Ron the Burgundy Xterra Build Thread

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
Meet Ron the Burgundy
Ron 01-2022 forum share.jpg

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This is pretty close to how Ron is right now, I will try to keep this photo updated.

Now a little back story before the build starts. Before Ron, I had a 2015 Frontier Pro4x. It started with full Oldman Emu suspension, and ended as a full Titan swapped and armoured adventure rig. The ride was amazing, so was the stability after the Titan swap. Sadly I sold that truck and bought a Jeep JK unlimited Rubicon in early 2020. I kept the Jeep for 1.5 years, it was fun, but I missed the Nissan.
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So I sold it to buy an Xterra. The two things I wanted was a manual trans, and no body rust. Finally found one with 170k miles on it. It needs new control arms, CV joints, tie rods, shocks and springs. The previous owner had done a new clutch and all 4 brakes just before selling. This leaves me with most of a Titan Swap shopping list needing replacement. Therefore I will be opting for Titan parts instead. For the CV's I am going with QX80 CV axles so that I can keep the R180 and just put a Lokka in it.
 

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kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
As much as I loved both the Frontier and the Jeep, what I really wanted was a combination of the two. During my time with the Frontier, I really did not enjoy the Automatic transmission, and the ABS brakes when trying to stop on Ice and Snow. With the Jeep I loved the manual transmission, the shorter wheelbase and the crazy low gearing, but it just wasn't like the Frontier enough. Enter the Xterra, shorter wheelbase then a Frontier and the Jeep, manual transmission, still able to haul the family and pull or Trillium Fibreglass trailer. No need to add a Canopy.
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Ron the day I got him home. Miles the Jeep would walk through this no problem.

I ended up finding what I was looking for, 14 hours and a Ferry ride away. It needed a little more work than I was hopping, but at least no body work. The rear leafs were cracked and it was sitting on bumpstops (Timbren Active Off-Road Bumpstops 😁) this lead to a rear shackle failure, as well. all 4 shocks were blown. On the 14hour drive home it started throwing engine codes. This lead to fuel injectors, ignition coils PCV valve and two O2 sensors all needing to be replaced within the first month.

A fun advantage I have with this build, is knowing the platform, and having done previous stages of building, I know exactly where I want it to be right out of the gate. There should be less wasted money this time around. The overall goal is to keep it very light, and spend as little as possible, but as much as needed.

SUSPENSION PLANS (Italics indicate completed)
-Bilstein 6112 front shocks with 600lb Eibach 14" springs
-Bilstein 5160 23" rear shocks with Lift Shackle and Old Man Emu Springs
-Timbren Active Off-Road Bumpstops all 4 corners (rears done)
-Rough Country Forged Aluminum Titan Upper Control Arms
-Titan Lower Control Arms
-Titan Moog inner and outer Tie Rods

WHEELS TIRES AND TRACTION
-Lokka R180 for front diff
-Infinity QX80 CV axles
-Factory Rear Locker
-Regear to 4.10
-285 75 16 Mud Terrains: Firestone Destination MT

BODY AND ARMOR

-Full Aluminum Skid plates
-Sliders Rocky-Road Super Sliders
-Mod rear receiver hitch to be flat and behind where stock license plate it
-Aluminum front bumper
-Winch with synthetic line
-Fibre-glass tray in factory roof rack?

INTERIOR
-Better stereo in factory locations with factory head unit
-Foam mats secured to rear seats and cargo area to make a sleeping platform, still removable for utility
-Rubbermaid Action Packer 8G for flat floor extension when sleeping
-Some sort of radio
-Nissan Titan Front Seats
-Rear roof net for sleeping storage
 
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(none)

Adventurer
Good start. My dad had an '07ish Xterra in that color and now i have a '17 Frontier with the manual trans. Great setup, looking forward to see what you do with it.
 

Skinny06

Member
Welcome from the always sunny Seattle area!

I struggle with the fact that I should've gotten an xterra vs. my frontier all the time. Nice find, and looking forward to the build progress!
 

emtmark

Austere Medical Provider
Let’s get to it bro! Love my x welcome back to the dark side! Shrockworks looks forward to your purchases ********!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
Last weekend was a big one for parts accumulation for Ron the Burgundy, and while driving to get some of the parts, I ran into my old Frontier, it was a good looking rig. :)

1st off, picked up some Rocky-Road sliders from an Auto-recycler, they came off a rolled Xterra. Going to need some TLC to clean up. The mounting system on these is pretty unique. They mount to the factory Running board studs, 6 per side as well as they are supposed to use 4 3/8" self tappers into the frame per side. Some say bad idea, others say it works, I will find out. The plan right now is use the stock mounting system, but drill out the frame mounts to 1/2" and use some long bolts through the frame. I will test it out with a high-lift and see. In the Jeep world you can get body only mounted sliders, frame only mounted sliders, or body and frame mounted sliders so the concept is not new, and for all the internet experts saying you cant mount them to the body and frame, I have yet to see any evidence of damage from doing it. I can see the theory, but I can also see the benefit of shortening the lever and spreading the load over a larger area. On longer vehicle I can also see the potential for more frame flex. With my Hefty sliders on my Frontier when lifting from the sliders they would flex enough to touch the body, I had toyed with the idea of adding braces that would capture onto the running board studs when loaded, but I sold it before I thought it through enough. Time will tell.

2nd thing I grabbed was 5 lightly used 285-75-16 Firestone Destination MT's, I met up with my Dad and swapped back to my Factory wheels. He liked my 265-70-16 Cooper Discovery AT3 4s tires enough to mount them on his Pro4X wheels, but he didn't like me 5 spoke wheel as much :(

3rd I trimmed the factory bumper, looks pretty good, next step will be to plastic weld in some fill panels so it looks factory again, then paint time?

And finally my aluminum skid plates were ready. I had a scrap 5'x5' sheet of aluminum in my backyard, and a fabricator friend was able to cut and bend them into skids for everything but the fuel tank. Hopefully I can get them bolted up this weekend. We used the files on the newX forum.

Updated first posts with newer photo and info into build list.
 
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kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
Ron has been sitting in the garage the last couple of weeks. Chipping away at the list as time permits. I installed the Lokka myself this time. I payed a shop to install the one I had in my Frontier. It felt very rewarding to take the front diff apart and sand down shims to get everything within spec. I did make an error when reinstalling everything. I accidentally swapped the bearing shims from the driver and passenger sides. Once all bolted together it didn't turn by hand. I didn't notice my error till after putting new seals in and getting it back into the frame. It was an easy fix, but now I am waiting on another new passenger side axle seal to arrive.
Lokka install.jpg

The Titan Swap is also going in at the same time. I went with the new Rough Country Forged aluminum upper control arms, and Moog tie rods and lower control arms. For shocks I ordered up a set of the Bilstein 6100 for a Titan, as well as the Bilstein Flat spring perches and some Eibach 14" 600lb springs. I installed them with the Daystar strut spacers I had installed previously on the stock suspension. I end up with 9 7/8" of travel, and no CV binding in the travel range. This should be a pretty good setup.
6100 install.JPG
 
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Ron has been sitting in the garage the last couple of weeks. Chipping away at the list as time permits. I installed the Lokka myself this time. I payed a shop to install the one I had in my Frontier. It felt very rewarding to take the front diff apart and sand down shims to get everything within spec. I did make an error when reinstalling everything. I accidentally swapped the bearing shims from the driver and passenger sides. Once all bolted together it didn't turn by hand. I didn't notice my error till after putting new seals in and getting it back into the frame. It was an easy fix, but now I am waiting on another new passenger side axle seal to arrive.
View attachment 709748

The Titan Swap is also going in at the same time. I went with the new Rough Country Forged aluminum upper control arms, and Moog tie rods and lower control arms. For shocks I ordered up a set of the Bilstein 6100 for a Titan, as well as the Bilstein Flat spring perches and some Eibach 14" 600lb springs. I installed them with the Daystar strut spacers I had installed previously on the stock suspension. I end up with 9 7/8" of travel, and no CV binding in the travel range. This should be a pretty good setup.
View attachment 709749
Looks pretty solid! I’m curious to hear the review of the 6100’s!
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
Having run the 6100’s for a bit I am very happy with them. A friend who also put them on his rig isn’t as happy as he was with 1st gen Tundra 5100’s. The Tundra shocks have .5” more travel. For me the any more extension and the CV’s start to get resistance, so I think this is the better setup?
I have made some more progress on the rest of the build plans. I cut and made full panels for the front bumper and did a quick plastic weld job to get them in.1A3DDE5A-5B1B-4C58-95B7-815375E1550B.jpeg
I need to get the front Timbren active off-road bumpstops installed, then start on making the interior ready for camping. Grabbed some cheap yoga mats to put down over the seat backs are rear cargo area. Hopefully these will make sleeping more comfortable, and make items less prone to bouncing and sliding around when I am hooning.
I also picked up a file for making a hidden winch mount on the front and a fuel tank skid plate. A friend says he will get them cut this week, and hopefully welded up for the weekend?
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
I was also able to find a Yukon Grizzly rear locker on a buy and sell for $100. I snatched that up and threw it in.74278951-20F9-41D6-9A4A-6FF52050AFDA.jpeg
So now Ron is twin locked with no switches. Both seem to working really well. I did get some snow wheeling in with both auto lockers. In the snow selectable would be ideal in some situations, however with adjusting my driving I was able to make them work very well. The biggest draw back is tight turns in deep snow, and off-camber icy hill climbs.
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