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bac0nfat's Official Build Thread

15355 Views 86 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Pinchel
Here is how she started:

(update) how she looks now:

2001 SE. 96,000 miles. I just started the BL yesterday, and I have a 3" SL from AC that should be here today. New tires should arrive by the end of the week (305/70/16 Goodyear Wrangler Duratraks)

Now for the body lift. Here is my workstation:

I started the BL (using the laptop for online tutorials, etc) at around 5:30pm last night, and worked till 10:00. No one was available to help me, and I had no clue what I was getting into. Disconnected battery, loosen bolts on steering shaft, tie off steering wheel, no problem. Remove front bumper, PROBLEM! :eek:

I fought with that thing till my knuckles were bloody. I had all the fasteners out, but could not free the bumper from those rubber blocks on either side. Eventually I got it off, but I'm pretty sure I bent at least one of those brackets that hold that rubber block. Oh well, its nothing that a BFH wont fix.

Remove rear bumper, PROBLEM! None of my metric wrenches fit. One was too small, and the next size was too big. I know I'm not missing any because I just bought a complete set. So I figure, it must be standard for some reason. Nope, not standard either. It's a frickin 18mm and for some reason, my metric wrench set only has 17 and 19mm. Go figure! So I left that part for the next day.

Remove brake line brackets from frame rail, PROBLEM! Wait, which brackets are they? Because I just spent 15 minutes taking off the brackets that are sandwiched between the gas tank and frame rail. You know, where it's too tight to fit a ratchet, so you have to use a regular wrench? Only to realize that they are the wrong ones and have to spend another 25 minutes putting them back!

Take out the 4 body bolts that go through the floor, no problem. But DAMN those things are tight!

And that's how it stands now. I need to finish it tonight because my fiance has to drive it to work tomorrow. Will post updates!
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You need to take a breath and look at what goes from the body to the frame FIRST...PB Blast the parts you need to loosen, give it time to dissolve rust welds....time for you to go get 18 mm sockets, etc.

You need to take a breath and look at what goes from the body to the frame FIRST...PB Blast the parts you need to loosen, give it time to dissolve rust welds....time for you to go get 18 mm sockets, etc.

Yes, you are right. I didn't have PB blast so I used WD40. Where do I find PB blast? I grabbed some 18 sockets from work today (yes I have permission).

Oh yea I forgot to mention. The little rods that tie the bumper trim to the body...they are held onto the body with screws (rusty screws) that like to snap when you put the tiniest amount of torque on them. Should I bother drilling them out so I can remount them, or just leave that trim piece flapping in the wind? Or toss the trim out the window? I'm leaning towards the third option at this point.
i broke them off and said screw it, but I put an ARB front on about 1 month later anyways
When I did my BL I basically pulled every part of the front bumper except for the metal part. Only attatchment point is the four bolts on the frame horns. It works, but my bumper rattles considerably on bumpy roads.
those rubber things on the body that hold the bumper have a 10mm nut you can take off once u get the plastic part of the bumper off. if ur gonna offroad id leave the plastic part off. i have and haven't looked back.. mostly cuz i'm lazy but i also like the look of it.. need to get a real bumper soon anyways
I'm not too worried about the front bumper, I'm sure I can rig something up. I just got a call from my fiance, saying that UPS just dropped off two large feels like Christmas!
Well, Monday night I finished my body lift!

I got home from work, and this is what I saw:

WooHoo! Now this is what my workbench looks like:

I can't believe how huge those shackles are!

Anyway, so onto the body lift. I finally got my 18mm sockets and breaker bar, and took off the rear bumper and hitch.

Then I continued battle with some of the body bolts. I think I need to invest in some PB blaster, WD40 just aint cutting it. I get out all the bolts on the passenger side, and start lifting. At this point, it becomes obvious that something is binding BAD. As I turn the jack handle, I can hear what sounds like metal bending and stressing. Well I look underneath and sure enough I see this bracket that got overlooked:

I don't know how that got by me, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't mentioned in any of the BL tutorials. It was on the center body bolt, on both sides. It's not possible to re-attach after the 2" body block was in place. So, I left them both out.

Anyway I continue to lift, get my blocks in, do the other side, no problem. Tighten everything down, put the bumpers back on, tighten the bolts on the steering column, reconnect the battery, etc etc, look at the clock and its 12:40am, I'm done! I decide to take it for a quick test ride because the fiance needs it for work tomorrow. I'm riding around the block feeling great, really proud of myself, everything is just awesome. Pull in the driveway and hop out to take the mandatory picture for CX, and I nearly crap myself when I see a huge cloud of smoke coming from under the hood.


I think "OH MY GOD!" (x3) and jump in the truck to see what the water temp is. It looks normal so I shut off the engine and open the hood. And I see this:

Yep, that little crappy plastic nub for the heater core broke off. That was also NOT mentioned in either of the tutorials I used. :rolleyes: So I find a piece of 3/4" copper pipe and use it to connect the two tubes together, bypassing the heater core. Then I refill the coolant and take it for a spin again. Everything works fine.

Then, just for the hell of it, I googled "xterra heater core firewall" and it turns out that this is a very common issue when doing BL's. Oh well, you live and make mistakes, and that's how you learn. I will attempt to extend the broken off part with a copper nipple and some epoxy when I get some free time. Hey, at least winter is over, the timing couldn't have been better!

Here's how she looks now:

A couple issues. For one, the license plate lights don't work anymore. Truthfully, I'm not sure if they ever worked. But I will have to troubleshoot that later. Anyone know if I can get in trouble for that? Also, I did not have anything to extend the drive-shaft safety loop, so I just removed it. Is that bad? What does it actually prevent? Because you would think the crossmember would stop the drive-shaft from ever hitting the ground. Is there a possibility of the drive-shaft coming through the floor in the even that it fell off at high speed? Also, the bottom plastic trim for the front bumper does not fit anymore. I used the bumper relocation brackets from AC to get the bumper 2" higher, and now the plastic trim hits that metal bar that connects the two frame rails up front. I'll have to do some trimming of the plastic to get it to fit. I was just going to leave the plastic off, but my fiance says it looks like white trash the way it is (LOL). Also, I will need to raise the rear bumper somehow, so I can put the bumperetts (sp?) back on. I thought the AC bumper relocation brackets came with brackets for the front AND rear, but I guess not.

Now I'm just waiting for my Calmini AAL so I can install my 3" SL. Well, that and a free weekend. It might be awhile with my busy schedule this month. I have turkey hunting this weekend, then my bachelor party next weekend, then a trade show for work, then my wedding, then our honeymoon, then my court date for open burning, then plant my vegetable garden, THEN I can finally install the SL. So don't hold your breath anyone.

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just so u know.. both ur problems were mentioned in the diy thread and the tips. but in any case sorry to hear about ur bad luck. the brackets i heard those who had it were able to bend them to fit.. or so.. not sure. and the heater core.. ur either gonna have to replace or by pass as u did. the drive shaft safety loop has been off on mine since the day i did the BL so if ur comfprtable leave it off. looks good tho. good job
Looks good! I broke the same hearter core If you take the rubber gommet off that goes around it against the firewall you may have enough plastic left to connect the hose. I did on mine... You may also want to get a longer top radiator hose as well. I broke the top connection on the radiator after my BL. At the very least rotate the hose as much as you can clockwise to give you a little more play and to take the stress off the radiator.
Oh yeah one other thing I forgot to ask. The brake line brackets behind the passenger side front tire, what do I do with them? Right now they are disconnected and the holes obviously do not line up. Also, the shroud for those lines will not fit. Whats the standard procedure, just drill new holes for the existing brackets? Make new brackets? Make a new shroud? Or just leave it the way it is?
Kick ass dude! Great job!

I have yet to do anything mod-wise where there hasn't been an issue, don't let it get you down.
weird, i never needed to remove the brake line brackets, and never had a problem with the heater core
My heater core broke too. Some years came with the brackets on the middle bolts, some didn't. I just took them off.
Just ordered a set of five Cragar Soft 8's. As it turns out, the tires I was looking at (Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac 305/70/16) go for $210 on TireRack, but the 33x12.5r15's go for about $150! So I decided to buy the soft 8's (P/N 3975860) in a 15x8, this will allow me to use the cheaper tire. It ended up being cheaper, even when factoring in the price of the wheels! Also, since my new wheels are in inch wider, it should work better for the 12.5" wide tire. Plus, now I will have two complete sets of wheels and tires, and I could sell the stock set to make back some of my money. In addition to all that, I now have the backspace that I want without having to buy wheel spacers.

You guys think I'll be able to fit my new wheels and tires before installing my SL?
Is the backspace 4.75? I bought a set off craiglist that I was told had a bs of 4.75 but after comparing it to the spare I bought from summit I can safely assume that I was misinformed; just wanted to see what you're ending up with.
They are 4" BS. I wanted a wider stance. I thought it might provide some protection to the body and be more stable, plus it looks badass.
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