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Jax99

02 Pathfinder (R50) Overland Build *UPDATE

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Hey y’all!
 
Doing a little update on what’s been going on with the Pathy and some upgrades hawairish and I plan to tackle this weekend.
 
For starters, this Pathy already fell into my hands with a
-3” SFD
-4.636 gear swap
-R200 Lokka
-H233B LSD rear diff (repacked @ 150 lb/ft torque)
-airlift 1000
-3” strut spacers
-2” coil spacers
-Warren Manual hubs
 
And much more in the link below
 
http:// https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/2002-pathfinder-r50-overland-build.134475/
 
Originally this pathfinder was Duke90’s, my brother, he then later sold it to me and I’ve had the truck over the last 10 months or so.
 
As his was, this Pathy is also my DD and within the first month I notice some pulling and vibration on the passenger side wheel which eventually became so severe I had to garage it till I could tow it out for repair. The damage from what I later understood was a crack on the subframe cross arm which attaches also to my control arm. That side of the frame was completely torn from the bolt.
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*I assume this was initially caused by some prior trips we did in the Pathy. Never heavily offroaded but did do 300+ miles of various overlanding terrain with no ‘missing link’. I’m assuming this initially created some sort of damage that had slowly got progressively worse. I figure it must of been a drop or rough hit because the damage needed a lot of force for such a tear to occur.
 
I had great difficulty finding a fabrication shop willing to take on the repair. I mean not even collision centers wanted to touch it but from one referral to another I finally got in touch with tnj performance and got my Pathy back on the road again.
Note: the truck sat till around the middle of August (with frequent starts to continuously run fluids).
 
Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to be in touch with hawairish and added a aluminum mid-skid and ‘missing-link’ to the truck. I’ve taken it on my first 4x4 trip to cathedral valley/canyon lands/ spider rock/ Tucson and then Anza borrego on the SoCal xterra event and ocotillo Wells after. Have had no problems then and since the trip so all seems clear with the repair. (Put roughly 4K miles on during this time)
 
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As for the parts update
This weekend [user]hawairish[/user] and I are planning to do
-LR Defender 90 Rear coil springs
#NRC9448
-Bilstein 5165s
#25-261400
-Viair 485c OBA install
 
Keeping the rear spacers this should bring the Pathy up to a 4” lift in the rear and the much added convenience of OBA that also future proofs the Pathy for adding air-lockers if eventually decided.
IMG_1128.thumb.jpg.9f3b5697597d52be2ffdcf15ab6e37ef.jpg
 
I’m happy to have this truck and looking forward to all the additions we’ll go through and trips we’ll make through the years.
 
 
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As for the parts update
This weekend [user]hawairish[/user] and I are planning to do
-LR Defender 90 Rear coil springs
#NRC9448
-Bilstein 5165s
#25-261400
 
Keeping the rear spacers this should bring the Pathy up to a 4” lift in the rear

Congratulations on acquiring such a well built & pretty truck. Also, really sorry to hear about that failure but you certainly know the repair was worthwhile even if a PITA.

You are going to be right where I am headed with my truck (not a terrible surprise given I’m consulting heavily with@hawairish &@TowndawgR50 for guidance). Fantastically, you are about to definitively answer a question I’ve had.@TowndawgR50 has been VERY happy with his LR NRC9448s & Bilstein 5165s. So much so that last weekend he convinced me to go with the 5165s over the 5100s or 5125s. He, however, runs a 6” lift, whereas I’m looking at a 3-4” SFD. My research in the next week or so was to figure out the right part# for the 5165 for my rig. Let me know how that one (25-261400) works out because, if it fits & functions properly, I’m ordering mine as soon as I have confirmation from the two of you. Awesome timing & thanks for posting!
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You're in great hands. @hawairish is the man. 

 

I love the 5160's paired up with the LR springs. I run the wider, open forest routes up here (Scenic Mtn Loop Hwy) at a pretty good clip( 30-50mph) and the type of grading they do creates 2 1/2ft wide wash boarding thats about 4-6" deep from peak to shallow.  With my old OME MD springs and 5100's I'd get rear end "float" and the truck never felt stable in those conditions, especially in cornering. Now the truck is tight, easy to control at speed and corners with no rear end "float". I think you're going to love them. 

 

Make sure to check for clearance at full droop and compression. Depending on your wheel/tire offet you may need yo make some adjustments to avoid contact with the shocks and reservoir.

 

What reservoir clamp hardware are you going with?

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I think @hawairish probably already brought this up with you but I'd reccomend keeping your rear sway bar intact. There is no noticeable gain in flex with it removed and the truck will flex tons with your setup. 

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You're in great hands. [mention=36148]hawairish[/mention] is the man. 
 
I love the 5160's paired up with the LR springs. I run the wider, open forest routes up here (Scenic Mtn Loop Hwy) at a pretty good clip( 30-50mph) and the type of grading they do creates 2 1/2ft wide wash boarding thats about 4-6" deep from peak to shallow.  With my old OME MD springs and 5100's I'd get rear end "float" and the truck never felt stable in those conditions, especially in cornering. Now the truck is tight, easy to control at speed and corners with no rear end "float". I think you're going to love them. 
 
Make sure to check for clearance at full droop and compression. Depending on your wheel/tire offet you may need yo make some adjustments to avoid contact with the shocks and reservoir.
 
What reservoir clamp hardware are you going with?


I saw bilstein has their own reservoir clamps but the set came with two metal clamps. I’ll probably just keep it simple and use those.

Man that sounds perfect, many overlanding trips I’ve done have been rather lengthy over technical and sometimes I wouldn’t mind speeding through a bit over washboards. The extra reservoir should definitely help me out there.

Nice build btw! Remember when joining Npora you were one of the first thread binge reads I did along with hawairish’s thread. Musta stayed up hours haha, awesome truck and those roads you hit up north are really nice.


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Yea, Bilstein kinda deceived buyers with the shown billet clamp on advertising and product info pics. I wasnt aware they only supplied the band clamps until I got my shocks and opened the box. Somewhat pissed at the deception I made my own reservoir clamps and removed the Bilstein badging. If you're interested in a custom set of clamps let me know.  

 

Thanks man. I was in the same boat. When i first joined @hawairishwas one of the first profiles I binged on. He is a great source of knowledge, experience and talent and super nice guy to boot. 

 

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I’m a former Phoenician & you see much rougher as well as longer washboarded roads in the SW. I’m also in the retain the sway bar camp as most of my former travels were overlanding in character. The SW has plenty of long, flattish washboard road, especially up in the high desert. In fact, it was cutting across BLM1025 from Fredonia to Wire Pass & behind the swell in UT where I fell in love with Toyota’s KDSS on my Mom’s T4R. That’s exactly the kind of road we’re talking about. Another infamous one like that is NM57/Navajo SR14 on the way up to Chaco Canyon. Oh yeah, the Mojave Trail West of the Kelso Cima road is an incredibly long run of moguls where you’ll feel the difference for sure. You definitely will be well served by those 5165s.

 

 

 

 

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Congratulations on acquiring such a well built & pretty truck. Also, really sorry to hear about that failure but you certainly know the repair was worthwhile even if a PITA.

You are going to be right where I am headed with my truck (not a terrible surprise given I’m consulting heavily with[mention=36148]hawairish[/mention] &[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] for guidance). Fantastically, you are about to definitively answer a question I’ve had.[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] has been VERY happy with his LR NRC9448s & Bilstein 5165s. So much so that last weekend he convinced me to go with the 5165s over the 5100s or 5125s. He, however, runs a 6” lift, whereas I’m looking at a 3-4” SFD. My research in the next week or so was to figure out the right part# for the 5165 for my rig. Let me know how that one (25-261400) works out because, if it fits & functions properly, I’m ordering mine as soon as I have confirmation from the two of you. Awesome timing & thanks for posting!


Hopefully all will work but ran the closest shock height I could get to copying hawairish’s rear set up. The ‘25-261400’ was from the 15-18 Ford F-150 and has....
Collapsed Length (IN): 17.52
Extended Length (IN): 29.44

After a ton of reading you forget some things such as I cant remember being 5125s, I call 5160’s which are now 5165s... why the number changes ? I have no clue.

If you find your intended CL/EL go to summit racing parts and they have a whole list of sizes
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They seem to be low on stock so I ended up getting mine on eBay



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My ears were burning, so I came to the thread to see all those mentions for me, lol. 

 

Yeah, the 9448s are great. Excellent support, excellent ride. I think the only issue I’m having is too much lift between those and the 2” spacers, I may take .5” off them.  We may have to explore that option this weekend, too, again since he’s got an indentical suspension setup (sans shocks... I’m too poor for Bilsteins.)

 

@RainGoat He’s actually coming in from Anaheim. Dude’s built like a tank and going to BYU next year to play football. Hoping we’ll sync up for some UT wheeling and maybe even get up there to watch him play. 

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My ears were burning, so I came to the thread to see all those mentions for me, lol. 
 
Yeah, the 9448s are great. Excellent support, excellent ride. I think the only issue I’m having is too much lift between those and the 2” spacers, I may take .5” off them.  We may have to explore that option this weekend, too, again since he’s got an indentical suspension setup (sans shocks... I’m too poor for Bilsteins.)
 
[mention=40800]RainGoat[/mention] He’s actually coming in from Anaheim. Dude’s built like a tank and going to BYU next year to play football. Hoping we’ll sync up for some UT wheeling and maybe even get up there to watch him play. 


I totally would be down to join up for some trips. When or if the time comes lemme know. I’ll be in off road heaven up there!


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When I lived in PHX, I had a buddy in the Valley, so I’ve done that drive a few times. If you guys are ever putting together a joint UT Path trip & don’t mind a shotgun, let me know. For the past 3 years I’ve been flying down to SLC to meet my Mom for part of her Overlanding trips. SLC is an easy flight & super cheap on AK Air points from SeaTac.

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I've noticed the rear end float on the OME meds, but I am poor so I have to Shek it, "that'll do donkey, that'll do".  Totally jelly at the SFD and being albe to do all those mods in one sitting.  Congrats btw.

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Having been out with jax, he definitely has a solid and capable truck. It would be sweet if we could do some sort of annual meet up in the southwest. Pathfinders only! That reminds me...I need more lift.


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68d6dcee09d311abdcbe327bcac9968e.jpg

Back to Cali we go, cheers to [user]hawairish[/user] on many more meets and trips to come!

Learned a new lesson called F*%# Pneumatics in a quick 4 day 50+ hour class. Final result was really really good, artful in a sense. Updates to come.


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Looking forward to hearing about those LR Springs & Bilstein 5165s

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1 minute ago, RainGoat said:

Looking forward to hearing about those LR Springs & Bilstein 5165s

 

Me too (and I know how they turned out!). He’s probably still recovering from the weekend!  He got to experience firsthand the marathon workload his brother and I did the last time the truck was in my garage...despite having “only” three things to do this time around (shocks, springs, compressor), it was far from being simple installs.  We put in some really long hours, I felt pretty bad with how long all the mods took, but the end result seems worth it and I think the community will be pleased by the work.  I got some pics, but I’ll wait for him to show-and-tell!

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Haha sorry for the late update... definitely a busy weekend and week too back home...

The 5165s and LR springs are a match made in heaven. Did 400 miles since the install and cruised through some basic terrain and the ride runs muchhhhh smoother than with my previous set up with ome and 5100s

Would like to hit up holy Jim trail down here this weekend and see how it runs


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3ee8e2921e5d88113582190be617dfa3.jpg
Rear install, will do a size comparison pic later this week when I get a chance.

ce2853d38764968a2f1cef51390ad67d.jpg
Shock mount required to have refitted 5/8 size bushings. Took some work to grind a simple shock bearing out. It may look like a small issue but these required some thought and work to get a clean cut and fit to not damage the shock mounts. The metal sleeve that bilstein makes these with is permanently fitted to the rubber eye so it will all need to be removed (we used a drill press and floor press to get the bushing removed) and then just fitted in a 5/8 eye. * I’ll include part numbers in a summary post *


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The air compressor was definitely the biggest part of the project that required custom fabrication of mounting brackets, which came out top notch thanks to [user]hawairish[/user]. There was a solid 40+ hours into the compressor install which I’m sure hawairish can fill in more about than I can.

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My engine bay is that of an 02 pathfinder which I believe should be identical to 00-02 pathfinders (i may be wrong). We initially drew up all the prints to mount the compressor in the rear underneath the car but then playing around with the engine bay we saw a possibility to mount it on the right side and re-align the fuse box.

I have a viair 485c compressor, we took off the factory mounts and repositioned the compressor to its side where we have atleast a quarter inch clearance from the hood when fully closed. There is a custom bracket that mounts two of the legs on the viair and then a third leg is supported by a inch and half or so spaced where there’s a bolt and a washer keeping it mounted.....
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I’ll do another update where i unmount the compressor and show the actual brackets on both the fuse box and the viair

Mind you we used factory mounting points and drilled no new holes into the engine bay or anywhere else in the car.

A four way air manifold is connected to the compressor hose and fitted with the solenoid (which clears the air box perfectly), and then air’d to the front bumper quick connect and a second air manifold by the air-intake box.
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The air manifold was mounted to the intake box (no other place had clean enough and large enough fitment to run everything smooth and easily, keep in mind that all this is fitted for easy dismounting and assembling if ever in need of a possible repair) in pneumatics dozens of things can go wrong which leads to possible needs of repair. With the way everything is mounted, fixing possible leaks or wiring is extremely easy.
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The power and air hose is ran around the engine bay to the battery followed by the air hosing routed to the rear of the car. *the hoses you see in the pictures were during the install and were zip tied and fitted to the body.
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I’m sure it’s not only the links but the shocks and coils too that feel much tighter on turns as opposed to the OME and 5100 set up I had prior. I read what towndog said earlier about his set up not having as much droop in the rear and and I definitely notice that improvement in my ride quality. Courtesy of

[user]hawairish[/user] for the bad ass sway-bar links he designed and fabricated. 3ff8e18ddbdce4545bc258a1d6f314d4.jpg7056a5c6e06ab9dafa1ea5a1250dac80.jpg

 

 

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The interior aspect of the build turned out really clean. Underneath the driver side air vent and above the hood release there is an empty box compartment978dee877c20070ab025d972441c29c1.jpg
.... turned that into d3ac3c0a455744b23a694f2ec9e83fc1.jpg
The drawer still opens and closes with the switch and pressure gauge clearing. The switch is also wired to the power cable on the off-road lights which allows the compressor to be ran while the car is off if.

I feel that a couple posts can’t even justify exactly how much work happened this weekend not only in labor but also fabricating and brainstorming the entire set up. Im extremely grateful hawairish was willing to take on such a huge project with me and help me out a ton. This wouldn’t have been possible without him. It’s an awesome set up that turned out perfectly.

With so many hours thrown into this build I’m sure my mind is scattered and missing something I haven’t mentioned yet. Shoot away any questions about it or pictures you guys would like to see.


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Some extra pictures....

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Again any undercarriage hosing routes you see were tied down and cleaned up, just tryna give a reference as best as I can as to how it was all done. On the passenger side of the car Nissan runs various cables underneath the car with a wire/hose clamp/bracket?¿ you’d see what I mean if you look under the car. Anyways that clamp has one extra unused slot which i used to hide and organize the air hose all the way through the rear.


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More ideas on the drawing board... don’t wanna spill though till the time is right. I’ll let hawairish drop hints on those if he wishes

 

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The air gauge & switch in that drawer is brilliant. That’s a pretty worthless space & putting your air controls where you don’t always have to look at them is perfect. Brilliant idea.

Super happy to hear the 5165s worked well with those LR Springs as@TowndawgR50 & I were planning on doing that to my rig. Sounds like I know which ones to use now. Definitely need those other part numbers for the bushings. I’m definitely going to need@TowndawgR50s assistance with that.

I want to keep my rear sways but it looks like I can use the OEM links for now but will need to figure out an answer for when we put the SFD in place.

I see you kept the AirLifts. Was that just because you were already plumbed for them? Both@TowndawgR50 & I had them but he discarded them with the LR Springs & I was planning on doing the same.

The onboard air looks great. I was planning on putting my breather bracket in that location so now I think I will put it elsewhere to leave that space open for that option.

Thanks for the pix & write up. Man, that white & black sure looks good!

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The air gauge & switch in that drawer is brilliant. That’s a pretty worthless space & putting your air controls where you don’t always have to look at them is perfect. Brilliant idea.

 

Super happy to hear the 5165s worked well with those LR Springs as[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] & I were planning on doing that to my rig. Sounds like I know which ones to use now. Definitely need those other part numbers for the bushings. I’m definitely going to need[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention]s assistance with that.

 

I want to keep my rear sways but it looks like I can use the OEM links for now but will need to figure out an answer for when we put the SFD in place.

 

I see you kept the AirLifts. Was that just because you were already plumbed for them? Both[mention=37543]TowndawgR50[/mention] & I had them but he discarded them with the LR Springs & I was planning on doing the same.

 

The onboard air looks great. I was planning on putting my breather bracket in that location so now I think I will put it elsewhere to leave that space open for that option.

 

Thanks for the pix & write up. Man, that white & black sure looks good!

 

For the sway links. You’ll need to have those lengthened, I know towndog and hawairish know a few brands that sell them but as for mine, they were quickly fab’d up over the weekend when we saw that the oem ones wouldn’t fit. So if you get the 6 inch lift... no doubt you’ll need new extended sway links

 

For the 5165s mine clear with about a quarter inch space between the reservoir hose and the tire.... although not sure yet if i was to go through some extreme terrain if the hose would rub or not...... towndog’s are perfect although his were done with a refitted shock mount. I’m assuming his 5165s have a different reservoir hose mount because they must be for a different model ford (mine are for 2013-18 fords, and their shock mounts are designed different then ours so the reservoir hose wouldn’t be an issue for fords). I went with the ones I have because i didnt want to use a shock strap or go through refitting the shock mount... so they fit perfect for the 6 inch lift but the hose placement can be seen as a possible issue. Though through some flex tests and me at 255lbs jumping on the car... the hose had about a quarter inch still from touching the tires... imo I’ll be okay for the overlanding and any wheeling i plan on doing. Although I’ll definitely update in the future if any issues do come up..

 

The combo is great and I definitely notice a difference in ride quality, I gifted [user]hawairish[/user] with a pair of bushings for the shocks in hopes that we all convince him to get a pair of 5165s Set_2_wink.gif!

 

I kept the air lift for the sake that we already had them installed and if i ever choose to tow xterras outa trouble if they break down on any green trails. *jokes* but in all honesty I kept them for the sake that they were already installed and fitted, all that needs to be done to reinstall them to the LR coils is to just shove them back in and reconnect the air line..... soo i figured why not, took a few minutes.

Now to admit and drop a hint on a future upgrade.... the air lift may have slightly help stiffen up the rear since I have a bit of death wobble from bore out bushings on my trailing arms (oem) which are only a year old! Safe to say trailing arm updates are bound to come next.

 

 

 

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