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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Double-posted, see below.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
So finished up the engine temp gauge install after verifying that the factory engine temp gauge is indeed an "idiot needle" that registers cold, running and YBYE ( you blew your engine ). Since well nigh nobody provides any accessible ports for senders anymore, and half the time you can't even see the aluminium half of the intake manifold; I picked up this little gem from Amazon to finish the install.
Throw out the chinese made junk hose clamps and replace with Ideals or equivalent and you are golden. Replaced the upper radiator hose with a new Goodyear from the local Salvo's auto while I was in there, the old hose looked fine but why would you put new wine in old skins, right? Kept the old one behind the rear seat as a spare. This fit nicely snug in the top radiator hose and works great, absolutely no leaks or dribbles, just don't forget to run an extra ground lead or you get ZERO signal. Easy peasy and only $10.00. Good quality aluminum casting, well machined, factory AutoMeter sender fit in like a glove.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. I was waiting to do some off-roading in Maine and got to hit two separate places. Day One, Thursday I followed an access road paralleling some medium-voltage power lines outside Albion Maine, on Albion Rd. The trail started out pretty good, but got rutted pretty quickly and turned into a mix of mud ruts and rocky scree. Banged my driver's side step on a nice rock hiding in a muddy trench, after driving over it, bent the step assy backwards about 2 inches, on the way out. Might be time for some real rock sliders.

Day Two, Dyer's Road bypass heading to Elephant Mountain, started out pretty good as below, then began to narrow after about 7 miles. At this point, we ran into a teenager on a quad-sport and inquired about Dyer's road. He advised it continued straight thru but narrowed down some for a ways, and after finishing the course I had to wonder if he were really thinkin "I think this good 'ole boy's not right in the head, attempting to take a pickup truck through that mess". At this juncture the trail was more of a suggestion and I was seriously considering the 8.9" of ground clearance that the front differential has (lowest-hanging point of the truck except the side-steps, stock Nissan Frontier Pro4x which is the tallest of the Nissan Frontier series, factory lift only). The trail narrowed until bushes were running down both sides of the paint and Caren got out at least twice to spot for me to crawl over and between some serious rocks and avoid some tire-cutters (TRex tooth shaped vertical rocks) buried in the trail.

This went on for about another 6 miles before we finally got to the end of the trail and it widened out again right before meeting another main graveled road. It took over 90 minutes to traverse this section & I don't think in my entire life I have ever put more concentration into driving than I did here. And according to the DeLorme Gazeteer ( a local map publication that produces area atlases ) this road isn't considered bad. Shirley's Tote road is considered impassable. I want to see what that looks like. For this trail I would recommend a Bradley Light Infantry vehicle. When we reached Elephant Mountain I inspected the paint and was completely surprised to find no major scratches, gouges or dents, just tons of gravel dust lodged in everything. Thank you Jesus for no cut tires. That zone has ZERO cell reception. ( Pic #1 is not ours, thats from some one else's trip ). Engine temp stayed pretty steady around 195F+_ but transmission rose from 160 - 165F on-street to almost 200F on trail, crawling slow in 4WD was stressing her. Turned on the trans aux cooling fan, 610CFM. Quite an adventure.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Not a lot to report for a while, just enjoyin the truck.
Ordered Motul Multi ATF 100% synthetic for my transfer case and Motul 75W140 for the rear diff. BTW Motul Multi ATF is Dexron III and Mercon compatible and is listed as Nissan Matic S, D, J and K, and ATF FMS compatible, from the Motul website. Amazon has both for sale, it appears to be super highly rated and in use by many racing teams. I don't beat on my truck ( much ) but having the best gives me piece of mind that these parts will last as long as humanly possible. I expect to drive this thing to my own funeral.
The front diff is weird, 80W90 is apparently only a synthetic blend ( except for perhaps Amsoil ) so I went with Valvoline 80w90 semi-synth blend. I'll report how everything feels and runs after they're swapped out. Several OPs reported their transfer cases switched into and out of 4WD faster and smoother with synthetic. I'm curious to try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Liqui-Moly Mo2S
So I ordered LiquiMoly MoS2 oil treatment. 6 cans are $30, for $5 a hit I'm willing to try it. I know some here believe all oil treatments are snake-oil, and some believe that most are. If no one else has tried it, I'll be willing to be the experimental guinea pig. In the past some MoS2 products have had issues with suspension precipitate and moly build-up in the bottom of the pan. From everything I've read, the Germans have licked this issue and the moly particles are 10 times smaller than what an oil filter captures so I can't see how oil filter clogging could be an issue, as it can be with Teflon-suspension additives, that even DuPont has disavowed.

My biggest concerns are the high-wear surfaces on the camshaft lobes and the spring pressures that the variable valve timing is running. The 370z is an extreme example of this issue and is running a custom-blended oil and sometimes an auxiliary oil cooler to combat these issues in spirited driving. Have a look at the Z forum if you are curious about that VQ's challenges. My wife has a Toyota RAV4 ( just can't quite convince her to leave the Dark Side ) with just under 200k on the clock and we are going to try out both. I see many reports of quieter operation and smoother idle plus possibly a MPG improvement, willing to put $30 on the line to find out. Put it in today and will report after a week or two on what's noticeable, if anything. Only half-way through the 7k-7500 oil change cycle I run ( full synthetic ) so figured it could go in now and not wait for next oil change. 8OZ added as recommended, lets see what it does. The stuff is black as india ink, but thankfully, thinner. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Transfer Case and Differentials Servicing
Well its done. What an ordeal, I'm too old and creaky to spend 3 hrs upside-down under a 5000# truck but I did it. Okay, so the transfer case took just under 2.0L to fill, the rear took all of the 2.0L and the front axle, 1.8 pints ( still have a bit from the 1L bottle left over ). Not looking forward to doing that again any time soon, that concrete floor was cold and I don't enjoy this crap anywhere near I did when I was 20. LOL.
Good news is that nothing leaked, I didn't break or strip anything and the rest of the chassis looks solid from a visual inspection. 4WD seems to engage and disengage almost instantly so I guess the transfer case gear set likes that new Motul ATF. Overall, a worthwhile project. The rear axle 75w140 came out almost black, the transfer case was dark red and the front 75w90 was almost clear. Very strange. Motul 75W140 is blue, the ATF red and the 75w90 is a medium-dark green. Interesting stuff. All the fluids appeared almost metal-free, cleaned off the drain plug magnets, the transfer case seemed to have some fine particles swimming in it, didn't seem to be anything to be majorly concerned about, all looked good and no signs of any water contamination.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Originally Posted:
Mine's on order, Charcoal / Dark Red stitching, projected delivery date is 18 February. I went with the oreo double-stuff as I hate how low the existing armrest is and want to bring it up as much as possible, IMHO for me the OEM is absurdly uncomfortable with my elbow tweaked at that angle. I know I'm prob going old-skool and revealing my age, but the old cars with the fold-down armrests attached to the insides of the seat backs were the best. Why are those gone? Its rhetorical.

Update:
Ordered 24 January, shipped 29 January, arrived 19 February from Poland. So, observations. Quality is pretty good, stitching appears tight and aligned correctly, nice and straight. The leather colour appears just a hair lighter than the colour of the Pro4 seats with VTP, but good enough I have no complaints. No installed photos yet as it was too dark for good pix.

Installation. That was a challenge. The foams provided ( thin and thick, I ordered the thickest padding option ) were good on width but too long, trimmed off about 3/4" and made huge difference. I drilled small holes in the rear corners and midway down the sides of the plastic lid "cap" ( the inner top ) and used nylon wire-ties on the inside of the leather to stretch it taut and hold it temporarily while reinstalling and clinching the bottom plate to capture the leather between the top and bottom plates. This is not a fault of the supplier, its how the lid is designed and was probably never expected to have a leather covering. If you had two or three sets of hands it might be possible to do it just by the stretching method but solo, never gonna happen. Unless perhaps I'm just too spastic to be limber enough. Always possible.

Result. I think it looks pretty nice, it has a few ripples, just enough to give it that "hand-stretched coach-builder" look, not assembled by robot. Would I do it again? Yes, I believe I would. The leather seems pretty good quality and reasonably thick, will see how it holds up over time. Would still like perhaps another inch lift but that all depends on your upper arm length and what you find to be a comfortable elbow angle. The padding is certainly waaaay nicer than that nearly rigid rubber crap that Nissan stretched over it as OEM. Also the OEM cover scratches too easily IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Going to be hauling and towing this summer & found a 10% discount off Firestone RideRite airbags, gonna be bagging the rear axle in the next week or so. I'll post some pics and before / after ride n drive observations.
Update: bags to be installed on the 7th, have a friend with a heated garage and a lift. Oooorah.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Time for a travel radio as well, studying for HAM Technician class license now. Been in radio and audio for over 40 years, had an old Hallicrafters hand-me-down as a teenager, picked up the Soviet Union a coupla times on Ionospheric skip, in the early 80s.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Firestone Ride Rites are in. What an adventure.
So my thoughts on the kit and install:
Lay out all your parts and inventory before installation. Important. Always be 101% sure you have all your parts, both included with the kit and whatever else you may need to complete the project.

You will need a 120v SawZall or a very strong battery unit to cut off the factory stops, there are steel reinforcing shapes molded in, it isn't just a big rubber blob. They will cut but it will take some elbow-grease and produce a whole butt-load of smoke. Be prepared.
The bolts included for the lower shackles ( the leaf spring girdles ) were way too long, cut all 8 about 1.50" or more shorter to avoid the parking and hydraulic brake lines. Place a disposable nut with the same thread pitch on the bolt after marking the new length with a black sharpie. Back the nut off afterwards to chase the threads smooth and make reassembly easy.
The lower mounting plates should be longer ( along the leaf spring axis ) as the bolts are directly and I mean directly above the hydraulic brake line when installing. Another .50 - .75" in both directions would make everything waaaay smoother and permit access with a deepwall socket. Had to use a hand wrench and spin them on, about 1/4 turn at a time due to clearance restrictions. Slow but they got there.
The instructions were good, no photos but line-drawing illustrations, no confusion on assembly.

Overall thoughts. This is very well engineered kit with a few bugaboos. They are not insurmountable, more annoying unless you don't have the tools you need. Cutting down the bolts isn't optional so plan for it. Once installed, it goes together well and rides fine. I currently have 12PSI in each bag and the truck has a slight forward rake, which I prefer. When I get to hauling and towing they will be invaluable. I would definitely do these again, but if Firestone were to take those criticisms and do some minor re-engineering, they'd have about well nigh a perfect product.

FYI resist the temptation to be lazy and use a TFitting to only have one fill port and one hole. Simple reason which I did not think of but another OP mentioned about his RideRites, if you get your truck into a sideways inclined scenario and it's in danger of rolling over, the extra weight transferring to the outside will force air from the compressed bag into the extending bag and make the lean angle WORSE. At this point you could lose your rig. If you NEVER offroad and never plan to, then you could probably safely ignore this advise, but even so, I wouldn't, two fittings can still be used for height / weight jacking side-to-side when you are driving solo and you have a heavy object on the driver's side bed behind you. Just a better overall solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
I installed my DrawTite hitch mount over the 4th of July Holiday and this weekend installed the relays and harness for the trailer power and lighting, drilled out the bumper and did a through-mount. I used a Harbour Freight $33.00 2.25" universal hole-saw kit and made a nice little tunnel right on through there. Connected everything, started the truck and inserted my portable 7 prong trailer socket tester from etrailers.com and lo n behold, oooopsie. Brakes are hot, 12v is down. So, for those who have seen it documented that some Frontiers are wired backwards, that being the black "hot lead" and the blue trailer brakes circuit, well here's a 2014 documented to still have that fault. I read somewhere else it supposedly ended in 2012 but don't believe it. Somebody in China is either colour-blind or lazy. Or wherever Nissan farmed out their harness fabrication work to. I really like this connector cause it has not only a 7 pin but also a 4 / 5 socket already on board so no carrying adapters and hoping you don't lose them. Unless its got some kind of cobbled connector, you can mate this with any trailer harness on the road.

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Discussion Starter #32
Moving and lack of finances thereof have kept Silver Surfer mods to a bare bare minimum lately, but she still has a big wish list. Installed rear 1.5" wheel spacers from Titan Wheel early Sunday morning, gotta get some pics, the "poke" looks perfect, tire sidewall just outside the wheelwells. Fronts will prob have to wait for Spring, prob going to need a 2" lift first for fender liner clearance and with what all the house & move just cost, lift is on a secondary budget plan right now < sniffle, sniffle >. It'll get there. Someday. Chassis armour and lift are the next to be tee'd up.

Keeping the stock Pro4 wheels, not only for financial reasons but because IMHO the OE Pro wheels are very sharp, one of the few vehicles I've ever owned where I felt like I'd be hard-pressed to find something aftermarket that would trump the OE's. Kudos Nissan.

Back to Maine 12 October for some wheelin and packing up a UHaul 6x12 trailer to bring more of the Boss's stuff back down to MD, it was her Condo before we met and now it's ours so the personal stuff gets to take a 593 mile ride now. Prob going to rent it furnished and considering short-term rentals as an option so if anyone wants a couple weeks in Maine and wants a nice place ( 2 bedroom, in-unit wash & dry ) in a good central location, PM me for pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Trucks doing what trucks do best. Truck things. 7900# combined rig, 4 axles, 7 states, 632 miles, 13 hours in one day. What a ride. Saturday 19 October. My new Curt roof-mount luggage basket and the rented UHaul.

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Discussion Starter #34
Installed 1.5" hub spacers and red anodized lug nuts last nite. I think it has just the right "poke" to give a good stance without looking "BroRacer truck" absurd like the Ford F150s running with 4" of tire hanging out the wheelarches. Stock height Pro4, the fronts rub just a little sometimes on tighter turns, contact appears to be in headlamp side of wheelarches only, will be doing a meltmod to correct the noise.

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Discussion Starter #35
Not super exciting but had eccentric LCA bolts installed up here in Maine, caster and camber are now in the centre of the window for factory-desired alignment values. Toe was off after the wheel spacers install but very well could have been off before that, due to MDs wonderful upkeep of our potholes with asphault in-betweens added. LOL. Regardless, steering wheel is now straight again and driving is much less darty, toe-out makes a vehicle track horribly. $232.41 out the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
312420
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Updates, the lower control arms eccentric camber bolts plus the mild melt mod have removed all sounds of rubbing and grinding in the front wheelarches. Happy about that. And the truck tracks much better to boot. All ready now for the Spring project of 2" suspension lift.

Changed out cabin air filters last nite, very well may have been OEM sourced, the old ones were filthy and nearly impossible to see through when held up to my LED overhead shop lamps in the garage. Definitely past time for those guys. Went with the Frams that have baking soda or somesuch, supposed to reduce bad odors from outside. $13.00 and change from Walmart.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
The cabin air filters from Fram with the Arm & Hammer FreshBreeze activated charcoal / baking soda mix are part# CF10553, if anyone's interested. The box containes 2 filters, which is the correct count for one full filter change.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I'm getting ready to launch a YouTube channel out here in Maryland. Lets see if we can get some beasts together and gin up some footage, I know there's quite a few Frontier fans in the area.
I've been doing Ancestry.com and following my family tree and on my Mother's Father's Mother's side I'm distantly related to most of the ducal houses of Europe. Geoffrey II, Duke of Anjou's nickname was Geoffrey Martel, Geoffrey the Hammer, so I'm going to go with Martel Designs. I think it sounds pretty cool. IM me for details.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Installed Hikari H11 LEDs for the fogs, replaced the no-names that I had in there that failed after just under 2yrs. Quite clear why they only offered a 1yr warranty.
Look good, very bright, super-easy install, all done and on-road for test drive in a half-hour total. Appear to have a pretty good beam pattern but are definitely going to need to be aimed. Beam is way too low.
$39.95 and since they tore down the old steel mill complex at Sparrows Point MD, one of the warehouses that took its place is an Amazon regional distro centre. Ordered Thursday, arrived Friday afternoon late. Now that's pretty good service. Almost as fast as Acme delivered the Coyote's orders.

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