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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As others have done, I'm setting aside some space to document my trials, tribulations, and journey with a vehicle I just purchased in April 2019 that I believe is rekindling my desire to have a "Build" and tinker with a truck.
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Username: yekratsb
Year: 2007
Make: Nissan
Model: Frontier
Trim: CC SE 4x4
Color:Red Brawn
Interior: Desert/Beige
Starting Canvas: Supreme Suspensions Leveling kit, 285/75R16's Kumho on stock rims. As "Plain Jane" as you can get with a little bit of an aggressive stance to it.
Truck Name: Red Mandalorian
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Official First Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Upgrade
Accessories - Interior Upgrade/Floormats - 3D MAXpider
Completed: 4/23/19
[Amazon Link]

While functional, these drab desert color loop pile floor mats had to go. They were topped off with the Costco version of the Goodyear all weather mats in tan.

goodyear.PNG 7c1cf46201da5749f4731bf1cf22409e.jpg

WeatherTech, while nice and all, wasn't an option I considered. I know everyone raves about them, but I have the Amazon purchased Smartliner by Max Liner - 'WeatherTech' knock-offs in my other vehicles and I believe they are just as good if not better.

For the Frontier, I chose some 3D MAXpider custom fit fronts and back.

IMG_1775.jpg IMG_1776.jpg

Overall a good fit, clean up real nice, and I think they look good. Not sure what the little nubs are for on the driver's side one. They stay in place pretty well with the backing that they have on them and actually have a little cushion to them unlike the Smartliner version.
 

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Official First Mod/Upgrade:
Accessories - Interior Upgrade/Floormats
Completed: 4/23/19

While functional, these drab desert color loop pile floor mats had to go. They were topped off with the Costco version of the Goodyear all weather mats in tan.

View attachment 305735 View attachment 305734

WeatherTech, while nice and all, wasn't an option I considered. I know everyone raves about them, but I have the Amazon purchased Smartliner by Max Liner - 'WeatherTech' knock-offs in my other vehicles and I believe they are just as good if not better.

For the Fronty, I chose some 3D MAXpider custom fit fronts and back.

View attachment 305736 View attachment 305737

Overall a good fit, clean up real nice, and I think they look good. Not sure what the little nubs are for on the driver's side one. They stay in place pretty well with the backing that they have on them and actually have a little cushion to them unlike the Smartliner version.

[buy]
yekratsb,
Nice mats. (y)(y)

A different mat altogether, but I installed the Max Liner Custom Mats in my SV yesterday. They are a perfect fit.

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307610


My son bought a set for his '17 Tacoma and they've held up well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Motive and Backstory on my first Nissan experience.

How I found it and my initial motive:

This truck caught my eye while I was venturing to a small town dealership in the area to look at cars for my "soon to be driving" 15 year old. I drive the older used vehicles in the family and mainly let the wife drive our newest vehicle (2014 Traverse) for safety reasons and as she does a majority of the Ubering of kids around, she deserves it. I seriously looked at this truck a dozen times on Sundays before I even attempted to talk to one of the salesman. All the while our family mechanic works there and my Father-In-Law hangs out at the dealership's shop 2 to 3 times a week as he's retired and bored. I had to do my research and due diligence first and overthink everything as I tend to do. The latest talks of the new Ford Ranger making it's comeback and a plethura of Chevy Colorados were showing up in the work lot were making me Jealous! One co-worker, that I continually give flack to because of his Yellow Mustard Bottle colored Titan 4X, got me thinking that it would really be nice to have a mid-sized truck and something that was New To Me that I could do endless hours of researching on what I could do to it next. I mainly drive used vehicles and was still hanging on to a 1999 Ford F-150 EXT (sold Aug 2019) and a 2005 Trailblazer LT Extended. (Traded in on the Nissan). I absolutely hate car payments and I have done my fair share of tinkering with automobiles over the years as I'm a DIY kind of guy that hates paying a shop to do things I believe I can do until it goes terribly wrong and I cave in. I did a lot of Googling and saving searches on CarGurus, KBB, Cars.com, Edmunds, Craigslist, LetGo, and Autotrader of mid-sized trucks spanning Nissan, Toyota, Chevy, GMC, and even had a category for full sized that I kept my eye on for the used prices. Then I finally did it. Went to the dealership on a Friday (4/19/19) that I had off work and pulled the trigger.

Backstory on my vehicular background:
I have owned and driven many cars/trucks over the years. In my late teens I was tire buster for a local Tire and Auto shop where we worked closely with a Toyota dealer and did MANY wheel and Tire mods on their SR5's and trucks. Not only did I outfit them and install, I portered these back and forth to the dealer. In my early 20's I worked at a prestige Auto Detail shop that had a contract for new car prep for many of the local dealers for high end autos. Mostly Mercedes, Jags, BMW, Lexus, Range Rover, Porsche, etc. The owner seriously did not cater to the common car owner unless it was show worthy, an import, or one of his friends that was in dire need of a Buff and Wax. This is where I really learned how to burn the paint on a car and completely rip out the interior out of a 560 SEC in about 15 minutes.

My first car was a 1980 Dodge Omni 024 Sport Coupe that my father bought real cheap and made me put a new clutch in it, brakes and rotors/drums all around and overall getting it road worthy. Just about every vacuum line was capped off to give it more horsepower from the original owner so naturally we sought out a mechanics manual to do some troubleshooting. I became familiar with Cars and walking around the junkyards looking for a starter, alternator, radio or console buttons that were missing, and whatnot with a wagon. Yes a Radio Flyer. I gutted the interior to install custom fit Carpet from the JC Whitney catalog and was real stoked at the fact that I could change the appearance of something that had looked like the previous owner left out in a sandstorm for days. All the while my father was restoring a 1952 Ford F-100 that took it from an old farm truck to carshow acceptable in a 3 year time span. I did a lot of sanding and sandblasting a frame off resto in our makeshift restoration shop that took up 1/2 the garage. This started the "tinkering" bug. I haven't tinkered in years since I bought my first brand new truck from the Lot and my next car after that. Shiny new 1991 Mazda 4x4 B2600i Regular cab. Oh it was on!!! I was getting 33 inchers with BFG's on that bad boy if it was going to kill me. That factory head unit had to go and of course I was going to try to stuff the biggest sub box behind the seat and sacrifice all the storage space that I had even if it meant eliminating the jack and essentials to change a tire and even the armrests on the door to accommodate 6x9's and dome tweets. This Truck essentially was traded in on my next vehicle that turned nostalgic. Oldsmobile had announced that this would be the last year of the Cutlass. As I had a friend that just purchased a brand new one from the lot, I was already armed with his Edmunds.com detail to get best deal possible. This is where I essentially lost the urge to mess with vehicles and mods and really only focused on a sound system upgrade that was eventually pilfered in an apartment parking lot leaving me to settle for reinstalling the factory system that I still had.

...and yes, I'm long-winded and turn a short story long...

Vehicles owned:
  1. 1980 Dodge Omni 024 Sport Coupe - junked
  2. 1978 Olds Cutlass Supreme Coupe - brother acquired
  3. 1991 Mazda B2600i 4x4 Regular Cab - New off the lot, traded for...
  4. 1997 Olds Cutlass Supreme SL - New off the lot
  5. 1996 Ford Probe - Wife's car (eventually sold), swapped out with...
  6. 1999 Chevy Lumina - Bought Used for a steal FSBO
  7. 2001 Ford Escape XLT 4x4 - Used from a Dealer (Stored the '97 olds)
  8. 2002 Ford Windstar - Sold the Lumina
  9. 1999 Ford F-150 Supercab XLT 4x4 - traded the Windstar
    • Sold August 2019
  10. 2005 Chevy Trailblazer LT Ext 4x4 - traded for Frontier
  11. *2014 Chevy Traverse LT AWD - Used from a Dealer
  12. *2007 NISSAN FRONTIER CREWCAB SE 4X4! - Used from a Dealer, traded the Trailblazer
  13. *2001 Pontiac Grand Prix SE - sons car
*Current Household Stock
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Build detail - To be updated and linked to my build thread posts as I progress.

Interior:
Exterior:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Upgrade
Accessories - Interior Upgrade/Steering Wheel wrap
Completed: 5/2/19
Purchase Link(s):
Associated threads:
https://www.clubfrontier.org/threads/cup-holders.358905/post-3809344
https://www.clubfrontier.org/threads/358596/post-3806089

Thrifty Shopper Note: As I like to save money on the old interwebs, there are many ways to save a buck or two or get some sort of cash back incentive. There are a few sites where you can purchase these. Direct from the Manufacturer, on Amazon (not as easy to configure your colors/styles and make sure it will fit - see size detail below), or on AutoAnything. AutoAnything's site is well constructed for choosing your flavor of steering wheel wrap on top of eBates/Rakutan usually having cash back offers, so this is where I made that purchase. Realize that AutoAnything, like most auto accessory sites, are just affiliates providing a tool to order the product. Their backend systems facilitate ordering directly from the manufacturer in most instances.

I Always wanted to get one of these for my old Ford F-150, but never did. Always bought crappy "covers" from the auto parts store. Decided to go with Wheelskins Steering Wheel Cover in the EuroPerf style. I mucked up a bit on the color match, but not too worried about it. I should have ordered the color swatches from their site in hindsight. I also went the extra step and shored up the stitching on the backside of the cover as they(Wheelskins) traditionally recommend double sided tape. I like the finished look, so here we are.

Testing the fit: (notice I bought tan when it should have been a sand color)
IMG_1856.jpg
Finished initial stitching. Man, they aren't lying when they recommend gloves when doing this. Take your time while stitching and the tighter, the better. You aren't going to break the thread, so don't worry about how tight you are doing it.
Install instructions
IMG_1885.jpg
Shoring up the backsides of the spokes. This is where I did a little extra to button it up without using double sided tape that they indicated was traditionally used.
IMG_2011.jpg IMG_2062.jpg IMG_2055.jpg
Size Detail:
fitting.png


Final outcome:
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yekratsb said
Vehicles owned:
  1. 1980 Dodge Omni 024 Sport Coupe - junked
  2. 1978 Olds Cutlass Supreme Coupe - brother acquired
  3. 1991 Mazda B2600i 4x4 Regular Cab - New off the lot, traded for...
  4. 1997 Olds Cutlass Supreme SL - New off the lot
  5. 1996 Ford Probe - Wife's car (eventually sold), swapped out with...
  6. 1999 Chevy Lumina - Bought Used for a steal FSBO
  7. 2001 Ford Escape XLT 4x4 - Used from a Dealer (Stored the '97 olds)
  8. 2002 Ford Windstar - Sold the Lumina
  9. 1999 Ford F-150 Supercab XLT 4x4 - traded the Windstar
    1. Sold August 2019
  10. 2005 Chevy Trailblazer LT Ext 4x4 - traded for Frontier
  11. *2014 Chevy Traverse LT AWD - Used from a Dealer
  12. *2007 NISSAN FRONTIER CREWCAB SE 4X4! - Used from a Dealer, traded the Trailblazer
  13. *2001 Pontiac Grand Prix SE - sons car
I've also owned a few over the years. :)
  1. 1963 Chevy Corvair 4dr
  2. 1969 Ford Cortina 4dr
  3. 1965 Mustang
  4. 1968 Chevy Nova 2dr
  5. 1965 Rambler Classic 660 2dr
  6. 1972 Mercury Comet 4dr
  7. 1957 Chevy 3100 Pickup
  8. 1965 Chevy El Camino
  9. 1967 VW Beetle
  10. 1968 Ford F-100
  11. 1946 Dodge D24 Custom Deluxe
  12. 1967 M715 Kaiser Military Truck
  13. 1964 Chevy Impala station wagon
  14. 1984 Ford F-150
  15. 1965 VW Beetle
  16. 1965 Chevy C10
  17. 1987 Ford Tempo 4dr
  18. 1987 Chevy Astro Van
  19. 1978 Ford F-150 4X4
  20. 1968 Chevy Malabo 2dr
  21. 1980 Ford LTD 2dr
  22. 1985 Olds Cutlass Supreme 4dr
  23. 1969 Chevy Chevelle 2dr
  24. 1983 Chevy Camaro Berlinetta
  25. 1969 Chevy RS Camaro
  26. 1980 Chevy Z-28 Camaro
  27. 1989 Isuzu Pickup regular cab
  28. 1991 Olds Cutlass Supreme 2dr
  29. 1998 Olds Intrigue 4dr
  30. 1999 Chevy Prizm
  31. 1978 Chevy C10 Pickup LWB
  32. 1986 Toyota Pickup Regular Cab
  33. 1991 Chevy Camaro
  34. 2000 Toyota Carolla
  35. 2001 Chevy 1500 4dr Extra Cab Short Bed
  36. 2006 Chevy Z71 Crew Cab 4X4
  37. 2017 Toyota RAV4
  38. 2019 Toyota Highlander *
  39. 2006 Chevy 2500HD Duramax Crew Cab 4X4
  40. 2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4X4 *
* in possession

I picked up a section of metal to build Ditch Light Mounts for the Frontier. Hopefully, I may get a chance to do that over the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Upgrade
Accessories - Hard folding tonneau cover - ProZ/Gator Evo bi-fold
Completed: 5/3/19
Purchase Link: Discontinued

Associated threads:

I knew I wanted a tonneau cover but didn't want to pay $600 to $800 for it. Many brands out there to consider and did quite a bit of research on here and other generalized truck forums to narrow down my wants and functionality.

Wants:
  • Tonneau Cover - Preferably hard top and folding
  • secure
  • as waterproof as it can get
  • works with Utilitrac
  • Easy to take on and put back on - one person job.
Past experience - Soft tonneau covers on a truck that eventually gave way to high winds and hwy driving. Mounts mostly on truck bed rails. Don't want snaps or velcro.

What caught my eye on the market...
  • Tri-fold
  • Bi-fold
Two brands that I settled on looking at... ProZ and Gator Evo Bi-fold (Update - Neither site sells this anymore for Frontier and seemingly discontinued). Much cheaper than all the rest, hard cover, secure, and feedback indicated that paired with a tailgate seal, pretty much did the job... and mounts directly to Utilitrac without losing functionality of the tie down cleats as well as playing nice with the bed extender. I figured bi-fold would be good enough for a 4 foot 10 inch shortbed.

After digging in much further than I really wanted to, it turns out that many of the brands on the market are all spit out by one manufacturer and seemingly most of the assembly is done in the midwest. Truck Hero

In the end, I went with the ProZ from Autoanything.com due to price. A couple $20 to $30 cheaper and Autoanything.com offers promo codes, sales, and cash back from 1% to 10% on eBates/Rakutan. Much to my surprise, when it arrived, it was labeled as "Evo Folding Tonneau Cover". Conclusion: the ProZ was the specified reselling brand for Autoanything.com - Gator in disguise.

IMG_1870.jpg
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and... IMG_1874.jpg

Mounts directly to the Utilitrac:
IMG_1887.jpg comparison.jpg

...and all around, I believe it looks good and clean. It's what I was after. (Edit - can't believe they have discontinued the bi-fold.)

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Upgrade
Wheels - Exterior Upgrade: XD798 Addicts 17x9
Paired with: KUMHO ROAD VENTURE A/T 51 (285 /70 R17)
Completed: 5/7/19 - Pulled off and put OEM back on within a week for proper melt mod.
Purchase Link: Discount Tire

Lots of due diligence, overthinking, and mock ups went into this upgrade. Truck already had fender liner chopped to fit 285/75's on the stock 16's with no rubbing. I knew that whatever I purchased, and because I wanted 17 or 18 inch wheels, I would have to complete the melt mod in its entirety and possibly cut some of the body to prevent rubbing. There was a slight chance that this wouldn't need any more modding, but very slight. I preferred more wheel than tire to what the 16 inch OEM wheel provided and I wanted to black it out. As I get older, the less I like chrome.

Not too many aftermarket wheel manufacturers offer the Frontier Bolt Pattern so it's slim pickings. There are a few threads on here where folks didn't do any research to find out that the rims they wanted don't come in the Frontier Bolt Pattern... Some Fuel designs, Moto, and Gear come to mind. I have a few friends with the GEAR brand and was sure that they had a fitment for the Frontier... wrong.

From a fitment perspective and to compare against the stock wheels, I used much of what is mentioned here:

Because of the price point, I went with KMC XD 798 in matte black. Simple design, not too flashy, minimal chrome (actually none as those fake rivets are actually plastic - found that out later)
hXD7987-1024x932.png
I had them on for about a week and couldn't handle the rubbing and trying to be "safe" while turning and I noticed that the tire was actually rubbing on metal through the fender liner. More on that later in another MOD entry, but here's an idea of what I was faced with.
IMG_1956.jpg IMG_1955.jpg

Before and After:
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In the end I went with Discount Tire for my purchase which had to include new tires as well since I was going to a 17 inch wheel .
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I really, really wanted to go local but these guys just couldn't meet or beat the prices, and Discount Tire even matched some internet quotes that I showed to them as well. I have access to a tire changing machine so I could go either way.

Here is a local shop that assured me that nobody could be lower...
IMG_1811.jpg

I pretended that I didn't do some price comparisons and just let him talk. My other quotes were from a couple different outfitters including Tire Rack, Extreme Customs, Mr. Wheel Deal, etc. I gave all this detail to the sales manager at Discount Tire and he beat them all which included Mounting and balancing. $1665 out the door with a set of Kumho Road Venture A/T 51's ready to roll.

Here's just a sample of what I went through over analyzing...
IMG_1823.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: MOD!
Exterior Accessory - Mandalorian Skull Sticker
Completed: 5/26/19
Purchase Link: Bargain Max Decals

Mainly for easy identification of my truck and at the advice from my 10 year old helping me name the vehicle as this was apparently a requirement of the forum. "Red"... for the Red Brawn color, "Mandalorian"... mainly cause I am a Star Wars fan and Boba Fett was/is my favorite character. "Hey Dad, you need a sticker."

Didn't want something huge and actually would have liked this one to be smaller, but it's the smallest I could find and cheap! About 5 3/4 height by 4 inches wide. I believe it adds 3 to 4 horsepower as well.

Went on easy and good quality automotive type Vinyl.

IMG_2157.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Upgrade
Interior Audio: Standard 2007 Head unit replacement with Pioneer AVH-1550NEX DVD Receiver w/ XM Tuner
Completed: 5/27/19
Purchase Link: Crutchfield

Let's face it. The old OEM CD player in an 07 really is behind on technology and sound quality just in itself. To start off the adventure of your sound system upgrades, the head unit is where you logically should start in this case. It would have been completely different if I have the systems that come in today's SV's, but I don't. Had to get rid of this asap.

My shop of choice... Crutchfield. Other consideration was Sonic Electronix due to many recommendations here on the Forums. Crutchfield - Hands down the best support, documentation, fitment recommendation, and consultation all in one place, and you don't even have to pick up the phone. I set my budget at $600 max for this project alone. Head Unit, Shipping, XM receiver, install adapters, some extra connectors just in case - shy of $483 total. $70 rebate from SiriusXM and $9 Cash back from Rakutan. Less than $405 after all is said and done.

I really wanted the Pioneer DMH-1500NEX and really have no use for DVD/CD player, but.... the damn thing on Crutchfield was continually out of stock even hours after it went on sale! I settled for the Pioneer AVH-1550NEX DVD Receiver. I really would have liked to have the controls at the bottom of the unit but oh well. Ordered it up, had them supply the install kit with the adapters and added the XM tuner as well. Fairly happy with my purchase and an immediate impact on the sound quality coming from the stock speakers was evident not to mention the Apple carplay and bluetooth capability I was gaining. This will be the starting point of the sound system transition in the truck and over time the OEM speakers will be replaced, as well as a bass application and some sort of amp setup.

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Removal of the old unit. Piece of cake when you use some quality Trim removal tools.
IMG_2144.jpg

I had some old Harbor Freight trim removal tools on hand, but I decided to buy this kit off Amazon in prep for install. https://amzn.to/34q5FG9
IMG_3013.jpg
This worked great as I had seen some other posts where folks were breaking the top tray when removing the radio bezel. I didn't want to do that.

Old unit out and factory pigtails and antenna exposed:
IMG_2147.jpg
New unit unboxed, mounting bracket installed:
IMG_2148.jpg
Adapters in place and ready for Head Unit hookup:
IMG_2149.jpg
Head Unit connected and ready to test power:
IMG_2152.jpg
Did not run taps for Reverse or brake connectors as I don't have a reverse camera necessitating the connections... yet.
IMG_2155.jpg
Ran the XM antenna to a temp spot on the roof for the time being:
IMG_2154.jpg
Buttoned up the mounting of the head unit and reattach the bezel:
IMG_2158.jpg
Now I was ready to activate my XM service.

Fairly easy install, practically plug n play, and comprehensive step-by-step instructions supplied by Crutchfield were supplied (Really didn't use them). This was the easy part. Amps, new speakers, sub, etc. are a little more involved and I will delve into that installation when I start it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Fix
Exterior: Surface rust treatment on rocker panel between passenger side front/rear doors - POR15 Application
Completed: 5/31/19
Purchase Link: Amazon

I noticed a little surface rust on the rockers between the passenger front and rear doors. My Father-In-Law had a little bit of POR-15 gloss black left from a resto project he'd been working on so I thought I would try it. Apparently this stuff dries up quick in the container once opened, so I was on a bit of a timeline to get it used.

First Step was to grind all the rust off that I could. I did face a little anxiety as I started to sand and grind on the body. I used a dremel with a grinding wheel and it seemed to do the job. I didn't take a "before" picture, but here's the progress at the beginning:
IMG_2180.jpg IMG_2184.jpg
Tape up and treat the area with pre-paint wipes from 3M:
IMG_2195.jpg
POR-15 Application (Brush on with sponge brush):
IMG_2198.jpg
Final outcome:
IMG_2199.jpg

A little on the fence about this product. While I know it will work to encapsulate the rust as well prevent it from coming back, the glossy side is really too glossy. Good thing this is in a spot that really isn't viewable as well as this area is set to have an application of liner on it at some point with all the rockers and the wheel well edges.

I did purchase a small POR-15 kit to redo a heavily rusted spare rim on my old Ford F-150 that wouldn't hold air due to rust in the bead area, but I ended up applying a topcoat to it after I scuffed it up a little. It didn't do too bad.

F150Wheel.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Mod
Exterior: Shoring up a true melt/body mod for fitment of 17 inch XD 798 Addict wheels on 285/70 R17 Kumho Road Venture AT51
Completed: 8/24/19
Purchase Link: Bauer Heat Gun

As I didn't install it the lift (previous owner), I had it diagnosed as 3 inches possibly up front, and 2 in the back.


When I had my OEM 16's on, I was running 285/75 R16 with Kumho Road Venture AT51. This was my fender liner mod/cut (Previous owner). This left about 1/4 inch from rubbing. Enough clearance to not rub under normal driving conditions. Off road I tagged it a few times here and there. I knew I had to do it proper at some point especially with the 17 inch rims.
BeforeMelt.jpg


Running 17 inch XD Addicts with 285/70 R17 Kumho Road Venture AT51, this is what I encountered with the existing setup with mud flap removed. If I didn't remove the mud flaps, it sounded like I was using a chainsaw when it rubbed and it was catching a little body metal.
308534

What I had to do was finalize with a proper melt mod and accommodate some body chopping along the way..

More precise cuts on body and wheel liner. I chose to cut body rather than bending up to promote proper water drainage:
308535


Decided to actually use a heat gun in this application rather than burning up my wife's hair dryer, so I trekked it down to Harbor Freight and picked up this beauty:
67586381_1761814617458811_3023089167544958808_n.jpg Bauer - 14 Temperature, Dual Fan Speed Heat Gun
Worked like a charm and has different settings as well it stands on end. Why didn't I get one of these years ago? Ripping of badging would have been so much easier!

Reinforced the hole that was left with landscaping edging insert and black flex seal (after melting with Heat gun and shaping) ...and trimmed the mudflap as I really wanted to keep these:
308539

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Before and after:
308537


Final outcome with no rubbing. Only street tested so far:
308532
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Mod/Upgrade/Fix: Fix
Exterior/Body/Armor: Refinish Tailgate Protector - Clean up tailgate latch hardware and grease internals
Completed: 6/15/19
Product/Purchase Link(s):
Associated threads:
Surprised to see that they finish on this plastic tailgate protector is not so durable. Embarked on the journey to refinish it with something a little more durable and test out some products that I haven't used before. All the while I had it off, check out the latch "innards" and service/clean/grease.

Starting canvas:
It was pretty scratched up and gouged in places:

Time to get sanding. Started with 80 grit and moved my way up. You can never have enough 80 grit, but I like to buy these combo packs as well. All 3M brand. Went from 80, to 100, to 320.
IMG_2229.jpg
Etching Primer Application
  • Prep with Mineral Spirits
  • Self Etching Primer - I use Rust-Oleum
    • Really light coat, then a couple more medium light coats and let cure
IMG_3739.jpg
IMG_786543.jpg
Refinish application:
  • Light sand on primer with 400 or 600 grit
  • I am trying this "Professional"Truck bed coating from Rust-Oleum in Black. Never used it before and interested to see how it holds up. It has a slight texture to it and I figured it would look close to the existing liner in the bed. (Edit: I would use the non professional version as it seems to hold up better, spray easier, and is actually a little bit cheaper: Rust-Oleum 248914 Truck Bed Coating),
  • 1 light coat, and I actually did about 3 more light coats with the last one being medium.
  • I let it cure for a good couple days before I put it back on the tailgate.
finished.jpg

Final Outcome:

308592


...and while I was mucking with the protector, I used some white lithium grease on all the internals after I cleaned them up.
308593
 

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