2000 Frontier (Supercharged) Build and Adventures - Babe the Blue Ox

ExpoMike

Well-known member
That is very weird for a shock to break. Typically that is due to reaching the mechanical limits of the shock (topping or bottoming out). I have run Bilstein's in 17 different vehicles and have never broken one, nor have I broken a shock in any of the 59 vehicles I have owned.
 

paulforeman

Active member
I know the pain of broken Bilsteins 5100s, I broke my rear Tacoma Rear shocks a couple times, right at the end of the shaft to the eyelet. I ended up just rewelding with my TIG one and its been holding better that the factory welds.
I have a mig setup and would 100% weld them if 4WP ever doesn't honor my warranty for some reason. I'd like to keep returning them so that hopefully Bilstein sees enough of them come back that they fix the mfg. process for future users!

I needed almost 70K miles to bust my OME struts, the springs are still fine-- might give them a try, I'm happily on my second set.
I may do that in the future. The front rides ok with 4600s, but the rear could use something better and OME may be a good option. We'll see what I end up with. Thanks for reminding me about OME!
 

paulforeman

Active member
That is very weird for a shock to break. Typically that is due to reaching the mechanical limits of the shock (topping or bottoming out). I have run Bilstein's in 17 different vehicles and have never broken one, nor have I broken a shock in any of the 59 vehicles I have owned.
I've never broken shocks on anything except this truck. I have triple-checked the limits and I am not bottoming them out; the axle hits the bump-stops before hitting the bottom of the shocks. They do "top out" if I am flexing hard enough to lift a wheel, but that is also the case in my 4runner and I've never had a problem there.


The shocks are a "universal fit" part number so rather than weld the eyelets on, they are threaded onto the shock piston shaft. I've never seen this on any other "specific application" shocks. The shocks don't actually "break," rather, the shaft unthreads from the eyelet over time and vibration. It seems like a manufacturing issue. I've been able to reassemble them on occasion and put Loctite on the threads, but this doesn't seem like something I should have to do.
 

paulforeman

Active member
Fuel Leak... FIXED?

I finally got around to dropping my fuel tank and looking for the leak. I've had a smell of gasoline whenever the tank is >1/2 full and when I'm wheeling. Seemed like there was evidence of fuel running down the side of the tank, originating at the top. Here is my DROP FUEL TANK - DIY post - won't repost it all here.

What did I find? The big O-ring that seals the top of the tank was indeed leaking. But it wasn't broken and didn't look that bad. THE REAL PROBLEM was underneath it.
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The area where the o-ring seats was rusted in 1 place and the metal had flaked away, so the o-ring wasn't actually sealing that portion of the tank. Being that the fuel tank was half-full and I was hoping to get it back together the same day, I did NOT break out the welder and burn down my truck, house, and possibly neighborhood.

Instead, I used a pair of pliers and bent the rusty section back up so that the o-ring sits up where it is supposed to.

Then I added a bunch of "fuel proof" (we'll see if it really is) silicone-ish material to the new o-ring and cap and screwed it all back together.
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I haven't done any wheeling yet or driven the truck, but I haven't smelled fuel since then so it's at least improved if not temporarily solved.

In other news, I used the truck to get 2 loads of dirt/compost for the gardens. The tiny bed only allows for 1 cy/load, which is about 2000lbs or more. WAY over the factory rated payload capacity.

Upgrades that helped the little truck feel like a slightly larger little truck...

  • Weight Capacity: the ARB + Add-a-leaf springs held the load pretty well. I was sagging a lot but not bottomed out. Nice!
  • Going-Forward Power: Supercharger swap made it really easy to get around, even with the weight.
  • Stopping Power: The 300ZX brakes and Xterra Master Cylinder made the truck feel very competent when stopping.
  • Dirt in the Bed: The LineX was worth it! So easy to clean out after all the dirt and manure were hauled.
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That's it for now... Seeya soon.
 

llamalander

Well-known member
I was happy to discover the D40 had the same cargo capacity in Oz as it does in America... except there they use Kg!... I don't always drive overloaded, but when I do, I drive a Nissan:cool:
I like hearing about the brakes though, how small a wheel can 300zx brakes fit under? A 16"?
 

paulforeman

Active member
I was happy to discover the D40 had the same cargo capacity in Oz as it does in America... except there they use Kg!... I don't always drive overloaded, but when I do, I drive a Nissan:cool:
I like hearing about the brakes though, how small a wheel can 300zx brakes fit under? A 16"?
Howdy - a 16" wheel would fit just fine on the diameter, but the brakes stick out so far that they collide with the back of the wheels regardless of the diameter. I have not found a wheel that will bolt directly to the hub and clear the brakes without a wheel spacer. There's probably some out there, but I haven't found one yet.
 

paulforeman

Active member
"The" Big 3

I have hinted at this a couple times, and although it's not really part of the "build," I've just completed...

  1. Clutch, flywheel, throw-out bearing (as far as I can tell, original clutch and bearing was still in it!)
  2. Rear Main Seal (it wasn't leaking, but I am already in there...)
  3. Oil Pan Gasket (was 100% leaking, and getting worse).

*Driveshaft, u-joint, and carrier bearing were all still original; at almost 300k, I also decided to do a 2-piece to 1-piece driveshaft conversion, as the 2-piece was definitely not necessary on this short of a truck.

Goals were:

  1. Fix oil leak
  2. Replace clutch since the old one was getting really choppy to engage correctly.
  3. Reduce driveline vibrations (I had a hunch it was the carrier bearing...?)
Had to remove...
  1. Secondary cats/mid pipes, and Y-pipe
  2. Transmission crossmember
  3. Torsion bars and torsion bar crossmember
  4. Front differential
  5. Front driveshaft
  6. Rear driveshaft
  7. Starter
  8. Both shifter levers
  9. Various wiring harnesses
  10. Transmission
Photo Dump here
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^Oil leak had been slinging oil all over transmission-engine interface cavity
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^You can see that the oil pan gasket had been leaking, but the rear main was still dry/sealed 24 years later!
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^Oil pan off - other than some surface discoloration, the crank, cylinder walls, and bearings all look good to me
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^Cleanup on aisle 1...

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^Cleaned up all the peripherals, new rear main, new oil pan lip seals and RTV (no rubber gasket; per factory specs)
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**Fun Story - There's 1 Advance Auto Parts a short drive from me that used to be an independently-owned parts retail shop. When Advance bought them out, they tried to take away all the machines because they make more money selling new parts instead of fixing old parts.
There's a middle-aged guy there who somehow got Advance to let him keep some of the machines. Turns out he, still works there and he can resurface flywheels... $25.00 out the door. Amazing. Consider that a new OEM flywheel is >$700 and most reputable brands are at lest $200 for a replacement.

Mine wasn't bad; the guy said he only took 0.002" off of it to get it completely surfaced, which is within the factory service manual specification - probably could have just reused it as-is, but best not to risk it.
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^Old vs. new - old wasn't too bad, but definitely worth replacing.

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AP1GczNvfKHt79YZtQC1dxOM64ws97YH901y9B835T-uxdFNj-NqaX9dd1mu0x5eLs8mV1WpyqOQ1Pm9RmhSGPrFDl2TOAR1uYkBYRpasti-r6YhqN6WdX8Me4z_8Z2jZYEdHhN88Ccoxbg3HuWMpWtJtJZ6Ow=w1588-h1191-s-no-gm

^New clutch and cover installed. I did put a new pilot bushing in as well; just didn't take a picture.
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^New 1-piece driveshaft was kinda close to the old carrier bearing mount - I wasn't super comfortable with that since I do have lift springs and slightly longer shackles.

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^I cut off the carrier bearing mounts; crossmember already had a dip it in right there; driveshaft seems to have plenty of clearance for rear axle droop now.
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^Front differential and crossmembers going back in.


SUMMARY:


Goals achieved:
  1. Fix oil leak
    - Major leak fixed - time will tell if it's completely sealed.
  2. Replace clutch since the old one was getting really choppy to engage correctly
    - New clutch engages much smoother and pedal is much lighter.
  3. Reduce driveline vibrations (I had a hunch it was the carrier bearing...?)
    - Driveline vibrations are GONE; whether it was carrier bearing or otherwise, it's 100% better.

Fun project; I learned a lot, but I hope to not be doing it again any time soon - I'd rather be out wheeling on the weekend.

Cheers.
 

Wyo37

Member
Love this build. I've been passively looking for a factory supercharged frontier of this generation for a dedicated trail/hunting pickup. I think they're the perfect size (same goes for the early xterra)
 

paulforeman

Active member
Love this build. I've been passively looking for a factory supercharged frontier of this generation for a dedicated trail/hunting pickup. I think they're the perfect size (same goes for the early xterra)
Definitely - I love how small they are compared to other mid-size trucks. The supercharged option give the truck a more-useful amount of torque for getting in and out of the woods. The N/A wasn't bad until I had bigger tires and extra weight, but I am glad I have it for sure!
 

paulforeman

Active member
Moab Trip, 2024

Moab Trip 2022, Moab Trip 2021, "Moab" Trip 2020
^ Previous trip links.

Each year, we try to do about 50/50% new routes & activities vs. repeat stuff we know we like.
If you look back at the other trips we've done, you'd see a lot of familiar places.

I'm going to primarily just photo-dump so you can all be jealous of my Memorial day weekend.

Trip Highlights

  • Perfect weathers (highs in the low 80s!) and had almost no wind or rain
  • Isolated and quiet campsites
  • Drove over a bunch of dirt and rocks
  • Nobody broke anything (well, my brother's automatic shifter is messed up now, but that's fine...)
  • New clutch and driveshaft worked amazingly and I'm very glad to have had them done.
  • 2003 Lexus GX470 (brother's new rig. He previously had a 3rd gen 4runner in the other trip reports.)
  • 2023 Toyota Tacoma (bone stock, didn't even air down, but has rear locker. Driver is new to wheeling but driver and truck did well).
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^Day 1 campsite - a bit exposed, but the rocks provided good wind shelter and there was NOBODY else out there.
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^Day 2 campsite - the trail had some larger technical obstacles to get here, so again, nobody out here; very quiet evening. Lots of birds nesting in the rock wall to the right and it was cool to watch and listen to them diving around to catch bugs, etc.

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paulforeman

Active member
Forum post limit cut me off - here's some more images.

Plant Car Tire Sky Vehicle

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\
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Sky Vehicle

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Wheel Tire Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Plant

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^Very interesting to watch how these guys move around the sand.
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^A classic - we do this hike almost every year. It's about 8-9 miles round trip but basically flat, so it goes pretty quick
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^ Day 4 Campsite - forgot to take an actual picture but it was near the base of the La Sal range, right on the UT/CO boarder.
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^Back into Gateway, Colorado before driving home.

A good trip overall.

Cheers.
 

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