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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi! Thanks for checking out my Fronty! Please leave any comments or questions that you have!


Mods:

Interior and Cargo Bed LEDs

Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Head Unit

Hellwig Anti Sway Bar

Front Poly Anti Sway Bar Bushings

Ebay running board/hoop steps

AVS In-Channel window visors

VMS Pedal Covers

XTP Intake Manifold Spacer

Under Rear seat Sub Box

EZ Down tailgate dampener

Gator EVO Tonneau Cover

Gibson Elite Black Cat-Back Exhaust
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Hi! Wanted to start proper new thread on my 'new' Fronty & membership!

Just picked up this 2016 fronty on Sunday. first 'new' vehicle i've ever owned. I got them to throw in a canopy off of a used frontier on the lot, plus another bonus that I need to go pick up at the dealership!
Liking it so far... hoping to get me the Hellwig rear bar this spring as a first upgrade.




 

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That is a beautiful truck! I own the same year, make, and model, except the color is Graphite Blue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is a beautiful truck! I own the same year, make, and model, except the color is Graphite Blue.
That's really cool, i would have loved the blue instead of white. let's see some pictures!
I was sick of silver (owned a handful of silver cars, last truck was a silver ranger) so i wanted something different but not BLACK since it's too hard to keep it clean here where it rains every day, but I can safely say this will be my LAST white vehicle! it's just as hard to keep clean! I should have stuck with silver! I would have loved the blue or red but they're not easy to find.
I'm also about ready to sell off the canopy. I got them to throw it in but I don't care for the reduced visibility and added weight. I bought one for my last pickup and sold it off too, not sure why I thought I wanted one again. They're super nice to have when you need it but I rarely need it, only for rain protection. No dog, no camping, no frequent hauling of things. thought of going with a softopper to throw on instead when i need it but they're too much $. I'll probably just go for folding tonneau cover, i like that I can keep it on and locked.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sounds

Finally got a head unit. Hopefully the install will go smoothly. I've read a few threads so I know what to expect. I've also got all of the adapters needed. at the moment not planning on replacing any speakers.
First will be getting a new sub and my old amp installed but my old type-R 10 won't fit in here so probably will go with a cheap pre-fab box under the back seat and a decent shallow sub. really liking the specs of the sundown SD3 but not sure if I can swallow $210 (so the JL and alpine shallow are out of the question) Might go with a kicker compRT for $140 instead but would really like something that I can throw 500w RMS to from my existing little 500wrms amp, and i'm wanting as much output as possible with a single 10 and 500wrms to replace what I had, i realize it likely won't match what my type-R could put out since I have to go with a shallow but I want to get as close as possible without spending a fortune...

 

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Here is the truck! A little dirty but she is a beauty! I also have my ham radio installed in the dash too.







 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Finally got the Pioneer head unit installed. Definitely did not go smoothly. The steering wheel controls were a challenge but I got it working after coming close to giving up.


I also decided to sell off my canopy and found it a new home. I don't haul dogs or camp or really need it, so it made sense to let it go. I'm enjoying the ability to see again, and the reduced weight seems to make it feel a little more nimble. I'll probably get a hard folding tonneau cover.
 

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Finally got the Pioneer head unit installed. Definitely did not go smoothly. The steering wheel controls were a challenge but I got it working after coming close to giving up.
This is a great looking radio! I have a couple questions about the installation and its functions.

  • Does the Pioneer radio fit correctly into the dash without it looking aftermarket or just out of place?

  • Does the Pioneer radio have built-in GPS compatibility or does it rely on your cell phone's internet connection?

  • Does the Pioneer radio work correctly with the steering wheel controls, and the telephone controls?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is a great looking radio! I have a couple questions about the installation and its functions.

  • Does the Pioneer radio fit correctly into the dash without it looking aftermarket or just out of place?

  • Does the Pioneer radio have built-in GPS compatibility or does it rely on your cell phone's internet connection?

  • Does the Pioneer radio work correctly with the steering wheel controls, and the telephone controls?
It requires a dash kit trim piece. I went with the standard Metra. You can tell it isn't factory if you look close but it isn't bad compared to others I've seen. It sits recessed a bit too but still looks good enough for me.

This is the avh-1300nex , it doesn't have the android auto which would use the phones Gps from what I understand. It would need the additional gps module. For around $50 more the next model up has the android auto features which can interface with the phones Gps. I figured if I'm still dependent on the phone I may as well just use the phone.

The steering wheel buttons are working except haven't tested the phone buttons yet. I very rarely use my phone for actual voice calls so it wasn't a priority. The buttons are programmable so I should be able to get them working if They don't....
 

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Nice looking trucks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
some leds

By leaving my door open to keep the map lights on during my stereo install, it drained my battery down to almost dead. in fact it dropped so low, my trip meter reset to 0! it BARELY had enough juice to start the truck. Pretty crazy that around 5-6 hours of 4 tiny bulbs on would drain it that much...
For some crazy reason, if you switch the map lights to ON manually with the ceiling switch, they STILL turn OFF automatically after around 15 minutes. So I left the door open and just hit the door switch periodically to keep them on. What I failed to realize is that by leaving the door open, the cargo/bed lights were also on. Oops…

I decided to reduce the amp draw if I need to do something like that again, I need to get some LEDs. I grabbed a couple map light LEDs from Diode Dynamics. Already had one in the rear dome.

Installed them, took all of about 3 minutes. to pop the front map light lenses off, pry from the INSIDE/MIDDLE edges! they install quickly and easily. I'd say they are close to twice as bright as factory. I went with the warm white because I prefer it inside over 6000k. It's actually just a bit colder than the factory halogens which is perfect for me.

here's a pic of the new warm white Diode Dynamics SMF6 LED vs the factory halogen bulb.


I tried the Philips festoon 6000k LED here before, it was not quite as bright as the DD (but still brighter than factory), more expensive, and much colder 6000k.
Definitely like the DD much better. They are also available in a bunch of colors including the 'cool' white.
https://www.diodedynamics.com/map-light-leds-for-1998-2018-nissan-frontier-pair.html
Totally worth it for $5 each.

For the rear cargo bed lights I went with a Philips because they're half the price of the DD and I don't mind 6k for these. I went with a new model where the LEDs are only on the sides (3 on each side), so I was a bit skeptical that these would be very bright since there is no beam pointing straight back, but I was OK with that gamble as these lights aren't critical for me.
Since I'll be taking the 3rd brake light out anyway I also grabbed a 194 red LED from DD. Interested to see how bright it is compared to the factory bulb which per specs a 912 puts out more light.



All 3 stock bulbs I pulled out were 912, vs a lot of people saying theirs were 921s.
New ones installed. The new 921 Philips LEDs were longer than factory, I believe they just barely fit in the housing length-wise. in the installed position the LEDs shine right and left. the base was also a bit larger, they didn't "snap" into place like the factory bulbs, but instead just pushed in kind of hard. not a great feeling but they shouldn't go anywhere, it takes a bit of pull to remove.



To my surprise the new Philips LEDs are considerably brighter output into the bed than factory. I guess the light housings do a really good job at reflecting the light where it should go. Haven't been able to check the brake light brightness yet since I can't step on the brake and walk behind the truck to look at the same time but it reflects nicely off of the parking garage ceiling so I'm thinking it's doing an improved job.

EDIT: 03/28: Had the wife step on the brake while I stood behind it - definitely more light than stock. Impressed considering the little 194 LED is smaller and lower lumen rating than a 912 halogen. Another winner from Diode Dynamics.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Finally got around to getting the Hellwig sway bar installed.

My experience with the installation was a bit mixed. The bar itself seems very nicely made. The whole end link thing is not my favorite. I kind of wish they would have gone with a simple balljoint type that would have zero flex like in the front vs this bushing type. Instructions are terrible and have different torque values on different pages, and on the end link assembly page, it shows a 'thick washer' going on which I did not receive, none I got were 'thicker' of that size. i emailed hellwig clearly explaining that i had no 'thicker washer' but had all of the same standard washers. they said 'well take care of it, give me your address.' so i did and a few days later I received an entire extra box of ALL hardware, and it again did not have any 'thick washer' in it, so i just used what it included, although I did use two of the extra washers to put between the bar and end link like some other folks did.

The main part that had me frustrated are the "sleeves" that go into the frame holes. mine stuck out a tiny bit too far so per instructions i had to grind/file them down a bit so they're 0.030 inches shallower than the big washer. that goes around it. i'm not sure if I filed them down enough. Another mystery is that there were two pairs of the 'sleeves' included, one slightly longer than the other. No idea why. I used the short ones.
For drilling the frame holes I actually used a 7/16 bit which was a better fit for the 7/16 bolts included, and i used a 43/64" drill bit instead of the 11/16 so the sleeve was a nice tight fit (had to tap it in) Figured it would be a more solid assembly, no access/skill for a welder or I would have done that.



I mounted the bar on the middle holes.
For kicks i installed some lateral locks, hit them and the U bolts with some red.

Final Thoughts:
I used to have a canopy and it swayed A LOT, that's why I got the bar. Recently I got rid of the canopy before putting the bar on, and the sway reduced over 50%, in fact, I really didn't feel like I needed the sway bar any more but I already had it waiting to be installed so I figured what the heck.

Initial impressions are less sway, as expected. On the freeway this morning I did some 70mph lane switching and it felt more planted. it wasn't like A "DAYDUM THIS IS A RACECAR NOW" feeling, that's why i'm kind of wondering if perhaps I didn't get those sleeves filed down enough and maybe my end links are moving where they attach to the frame, but I don't hear any noise or see any evidence of movement. I guess i was expecting a little more based on reviews I've read. I think I may be feeling more movement transferred up to the front now, I have some uro bushings for the front that I haven't installed yet. perhaps I should try the outer bar holes and see how it feels in comparison.

I would say if you're lifted and/or have a canopy, or do a lot of freeway driving, this is a worthy mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Finally got around to installing the Prothane front sway bar bushings. I had them sitting around for months.

Well guess what, they don't fit the 2016 4x4 CC. I guess something changed some year where the size of the brackets were revised. I know a lot of folks run these without issue. I did some research and found others with Xterras that had the same problem as me.

You can see how they red Prothane's aren't exactly the same dimension - there is more bushing at the bottom where it contacts the frame - this makes it crush down when tightened and it gets all deformed.


Prothane VS Stock


To fix the issue I went with the Whiteline W23323 bushing.
You can see it still isn't perfectly the same dimension as the stock bushing, instead of too bit it actually appears a bit smaller. I regret not putting my caliper on it to get an accurate measurement.
One thing I like about the whiteline vs the prothane is that it has that middle 'rib' part to sit properly inside of the factory bracket better than the prothane.

Factory bushing Vs Whiteline



Prothane Vs Whiteline


Whiteline installed - there is no deforming and leaves a little bit of gap around the bar, kinda wonder if it doesn't tighten down enough, time will tell!



So far so good... only have about 1k miles on it but I can tell it's flexing less - especially when turning 90 deg corners in intersections, the front end dips less.
Along with the rear bar there is no more fear of high speed in this heavy rig. it feels great now at 70mph, no more floaty soft suspension feeling.

I figure if these don't last, i'll try these other's I've run across:
By the look, it might be the closest match yet to the factory bushing.

Nolathane REV004.0206 Black Sway Bar Mount Bushing (Front 34Mm)
 

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great thread. Never seen pics of the rear sway installed. Got pics of the end links.

BTW, this should be in readers build section. THe intro section is for newbies.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was looking for a cheap running board setup to help my toddler get in and out of the truck. I've never cared for running boards personally, I dont usually like the look and they feel awkward to step onto for me, I've never gotten used to them. But the Fronty is higher than any vehicle I've had and I'd love to not have to lift the kid up.

So I did the usual searches and found that I kinda liked the side step hoop style, gives it a more truck type look versus a minivan style flat running board, and a lower step. Not wanting to spend $400 on something that I wasnt sure if I'd even like, I scoured ebay for cheapness.

99% of the time when I buy cheap, I buy twice. The wife told me not to do it, but at $132 shipped (15% off sale) it was hard not to.
I ended up going with these:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-2005-2018-Nissan-Frontier-Crew-Cab-Running-Boards-Side-Steps-BLACK-Nerf-Bar-/273069743948

The seller also has a different style that I kind of liked the look of better but it has sharper edges that I figure aren't as kid safe.
I noticed a lot of the cheap boards only come with two brackets per side. Since I'm fat I asked the seller if it came with two or three per side and they answered in a couple hours that there were 3 per side.

So I pulled the trigger...
FedEx showed it shipped directly from China!
Box showed up in under a week!
YTI brand, whatever that is...


Not bad looking. Not top notch but wasnt expecting it.










Install was easier than I expected. I didnt realize the truck already had the studs sticking out from the rockers to make this a breeze. For some reason the front studs are just a tiny bit shorter and I couldnt get the nut to bite using the included lock washers so I left them out in the front and used a little thread lock. I'm curious how the OEM board brackets attach, from pictures I've seen they are the same way, I'm surprised the brackets dont attach to the frame too like some trucks do, they are way sturdier.







My expectations are low. I know these are a cheap Chinese product. After tightening it all up and stepping on one step it does flex down a bit, enough to make me feel like they may not last a long time. I am a bit over 200 lbs, the ad says supports 350lbs. I couldnt imagine. I'm not sure exactly where the flex is, I think it may be where the bracket attaches to the steps because its attaching the flat bracket to the round step, so it isnt a sturdy point. there is about an inch of adjustability there to move the step down if desired, I have it set to the highest position.
One thing I do really like is this hoop design for a couple of reasons. The steps drop lower than a normal running board, so it is comfortable to use getting in plenty of room for your foot, and getting out I was pleasantly surprised that my left foot/leg would clear the left of the step, making it really easy to drop out of the truck without having to try avoiding the step if I dont want to. So I'm very happy with the design of these versus traditional style "boards" and will go with the same style but a known quality brand if the need to replace comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The other day installed some AVS in-channel window visors. Couldnt pass it up for $45 shipped from amazon. So far I like it, should have gotten them from the start. In this area you use them very often. They didnt fit quite perfectly on the front by the mirror but for how cheap they were I cant complain.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Couple new updates:

Pointless bling: I wanted some pedal covers. My past sedan had nice sporty aluminum pedals and I missed that.


They were cheap $25 ebay specials. First impressions are ok, they scratch extremely easily, the screws are garbage, i stripped out one of the philips heads with a new bit, don't know if i will be able to take it off without cutting! I was able to use the brackets it came with instead of direct drilling and mounting. Had my eye on some nice Sparco's but not sure it's worth it to spend four times as much on a slow automatic truck. I used to have nice factory alum sport pedals on my last car so I missed that. I will probably end up taking these off and throwing them away when they get all beat up.

Then the bigger update.


Sorry for the one crap picture... its the XTP IMS.
Failed miserably to take install pics, i was super rushed to get it done and didn't really think about pics.
Install was very easy. just took a little time. I was a bit scared about the torx stud step because everything I read said those were stuck in bad. mine twisted out very easily (and i had the correct bit) must be because the truck has really low miles on it.
None of the old threads I found posting dyno sheets work anymore but I read that it's around a 30 horse or tq increase around 2500rpm, which is exactly what this truck needs in my opinion.

First impressions: It seems to work. I can tell that there is a bit more torque down low where this thing needs it. If I didn't know that it was installed I probably never would have known that it was, the difference is not super noticeable, but it just seems to take less effort to get going, feels "smoother", hard to explain. I'm sure some is placebo effect. When i'm climbing hills around 2k rpm it seems to have a bit more holding power before it has to downshift (which drives me crazy). Climbing a freeway hill today I tested uphill at 60mph around 1900rpm and the truck was still able to accelerate (albeit barely) in 5th without downshifting. I'm comfortable in saying that there is a slight power improvement. Price is way too high for this piece of aluminum IMO but i'm satisfied.

To further the quest for power I would still like to go with an intake and maybe an exhaust, but from what I've read, I will lose low end torque with each of those mods, which is exactly what I DON'T want...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Next up is a better sub box...
I had an Alpine 10" type R in a super cheap prefab box just sitting behind the passenger seat. Sounds good but didn't like how it blocked access for the kid climbing in, and the front seat couldn't slide all the way back and had to be slid up about half way for sub excursion clearance, making it less than idea for anyone to sit in the seat.
I know everyone says 'go custom, go custom' but around where I am resources are time are limited and ridiculously expensive (car toys quoted me like $600 for a box alone, ridiculous) After researching subwoofers I decided to give a try to the Sundown SD3. I realize no shallow(ish) sub is going to sound as good as a full sized sub so I wanted to get the "best" sub that I could that would possibly fit. I emailed a few places that made boxes and found that Sound Off Audio was willing to modify the box slightly to fit the SD3 so I was pretty happy.

Pros: fits the SD3

Cons: Doesn't fit the truck properly. I guess by adding additional room for the SD3, the rear seat bottom can't go low enough to latch. Not terrible, and the only reason it bugs me is that I have a car seat in the back for the kid and being up that little bit reduces the room I have to load her up. Not the end of the world but it bugs me.
Also the fit on the floor is not perfect - it is about an inch longer than it should be in the main section and wants to slide out of the truck towards the door. I ended up modifying it slightly and extended the foot on the end to sit better on the floor as well as cut off the other foot to get it to sit a hair lower for seat clearance on the other side. I know I could raise up the seat but that won't gain me anything except the ability to latch the seat down. I actually took a hammer and beat down the underside of the seat slightly and that got me about half way closer, I didn't want to make the cushion bulge out from the top so I stopped there. I know what you're all thinking - why the heck didn't you return the box? Part of me wanted to, but I didn't want to deal with that since the guy was willing to accommodate my custom request and I knew I could make it work well enough so I just went with it. it's 90% there. With a seat cover on I can't even tell the seat isn't down all the way.
If it bugs me enough later I will consider another box that fits properly and go with either the JL 10TW3 or the Alpine SWRT10 Instead even if it meant losing even more output, I'd rather have it fit right and have less boom.

As far as sound, the SD3 is pretty darn good, but it can't match the output or lows of my good ol type-R, but I didn't expect it to. Part of me wants to push it harder to try to get the output I want but I don't want to blow the thing. Right now it's hooked up to a cheap 500w mono Sony amp but I also have an 800w Kicker on the shelf. I've heard the SD3 will blow if you push over 500w to it. Unfortunately car audio is one of those things where most folks can't compare their setup components so all we can do is say 'it sounds good' but have no idea how it actually compares. I wish I could hear the shallow type-R and the JL 10tw3 in here, if they sound just as good then i'd ditch the SD3 in a heartbeat, but from the research I've done, many people raved about the SD3 > JL.



 
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