much metal on a brand new truck. But, the way I see it, it’s a truck. My truck, and I’ll make it the way I want it


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Will advise going to a two circuit system on your bags to avoid one side filling up when your rear is off kilter.
 

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Will advise going to a two circuit system on your bags to avoid one side filling up when your rear is off kilter.
+1 on dual fills, if off-roading on an off-camber trail section, a single port can contribute to your truck rolling onto its side. It can also be used to balance out an off-kilter load if one tire's carrying more weight than the other,
 
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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice on the tee, vs. duel fill air springs. Makes sense to me, especially given these trucks have no rear anti-sway bar. I went with the single fill primarily to make it easy to match pressures while I experiment with this type of suspension.

What do you all think of installing a valve on one of the legs to close off when off-road, thereby isolating each air spring and eliminating the weight jacking problem?
 

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Thanks for the advice on the tee, vs. duel fill air springs. Makes sense to me, especially given these trucks have no rear anti-sway bar. I went with the single fill primarily to make it easy to match pressures while I experiment with this type of suspension.

What do you all thing of installing a valve on one of the legs to close off when off-road, thereby isolating each air spring and eliminating the weight jacking problem?
I guess that could work too, but seems unnecessarily complicated when the kit supplies two air valves to begin with. IMHO just mount them both. Some folk used the unused license plate bolt holes which makes the ports almost invisible against the colour of the license plate itself. A clever answer that I never thought of, I punched holes through my bumper since I'm going to end up RaptorLining it or swapping for an aftermarket anyway.
 

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What do you all think of installing a valve on one of the legs to close off when off-road, thereby isolating each air spring and eliminating the weight jacking problem?
That is a clever work-around.
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
AVS BUGFLECTOR II

WHY
We tend to get a lot of rock chips here in the mountains where we live. Just trying to cut down on the damage.

PARTS
NOTES
  • Bolted up no problems. Hood lines up perfectly when closed.
  • A little more resistance on the rubber seal in the front of the hood, so I have to drop the hood from a few inches higher than before
RESULTS

321889
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
KATANA LED HEADLIGHT BULBS

WHY
As many others have said on the forum, Frontier OEM headlights suck. Honestly, the worst on any vehicle I have owned. After researching options, I’m going to give these Katana’s a try. The price is certainly right. I plan to upgrade OEM fogs and install a combo beam light bar in the bumper. I’m hoping the combination of these will solve the problem.

PARTS
NOTES
  • Passenger side is pretty challenging to get to without removing the battery. I got it done, but scraped up hands more than it was worth. If I was to do it again, I’d go ahead and pull the battery.
  • I followed the aiming procedure @raine share here. Interestingly, it needed no adjustment on the passenger side, and more than I would have expected on the drivers side. I double checked if the driver side bulb was properly seated and it appears to be. I’ll keep an eye on this.
RESULTS
Passenger = OEM, Driver Katana
321901




Both Katana
321900
 

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That Twenty Twen Twen.............
 

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2020 Frontier King Cab SV 4x4
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44 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLER
WHY
Can't tow a 2000 lb. trailer without trailer brakes (at least I don't want to). I used this same controller in our Xterra and it worked out very well. Why mess with success?

PARTS
NOTES
  • This controller uses a three-axis accelerometer to sense inertia, so it needs a solid mount. There is a great spot to anchor the controller unit (see pic) under the dash, on the drivers side, near the factory trailer wiring connector. I just zip tied it in there.
  • I made myself a wiring harness adapter using a pigtail from Tekonsha. I clipped off the controller end and soldered it up to the pigtail provided with the controller (see pic).
  • In the Xterra I used an empty switch location by the window controls, but I don't have any available switch cutouts on the Frontier, so I needed another location. This controller has a ‘User Controlled Mode’ for off-road so I like to have the control knob easily accessible. After some poking around I decided right next to the shifter was a pretty good location. There is just enough cable to get there from the controller mounting point and it's good location to reach without having to look for the control.
RESULTS

Controller mounting location
321936


Wiring Harness Adapter
321934


Switch Location
321935
 

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