2001 Xterra Xploration Vhicle

#1
Greetings,

I picked up a 2001 Nissan Xterra SE and thought I'd share my build that is starting this winter. I'm going to stiffen the suspension up a bit to compensate for gear and hauling a dirt bike on the receiver. I'm also going to set it up for week-long, self-sufficient, comfortable camping. At this point I'd like to try and set it up for sleeping inside the rig and not have to pull the Kamparoo Cub (awesome little trailer BTW) for more technical trails. My goal is to keep the weight and complexity to a minimum.

I'm surprised with how many aftermarket parts are available for these rigs! I want it ready for the spring, so don't have a ton of time.

VEHICLE
2001 Nissan Xterra SE; 124,000 miles; completely stock.

NEEDED MAINTENANCE
Timing belt, Upper Ball joint(s), rear left-side window motor, and 100% fluids!

PLANNED VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS
Proclip/RAM GPS Mount - DONE
BFG AT KO2 LT235/85R16 (not sure about spare yet) - DONE
Rally Armor Mud Flaps - Front DONE
General HD Leaf Packs - DONE
Shocks - Bilstein 5100 x4 - DONE
Manual Hubs - DONE
Idler Arm Brace
Diff Breathers
Hi-lift Mounted somewhere
Roof rack insert to carry one or two Scepter cans on the roof.
Auxillary lighting - probably a pair of Hella 500s on front bumper
Viar Compressor, Portable - DONE

FUTURE MODS if I like the rig after this season and my house remodeling project is completed:
HD Torsion Bars
Belly armor
Locker(s)
Sliders
Bumpers and winch
Rear bumper

BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING ENHANCEMENTS
Storage shelf/bed - must be foldable or in sections to allow passenger seat use by 85 pound mutt
Water Storage - 10 gallons or so
Hot Water Shower - Probably a Zodi portable unit - or will continue to use NEMO Helio Shower (nice little piece of kit)
Window Screens - I'll likely sew up some screens with magnets for exterior mounting (i just did a search and found Skeeter Beaters!)
Auxillary power - Likely a portable jumper battery
Awning
Refillable Propane Tank - ~5 lb
Camp Kitchen - Some sort of pull out chuck with fold-out table
Not sure about cooler - i tend to do one pot meals on long trips and may forego the big cooler/freezer fridge
Roof tent if I my lady does not like the interior bed?

Stuff I already have:
30 years of collecting camping and backpacking gear. :)

Any advice from Xpedition Xterra owners is greatly appreciated!!!!

Here's she is:
20160112_171042_001 (Medium).jpg

Current configuration:
20160207_164114_resized [49291].jpg
 
Last edited:
#2
Proclip and RAM Mount. Normally I have to mount the RAM ball directly to the dash or fabricate some sort of bracket, so this was a nice and simple option. It feels sturdy enough to take some serious bumps.

20160111_124610_resized [116687].jpg
 
#3
I like the sound of this build plan!

You're starting with a solid vehicle, and it looks like your plans are pretty good. I love the tire size you want to do for those.
 
#5
Thanks guys! Timing belt is scheduled for Monday. Tires and liftt as soon as it warms up a little bit.

Update: Timing belt completed! Front end checked and everything is tight, so the tires and lift are on order!!!

Discount Tire matched 4wheelparts prices on the BFGs, so they are gonna get my business again.
 
Last edited:
#6
And so it begins:
235/85R16 BFG AT KO2
No lift
20160123_135333_resized [324283].jpg
Those tires are stuffed in there! There was a little rubbing up front so we removed the front mud gaurds. Which was fine because I was already planning to install flexible mud flaps. And yes, the step will be removed soon.

Replacing mud flaps with something flexible. Front done first.
20160123_174000_resized [324290].jpg
No rubbing up front with these installed! I'm still doing the lift.

Changed the oil today as well. What a cute little oil filter!!! I happened to have a filter socket from a long gone motorcycle that fit. :)
 
Last edited:
#8
Awesome! I'm a little partial to the silver Xterras, so I'll be following!
Thanks! I read your build and appreciate the inspiration. I lived in MI for a few years (Spartan alumni) and love to explore the UP and Keweenaw. I will use this opportunity to say congrats on the new arrival and encourage you to keep your awesome silver Xterra! :)
 

Jack Stilts

Subaru Ambassador
#9
Thanks! I read your build and appreciate the inspiration. I lived in MI for a few years (Spartan alumni) and love to explore the UP and Keweenaw. I will use this opportunity to say congrats on the new arrival and encourage you to keep your awesome silver Xterra! :)
An ex-Michigander, eh? Oh, but a Spartans fan...bummer ;)
The UP is an incredible place. Looking forward to summer!
And than you kindly :)
 
#10
20160125_171049_resized [344856].jpg

Lift parts arrived today. Install this weekend . . . .

I'm gonna just crank the front and hold off on getting HD torsion bars for now.

These are stunningly beautiful shocks. And the rear ones are HUGE!
 
#11
You'll need to remove the rear sway bar with those shocks, on the street fine but off road with any rear wheel droop the right shock will hit the bar eventually causing damage or failure of the shock.
 

Jack Stilts

Subaru Ambassador
#12
You'll need to remove the rear sway bar with those shocks, on the street fine but off road with any rear wheel droop the right shock will hit the bar eventually causing damage or failure of the shock.
This is sadly true. If you tow a trailer frequently, look into replacing it with a quick-disconnect sway bar for more stability when towing.
 
#13
No need/use for the rear sway bar. Just chuck it. Xterra pulls just fine without it. I bent an axle on a tandem trailer due to the weight of all the firewood on it. Xterra still tracked nice going up and down hills plus curves @55-60mph. All the rear sway bar is good for is killing shocks mentioned earlier if you like that kind of thing and lack of articulation. The front sway you will want to keep connected while on the street though.
 
Top