Nissan Frontier Forum banner

301 - 320 of 884 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
how so? I've not looked too closely at their IFS.
So here's two photos for comparison. Tacoma on the bottom and Frontier on the top.





You'll notice a couple key differences.

First off, notice that the upper control arm is in a different position. The Tacoma's upper control arm sits outboard of the coilover, meaning it swings around the coilover when the suspension articulates. The Frontier, on the other hand, has an upper control arm that sits above the coilover, meaning that the upper control arm swings towards or away from the coil bucket. This is a worse design, because if the shock length is extended, eventually the UCA will impact the coil bucket.

Second, take a look at shock length. The Tacoma's upper shock mount is much higher on the frame rail, so they can utilize a longer shock. Longer shocks mean more overall suspension travel.

Third, note the position of the CV axle shaft. It's much lower down on the Tacoma than the Frontier. This means it can be lifter higher and droop more than the Frontier can before the CVs start to bind up.

Fourth, take a look at the frame. It's kind of hard to see, but the frame on a Tacoma is noticeably narrower than the Frontier, which has it's advantages when we're talking independent suspension. A narrower frame means longer control arms, longer CV axles, and longer tie rods. This is good, because longer control arms means more travel. It also means that CV angles are lessened because of the extra length between to joints on the axle. Meaning, it takes a lot more droop on a Tacoma to get CV bind than a Frontier.

Hope that makes sense. Sorry for the thread-jacking raine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #302

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #303 (Edited)
White Knuckle Off-Road Rock Sliders, part 1 – Prep and Paint (03.27.16)

(UPDATE: TBA)

In mid-February I placed an order with White Knuckle Off-Road for a set of their rock sliders. I got a deal on the price partially due to the fact that I actually ordered two pairs of sliders (one for me, one for my cousin). They estimated a 4-6 week lead time, but by the end of the 4th week I got an email on a Thursday that the sliders were ready. My cousin volunteered to drive up to Apple Valley, CA (about an hour 15 one way) to pick up our order the next day, so that saved me a road trip LOL


Fresh from being picked up directly from White Knuckle.

The first thing I noticed was the weight - I knew they were 60 pounds each, but actually holding them up in the air they feel a lot heavier. Second, the construction was excellent. All of the welds looked great, everything was straight and true, and the raw materials used were excellent (I opted for the stronger DOM tubing). The brackets are pretty beefy. Also, the angled end "caps" are well done. You can tell by examining the construction that White Knuckle didn't shortcut anything when putting these together. So far, so good I’d say.





First thing to do was prep and paint. Before I started I picked up some stuff at the hardware store:


I almost used all of this.

I began by hand sanding the sliders for a clean surface using a 3M 220-grit sanding sponge. I sanded everything (even the brackets) just to make sure that the paint would have bare metal to stick to. After finishing the sanding (which took about 45 minutes) I wiped everything down with a clean lint-free towel and some denatured alcohol.


Hand sanding, left side halfway done, right side comes next.

Next I setup a tarp in the backyard as a floor, a pair of sawhorses, and started priming the sliders. I ended up needing 2 cans of Rust-Oleum self-etching primer.



I let the primer dry in the sun for about two hours before I started painting. Contrary to some requests, I did not paint them red (LOL), I went with Rust-Oleum satin black to match what I used for the White Rhino light bar. Side note: I didn't finish painting in one day, and the next day the weather forecast said it was going to rain, so I had to haul all of this stuff back into the garage. Then it rained the next day. Then two days later I had to setup all the stuff back in the backyard again. That wasn't fun.


Actual painting in progress.


Final coat, still wet so it looks glossier than it really is.

I took my time painting the sliders, the prep and paint took 5 days total (minus 1 day of rain) and then another full day of sitting out in the sun to make sure the paint was dry before the next step, which was installation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #304 (Edited)
White Knuckle Off-Road Rock Sliders, part 2 – Installation (04.02.16)

I had to wait until the following weekend to install the sliders after finishing the paint job. Step one was to (finally?) uninstall the OEM Nissan step rails:


OEM Nissan step rails, soon to be for sale.

Next, I had to figure out how to do the install by myself without any extra hands on deck. After surveying my garage for any assistance I found help in the form of a pair of adjustable pneumatic shop chairs. I already had the truck up on jack stands (for a planned tire rotation) and with the sliders on top of the shop chairs, everything was easy to maneuver. The rolling chairs made positioning the sliders under the truck much easier than using jack stands, and the pneumatic seat height feature let me raise the height of the sliders simply by tapping on the chair handles - all while laying on my back under the truck watching to make sure the sliders were aligned/placed perfectly into position.


These two adjustable height seats helped a lot.

The bolt-on part was very easy... White Knuckle provides grade-8 hardware and thick, heavy steel support plates for the front and center brackets, and the Frontier frame had holes for these large bolts. The only thing that took long was the rear main bolts. These bolts threaded into a thin bar with a welded nut, and you have to slip the bar inside the frame rail from a small slot at the bottom. It took a few tries using some needle-nosed pliers before I got the bolt threaded in.


This guy was a little bit of a pain to install.

I finished both sides, each slider was attached now using 4 large bolts and 3 nuts + 1 "bar nut" at the rear. I was at the halfway point now.



The other half required drilling 6 new holes in the frame for 6 more bolts. The sliders were already pretty secure with just the main hardware, but I wanted full strength so I had to drill. Contrary to what a lot of people think, drilling into the frame to mount these sliders isn't hard at all. I used a very basic but reliable $29 Ryobi adjustable torque drill, a set of Milwaukee Helix Titanium drill bits, a 1/2-inch drive ratchet, short extension, 14mm socket, and a small tube of anti-seize for this part of the install.



Instead of following the instructions word for word (which suggested using a drill bit, center punch, then another 3 drill bits) I came up with a different method. First, to mark the center where I needed to drill, I used a 3/4-inch drill bit. The 3/4-inch bit fit perfectly into the slider bracket slot, so I barely drilled just enough to indent the frame rail - this gave me a coned mark that was perfectly centered:


Just enough to mark the center.


Better than a punch, perfectly centered guides.

From there, I went straight to the required 5/16-inch drill bit, and thanks to the indents I made, I completing drilling the 3 underside holes in no time. I then wiped away any metal fragments, and put a dab of anti-seize on the self-threading bolts which allowed the bolts to easily thread into place:


A dab of anti-seize on the self-threading bolt tips.


A lot easier to install than some people think it is.


Lower frame bolts done.

With the underside bolts done, the last part of the install was the 3 side bolts. The instructions said to mark the hole positions, remove the slider (because there's no room between the outer slider rail and the bracket to fit a drill), drill the holes, then reattach the slider. I did not want to remove the sliders because 1) they're heavy and removing them would be time consuming, and 2) there had to be a way for me to get the side holes drilled with the sliders in place. Looking through my toolbox, I found the solution - a Dewalt right angle adapter! I had ample clearance to drill the final 3 holes with the sliders in place.


DeWalt right-angle adaptor was perfect to complete the job.


Side holes drilled without having to remove the rock sliders.


Complete install, all bolts in.

The slider installation was 99% complete, but there was still one final touch I needed to add.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #305 (Edited)
Adding Traction - White Knuckle Off-Road Rock Sliders, part 3 (04.05.16)

The last part of the install involved traction. Sometimes I drive my parents around to family functions and they're pretty old, and I didn't want them to slip trying to step on a round tube and get injured. The first try involved trying 3M Safety Walk traction tape. I cut a few strips and stuck them to the top of the bars where I normally see people step. The tape is like gritty skateboard grip tape, so added traction was definitely there. However the first time it was tested in "real world" usage, my friend scratched the back of their leg getting out of the truck!


Sonic the Hedgehog says it's no good.

I immediately removed the 3M tape, and searched for an alternative. I came across Hi-Tech Industries GT-5000 Guntape... which obviously is for guns - but it looked like it would do what I needed. When the GT-5000 arrived, I installed them onto the sliders and found that it was perfect. The GT-5000 is made of rubber, and the surface is similar to what you see in bath tubs, it doesn't have that gritty sandpaper feeling. I ended up going with one piece for the front, and two pieces on the rear kick-out.


Still gives traction, minus the scratching skin stuff.



Now I can finally say that the rock slider installation is complete. Standing back and admiring my work (LOL) I noticed how excellent the craftsmanship of the sliders were; this was evident when looking at where the angled ends of the rub bar line up in relation to the Frontier body. The spacing is perfect on all areas.


Front fitment is perfect... angle matches body lower edge.


…and the same goes for the rear. Angle matches bed lower edge.

Oh yeah - this also added some more stickers to the collection. I just have no clue where to put them all =)



EDIT: Here's some "on vehicle" photos of the sliders, from post #318:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Nice write up as usual Raine. Gun tape looks like the way to go. Your truck is really coming along nicely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
As for the non skid coating-
A welder that builds custom sliders here in Colorado paints the upper surface with rhino spray on bed liner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
So here's two photos for comparison. Tacoma on the bottom and Frontier on the top.





You'll notice a couple key differences.

First off, notice that the upper control arm is in a different position. The Tacoma's upper control arm sits outboard of the coilover, meaning it swings around the coilover when the suspension articulates. The Frontier, on the other hand, has an upper control arm that sits above the coilover, meaning that the upper control arm swings towards or away from the coil bucket. This is a worse design, because if the shock length is extended, eventually the UCA will impact the coil bucket.

Second, take a look at shock length. The Tacoma's upper shock mount is much higher on the frame rail, so they can utilize a longer shock. Longer shocks mean more overall suspension travel.

Third, note the position of the CV axle shaft. It's much lower down on the Tacoma than the Frontier. This means it can be lifter higher and droop more than the Frontier can before the CVs start to bind up.

Fourth, take a look at the frame. It's kind of hard to see, but the frame on a Tacoma is noticeably narrower than the Frontier, which has it's advantages when we're talking independent suspension. A narrower frame means longer control arms, longer CV axles, and longer tie rods. This is good, because longer control arms means more travel. It also means that CV angles are lessened because of the extra length between to joints on the axle. Meaning, it takes a lot more droop on a Tacoma to get CV bind than a Frontier.

Hope that makes sense. Sorry for the thread-jacking raine.
Interesting. CV bind is also a lot more common in Tacoma's because of these reasons. 3" of lift often leads to CV bind on a Tacoma or 4runner. Yes they can have more droop and travel, but the inner cv binds like crazy on them long before they max out travel. So you end up having to do a Transfer case drop to lessen this. You gain travel, but loose clearance so have you really gained anything?Think of the coil bucket as a limiting strap. I like knowing that I can use full travel and turn offroad at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,101 Posts
Nice job with the sliders, Raine. Unlike you, I didn't have a right-angle adapter for my drill, so had to take the sliders off, drill, and put them back on - a royal pain in the behind, for sure!

I like the anti-slip gun tape that you used, and will probably get those as well so that I don't slip getting off the truck sometimes.

How about a post-installation photo of the entire truck? I agree that the sliders are well-made, fit perfectly, and look awesome; I'm just disappointed that you didn't go with red.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #310
As for the non skid coating-
A welder that builds custom sliders here in Colorado paints the upper surface with rhino spray on bed liner.
I've seen that done before, but IMO it's overkill. I don't need the whole bar covered for traction, and I'm not a fan of putting Rhinoliner on everything. If I could do without the GT-5000 I'd take it off but it's for those times when I have passengers.

Nice job with the sliders, Raine. Unlike you, I didn't have a right-angle adapter for my drill, so had to take the sliders off, drill, and put them back on - a royal pain in the behind, for sure!

I like the anti-slip gun tape that you used, and will probably get those as well so that I don't slip getting off the truck sometimes.

How about a post-installation photo of the entire truck? I agree that the sliders are well-made, fit perfectly, and look awesome; I'm just disappointed that you didn't go with red.
Yeah, to be honest I knew I needed to drill the side holes but for some reason I thought there would be room to drill after they were bolted up with the main hardware. So when I got to that "now take them off again" part, I decided to find a different solution so I wouldn't have to go through the hassle!

I'll take full pics when I get a chance, but it looks like it's about to rain soon here. Also, where did you ever get the idea that I was going to paint them red? LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I've almost maxed out my phone's data plan binge-reading your thread while at work this week (it's OK, I have a government job). I was once pretty proud of the upgrades I've done to my 2014 CC, such as a powered subwoofer, mild suspension mods and an aux tranny cooler, but your improvements have blown my petty efforts away! I just ordered a door lock actuator for the tailgate, I can't wait to get that set up since I keep the gate locked most of the time to secure my tonneau cover. I feel so uncivilized having to use a "key" every time I have to access the bed.
Have you considered an aftermarket cat-back exhaust yet? I've got my eyes set on a stainless steel Dynomax system that Amazon has for a very reasonable price. I don't really need it, but dammit if I don't want it! This little truck sure is a lot of fun to tinker with.
Last question: How is your alternator handling the mods, especially that fantastic sound system you set up? Do you think there's enough juice left to power a trailer with electric brakes? I assume there's a high-amp unit out there somewhere just in case.
Thanks for all the effort you took creating this build thread, but if my wife finds out how much money I end up spending trying to keep up expect a call from Judge Judy ::grin::!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #312
I've almost maxed out my phone's data plan binge-reading your thread while at work this week (it's OK, I have a government job). I was once pretty proud of the upgrades I've done to my 2014 CC, such as a powered subwoofer, mild suspension mods and an aux tranny cooler, but your improvements have blown my petty efforts away! I just ordered a door lock actuator for the tailgate, I can't wait to get that set up since I keep the gate locked most of the time to secure my tonneau cover. I feel so uncivilized having to use a "key" every time I have to access the bed.
Have you considered an aftermarket cat-back exhaust yet? I've got my eyes set on a stainless steel Dynomax system that Amazon has for a very reasonable price. I don't really need it, but dammit if I don't want it! This little truck sure is a lot of fun to tinker with.
Last question: How is your alternator handling the mods, especially that fantastic sound system you set up? Do you think there's enough juice left to power a trailer with electric brakes? I assume there's a high-amp unit out there somewhere just in case.
Thanks for all the effort you took creating this build thread, but if my wife finds out how much money I end up spending trying to keep up expect a call from Judge Judy ::grin::!
Thank you sir for the kind words.
::smile::

Yes, the power tailgate lock mod is super convenient, and one of the really easy DIY mods one can do. I can't imagine not having a power tailgate lock after using mine. I don't get how some people actually pay $90+ for the "kit" version online, when the actual parts cost barely tops $10.

No immediate plans on upgrading the exhaust... but plans do change a lot, so who knows. Like you said, I don't need exhaust. Sometimes I want one. The one I looked at a lot before I even bought my truck was the Gale Banks Monster system. maybe next tax refund (if I don't earmark it already for something else LOL)

As for the stock alternator, seems fine so far. I have done some testing at idle while the stereo (more specifically the main speakers and the subs) were at higher levels, and the voltmeter readings showed alternator output at around 14.3v on average. I did the power window test, the HVAC test, and the all lights test and it still sticks around the 13.9V area. I have towed trailers before, but none big enough to have electronic brakes so I can't help you there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
Nice choice on the White Knuckle sliders. I love mine, and I'm always impressed with how they look bare. Their welds are freakin' amazing. Nice work on the paint and non slip tape too, they really pull it all together.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #315
Nice choice on the White Knuckle sliders. I love mine, and I'm always impressed with how they look bare. Their welds are freakin' amazing. Nice work on the paint and non slip tape too, they really pull it all together.
Thank you sir!

...yeah the welds, tell me about it! So even, almost identical, super clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Hello Raine,

I'm new to the forum but not to Nissan. I've owned nothing but Nissan trucks since 1984. Tried others but kept coming back. I'm on my fourth now - 2016 Frontier SL CC. I am mostly a driver - not a builder/modifier but may pick it up after reading your thread. I love this body style and wanted to have one before they change it.

I am in awe as to the planning, expertise, and work you have performed. The attention you pay to detail is incredible. The truck looks like it came from the factory that way and is most likely much, much better than factory quality now.

I was wondering if you might take quite a few steps back on your build and tell me if you have any recommendations on the interior LED lighting. For now, I want to replace the map lights, dome light, and vanity lights (yes, I know, baby steps). There is a bunch of stuff out there to read and a bunch of junk you can end up with if you're not careful. I was interested to know if you had any input.

Thanks,

BT
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #317
Hello Raine,

I'm new to the forum but not to Nissan. I've owned nothing but Nissan trucks since 1984. Tried others but kept coming back. I'm on my fourth now - 2016 Frontier SL CC. I am mostly a driver - not a builder/modifier but may pick it up after reading your thread. I love this body style and wanted to have one before they change it.

I am in awe as to the planning, expertise, and work you have performed. The attention you pay to detail is incredible. The truck looks like it came from the factory that way and is most likely much, much better than factory quality now.

I was wondering if you might take quite a few steps back on your build and tell me if you have any recommendations on the interior LED lighting. For now, I want to replace the map lights, dome light, and vanity lights (yes, I know, baby steps). There is a bunch of stuff out there to read and a bunch of junk you can end up with if you're not careful. I was interested to know if you had any input.

Thanks,

BT
It's not in the LED post but I bought this for the interior a couple of years ago, and they haven't been replaced since:

http://amzn.com/B00FW1JQZC

However I did swap to a Phillips White Vision 921 LED for the back-up lights:

http://amzn.com/B00P2D41OQ
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #318 (Edited)
PRG Lift Spacer Experiment (04.12.16)

I noticed that after i installed the King shocks my truck still looked like it had just tad too much rake. First I thought about dialing in 1/2" of lift but I was wary of preloading the springs too much and altering the comfy ride. I came across 1/2" lift spacers from PRG so I ordered up a pair. When they arrived they just sat in my garage until I had a chance to put them in last week.

The machined spacers are actually only 1/4" thick, but from what I understand the suspension geometry of my truck has a 2:1 ratio, so that 1/4" at the shock end equates to 1/2" at the wheel end. Before installing I had to round up some hardware. The King shocks use bolts to attach to the coil bucket up top, so I went to the local hardware store and picked up new grade-8 hardware that were all 1/4" longer than the original King hardware to compensate for the added spacer thickness. After raising the front end on jack stands, I elected to unbolt the uniball on the UCAs to give me enough room to squeeze the spacer in without having to unbolt the bottom of the shock.


New lift spacers and grade-8 hardware.


Top of the king shock unbolted.


Spacer in position on top of the King shock.

For a moment I was a little worried because the spacer had a larger outside diameter than the King shock top hat, but it turned out that the spacer fit perfectly flush underneath the coil bucket area.


You can see here that the spacer is a perfect fit.


From the outside view you can’t even see the spacer.

As noted in my Suspension Down Travel Notes (02.10.16) post, I already had 2-5/8" of suspension down travel. With the spacers installed the suspension down travel amount didn't change - which makes complete sense since I did not alter the shock length in any way. However, the lower control arm was now extended an extra 1/2” lower than before. Combined with the extended King shocks there was concern that the suspension would be too extended and that the lower spring perch would contact the front axle driveshaft. With everything torqued down and in place, I double-checked the clearance and found that there was still a lot of clearance:


An extra 1/2” of down travel and still ample driveshaft clearance.

So after the relatively trouble-free installation (which took about 30 minutes with hand tools), the end result of installing the spacers was:

1. They relocated the physical position of the King shocks 1/2" lower than OEM, which in turn added another 1/2" of total suspension down travel up front (in relation to the chassis);

2. The spacers added another 1/2" of overall lift while not altering the preload of the King springs;

3. The overall look of the truck was closer to level (see pics below);

4. At the alignment shop, the 1/2” difference in suspension component position gave them more room to get my front wheels set to 0-degrees camber (before it was maxed out at +0.6)

EDIT: There was a question asked regarding the possibility of "shock crush" when I added the spacers, but I contacted King and this was the reply:

"Nothing to worry about there - your custom shocks were built to extended further (compared to our off the shelf Frontier shocks) to allow for the extra droop travel you gain from installing the TC UCAs. However it does not change the compressed length, and even if you add up to a 1/2" thick spacer on top (you mentioned you added a 1/4" spacer) you won't bottom out your shocks before the LCAs hit the OEM bump stops."

...so that's that. Also keep in mind: my shocks are NOT off-the shelf versions, so my results might not be what your results are if you add spacers to your setup.



Quick photo session at a nearby parking lot.


Opposite side, first full pics with the White knuckle sliders on too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter #320
I just ordered a Rogue key. Just thought I'd put that out there. LOL (it's a slow Wednesday at the office)
 
301 - 320 of 884 Posts
About this Discussion
883 Replies
135 Participants
dadfish
Nissan Frontier Forum
Welcome to our Nissan Frontier Forum! A premier community to share your mods and builds. Chat with like-minded Frontier owners.
Full Forum Listing
Top