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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
Full Audio Upgrade, part 6 – Adding in a Digital Signal Processor (03.14.15)

(UPDATE 09.30.16: DSP replaced/upgraded, see #398)

This upgrade I blame on my two brothers, who are home audio freaks. They were talking about the miniDSP 2x4, a tiny DSP processor that uses a USB cable for PC/Mac interface and plug-in software for real-time programming. After researching more I discovered that they also have a miniDC power supply which coincidentally features an isolated DC-to-DC output and a timed turn-on circuit (more on this later). With the miniDSP components I could go full active on my front speakers and use all four main channels of my Alpine amp (1 channel for each of the four front speakers). I ordered one of each directly from the manufacturer and they arrived in a few days.


$117 and about 4 days later, this little box arrived at my doorstep.

First up was the miniDC power supply. This thing is pretty cool – first it takes an unfiltered 10-18v power source and isolates/filters it so that in can output a clean, pure 12v power supply to the miniDSP processor. On top of that, it has a time-delayed remote turn-on circuit that turns on components in a specific order for no turn-on “pops” and correct audio signal flow. In other words, when I turn the key to “ACC” or “ON”, the miniDC first powers up the miniDSP and gives it 3 seconds to “settle”, then turns on the Audio Control Epicenter and Alpine amp; both remote turn-on leads are attached to the time delay output. When I turn the key to “OFF” the miniDC turns the amplifier and Epicenter off first, followed by the miniDSP processor. This gives my system a clean, quiet device turn on/off where all devices are ready to go in the correct order. Features aside, it comes as a plain circuit board with no enclosure for DIY. I ordered a small ABS project box from Amazon and went to work.


Needed to make an enclosure for the power supply.


Circuit board dropped right in, unfiltered input/filtered output on the 4-pin side, time delayed remote output on the 2-pin side.


MiniDC enclosure ready to go next to eh MiniDSP processor. The MiniDSP measures about 4.2” x 3.7” and is about 1.0” tall.


I mounted the MiniDC enclosure underneath the center console, next to the shifter. I was worried about transmission tunnel temps, so I did a temperature check after driving about 30 minutes and the area wasn’t too hot at all.

With the MiniDC installed, now I needed to install the actual MiniDSP processor. Since it was going to eliminate the need for the Image Dynamics passive crossovers, I basically pulled the crossovers out to install the MiniDSP in the same spot. Unfortunately for me, going from passive to active processing meant I had to once again pull the front seats and carpet to reroute the RCAs and speaker wires to work with the new active configuration! Luckily I had enough slack in the cables to just move them around without having to replace/extend anything. With that done and the carpet back in, I could finally install the MiniDSP. The MiniDSP was so small and light that I just used Velcro to attach it to the floor carpet.


MiniDSP active processor installed where the Image Dynamics passive crossovers used to be.


MiniDSP next to the Audio Control Epicenter under the driver’s seat.

With this setup I now had the Kenwood front low-level outputs (2) connected to the MiniDSP inputs (2). From here, the MiniDSP outputs (4) were connected to the Alpine’s 4 main channels. Finally, the Alpine’s 4 channels went to each individual speaker up front – 135-watts each for the dash-mounted tweeters, and 135-watts each for the door-mounted mid-range speakers. As for the rear speakers, I kept the OEMs in place powered by the Kenwood head unit’s amplifier, attenuated very low for just ambiance, as the main stage would be coming from the Image Dynamics speakers.

All wiring completed, I connected my Macbook Air to the MiniDSP via USB cable and set the crossover points to match what I had set in the passive crossovers for a direct comparison, but to be honest – there was no comparison. By feeding each speaker directly from the amplifier (with no passive crossover in between) the sound felt even more alive! I had to adjust the outputs of the tweeters a little since they were slightly too bright, but mid-bass picked up. (Note: This was before I did any fine tuning with the Kenwood and MiniDSP adjustments). My brothers also told me that the sound will get even better after the speakers "break-in" – which is more good news considering as-is they already sound pretty damn good to me!
 

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I'm no audio geek by any means, but damn you've done a great job with your installation. I wish I could listen to your stereo in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Love the Build. Glad to see someone went all in on the Audio. I have 15 DR currently with 3-Way PPI Components up front and a PPI 900.4. I have yet to do a sub box but plan on running the JL audio TW Series. I did take the time to sound deaden, Dynomat, Duct seal and seal the door 100%. My mid bass is crazy in this truck. I have to say the sound deadening alone is well worth the amount of effort. Just to have a quieter cabin.

All your other Mods are very simple and tastful!

So with the Kenwood head unit swap, Did you eliminate the Epicenter? Im still running the stock Headunit but not really enjoying it. I want to go Full Android Headunit just havent done enough research.
I agree - the sound deadening is completely worth it in the end, it's just a lot of labor and I think that's what makes most people hesitant about it.

regarding the JL subs, as shown I have the 10TW-1's and I love their output. Actually it too much output when you're sitting in a small box (i.e. the Frontier interior) where the subwoofers vent directly into the cab (as opposed to having to go through the rear seat in a car install with the subs in the trunk). In fact, unless I'm showing off the bass to a friend, I generally have the sub knob at minimum and the head unit sub output at -10 (as in negative 10) and I still can hear some sub bass depending on what song I'm playing!

As for the Epicenter, I decided to keep it in the loop. I run a full range unfiltered signal out from the head unit into the Epicenter (as designed), then from the Epicenter the signal goes to the PDX-V9 subwoofer inputs. It is on the amp itself where I dial in the subsonic and low-pass crossover points to match up with the main speakers. Most of the time the Epicenter knob is at minimum, but there are certain types of songs (i.e' 80's, Classic Rock) where I can dial in some Epicenter processing and make the song sound richer on the low end compared to the original recording.

I'm no audio geek by any means, but damn you've done a great job with your installation. I wish I could listen to your stereo in person.
Thank you for the compliments
::smile::
 

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The Mini DSP is a great piece. I poke around on the DIYMA forums alot and read alot of great reviews of it. It maybe just to involved for me.. I need to add some base to my Crew cab just waiting for the appropriate funds to do it all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
The Mini DSP is a great piece. I poke around on the DIYMA forums alot and read alot of great reviews of it. It maybe just to involved for me.. I need to add some base to my Crew cab just waiting for the appropriate funds to do it all at once.
Yeah it's a really good DSP for the price, so many features and the real-time PC interface makes it so much easier to make changes and immediately hear the difference, I've spent a lot of time playing with it while tweaking my system... the only thing to pay attention to is the power supply, because it's very sensitive to "dirty power" noise from what I've experienced... not in my truck, but I know a couple others who have the Mini DSP and one of them is still trying to track down a noise issue
 

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Discussion Starter #66 (Edited)
Bright Flashy Things - Under Seat Lighting (03.21.15)

One evening my brother came over to check out my install and to show him the amp and processor placement I had to bring out a flashlight so he could see. That gave me an idea – how about adding some lights! Thanks to “electronic bay” (P&R reference there) I ordered a set of “LED Glow Multi-Color 7 Color LED Underdash Lighting Kit” which is basically 4 light bars and a control box. I installed the control box under the center console cup holder (I won’t be changing the light color much, but if I need to I can get to it without tools) and I ran two of the light bars to each front seat, mounted on the outboard trim panel.

The other two light bars I installed above the driver and passenger foot wells. I used the Kenwood head unit’s built-in switch to be able to turn the floor lights on and off using the head unit’s touch screen – no extra toggle switch installation needed. I’d say that 99% of the time I keep the lights off, but if someone wants to take a look at my install I can just tap the touch screen and the lights go on. FYI: ignore the color variances below, photos were taken at night. The actual light color in person is a deep red.


First light bar installed under the driver’s seat, this is the view from the driver’s foot well.


This is how the lights look from the left-rear seat.


This is how the lights look from the right-rear seat.


Third light bar under knee panel on driver’s side.


Fourth and last light bar under glove box on passenger’s side.
 

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Discussion Starter #67 (Edited)
How-To: Rear Axle Vent Mod / Diff Breather Mod (04.29.15)

As many have done on the forum, I went and did the common rear differential breather mod next.

TOOLS/PARTS USED
1. Toyota OEM Union 1/4", 90404-51026, $5.94*
2. Mann Complete In-Line Fuel Filter, 33001, $4.99
3. Toyota OEM plug, Breather 1/4", 90930-03136, $5.27
4. 1/4" Fuel Line Hose, $5.06
5. 1/4" Hose Clamps, $2.99
6. 14mm open wrench
7. Clean rag w/degreaser
8. A few black zip ties

The whole job literally takes less than 10 minutes, and parts came out to just under $20 for everything. This is an easy job, you don't even have to jack the vehicle up, just make sure you have all the parts you need first.

NOTE: After looking at the fitting options I noticed that the Nissan version "Breather Tube Connector", part #38323-C601A works butit is a smaller diameter connector, like 1/8" or 3/16" maybe. I opted for using 1/4" sizing which meant using the Toyota OEM part instead.


All the parts I used to do the diff breather mod.

STEP 1: First, clean away the area around the OEM breather using a rag and your choice of degreaser. Use the 14mm open wrench and remove the OEM breather cap. The Toyota OEM union will thread right in. Note: there will be 2-3 threads exposed when the Toyota OEM union is threaded in, this is fine; you will not get it flush with the axle housing, but this is not a problem as it threads in more than enough.


Old one-way breather on the left, new Toyota union barb on the right.

STEP 2: Attach fuel tubing and secure with a 1/4" hose clamp. Run the hose along the side of the right-side brake line, and secure with zip ties (leave some hose slack as shown in the photo below.)


Fuel hose used, kept some slack in and zip tied it to the nearby brake line.

STEP 3: From here many people have their own version of how and what to do after this; some people just zip tie the bare hose and and call it done. Some people run the hose all the way to behind the right-side taillamp and install an in-line filter at the end of the hose. I chose to have the filter in-line, with another piece of hose afterward. As for the in-line filter, I mounted mine on an unused bracket that you can find near the center of the factory crossbar right above the axle.


In-line filter high up under the truck bed, using an unused OEM bracket on the cross bar.

STEP 4: I attached another piece of hose on the in-line filter and ran it to a second unused bracket (on the same crossbar, but to the right), as shown in the photo below.


Side view photo of the installation; photo taken from the left side, under the bed, looking at the right rear shock area.

STEP 5: Finally, for extra moisture prevention I installed a matching 1/4" Toyota breather at the end of the hose; the Toyota breather is a 2-way (no spring) to allow for air expansion and contraction. I liked this way better than the smaller diameter Nissan version, which has a spring in the cap making it exit-only.


Close up of the Toyota 2-way breather cap on the end of the hose, attached to another unused OEM bracket.
 

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Discussion Starter #68 (Edited)
Cleghorn Explorer (05.02.15)

Here’s just a few pics of an unplanned trip to Cleghorn Ridge trail. We were at my brother’s house who lives about 3 miles south of Cleghorn, and I was looking at my recently purchased “Guide to California Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails” book (which I’m sure everyone who gets a truck ends up buying at some point) when I came across Cleghorn. One of us said “hey let’s check it out!” so we did with our stock trucks. We took a wrong turn somewhere and had to double back before we ended up getting really lost.


My brother and I have bone stock truck suspension, but we tried it out anyways.


Came across a snake that was not on a plane, but crossing the road. I waited for it to pass by.


Made it out to the highway, first time on dirt but it was fun.
 

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Looks like a blast. Bet that snake wasn't in the guidebook. :) (Not something you see every day in this part of the country!)
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Looks like a blast. Bet that snake wasn't in the guidebook. :) (Not something you see every day in this part of the country!)
Yeah I thought it was just some branch or something, then it moved and I slammed on the brakes, and waited until it made it across. I'm nice to nature (even when I mountain bike)... as long as they aren't attacking me.
 

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Discussion Starter #72 (Edited)
How-To: Navara Emblem Swap (05.02.15)

I bought the OEM “Frontier Navara” emblem approx. 1 month after I bought the truck, but it just sat in the garage until now when I finally got around to putting it on the truck. Installation difficulty level is pretty easy, as long as you take your time and don’t try to shortcut any steps. You can use this technique to remove other emblems as well.



TOOLS/PARTS USED
1. OEM “Frontier Navara” emblem
2. “Lift-Off” Adhesive Remover Spray
3. 14” piece of clear fishing line
4. Masking Tape (I prefer ScotchBlue)
5. Plastic sheet/disposable drop cloth
6. Ruler or Tape Measure
7. Microfiber Cloth
8. Variable Temperature Heat Gun (optional)
9. Random Orbital Buffer (optional)
10. Clay Bar and Detail Spray (optional)
11. Wax (optional) - I prefer Mother’s California Gold
12. Soft rubber squeegee (optional)

The whole job took me about an hour, mainly waiting time for the adhesive remover to penetrate. Aside from that, this is an easy job, just make sure you take your time - especially during the heat gun portion. Also, before you do this you’ll want the tailgate as clean as possible; the best time is right after a truck wash. This ensures that the tailgate surface is clean.

STEP 1: Before you begin, use masking tape and a plastic drop cloth (or similar, something non-porous) and mask off the areas to the left, right, and underneath the tailgate. You’re going to be using a lot of adhesive remover, and you don’t want it to get onto the plastic step trim piece on the bumper or it may permanently stain it.

STEP 2: Liberally spray adhesive remover at about a 45-degree angle onto the OEM “Frontier” emblem, the goal here is to get the spray to go behind the letters, not on top.


I sprayed a lot of Lift-Off behind the emblems to make the job easier.

STEP 3: Using the fishing line technique, slide the fishing line behind one of the letters and run the line underneath the letter “F”; try to hold the fishing line as close to the tailgate itself as possible. The Lift-Off spray will act as a lubricant so you won’t scratch the tailgate paint.

With the letter “F” removed, take a look at the tailgate. Is there a lot of the double-sided backing left (maybe in the shape of the letter “F”)? If there is, spray more adhesive remover to the remainder of the letters, and let it soak for more time. Continue until you have all 8 letters removed, as well as all traces of the old adhesive.

Optionally, you can also use the aid of a heat gun to help soften up the emblem adhesive; if you choose to use a heat gun BE CAREFUL! use a low-heat setting, and run the heat across the letters in a CONSTANT back-and-forth motion. DO NOT focus the heat on one letter for too long, because you may/will damage the paint in seconds if it gets too much heat! You can also use heat to help remove the remaining adhesive that’s left after you remove the emblems. However, once again be careful - If you end up burning your paint, it’s your fault.


Masking tape measured and placed to use as guidelines for the new “Navara” emblem.

STEP 4: With the old “Frontier” emblem off, use masking tape and your ruler/tape measure to make a guideline for the new emblem. You can use the emblems on the right side of the tailgate (i.e. “4X4”) for a reference as to how high the “Navara” emblem should be, and how far from the side of the tailgate. (Optional) before doing this step, I cleaned the tailgate by using detail spray and a clay bar; this ensured that the paint surface was as bare as can be, and as clean as can be.


I cut the backing down the center before application because I wasn’t planning on using the small “Frontier” letters.

STEP 5: Give the tailgate a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth then go ahead and stick the new emblem in place, using the masking tape as your guide. Be sure to press hard on each individual letter to make sure that the adhesive backing contacts as much of the tailgate as possible. (Optional) You can use the heat gun to soften the new adhesive a little bit for even better adhesion to the tailgate.


New emblem in place. I used a heat gun to soften the adhesive so that the letters would stick better.


Here it is with the foam spacers removed, I was still debating on if I should use the small “FRONTIER” portion or not.

STEP 6: (Optional) With the emblem installed, I used my random orbital buffer and some Mother’s California Gold wax and put a fresh layer on the tailgate, focusing on the areas immediately surrounding the new emblem, since whatever wax was there previously was removed by the clay bar cleaning I did. Also, the orbital buffer and wax does a great job of getting rid of any lingering “dry spots” of paint where the old letters were stuck to. Once I was done, there was no sign of the previous emblem being on there.


All done, can’t even tell it used to say “Frontier”.
 

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Discussion Starter #73 (Edited)
Snow Summit MTB Summer (May '15-July '15)

I used to have to borrow my parent’s Toyota Highlander whenever I wanted to ride my mountain bike somewhere far (I even installed a receiver and bought a platform rack for it), so it was very refreshing going up to Big Bear for this summer’s MTB season in my new truck. I liked how the truck felt driving through the windy sections of the road up to the mountains. I also found that the 4.0L engine was very up to the task – even when it was loaded with 3 people, 3 mountain bikes, and loads of extra gear. I went to Snow Summit every other weekend for 3 months between opening day in May to the end of July, so I put some mileage on the truck, but it’s fine because it’s always fun driving it up.


This was a bi-monthly sight – my Frontier, some mountain bikes, and a trip to Snow Summit in Big Bear, CA.


Left side wall ride baby hop exit by yours truly, nothing special here LOL
 

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Sure wish I had the time, skills and info to get that deep into an audio install. Your install looks incredible and I can only imagine the sound quality. I can do chassis, drive train and suspension upgrades in my sleep but ICE has never been one of my strong points and I could never justify the expense to have someone else do a full install of decent components. Must say I'm a bit jealous of you guys who know this stuff so well.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Sure wish I had the time, skills and info to get that deep into an audio install. Your install looks incredible and I can only imagine the sound quality. I can do chassis, drive train and suspension upgrades in my sleep but ICE has never been one of my strong points and I could never justify the expense to have someone else do a full install of decent components. Must say I'm a bit jealous of you guys who know this stuff so well.
If you can do chassis/drivetrain/suspension then ICE would be easy... IMO it's the same + wiring. If you can connect wires (strip, solder, shrink wrap) and follow color codes for wiring, a lot of it is pretty straight forward. Plus unlike many chassis/drivetrain/suspension stuff, each ICE item always has step-by-step installation and wiring instructions.

No torque settings, no need for heavy equipment, no emergency trips to the auto parts store just to get that one weird-sized socket that you only need this one time (LOL)... the only "special" tools I would suggest to have is a multimeter (can't beat Fluke), a soldering iron (I prefer soldering over wire taps and the twist-and-tape method) and a good wire stripper.
 

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If you can do chassis/drivetrain/suspension then ICE would be easy... IMO it's the same + wiring. If you can connect wires (strip, solder, shrink wrap) and follow color codes for wiring, a lot of it is pretty straight forward. Plus unlike many chassis/drivetrain/suspension stuff, each ICE item always has step-by-step installation and wiring instructions.

No torque settings, no need for heavy equipment, no emergency trips to the auto parts store just to get that one weird-sized socket that you only need this one time (LOL)... the only "special" tools I would suggest to have is a multimeter (can't beat Fluke), a soldering iron (I prefer soldering over wire taps and the twist-and-tape method) and a good wire stripper.
I guess it's because I used to be a bumper-bumper tech who graduated into line/trans work. I have all the tools for elec diag and repair (ie: Fluke meter, Thomas and Betts crimper/cutters and soldering stuff), and I'm perfectly capable of doing the install I just don't have the current knowledge of what's avail and what's worth buying into in the ICE world nor the experience with enclosure volumes, impedance ratings, what the hell a processor does etc... I haven't really done any complete installs since high school and it was a bit simpler back then when my vehicles didn't have all the integrated computers and electric options that all draw power so it was easier to tap into a power block without killing something else and all you needed was an amp, some decent speakers, a nice big sub box and an electronic crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
I guess it's because I used to be a bumper-bumper tech who graduated into line/trans work. I have all the tools for elec diag and repair (ie: Fluke meter, Thomas and Betts crimper/cutters and soldering stuff), and I'm perfectly capable of doing the install I just don't have the current knowledge of what's avail and what's worth buying into in the ICE world nor the experience with enclosure volumes, impedance ratings, what the hell a processor does etc... I haven't really done any complete installs since high school and it was a bit simpler back then when my vehicles didn't have all the integrated computers and electric options that all draw power so it was easier to tap into a power block without killing something else and all you needed was an amp, some decent speakers, a nice big sub box and an electronic crossover.
I used to be ASE-certified so I know where you're coming from... vehicle on-board electronics are super complicated compared to before, but audio is still the same. Nowadays any mid-level and up head unit probably has a decent built in crossover, some have pretty good equalizers and time alignment too... to the point that by the time you get to the head unit output, you can just plug straight into the amp and you're good to go. These days the "difficult" stuff is integrating OEM controls (steering wheel buttons, etc.) but if you've done car/truck audio in the past then it's still relatively the same process.

If you ever decide to upgrade your ICE just let me know and I can make some suggestions for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #78 (Edited)
Roger That – Midland CB (06.29.15)

Had a family camping trip coming up and we all decided to get CBs so that we can communicate while driving. I couldn’t do an in-dash since my head unit took up all the room, and I also wanted a radio I could take with me away from the truck, so I decided that the best choice for me was the Midland 75-822. I like how you can install it into the vehicle (It has a DC adaptor that features a 12v plug and an external antenna connection) or you can slide the DC adaptor off the radio and install an external battery pack (two types included) to transform it into a full mobile CB.

Eventually I’ll hardwire the DC adaptor to the vehicle and run an external antenna, but for the meantime this works just fine. The CB is small enough to fit right into the little gap in between the passenger side seat and the center console, and it also fits in one of the cup holders.

Midland 75-822 is slightly bigger than the seatbelt buckle.
Small enough to sit in the cup holder ready when I need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #79 (Edited)
First Camping Trip with the Frontier (07.04.15)

Took the Frontier on a family camping trip to the Cleveland National Forest near San Diego for the July 4th weekend. I towed my cousin’s repurposed military trailer with an RTT (Roof Top Tent) and happy to say that the truck didn’t feel slow even with the trailer hooked up. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about the 60-mph speed limit required when towing a trailer, but I was happy that I could fit all my gear in the truck bed and have nothing in the cab. Temperature that weekend was a toasty 109-degrees, but we were up high in the mountains so when the sun went down it was nice and cool.

2x EZ-ups, 4x folding chairs, 2x roll-up tables, 2x sleeping bags, 4-person tent with garage add-on, 1x camp stove, 1x full-sized deluxe cot, 2x large bags of charcoal, large ice cooler, 2x roller bags of clothes, poker and chips set, and a large bin full of other camping equipment all fit in the bed with room to spare.

Early morning pit stop for snacks at the Pala casino gas station on highway 76 on the way to camp.

Arrived at the campsite, and it’s a little hot outside.

Home for the weekend – REI Hobitat 4 with add-on garage/lounge area. The REI tents are very nice, high quality and worth the cost IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #80 (Edited)
Firestik CB Antenna Custom Install, part 1 (07.18.15)


I was okay with using the small stubby antenna of my Midland CB, but I wanted more range, and the only way to get that was to install an external antenna. However, I didn’t like any of the common ways to mount an antenna to the truck - so that meant no magnet mount, no bumper mount, no bed mount, or no hood gap mount for me. I wanted something less obvious, so I thought about installing a CB antenna in place of the OEM radio antenna. After some researching online I never saw anyone who did a proper, working install of a CB antenna in the OEM Frontier antenna location - so challenge accepted!

First I had to get to the OEM antenna mounting area to see what I was working with. I accessed the antenna base by first removing the wiper arms. Then the cowl came off relatively easy. For anyone who is curious as to what the antenna base looks like, here you go:


Underneath the cowl of the truck, this is what the OEM Nissan AM/FM antenna mount/base looks like.

I was hoping there would be a way to mod the OEM antenna base to install a CB antenna but it’s a combination of molded plastic and metal – plus I noticed that there was a sloping angle to the mounting area, so I couldn’t just install directly to the body of the truck. Because of this I figured I was better off making a new, custom mount from scratch. I went to the hardware store and I came across some angled metal pieces that looked promising, so I bought some and began.


I started by tracing the shape of the original antenna base onto the metal.


Matched up the mounting holes and added a ground tab just in case.


Took my time here, using a Dremel and a cutting wheel to cut the new base out.


So far so good, matched the shape and the angle of the weird mounting tabs on the OEM antenna base.

Now it was time for a test fit. I had to use a longer bolt up front to compensate for the angle to the metal base (along with a shaped spacer to take up the gap). Both mounting holes lined up perfectly, so I temporarily reinstalled the cowl so that I could do two more things: check if it fits underneath the trim panel, and mark the center of the antenna opening. With the center marked, I drilled out the 3/4” hole required to install the Firestik antenna and components.


Test fitment with the new metal base at the proper angle; I trimmed a plastic spacer later to fill the gap.


Cowl reinstalled temporarily so I could mark the exact spot for the CB antenna.


New Firestik antenna assembly test install just so I can figure out how it all goes together.

It was a good thing I assembled the antenna first because I realized that I would not have enough clearance underneath the mounting base, as the antenna cable would not have a place to go (and you’re not supposed to bend it too sharp). I couldn’t raise the antenna base either or it wouldn’t fit underneath the cowl. I decided to open up a hole in the body panel just under the antenna area to provide the clearance that the Firestik antenna cable needed.


I used some thick cardboard to protect the fender and the hood edge since I was about to drill a large hole nearby.


Now that’s better; antenna base all assembled and with the proper clearance needed.


All wired up and installed, just have to put the cowl and wipers back on.


Finished for now…



…and it's at the right angle, matching the OEM antenna. This will add some range for sure. Just have to do something about that red tip.

As is (no tuning yet) the SWR meter was showing high 1’s (1.6-1.8:1) across the board, but still under the 2.0:1 suggested limit. I’m sure I could get the SWR down more once I get around to adjusting the antenna tune. And FYI, so far my custom antenna mount cost me… $4.36 in parts and hardware… not bad at all considering I have an OEM looking CB antenna placement, where the only way you can tell is because of the thickness of the Firestik antenna itself =)

CONTINUED: Part 2, click here.
 
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