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Discussion Starter #141 (Edited)
Quickie Antenna Shrink Mod (11.21.15)

I emailed the Firestik Antenna Company for some extra black shrink wrap because I wanted to make the antenna quick release stand out less since it was chrome, yet mot of the antenna base was black and the antenna itself was black. A few days after my email Firestik sent me some extra shrink wrap for free. I trimmed a piece and "installed" it over the quick release using my heatgun and about 30 seconds.


Probably the easiest mod I've done, heh.


Installed on truck. I think it blends in better.
 

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Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
Wheel and Tire Upgrade, part 3 - R1 Rotors & Caliper Painting (11.24.15)

After looking at the photos I took at Bonelli I felt like there was something missing with my wheel and tire upgrade, so I decided to add a couple more things to the project - rotors and paint. I have this thing for red calipers - my last 3 cars all had red calipers - so I ordered a complete front and rear set of R1 drilled and slotted brake rotors and Rustoleum Caliper Paint Kit. I raised the truck up on jack stands and pulled all four wheels and got to work.


New R1 drilled and slotted brake rotors fresh in the box

The Rustoleum kit includes a can of paint, one spray can of caliper cleaner, a small brush and a small roll of masking tape. I added two more rolls of masking tape, a few more cans of brake cleaner I had in the garage, and some extra brushes to the mix to ensure I had everything I’d need.


Brake caliper kit, extra cleaner, extra paint brushes, an masking tape.

After unbolting the brake calipers and removing the OEM brake rotors, I cleaned the area with brake cleaner. The first thing I did was remove any signs of dirt or rust on the visible part of the hubs with my Dremel.


A few minutes with a Dremel cleaned and polished the hubs nicely.

With all four hubs clean, it was time to paint. I started with the rear half of each caliper, painting on a thin coat of caliper paint on one, then rotating around the truck to paint the other calipers. I did not rush, allowing enough time in between coats to allow the paint to dry before adding more paint.


First caliper, first coat of paint (front left caliper shown)

I went with 6 coats on each caliper before the red looked bright and solid just like I wanted it; including drying time it took a few hours. Next came the brake caliper mounting brackets; since the rotors had to be in place before the brackets, it was time to put the R1 rotors on. I then bolted up the caliper brackets, used some masking tape to protect the new rotor surfaces, and painted the brackets.


Here’s one of the new R1 brake rotors on; caliper bracket painted and finished.

One thing that made the job efficient and fairly quick was how I used a piece of cardboard to carry the paint and brushes around with me as I rotated around the truck while applying the paint layers.


This piece of cardboard and a couple of rolling shop stools made painting efficient.

After finishing the paint job, I installed the wheels to break in the pads. (The two photos below are midway through break-in.)


Photo of left-front, midway through brake pad bedding.


Photo of left-rear, midway through brake pad bedding.

To be honest, I did not notice any significant increase (nor decrease) in braking power or feel, if anything braking felt slightly better but I can’t back that up with anything on paper. That’s okay - the brakes are still quiet like OEM and I am definitly happy with how the rotors added to the look of the truck.


Finished look; here’s the front left corner with wheel back on.
 

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Good looking job on the rotors and painting the calipers .... Your build is coming along nicely.
 

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What pads did you use? What is your bedding technique?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #145 (Edited)
What pads did you use? What is your bedding technique?
I used the same OEM Nissan brake pads already on the truck; they're barely used and the surfaces were flat and fine so I just cleaned the surfaces off with some 400-grit.

As for technique, I just followed the Hawk method - went to an industrial area near my house that had no traffic and did 10 easy slowdowns (not complete stops) from around 35 mph, the 5 harder slowdowns from 45 mph. Headed back home, parked in the garage (e-brake off, even though we have drum-type e-brakes so it doesn't really matter) and let the pads cool down (I took the pics above after the pads were cool). After that I did the same process one more time.

One thing to note - because I used the same pads instead of fresh ones, the brakes were a little loud during bedding and for the first week or so. It was a low-pitched "grinding" sound (not chattering or squealing) but I wasn't worried at all; I've done this before (swap rotors only) so I was used to the sound, which is just the pads wearing down to the shape of the new rotor surfaces. After about a week the brakes were back to silent, and upon inspection the pads are bedded in nicely. The surfaces of the rotors are super smooth, and braking feels just fine, like how it was with the OEM rotors.

I might try the Hawk LTS pads someday (read some good things about them) but it's not a priority yet.
 

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I have always like the drilled and slotted look, I'm always paranoid about getting a stone or other debris stuck in the rotor and shredding a pad (off road debris).
 

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Discussion Starter #147
I have always like the drilled and slotted look, I'm always paranoid about getting a stone or other debris stuck in the rotor and shredding a pad (off road debris).
Same... I had red calipers and drilled-slotted rotors on my last 3 cars so i kept the pattern going lol
 

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Truck is looking awesome man, nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter #149 (Edited)
Raingler Headrest Handles (11.27.15)

I randomly came across these nice Raingler Headrest Handles and I thought it was a simple solution for helping my nephew and nieces get into the back of the truck, so I bought a pair. Install was as easy as removing the front headrests and sliding them on.


Makes it easier for people to get into the back seat.
 

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Build looks really nice. No lift right?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #151

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Discussion Starter #152 (Edited)
Trimming For Tire Clearance (Fenders), Part 1 (12.05.15)

When I installed the Level 8’s and BF Goodrich tires I temporarily removed the front fender liners, mud guards, and valance parts. rub - mainly on the rear lower edge of the fender. I didn't want to run with no fender liners and mud guards, so it was time to do some modding to get them back on. The first thing I did was tackle the mud guards. After installing the mud guards and marking the contact area, I used a Dremel and masking tape (as a guide) to trim both front mud guards enough so that the tire would clear them when I turned the steering wheel.


Left front mud guard just after finishing the trim. Masking tape helped me make a straight cut.

I used some paper to transfer the new shape of the left mud guard to the right side so I can cut the right mud guard exactly the same.


Copying the shape over using paper; low tech is sometimes the best tech.


The bulk of the rubbing was in this section.


Here's a good view of how much was trimmed on the inner mud guard area.


A little bit of edge sanding and both mud guards are trimmed identical.

Now to trim the lower front fender area. The Dremel and a reinforced cutting wheel made this a quick trim; I decided to trim a triangle shape from the inner fender measuring 2" x 0.5". This was more than enough to clear the tire with some extra room. I tried to show the trim as best as I can with the photos below - this mod was done at night in the garage so excuse the lighting:


Right front fender (rear edge) viewed from the front of the truck, trimmed with a Dremel and a reinforced cutting wheel.


Same fender viewed from a lower angle from the side.


Left front fender, taken from above, showing the trim much better.

With the mud guards and metal fender trimmed, it was time to deal with the fender liners. I know a lot of people use a heatgun to mold the fender liner back for more clearance; I had a different idea that I was going to try with mine that didn't involve heating and melting. First I trimmed the lower portion of the rear edge of the fender liner (the part under the mud guard):


First I trimmed this portion from the bottom of the fender liner.


Portion removed, ege is still rough.

...and a little clean up of the edges:


That looks better, even if you won't see it once installed.

The following photo is of the fender liner re-installed onto the truck. Note how there's now a triangle-shaped gap between the metal fender (where I trimmed) and the plastic liner (which is currently in stock position). Trimming the fender liner gave me a large "tab" underneath the truck, where I drilled a new mounting hole:


Fender and fender liner trimmed, now to get it all together.

Underneath the body I drilled a small hole about 1 inch behind where the new screw will be, as shown in the photo below:


New mounting hole for fender liner.

By attaching the "tab" screw to the new hole, this pulled the inner part of the fender liner back about an inch. The lower edge of the fender liner was now flush with the trimmed metal fender; more importantly, it pulled back the part of the fender liner that was making contact with the tire, so now I had a reshaped fender liner with clearance where it needed to be, without reshaping the plastic with a heat gun, and everything fit back together flush:


Fender liner secured in new position, sitting flush with metal fender for no gap.

...and here's how everything looks after the mod - I now have ample tire clearance, the mud guard looks factory and not hacked up, the plastic fender liner sits flat against the trimmed metal fender (just like before), and if you didn't know what you were looking at I'd bet that you couldn't tell I modded anything:

 

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Discussion Starter #153 (Edited)
Pro-4X Skids (12.12.15)

Came across a deal for brand new OEM Pro-4X oil pan & transfer case skid plates for $30 (for both!) so I figured why not; I know they're nowhere near as durable as aftermarket, but better than nothing - and oh yeah, did I mention $30 for both? They were never used or installed, and even had the Nissan bar code labels still stuck on them. I spent another $4 at the hardware store for some grade 8 M8x1.25 bolts. Installation took a few minutes, it was nice how the skids each had two slotted mounting points; that way I could thread in two bolts, slip the skid in place, then put the other bolts on.


Here's the back side of the oil pan skid; Nissan bar code label meant it's fresh.


The two front mounting points were slotted for easy install (sorry for the bad focus on the pic).


Here's the transfer case skid plate; slotted points are on the outer edges.


Wider view of where the transfer skid is positioned, right in front of the exhaust crossover pipe.
 

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For $30 I guess you can't really go wrong as they would be better than nothing. Please post some more shot's after you go off road and hit them on rocks.
 

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Can't go wrong for $30. I'd do the same if I ever came across a deal like that. I don't off-road enough to justify the purchase of good skids. The only time I am off road is to get to hiking trails. It would be nice to have that little bit of added piece of mind
 

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Discussion Starter #156
For $30 I guess you can't really go wrong as they would be better than nothing. Please post some more shot's after you go off road and hit them on rocks.
Can't go wrong for $30. I'd do the same if I ever came across a deal like that. I don't off-road enough to justify the purchase of good skids. The only time I am off road is to get to hiking trails. It would be nice to have that little bit of added piece of mind
I thought $30 was fine, considering that I don't off-road that much (yet, maybe?) and because I was still at stock height I just wanted something there. I bottomed out on a ridge at Azusa Canyon (stock wheels and tires too) and because of that I'd rather have something underneath for now. If I decide to do more difficult off-roading then I'll go with aftermarket skids and sliders.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
How did you come across these if you don't mind me asking? I would love to get a deal like that.
Got lucky, saw the ad on Craigslist about 2 minutes after the guy posted it.
 
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