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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Project save a ho is here!

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I had a Thailand model 2008 with the YD25DDTi turbo diesel engine, GT2860RS turbo upgrade, custom 3" exhaust, alcohol injection, DTE injector and rail pressure chips along with a PRG advanced lift kit and a 2" body lift on 33's. It was around 200whp and 270wtq, not fast but it could tow anything I needed. For some reason I sold that and bought a 370Z.

The Z has a built bottom end, GTR turbo conversion with twin GTX2871R's and all the mods to support it.

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Street trim

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Drag trim

Anyway back to the new to me Frontier.

My criteria was basically to find a not too banged up 09+ king cab Pro-4x since they have the newer AC controls, white gauges and factory E-locker. I found a 2012 that is a little rough around the edges and has 230k miles. The mileage didn't really concern me since the VK swap was a must.

It's with my good friend and tuner (www.btwtuning.com) in Michigan who is doing all the work so I can just drive it down to Miami whenever the US gets COVID under control.

The plan is as follows:

Ebay 4" intake meant for an 09 Cobra (replacing the shitty ebay filter with a Vibrant velocity stack & filter)
DIY/Custom VK45 intake manifold swap with LS3 90mm throttle body
JBA Long tube headers 1 7/8" primaries & 3" collector
Custom dual 3" to single 3.5" exhaust with Vibrant UQ resonators and Magnaflow 12909 muffler
R35 GTR injectors
AEM 340lph fuel pump
JWT C8/RZ2 cams & valve springs
Uprev tune from BTWTuning
CSF radiator
Dual E-fan conversion, Derale 2k cfm fans with DIY custom shroud
Derale 25row active transmission cooler
Level 10 torque converter & valve body upgrades
PRG engine & transmission mounts

If the suspension is good I will leave that alone while it's still in the US but I do plan to put the PRG advanced lift it on it at some point since I was happy with that on my Navara. DIY Bilstein based Titan swap

So far I have sourced:
43k mile engine
33k mile transmission
PRG engine & transmission mounts
Donor harnesses sent to Driven Desire
JBA long tube headers

Looking forward to being in a Frontier again with some decent power.

VK swap parts recap
2012 43k mile VK56DE
2012 33k mile Titan Transmission
2014 35k mile Titan transfer case
Driven Desire swap harness
PRG engine & transmission mounts
OEM Timing cover gasket kit from Z1Offroad
OEM bellhousing bolts P/N 01121-05671 from Z1Offroad
Denso upstream O2 sensors P/N 2349038 on Rockauto
NGK LFR6AIX-11 spark plugs on Rockauto
Wix oil filter P/N 57356 on Rockauto
Gates belt & tensioner kit P/N KIT3978716 on Rockauto
Gates radiator hoses P/N 23280, 23281 & 21592 on Rockauto
Titan lower water pipe P/N 13048-7S000 (my engine didn't come with one) from Z1Offroad
4cyl Frontier heater hose fitting P/N 92410-EA000 from Z1Offroad
Pathfinder V8 ac lines P/N 4812539 on Rockauto and 92480-ZS20A (ONLY THE OEM LOW PRESSURE HOSE WILL WORK)
CSF AC condenser & drier P/N 10632 on Rockauto
CSF Frontier radiator P/N 7029
Custom DIY radiator shroud with dual Derale 12" fans P/N 16924 & Derale fan controller P/N 16795
Derale transmission cooler P/N 13960
Spectre 2009 Mustang GT 4" intake P/N 9924
JBA long tube headers P/N 6412SJS
Custom dual 3" into single 3.5" exhaust, 2 Vibrant UQ resonators P/N 1142, Vibrant 2-1 merge P/N 10362, Magnaflow 3.5" muffler P/N 12909
JWT C8 intake & RZ2 exhaust cams
JWT valve springs
OEM R35 GTR fuel injectors
Carter fuel pump module P/N P76358M with AEM fuel pump installed P/N 50-1200
Level 10 valve body
Level 10 3000rpm stall torque converter
BTW Tuning Uprev tune
Amsoil Signature Series ATF 4 gallons
Amsoil Severe gear 75w90 3 quarts
Amsoil Signature Series 5w30 2 gallons
Amsoil heavy duty coolant 50/50 3 gallons

Suspension recap
SPC Titan UCA's P/N 25560
SPC alignment cam bolts P/N 87520
Moog LH lower control arm P/N RK620512
Moog RH lower control arm P/N RK620511
Moog inner tierod P/N EV800216
Moog LH outer tierod P/N ES800031
Moog RH outer tierod P/N ES800032
Q80 front axles P/N NI-8433
Bilstein B8 6112 1st Gen Tundra coilovers P/N 47-260337
Energy Suspension 2" bump stops P/N 9.9101G
Bilstein B8 5165 shocks P/N 25-177510
Fox 19mm OD 14mm ID shock bushing sleeve P/N 213-28-011-B
Energy Suspension rear shock bushing P/N 9.8108G
Superlift 3* driveshaft alignment shims P/N 003
ARB/OME medium duty rear leaf spring packs/bushings/ubolts P/N CS150R/SB99/U53A
Nisstec adjustable shackle P/N N-ADJSKL
Belltech Titan 35mm front sway bar P/N 5457
Hotchkis billet front sway bar mounts P/N 23391375
Hellwig rear 22mm sway bar P/N 7694
 

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Level Ten is about 20 minutes away from me. why not just do a full bulletproof transmission.
 

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one of the main reasons i went VK in the frontier was oem reliability. stock intake on stock tune and i can roast my 35s off.

modding it out, i would prepare for a project.
ive seen some odd issues when you start throwing all these parts together.


for sure make sure you get those headers wrapped or you will likely be replacing your engine mounts frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
one of the main reasons i went VK in the frontier was oem reliability. stock intake on stock tune and i can roast my 35s off.

modding it out, i would prepare for a project.
ive seen some odd issues when you start throwing all these parts together.


for sure make sure you get those headers wrapped or you will likely be replacing your engine mounts frequently.
I can't see what issues an intake, headers, exhaust and cams would lead to by their powers combined but stranger **** has happened. Thanks for the heads up.

I got the ceramic coated JBA headers, I'd rather fab a sheet metal heat shield if one can be made to fit between the mounts and the headers. Header wrap is an itchy pain in the *** and I don't have a good experience with it lasting longer than 2 months before it deteriorates.
 

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right you wont until you do. the axles love to creep up with lovely issues once so much more power is on them.
you run out of suspension quick offroad with it, and can quickly get into fun yet sketch situations with it haha.

heat shield would be decent, just a tight space to work in. my long tubes rested physically on my engine mount on my passenger side and needed ground down a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
right you wont until you do. the axles love to creep up with lovely issues once so much more power is on them.
you run out of suspension quick offroad with it, and can quickly get into fun yet sketch situations with it haha.

heat shield would be decent, just a tight space to work in. my long tubes rested physically on my engine mount on my passenger side and needed ground down a little.
Ah that's making sense now. Hopefully the only issues I encounter are from hooning. I will pass on the info to my tuner about the header, no project would be complete without using a cut off wheel
😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Slow going as I am in no rush and my tuner has lots of Z's to make fast.

I have been emailing JWT and after some back and forth I was recommended C8 intake (272* duration, 12mm lift) and RZ2 exhaust cams (289* duration 11.9mm lift). Neither of which are listed on their site as applicable for the 07+ VK but they can make them for you. Those cams along with their valve springs will be safe to 7k rpm on the stock bottom end. I will be adapting the 06-10 VK45DE dual runner intake manifold to help with the top end along with a 102mm LS throttle body. I am hoping we can see 375-400whp out of it which from what I see will be in the 400-430wtq range. Looking at the power capabilities of the stock transmission, I am not interested in pushing it farther than that.

In related news since I am a fab guy at heart and I wanted to make something for the truck I decided to send the radiator, fans, fan controller and some aluminum sheet here to Cayman so I can build a shroud. I'll have a week off to go get the truck so I'll just bring this with me whenever I head north. The shroud dimentsions are 23.5" x 27.375". I am going to have the aluminum bent 1/2" on the on the short sides and weld some 1/2" angle on the long side. The rubber grommet seal won't need more than that depth and I am trying to keep the over all package as thin as possible.

The fans are over kill but it's the tropics and I value my A/C very much.

CSF 7029 aluminum radiator
Derale 16795 PWM fan controller
Derale 16924 12" 2000CFM fans (haven't arrived yet)
Vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Auto part Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
323244

Got the frame and mounts for the shroud done.

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I still have to finish welding and profiling the the upper mounting tabs.

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Thinking about plating one side of the lower mounting tabs for extra strength as well.

The sheet is getting cut to shape today.

Unfortunately the Derale fans don't reach for another 2 weeks so I have to wait until then to plasma out the holes for them. I ordered a rivnut gun and some metric rivnuts for attachment points for the fans to simplify installation.

2000cfm each, not so much worried about engine cooling as I am worried about the A/C

Since they are such high current fans I went with their PWM controller as well. I'm guessing they won't ever hit 100% duty cycle.

I stuck with them for the transmission cooler as well, got the 25 row remote mount style. I'm fairly confident cooling will not be an issue for this truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Got the sheet tack welded in and finished one side. Welded a an inch or so at a time with a few mins in between to keep warpage down.

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Wasn't able to get those IG status straight as an arrow but there's always the other 4-5ft of welding it needs to get some more seat time with.
 

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Oh can't wait to see this thing come together!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Finally got the fans and let me tell you they are NOT going to have a problem cooling the VK. I powered them up using the ac override trigger and damn near lost my shirt.

Side note, SPAL is stamped on the blades, looks like they make them for Derale. To secure everything to the shroud, I used riv-nuts. They are my new favorite thing for mounting things to sheet metal. The last piece of the puzzle is the rubber edge seal which I will have on Friday.
Electronics Auto part Computer cooling Machine
 

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Are you running those fans both at all times or do you have a temperature switch or a switch that engages the second one when the AC turns on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are you running those fans both at all times or do you have a temperature switch or a switch that engages the second one when the AC turns on?
The little grey box is a pulse width controller and I have both fans wired together in parallel. It will adjust fan speed as needed although I will have to set the desired operating temp initially. The AC over ride trigger will ramp the fans up to 60% duty cycle.

 
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