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hawairish last won the day on November 6

hawairish had the most liked content!

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About hawairish

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    NPORA Old-Timer
  • Birthday 01/17/1980

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  • Your Pathfinder Info
    2004 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4WD
  • Place of Residence
    Surprise, AZ
  • Mechanical Skill Level
    Standalone Tool Chest Mechanic
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  • What do you consider yourself?
    I Go When I Can
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  • Gender
  • Location
    Surprise, AZ
  • Country
    United States

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  1. Nah, those guys (plus TheexBrit) have gone a lot harder and farther than I have. (Saw that Stioc put his truck up for sale, too.)
  2. It's been a thought. I think I should part ways with my Frontier KC 2WD and want to find a 1st gen Frontier SC CC 4WD instead...which, of course, my lockers and brakes would be direct swaps to (and I've got an entire spare rear axle and suspension to make it 5-link rear, if I'm so inclined). Just a thought, though. I can't haul steel with an R50 unless I get a trailer. Not to say the truck can't get through obstacles. That's never been a problem. Always doing it gracefully, however...I think that's how my passenger slider ended up against the kick panel. Nay. But, I'd love to put a 2wd VQ into the Frontier if I keep it. Didn't see any mention of logs. Saw "Jersey beach" which had me thinking about sand, empty glass bottles, and some t-shirt joke about Jersey girls not being trash ("trash gets picked up"). I'm glad you have a different experience; I need to hear that, but also wanting to confirm our usage of 4L is the same. If your terrain can relate to what's in that video (that sums up my entire region and the trails I run) with prolonged grades and big dumb obstacles, and you're dropping to 4L to scale obstacles like those, then that's what I want to confirm. I'm not expecting it to idle over anything, but I don't think my expectations of the truck are unrealistic under throttle either. I assure you I've already built my truck up the way I want, and in terms of drivetrain and traction, the only core upgrade I've not done is crawler gears. Hard to not feel frustrated when I've taken all the right steps to make the truck more capable, only to realize its weakest link is probably some stupid transmission control module.
  3. Not sure we're apples-apples here. I have no problems driving in 4L on flat or moderate terrain. I don't think a beach and the desert terrain I'm usually on have much in common except some sand. The specific scenario I'm referring to is when climbing an obstacle, and the throttle build-up that occurs. At the slightest throttle change, the truck will either lunge forward or completely dump torque and roll back; there's no middle ground where it just "crawls". Comparing to a manual transmission, it'd be like pressing the clutch in when giving it a little gas, or revving up with the clutch at moderate pressure, and then just dumping the clutch pedal, where the vehicle won't stall, but it'll bump forward. There's no sweet spot where you've got just enough clutch pressure to give it some gas and it'll both move forward and slip just enough. My '08 Wrangler w/ 6MT was perfect for this, where you could be almost completely off the clutch and in 4L and the truck would just move. Here's the video from my latest trip that really put me at my tipping point. See specifically: https://youtu.be/hzffJ3nu-T4?t=230 — lots of rollback trying to avoid lunging up that rock just trying to position the truck. Around 5:38, I'm having to rev up quickly a few times to get any response and avoid rollback. https://youtu.be/hzffJ3nu-T4?t=1119 — especially at 18:52 where it just catches and goes. Spotter thinks I'm trying to kill everyone, but in reality, the revs sounded like they were holding. Both lockers were engaged and there was no slippage until the 1st lunge, when a boulder broke loose under my left-rear tire. During that obstacle (and clipped from the video, after I suggested needing a manual transmission) even the spotter said he could hear the truck flare/rev up excessively, not move, then just catch. https://youtu.be/hzffJ3nu-T4?t=1633 — in particular 27:39 and again 27:42...you can hear me trying to rev up just to move and barely get a response, then it just goes. Bear in mind I'm on a near 45° decline...how much throttle should I really even need?! The guys think I was going to launch it, and the whole time I was trying to feather it. For all I know, maybe I suck at driving this truck and should give it all up. I am absolutely not the type of wheeler who just guns it through obstacles; frankly, I hate those sort of people. But what irks me the most is looking like some reckless idiot with no regard for his truck, when I'm not even remotely out to damage or destroy my truck (though it is an accepted risk). @Mr_Reverse, admittedly, my two-pedal does need work and it is something I practice on occasion...I'm just never comfortable doing it. I don't trust my right foot enough. I'd rather pull the e-brake and throttle up. @adamzan, I'd totally take that response-and-lunge over this no-response-and-lunge any day. The throttle response in my truck is quite responsive, but not knowing when it's going to connect is frustrating. Anyway, this thread can probably die at this point. There's probably nothing "fixable" on the truck, so I either suck it up or get rid of it.
  4. Seems like the consensus, then, is that the DBW is too sensitive...though, that may be synonymous with "more responsive", and ultimately by-design? It could be just that my driving sucks, though I'm definitely not a run-and-gun wheeler. Being that I wheel with a lot of D40/N40 guys, I would have expected similar behavior from their trucks, but I've not observed that. They have a considerably better crawl ratio (33.9:1 for a 5/AT, vs. 26.1:1 in mine), and I wonder if that makes that much of a difference.
  5. If you’re feeling it in the steering wheel, it’s probably an issue up front. If it was any sort of wobble or vibration, I’d say rear driveshaft or trailing arms. When you torqued all the trailing arm bolts, was the truck on the ground?
  6. Just to clarify something about the SFD talk...main takeaway is that the engine (among other things) is supported by a subframe on the truck. @TowndawgR50's recommendation earlier is to loosen the subframe so that it'll allow the transmission to tip down at the rear so you can get access to the upper bellhousing bolts with ratchet extensions and such. The process I've used is for installing SFDs is to replace the rear bolts of the subframe with longer bolts (such as the trailing arm bolts) so that the subframe slides down the bolts while staying aligned with the chassis. It adds a little effort to the process since other nuts and bolts get loosened, and needing to support the subframe a bit, but otherwise, without doing it, you'd have to put some flex on the motor mounts to access those upper bolts. That's not to say it can't be done without loosening the subframe.
  7. Good info, thanks. It gets me wondering if perhaps easing off the throttle a little once it's going is what's causing it to 'dump pressure'. Like, it builds up revs and eventually stalls, but the slightest throttle drop resets. You can see in those videos there were several moments where the trucks starts moving up and then rolls back down—that's me trying to limit the build up of revs to prevent the lunging once it's going, where I expect the truck to maintain pace and just crawl up. Unfortunately, if I don't ease off the throttle over the crest, it looks like I'm gunning it. If I ease off the throttle, it looks like the truck can't even make the climb. There's no middle ground. I think my scanner can monitor and record throttle. I may have to look into that. Throttle body and intake should still be pretty clean, just did all that maybe a year ago. Notably, my TB is "rebuilt"...I had taken it apart to clean the contacts, even though it is not intended to be serviceable. My truck has previously thrown codes related to mismatched "A/B" signals, but all that went away when I rebuilt the TB. I ran diagnostics and re-learn tests on it at the time, so I think the system is behaving correctly. Previously, the issues would cause the truck to stutter and would cancel cruise control and such...no issues like that since. In reality, this is probably just going to be something I have to learn to live with. I do have a small RMS leak, so there's also a decent possibility that I go with crawler gears if I'm going to go through all that work to pull the trans down. Given the stall speeds above, I would expect this issue to largely cease because the RPMs would be higher, but I'm not sure it really solves the problem completely.
  8. You could've just swapped the axle shafts over and transferred any brake parts. The shaft bearings are contained in a bearing cup that removes with the axle shaft. Unless you wanted the diff and LSD, too...even then, once the axle shafts were pulled, the diff could be swapped. Anyway, glad it's resolved for you.
  9. I don't think I've had an issue with pedal sensitivity, though. The engine revs accordingly to pedal pressure as far as I can tell, but there's just a total lack of a positive connection between engine and transmission. I'm partially accusing the DBW system of babying my throttle or some weak electrical logic, but mainly accusing the transmission of just not hooking up gradually at lower RPMs. I'm not an AT kind of person (this was my first AT vehicle actually), so for all I know this is just "normal" (and crappy). But, I think the fact that the truck largely remains stationary at idle (unless on a totally flat surface, and even then doesn't pull hard at idle) is odd. Even my Telluride wants to get moving when I take a foot off the brake. That sounds like it. Converting to DBC is basically not possible/practical. New gas pedal, all the cables, new cruise control system, all wiring and controllers. I swear the only remnant on the DBC version in ours is the throttle cable bracket on the upper plenum, and no clue why Nissan even left that in when there's nothing attached to it.
  10. I've griped about the AT in the past, but something that's really been bugging me is the drive-by-wire + AT on my 04 when off road, particularly in 4L. The main issue I have is that the truck doesn't crawl at all...it revs and revs and revs and does nothing, and then lunges forward once there's enough revs. I completely despise it about my truck. My offroad outing the other day, and watching the video of it, straight out embarasses me because it looks amateurish, but I know I'm barely even throttling it and you can hear the engine slowly revving up in response. I keep the trans in "1" when in 4L, so it's not a product of a shift either. My question, however...is this normal for anyone else?? Keeping in mind that 03-04 R50 and I think only 03 QX4 have drive-by-wire, I suspect all the drive-by-cable AT guys don't have this problem. I have no driveability issues otherwise. The transmission is responsive all other times, including 4H (this might be hard to substantiate because when I'm in 4H, I'm usually not going slow or not needing to ease up to speed from a stop). I don't suspect issues with the torque converter. My truck doesn't even idle up my driveway, though which has a very moderate slope. By comparison, the FJ80 I've been working on for months will storm up my driveway in idle. The truck accelerates well, and I don't feel any sort of slipping at low or high speeds. Given that, is there something else to consider? I'm considering crawler gears, but not if it just means I'll have to rev higher to get the same results. Is there some way to put a low-speed lock on the TC? Should I crash it into a wall and find an 02 instead? Is there an issue with the transmission I'm not aware of?
  11. What I enjoy about these events is being the underdog. I'm always the smallest truck there. The guys in these groups have some really nice Xterras and Frontiers, sporting 4"-6" lifts, 33"-35" tires, some SAS'd. They're not used to seeing some puny "stock" R50 in the group on 32" street tires, so usually I just keep to myself before hitting the trails. By the end of the day, there's a lot more respect and questions about the truck, so I really appreciate that. But yeah, honestly, I'm embarrassed to see the truck lunging like that. It is hands-down the thing I despise more than anything on my truck. I have no doubts about the truck making it through an obstacle, but it simply can't crawl. Crawler gears are always on my mind, but I'm not sure it's enough improvement. Here's a video the event two years ago with the same spotter, and it caught him off-guard there, too. It's most notable around the 1:10 mark...
  12. Well, two years later and Cargo Rack v2 exists now. It's not quite done...I jammed on it all last week, late every night (seriously, I hard slept) so that it would be somewhat usable for the CANVAZ 2019 trip over the weekend. From prior posts here, the issue was clearance for the fridge, and there was just no easy way to re-work v1 to make it fit. So, I bought some more steel and got to it. Same considerations as before, but I struggled to find a similar configuration that let me keep my two crates and incorporate the fridge. The floor space in our trucks just simply isn't wide enough, in my opinion. The anchor mount positions are inconveniently and oddly located, too. I spent countless hours redesigning a setup that met my needs, only to realize there was just another issue to resolve. I think I went through about 5-6 designs in total...it was exhaustive, to say the least. ... Rewinding for a moment...I bought a fridge slide several months ago for a long road trip in our new Telluride. Here's how that project turned out, btw... I've been meaning to do a write-up, but basically, I'm using a cheap solar charge controller to regulate the charging on a 35Ah Harbor Freight sealed battery. The fridge runs off the 2nd battery when the car is off, and runs on the car's battery (while the 2nd battery charges) when the car was running. This was good enough to keep the fridge running in the car overnight. However, for part of my trip, we stayed in cities for two nights, and the lack of driving the 2nd day didn't charge the battery enough. Not that we kept perishable foods in there, so it wasn't problematic. ... Anyway, it was already planned to use that the slide and battery setup over to the truck. The fridge slide is a bit oversized for the fridge, so it's one of the reasons I struggled to get suitable dimensions on this redesign. Another issue was the anchoring to the truck. I did not want to take the same approach on v1, where the feet hang off the frame wherever. I was playing with some ideas for a rail for the rack to slide onto, but that also became a little problematic and somewhat of a waste of resources. I opted to make floor mounts that squared up the positions, so that eventually I can make another floor rack that's suited for other purposes (noting that v1 and v2 have been specifically for camping use because they incorporate a slot for a table...not something I really need for any other use). The mounts use simple 2.5"L x 1.5"W x 0.75"H plywood spacers, and then two pieces of 0.250" plate welded together. The spacers are needed to clear the carpet and such. The metal parts allow me to recess the socket bolts and to give me anchor points. I bent them up to help guide the rack in (this is where I wanted a rail of some sort to connect the front and rear mounts), but also to keep the rack from striking the hatch opening. Shown attached... For mounting the rack, I welded in some round steel tube to prevent the square tube from collapsing when bolted down. I then added in a 3/4" plywood base on the lowest level, since this anchored down my tool box. The upper shelves use 1/2". I welded in tabs to support all the shelves, and screws are used underneath to hold them in. I still need to add some expanded steel on the upper hoops behind the head rests, and better/more tie down points for the upper shelves, and complete the shelf area above the fridge space. I apparently don't have a pic of the rack filled up. But it looks like this: The slots left of the fridge are for a crate+lid, and then a dedicated spot for ratchet set. The space in front is where my toolbox is. The 2nd battery mounts to the right of the fridge. Ignore some of the wireframes in there...I used those to mimic the wheelwells and hatch opening. As you can see in the sketch, there will be another tailgate, but that's another issue in itself. Finally, one fundamental change about this design vs. v1 is that the rack slides directly in and out; it doesn't require me to turn it at an angle. That's why I was trying for the rail approach, just to make it easier to move in and out. The width at its widest is 46", and is 34" wide at the top bar. Rack height (excluding mount height) is 30". Max depth is 31" at the main level, and shortens to 24" at the upper shelves to account for the seatbacks, which can recline up to 3 notches.
  13. Well, this event has come and gone. Almost didn't make it, but found my way there. Long story short, I spent many sleepless nights working on a project (cargo rack v2) during the week, and it was hardly finished come time to leave. I left my house way later than I wanted, and it was after my kids returned from school. They were happy to see me, but bummed to not go (they wanted to but also wanted to stay home for other things over the weekend). I was bummed not going with my little buddy, and he was pretty upset, so I almost just flipped around to head home, scrap the trip, and just get some much needed rest. As soon as I hit the freeway—literally seconds after merging on—I realized that my R51 buddy (Vic) in my local group was right in my blind spot and working his way up to the event. So we pulled off at the next exit and caught up, and I was convinced to head up. I'm glad I did. I only got one trail day in on Saturday, since we had arrived late on Friday and everyone had pretty much headed home by Sunday. The trail day Saturday is what's below. Unfortunately, Vic realized that one of his front CVs wasn't engaged and we couldn't get him past the 1st obstacle. We suspect it was broken before the trail, but it left him in 3wd and unable to continue. You can see in the 1st pic we were already coming down some big steps...for what it's worth, his truck made it back up that step in 3wd after he had to turn around! Something I've really come to hate about my truck is the drive-by-wire + AT setup when in 4L. I've got a few appearances in the 1st video, but you can see in each scene that it looks like my truck is lunging through obstacles. The reality is that I'm feathering the throttle, and am slowly increasing the revs before the torque converter just grabs and goes. You can hear the rev-ups, too. Then the slightest pedal-off drops the truck. You can see the spotters reacting to it, as if they think I'm gunning it. Fact is, I'm applying gas as slowly as I can. I totally hate it...I'll have a separate post about it, hoping to find a solution. Anyway, enjoy. I did an interview for a Nissan Nation Podcast, too, so I'll post that up if it comes to fruition.
  14. I agree: bad suspension wouldn't contribute to bearing failure. Bearing replacement process for WD21 and R50 is the same. A floor press is required unless you've got hands on the Nissan service toolkit. That kit doesn't require a press and is pretty clever...provisions to remove the ABS tone ring and bearings. Otherwise, getting the tone ring off is a little tricky, as is loosening the bearing nut (the nut is recessed into the bearing cup) short of just punching it loose. In general, handling the entire axle shaft to change the bearings is a bit of a PITA. Bearings aren't too expensive; replacement seals are inexpensive. I would imagine having the work done at a shop, start-to-finish is probably on the expensive side...guessing in the $600-$1000 range. But, if you've pulled the axle shafts and provide it to a shop, probably $250 (I believe that's what I was quoted to having the same work done when planning my disc brake swap by a local shop).
  15. No, it’s the nuts that are not supposed to be reused. Replace bolts as necessary.

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