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Street Quest Rev's Xterra Project

6013 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Legit_Keeper
Hey again Club Xterra, Revū here! I've got my hands on a nice little 05 Xterra 4x4 Off Road that I've gotta start modding out.

Here are the pictures of it pretty much the day after I got it:

I've wanted to D40 Frontier for a long time so I already had a list of Frontier parts to incorporate into a little Xterra wish list. Since the Xterra has to remain an easy driver with decent gas mileage I can't do anything too crazy to her. I thought I’d post the links here to help out others who are interested in decking their X out in a similar fashion. I looked around and the sites I found seemed to be the best price outside of junk yards and ebay.

Engine Performance

[] Volant CAI (Link)
From what I can tell this is the best CAI for the Xterra.

[] DT Shorty Headers (Link)
I was watching some youtube videos on Xterra exhaust notes and came across the Doug Thorley products. The sound they make is pretty much exactly the kind of noise I'm looking for. Something strong and aggressive, but still subdued, not completely in your face to everyone you drive by. The headers are almost too pretty for metal that's never going to be seen (I've never seen that "ball" shape where the pipes meet the collector) but these seem to have gotten the stamp of approval from other Xterra owners as a high quality item at least when compared to JBA and OBX.

[] DT Catback Exhaust (Link)
Again the sound is what originally pulled me in to look at these. Though I like the notion of having a smaller muffler that has less hanging out from the bottom of the truck. Strangely my gripe about this system is that it doesn't look to come with a tip like the Frontier one does. Not to mention I prefer the swept side rather than the straight out the back look, but those are minor things that an exhaust shop could fix pretty easily. I still might just have a system built rather than buying a catback... but this one is cool.

[] Magnaflow High Flow Cats (Link)
If people have been following the posts I make on exhausts at all they’re probably aware that I’m big on matching up the diameter of the entire system, and that means new cats.

[] XTP Intake Manifold Spacer (Link)
My understanding behind the theory of how these things work is it basically acts as a gasket between the hot engine block and the intake manifold. The plenum stays cooler and allows for air to pass through at higher density which in turn raises horsepower. Seems like a cool concept, I'd like to try it out.

[] Stillin Grounding Kit (Link)
I’ve seen good things from electrical tests done after a grounding kit, especially when running HID lights and high end audio equipment.

[✔] Optima Deep Cycle Battery (Red Top) (Link)
Another upgrade I’ve heard good things about when dealing with a lot of electrical drain.

[] Ballistic Fabrication Battery Box (Link)
I found Ballistic Fabrication recently and am really excited that they're based here in Tucson. If you’re going to be doing a lot of bounding about then securing the battery better can’t be a bad investment right? I'll start here and probably have a lot more stuff I'll want from them soon.

[] Griffin Aluminum Radiator (Link)
I've been looking for an aluminum radiator made to fit the Xterra for a while, and I finally found a thread from an old group buy from about a year ago on TheNewX. This puppy is pretty pricey, but everyone seems to say it's great quality, and Griffin may even be able to throw in the stuff necessary for an electric fan system to go along with it!


[Removed] Bilstein 5100 Off Road Leveling Shocks (Link)
I bought the PRG 2” Spacer but since the previous owner had replaced the OR suspension with cheap Monroe shocks it became an overall terrible ride. In looking at available options I decided to skip the spacer and go with these shocks since I put Bilstein 5125s from PRG in the back with the AALs.
-Removed- After everything settled the ride just got incredibly bouncy and didn’t feel stable going over anything besides smooth surfaces. Decided it was best to cut my losses and just replace these things.

[Removed] PRG AAL Spring (Link)
Without going too wild, these seem like a pretty solid choice to get a little extra height and to firm up the rear a bit. Heh, sounds like I'm making the X do squats or something, I'm leaving it!
-Removed- The AAL worked great, it added a bit of height and firmed up the ride… for a while. The leaf springs on my truck had over 150k miles on them, and they were flattening out pretty bad, even the AAL wasn’t able to support them for long. So I decided to throw the whole thing out and get a completely new spring pack.

[Removed] Bilstein Rear 5125 Shocks (Link)
The Radflo Emulsion shocks on PRGProducts site sound awesome, but here I think I’m going to settle for price point.
-Removed- The only reason I got rid of these was because the OME kit I bought had their Nitrocharger rear shocks included. I wasn’t about to turn down new shocks so these went away. No complaints about them though, I thought they worked great.

[✔] American Outlaw Shotgun 17x9 -10 (Link)
I had wanted a set of Ultra Wheel Rogues for the longest time, but Discount had too good a sale on these to pass up.

[✔] Nitto Terra Grappler 285/70-R17 (Link)
Went ahead and got the Nitto Terra Grapplers and combined with the -10 offset on the wheels they rubbed real bad. I loved the way they looked though refused to give up on them and used the Melt Mod, got rid of the front splash guards, and had just a little bit of trimming done to get them to fit beautifully!

Update 9/20/12

The whole suspension system is coming out. I got tired of the X bouncing all over the place. I'm not sure if it's because of old springs or maybe something inherent in the Bilstein 5100 Shocks, but I'm throwing everything out.

[✔] Old Man Emu Xterra Suspension (Link)
Full set of 4 Nitrocharger shocks, medium duty front coil springs, leaf spring packs, Xtra leaves, and greasable shackles.

[O] PRG 1.5 inch front spacers (Link)
I lost about half an inch of height switching to the OME suspension package. I'm hoping to get it back plus a little extra.

[] PRG Adjustable Shackles (Link)
The extended contral arm length in the front will increase the amount of leverage spacer pucks add to the front lift. Being able to adjust the lift in the rear to compensate would be nice.

[] AC Rear Sway Bar Quick Disconnects (Link)
Alright, I'll admit on the road I can make some slightly aggressive maneuvers. No where near as aggressive I used to make while driving my 240SX, but enough that I don't think I'd feel comfortable permanently removing the sway bars. Some disconnects seem like a cool idea to have the best of both worlds when need be.

[] PRG U-Bolt Flip Kit (Link)
Rather than doing a spring over axle conversion, a flip kit would leave the ride advantages of springs under axles in tact while removing the weakness of having the hardware scrape against rocks and having less clearance and such.

Update 11/7/12

After not being able to add in my spacers and shackles that I listed above I started thinking about the PRG UCA. After spending time thinking about the UCA I started thinking about the Titan Swap... Basically it seems that the off roading weak spots in the 2nd gen Xterra are the half shafts on the front diff. So to kill two birds with one stone it seems to be a logical choice to do the Titan Swap... but that changes a lot of things...

Complete Titan Swap

Stage 1

[] Titan M205 Front Diff (Carrier) (Link)
The heart of the 4x4 Titan Swap. This front diff should line up fine with the rear diff 3.36 gears for the auto tranny in the X. The 07 carriers with 3 ribs rather than two are said to be even tougher than the 04-06 carriers.

[] Titan CV Half shafts (Link)
These are definitely a less expensive alternative than getting the PRG longer axles that would work with the Xterra front diff. These shouldn't break under torque application the same way the Xterra ones can.

[] PRG Titan Upper Control Arm (Link)
These guys would definitely allow plenty of adjustment to fit spacers or coilovers or whatever else might have you to keep the X's body high and its feet planted.

[] Titan Lower Control Arm (Link)
What makes the Titan swap a little complicated is that these stick out about 2.5 inches further than the Xterra LCAs do. So this is what causes the axles to have to match and everything else to compensate for that extra width and leverage. Gives a nice stance though.

[] Moog Tie Rod Ends (Link)
With the steering knuckle pushed out an extra 2.5" by the control arms, all of the steering linkages have to be extended to reach.

[] PRG Heim Outer Steering (Link)
This just looks beefy for connecting the steering.

[] PRG Extended Brake Lines (Link)
And once again... 2.5 inches... brake lines need to reach out too.

Stage 2

[] Titan D44 Rear Axle (Axle Assy Rear w. Housing) (Link)
The rear axle will do a couple of things including line up the rear width to match the front, change out the torque member, and alter the wheel lug pattern from 6x4.5 to 6x5.5. This will give the Xterra access to the superior brake components on the Titan.

[] Titan Spindle (Steering Knuckle) (Link)
The first part of converting the front of the X for the Titan braking system.

[] Titan Hub (Link)
This will convert the front wheel bolt pattern from 6x4.5 to 6x5.5.

[] EBC Dimpled Brake Rotors (Link)
I'm not particularly leaning towards any brand, but I really wanted larger and dimpled rotors for the X to have more stopping and holding power. The Titan Swap seems like a great opportunity to get those features without spending upwards of 4k just in a brake system.

[] Titan Brake Calipers and Pads (Link)
The right calipers to attach to the spindle and torque member of the Titan Swap.

[] Gear Alloy 727MB Wheels - 7908418 17x9 6x5.50 +18 (Link)
This is the worst part of upgrading to the 6x5.5 bolt pattern is needing new wheels again. I figure though it's a good time to look for wheels that are light weight, and I'd like something entirely black this time. I think the X would look alright with these. My concern is that even though they have more backspacing than the wheels I currently run... It still might not be enough for the TS... I probably should be looking at wheels with about a +40 offset...

End Game

[] Fender Trimming
I'm still not on board with doing a BL, so I've got some interesting ideas for how exactly I want to trim the fenders and then mold some flares on to both look cool and stay road legal no matter where I go. I know I'm going to have some weird issues to deal with in how I want to do it, but it should be fun figuring it out. Lots of cutting and fiberglass awaits.

[] Pro Comp Xtreme A/T 35x12.5 Tires (Link)
At this point the rig should be set up for monstrous off road ability and should be able to run over anything!

[] Alcan Custom Xterra Leaf Springs (Link)
I was worried if I ever wanted a Deaver Spring pack that I'd have to spend loads of money to get it custom made, but Nisstec has Alcans already custom setup for the Xterra! I'll probably go that way when/if I ever get that far with this truck.

[] Radflo Rear Emulsion Shocks (Link)
The combination of the Alcan Springs, Adjustable Shackles, and these shocks should keep the rear of the X stable over just about any surface. That could be fun!

[] Radflo Extended Travel Coilover (Link)
These with the Titan Swap in the front of the X should make this machine capable of crawling over almost as much stuff as a SAS'd X can. Wow... This stuff is immense...


[] HID Headlight Projector Retrofit Kit 5000K (Link)
I love the way HIDs just light up EVERYTHING. I added HID projectors on my 240SX and now I think I need them on everything.

[] New Fog Light Housings (Link)
My current fog light housings are cracked pretty badly.

[] HID Fog Light Projector Kit 3000k (Link)
These just seem to me that they’d make an awesome contrast with 5000k headlights. HID brightness, but in a more yellow light coming out of the bumper.

[] KC HiLites Fog Lights x2 (Link)
If I don’t run the bumper fog lights to an independent switch it will be because the fog lights on the safari bar make that unnecessary. Not that we get a lot of fog in Arizona, but most of the places I like to go camping in are in rather mountainous areas with lakes and such. And believe me, fog lights come in real handy during a mountain storm where headlights make it almost impossible to figure out the texture of the road/trail.

[] Xoskel Lo Pro Lightbar (Link)
After looking at light bar options for the Xterra, this one appeared to be the most legitimate. Most Google searches return a very generic light bar.

[] Alien LED Light Bar 20” x2 (Link)
Sleeper00 has been pushing a GB for these puppies and they look awesome. (Link) They’re expensive, but if I had the money I’d definitely grab a pair. After overestimating the amount of daylight I had left once while roaming the paths around Reddington Pass I wouldn’t want to be caught at night again without long distance beams.

[] LED Tail Lights (Link)
Purely aesthetic. I love how these are very similar to stock but have that LED flare to them. I’m techie so little things like LEDs make a big impact on me for some reason.

A lot of this stuff I want just because I think it looks cool more than because they provide any kind of real function.

[✔] Bug Deflector (Link)

[] Wade in-channel Vent Visors (Link)

[O] Rear Window Deflector
I'm fairly positive that this is going to look awesome as soon as it's installed. Just needs a little adjusting to make it work for the X. I'll post pics as soon as it's on.

[✔] Shorty Antenna (Link)

[] Rhino-Rack (Link)
The base system needed to get other components to mount stuff to the roof of the X

[] Rhino-Rack Hi-Lift Mount Bracket (Link)
Probably the biggest reason the Rhino-Rack is on my list instead of the Yakima is because this mount for the Hi-Lift Jack has the capability of padlocking the jack in place for security. I haven’t found many other bracket mounts that offer that feature.

[] Rhino-Rack Bike Carrier (Link)
I think I actually need about three of these! (That’s in addition to the two bike carrier I already have on my spare tire…) I end up carrying a lot of bikes whenever my friends and I head out for a ride.

[] Rocky Road Rock Sliders (Link)
I saw these when I was looking at suspension parts. They seem awesome for the price and even have angled edges to keep from getting hung up on rocks.

[] Flexi Fender Flares (Link)
My tires stick out a fair bit from the body with the low offset and wide tire track. These fender flare roles are universal and should be able to mold to the Xterra’s wheel well shape and help keep debris from getting flung at the body.

[] CB Antenna (Link)
There's a thread on Dual CB Antennas that Maillet282 posted an awesome article from CB Radio Magazine. After reading it I decided I wanted to go with an 8' Whisker that I'd like to have mounted to my swing out arm on my bumper. The 8' antenna sounds like it will especially outperform the smaller antenna, but if I'm getting the gist of the information right then, while stationary, you could open the swing out arm to hold the antenna away from body which would improve the reception and transmission clarity.

[] Black out chrome emblems

[✔] Bedline all the plastics and bumpers and roof rack and rock sliders (Link)
Have most of this done now! The bumpers and roof rack and moldings are all done. Took the side steps off while I was at it. Definitely makes the X look meaner now, and you gotta love the texture.

[] Headlight Assembly - Black Bezel (Passenger Side Link) (Driver Side Link)
So Part of the whole blackout process which I think will make the X look awesome is changing out the headlight assemblies with the black rimmed ones from the 08+ models. In comparing them with 05-07 chrome assemblies all the mounting points look exactly the same, so I'm hoping it will bolt up without any fitment problems.

I finally figured out which bumper is on my X!
[✔] Calmini Swing Away Bumper (Link)
It came with it when I bought it. There are a couple of things I don't quite like about it which I’m hoping to take over to a fab shop and see if they’ll help me modify it. (My welding skill is just suck still.)
Bumper changes I want to make:
[✔] Lights for the license plate before I get in trouble for not having any (Checked now but I kind of got in trouble first lol)
[✔] Add tow chain locations and trailer light sockets
[] Heavy duty latch for keeping the swing out arm in place
[] Get a better hinge that won’t droop under load
[] Reposition the tire carrier so it’s more flush against the hatch and angle the spare tire plate to follow the curves of the hatch better
[] Add a mounting point for a CB antenna
[] Add heavy duty recovery shackle mounts
I got a lot of the ideas for how I want my rear bumper to be from Steeze’s custom bumper thread - (Link) - He’s gotta be one of the most creative guys around here! I got a lot of inspiration from his projects.


[] Rear Cup Holder - at a good price (Link)
Key words here being - good price. I bought the Xterra with broken cup holders, and while it’s not really a big deal, it would be nice to have everything on the X as it should be. Anyone seen these cheaper somewhere?

[] Cup Holder Inserts (Link)
Missing just like the rear cup holders, but in the front.

[] Xterra First Aid Kit (Link)
Because there’s a strap and empty space where one should be in my X… And I get hurt a lot by doing stuff like rolling my quad off a mountain… I could probably use having plenty of these around.

[✔] Emergency Jump-Starter (Link)
This seems like a really good idea to me. One unit that in a pinch can jump start your vehicle, inflate your tires, tune in to radio stations, and power other peripherals. I intend to start keeping one of these in the back real soon.

[] Xterra Floor Hooks (Link)
My X was just missing everything inside that wasn’t bolted down. These seem really handy to use the tracks in the back to keep stuff tied down and not sliding around.

[] WeatherTech FloorLiners (Link)
The ads on the forums helped out with this one! I was excited to find a site that sold some good looking black floor liners. They're a bit pricey, but if they're durable enough to last the life of the truck then I think they'd be worth it.

[] LED Conversion (Link)
Yeah, I’m big on LEDs… so what I mean by Conversion is basically everything. Replace every bulb with an LED equivalent inside and out. But also what I’d really love to do is change the color of the interior lighting from orange to red. That’s no easy task from the gauge cluster to the center console controls and the shifter indicators. But I think it would look awesome.

[] GPS Stereo (Link)
I wasn’t able to get an Xterra with a 6 disk changer or Rockford Subwoofer. Upgrading the stereo should be on the list of things to do, but why GPS? Well there are times my mother drives the X… and well… that should be ‘nuff said…

[] New Speakers / Subwoofer (Link)
I don’t normally replace regular car speakers, but the first time I turned on the stereo in the X I was annoyed by this static sound coming from the rear door speaker on the driver’s side. The speaker seems to be shorting out, so thought I might as well replace them with nicer ones. Also I’m looking for a good mounting spot for a subwoofer. Has anyone had any luck mounting a sub and amp under the passenger seat? Perhaps after removing the stock jack? I don’t want a huge sub, I’m sure an 8” shallow mount would make enough noise to keep me happy.

[] CB Radio (Link)
I saw that this radio housing is black and the screen lights up red with LED backlighting. That will go awesome if I can get the red LED interior panel lighting done like I want. I'd like to mount this on the ceiling though above the mirror. That's going to be a little tricky, but it would be awesome and out of the way. I normally leave the mic unplugged and in the glove box when I'm not using it. I used to have a CB in my Frontier before someone stole it (probably thought it was the amp for the sub-woofer… or something stupid…) and besides keeping contact open with buddies when out on the trail, I was raised around truckers and think they’re a hoot.

[] Auxiliary Light Switches (Link) (Link)
I heard somewhere that these rockers are supposed to fit the auxiliary cut outs in the Xterra as if standard. I’m not positive on that one, but I’m hoping to give it a try.

[✔] Heavy Duty Hatch Struts (Link)
A pair of 175# of force rated gas springs for lifting the rear hatch. (It’s so nice to not have the hatch resting on my head to keep it open anymore!)

[] Seat Upholstery (Link)
My driver's seat is starting to get a little worn down, especially at the edge by the door where my butt slides over it to get in and out all the time. And besides just stuffing the seats back up, I think it'd be a good time to update the materials. Something closer to the new Pro-4x style, sturdy black cloth with red stitching, I think would be an awesome update to the interior look and feel. Maybe not entirely black though... this is AZ...

Here are a few pictures of Xterras that greatly inspired me with what I want to do to mine.

Don't know how long it will take to get this list done but the PRG spacers and springs are already ordered and should be here late next week or the week after. Once I have the tires I'll get the lift and everything put on and leave some pics of how it looks with that. It should be a blast, we'll see how it goes!
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The suspension phase of the project is complete!

Alright so it might be a little mild, but I'm confident this thing can get to some pretty cool places.

In the end the parts that went on include:

PRG deaver spring AAL in the back
Bilstein 5125 rear shocks from PRG
Bilstein 5100 adjustable leveling shocks in the front
American Outlaw Shotgun wheels, 17x9 (We got the -10 offset to fit!)
Nitto Terragrappler 285x70-17

Here are all the pics:

yeah... I really need to get rid of that front dealer plate...

I got a little pic happy, sorry... it's just so exciting!

To get the wheels to fit we did have to use the Melt Mod and get a little bit of trimming done. I was hoping there would have been enough room to get maybe an aftermarket deezee mudflap in there to take the place of the stock one, but the turn of the wheel at compression is close. It doesn't rub! But it gets close, lol!

Getting the parts from PRG turned into a bit more of a pain than I was expecting, and I have a whole thread on how that went. But four months later things are finally moving.

Besides the trimming, the install was really straight forward. There are a few nuts at the top of the front shock mounts that are a PAIN to take off. Seriously, I still have a huge gash on the top of my hand from where it got smashed between a wrench and the UCA when the bolt finally gave way. The old shocks we took off were cheap Monroes, so I can't even begin to stress what a huge difference this has made even in handling and comfort.

And thanks to everyone who gave me advice on how to go about getting all this done! The PRG How To by Tommyboy came in real handy while installing the spacers and the AAL - I definitely recommend, awesome photos!

Hopefully I'll have time soon to go through and fix the links in the OP. Some of the websites I listed have already moved stuff or gone under :icon_rolleyes:
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Thank you! I'm definitely loving it! :biggrin:
Crikes, like I needed inspiration to add something new to my list of things to do to my X. My fault for surfing the Internet for Xterra pics :biggrin:

So I find this:

And now I'm thinking to myself... You know... if I cut my fenders and ran 35" tires... my X would look pretty damn good :biggrin:

I even found the tires I want to to run:
Pro Comp Xtreme A/T 35x12.5 (Link)

Maybe after I get my engine performance stuff done... maybe... :biggrin:
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Why not lift it and go 35's

Look through this thread and you can find more of Bill's (bucksnort) truck.

But I like what you have done so far, and I can't wait to see what you do next
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That is a good looking rig indeed.

I've never been a huge fan of body lifts unfortunately. My uncle had a Ford truck with a body lift and it looked awesome with huge tires and everything, but it felt unbalanced when riding in it. It's kind of hard to describe, I know tall full size vehicles have a higher roll risk already so it wasn't just that it felt like it was going to tip over as much as it didn't feel... stable? I don't know, maybe it was just that it was a late 90s Ford :biggrin:

My shackles and spacers should be installed this Friday, so I'll have another inch and a half in height if it works out properly. I'm thinking that's pretty much as high as I want this truck to get too. Combined with the OME suspension kit it should end up with a little more than 3" of overall lift. I'm hoping the stock UCAs and brake lines can handle that lol!

Thanks a lot! :biggrin: This is definitely the most awesome vehicle I've ever owned and I intend to keep improving it.
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While surfing for parts to mod my bumper I figured out which bumper I have today! Turns out it's a Calmini, at least it looks exactly like the Calmini one for sale here: NissanRaceShop

So now I get to gripe about Calmini... I'm going to be putting up some info on what I had to go through with the license plate and tow chains later, for right now I'll just say "ehhhhh..."

Things I still need to get fixed on it though:

The latch doesn't keep the tire carrier closed tight and it rattles when driving on bumpy roads.

My spare tire is 32" and when combined with a bike on the arm the hinge will sag and it becomes impossible to open the swing out arm without a pry bar. I think I've got a comical picture somewhere where a friend of mine is holding the latch open while I'm wedged between the arm and the hatch trying to kick it open without success. I can't imagine this thing with a 35" tire on it.

The built in hitch receiver sticks out too far to line up with most ball mounts. Basically when inserting the mount into the hitch you hit the weld seem of the drop before the pin holes line up. I had to grind some of the weld off to use the drops I've got.

So I want to get those things fixed. I'm having to go through a lot of debate though whether as to try and make modifications to this Calmini bumper, or just toss it and start from scratch.
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I can't seem to throw on an upgrade without including a story. Hope you guys don't mind, and if you do feel free to skip to the pictures and ignore how much I ramble :biggrin:

So when I bought the truck it already had the Calmini tire carrier bumper installed on the back. And the dealership sold it without any lights on the license plate.

The other weird thing about where the plate was located here is that it blocks one of the... recovery points? No... those are too thin to be recovery points... they're tabs of some kind... Anyway! License plate covered the one on the passenger side which seemed like an odd design.

So I finally got pulled over one night for not having lights on the license plate, and fortunately the officer was nice enough to accept my story that I bought the truck from the dealer that way without them, and I got away with a warning not to drive around at night without getting lights put on.

The idea crossed my mind of lighted bolts, but that would have required a lot of drilling and creative pass throughs to get them through the swing out arm. Moving the plate down to the actual bumper wasn't ideal because to get it under the swing out arm would have made the plate hang lower than the bumper and become a potential clearance hazard.

After spending some time on the Internet I was able to come across this GenRight LED Lighted License Plate Frame:

And yeah, I like LED lights and am hoping to change out the tail lights sometime soon. So I went ahead and ordered it.

The tricky part of getting this thing installed on the Calmini bumper was running power to it. LED lights fortunately run on really thin wires typically. So my dad and I decided to drill through the arm and into the bumper around the hinge. It took some play, but we were able to get the wires all the way through.

Our real professional wiring job:

We used a couple of heat shrink tubes to support the wires where they'd be flexing with the arm opening and closing. Would have been nice if both shrink tubes were black... but turned out we only had the one, and it was a Sunday which meant every hardware store in Douglas was closed :crikey:

So I did technically install this thing upside down. But that's so that there was as little exposed wire as possible, and so that the recovery point I mentioned earlier could be accessed.

It looks alright, is completely AZ legal (We have this dumb law now that license plate covers can't cover any part of the state name on the plate for some reason probably related to traffic cameras), and that was the last bit of dealership branding too.

At night it's not too bright. But I wasn't wanting something that would light up the night, just something that would keep my X street legal.

Definitely something I'd recommend for someone switching to an aftermarket bumper. :thumbup:
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I got another cool thing here that I wanted to share with everyone. :biggrin:

The Calmini bumper has a pretty heavy duty looking hitch built into it, but there were no loops or brackets for emergency tow chains, nor was there a place to mount any kind of light kit adapter.

So my dad and I decided to fab something up.

Working with what we had we decided to base the design off of the safety chain attachment point on his Dodge Ram. It looks something like this

We started off by finding a good piece of angle iron, about 4" by 4"

And used a plasma cutter to follow the pattern we drew to the shape of the connectors on the Ram. We ran into a few problems like the bracket in the center that supports the hitch and bumper hanging down a little ways.

I didn't want to cut into the support on the truck so decided instead to cut the bracket and leave two tabs that would reach for the bolts and line up with the plate in the back better..

Kind of an afterthought we realized we needed a light wiring kit and a place to mount it. We went out and found this dual outlet kit which seemed pretty cool:

The stock Xterra hitch has a 7 wire adapter, but most small trailers (mine from Lowes included) come with a 4 wire plug on them. So a dual outlet kit seemed like an ideal solution to have both styles of adapters on one harness.

So then we welded a tab to the side real quick and drilled it so the adapter would have a place to sit properly. I don't have a trailer with a 7 wire plug, but I can vouch that the 4 wire end works great.

Finally threw some black paint on it and everything ended up kind of nice and tucked away under the bumper. Here are the rest of the shots.

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Good idea. :D
Thanks! :biggrin:

I really like how it came out too.
Nice job! I can't believe the bumper didn't come with safety chain hooks in the first place. I only have a few recommendations for you. First, make sure you have extended safety chains. Most are not able to go up that high of drop and back that far too without being tight. I know the ones on my trailer won't reach my hooks with my adjustable drop hitch in but they will with my other drop hitch, but my hooks are on the face of the bumper. Also, if you could trim your trailer light mount (the plastic part) with a Dremel or something similar, just to where it doesn't hang over the metal bracket, you will save yourself a lot of trouble later on if you get somewhere where your departure angle isn't good enough and you have to drag your bumper over it.
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Thanks Ryan :biggrin: Yeah the chains were definitely tight and had to be extended to reach the bracket. This was especially true when I got a 10" ball drop on the X, extended chains are a must!

I hadn't thought about the the light socket dragging over rocks and stuff... Now that I'm looking at it you're absolutely right, the plastic body and those little mounting screws and nuts wouldn't stand up to anything if it got scraped around. For future reference, better to mount it higher than lower on the bracket :biggrin: I'll take my dremel to it and see what can be done to flatten that out, you probably just saved me from quite the headache, thanks!
Very Nice build. Cannot wait to see more. I love all the little stories. It gives some meaning behind the mods.
Thanks a lot! :biggrin:
I appreciate it!
Hey everyone! :biggrin:

I am back from Winter Break. Spent all that time with my dad at his place without Internet, but that gave me time to get most of the bedlining done that I wanted on my X!

So this is going to be a little pic heavy, but here's how it went down:

Probably the worst idea when taking on a project like this is to start with the front and work your way back, so that's exactly what I did! :icon_rolleyes:

Without really knowing what I was getting into, I took off the front bumper cover and grille and got to work.

Doesn't the X look all beastly while it's being worked on? :biggrin:

With this piece a lot of work was put in to manually sanding it by hand with 220 grit paper and then pressure washing it down before wiping it all off with Acetone.

It was a lot of work and left some pretty deep scratches which are actually still visible if someone were to look closely at it. But it was the first piece to go through the process, so we hung it up and whipped out the Rustoleum Bedliner.

The Bedliner didn't fill in all the scratches, but it's hard to tell if you don't know it's there. The texture still came out looking really good I think.

So the advice to people who follow... start with something smaller and less conspicuous first so that you'll have your groove down by the time you get to the major and more noticeable parts.

So next was taking off the rest of the pieces up for bedlining which included the roof rack.

The roof rack is a PITA to take apart. The screwdriver included with the tire jack under the back seat is great for getting the rack off the roof, but then it's a different size torque (a smaller one at that) that's needed to take the metal bars off the plastic brackets. The screws are secured with locktite, so in applying enough pressure to turn the tiny little torque screws they instead just stripped out completely and never let go. So rather than risk leaving the roof rack bars hanging loose I decided to go ahead and paint them all as a single piece.

After all the time my dad and I put into the front bumper cover to only get mediocre results we decided that was enough of that and pulled out the sand blaster.

The Xterra really does look kind of weird without the rack on it. Underneath the basket was so much gunk though. Years of ick from parking under trees and driving through Arizona dust storms had just collected under this thing and looked like a family of rats were living there. Now that I'm thinking about it, I should have gotten a pic of the nest looking thing before I cleaned it off, oh well :biggrin:

I can't help staring at these pictures while thinking, "It looks so... bald..."

I'm also thinking the next time I take my truck down to my dad's place that I might take the roof rack off again and bedline the whole roof black. There are some deep scratches in the paint on the roof from where bike pedals have scraped against it while being strapped to the top... Wonder how that happened :icon_rolleyes: So that might be an alternative to help make the whole roof more durable to stacking stuff on it. Definitely thinking about it...

I wasn't sure if the door panel guard trim things and the side steps were going to go back on while I was taking them off. (My mom is really short and gets upset without having the step to help her up into the cab)

Unfortunately the tape holding the trim on did not want to come off easy. I tried using three different types of adhesive remover including 3M's brand of tape remover and we just weren't getting anywhere. Finally we resorted to prying the trim pieces off the door panels. Unfortunately that meant that once we finally got the piece off it left quite a few bad scratches behind. I hate tape...

At this point we almost had everything removed from the truck. Just the rear bumper remained.

I'm running my pic limit here, so more to come in the next post... :biggrin:
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By this time the front grille was sanded up, painted, and ready to go back on.

The chromey Nissan emblem burger didn't much like being sandblasted. It almost took off the whole "NISSAN" indentation and smoothed it out. I think it looks fine the way it is though.

The X definitely looked more aggressive without the step bars. With them on you can barely tell that it has a 2" lift. Without them though it looks more like it can run over stuff... So I told my mom that my dad and I "accidentally" broke them while we were taking them off :biggrin: But not to worry, it'll have "steps" again once I get rock sliders on it!

Oh right, the bumper. I actually debated for a while whether to go through and paint the bumper yet since I really want to get some customizations fabbed on to it soon. I figure though when the time comes I can just sandblast the whole thing to the bare metal then bedline it again once it's done which shouldn't be much of a problem.

The bumper was powder coated from the factory company that made it, so we decided to just clean it off really good and paint it as it was.

The bumper took the paint fine and matched up with the rest of the bedlined parts.

Everything was starting to come together so I took a last shot of the X without a hat on...

And then the rack was put back together.

If it wasn't for the scratches left by removing the door moldings, I might have left it this way.

The rear bumper parts also went back on without a problem.

And then the molding trim was bedlined and taped back into place.

The pieces that didn't get bedlined that I still want bedlined would include the door handles, side mirrors, windshield wiper cowel, and the chrome emblems.

A few days later it was rained and snowed on but it held up fine. The Rustoleum is good stuff.

Made it back to Tucson, everything held together, and it's looking awesome! Now that it's all cured up I can go scratch it some more :biggrin:

Thanks for following along! :biggrin:
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Looks great man! I love the bedlining.. I plan on doing it to mine this summer when I have some spare time. Last summer I spraypainted the front and sides of mine flat black but never finished with the back bumper and roof rack. After seeing this I know I do want to bedline! I just hope my car doesn't look too much like halloween afterwards..
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