DMSKI's 2006 Xterra


It's official! The new X is in, and the old X is out. Some of you know the reasoning behind why I've sold the 2000 Xterra but I'll reiterate. While the first gen was a great option, I was tired of an anemic power plant that would barely let me pass on the freeways (I had it loaded down with gear, bumper, etc so that is also factored in) and I felt I had started to outgrow my beloved Xterra. That initial fact, paired with the small space inside, no A/C (and I'm not about to do a shade tree mechanic job on a full A/C install) as well as she was coming up on a clutch job and suspension refresh, I felt I'd rather save my money and put it towards something I knew would serve me for (hopefully) years to come. Since I take many people skiing, mountain biking, hiking, sailing, etc and I like to crash out in the back, the new X's seemed to fit the bill nicely. I also took a look at Montero's, face-lifted R50 Pathfinders, Land Cruiser 100's and the occasional trooper, I finally made a decision.

I hope others can learn from my build the way I learned from everyone else on here. Great community and I hope to see some of you out there at some point.

Current setup (all grown up):

Comments: Purchased with around 60k miles. Now up to 80k in one year (yeah I drive a lot...) For the build, I am looking to make it an overland based rig, with the ability to do medium trails by the end of it. It is my daily driver, so I'd like to keep suspension and armor at a relatively moderate level to still maintain good highway manners (as much as I'd love to Titan Swap it).

Edit: Funny how I said I wouldn't Titan Swap....

Username: dmski

Make: Nissan
Year: 2006
Model: Xterra
Trim: SE
Color: Midnight Blue

Stock Specs:

4.0 L VQ40DE 265 hp
4x4 with hi/lo transfer case
Auto Trans
3.13 gears
Gray/Tan interior


Rear LED flood lightbar (Insain Fab)
Window Guards
Hood Deflector
Larsen steel Whip w/NMO hood mount CB antenna
Custom Exhaust clamp Shovel mounts
Yakima Basketcase Roof Basket with custom mounts for fuel/soft luggage
Custom Shovel/hilift mounts
28" Cheapo LED bar (replaced Hella 500ff's)
Cheapo LED fog light pods for ARB bumper (wired to fog light housing using wiring harness) with yellow tint
Vision X Driving LED cubes
Blue Sea Fuse box
Bedlined Lower Sides due to chips and trail damage
ARB awning with custom mounting brackets
Locking Roof Box Handle Installed (ebay find)
Front windows tinted to match rear

Front ARB bumper (found for a frontier at a scratch and dent, custom mounts for xterra using Shrockworks mounting brackets)
Shrockworks Engine Skid
Black Panther Transmission Skid
Black Panther Transfer Case Skid
Insain Fab Sliders Bedlined
Blackwidow Fab Radiator Skid
Recovery Brackets
Rocky Road Rear Diff Skid

Front Suspension:
Titan Moog Lower Left control arm: RK620512
Titan Moog lower right control arm: RK620511
Titan Moog inner tie rod: EV800216
Titan Moog left outer tie rod: ES800031
Titan Moog right outer tie rod: ES800032
Titan Cardone Halfshafts: 66-6238
Titan Rough Country UCA's: 83401
M205 Diff (3.36 2 rib with 100k miles)
Bilstein 5100 Tundra shocks: 24-261425
Used Toyota FJ springs (633lb)
Glamisdude Custom Top hats with inner spring retainer welded in
KYB upper isolator kit: SM5699
Belltech Front Bumpstops: 4923
PRG Extended front brake lines

Rear Suspension:
M226 Diff (3.36 with E locker with 44k miles and Titan aluminum diff cover )
OTRATTW Rear locker switch upper solid, lower bar: V1D1GNNB-PZC80-5LR2
PRG U bolts
PRG rear brake line bracket
OME rear HD leaf pack
PRG Bilstein 5125 rear Shocks with 3-4" lift
Spidertrax rear 1.5" wheel spacers
Set of PRG shackles
Set of Rear 3 degree shims (flipped fat end backwards)
Timbren Rear Bumpstops
NW driveline custom rear driveshaft

Wheels and Tires:
285/75/16 Falken AT3W's
Level 8 ZX wheels

Floor Mats
Fire Extinguisher
Rockford Fosgate Sound System
OTRATTW Switches (Manual Cooling fan control, driving lights, rear lights) in center area
UV5R HAM Radio
Midlands Handheld CB in centerconsole
Phone mount for GPS/TOPO Maps app (best 10 dollar app!)
Rear Home Depot cargo mat
LED Dome Lights (DE3175) (LED lighting info)
Trans temp gauge in custom center console
Dash Camera
Cabellas Seat Cover
Cigarette Socket, Dual USB Socket & Voltage Meter in homemade gauge cluster
Bully Dog Tuner
Custom built drawer system for storage in rear

Transmission Bypass Mod
Additional B&M trans cooler (mounted below stock cooler)
Derale 8" Fan mounted on stock trans cooler
Maintenance work. 120k mile service
Brass Marine Battery Terminals
Rear diff breather extension (confirmed that PN 38323-C601A works for C200 axles but is a tight fit)
Autometer Transmission Temp Gauge
Moroso Oil Catch Can 85629
Doug Thorley Long Tube Headers

Engo SR10k Winch
30000lb Recovery Strap
Two 5 ton Shackles
Tool kit
Wiper Fluid
First Aid Kit
Rear Hitch Recovery
Hi Lift Jack
MV-50 Air compressor
5 gallon Water/Fuel jugs
Anti Gravity Battery Jump Starter (excellent!)

Future Plans:
Fab up Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier and Jerry can holder
Lightweight gas skid
Dual Battery Setup
150k mile service
DIY radiator skid
Full roof rack swapped
Monstaline Roof
Rewire/cleanup wiring/relay bank
HAM radio install
Internal Snorkel Project
Molle Panels
Radio/Backup Camera swap
Clear bra heavy hit areas (DIY project)
Win the lottery for all these upgrades...
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Expedition Leader
Nice truck.

Good call. I'll look into doing it soon as I would like some piece of mind, but soon to follow would be a radiator or cooler to bring cooling back to the trans. Even if it is fine now, no cooling seems to me like an alternate way to nuke the trans at some point down the road as well.
I think you will be fine with no cooler and doing the bypass for now with you being down in Washington and fall knocking on the door. If you are towing or rock crawling and really working that ATF you may want to do the cooler sooner than later.


Thanks guys for the kind words! I'm really excited about the new rig and Allof75 it is the dark metallic blue color. A little better at hidding scratches than the my other black rig which is nice.

Co-opski I think I'll do the by pass since it is getting cooler like you said. I'll likely pick up a new Koyo radiator, or just do the alternate trans cooler sometime in the near future. But for peace of mind at least, that's what I'll do.

Got it dirty for the first time (probably in it's life) this last weekend when I went to go camping up off Stampede pass with my brother. We found the old ghost town of Lester which was a fun find, and an easy jaunt in for any vehicle on the regular road, but we chose to stretch our legs a bit and follow the power lines there which was significantly more rough and "4WD only" terrain.
And onto other things. Here is a few photo updates of what I've done to the rig prior to this build thread. Enjoy!

Very first trip with the new xterra to the ghost town of Lester.

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Expedition Leader

are you going to step up to 20 265/75 tire size when you replace? what tires are you thinking?



are you going to step up to 20 265/75 tire size when you replace? what tires are you thinking?
I would love a larger tire but I figured these had plenty of life left in them so might as well use them. But for sure some BFG A/T or I've had good luck with the Toyo's for the near future upgrade!


pew pew
Nice pick up with the new X. I completely agree with you on the dog of a truck the first gens are but it's such a simple truck to work on. Glad to see you're taking it where it belongs!


Couldn't agree more richard310! It was so easy to work on and troubleshoot and with that respect I still love the thing.

Finished up the Radiator Bypass so I can breath a little sigh of relief. Also did the oil, diffs, and transfer case as apart of my 60k mile tuneup. I'll have a shop do the trans and coolant flush since I don't really want to deal with those at the moment.

As for the radiator bypass, the way I see it I've got two options. Either add an additional aux cooler below the current cooler, or purchase a Koyo or equivalent radiator and put that in. I think it's smarter to do the Koyo radiator since it retains the stock configuration of liquid to liquid cooling instead of liquid to air which is much better in terms of thermal efficiency. Thoughts? The engineer in me is seeing the lack of cooling could be a problem later on and even though many have had great success with running the bypass alone, I don't think its enough.

In addition to this, I was thinking of putting a trans temp gauge on there anyways, as well as a fan on stock trans cooler to boost cooling at slower speeds/heavy loads either manually controlled or thermostat controlled.


Expedition Leader
I believe the scanguage can read trans temp. Would save installing a gauge and can be used for lots of other stuff.

I don't use that feature so can't confirm


Thanks guys for the comments. Interesting news on that scanguage, I may have to look into that. I ordered up a B&M cooler and will install that as soon as it comes in, along with an aux fan and that should hopefully cover my cooling needs.

A little modification I did. Stock mud flaps in the rear were already ripped out of the holes either by me or the previous owner, so I decided to chuck them all. I'm one of the few that likes the look of mudflaps and they are very functional, especially when skiing, driving on gravel, mud, rain, etc so I wanted to make a set that were pliable and would work. Simply took two NAPA truck mud flaps and cut them out to fit. Mounting was easy and so far after a week of driving through some torrential downpours in lovely Seattle, I'm very pleased with them.
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Some updates! It's going to be a stream of posts, but I haven't done it in a while. This was a recent trip to Tahuya. Gotta love the stock highway tires. Handled great but could definitely use a tire and slider addition. And apologies for the crappy cell phone pics.

Plenty of three wheeling was had. My buddies jeep did quite well though.

Gettin close to the sides, may need to get sliders sooner than i thought:
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And part two of the updates Found some skid plates at a junk yard that I couldn't pass up. Unfortunately everything is now covered EXCEPT my oil/engine since that one wasn't on the car so I'm now in the need for that last skid and I'll be good to go.

Found some skids at a junk yard! (black panther is the brand I think?)

Installation of Hella lights and rear light:

Finally got everything in this weekend in terms of cooling and wiring. After doing trans cooler swap, I added a cooler from B&M to help out the system. On top of that, I added an 8" Derale fan connected to a manual rocker switch which I can turn on at will. I opted for this setup so that when I'm offroad, I can simply hit the switch and let it cool the entire time at will. I just need a gauge to monitor temps and I'm good to go!
Installlation of fan and bypassed cooler:

Mud flaps (soon after they were ripped off):

CB installed in glovebox:

The end goal was to have functional lighting for camp/night driving and have good cooling, but all installation and finish to look OEM. I covered all connections with heat shrink, wrapped all wires with conduit and used relays for all three switches/accessories. Wiring is just one of those things that needs to be done right from the get go.

Coming up is my CB install that I got off of a family vehicle, but it needs some wiring help before it goes in. Other than that, no mods for the foreseeable future but after a few offroad ventures, it's become apparent that tires/sliders are necessary. My current step bars have a few new dents in them...
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