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zakzackzachary

zakzackzachary's 2000 R50 new to PNW from AK

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Hello NPORA,

 

Location: Kitsap, WA
Vehicle: 2000 SE
Vehicle Notes: 2nd owner as of Oct18, purchased with 237k miles

 

Hi all, I've been trolling the forum for a couple months now and have finally decided to join in. I currently have an '18 WRX, but after moving to the PNW I found myself in need of a good forest road exploration rig so I started the search. Stumbled upon a great condition single older owner R50 that has provided a great base to build upon.

 

The first month was spent doing the usual- oil/coolant/trans/transaxle/front-rear diff/PS fluids, all three accessory belts, fuel filter, battery, and a good headlight polish. After that I moved to replacing some stuff:

 

- turn signal housing (1)
- fog light (1)
- cat-back exhaust
- broken power antenna to fixed 6" stubby

 

Since then I scored a ~5' roof basket which mounts great to the OEM rails and will come in handy for fully loaded camping trips in the future. I'd like to integrate some ditch and camp lighting into the basket and take advantage of the blank switch spots in the dash.

 

Current suspension is okay, but aged:

 

*RR: 31.25" (Factory Spec: 33.31)
*RL: 30.50" (33.31)
*FR: 32.00" (32.09)
*FL: 31.25" (32.09)

 

Therefore as of Nov2018 I have the following on order:

 

- LR Defender springs for rear (P/N: NRC9446)
- KYB GR-2/Excel-G for rear (P/N 343379) 
- OME HD springs for front (P/N: 2928)
- KYB struts for front (RockAuto P/N: 335031/0)
- KYB strut mount/bearing/boot for front (RockAuto P/N: SM5329)
- Camber bolts for front, (RockAuto P/N: K90474)

 

Anyway, I'll photo dump below. There's lots of upgrades in the future like LED gauge cluster lights and a rear drawer system, but I'm taking it slow. I'll trail run it and as I find myself needing things I can add to it. I'm in the Kitsap, WA area near Seattle so if any of you local PNW Pathfinder nerds need a hand or want to meet up I'm down!

 

https://imgur.com/a/PiQG7TO

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Welcome! Nice looking truck & it looks like you’ve already made quite a bit of progress. We’ve got a nice little hub of NPORA here in the PNW. We’ll try to tag you on future regional events. I’m sure I can speak for all of us in saying we look forward to meeting you. What part of the Kitsap are you at, Oak Harbor?

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I believe you are only the 2nd person to do the LR 9446s (@neilca) being the other. I believe he got 2.5-3” of lift. Please post your mid fender & mid hub height as well as your tire size so that we can add to our data base. I’m particularly interested in the 9446 because it has the best chance of working as a 2” lift rear end alternative which alot of new owners are seeking.

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3 hours ago, RainGoat said:

Welcome! Nice looking truck & it looks like you’ve already made quite a bit of progress. We’ve got a nice little hub of NPORA here in the PNW. We’ll try to tag you on future regional events. I’m sure I can speak for all of us in saying we look forward to meeting you. What part of the Kitsap are you at, Oak Harbor?

 

I'm in Silverdale! I've read a ton of the threads on this forum and saw that you and others have taken a few trips out my way to the Olympics and Tahuya, it'd be cool to join in some time. I've already been exploring some of the gnarlier forest roads out in the Lake Cushman area.

 

 

 

3 hours ago, RainGoat said:

I believe you are only the 2nd person to do the LR 9446s (@neilca) being the other. I believe he got 2.5-3” of lift. Please post your mid fender & mid hub height as well as your tire size so that we can add to our data base. I’m particularly interested in the 9446 because it has the best chance of working as a 2” lift rear end alternative which alot of new owners are seeking.

 

Yeah I definitely will. I studied that thread well and figured for my use case I'd go with the 9446s. I'll post up my info when I eventually get them installed and see what happens. They were so incredibly cheap, such a good find. $15/each + $47 shipping, but out of everything they're going to arrive first somehow.

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Yep, I ordered mine on a Friday afternoon & they were on my porch Monday morning.

We could use some recon of the East/NE of the Olympics. Lake Cushman is one of the few areas of WA that’s still on my ToDo list. There’s some good stuff on the N side of the Olympics but I’ve had trouble finding good camping on the NE/E sides. S of the Olympics is pretty flat & boggy.@Citron lived SSE of the Olympics & might have a few pearls of wisdom.

Here are some if my notes re potential routes (some of it’s unverified so I’d appreciate hearing what you learn):

FSR 23 from Shelton to Quinalt through the mountains. The area E of Quinalt is kind of interesting & has camping - plus camping along the lake just W of Lake Quinalt Lodge

Deer Park campground & Obstruction Point Road.

Lake Cushman. Just north of the lake is the Washington/Jefferson Pass region. Lots of service roads to explore through the hills. Can cut back to Brown Creek to camp, or find dispersed camping in the hills. No "wheeling", but access to remote routes and beautiful scenery. Couple good looking spots to camp which may have views of Lake Cushman.

NF 400 all the way up near the end has a pull out that is over 2600’ with a view.

23 up by brown creek, continue to 2348 & 2365 where there is another vista like pull out. 

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I spent most of my time in the area around Wynoochee lake. During the winter, most of the fs roads that get close to the national park are closed to create a de facto wilderness buffer around the park so no evil people disturb the poor little elk. The current, and previous, rangers for that district have pursued a plan to make the nf roadless. They only maintain the three main roads and will close the other roads at the drop of a hat. One neat trip that made a loop around three peaks close to the border of the np was closed permanently due to a small slide. When people volunteered to remove it, the answer was no. So unfortunately most roads that are still open are in and out, not many loops left. 

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14 hours ago, RainGoat said:

Yep, I ordered mine on a Friday afternoon & they were on my porch Monday morning.

We could use some recon of the East/NE of the Olympics. Lake Cushman is one of the few areas of WA that’s still on my ToDo list. There’s some good stuff on the N side of the Olympics but I’ve had trouble finding good camping on the NE/E sides. S of the Olympics is pretty flat & boggy.@Citron lived SSE of the Olympics & might have a few pearls of wisdom.

Here are some if my notes re potential routes (some of it’s unverified so I’d appreciate hearing what you learn):

FSR 23 from Shelton to Quinalt through the mountains. The area E of Quinalt is kind of interesting & has camping - plus camping along the lake just W of Lake Quinalt Lodge

Deer Park campground & Obstruction Point Road.

Lake Cushman. Just north of the lake is the Washington/Jefferson Pass region. Lots of service roads to explore through the hills. Can cut back to Brown Creek to camp, or find dispersed camping in the hills. No "wheeling", but access to remote routes and beautiful scenery. Couple good looking spots to camp which may have views of Lake Cushman.

NF 400 all the way up near the end has a pull out that is over 2600’ with a view.

23 up by brown creek, continue to 2348 & 2365 where there is another vista like pull out. 

 

I'm definitely scoutin' for you all out here. I've spent quite a bit of time out in the Cushman area, and so far that's my favorite as far as somewhat more rugged forest roads (therefore no people). I've been using GaiaGPS lately, but I also have a lot of loops/trips planned out in Google Maps from before. I'll definitely check out your notes above and when I get a chance I'll compile some to share as well.

 

7 hours ago, Citron said:

I spent most of my time in the area around Wynoochee lake. During the winter, most of the fs roads that get close to the national park are closed to create a de facto wilderness buffer around the park so no evil people disturb the poor little elk. The current, and previous, rangers for that district have pursued a plan to make the nf roadless. They only maintain the three main roads and will close the other roads at the drop of a hat. One neat trip that made a loop around three peaks close to the border of the np was closed permanently due to a small slide. When people volunteered to remove it, the answer was no. So unfortunately most roads that are still open are in and out, not many loops left. 

 

That's a bummer, it'd be nice if they allowed volunteers to help clean up the road if the obstruction/damage is smaller. I'm sure some of the old loops could be broken up.

 

@RainGoat, I'm prepping to do the WABDR sometime this spring/summer, have you done it?

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Thanks for the input Citron. I’ve experienced the end result but never really knew the why.

I have not really done the WABDR (bits & pieces only) though I have the Butler map. I would highly recommend checking out the You Tube videos. Josh Duncan has a pretty good one.

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Welcome! I think you'll love the LR springs. I couldn't be happier with mine. 

Super grateful to @Bax03SE for bringing these to light 

 

 Like @RainGoat mentioned,  we are lucky here in the PNW with a solid group of active NPORA members that continues to grow. There is a potential for a December gathering/trail run. Not sure where/when its going to end up but would love to have you join the next meetup.

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6 hours ago, TowndawgR50 said:

Welcome! I think you'll love the LR springs. I couldn't be happier with mine. 

Super grateful to @Bax03SE for bringing these to light 

 

 Like @RainGoat mentioned,  we are lucky here in the PNW with a solid group of active NPORA members that continues to grow. There is a potential for a December gathering/trail run. Not sure where/when its going to end up but would love to have you join the next meetup.

 

The option for LR springs is truly a great example of what these forums can produce, definitely looking forward to the install. Depending on the trail difficulty, I'd be down to join in on a trail run, would be a blast! I have experience snow driving, but my vehicle is currently unmodified so I'd have to take that into account. All though I do have A/Ts in the stock 29" size so that helps.

Edited by zakzackzachary
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No worries. There are a range of rigs and capabilities within the group and nobody is left behind or not considered in event choices. Its no fun if everyone cant enjoy it, right?

Dont underestimate the stock Pathfinder! They are pretty capable and will surprise you.

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+1 on that. We had a stock Path at Tahuya & it was good for most of what we did & able to bypass or skip what he wanted. We’re specifically about inclusion & leaving the machismo behind. Alot of WA & OR are pretty tame. That said, I’ve done most of the CO passes except Black Bear on a suspension that was stock except for $100 AirLifts in the rear. The beauty is all your spotters will have a very good idea of exactly what your rig can & cannot do. (Except maybe@TowndawgR50 because his is such a beast - JK - well, except for the beast part)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lol! I ran around trails in stock form too when I first got my rig. Those were the most eye opening days. Got into trouble that I thought for sure would catch me but the Pathfinder just chugged along every time. The rest is history! 

 

Bottom line- Come on out and have fun!

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@RainGoat @TowndawgR50 Tahuya is on my to-do list to just go goof around on a quiet day since it's about 30 miles from me. I've seen some vids of Foresters doing it so it looks like there's some easier options and bypasses which would be fun :)

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@RainGoat @TowndawgR50 I'm having a shop break apart and rebuild my front struts and they're saying the OME 2928 are too long and they couldn't squeeze them into the strut, but I thought they'd work with the strut. Does that sound right for an '00 R50? All my research said they'd be fine... :(

 

Here are the specific OME coils I got: Amazon

Edited by zakzackzachary
OME diameter is fine, just too long I guess? I'm going to try another shop...
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Those are the heavy duty front coils & should be fine. I have a pair waiting to go on my truck but many have used them without problem & ARB actually lists them for the R50.

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22 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

Those are the heavy duty front coils & should be fine. I have a pair waiting to go on my truck but many have used them without problem & ARB actually lists them for the R50.

 

Alright, that's what I thought! Hopefully this other shop can do it. Maybe the first shop just didn't try? We'll see. 

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They are tough to compress. Unless a shop has a dedicated spring compressor the task can be really challenging. I had a shop compress my HD coils ( I thought OME Front HD coils were PN# 2608?) and they claimed it took more effort than most coils. 

 

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They are tough to compress. Unless a shop has a dedicated spring compressor the task can be really challenging. I had a shop compress my HD coils ( I thought OME Front HD coils were PN# 2608?) and they claimed it took more effort than most coils. 
 

2928 is definitely the Front Heavy Duty Coils. I tried to pull the ARB catalog link but ARB appears to have redone their web access & blocked the old “paper like” version.

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They're definitely not fun to compress.  I've done it twice with rental compressors, and dread the thought of doing it again.

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1 hour ago, RainGoat said:

I tried to pull the ARB catalog link but ARB appears to have redone their web access & blocked the old “paper like” version.

 

It's still available from their site: https://view.publitas.com/arb-4x4-accessories-1/old-man-emu-international-application-catalogue-edition-36/page/1

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Excellent, though it raises another question. It says vehicles with ABS will need an ABS bracket (ARB#SMP638). Anybody know anything about that? This was s the first I’ve heard of it but I thought I’d read several OME front setups done (though admittedly usually springs & not necessarily the OME struts too).

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3 hours ago, RainGoat said:

Excellent, though it raises another question. It says vehicles with ABS will need an ABS bracket (ARB#SMP638). Anybody know anything about that? This was s the first I’ve heard of it but I thought I’d read several OME front setups done (though admittedly usually springs & not necessarily the OME struts too).

 

I've known of the part, but haven't seen it.  The OME strut has a tab with a nut on it instead of a slot for the line.  I imagine it was just OME's way of squeezing a couple more bucks out of Nissan owners.  A cable clamp and bolt sufficed.  I can get you some OME vs. KYB pics if you'd like.  

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I've been slacking in the update department!

 

Two weeks ago I successfully installed the front/rear suspension lift, honestly ran into just about no problems. I'm really lucky in that this vehicle has just about no corrosion so everything came apart easy. Thanks to everyone on the forum for providing a ton of info to allow me to prepare ahead of time!

 

Front comparison with KYB struts (P/N 335031/0), KYB mount/bearing/boot replacement (P/N SM5329), and OME HD springs (P/N 2928).

 

EOSEZR4.jpg

 

Rear comparison with KYB OEM size shock (P/N 343379) and Land Rover Defender springs (P/N NRC9446).

9hCMP9R.jpg

 

Step 1 was build a little mini-workbench with scrap wood from the 'ol Depot.

ebu6plF.jpg

 

New goodies piled up ready to go on:

TVB7Qh0.jpg

 

Old front suspension (no pics of new assembled, just imagine much cleaner :P):

g5GCb1h.jpg

 

While I was in there I threw in new CV axles, SUPER easy on this vehicle. Old OEMs were torn so I may rebuild them as back-ups.

LDHVbEF.jpg

 

Camber bolts, I don't know if they needed them for the alignment, but figured might as well install 'em. 

pJxaq1R.jpg

 

New rear shocks.

DHwPfmE.jpg

 

Had to get crafty with jack stands and jack to install the rear springs. Ended up disengaging the sway bar links, differential breather tube, and the trackbar from the knuckle side. This pic specifically is showing the set-up required to get tension off the trackbar bushing so I could get the sucker back on!

Gp1Fwz0.jpg

 

At some point I took a break and threw some new #74 LEDs into the gauges and #196 into the license plate lights. Took maybe 15 min.

okHoobb.jpg
ab11dNj.jpg
OkvobV3.jpg

 

Sorry I don't have any level side pics. I might take them later. I did get to test the suspension a bit out getting stuck on some forest roads near Leavenworth, WA though. 4x chains and 4Lo got me pretty far before my lack of recovery gear or back-up vehicles turned me around.

 

m8I5PkB.jpg
S6tmp51.jpg

 

So what's next after New Years?

-trunk drawers to maximize organization
-low pro basket mount
-360 degree fog lighting to basket
-new tires (currently 29" A/T, maybe 31" A/T?)

 

And a smidge further down the line:

-custom rear tire carrier off of trailer hitch

 

Let me know what you think!

Edited by zakzackzachary
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