1 2
B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 1:34 p.m.

This may not be the most GRM style build thread since it isnt a race car but i have seen a few of you post your offroad rig projects in here so I figured I would too. I have had my different offroad vehicles over the years and a few different tow pigs. I tend to play with light-ish cars (miata, b13 sentra, D-sports racer) so the Xterra tows my crap just fine. 

This thread will be dedicated to my progress on the rig and our adventures. The X is pretty built but it's an older build and it needs some updating and refreshing. I have a full-time job but I run a few overland side hustles including the NotAToyota Instagram account, Ovrlndswag.com, and Sunshine State Adventure company (A Florida focused overland trip planning company and guide service) I have been into Overlanding for the past 20 or so years and have had many different rigs. I have always been a Nissan/Datsun guy and my dad and I have a pretty substantial collection of Nissan's and Datsuns. I had a Titan for about 5 years and LOVED IT.  I hope to share updates soon as I continue to make updates and restore and modify the X.

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 1:36 p.m.

Here is the build info:

Year: 2010
Make: Nissan
Model: Xterra
Trim: OR
Current Mileage: 62,105

-M205/2007 3 fin style - Have an ARB locker that needs to be installed
-Titan CVs x4/Trail spares
-Superior Gear 4.10's
-Tom Woods custom double cardan driveshaft.
-Spidertrax wheel spacers and Gorrilla Lugs

-Titan OEM LCAs
-Titan PRG Adjustable UCAs
-MOOG inner-outer Titan tie rods
-2.5" SAW's external resi's
-26" long/10" Travel Titan 2.0" Radflo Remote reservoir rear shocks.
-4.5" ALCAN leaf packs +450lbs
-PRG adjustable shackles
-PRG U-bolt flip kit
-Timbren front and rear bumpstops
-35" Nitto Trail Grapplers on OEM wheels/Matching spare
-Shrockworks front bumper
-Shrockworks rear bumper/tire carrier (5K towing capacity) 
-White Knuckle Off Road Sliders(2" BL Version)
-Hefty Fabworks Full skid set
-Blue Torch Fab Ballistic M226 rear diff cover w/Hytech gasket
-Volant CAI W/ Volant Cotton filter/pre filter
-Flowmaster super 44 muffler
-Red top Optima battery
-Weather Tech front/rear and cargo area digital cut liners
-OEM Nuvi mount
-Nuvi 785T GPS
-Cobra 75WXST CB radio
-LED 2D Maglite/auto mount/rear storage
-Powertank 10lb/Co2 system
-2" Body lift
-AC 2" steering shaft extension
-2" Rear wheel spacers
-10% window tint
-Sweet stickers :rockin:
-6" PIAA 520 ATP lights on shrock front bumper
-Dephep extended roof rack/Raingler Grab handles
-Smittybuilt XRC10 winch with synthetic rope and fairlead
-4' Hi lift jack
-Front and Rear SS extended brake lines
-Gobi Ladder shrock edition
-Rear hatch struts(175lb)
-3' white Firestik CB antenna
-WabFab 2" slider adapter
-2005-2008 Front grille assembly
-Fog lights converted to HIDs
-Roof lights(2009+ OEM) converted to HIDs

Future Planned Updates:
1. Snorkel - Florida is WET
2. I need to have the frame re-sealed/treated
3. Diff, transmission and transfer case breathers - this didn't get done by PO because.... well lasvegas is dry.
4. Install the ARB front locker
5. Need to have the front Sway Aways rebuilt
6. Upgrade to heavier Alcan + 650lb rear leaf packs
7. Add fuel/water carrier to the rear bumper
8. Custom fabricate rear corners that tie into the frame with steps for better departure angle and wheel travel
9. Dual battery setup + fridge with rear storage build out
10. Upgrade from the Dehep basket to the Xterra Mule Ultra Roof Rack and add an awning
11. Upgrade all lighting to modern setup + Ditch lights and rock lights
12. Limb Risers
13. I'm considering removing the body lift and still running 35's for a lower center of gravity and roof height. this baby is TALL.
14. Remove all the armor and have it re-powder coated
15. Add removable Front fender bar work to connect the front bumper to the sliders.

I'm sure I will think of more. I'm keeping this thing until I die. If/when the engine goes I'm going to swap in the new Cummins R2.8 turbo diesel or possibly Ford's V6 EcoBoost.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/8/21 1:37 p.m.

Nice looking rig. My middle son had one until the engine let go. 

Looking forward to seeing how this goes. 


B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 1:38 p.m.

At some point here in the next year, I plan to build a Super lightweight single axle trailer for the Xterra too. Something that will fit the Miata track day car, the Sentra rally car, and the D'sports racer - not all at once of course. I definitely plan to post my design and build in here so that should be interesting too. 


B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 1:44 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 + Sized and :

They seem to do pretty well. This one only has 62k miles on it so she should hold together for a while. It's my daily at the moment but in the next year that will change and it will keep the miles down. 

thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/8/21 2:23 p.m.

Adding an awning is such a game changer. I have an 8x6 smittybuilt one that has been clutch. Having shade makes camping in summer so much more comfortable, and it kept breakfast dry in Death Valley of all places. 

Sweet Xterra. I've always liked the 2nd gens. 

docwyte PowerDork
7/8/21 5:25 p.m.

Truck looks awesome!  Definitely following, I got my daughter a 2011 Pro 4X this past winter.  When (or if?) she bangs up the front bumper cover I want to do a metal bumper.  You happy with yours?  Would you buy it again?

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 8:06 p.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

Thanks! - Yes, the awning is a must. I sold my awning with the other rig I had so its time to get a new one. I have been contemplating what my plan will be in regards to either a traditional awning or a 270 degree... My rear hatch opens up really high so I would have to put a restriction strap on the hatch to have the 270 at full open. That's the one thing i miss about my montero... the barn door rear hatch. 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/8/21 8:11 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Thanks man! I'm super jealous of your KTM. I had an XR 650 for a while and I regret selling it every day. I'd love to get another dual-sport or adventure bike again. I need to finish my CB550 project first haha. 

In regards to the front bumper. YES, shrockworks makes some of the best stuff on the planet. I highly recommend them. They are bulletproof and much better made than most of the stuff I have seen over the years. After 8 years and TONS of abuse it's in great shape. zero rust issues. the only issue I have had is the expected fading of the black powder coat after spending its entire life outside in either Nevada or Florida. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/9/21 6:10 a.m.

Cool truck. What's the purpose of the CO2 system?

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/9/21 6:43 a.m.

Love it!

ProDarwin MegaDork
7/9/21 7:24 a.m.

Following.  90% sure an overland vehicle is my next build.

R50 and 51 Pathfinders are high on my list, and I believe the latter shares a lot with this Xterra(?)

docwyte PowerDork
7/9/21 8:31 a.m.

In reply to B13Birk :

Good to know, I'll have to look into them.  Funny you liked the barn door on your Montero, I couldn't stand the barn door on my old GX470.  I much prefer a hatch...

The KTM is awesome, I highly recommend getting one!

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/9/21 2:55 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Great question. Its for: Airing the tires back up after the trails, running air tools, and it will eventually also run my front air locker. 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/9/21 2:59 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Overlanding is truly one of my greatest passions and it's something I share with my wife, friends, and their kids in a way that I just can't with my racing hobby. It's therapy for me and truly the refuel and relaxation I need. 

The R50 Pathfinder is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the aftermarket support is extremely limited. The R51 is a great pick. There a good bit of guys that have heavily modified R51 and you can do the titan swap like I did on mine. If you can find one that has a factory V8 (the Nissan titan engine) I think that's a huge plus. But the v6 is still a great engine. 

ProDarwin MegaDork
7/9/21 4:16 p.m.
B13Birk said:

In reply to ProDarwin :

Overlanding is truly one of my greatest passions and it's something I share with my wife, friends, and their kids in a way that I just can't with my racing hobby. It's therapy for me and truly the refuel and relaxation I need. 

The R50 Pathfinder is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the aftermarket support is extremely limited. The R51 is a great pick. There a good bit of guys that have heavily modified R51 and you can do the titan swap like I did on mine. If you can find one that has a factory V8 (the Nissan titan engine) I think that's a huge plus. But the v6 is still a great engine. 

There was one on here for sale recently.  I don't really want the V8, unless there is a non-horsepower reason to want one?  The V6 is plenty for my needs.  More common and better mileage.  What do you mean by titan swap?

I've seen some pretty built R50s, but to be honest I don't plan on doing a build nearly as extensive/capable as what you've got here.  With a locker, good tires, and even a moderate lift any of the choices is plenty capable for what I would want to do.  The R50 has 3 things going for it in my perspective:

  • 1) My dad had one and always wanted to go off roading.  He was disabled and never able to do it.  It would be a nice bonus to be able to use an R50.
  • 2) Slightly smaller dimensions
  • 3) Cheaper

Of course they have downsides as well.  #2 might be a big downside if doing a interior camper type buildout.


B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/10/21 8:41 a.m.

In reply to B13Birk :

The R51 with the V8 just for power and Tq. But you are right the v6 has plenty of that. The titan swap means that you can swap over the heavier duty front suspension parts, diff and axels from the nissan titan to the xterra and pathfinder. it all bolts right up. thats why they call it "titan swapped" 

As far as the R50 goes. I agree with you - I actually had an r50 for a while. They are super capable and do great on the trails. My main complaint is that there are hardly any companies making overland/offroad parts anymore for them - even lift kits and lockers. There are still some diehard people out there that know how to modify those and know how to do it well. Im not sure if you are on FB or Instagram but there are a few guys with really nice ones in our Nota Toyota Overland facebook group. And there are some good builds with info on the website expidtionportal.com

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/29/21 7:43 a.m.

It's been a while since I last posted. I have been scrambling to get the Funds and time together to the Xterra ready for our annual big trip. This year will be going to Kentucky to do the Kentucky Adventure Tour from October 18-24th. I have had a good bit to do on the Xterra but I have been distracted with duck season, rally events and scca races. 

Our little team took 1st and 2nd at Daytona last weekend which was awesome! 


Anyways - The Xterra has Sway-Away Coilovers on it upfront. These are really the best option ever made for the X and unfortunately, they are no long in production. The company that I was going to use to re-build them just stopped replying to my phone calls and emails. Luckily I found a company in colorado that would do it and had the shafts in stock. They have been shipped out ($115 one way) and will be rebuilt ($350) and then shipped back to me. 

I'm really excited to get these back and on the truck. In the meantime, im replacing the front axels, adding longer diff breathers, replacing the front diff bushings, and recoating some spots on the frame. 

For the longest time we lived in a condo with no garage. Working in the sun in Florida on the black top was the worst. But I got it done. Now I have a great garage for working on my crap BUT the Xterra doesn't fit. So she has been relegated to the driveway...


I have long wanted to add an awning to the X and was holding off and saving $$ to get a super fancy 270 degree batwing awning. That's just not going to happen anytime soon. So instead of throwing down $800 or so on a batwing I got found a great deal on a 6'6 x8ft awning on ebay. Trustmade is a company i have seen pop up a few times over the past year. I did some research and read a ton of reviews and settled on this for $160. I'm not a fan of the Huge logo on the side but the construction of the product is just as good as the ARB awning I had on my last rig. So we will see how she does. Got some mounts fabbed up to attach to Hepps designs roof basket setup. 


Ill be sure to post more pictures and an Update as they come. And I plan to do a whole right up on our trip too. 

I may do another thread or include it in here a write-up on all of our past trips for those interested.  

Thanks for reading. As always, Go Get Busy Living. 


iansane GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/29/21 9:49 a.m.

That thing looks gnarly. Can't wait to see more.

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
9/29/21 10:48 a.m.

Thanks for posting! Those Nissan SUVs look like they have a lot of potential, but I don't see that many built ones compared to Toyotas and American trucks around here. Nice to see one getting used!

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/29/21 4:35 p.m.

Had a lot of fun in mine which is now in Doc's daughters hands. I think I sold too soon though. If I waited a year could have gotten a lot more. 

We took it out to Moab a few times and out to Big Bend to explore. Never got into the big stuff but that's just not my thing. 


Great looking rig you have there. 


Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/21 12:14 p.m.

This is great. There are a few gnarly Xterras running around the Raleigh area of NC. I talked to one of the guys in a Bojangles parking lot, and it seems like the modding/overland crew for these is pretty tight.

I brought a 1st Gen back from the dead (timing belt failure), and then changed plans and got a 4Runner. If I was going to get another, I'd get a 2nd Gen.

docwyte PowerDork
9/30/21 12:16 p.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :

I do appreciate you selling it when you did!  It's been a great SUV for her, I plan on grabbing it back when she's done with it and making it a Colorado trail rig

akamcfly Dork
9/30/21 3:57 p.m.

I'm also farting around with a 2nd gen (Frontier). My plan is to keep the stock size tires so I don't need to worry much about super expensive upgrades. One likely doesn't need 40s and tons for 32" tires.

That said, I'm still doing driveline, suspension and armor upgrades. I just won't need to do as many of those upgrades if I keep the tire size stock. I also won't be adding a pile of additional mass.

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/25/21 1:44 p.m.

I just got back from a 11-day overland trip with a bunch of my friends. For the past 4 years I have planned a trip for all of us to do and this year we went to Kentucky to do the Kentucky Adventure Tour. Here a just some quick pictures. I'll do a write-up later this week. Enjoy! 



1 2
Our Preferred Partners