Nissan Frontier Forum banner

nthorn's 2002 Desert Runner

8710 Views 27 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  nthorn
Username: nthorn
Model: 2002 Frontier Desert Runner
Color: White

Interior: Escort 9500ix
Exterior: None yet

So a bit of a build and rebuild log for my truck, this is my running list of maintenance and upgrades I’m doing on my truck. I bought the truck from work last year for only $500 cash because they were planing on scraping it. I was hoping to get some work done on it last year but ended up having to go out of state for work until December and living in Michigan I try and wait until it warms up before working on my truck.

Over the weekend I changed out all the belts, water pump, and fuel filter. The timing belt was way over due, the truck has 167k on it and still had the original belt. I spent about 12 hours working on it, mostly taking it apart and laying it out so I could get it back together easily. Next up on my to do list is put on a cold air intake, new tires, changing out the steering pump, lines and rack. The steering rack itself is leaking and the baring on the pump sound like they’re bad, but it looks easy enough to do. I have to go out of town this week until July for work so I can’t do anything on it until I get back and have time.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
After being out of town for work for nine months, I'm finally able to work on my truck again. The battery in my truck was shot and needed to be replaced, it was 3 years old and was sitting for the nine months I was gone. I did fill it up all the way and put fuel stabilizer in the gas so after changing the battery the truck fired right up with no problems.

Being gone for so long I have done a bit to the truck the last couple weeks. First I put a K&N cold air kit on, changed all the interior bulbs to LED and replaced the bald tires out to Bfgoodrich AT KO-2's. I also have a Magnaflow exhaust coming later this week and hope to get that installed before the weekend.

See less See more
Looks good so far! I just got the BFG AT KO2s and absolutely love them. Great grip, quiet, and gives the truck a great stance. How do you like the K&N?
I really like the K&N intake. I had the drop in filter before and It didn't seem to change anything except not needing to be changed out but the cold air intake really perks the truck up. Before I had the new tires put on I had two tanks of gas through it and got about 1.5-2 mpg better then before. On the highway it drives much better and it just sounds better when accelerating. The AT KO2 tires are the same size as the old tires I had but seem to have made me drop 2-3mpg. I'm hoping that the new exhaust helps me get back 1-2mpg and then I will be back to where I started.
That sounds about right. I haven't had a chance to accurately measure my MPG after the new tires, but with a Gibson Exhaust and Air Box Mod I was getting 17 average (nearly all city) so I bet mine has decreased a tad too with BFGs that are an inch taller and wider. The spark plug cables look brand new, are those the "high performance" ones from 4x4parts?
The spark plug wires are the NKG premium plug wire set, I got them on amazon for $50. I use amazon a lot because of 2 day prime shipping and its usually the same price or cheaper for stuff. I was getting around 19 mpg average when the truck was stock. I really want to do a engine and tran swap after I get another150k on the truck and try to get it over 25mpg
What engine? I dream of doing a V8 swap but it probably will never happen, but I do know a guy...
My crazy idea for engine swap is not V8 but stay with a Nissan block and try and fit a RB26DETT in it if I can even get one.
Is that the same engine that was in the 240? My roommate has been re-building a 240. The engine is definitely still around, he has two of them and I think he got one off of eBay.
No that is the motor from the older GT-R skylines. My dream build would be to a full rebuild on a 240 Datsun or 620 Datsun and put that motor in it if I didn't put in in the fronter.
So the last two weeks I have added more stuff to my truck. I changed the exhaust out to a magnaflow and now it makes me want to do the headers and rest of the exhaust to stainless. The truck runs a lot smoother now with the exhaust and new air intake. I also put a tonneau cover on it so I can put stuff in the bed and not have to worry as much about it. Then I spent this weekend working under the dash putting an android head unit in and hiding the wiring for the dash cam.

See less See more
I got the Lund trifold tonneau model #95056. I have the desert runner with the 6’ bed and it fits it perfectly. It connects with four clamps so I didn't need to mount any rails or hardware and it stays on quite nice. I wanted something that I could put on without any hardware and be able to take off easily if I did need to use the bed. It has been on for about 500 miles now and it seem like it’s going to hold up fine. It’s not a hard cover so I can’t put anything on it but it was only $280 so for the price I think it was a deal.
Haven’t posted in a while but have been doing a bit here and there on my truck. I have switched all the rear lights out to led bulbs and swapped the turn signal relay out to work with the led’s. I have also got a couple new stickers for the back. Next up on the list is to rebuild or replace my rear diff. It sounds like my car is dying, I have a video on my phone I’ll have to upload tonight.

This is the difference in the reverse bulbs, led on the left incandescent on the right

all the old bulbs

See less See more
My truck is out of order for a couple days. Driving home the noise has gotten worse and im now starting a diff rebuild. Lucky my mom is letting me drive her car for a week so i can still get to work and pull this thing apart after work. last night i got the truck jacked up, wheels and brakes off and the drive shaft disconnected. tonight im going to pull the drive shafts and diff out. because the whole diff is connected to the front of the case when it pulls out im going to see if i can take it to a friend of mine and see if he can help me rebuild it.

Link is to how bad my truck sounds
So I spent the last two nights after work pulling my rear apart. It didn't take that long to do but it’s so cold outside right now I can only work under the truck for so long. Now I’m waiting on new barring’s to come in from 4x4parts so I can take it to a friend to rebuild it.

rear diff plugs removed and diff oil drained

Rear brake shoe removed to remove parking brake line

brake line, parking brake line disconnected and nuts holding the axle disconnected.

Drive-shaft disconnected from rear diff

speed sensor cable disconnected

nuts holding the diff removed and diff removed

Diff removed
See less See more
Got my rear diff back from my friend who rebuild it this weekend and got it installed, 3 of the 4 barrings were bad. It is still making noises so im going to replace the wheal barrings and seals this weekend. When I put it back together I could tell that the wheal baring were worse then the ones that were in the diff but I needed to get it together and have something to drive when I wait for parts.
Got some work on my truck done this weekend, I changed out the rear right wheal barring and seals. The outside wheel seal was warn out and the outside barring was all full of road gunk. The left rear still needs to be replaced eventually but it does not sound bad like the right side did.
Spend some time this weekend working on replacing more stuff on my truck. My carrier barring was really bad and the ujoints were starting to get warn out so I pulled the drive shaft off and spent some time working on it. The carrier barring took forever to get off, ended up having to cut the whole thing out piece by piece and it made a huge mess of the garage. Next on my list is to pull apart the front suspension and replace all the ball joints, bushing and shocks.
I haven't had much time lately to do work on lately, most of my free time im spending working on my Prizm and it now finally running but still needs a bit more to get it where I want it to be. I did clean out the mass air flow senor last night and it seems to run a bit better so im happy about that.

I have a box of parts for my truck and more parts coming hopefully later this week. Right now I have the upper and lower ball joints, bushing for sway bar and A-arms and still waiting on the center link, idler arm and tie rod ends to come. My everything in the front just feels sloppy and warn out and all the rubber boots on everything are all dry rotted and cracking.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.