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PathyDude17

PathyDude's R50 Projects (03 SE 4x4)

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Well, COVID 19 shut down my school for at least the next month, so I’ve been back in Idaho since Sunday. Already went ahead and made a trip to my favorite trail!

uoba2Bn.jpg

 

 

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Another excellent video Tyler! I'm looking forward to seeing you tackle that obstacle at the end again in the future with more upgrades.

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Awesome video man. Im pretty jealous that you have access to trails that aren’t buried under snow. Hurry up summer!

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:15 PM, PathyDude17 said:

appatently AC springs are rated at 380 lbs if anyone is wondering. Post 26

Do you know the part number for this model spring? I have a bumper and winch on the front and have been running the OME springs for the last few years and was wondering if these would be better for the load.

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11 minutes ago, Cbiggy said:

Do you know the part number for this model spring? I have a bumper and winch on the front and have been running the OME springs for the last few years and was wondering if these would be better for the load.

They're the 2" Lift springs from 4x4parts.com . $180 plus $70 shipping. They are stiffer than the OME coils and lift higher. The 380 number isn't verified by anything as far as I can remember. That being said, the AC coils would likely sag less under the weigh of a front bumper. "better for the load" is subjective, so I'll leave it at that. Having ridden in and been around both, the AC coils definitely handle stiffer and lift higher. 

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Thanks for the info, and your only running these coils for your front lift? Nothing other than these and the KYB's for the front end lift?

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26 minutes ago, Cbiggy said:

Thanks for the info, and your only running these coils for your front lift? Nothing other than these and the KYB's for the front end lift?

Correct. Just the springs, on normal KYB struts. Adding any kind of spacers to the AC coils is not advisable

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Some updates on a project that’s been a while in the undertaking.

 

First, big thanks to the behind-the-scenes guys who had done this before and could point me in the right direction.

 

Donors:

Front: 96 R50 HG46 Front diff. All R50 diffs will work, nothing else will fit.

J4sveNF.jpg

Rear: 00-Xterra HG46 LSD- all 00-02’s have factory break way torque of 140-180 ft lbs if equipped with LSD. This is the highest breakaway direct swap OEM LSD setup available to us. I’ve yet to see an HG43 LSD and cannot confirm or deny their existence.

VyibiBt.jpg
 

 

Lokka: it set up just about perfectly on the first try. Symmetrical around the cross shaft, and acceptable inter cam clearance. Upon jack stand test and  test drive, everything seems to lock/unlock fine. I have loads of footage to sort through in what I hope will be a thorough and well done install guide. I ordered diff adjusting shims from China, they’ve yet to show and will be available for cheap if they ever show up. They are NLA from Nissan.

NE3f8O6.jpg

 

Hoisting the respective diffs: it can be done solo, but bring lots of jacks and patience.

 

YKiwmxI.jpg

 

 

2Ib78IS.jpg

 

Everything you see is direct bolt-on swap. If both diffs are in good working condition, they’ll work just as good in your vehicle as they did in the vehicle they were pulled from. The lokka is designed specifically to be set up by DIY mechanics not unlike myself. An in spec diff will still be in spec after installing the lokka, as long as you put back everything the way you found it.

lots of punch marks, labeled bags, etc required. Special tools will be required such as roll pin punches and feeler gauges as well as an angle-torque gauge (please please please use an FSM while doing this stuff. Find them by googling them and clicking on the nicoclub link)

 

 

The 4.6’s seem to pull good, I’ve only logged a short 4 mile jaunt on them so far. Better gas pedal response as you start from a stop and continue to accelerate. It seems like the engine isn’t screaming for power at 3k quite the way it used to.


No Offroad testing yet. 

 

Edited by PathyDude17
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I’m very much looking forward to seeing any sort of footage you end up putting together. I’ve been too scared to pull the trigger on buying it until I know for sure that I can install the damn thing lol

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Im pretty jealous that you have access to trails that aren’t buried under snow.

Hit Big Bend NP sometime. It makes a great Jan/Dec destination. It’s a bit of a haul South but you’re closer than most.

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27 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

Hit Big Bend NP sometime. It makes a great Jan/Dec destination. It’s a bit of a haul South but you’re closer than most.

I think it’s closed right now for the pandemic, otherwise I’d love to check it out. 

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Well, it’s definitely NOT a good summertime visit. Just put it in your ToDo List. I’ve been a couple times & you can put >100 miles off road under your belt & spend days off pavement & see virtually no one.

For summer head over to the Alpine Loop in SW CO. Hit Medano Pass on the way.

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13 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

Well, it’s definitely NOT a good summertime visit. Just put it in your ToDo List. I’ve been a couple times & you can put >100 miles off road under your belt & spend days off pavement & see virtually no one.

For summer head over to the Alpine Loop in SW CO. Hit Medano Pass on the way.

Will do

 

I’m looking to hit Imogene and yankee boy basin for starters, then probably several others in that area between July and October 

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@PathyDude17 I want to see you hit the Magruder Corridor or down by Leslie Gulch & the Owyhee.

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Stupid TapaTalk posted it 3 times - sorry

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Wait didnt your pathfinder already come with 4.6 gear ratio since its an SE?   Why exactly did you replace both front and rear diffs?  Was the rear not lsd before?

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29 minutes ago, autofakt said:

Wait didnt your pathfinder already come with 4.6 gear ratio since its an SE?   Why exactly did you replace both front and rear diffs?  Was the rear not lsd before?

All 03 and 04 R50’s are HG43. 96-02 are unpredictably HG46 and HG43, including QX4’s.

 

Previous setup was Open/Open HG43, and it was preferable to bench install the lokka in case anything went sideways. The core price on the units were $86/diff, so it was difficult for me to pass up on a 4.6 swap.

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I understand now thanks for the clarification.

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Install video. Not perfect, but hopefully it gives good insight into the process. Its ultimately only a guide, but I followed Lokka + FSM instructions pretty tightly.

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Woohoo, thanks for the video man

 

I still have very little understanding of what you’re doing because I don’t know much differential internals, so I’ll still need a helper when the time comes, but I’ll be glad to have your tutorial on hand for reference 

Edited by PathyGig12
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8 minutes ago, PathyGig12 said:

Woohoo, thanks for the video man

 

I still have very little understanding of what you’re doing because I don’t know much differential internals, so I’ll still need a helper when the time comes, but I’ll be glad to have your tutorial on hand for reference 

Glad that it’ll be of use to you! I think it’s great for seeing the process and how all the parts line up. I can’t overemphasize the need for the proper tools and an FSM as well.
 

About a year and a half ago, I had never so much as opened a tool set or done any kind of car maintenance. The lokka is surprisingly easy to setup for DIY mechanics (assuming your diff already has acceptable shims). 
 

@Radwaste has a worthy install thread on this forum as well. Thorough reading of that document, as well as watching a Pajero/Shogun install on youtube was great preparation. I did enough research that by the time I was tearing stuff apart, I had to force myself to read all the instructions thoroughly and double check my work.

 

I had to consult some gurus on some/a lot of the technical details, but I hope this video now covers some of the holes that were in my original research.

 

the key part of the install is that inter cam clearance of .145”-.165”. If yours doesn’t line up to that, you need new shims for the axle gears. Nissan doesn’t sell them anymore, and they’re a pain to even find from no-name parts suppliers. I have some on order from March that haven’t shown up, they’ll be available if they ever show up as I’ll have no use for them. Most people don’t need them, but a minority of people do. Other options would be trying to use other R200a shims from other nissans with hopes that they’re the same size. Custom machine shop work would also be an option. Lokka explains pretty well how to use the shims to get proper adjustment, and which measurements should be prioritized. The big deal is just sourcing those shims should you need them. The uncertainty of the shim situation is what made me opt for a spare diff which eventually led to 4.6 swapping.

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1st test, Lokka Talk:

 

Here's an obstacle that has stumped me twice before by either getting hung up on my sliders or rocker panels. You pick either the rock on the left side or the right side to pivot/bottom out on, and proceed from there.

 

jXFi7H0.jpg

 

I have a sneaking suspicsion that the obstacle has been rearranged since last summer, but I also got stuck on it in March, and its less likely the rocks have been changed since then.

The first time I got hung up in June 2019- I'm a tire rotation away from obliterating my driver rocker panel:

NgDgTRA.jpg

 

The vehicle ends up coming up and over the rocks with the front tires lifting and dropping at seperate times. On open diffs, this obstacle generally wasn't possible for me. We managed to get @micahfelker through without damage, but I couldn't replicate the feat. Adding sliders just meant I got stuck sooner w/o any risk for body damage.

 

With the lokka however, it's a different obstacle. I crawled over this (unspotted) in one slow but succinct motion, pivoting on the passenger slider throughout most of the motion. Sure, if I had the stones I could probably throttle and bump my way up it, but I'd take the lokka over that any day. My sliders are more useful now too-they don't just protect, but they actually now can slide over rocks in certain situations. There are still plenty of ways to get this thing stuck, bottomed out, and immobilized, but I think the lokka will prove to be a worthy upgrade.

 

Steering: It's affected by adding a lokka, don't get me wrong on that. I found that it depended pretty predictably on the terrain and to what extent you had the drivetrain engaged.

Obvioulsy, with hubs unlocked you can't feel it.

 

2WD w/ hubs locked has practically zero change in steering on most surfaces, including pavement and hard packed dirt. Little to no self centering.

 

4WD High/Lo: Noticeable self centering/resistance in steering. In a ~2hr test run with it, the self centering didn't really let up or lighten much while in 4WD. It's 100% driveable, but its also 100% different than an open diff. The more torque you supply the lokka with (and the less traction/grip a certain surface has), the stronger the steering will get. So, in between obstacles I coasted through turns and supplied throttle on straightaways, and that made it totally driveable. Or if you're in 4HI, popping it in to 2HI works as well. I also wouldn't try to drive super fast in 4WD.

 

The steering got the worst when I decided to try a U-turn on a trail only slightly wider than my vehicle while still in 4LO. It was fairly sandy, and I could immediately tell that my turning radius was diminished under those circumstances. The steering wheel was pretty heavy at full lock, and in the sand (with all the torque available in that gear), the vehicle plows forward through sand as it turns. It turned a ~2.5 point turn into a solid 3-4 point turn. So, if you were in a dire situation I could see how the lokka might put someone at a disadvantage. I was just goofing off and could've put it in 2HI if I was trying to turn as quickly as possible. 

 

A little long-winded, but I wanted to give a thorough idea of how it's gone so far and what changes I've noticed. I'll revise any of the above statements as I get used to the lokka, these are just my first impressions. For me personally, I'd call the first test a success. I couldn't necessarily "feel" the LSD, maybe I'll have to test it out in 2WD. 4.6's are good, and the low end torque is nice for all things dirt and rock. 

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Hey man, read through this whole thread a few times. Progress of your rig is awesome! Really something to look up to for my own. I’m currently running the sf creations 2-2.5” spacers all around on my 02 QX4. Got it up enough to get some 32s on rims (with proper backspacing). Now I am looking to get new suspension all around so I can safely use it for what it’s meant to do. Spent hours and hours scouring here from all the great threads you guys have posted. Basically narrowed it down to a similar set up as you. AC 2” lift up front, NRC9447 coils in the back, Bilstein shocks, and new struts for the front not really picky. While looking on 4x4parts for the AC front springs I found their “premium package” that has all listed below...

 

  • Four Coils (Coils are powder coated black and can be installed by owner) 
  • GR-2 Front Struts 
  • Bilstein Rear Shocks (5100)
  • Strut Tower Mounts

 

 Basically what I was looking for? So what is the obvious difference between the 5125 and 5100? And also what are the rear AC coils compared to the LR coils. I haven’t heard much of users running rear AC coils, but I just need a medium duty that will get full 2” and not sag with my roof rack/ spare tire, bike rack, and camping gear etc. For me a little more in price isn’t the end of world, I’m up in Vancouver BC, Canada, so the less places to ship from the better 👍🏼
 

So then next I already have my camber bolts, looking into where to get locking hubs. I understand the stress on the CV boots when running a lift. Is it put under more stress when shifting between 2wd and 4x4 often or is daily driving just as bad? I will get them ASAP but just curious. Also are the extended brake lines just for protection while fully articulating, or is this the way to after lift. I don’t do any crazy off roading, more FSRs, road trips and driving in snow (But would like to leave possibilities open).
 

Sorry for yet another forum noob picking your brain, but you seem to be very knowledgeable.  I’ve watched lots of your YouTube vids (I think they’re yours?) and appreciate all the time you put into this.   
 

Cheers, Carson 

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Hey Carson ( @R50_QX4 )! Great Questions.

 

As a general rule of thumb, I buy as little as is possible from 4x4parts.com . Shipping is a fiasco ($70 to ship two springs to Idaho). So even though 4x4parts.com has most of what you want with struts and springs and shocks, I’d at least shop around before pulling the trigger. You’ll still end up buying the front 2” lift coils from them, but you might be able to save a buck elsewhere.

 

Be careful installing the front coils. They’re stiff. It’s pretty common to at least take them to a shop to get the strut assembled, though some members such as @RainGoat have had stellar success compressing their OME HD coils with a stoutly designed coil compressor. They may be able to handle the AC’s as well.

 

So, the “obvious” difference between the common 5100 (33-185552) and the increasingly popular 5125 (33-185569) is collapsed length and extended length. I do happen to have a long-winded Youtube Video (Yup, those are my videos) on the topic, but that’s more info than is necessary. The 5125 is 29.7” extended and about 18 collapsed. The 5100 is about 26/16. 4WP and summit racing supply shock specs if you ever want to compare other models. I actually just happened to get some verification on how that shock affects my articulation. My NRC9449’s (Same height as the 9447) just barely unseat at full flex. You can wiggle the spring by hand but you certainly couldn’t pop it out. The sway bar link looks maxed, and I’m suspecting that the sway bar limits my flex, not the shock. If I removed it (but I’m not going to) I might find myself wishing for slightly shorter shock. But, since the 5125 is a good deal away from the factory spec of 24/14, you’ll want to extend that center (2 lines if you have VDC) brake line- it will likely be taught at full flex, which isn’t acceptable in my opinion. You’ll want to either test or guess as to how much to extend the bumpstop. Mine are extended ~2.5”. My diff breather sometimes pops off and should get extended as well, but I haven’t done it yet. If you do the math, I haven’t gained much by running the 5125 and it’s not a do or die on running that shock. I think it’s a good choice for LR springs, but 5100’s are a great shock too, and the 5100’s won’t require any of those brake line or bumpstop or breather modifications.

 

LR vs AC. Not sure how they’d stack up. Price aside, I don’t know heights or spring rates of the AC coils so that’s difficult to compare. LR springs lift pretty similar heights, but they’re less than 50% of the price and seem the superior option based on that. Should be $80-90 from lrdirect.com after shipping. Although, I know Canadian shipping can be complicated..... I believe they’ve been having stocking issues recently, I’m sure the R50 community is to blame for that lol.

 

Locking hubs. Great mod in my opinion, and a near no brainer if you have the floor shift, manual transfer case. Seems that Warn, Rugged Ridge, and Mile Marker’s are the most popular, and few complaints across the brands. I have the mile markers, they were the cheapest and they’ve performed just fine for the last year. There are mostly just 2 things that stress the CV axles- when the joints are forced to operate at sharp angles (suspension droops or wheels are turned), and sudden changes in the torque supplied to them (free spinning tire suddenly lands on dirt and stops spinning). These are true for anytime the axle is forced to spin, but those conditions generally become an even bigger issue when 4WD is engaged and the CV axles are being supplied with torque that they’re transferring to the tires, as opposed to being passively spun in 2WD. Manual hubs will increase the longevity of the boots if not the joints as well.

 

Lemme know if I missed anything

-Tyler

 

 

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