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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everybody,

I thought I'd put a quick intro on here as I should be picking up my new to me 2006 CrewCab short bed Auto SE 4x4 a bit later this week. I needed to size up from my 91 Yota SR5 5spd since we just had a kid and I can't fathom not taking him on some great offroad adventures in the expansive wilderness that is our backyard.

when I first started looking for a CC truck I was looking at all the brands, but at least here in Colorado CC Tacomas hold their value like crazy, frontiers, not as much, but I still view them as great 4x4s, when I bought my first truck I was actually this close to picking up a hardbody instead. Initally I was looking for a long bed manual but those seem pretty hard to come by especially for 05+. so when this 06 Auto SB popped up in town I jumped on it, it has 139K and is entirely stock and sitting on some loud, nearly new Goodyear wrangler authority's (that I'm hoping to sell). while disappointed about giving up the manual trans, the 4.0 has some kick to it, i'm excited not to be the slow guy on the highway passes around here.

I'll post a pick as soon as I get the truck hopefully Wednesday or Thursday

updates planed in order of importance:

Tires - (within the first week?) planning on selling those loud wranglers and picking up some cooper at3's in 265/75r16 they should be plenty for what I'm looking to do and much more pleasant on the road

Suspension - (within the first year?) since the truck is still sitting on stock (and I imagine original) shocks I'm looking to put a super mild lift on it. probably a 2" leveling kit with adjustable shocks. I think I'm weighing the difference between the OME and Bilsten set ups. what's your take on these, bilsten seems like a good option due to price and warranty. I'm also curious how much lift is ideal for these trucks, where's the line between capability and overkill? I also see that NissTec is up in Denver so it's great to have one of the goto Nissan off-road shop within an hours drive. Eventually I'd like to do a titan swap but first I should probably see how much daycare digs into our pocket book LOL

Headlights - (within the first year?) I haven't tried the headlights yet but they're supper fogged so I'll probably be replacing with some new lenses, it looks like there are a bunch of options out there, haven't done enough research on this one yet.

Topper - Though I don't have the luxury of a 6ft bed any more I still think the utility of a topper is helpful. I'd like to be able to though my mountain bikes, and luggage in the bed and for everything to stay dry. I also like the idea of camping in the bed with a camper topper, or 4wheel type pop up camper though the 5 ft bed makes that a bit harder.

Basic recovery stuff - Hi lift jack, recovery straps, shovel, traction mats, you know so, i'm not stuck on a mountain somewhere. feel free weigh in on recommendations for a place to start.

Bumper and winch - yeah that's way out there but I'd love to pick something up eventually so that I'm not as worried about angle of attack and getting stuck.

Roof Top tent? - maybe eventually, since I've got the short bed this may be a better way for 3 of us to sleep in the wilderness, probably getting mounted on top of the topper that doesn't exist yet.

so, hi everybody, hopefully this rig will facilitate some great adventures and live a long life. I'm sure there's a sticky somewhere saying what the "best" mods are, I guess the most advantageous to the basic off road performance/life of the truck, basically what are the general shortcomings that we need to overcome with this platform? Thanks in advance for the advice and hopefully I'll see you guys out on the trail.
 

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Hello


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks, yeah rock sliders and some sort of locker are on the list as well, they're fairly far out there though. Plus I think i'm gonna scrap the idea of the Coopers and stick to what I know for these Colorado winters BFG K02s. I thought more tires had the winter snowflake designation.
 

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Welcome! For your headlights call up a local body shop and ask how much to sand and clear them. Just had a friend of mine do it last week and he only charged me $40 the actual shop price was $50 I believe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Finely picked up the truck it was a bit arguious as the transmission took a crap in less than 24 hours of initially picking it up. Luckily the seller was really accommodating.


So just before I picked the truck up for the first time the seller checked the transmission fluid and it was really dirty. after talking to the previous owner it sounded like the fluid had never been changed. He pulled the pan, changed the filter, bypassed the radiator and added an extra trans cooler. He sent me pictures and there was no sign of coolant in the transmission just 140k trans fluid. Then I actually poured in the new transmission fluid at his shop. Drove it home no problem, when going back to his shop with a friend to pick up my old truck the transmission seemed to get stuck in first. Then the CEL popped on and it was in limp mode, this was less than a mile from the shop. So I instead of driving home with both trucks just left with my old truck.

The seller actually insisted in giving my money back but I had also already titled and registered the truck in my name. this lead to a weekend of wondering what the hell was gonna happen. we sent some texts back and forth and it turns out that the code the truck initially kicked back was p1731 " 1st Gear Engine Braking Logic Error " which most likely means a malfunctioning solenoid. so most likely the first transmission fluid change in this trucks life freed up some debris that got lodged in the solenoid.

I ended up sending the seller a 4 days later and we decided on me taking the truck as is for $1100 less than our original selling price. this was super awesome of him since I had already initially paid him, took the truck and titled it in my name, he was in no way obligated to do this. All he had done with the truck since I dropped it back off with him was pull the pan again, and according to the guidance of another mechanic sprayed the valve body with brake cleaner, put the pan back on and topped off the fluid.

so I picked the truck up tuesday night and so far no issues. the shift from 1st to 2nd is a little hard sometimes but iit seems to be smoothing out. hopefully I ended up getting a working truck for a killer deal but if some transmission work is needed eventually at least I have a decent buffer to work with.



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Might be worth it to do another drain and fill soon just to make sure you get more of the crud out that may have been left after the first drain.
 

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Welcome!

Wow, sounds like you may have gotten super lucky if everything works out as expected. Sounds like the SMOD may have happened next if the trans cooler wasn't bypassed. Glad to hear this hasn't tainted your view of the Frontier, they are great trucks!

As far as suspension goes, Chris and Stephen at Nisstec are very patient with questions to get you exactly what you need for your application. We usually have problems with the UCA hitting the coil bucket at over 2" of lift (CBC). Bilstein 5100's would be a good starting point if you are looking for a mild lift to test the waters. These reuse your stock springs. OME would be a more long term solution and they are engineered to upgrade the suspension without having to change out stock components (UCA's primarily). I have heard nothing but good things about OME. Another interesting contender that has come up for this application are the Bilstein 6112's. They offer a little less than 2" of lift (1.6") but are supposed to have a great dampening/spring combination to have a better ride offroad along with a 2.5" shock body to help with heat dissipation. These would also give you a lift without having any CBC. These, with a 2" AAL in the rear or a lift block would probably be the best bang for your buck IMO.

I have a set of stock Frontier Leafs with the 2"AAL on them already, I am just trying to get them out of the garage honestly (maybe trade for a 6 pack? ::grin::) . They have about 8000 miles on them (I changed mine out for Alcans).

Hopefully this helps more than hurts your decision!

Also, NORAC is a good group to get into contact with. They do a lot of work with the forest service to maintain trails. Bill Eirish (@golf286) is the dude to talk to about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Awesome, thanks for the response chris, I think I may take you up on those frontier leafs. It may take me a while before I can get up to Denver since I've got a 1month old at home, but I'd still need to get the shocks too so I'm not in a big rush to grab them.

I did see some used icon 2.5 coilovers in the classifieds so that might be an option as well with some 5100's in back. i'm almost thinking that I should go with some UCAs too since I'll be getting those leaf springs from you.

I had just started looking through your build thread when you responded here, how yours turned out is what I'm striving for eventually. also, what do you think about keeping the stock bumper? looks like you get by just fine without an aftermarket bumper. I'm planning on at least removing the air dam on the front bumper to make it look a bit better.

and thanks for turning me on to NORAC, I figured there had to be something like that in Colorado but couldn't find anything on Facebook so figured it didn't exist LOL
 

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Awesome, thanks for the response chris, I think I may take you up on those frontier leafs. It may take me a while before I can get up to Denver since I've got a 1month old at home, but I'd still need to get the shocks too so I'm not in a big rush to grab them. I did see some used icon 2.5 coilovers in the classifieds so that might be an option as well with some 5100's in back. i'm almost thinking that I should go with some UCAs too since I'll be getting those leaf springs from you.
I make my way down to the springs pretty often, we can coordinate that later. I will send you a PM with my contact info.


I had just started looking through your build thread when you responded here, how yours turned out is what I'm striving for eventually. also, what do you think about keeping the stock bumper? looks like you get by just fine without an aftermarket bumper. I'm planning on at least removing the air dam on the front bumper to make it look a bit better.
The stock front bumper doesn't really limit the truck at all. I went through Fins and Things in Moab and I almost dragged the front once but that was at a crazy angle. The rear is a different story. I dragged that all over the place. My plan is to buy a high clearance rear bumper from Insain Fab. That will have the greatest effect on off road capability and angles of the Frontier. I will eventually buy a front bumper as well, but more for the ability to have a winch then to help the approach angle.

and thanks for turning me on to NORAC, I figured there had to be something like that in Colorado but couldn't find anything on Facebook so figured it didn't exist LOL
Here is his build thread. I am sure that you can find him on Facebook as well.
http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f103/golf286-s-moab-princess-259514/
 

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Chris I just was reading your build, how did the mini kit work for you while you had it? You have the closest road conditions to what we have here in New Mexico I am on the hunt for some lift ride quality feedback
 

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Chris I just was reading your build, how did the mini kit work for you while you had it? You have the closest road conditions to what we have here in New Mexico I am on the hunt for some lift ride quality feedback
It rode identical to stock, the only reason I went with the PRG setup at this point was because the spacer just bolted to the top. With this setup, the spring preload doesn't change on the front or back so it doesn't change the ride at all. When I changed to the AAL, that improved the ride over pot holes and on dirt roads. Before, the rear of the truck tended to bounce to one side or the other after I hit a pot hole (simple internet explanation) after the AAL, it was more predictable.
 

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It rode identical to stock, the only reason I went with the PRG setup at this point was because the spacer just bolted to the top. With this setup, the spring preload doesn't change on the front or back so it doesn't change the ride at all. When I changed to the AAL, that improved the ride over pot holes and on dirt roads. Before, the rear of the truck tended to bounce to one side or the other after I hit a pot hole (simple internet explanation) after the AAL, it was more predictable.
Nice to hear that. Did you ever experience any CBC with that setup? I noticed you were also able to fit the 33s in with only the melt mod
 

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Welcome from the Black Forest. Look into Falken Wildpeak A/T AT3W's. They have the winter snow peak rating. Really affordable too (I bought 265 75 r16's for right at $400-sale price- shipped from DTD on eBay). Welcome to CF
 

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Nice to hear that. Did you ever experience any CBC with that setup? I noticed you were also able to fit the 33s in with only the melt mod
I had a little bit, very little in the real world. When I jacked the truck up the UCA's would sit on the coil buckets. Yeah they fit fine with stock offset wheels and the melt mod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Welcome from the Black Forest. Look into Falken Wildpeak A/T AT3W's. They have the winter snow peak rating. Really affordable too (I bought 265 75 r16's for right at $400-sale price- shipped from DTD on eBay). Welcome to CF
Thanks for the recommendation, that sounds like a good option too, I keep changing my thinking day to day on tires. Now I'm thinking about keeping the Wranglers (as long as my wife can put up with the noise) since they'll be good in the snow, good off road, and they've got a lot of tread left.

Now I'm thinking of prioritizing the suspension. Its tough, I feel like I should start with new shocks and maybe UCAs but the titan swap is really appealing. does it make sense to spend the money on a mild suspension setup when a budget titan swap doesn't cost much more. the titan swap is just a bit intimidating and requires more work/planning.
 

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Thanks for the recommendation, that sounds like a good option too, I keep changing my thinking day to day on tires. Now I'm thinking about keeping the Wranglers (as long as my wife can put up with the noise) since they'll be good in the snow, good off road, and they've got a lot of tread left.

Now I'm thinking of prioritizing the suspension. Its tough, I feel like I should start with new shocks and maybe UCAs but the titan swap is really appealing. does it make sense to spend the money on a mild suspension setup when a budget titan swap doesn't cost much more. the titan swap is just a bit intimidating and requires more work/planning.
If you know 100% that the T-Swap is your final goal, it makes sense (to me) to wait to acquire all of the T-Swap stuff. You can save the money for the temp solution and just wait a bit longer to do it right. It really isn't as complicated as it seems if you are mechanically inclined. Especially since you want to change UCA's anyways, you'll be half way there already! If you read these threads:

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f26/how-compiling-choosing-titan-swap-components-171657/

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/...lovers-t-swap-perfect-budget-coilover-205082/

they break it down really well. The Tundra 5100 route is a great way to get the most out of the T Swap with out going crazy on coil overs. Also, since your truck is an auto, you can probably find an M205 diff with titan axles and that will probably save you money compared to just going to extended axles (like I had to do). Heavy research and patience is your best friend and it will definitely be worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you know 100% that the T-Swap is your final goal, it makes sense (to me) to wait to acquire all of the T-Swap stuff. You can save the money for the temp solution and just wait a bit longer to do it right. It really isn't as complicated as it seems if you are mechanically inclined. Especially since you want to change UCA's anyways, you'll be half way there already! If you read these threads:

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f26/how-compiling-choosing-titan-swap-components-171657/

http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/...lovers-t-swap-perfect-budget-coilover-205082/

they break it down really well. The Tundra 5100 route is a great way to get the most out of the T Swap with out going crazy on coil overs. Also, since your truck is an auto, you can probably find an M205 diff with titan axles and that will probably save you money compared to just going to extended axles (like I had to do). Heavy research and patience is your best friend and it will definitely be worth it!
Yeah I know I skimmed through that first, choosing components, thread. my though was that, if I was to go the T swap route it would be using the M205 since it doesn't make the swap much more expensive but it makes the drivetrain more durable. I had read about using tundra coilovers for the budget swap and that would probably be the way I'd go initially at least. Thanks for the additional reading material, I'll have to read up on the swap if it is the route I plan on going.

Since I've got that line on those Icon coilovers and hopefully those 2" AAL I think the mild lift route will be my first course of action. I think a 2-3in lift will be plenty for me any ways I'm not looking to do anything too crazy. It seems like there are guys getting after it in trucks with 2-3 in lift without much problem. next on my ever evolving list I think would be a locker though the ABLS may be enough for my current applications. I don't know I'm still in the decision stages with the mods.
 
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