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Discussion Starter #161

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Discussion Starter #162 (Edited)
Lytle Creek Afternoon Trail Run (12.19.15)

The weekend before Christmas we were at my brothers house and he suggested we go check out the Lytle Creek / Sheep Creek truck trail about 10 miles north of his house. Once again there was no planning - just my cousin and his FJ, brother and his Tacoma, and myself and my Frontier of course.


Once again, late afternoon spur of the moment road trip with my brother (Tacoma) and cousin (FJ Cruiser).


It was nice seeing snow in the background. That said, it was super cold up there and windy too.


Still no lift yet, still debating on options.


These tires felt really good!

I really liked how the KO2's felt on the dirt. Compared to the OEM Long Trail T/A tires, the first and immediate thing I noticed was that the KO2s were a lot quieter on the loose stuff. Also, when I was driving down parts of the trail that had loose gravel/sand on it, there was no slip. I felt confident driving on the dirt, and so far I’m equally happy on the pavement as well.

I actually drove for a week without using my stereo system after installing the new tires so that I could compare them to the stock “works perfectly fine for everyone” BF Long Trails. Compared to the stock tires the KO2’s do have a slight increase in tire noise, but I don’t need to turn the stereo on at full blast to cover it up (like my friend’s truck on mud tires). The road noise from the KO2s are barely there at low speeds, and at highway speeds you hear more air noise (from the truck’s aero) than tire noise.

Through windy mountain roads the tires feel great; traction is evident but ride quality isn’t harsh at all. I was surprised that the ride quality felt just as good as the stock tire, considering the KO2’s are stiffer, heavier 10-ply all-terrain tires. Finally, they look cool - I particularly like how they designed the sidewall-to-tread transition area.
 

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FWIW I ran bfg AT's on every SUV and truck I've owned. The wear is great, snow traction is awesome, and they perform well off road. I pick up my frontier at the end of the month and the first big purchase will be bfg AT's
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Will you have a chance to take them through mud and/or snow? I'm planning on a set of ATs soon, and am far from making up my mind at this point. Are you running 265/75/16s?
Haven't done mud or snow yet... yes I'm running 265/75-16's
 

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Raine, try mounting bike side ways in rear of bed and you might be surprised that it fits, that way you can close tail gate and just roll back rear portion of your tonneau cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
Raine, try mounting bike side ways in rear of bed and you might be surprised that it fits, that way you can close tail gate and just roll back rear portion of your tonneau cover.
I could but there's no way to partially roll the cover and secure it... I don't think the velcro sides are strong enough to hold a partial roll - then again I could be totally wrong, I just never tried it haha
 

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I could but there's no way to partially roll the cover and secure it... I don't think the velcro sides are strong enough to hold a partial roll - then again I could be totally wrong, I just never tried it haha
I tried partially rolling my bed cover up and nope. anything over about 25 MPH caused way too much air under the cover. I pulled right over and rolled it all the way up.
 

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Discussion Starter #169 (Edited)
Trimming For Tire Clearance (Front Lip Spoiler), Part 2 (12.28.15)

After installing my suspension lift (more on this in a later post, heh!) once again I had to temporarily remove the fender liners, mud flaps, and front spoiler for clearance. I didn't like how the front end looked without the lower part, so I decided to trim the spoiler so that I can reinstall the lower bumper pieces only and still have tire clearance. Because of the shape of the spoiler pieces there was no way I could trim it other than by hand, so first I picked up a second front spoiler set from another member here on the forum. With my trusty Dremel, it took me about 45 minutes (and a lot of melted plastic bits everywhere) to first trim and then smooth out the edges. With the trimming done, I reinstalled the parts underneath the bumper. I like how the truck looks higher without the front lip part, but even better now since it no longer looks like there's something missing down there.


Trimmed spoiler below, original spoiler up top.


Trimmed spoiler installed.

With that out of the way, the mudflaps just need a small trim on the lower edge for clearance. However, it does look like the fender liners will need reshaping. I'll do this later when I get around to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #171 (Edited)
Trimming For Tire Clearance (Fender Liners), Part 3 (01.02.16)

With the front spoiler trimmed, I still needed inner fender clearance up front where the fender liner was. I came up with a solution that did not require a heat gun or trimming of the inner front fender liner area.


That’s cutting it really close. I need to move the front of the liner forward.

First I removed the fender liners. Next, I took the small metal screw clips off and traced a new position closer to the fender liner edge.


Trace the clip shape closer to the fender edge.

I used simple side cutters to enlarge the original hole wide enough for the metal clips to slip in.


Holes opened up sideways only.

With the new slots, I reinstalled the metal clips in the new position.


Mounting point has moved towards the fender well area.

Here’s a photo of the before/after locations of the metal clips:


A better comparison photo.

…and the results after re-installing the fender liners:


No more scraping here.

I’m guesstimating that I gained around 1/2” to 3/4” more clearance along the bottom of the fender liner area. this without the need of a heat gun to reshape the fender liner itself. Now that I have the front lip spoiler trimmed and the front of the fender liner adjusted, the next (and last) thing I need to mod a little more is the OEM front mud flaps. I'll do this a little later.
 

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Discussion Starter #173 (Edited)
How-To: Morimoto XB Type-S LED Fog Lamps Install (01.26.16)

(UPDATE 03.26.17: Replaced with new LED driving lamps, see #431)

I got in on the group buy for these fog lamps from The Retrofit Source, but I had to wait an extra week because the first shipment had one good lamp and one broken one; I contacted TRS and they did send a replacement to me, so no worries.

NOTE: All photos show installation with the optional Lami-X film; however I've since removed the film because it significantly decreased light output. I've edited the How-To to skip the Lamin-X step.

TOOLS/PARTS USED
1. Phillips Screwdriver
2. T20 Torx bit (and handle)
3. Masking Tape (optional but recommended, I prefer ScotchBlue)
4. Sharpie Pen (optional)


Make sure you have all the tools listed, specifically the T20 Torx bit.

STEP 1: Find yourself a nice, flat wall (I cleared out part of my garage just to do this!) and park your truck perpendicular to the wall at minimum 15-feet. Some places will tell you to do 25-feet, but this will get you close enough without having to go out of your way to find a wall with 25-feet of clearance next to it. Next, isolate the fog lamps; since I don’t have the fog lamp mod, the fastest/easiest way I found was to simply unplug the headlamps at the connector behind the headlamp bulbs. Turn the fog lamps on, and put a piece of masking tape horizontally to mark the upper edge of each OEM fog lamp position. Then place another piece of masking tape vertically to mark the center of the hot spot for each fog lamp. Turn off the lights.


Use masking tape to mark the fog lamp output positions on a wall.

STEP 2: Now to gain access to the OEM fog lamps - you don't have to remove the wheel and tire, just crank the steering wheel all the way to the left to work on the left side, and vice versa. Using the Phillips screwdriver, remove 4 screws holding the fender liner in place: two underneath the front of spoiler/lip, one at the bottom edge of the wheel well, and one a little higher up in the wheel well. With these screws out you should be able to “peel” back the fender liner enough to access the OEM fog lamps.


Didn’t take a pic of this, so here’s a factory Nissan photo instead showing screw location.

STEP 3: Now to remove the OEM fog lamp. Reach into the rear of the bumper and using the Torx T20 bit, remove the three Torx screws holding the OEM fog lamps in place. It's weird because there are four mounting points but there's only 3 Torx screws.


This is from the left side, with the wheel turned all the way to the left for room.

STEP 4: With the screws out, give the OEM fog lamp a tug and it will come out; don’t be afraid to pull on it, it’s sandwiched between two tabs but they won’t break. Unplug the harness and set the OEM fog lamp aside.


Left OEM fog lamp out, don’t forget to unplug the harness.

STEP 5: Now on to the new Morimoto LED fog lamps. This is how they look out of the box: You get two LED fog lamps, a pair of socket plugs, and a bag of large mounting screws. (Lamin-X film shown in photo, but removed). The screw bag will not be used; they're larger than the stock screw; maybe these fit Subarus which share the same fog lamp design.


Ignore the optional Lamin-X yellow film shown in photo above, and save yourself $20.

STEP 6: Before you plug anything into anything (lol), take one of the included socket plugs and plug it into your factory fog lamp harness. Use the Sharpie marker to note the wire polarity (I just write a “+” and a ”-“ symbol directly onto the socket), then remove the socket from the factory harness and insert the new fog lamp wires into the correct places, positive to positive and negative to negative. Plug the new fog lamp into the vehicle harness and turn the lights on real quickto make sure that it lights up. If not, you have to swap the wires.


Testing complete. Make sure to check both sides. (NOTE: Lamin-X film removed after install.)

STEP 7: Installation of the new LED fog lamp is the reverse of removing the OEM fog lamp. Bolt both new lamps in, but do NOT reinstall the fender liner yet (see next step). When you put the new fog lamp in place, it won't just sit flush - you have to squeeze the fog lamp bracket in between the two tabs. Don't be afraid to use some muscle here - it won't break, it's just a tight fit. Secure with the same OEM Torx screws (again, do not use the larger bolts included with the new fog lamps).


How it looks from the outside. (NOTE: Lamin-X film removed after install.)

STEP 8: With both new lamps installed and plugged in, turn your lights on and check the aim of the new LED fog lamps compared to the masking tape reference on the wall. If you have to adjust the height, there is a grey plastic adjustment screw on the back of the XB lamps; turn the screw clockwise to lower the beam, and opposite to raise the beam. <— if I got that wrong, tell me but either way you’ll know which direction does what simply by watching the light beam move up and down as you turn the adjustment screw. Once you get the alignment right, reinstall the fender liner screws and you're done.


NOTE: Old photo with Lamin-X still installed.

RESULTS - (UPDATED): As I (and other members on the forum) quickly found out, the yellow Lamin-X film kills a lot of the LED light output. After a few days I removed the film and the Morimotos were super bright. With the Lamin-X film off the lens, the light cutoff was almost HID crisp at the top edge, and the light output seemed like it doubled from when the yellow film was on. So if you're considering buying the optional Lamin-X yellow film, save yourself $20 and DON'T. It reduves the LED light output a lot, and makes the upper cutoff a little fuzzy.

(NOTE: old pics below):


Front view, all lights off.


Front view later in the day, all lights on.


Close up of the new XB fog lamps on.


Evening photo from the front.
 

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Glad to hear that you finally got your foglights installed. They look good with the yellow film!
 

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Discussion Starter #176
yea the look really good. im literally about to install mine. looking like i will enjoy them for sure.
see you back on the forum in about 15 minutes LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #177 (Edited)
Trimming For Tire Clearance (Splash Guards), Part 4 (01.27.16)

And now for the last part of the fender modding - back to the mudflaps. I had already trim the mudflats to clear the BF Goodrich KO2 tires before, but this was at stock height. Now that I lifted the truck, it repositioned the tire and it was rubbing again.


The tire and the mudflap are touching again.

First thing I did was use a Sharpie to mark where i needed to trim in order to clear the tire. I moved the steering wheel in 1/4-turn increments, checking the tire and mudflap each time, from center to full lock.


I made marks not where the tire touches, but about 3/8” farther out.

As always, the tried and true Dremel made quick work of trimming plastic. I used masking tape to guide the straight cut along the side of the flap, but for the most part the rest was carefully trimmed by hand, with a quick swipe of fine grit sandpaper afterward to smooth out the newly trimmed edges.


I marked the distance so I could replicate the cut line on the other flap.

For reference I trimmed about 3/8” on all the parts that needed trimming. Here’s the newly trimmed mudflap (top) vs. the not yet trimmed mudflap (bottom).


Can you see the small difference?

Once I finished both mudflaps, I reinstalled them and took a drive around the block - and there were no rubbing noises whatsoever.


Tire now has about 3/8” of clearance wherever it gets close to the mudflap.
 

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Discussion Starter #179 (Edited)
Bilsteins, Deavers, and More - Suspension Upgrade, part 1 (01.14.16)

After a little over a year with my truck, it was time to give her a lift. I must have spent months planning this part of the upgrade, and after considering all the options I had available, I decided on doing a 2.5" lift for the front and 2" lift for the back to level it out. I did not want to do the spacer/shackle route, plus I had a few hook-ups that I took advantage of which helped make my decision on what parts to use. While I was waiting for the "not yet ready" parts, I ordered the rear suspension upgrade since everything on my list for the rear end was off-the-shelf bolt-on parts. I decided on the combination of Deaver 2-leaf AALs and extended-length Bilstein 5125 Rear Shocks. I also added a pair of Nisstec 2.5-degree Shims, plus some longer U-bolts and center pins.


Bilstein custom 5125 rear shocks and Deaver 2-leaf AAL pack.


New U-bolts, 2.5-degree axle shims, and new center pins.

There's enough How-To's on rear suspension in the forum, so I won't get into every little detail on how I installed it. In fact, I'm also saying this because once I began the install I had my iPhone plugged into the stereo in my garage for some music, and I totally for got about taking photos through the install. So sorry about that.

What I will say is that installation was very straightforward; Everything was bolt-on, no special tools necessary with the exception of a pair of 6" metal C-clamps to help with the leaf springs. I did have to remove the spare tire to install the rear shocks, and I also had to unclip the upper part of the ABS brake sensor wires at the frame, but the way they hang they won't get caught anywhere. Also, that rear lower shock bolt was a challenge; the factory torque spec calls for 148-ft./lbs. but when we were taking it off it felt like it was tightened with 1,048-ft./lbs.!


Printing out the FSM diagrams for all the torque values means one thing - upgrade time!


All installed, you can see the silver axle shims underneath the Deaver AAL.

Because the AAL replaced the OEM overload spring, I did not need to use the new U-bolts and center pins (I'll save them for later just in case). The stock center pin was the right length for the AAL, and the stock U-bolts had more than enough length to use with the axle shims installed.

As for the ride height, it was slightly more than I expected: My stock rear fender height was 35.23", but after the install it now sat at 38.25" - or 3.02" of lift. I did recheck this measurement 2 weeks after the install (and after hauling some furniture for a friend on weekend) and afterward the fender was still at 38.25". After subtracting 0.52" (the difference between stock 265/70's and my BFG KO2 265/75's) the actual suspension-only lift is exactly 2.5". This is still half an inch higher than the AAL specs, but hey - I'm okay with that; the added lift just meant I would go a little higher up front.

I won't comment on the ride yet until I have the whole suspension upgrade installed and adjusted. So now that the rear is done, time to move to the front end.
 

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Nice build! Looking to do the same set up to my rear suspension and was wondering what the benefits\difference is by adding the 2.5 degree axle shims are? Thanks ahead of time
 
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