mx592 - Can I be one of the BETA testers?
Do you have a guide how to remove the front grille and bumper? also how you got the broken nuts out?Here are pictures of my work so far. A little background: After the winter I noticed coolant dripping from under the X. Traced it to a leaky water pump seal (tip of the day - don't trust shitty NAPA parts). I did the timing belt and water pump with a local mobile mechanic (DZ Mobile Mechanix if anyone in the Hudson Valley needs help - he's awesome) and in the process decided to pull apart the entire front end to do miscellaneous other maintenance (like the corner lights, the below bumper support, etc). I was going to look into getting the whole OEM part for the support and just cut away what I didn't need, but happened upon this thread which has been a god send.
The tie bar as I was about to pull it off:
Left side tie bar mount. I separated it from the body with a chisel. Rust/corrosion went a little further up than some.
Right side tie bar mount. I had removed the rubber feet from the bottom of the AC condenser - thankfully they were still in place.
As MX592 mentions in his directions, the bolts holding the bumpter supports in place are VERY prone to snapping. This one didn't even budge before it just snapped right off at the head. (Left side rear)
And the right side front also snapped as I had it about halfway out - I tried to finesse it but it just wanted to be a dick.
I used some shims to support the radiator on the frame on each side. I measured to give people and idea of how much "lift" is appropriate:
The old tie rod after a little stress relief:
An example of the corrosion we experience as Xterra owners - this is after the tie bar was removed and before I cleaned away the rust and hit it with Rust Reformer spray and bed liner:
Getting the new bar in place to drill the mounting holes:
For anyone worried about "what happens if the tie bar gives way and the radiator drops" - I took a picture of the distance between the radiator shroud and the fan with the radiator sitting on the frame with no support. You could "probably" get away with no support, but I personally wouldn't risk it:
New tie bar in place:
Left side bolts in place:
Right side bolts in place:
Any questions and constructive feedback welcome.
I thought the included bolts would be too short since there was still a little gap between the bar and the body due to a weld on one side that I didn't bother to get rid of. But once you tighten them down they do the job perfectly. I'll post additional pictures once I have all the accessories back in place (windshield reservoir, mount for the horn and ari bag sensor, etc). I already redrilled and tapped the two seized bolts, just need to get new bolts for the bumper mounts to start buttoning it all up.
Thank you for the wonderful feedback!I've owned a 2004 Xterra XE since new, with 109K miles on it. Typical stuff, rocker panels are rusting and #6 cylinder misfire, and headliner detached. But overall a great vehicle, easy to drive, sit high, turns nice. My wife drives it.
It failed state inspection because of the lower tie radiator support being rusted through. I bought the replacement radiator support bar from Z Precision a year or so ago in anticipation of it failing. Found a local body shop who charged me straight labor, and did the work last week. With the photos and step by step instruction from Z Precision, the shop had no issues with the install.
Passed state inspection yesterday with flying colors. Thanks Z Precision! Excellent product and customer service!