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Supercharged 04 - Awaiting Next Issue

14914 Views 72 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  TxDayTrader

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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I've got that same setup i need to put on my n/a. Just try both ECU's n see which one you like best.
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.

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?

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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So hows the SC running bro. I'm finally about to move into my mouse and get this done. I'll be reading through your post and some other guys in its entirety to get a rock solid idea but is it really as easy as those dudes that SC that Xterra in the 3 part video we've all seen? SC, Pulleys, Injectors, Fuel Rail ECU, etc.... is pretty much it right. Thought i remember you having some issues but got them ironed out. From everything you''ve learned do you have any top pointers on this task

Sorry for not reading through your whole post before questioning but come on man! i have over 1200 posts and have been on here for almost a decade. Not to mentiion i even have a sticky. I kind of somebody in these 1st Gen Streets 😁😆😅😂🤣

Bus Seriously, Worth It or Not Worth It???

Idk why I didn't see this! Apologies for the late reply!!

Truck is running absolutely great. It's still nowhere near fast and I do worry it's going to blow up whenever I put my foot into it and hear the blower crack.

If you're good with a wrench and can find a whole engine / literally every item you need for the swap for under $1,500 I would do it again. Especially if you're doing it at the same time as a timing belt and other major service that will be taking you down to the crank pulley anyway. I got mine done in about a weekend + another week of troubleshooting while daily driving.

HOWEVER!!! I'm not sure I'd recommend swapping in the vg33er engine. The truck is already so damn slow that I think the additional compression of the vg33e+r is worth having. The secret is letting the lower bypass vacuum port vent to atmosphere and capping where it went on the SC.

It's really a labor of love and personal connection to the truck question. If you see yourself keeping the truck as a forever toy, may as well take it all the way.
I have a complete SC engine with Computer i pulled from a Junkyard that Butterman tipped me off to. NOt sure if the engine is any good and i know the SuperCharger will have to be rebuilt. Compression wise (and i'm going off memory" the 33E and 33ER aren't that far apart in compression it's like 8.6:1 vs 9.1:1. Plus they dont' make the rebuild parts for the ER anymore so if you need new pistons etc... then you have to rebuild with VG33E parts. The ER has the forged pistons, crank shaft, and cast iron black which are the main differences as far as the engine goes. My engine only has 135k on it so its still relatively young. A couple of my racer buddies say the compression difference between the E and the ER is so small that it shouldn't make too much of a difference so long as i don't get crazy with the boost. I'll keep your venting into the atmosphere tip in mind tho. I have a 2022 Frontier PRO-4X now so my old 1st gen is now a project vehicle to just screw around with and have fun with.
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