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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy,

I've had my titled truck for almost three years. Here's the story:

I bought a janky house, scored a good deal on a cool chameleon d21, and learned how to fly a paramotor. Everything was going great! Then I got a dog. A big-*** doodle dog. He's a daily shop creature who quickly outgrew the single cab in that little d21.
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Winter came and I had forgotten that the little truck needed a new heater core. Have I mentioned I'm in Indiana? We have winter. That was a terribly frustrating job in the bitter cold and the dashboard was completely roached. I began to sour on the little truck.
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I also began fantasizing about driving long distance to fly. That would require something with a few more creature comforts and more power than the mini-truck and mighty ka24e had to offer.
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One of my worst habits is browsing Craigslist. It's cost me thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of frustration. I had decided to shop for Frontiers since I'm not a big dude, don't want a big truck, and I guess I'm a Nissan guy by the number of s12s I've owned + the hardbody. Problem was, all the Frontiers were out of my price range and I don't do auto loans.
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After talking myself out of a lifted and boosted Honda CRV (it was really cool - wish I had a picture), I kept shopping and finally stumbled across this truck about an hour and a half away from my house. I think the listing was $8,700 which was still well outside my price range. Normally I would have let it slide and kept shopping and saving, but on a whim I decided to offer my little truck in trade + basically all my cash.

Surprisingly, the guy said yes. He was trying to eliminate a car payment and still wanted a truck in the fleet. He even agreed to meet halfway. My little d21 made the drive down some backroads to a gas station where I handed over the keys and all the cash I owned. Here's the truck fueling up for the drive home. 4x4, 5 speed, short bed with a rebuilt title.121,000 miles. It's the newest and nicest vehicle I've owned.
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It's been reliable as heck and I've enjoyed doing little things that make it a lot better. I even towed for my first time a few weekends back. It went well enough except for the obvious lack of power on the highway. Frontier isn't pictured but I promise it's connected to that trailer.
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I've told myself a million times that I'm going to leave this truck alone, and to a large extent I have. I've changed the oil, spark plugs, head lights, added speaker, subwoofer, remote start, tonneau cover, new tires, replaced a door hinge, window motor, dashboard LEDs, reverse light switch, backup camera..... and I think that's it.

However!! I am a fool. After towing with the truck it has become clear that I will no longer be able to leave it alone. I had been passively shopping down this path for some time, and I don't want to consider a new truck right now. It also seems that Nissan doesn't make the shorty 4x4 crew cab 5 speed Frontier in the configuration I'm after. Or if they did, it's in limited numbers. I like everything about this truck except for its juice.


I lowballed a seller a week or two ago just to pretend that I tried and maybe buy myself another year or two of stock goodness. Then, this popped up for almost the same price as my lowball -- including shipping.
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So the plan is to get this motor, tear it down, and have the parts ready to go onto my truck whenever my convertible is back on the road. I understand the differences between my motor and the supercharged motor but I'm not too worried about it. Seems like enough people have done it without blowing up their NA motors. I'll use the SC injectors and hope for the best. If it does go poorly I'll have a backup engine.

The main thing pushing me to use the original motor is an inability to find a 4x4, manual, supercharged ECU. Again, if Nissan made any in that configuration it wasn't in large numbers. I would love it if somebody could prove me wrong and provide a part number for an ECU that will work with the truck I'm hoping to build.

Right now I've got a tracking number and a dream. This project may not officially kick off for a couple months or even years, but I've been lurking this forum enough to make an account and an introduction.

Glad to meet y'all. This forum has helped me a bunch already.

Best,
Kelso
 

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2004 Nissan Frontier XE KC KA24DE
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Welcome to CF! There are other CF members that plan to add the SC to their truck and some that already have successfully added the SC.

Best of luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

The word janky always makes me laugh, whether reading or hearing it.馃
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today I (hopefully) fixed a power steering leak and also added a hood strut. I had tried this last weekend and gave up after realizing the kit wasn't made for my truck despite Ebay saying it was compatible. Bonnet Hood Shock Lift Struts Bar Support Arm Gas Spring For Nissan Frontier USA | eBay

Used both lower sections of the install kit on the same side and drilled a hole where I thought was right. I got close, but the hood doesn't open as far as it does on the prop so I'll have to ovulate the bottom bracket and shove it closer to the vertex of the hinge. Once that alignment is set I'll add the second hood strut using the remaining pieces from the kit. I think I can see how to cut them up and make a mirror of the left side.
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One strut does hold the hood up but it doesn't take much to bring it back down. Two will be just right
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Video of them in operation and some unnecessary rambling:
 

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2004 Nissan Frontier XE KC KA24DE
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Today I (hopefully) fixed a power steering leak and also added a hood strut. I had tried this last weekend and gave up after realizing the kit wasn't made for my truck despite Ebay saying it was compatible. Bonnet Hood Shock Lift Struts Bar Support Arm Gas Spring For Nissan Frontier USA | eBay

Used both lower sections of the install kit on the same side and drilled a hole where I thought was right. I got close, but the hood doesn't open as far as it does on the prop so I'll have to ovulate the bottom bracket and shove it closer to the vertex of the hinge. Once that alignment is set I'll add the second hood strut using the remaining pieces from the kit. I think I can see how to cut them up and make a mirror of the left side.
View attachment 328606

One strut does hold the hood up but it doesn't take much to bring it back down. Two will be just right
View attachment 328605

Video of them in operation and some unnecessary rambling:
That kit is for 2nd Gen Frontiers.
Here's a link to the kit I installed on my 04.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those do look much more professional. As they should for three times the price!

I've definitely visited your build thread before. Any tips or links for the EZ Down tailgate assist?
 

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Those do look much more professional. As they should for three times the price!

I've definitely visited your build thread before. Any tips or links for the EZ Down tailgate assist?
There is a less expensive option.

The Sachs Stabilus EZ Down tailgate assist model #SG325900EZ are for the 2nd Gen Frontier and required slight modification to get it installed.
The colored dots and lines were areas that were making contact and I had to do a lil bit of grinding to allow for smooth operation.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Truck randomly started overheating so yesterday I did the timing belt, water pump, and thermostat. Still overheating and the radiator stays cold while the upper rad hose is hot.

Hoping it's just an air bubble but I'm picking up a new radiator today anyway.

I also put on the crank pulley from the supercharged engine just to have that part of the swap done in advance. For the record, it does work fine on an NA motor.

Also, removing the crank pulley is possible with a 3 jaw puller by removing the 27mm crank bolt, removing the big washer (MANDATORY), then threading the bolt back in a couple threads and using the head of the crank bolt as your center. You will have to hold the head of the crank bolt with some pliers while you work the puller. You will crack your pulley if the big washer isn't removed before attempting to use the puller. Trust me.

I would have used the proper puller but I didn't have a 6mm bolt to thread into the pulley and the kit I rented didn't have any either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The hose that comes up off of the thermostat was still leaking. Spent all day tearing it down and changing, and in a moment of frustration made the boneheaded call to not RTV something. Now it's leaking worse than before, and I've gotta tear it back down again.

What's additionally disheartening is the fact that I still have a coolant leak somewhere in the complex of hoses that come off the back of the head, so when I get the leak on the front fixed I still won't be able to drive it.

I'm torn between sending it to a shop and having them fix the leak on the back of the motor or accepting my fate and beginning the SC swap. If the intake manifold has to come off to do that dang coolant hose, I may as well replace it with the supercharger, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
AC Compressor not pictured. Crank pulley is already installed from the recent timing belt job. Spaghetti belt should arrive sometime this week so we could have liftoff next weekend. Sooner if I get antsy.

Planning to run the stock 4x4 5 speed n/a ECU unless somebody chimes in and convinces me otherwise. May hook up a wideband for piece of mind if/when it's running.

333518


 

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I'm trying to avoid buying another ECU if I can get away with it.
ahhhh ok, i see. Well, if you keep an eye out at the "Pull It Yourself" type junkyards you can pick one up for 30 or 40 bucks. You can even sign up to get notified when an Xterra or Frontier shows up. I got my ECU out of a Xterra for 30 bucks i think.

Not Sure If You've Seen These But It's Just More Food for Thought. It's a 3 Part Series on These Guys Upgrading the N/A to SC

Here's a snapshot of his "opinion" to a reply to a comment in the 3rd Video: If you go with a smaller pulley tho then the SC ECU is a must. Also, in the comments section of the 3rd video he said he went with the 2.3'' Pulley and has been running it without issue.

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Also, If you sign up to this Frotniter D22 FB Group: Facebook Groups

You can get parts on there. I needed just the snout for the SuperCharger. I made a post asking if anybody had one and within the first day somebody sold me one and threw in the whole SC with it for $100 shipped. I see people asking for parts a lot on there and people reply quickly saying they have the part.

EDIT:
Just searched eBay for the SC Computer. Theres a dozen or so on there but the cheapeast was $63 from LKQ which is a very reputable junkyard. It'll come with a warranty. If it doesn't work they'll give you a full refund.

Complete Search Results:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Also, If you sign up to this Frotniter D22 FB Group: Facebook Groups

You can get parts on there. I needed just the snout for the SuperCharger. I made a post asking if anybody had one and within the first day somebody sold me one and threw in the whole SC with it for $100 shipped. I see people asking for parts a lot on there and people reply quickly saying they have the part.

EDIT:
Just searched eBay for the SC Computer. Theres a dozen or so on there but the cheapeast was $63 from LKQ which is a very reputable junkyard. It'll come with a warranty. If it doesn't work they'll give you a full refund.

Complete Search Results:

Pretty sure I've seen those three videos at least ten times. Great info and the dude is a hero. I do wonder if you actually need the longer accelerator cable. That's another risk I'm taking.

Also big thanks for the links to the ECUs. Do you/anyone know if 4x4 is controlled by the ECU?
 

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Pretty sure I've seen those three videos at least ten times. Great info and the dude is a hero. I do wonder if you actually need the longer accelerator cable. That's another risk I'm taking.

Also big thanks for the links to the ECUs. Do you/anyone know if 4x4 is controlled by the ECU?

You bet man, eBay has tons of auto parts. Its a great place to check.

Haha "hero" for sure, ole dude was like a pioneer of documenting the NA to SC swap. Man, i've looked and have seen the smaller cables they're talking about but mine is already long as hell. It makes a big circle in the engine bay. Looks like its 5 or 6 feet long already so idk.

The 4x4 is controlled with the manual shift lever in the cab. Pretty sure theres no such thing as a 4x4 ECU for our trucks. Otherwise i'm going to have trouble when i swap in the 2wd Xterra ECU i pulled at the JY. Pretty sure i'm going to be alright tho.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I'm reassembling my engine and the realized that my 04 N/A vehicle has an EGR valve that the donor supercharged engine did not. Gonna have to figure out how to plug that bad boy.

Also a couple pesky coolant line/vacuum line questions lingering, but it's happening. If I can stay motivated I could have it up and running by the end of this weekend.
 

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None of the VG33ER engines had an EGR valve. They had a threaded plug that screwed into the exhaust manifold.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Here's where I left it just now. Taking a break and going to find a plug for the EGR (24mm socket to remove, btw) and the little plastic intake extension box thing.

Still not sure how I'm going to reattach the two coolant lines at the back of the engine to the intake piece yet to go on, but that's a problem for future me. Also some spare vacuum lines to figure out.
 
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