-->

'15 Frontier CC LWB, improvements for backcountry and roadtrips

TWX

New member
Hey all,

Have a '15 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 Crew Cab with the 6' bed, looking to do some fairly simple upfit to make it more capable for backcountry and crosscountry use for a small family.

So far I've put on Trail Ridge towing mirrors, installed an aluminum engine skid plate, and replaced the 16" alloy wheels and all-seasons with 17" steel wheels and Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs in 255/75/17. I'm looking to build a replacement front crash bumper with a 2" receiver so that I can use a slide-in winch that could be used front or rear, to add heavy gauge cabling for power to Anderson connectors at each end (I have a bunch of 2/0 welding cable looking for a use) and installing a dual-battery setup to power said winch off of an aux battery and for jumpstart connections and possibly other uses. I have a diode-based isolator, looks like it's for an older car that needed an exciter wire lead off of the primary, hoping it can be used. Also likely going to swap in some Pathfinder V8 front coil springs for a little more ground clearance and the bigger brakes that require those 17" wheels.

Suggestions on resources for installing the dual-battery setup would be appreciated, especially how to go about tying-in to the existing electrical system without messing it up.

The truck as it sits now:

new-drv-rear2.jpg

Down the road I plan to build a replacement rear bumper for it (I've already bent the factory bumper) and possibly build a new hitch with more ground clearance into said bumper, and I may make some rock sliders. I'm not planning on doing a lot of rock crawling with this truck and the frame is pretty wide as it's the same width as the Titan's, but some moderate extra protection wouldn't go amiss either.

I do have a cab-height camper shell as well as a flat fiberglass tonneau cover, those get swapped on when I don't anticipate using the truck for bulky cargo. Haven't decided if I want to try for some kind of side-in camping accessory, a camping trailer, or something that could swap-on in place of the bed for trips. I assume that the last is the most versatile because it's not necessarily constrained by the dimensions of the bed, but quite pricey.
 

llamalander

Active member
LB's have enough room in front of the gas tank to mount a good sized AGM battery up inside the frame (on its side). There's a little work routing cables from the front corner to under the back passenger seat, but the tray has plenty of room for a fuse panel & a shunt. You can probably fit a breaker on top of the starter battery and the isolator on top of the fuse box. I mounted my second battery with a breaker on the other end of the 2/0 cable with its own breaker as well. There is room to get heavy cables up under the back seat or back to the end of the truck. I fit a Blue Sea SafetyHub panel and a Victron battery meter & shunt under the seat, power goes to a fridge, small inverter, plugs and lights in the back and takes charge from a solar panel with an MPPT mounted behind the rear seats where the jack used to sit. Everything stays put for camping, working or fitting people in the back, it all fits out of the way. I found the smallest ACR that Blue Sea makes on sale, and that has fit the alternator fine. On the occasions I've needed a jump, I wedge a short piece of 2/0 between the ACR and the starter battery and it turns right over. What seems like its worth the effort is running a ground for everything on the house battery back the shunt that the meter uses. Even though it doubles the wire installed, I've had no issues with components working intermittently like I find with lights or accessories just bonded to the frame. The house battery has a 2/0 ground running back to the starter and the alternator keeps everything happy as long as I drive regularly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TWX

docwatson

Adventurer
Nice truck.

The brakes on these Frontier/X/Path seem a little soft and the bigger brakes from the V8 are a pretty easy swap reporting great results. I swapped to V8 Pathfinder springs on the front of my V6 Pathfinder and maybe got a 1/4" in height, which might have just been sag anyway. I am not sure they are worth the cost.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TWX

TWX

New member
Nice truck.

The brakes on these Frontier/X/Path seem a little soft and the bigger brakes from the V8 are a pretty easy swap reporting great results. I swapped to V8 Pathfinder springs on the front of my V6 Pathfinder and maybe got a 1/4" in height, which might have just been sag anyway. I am not sure they are worth the cost.
Were those OE springs or aftermarket? I've found information on the aftermarket ACDelcos and it appears that Moog info is available too. Nissan only publishes p/n, not actual dimensions, wire size, or load rate.

The 255/75/17 gave me somewhere between 3/4 and 7/8 lift over the 265/70/16 that were on the truck. With the long wheelbase more height helps breakover angle but I'm trying to balance fuel economy reduction and worse handling against the height benefits, not to mention keeping my wife happy getting in and out of the thing.

I've heard of some swapping in the Titan brake booster in addition to the Pathfinder V8 front brakes, any consensus on how helpful that is? The further from stock the truck gets the harder to keep track to maintain.
 

TWX

New member
LB's have enough room in front of ...
I think that I had something in-mind simpler than what you've described. That said, I'm not an expert, hence registering for this forum.

I was thinking something more along these lines:

Frontier-dual-battery-rev-01.jpg

Now that said, I'm aware that I'm omitting things that would be required like battery cutoff for AUX. the main circuit breaker would allow the whole shebang to be disconnected aft of the battery, and my intent would be to have any fuse or breaker panels aft of the Anderson connectors, on whatever equipment they're for.

Obviously the drawing is idealized. One thing I haven't determined is where exactly any chassis grounds would be beneficial, and if I would need to run a separate negative cable along with the positive cable from the aux battery back to the engine compartment.

As for batteries I have several large-group-sized deep-cycle SLAs, I would be using one of those. I'm going to check if there's room outboard of the frame up under the bed to mount one, and barring that, I may look at modifying the exhaust pipe to route it closer to the driveshaft, allowing an insulated battery box to be located inboard of the frame on the passenger's side opposite the fuel tank. This would help with weight distribution and should I pursue installing a larger fuel tank wouldn't interfere with that.

At this point I don't particularly want to run any systems inside of the cab off of the AUX battery. If I were to change my mind on that it would likely be for communications, but not really for any other systems. I'm trying to keep any additions from having particular effects on the truck's original electrical system as much as possible, and the biggest reason for this addition is to run the winch. I have a few ideas for camping/quarters, and I don't want to build something that precludes those possibilities, but that's down the road.

So any constructive criticism of what I've initially laid-out would be appreciated. It's easier to revise in the design stage than it is after it's half-built.
 
I think that I had something in-mind simpler than what you've described. That said, I'm not an expert, hence registering for this forum.

I was thinking something more along these lines:

View attachment 573046

Now that said, I'm aware that I'm omitting things that would be required like battery cutoff for AUX. the main circuit breaker would allow the whole shebang to be disconnected aft of the battery, and my intent would be to have any fuse or breaker panels aft of the Anderson connectors, on whatever equipment they're for.

Obviously the drawing is idealized. One thing I haven't determined is where exactly any chassis grounds would be beneficial, and if I would need to run a separate negative cable along with the positive cable from the aux battery back to the engine compartment.

As for batteries I have several large-group-sized deep-cycle SLAs, I would be using one of those. I'm going to check if there's room outboard of the frame up under the bed to mount one, and barring that, I may look at modifying the exhaust pipe to route it closer to the driveshaft, allowing an insulated battery box to be located inboard of the frame on the passenger's side opposite the fuel tank. This would help with weight distribution and should I pursue installing a larger fuel tank wouldn't interfere with that.

At this point I don't particularly want to run any systems inside of the cab off of the AUX battery. If I were to change my mind on that it would likely be for communications, but not really for any other systems. I'm trying to keep any additions from having particular effects on the truck's original electrical system as much as possible, and the biggest reason for this addition is to run the winch. I have a few ideas for camping/quarters, and I don't want to build something that precludes those possibilities, but that's down the road.

So any constructive criticism of what I've initially laid-out would be appreciated. It's easier to revise in the design stage than it is after it's half-built.

2/0 or 2 "aught" wire is very large. You should only need 2 AWG for most winch applications. I have a 2013 CC Frontier shortbed and have a dual battery system setup with my battery box mounted in your exact location in the bed and under a shell. I ran my wire from the front battery down to the tailgate and up through the tailgate gap in the corner so that I didn't have to drill a hole through the bed. If you're interested I can send pics later tonight or tomorrow morning of the shell setup with fridge/battery box. Uses a Ctek dc to dc charger.

I like the look of your long bed by the way, looks great!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: TWX

TWX

New member
2/0 or 2 "aught" wire is very large. You should only need 2 AWG for most winch applications. I have a 2013 CC Frontier shortbed and have a dual battery system setup with my battery box mounted in your exact location in the bed and under a shell. I ran my wire from the front battery down to the tailgate and up through the tailgate gap in the corner so that I didn't have to drill a hole through the bed. If you're interested I can send pics later tonight or tomorrow morning of the shell setup with fridge/battery box. Uses a Ctek dc to dc charger.

I like the look of your long bed by the way, looks great!
Pictures would be nice. Even if I don't go your route, seeing what others have done is helpful for figuring out what works.
 

docwatson

Adventurer
Were those OE springs or aftermarket? I've found information on the aftermarket ACDelcos and it appears that Moog info is available too. Nissan only publishes p/n, not actual dimensions, wire size, or load rate.

The 255/75/17 gave me somewhere between 3/4 and 7/8 lift over the 265/70/16 that were on the truck. With the long wheelbase more height helps breakover angle but I'm trying to balance fuel economy reduction and worse handling against the height benefits, not to mention keeping my wife happy getting in and out of the thing.

I've heard of some swapping in the Titan brake booster in addition to the Pathfinder V8 front brakes, any consensus on how helpful that is? The further from stock the truck gets the harder to keep track to maintain.
I used the Moog. The increased height is from a little more preload as the compressed height of the springs is the same. You might look at Bilstein 5100s if you don't want the 2" lifts.

I haven't read anything about the Titan brake booster. Most of the guys on the pathfinder forum I'm on (thenissanpath) just swap calipers, rotors and pads. Everyone that does it loves it. I am not sure if the additional work and cost of the Titan brake booster would be worth it. I have 16" rims so none of this applies to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TWX

TWX

New member
I used the Moog. The increased height is from a little more preload as the compressed height of the springs is the same. You might look at Bilstein 5100s if you don't want the 2" lifts.

I haven't read anything about the Titan brake booster. Most of the guys on the pathfinder forum I'm on (thenissanpath) just swap calipers, rotors and pads. Everyone that does it loves it. I am not sure if the additional work and cost of the Titan brake booster would be worth it. I have 16" rims so none of this applies to me.
Had you taken any measurements pre- and post-springs? I measured at my wheel wells, in front I was at 33 7/8" at the top of the wheel well before, and 34 11/16" afterward, for a difference based on tires of 13/16".

I fully expect that as I upfit this will increasingly negatively affect ride height. ACDelco's publshed specs on its replacement springs indicate a load-rating difference of 170lb (2200 vs 2030), which presumably accounts for the extra weight of the V8 motor and possibly the heavier differential.
 

docwatson

Adventurer
Had you taken any measurements pre- and post-springs? I measured at my wheel wells, in front I was at 33 7/8" at the top of the wheel well before, and 34 11/16" afterward, for a difference based on tires of 13/16".

I fully expect that as I upfit this will increasingly negatively affect ride height. ACDelco's publshed specs on its replacement springs indicate a load-rating difference of 170lb (2200 vs 2030), which presumably accounts for the extra weight of the V8 motor and possibly the heavier differential.
The V8 springs have the heavier load rate and an additional .5" of uncompressed length. I replaced mine about 4 years ago and did some before and after measurements but can't remember them. I do remember it being less than 1/2". My Pathfinder still has a forward rake because the V8 rear springs gave me about an inch lift after settling. It stiffened up the front end too.

I mean if you are only looking for a little bit, they will work. Just don't expect much. They may be just right if you are planning on adding some more weight up front. My goals were similar to yours which is why I went with the V8 springs and 235/85. Overall for the R51 its been a pretty good setup.
 

llamalander

Active member
If you want to keep the AUX separate from the stock electrical, only connect the two through a relay off of the starter battery post and ground, If the connection is fused, it can be disconnected at any time and any shop that does work for you will appreciate it.
The passenger side between the frame is all exhaust, no room for much more than C-batteries there. The body between the rear wheel and the cab may have enough room depending on how big your battery is, but making a support bracket will be a bit of work. Cables are not hard to run under the bed and body. Pulling the back lights will give you some easy access to the rear of the bed for plugs or connectors.
Other folks have opted to move the washer fluid around the engine compartment and put the second battery right next to the first. Post on TheNewX detail it I think. Much less cable and fewer custom parts, that might also be worth considering.
If you haven't looked at some of the OME coil-over and spring packages, they are worth pricing out. They only add a small (1-2") lift and improve the on & off road ride noticeably over stock and made enough room for me to fit 33's. I've put 40k+ miles on my set and still trust them to do what I need.
I have also been planning to get some sliders, but it has never happened and never really been needed, even with some deeply neglected trails out west. Weight is more of a concern to me so skipping 60 lbs. of steel while I stay off the Rubicon suits me. Extra sliders I've marked up, but those protect important parts. Look to the aluminum ones even though they cost more, camping out of a rig gets heavy really quickly, especially with slide-ins.
The Frontier body is 4-6" narrower than the Titan though, which will let you squeeze down jeep trails where full-size trucks scrape or just back out. The longer wheelbase is more apt to leave at least one tire working for you when things get slow and rocky. Have fun with the truck- it doesn't actually need much at all to take you way out and back again with a smile.
 

TWX

New member
Interesting. I am reminded of when I wired in my canopy's brake light.

Started with both ends of wiring harness where the run along the frame junctions towards the two tail lamp housings.



Made a cable that passes-through and junctions off from the brakelight signal. Other signals are capped-off basically in-reserve if I ever need to use them.



Went buy a local sporting-goods store that sells kayaks to get an inexpensive length of outdoor-rated cable with SAE connectors, one end with a bulkhead connector and a rubber boot:




Installed the SAE connector behind the driver's side taillight housing, drilling through into the bed above where there are the indentations for dunnage for wide cargo.



Bulkhead connector mounted. This allows the cabling to be easily unhooked and the connector capped when the canopy shell isn't installed.



New length of harness with fuse soldered and very thoroughly taped:




Soldered to that length of new inline harness made from pieces of OE harnesses.


This then gets inserted between the truck's existing harness connectors at the back. It's fully removable, only permanent modification is to the sheet metal where I drilled for the bulkhead connector.
 

TWX

New member
Kind of wishing right about now that my upfitting was in the finished stage rather than the beginning stage.
 
Top