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zakzackzachary

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zakzackzachary last won the day on August 17

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About zakzackzachary

  • Rank
    NPORA Regular

Previous Fields

  • Your Pathfinder Info
    2000 SE (R50)
  • Place of Residence
    Pacific NW
  • Mechanical Skill Level
    Standalone Tool Chest Mechanic
  • Your Age
    22-29
  • What do you consider yourself?
    Weekend Warrior
  • Model
    SE
  • Year
    2000

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  • Location
    Kitsap

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  1. #Replacement of spark plugs and wires. In preparation for an upcoming camping trip with some friends, I swapped out my sparkplugs and wires. Nothing crazy, but a little peace of mind, although that didn't help much... #WABDR Went out and did sections 2-4 of the WABDR route, from Packwood to Ardenvoir, WA. Loaded up with firewood and gear: Right off the bat- some awesome views: Day 1 I had a pretty major failure at approximately 1500hrs that ended up burning just about exactly 24 hrs. My front drivers strut top nut popped off allowing the strut to drop down into the wheel well. This issue exhibited itself as the wheel camber going bananas. After failing to get it lined up again just to limp it down the mountain I removed the entire strut assembly, carefully, as now nothing was compressing my spring. We loaded all of my stuff into the other vehicles and made camp nearby for the night. The following morning we began our game plan to get down off the mountain and into the closest town of Naches to look for a replacement. Without phone service we couldn't call/check for parts ahead of time. We burned hours following dead-end roads that fell just barely short of hitting the highway in the valley. At this point I was able to get a message off to a few forum members and @TowndawgR50 was able to locate and reserve the strut parts I needed in Yakima. The group decided to stop trying to shortcut and just backtrack the way we came which ended up working way easier... Down in Yakima I rebuilt the front strut using a rental spring compressor and back up the mountain we went. Reinstallation was a breeze thanks to all the tools we brought, and we headed off to camp just north of Ellensburg. The strut worked great for the rest of the trip! The reason for my failure is multi-faceted, I'll try to explain below (TLDR at bottom): CAUSE: A while back I upgraded to OME HD springs, I didn't want to mess with compressing them myself so I hired a shop to rebuild them with the new KYB strut, top hat, and strut bearing. Here is issue one- the shop built them incorrectly probably due to not being familiar with the OEM vs aftermarket. The stock top hat includes a tubular portion that extends downward. The chamfered strut piston extends into this tube and pokes out the top- that's where you put your top hat nut. The piston also has a shoulder and the shoulder sits on the tubular portion thereby taking up weight. The aftermarket top hats do not have this cylinder attached, they provide it as a separate piece. The shop did not install this piece which then allowed the strut piston to push up further than normal with more threads. More weight and stress during operation was put on just the little chamfered hole in the top hat which eventually sheared off allowing the piston to push up further into the hole. Although the top hat nut was orignally torqued (supported by the chamfered hole), once the chamfer was sheared, the piston was now free to extend upwards another 1" leaving free space between the top nut and the top hat. Articulating the strut caused the piston to move up and down in the hole and exposed threads acted as a saw enlarging the hole. REPAIR 1: At this point I notice the clunking and check. What the heck! I look in the box of leftover strut parts from the shop (It had my old top hats, the new bearings?, and some other stuff in it...) and found the 1" metal spacers. At the time I didn't know the chamfered hole was sheared so I thought this was the natural state- that I had just forgotten to torque the top nut down after loading the strut with vehicle weight. I removed the top nut and see the galled up threads, just really bad. Only thing I can think of is that the metal spacer is supposed to go on top before the nut so I do just that. I attempt to torque down the top nut, but it's cross threaded from the galled up threads... Major mistake- I gave it more elbow grease and basically friction welded the nut on. Amateur hour. At this point the top nuts on basically both struts are cross threaded, stuck, and not fully seated. I get out a grinder and cut the nuts off, further damaging the threaded piston a bit more. I use a die to clean up the threads and put new top nuts on. At this point I'm able to get it torqued down to spec, albeit on questionable threads. I also wasn't sure if the top hat hole was always oblong or not. FFW the strut explodes and I rebuild it in an O'Reilly parking lot. This time I rebuilt the strut myself. I figure the 1" metal spacer goes on top, so I install everything together and the there's not enough piston sticking through the top hat to put the spacer on?? In fact, there's enough thread for me to just seat the top hat nut without the spacer... Weird! Later I realize this is because the chamfer still exists and is keeping the strut from pushing up as far as I was used to seeing. I torque the top hat nut and move on. ORDERING NEW PARTS: After the trail rebuild I figured that strut was good now, but I wanted to fix the passenger side which I knew also had the issue. I ordered a new front passenger strut and a spring compressor with the plan to re-use the old top hats that I had left over from the shop rebuild. REPAIR 2: I had the parts to rebuild the passenger side, but first I wanted to start by disassembling and inspecting the trail-repaired drivers side. I disassembled it and found that the strut was dead! Leaking oil everywhere. I was able to return it thankfully and quickly ordered a replacement strut. I needed to understand the 1" metal spacer deal more, I didn't feel like it was right. After pinging some forum members, @RainGoat was able to provide me with a copy-paste he had saved with some information that settled it for me. I was able to identify the differences noted in the CAUSE section where the stock top hat has the tube built in and the aftermarket one with it separate. I rebuilt the struts with this new knowledge and have had no issues since. You live and you learn. I've not rebuilt these damn things so many times I could do it blindfolded. #Replacement of front/rear suspension While I was rebuilding the front I also swapped in new ball joints, tie rod ends, and A-arm assembly that includes the bushings. In the rear I installed new NRC9449 Land Rover springs with Bilstein 5125s. This set-up is the same lift as the NRC9447 springs, but with a higher spring rate to compensate for load a bit more. While installing the rear suspension I discovered a cross threaded lug nut. OF COURSE. Was it me? Was it the shop that recently put my tires on? After my ugga-dugga experience with the struts I've been super careful to avoid cross threading... Anyway, I replace the stud and nut, and also put eyes on the rear brakes that'll be a project for another day. How about some fun pics? More from WABDR: Diagnosing a weird clunking on the 4Runner, turned out to be something easy- a missing washer in his caliper assembly that he never had since buying the car. We were able to identify it since we had two of the same model to compare. Recent trip to the beach: Most recently I pulled my front fender flares off to clean beneath and found a nice hidden pile of dirt, but no rust!
  2. It seems okay. Although I've never experienced it with a full antenna since mine came broken off. I mostly use it with my Bluetooth-radio set-up which is close proximity though.
  3. Slightly off-topic, but if you replace with a stubby I'd recommend finding a bendy stubby antenna. I got a stubby, but it's rigid. Hasn't been a problem so far, but I drive through a lot of brush and one day it's gonna get snagged...
  4. Good question and something I never addressed. If you scroll back you'll see the pics I took of the long junkyard Yakima bars I got. The basket is mounted to the factory rails, which on my model are a bit higher than some others. The cross bars then fit underneath and mount straight to the roof rails, the length is long so they extend out enough to mount the kayak. Works well and I can remove the bars if I want, but I've just been leaving them.
  5. If I recall correctly, new CV axles don't come with a new snap ring, so you may need to acquire one if yours is indeed missing. You You should be able to pop the hub cap off (~1.5" diameter cap in the middle of your lug studs) and wipe down the grease and look. Obviously if your axle slid out it's probably missing, but maybe it's still in the cap? Worth looking.
  6. I wish there was a solution to push the hatch up higher though! I don't know if we can though without more interference.
  7. My parents came down to visit me and we decided on a little camping/kayaking adventure in the Olympics. The Pathfinder was loaded up with enough gear for 4 adults, one dog, and two kayaks. The vehicle worked great! I'm definitely itching to do some more updates/upgrades, trying to hold off until fall and winter though. Parents next to the load out! Getting up to elevation. Cool side view. Tire carrier + heavy drawers (need to rebuild) + gear and the truck levels out. I'd like to lift the rear up more to compensate. At camp. It was fun to see the Pathfinder loaded out! I enjoy these short trips because it helps me practice planning/packing for future trips.
  8. This was a fun project, how are you liking it? Any thoughts on continuing to trim away?
  9. Another mission success! I got this on a little bit ago, but haven't had a chance to post pics. You can find way more pics/info in my build thread here.
  10. Alright folks, I finally got around to installing my tire carrier. Special thanks to everyone in the R50 Tire Carrier Mod: Lets Settle This! post. I thoroughly went through that and studied everything in preparation for this. Special tools I picked up include the following: M10 Rivet Nut 95105A199 (hinges) M10 bolts 91280A636 (hinge bolts) M8 Rivet Nuts 95105A191 (lower latch) Astro Rivet Nut Kit Rivet Tool (lower hatch plate) 1.5 x 1.5" x 1/8" thick angle aluminum First step was to mock up the carrier to get an idea of where the lower mounting hardware needed to be bolted. Then I took off the bumper to check to see if there were the OEM cutout locations- Indeed there were cutouts! I used a hot X-acto blade to easily trim out the holes. At this point I wanted to get the lower latch hardware finished first so I can use it to hold the carrier while I do the hinge portion. I trimmed 1" off one side of the 1.5" angle aluminum, that way it can tuck under toward the vehicle a bit. I tested the rivnuts, seem to work well! I transferred my hardware marks from the metal bumper to my aluminum and used a step bit to drill out the holes, then finished them to the rivnut size of 13.5mm (17/32") using a hard-to-find bit. Both the M8 and M10 required the same hole size. I drilled two small holes to temporarily rivet the aluminum to the vehicle, then used the holes I drilled in the aluminum to drill the holes in the bumper for the rivnuts. The aluminum was then removed and the rivnuts were installed- Then the aluminum went back on. The rivnuts have a washer-head that's larger than the hole, so when you put the aluminum back on it sandwiches the rivnut. I drilled out a bunch of holes and installed rivets to hold it in place. Took no time at all. From here it was as simple as bolting on all the lower hardware. Note: unlike some, I did not have the swing gate door ajar sensor wiring left in the bumper. Hinge time. I put some protective tape down and removed the inner plastic trim to get access to behind the vehicle skin- With the carrier mounted up, locked into the lower latch, I marked out my hole locations. Using pilot holes, I started with the ones I could reach with the carrier closed. Lots of removing, testing, drilling, removing, looking, etc. Eventually I got enough holes in to start the rivnuts. The most aft two holes on each hinge are in very difficult to reach locations, I opted to just rivnut those. The side holes are accessable relatively easily from the inside so I fished nylocks with washers onto those. Fully assembled! I have a license plate bracket + light combo in the mail. I think I'll use the rivnut gun again and mount it on the hatch to the driver's side of the tire carrier. And of course, a tribute to the ruster that I pulled the carrier from: Junkyard bonus stuff- Got these 5' long Yakima crossbars with mounts that work on the OEM Pathfinder rails. Here I am testing them on a junker: Also scored me one of them fancy string dampers for the glove box.
  11. That's an interesting idea for a storage location... I'll have to check it out.
  12. It's definitely not gonna hold a whole lot of weight, but works well for just a few things! It was a cheapo, I got it at Walmart.
  13. Knocked out about 560 miles round trip on a long drive down to the Columbia River Gorge. Kicked it around Hood River before heading up into the mountains on the Washington side to camp for the night. Dropped down to 34*F overnight, ouch! It'll be nice when the weather warms up. Here you can see the high-tech branch deflection device I turned my fold out table into. The path to this campsite was covered in lots of low hanging branches and they were getting caught on my new bag. The rest of the car is definitely SCRATCH CITY, but that's what I got it for! And next to a modern Pathfinder- Got home and had to pressure wash the mud off! One of the puddles I splashed through must have had a bunch of horse manure in it...
  14. I've been lazy lately, but I'm finally moving forward with the rear tire carrier! I ordered rivnuts and bolts from McMaster (hopefully shipping isn't outrageous since they don't tell you what it'll be...), my current game plan is to go with rivnuts in the hard to reach spots, and either a metal plate+washer+nuts or larger fender washer+nuts (nylock). I'll update when I get around to doing it. Here's a fun little update- me and some friends went out and were just doing some trail driving. Found a little hilly challenge and decided to give it a go. Definitely steeper than it looks in the video! Pathfinder made it up just fine Also, slightly off topic, but kayaking went great:

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