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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Jason's 2018 Pro-4X Daily Driver and Camping Truck

Well, after my almost brand new 2017 (barely 15000 miles :() got totaled, here we go again with a 2018 Pro-4X. After getting rear-ended twice in the last truck, I decided to go with Lava Red for the paint this time around. Hopefully I'll be a little more visible this way :p.

Same as the 2017, this is my daily driver, and once I get a new shell put on will be my all-purpose weekend adventure truck. I definitely learned some things from the few months I had the 2017. Chief among them was that the truck is far more comfortable in tight off-road situations than I am. Given that fact, I went ahead and ponied up for the Pro-4X this time, and I think the Pro-4X suspension should keep me happy for quite a while.

Desert fun at ~200 miles


Finally set up for camping, first trip to Death Valley in Feb. 2018


Current state of the truck







INFO
Username: Wintermute (Jason)
Year: 2018
Make: Um...
Model: Tacoma, no... Titan, wait where am I?
Trim: Pro-4X King Cab
Color: Lava Red

INTERIOR
#003 ProClip Cell Phone Holder
#020 Red LED Interior Lights

EXTERIOR
#007 Plasti Dipped Lettering
#008 Plasti Dipped Grill
#019 OEM Old Style Tailgate Cap
#019 OEM Hood Protector
#034 White Knuckle Off Road Sliders
#034 Trailridge Tow Mirrors

BED
---- Snugtop Hi-Liner Camper Shell
#029 Storage and Mattress Platform

ELECTRICAL
#004 Dealer Security System Removal

GEAR & OTHER
#009 EZ Down Tailgate Dampers
#010 Rear Axle Vent Mod

IN PROGRESS
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
ProClip Cell Phone Mount

First thing that always goes in my vehicles: A mount from ProClip. They're by far the best cell phone mounts I've found. You order the mount in two parts. One part matches the truck, the other matches your phone, and they screw together to form a custom fitted system. This mount came out of my old Frontier, so I didn't have any instructions, but the mounting is dead simple. It just snaps into place using existing openings where trim pieces come together.


A plain old Apple Lightning cable plugs into the bottom of the phone holder. I used some zip tie mounts with double-sided tape to route the cable over to the USB port on the passenger's side.


Two ties all the way at the front of the bottom tray area keep the cable hidden and out of the way as it crosses over.


Finally, in to the USB plug. Unfortunately my USB plug is a bit loose, and the phone disconnects randomly while driving. Haven't decided yet whether I am going to let the dealer replace it or just order the part and do it myself. Anyone know how easy it is to pop this socket out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Dealer Security System Removal

So to get a Pro-4X in read, I had to get it delivered from Reno. Unfortunately, it seems Reno Nissan is one of those dealers that puts after market security systems in all of their vehicles. All of the videos I found online showed a quick 5-minute job to yank out three wires and reconnect the ignition. Not so with this system. First off, the ignition wire is down under the driver's side door trim piece. After pulling that off, I found a rat's nest of wires tapped in to the factory harnesses.


Fortunately, after tracing everything, it turned out that only one of the wires was actually cut, so I figured that had to be the ignition wire and I could proceed with reconnecting that wire and ripping everything else out.


I soldered in a short patch of 12 gauge wire since there was so little to work with of the original wire. I (barely) managed to remember to put the heat shrink on *before* soldering the second end. At this point I cranked the truck to make sure it worked with the security system bypassed, so that I had a fallback of trying to re-wire things the way they were if I had messed something up. It cranked just fine, so one I went.


Finally, I ripped out the rest of the crimp-on patches, taped over the resulting splits in the wire insulation, and did my best to tape the original wiring harnesses back into bundles.


And here's what I pulled out:


All in all, way too much work that I should never have had to do at all. I wish I had caught that the damn thing was there before I took delivery. If I had, I think I would have at least tried to get them to replace the whole wiring harness before accepting the truck. I really hate that dealers go in and just hack away at the factory wiring harnesses like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just curious...why remove the security alarm?
Because I have no idea what's inside those two black boxes and I know they didn't come from the factory. For all I know they have a GPS tracker in there. Even if it's not doing anything nefarious, the ignition was still routed through it. If anything died in the security system, I might find myself unable to start the truck. This seems to happen often enough to generate many easy to find reports online. On top of all that, any electrical issues in the security system's electronics could cause issues elsewhere in the truck. I also can't find any kind of real online presence for the company whose name was on the sticker they put on the truck, which means absolutely no support if something did happen.

Long story short, I don't want any aftermarket plugged into my electrical system unless I wire it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Plasti Dip Rear badges and Grill

I had a bunch of things to do to the truck today, so while I was at it I decided to grab a spray can of Plasti Dip from Home Depot and spray the grill and rear badges. The only tools for this job were a small screwdriver to pop the clips holding the grill on, painter's tape, and a roll of paper towels for masking.

I taped off the the badges with about an inch of room around the outside.


After taping, I started spraying. A single pass doesn't really get much coverage, so I did 3 coats, each coat consisting of several passes to get full coverage each time.


After letting the Plasti Dip dry for about an hour (the can says to wait at least 4, but I'm impatient), I pulled the masking off and peeled off the excess. The outside was pretty easy to peal off by hand. I used toothpicks to get the inside bits up and to clean up any loose bits sticking out.



All finished. I also popped the Flex Fuel badge off, because I thought it would look silly Plasti Dipped and it seemed out of place with the lettering blacked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At the same time as the above, I pulled the grill off and painted it as well. The grill comes off much easier than I expected; it just has 6 pop-up clips on the top, and 6 tabs on the bottom. Took all of 2 minutes to pull it off. I was originally going to do the whole thing, but I saw another Frontier with the whole grilled blacked out, and I thought the black burger looked kind of silly, so I popped the burger off.


After a couple coats. I really only sprayed the silver parts. I didn't bother trying to get coverage on the black mesh.


And all done.


I know people have a wide range of opinions on black vs. chrome. I'm not really the kind of person who wants to black out all the things, but I do prefer black to silver/chrome for the most part. I think the grill looks pretty good, but I'm curious to see how it holds up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rear Axle Vent

Last up for the today is the rear axle vent. I pretty much followed this write up. The part I ordered was a 1st gen Titan part, Nissan part number 38323-C601A. It worked, but it is quite a bit smaller than the 1/4" fuel line I bought. I was able to get the fuel line nice and tight with a hose clamp, so I think it's okay. I will keep an eye on it though to make sure it doesn't work loose. In addition to the Titan part, I bought 6' of 1/4" fuel line, a 1/4" barbed fuel filter, and some 1/4" hose clamps from Amazon.

Here's the original axle vent. I'm not that adventerous yet, so I doubt I even need to do this for water prevention. I'm doing it more to avoid potential vacuum issues that have been reported. After locating the valve, I sprayed some slightly soapy water wiped everything down so that I didn't get any dirt or other contaminants in the axle while swapping the plugs.


The original plug is 14mm and the new one was 12mm. Both fit inside of my long sockets. The original plug isn't too tight, so I only torqued the new one down a bit more than hand tight.


After installing the new plug, I clamped the fuel line to it, and zip tied the fuel line along side the brake line.


And across the round frame piece below the bed.


And finally to the little clamp thing mentioned in the write up linked above. This takes care of the vacuum issue and gets the vent quite a bit higher. If I feel I need to, I may revisit this in the future to move the vent all the way to the taillight area.
 

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The truck is looking good! You did a good job with the plasti-dip. I had a similar experience with my truck, rear ended with 3000 miles on it. They didn't total it and replaced the entire frame... Rookie insurance adjuster I guess... You'll like the Pro-4X, very capable with little work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The truck is looking good! You did a good job with the plasti-dip. I had a similar experience with my truck, rear ended with 3000 miles on it. They didn't total it and replaced the entire frame... Rookie insurance adjuster I guess... You'll like the Pro-4X, very capable with little work!
Thanks!

I just read through your build thread, our cases were very similar indeed in all respects. My insurance didn't want to total it initially, but the body shop did a great job talking them into it for me. I looked around and was pretty confident that they wouldn't find any used Frontiers similar to mine (in CA they have to use actual vehicles for sale to establish value). I was right and they ended up paying me very close to what I paid for the truck in the first place. I also made sure I could find another Frontier that matched my needs before I let them total mine. This one had to come all the way from Reno, and it was one of only two KC Pro-4X's on the West coast as far as I could tell.

Love your build by the way. Hopefully if nothing has fallen apart by now all of the repairs were good, but I'll be curious to see if anything crops up earlier than expected once you get over 100k. I was planning to keep my truck forever too (and plan to do the same with this one), and my biggest fear going the repair route was that things would go bad way down the line that may or may not have been related to the accident.
 

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What does one of those snug-top Hi-liners go for? I'd like to get one eventually. I really like the plasti-dipped emblems and front grille, I may need to do that.

Are only the 18s flex fuel? I haven't seen that before, my 16' doesn't have that badge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What does one of those snug-top Hi-liners go for? I'd like to get one eventually. I really like the plasti-dipped emblems and front grille, I may need to do that.

Are only the 18s flex fuel? I haven't seen that before, my 16' doesn't have that badge.
Base price for the Hi-Liner is about $1500, with a carpet headliner, roof rack rails, tax, and installation, I expect to come out to about $1900. I think I'm just about set to order it. I'll post a cost breakdown one I have the invoice in hand.

I haven't got a clue about the flex fuel. I sure didn't ask for it, and I also can't find any info on it on Nissan's site except a bullet point under the vehicle specs. Based on that, it looks like it's an option for the V6 Frontiers this year. No idea if it's a new option this year or not.
 

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As per 2017 & 2018 Frontier specs for 4.0 V6 only:
Flexible Fuel Vehicle models accept a range of fuels — from 100% gasoline to E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). These models are available only on specific models and are sold only in designated regions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmm, on https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/36920.shtml The 2016 doesn't list E85 fuel economy numbers, but the 2017 does https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/38303.shtml. Maybe they started it in 2017. Of course the fuel economy is worse, but its still kinda cool. I wonder if anything changed mechanically.
From the limited information I've been able to find, it seems like it's just a beefier fuel system that can deliver more fuel to the engine. No other changes that I can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tailgate Cap & Hood Protector

In preparation for putting on a camper shell, I ripped the spoiler tailgate cap off and put an OEM 2012 tailgate cap in its place. I think it looks pretty good, better at least than the aftermarket cap I put on the last truck that didn't line up with the burger properly. The only problem is that two of the bolts for the spoiler cap are still exposed. I haven't decided what to do about that yet, so for the time being the bolts just stay where they are. Some threads on here have reported that you can't buy the old-style cap on its own anymore, but Courtesy Nissan has part #999T1-BZ210, which is indeed just the cap.


It didn't cost me any extra in shipping, so I went ahead and threw an OEM hood protector into the same order. I think it matches well with the black grill.
 

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