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About HappyCarGuy

  • Birthday 05/15/1993

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  • Your Pathfinder Info
    1994 Nissan Pathfinder, SE. V6, Automatic Transmission. 4x4
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  • Mechanical Skill Level
    Screwdriver Mechanic
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  • What do you consider yourself?
    I Go When I Can
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    United States

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  1. Well folks, today is the day! I’m heading out to Lackland for basic training. Wish me luck! I had to say goodbye to the pathfinder, Audi and the motorcycle while they’re in storage - probably harder than saying goodbye to 80% of the people in my life. Lmao. Take care, everyone!
  2. Here is the latest update, folks: replaced the exhaust system from headers back. Converted to a 2.5 piping. I did 2.5" because I would someday like to rebuild/turbo the engine (wishful thinking). Overall, it works well and sounds good. I'd definitely do things differently though (and eventually will). Photobucket said I don't have access to host any more, so hopefully I can upload the pictures. Please let me know if these don't show up. Also, personal update: I have enlisted in the USAF, so I will most likely not be on here for quite some time. Wish me luck! Used 2.5 Walker 49049 tubing (worked well for mild steel, and was fairly thick-walled), Walker (36516) 3/8" hangers, Waterwich 2" exhaust V-clamps (to connect header collector to 'y' pipe), Ledaut M18X1.5 Oxygen sensor bung, MagnaFlow 10416 Muffler (ended up replacing this with Flowmaster Super 10 Series 842515 because it was too loud), Ebay Exhaust Headers (DO NOT USE, THESE WERE ABSOLUTE GARBAGE), Titanium M8x25 bolts (expensive, but worth it), Hedman ball/joint connectors and an old tip that was lying around the garage. I apparently need to buy a lottery ticket, because I only had to extract one broken stud. I guess this is the kind of weld that you should expect from ebay headers. Not a great picture, but you can see the little pinholes all the way around the EGR inlet welds. Good thing I know how to thoroughly and unprofessionally pack a bunch of slag and weld beads around this crap. Again, I cannot stress enough: DO NOT BUY THESE EBAY HEADERS. YOU ARE IN FOR A WORLD OF ANNOYANCE. While I had the plenum off (valve cover gasket replacements), I decided to spruce it up a bit... Also, new roof rack! Tango, to answer your question: it's just a 3" body lift. I will eventually put on a suspension lift (I will most likely just buy through 4x4parts.com, as they have a pretty schwanky kit for about $1100. I've heard that many people just do the torsion bar retorque and the jeep spring lift, but I want to make sure my control arms can handle the lift. I've heard some people running 33s with a 3" BL, but I do not recommend. My 32's are about all that I can stuff under mine. Once I go with the suspension lift, I will most likely upgrade to 33s (or bigger, if I do a powertrain swap). The rest of the driveline/powertrain is all stock.
  3. Thanks all! I agree with the red. I liked it, but also got tired of the mismatch of the hood to the body - I think I just needed a bit of a change from the red. We may go back to red for the next paint job in a few years. As mentioned, there is still a bit left to do. I also forgot to mention that a winch mount/bullbar and also some side armor is going to be in the works here, soon. I just replaced the centerlink and steering linkage today. It makes a WORLD of a difference with side to side "drift." Especially with the larger tires, it had a tendency to want to drive straight off the road. haha Haha, Slartibart, I'm guessing the roller paint was way easier, though! And yes, I had to grind about 1/8 inch (each side) of the plastic front speaker mounts, and also had to take a dremel to the back metal speaker mounts. And I'm still not entirely sure what the definition of "hootus" is, but I feel that dude's pain. Lmao. Also, I decided to hold off on the gator skin headliner...at least for the time being. I may just go with a gray or black liner. We will see - that one is taking a seat on the back burner. Also, just FYI: I may pull the 350 out of the chevy for a rebuild, so I may not have any more updates on this project for a bit.
  4. Alright folks, let's try this again with some updates. I figured Amazon pictures would work as a host for my pics, but I guess not - oh well, continuing this thread with Photobucket!: This is what I started with: the vehicle was just a pretty stock manual XE model. It had some pretty bad rust spots on the rockers that needed to be re-worked. Thought about buying just some slip-on rockers, but decided that it would be good to have a little experience with patch panels. As you can tell, the rust wasn't HORRIBLE, but it definitely needed to be repaired. Once everything was welded up, I used some paintable caulk to seal the gaps between the rocker and the fender. And same thing on the driver's side (featuring some fiberglass filler): I had to sand the hood down to metal (practically everywhere), as the rock chips had started light rusting: I bought some new rims for it. Just some standard Chevy six-lug rims, wrapped with 33's. These were the tires that came with the rims. Super worn out, so I decided to get some new rubbers. I went with a 32x11.5 tire, in hopes that it would fit under the fenders a bit better. I love how tiny the stock wheels look compared to the 33's. Ha! And the new tires (featuring my ominous shadow): Next up was the painting process. Yes, I painted this in my driveway. Definitely a 'redneck' way of painting, but I think it turned out pretty well! Used a House of Kolor primer/sealer, and painted the inner door jams and inner doors first: Once the "interior paint" was done, I put the doors back on, and put everything relatively back together so that I could focus on exterior paint. Again, primed/sealed the body with the HoK and used TCP Global Ginger Metallic for the single-stage enamel. I highly recommend that paint. This is the second time I've used their paint, and have had absolutely no complaints about them (though I often am found complaining about the guns or some dust - or in this case, a wasp - that found it's way into the paint): Once the paint was on, it was time to focus on sound. Replaced the stock 5x7 speakers with CT sounds speakers. The head unit was replaced with a Pioneer MVH-S310BT Bluetooth stereo (so that I could jam out to some AC/DC and Dynazty on Spotify, of course). I did a professional wire kit (none of this through-the-fender-and-doorjam bs) and slapped my old Sony sub paired with a Volfenhag amp. It's an old setup, and isn't the loudest or proudest, but I still love that combo. I don't have many pictures of the sound system, sorry. After that, it was time to move on to coating the frame with POR15 paint. I should have taken pictures of myself on this one, because it was a sight to behold. Let me tell you something: that POR15 will take a layer of skin off if you try to peel it off too soon. Which is very problematic when you get it on your whole body (including face). Highly recommend that stuff, but highly recommend not getting any on you or anything you don't wish to be permanently black. Once all that was done, I moved on to getting the wheels/tires. sandblasted and powdercoated (charcoal grey) the rims. That was a miserable experience. I highly recommend taking items in to be sandblasted. I had sand in crevices on my body that I didn't even know I had. And once those were on, the fun began of mounting the bumpers. The rear bumper was no problem. The front bumper, though, was a challenge. The 3" bumper relocation brackets that were sold in the kit had to be fairly heavily modified in order to fit. Oh well - that's part of the fun, right? I also fabricated a new rear license plate holder, as the old one wouldn't fit with the bumper and lift kit. And one of the final steps I had was the shift boot. As you all are probably well-aware, the stock boots don't work well with a lift kit. So to remedy this, I bent the 4x4 shifter, but left the manual shifter as is. I originally thought I could use a larger sewn boot (3rd picture) and tuck under the carpet. However, that looked a bit ridiculous, so I went a different route: cut a diamond plate sheet and bent it to match the curvature of the well. I then sewed the shift boot from faux gator skin, used a screw-in grommet on the top (as a finisher), and bought some new knobs. Behold, the shift boot shenanigans: And last but not least: the graphics. I owe a huge debt to my dad who helped me with some of the cutting/designing of the graphics. The back part (where it is flat at the top) needs to be re-designed and re-cut, but overall it turned out pretty nice. We are also going to be doing a hood graphic here in the next few weeks: Some other mentions that may not be pictured: I highly recommend fluid film as a rust-preventative in the rockers and fender areas. It doesn't take but 5 minutes to pop off the scuff guards and spray some FF down into the rockers. Pretty easy. I also ordered stainless M6-1.0 16mm flanged bolts on Amazon for pretty cheap. I found it very beneficial to spray just a tiny bit of Fluid Film on the stainless bolts to ensure nothing is getting rusted/stuck. I broke about 50,000 of the old bolts off, simply due to rust, age, and over torque from previous work. Next on the to-do list for this vehicle: headers/exhaust, roof basket rack, and steering components (I have new inner/outer tie rods, centerlink, and some other goodies coming in the mail in the next few days). And that's about it, folks. I have about 300 hours of cutting, welding, sewing, cursing, pleading, and some good ol' quality dad/son time into this since March. I hope you all enjoyed! Let me know if there are any questions or if I can help with anything.
  5. Here is the latest: the hood is almost ready to prime. I had to sand down to metal in almost all places. Don't mind the "camouflage" of paints. I had to put down a few coats of random paints to keep it from rusting in the rain. Rocker panel repair is almost done. Ran out of gas in the welder, so had to pick up some more. The welds are getting a little better, but still could use some drastic improvement. Ha! I bought some faux-gator skin for the shift boots. After unwrapping it, I'm really, really considering using it for the headliner, as well. It has a felt backing, so it should work well. If it does not work, I can always just use some of my black headliner fabric instead. What do you all think of gator-skin headliner??
  6. The welds are getting better! :) I'm moving on to the passenger side. I picked up some Fluid Film to hopefully prevent rust. I'm planning to SpecialWarr's advice to drill small holes in the bottom to assist with drainage. It will also give me "access holes" to spray the Fluid Film up inside. Seam Sealer should be here today, so I should be able to move forward with body-work/filling and paint preps.
  7. Haha, yeah, there will be much puttying to fix some of this ugliness. Thanks for the replies, guys! I like the idea of getting a straw to spray some protector up inside of there. I may try to drill a small hold near the bottom/back and just do my best to spray oil undercoat strait up onto it. I tried to coat the inner rocker as best I could while I had the pieces cut out - we will see how well it holds up. I have never heard of cutting the bar and chain oil - that is interesting! I may use that as a secondary coat. And yes, the seam sealer is already on it's way here! Hopefully those beads/seams won't look anything like my welds. I'm picking up some brush-on frame paint from Eastwood, so hopefully it will get that rust stopped. If this rocker panel rusts out again, it's not the end of the world for me - I'll just fab something else or use a slip-on. But I'm really needing to get the frame rust stopped now. I'll post some updates soon!
  8. Hey folks, This is going to be my build forum for my summer project. I figured it would be easier to just keep an ongoing build forum. Here is what the stock vehicle looked like: Info on the build: 1994 Pathfinder XE, manual trans, 4x4. First project I had with this: replacing the rear window that some punk*** kid shot out. 01/15/2020: Since then, I've had a bit more "fun projects." Just installed the 3" body lift, and am doing some body work. Both front fenders are being replaced due to some rust/dents. The car will be painted with TCP Ginger Metallic. Pictures will be updated with that project. For the time being, I've just been removing the trims and fixing the rust. The body is still quite rough, so I'll be using some light fillers to fix some of the imperfections/weld spots. 04/18/2020: 04/25/2020: Updates coming soon!
  9. Hey folks, I just finished welding up some patch-panels for my driver's side rocker panels. I'm worried, though, about the inside of the panels collecting moisture and re-rusting from the inside out (from the drain holes in the back of the panel). Has anyone had experience with filling the rocker panels with a water-/flame-proof expanding foam to prevent water from getting back into them? I read a couple of old hot rod forums, and they said that using foam would trap moisture. Any thoughts/experience on it? To clarify, I'm already welding in patches - I would NOT be using the foam to fill the rust holes. See pictures (don't mind the beginner's weld and messy look - it's not done yet) I don't really want to use slip-ons, because it looks like they may have different curvatures/shapes than the OE rocker panels. If these rust out in a few years, I may have to go that route, though.
  10. Heck yeah, Colorado Springs! I purchased my TT and my Shadow from Colorado Springs, so I love car shopping in that area. Ha! I think your questions have been pretty much answered, but thought I would chime in: - The timing belt really is not too difficult to replace. I have replaced three belts on '94s, and can usually finish them in about half of a day. Just make sure that you follow all of the directions/markings and take your time! It also really helped to have Mitchel DIY (eautorepair.net), so you may want to consider a subscription. - The rear hatch not staying open is pretty common. You will just need to replace the two pistons. Again, that is a pretty novice-level endeavor. - Both of my pathfinders leaked a bit of oil. When we looked into the problem, on both, it seems to be a problem with the rear oil seals. I ran my first one for 7 years with no problems - you just have to be a bit more diligent about checking oil. - I second the master switch issue. You can check the fuses to ensure that it's not just a super simple fix, but I'm guessing it's the master. Mine went out, and it made the windows/lock inop. - The tach and fuel gauges are a bit more concerning. I haven't really had much experience with that electrical circuit. That said, this is where that Mitchel DIY would really come in handy, as they have the wiring diagrams. If you can, try to isolate those circuits and look for any similarities (for example, if they both have power coming from the same fuse, common connectors, i.e.). Or, as SpecialWarr said, just check the grounds. - Rust is also a common thing with these. Both of my pathfinders have had rust. In fact, I am going to do some undercarriage coatings on the new one to make sure I get that stopped quickly. Depending on how bad the rust is, you may want to consider taking some proactive steps to stop any advancement of rust. - AC may just need a recharge? That could be a number of things, so depending on if you want to fix it, it may take a bit more investigation.
  11. Have you had any codes pop up when this happens? Or does it just go into limp and then no other issues?
  12. Hey there, folks! I looked into some of the forums, and most people are talking about bad camshaft sensors - to no luck, apparently. So, here is the low-down on the vehicle: - I just replaced the timing chain on my sister's 2004 (3.5l) Pathfinder. After replacement, the vehicle ran fine during the test run, until about halfway home, wherein it went into limp mode - no CEL. - I made it back home, let the car sit for about a half hour, and it was fine. Delivered the vehicle to her, where she drove to work the next day with no issues, until on her way home (about a 20-30 mile highway commute). The car went into limp mode again. She took the car to her main mechanic, where he was unable to replicate the issue, but he checked that all timing was correct (I was a bit afraid that it may have jumped a tooth while the tensioners were building pressure). Keep in mind, this vehicle idles perfectly, and will drive for a few miles now before the it goes into limp mode. No bad clicking, knocking, or 'baddie sounds." We just replaced BOTH VVT solenoids and replaced the oil (again) with a new filter. Still goes into limp mode, and still has the dreaded intermittent P0021 code. My sister, at this point, is ready to just trade the car in (and I would FULLY support getting this gremlin out of her possession). We were going to try a few things, and gather some recommendations before we do so, though. My next step will be to switch camshaft sensors. If the code now switches to P0011 (I think that is the correct code), I will know that the camshaft sensor is bad. If it doesn't, though, there will be no need to throw more money at it (though it could still be a wiring harness issue). Other than that, I don't exactly know where to begin diagnostics with this. I feel like we have done the majority of 'cheap' fixes to solve the issue. I told her that I am happy to tear back in, and replace the camshaft/and or phaser if need be. I would like to use that as an absolute last resort, though. Is there any way to test that a phaser is going bad? I have noticed tiny fluctuations of RPMS (almost as if the RPM gauge is 'vibrating' for lack of better words?), which makes me think that the sensor is on it's way out, or the sensor is picking up on incorrect magnetic rpms of the phaser. What do you all think? Any suggestions?
  13. There could be a couple of different causes for this. My first thought was the strut rod bushings, as I have had issues with those previously. However, it sounds like you've already checked that. 1) I know other people have said it, but check for bent wheel/rim - you would probably be noticing a strange tire wear pattern on one tire. 2) ball joints - if a ball joint is loose, it will cause a bad vibration at higher speeds. There's different ways of testing ball joints, and I can't tell you off the top of my head. You should be able to find some pretty good info on if these are preloaded, follower, or what type of ball joints you're testing. BAD alignment can cause some minor vibration, but I would say it would cause more of a pulling issue than vibration. 3) loose steering components - Tie rods, idler arms, etc. 4) check your wheel bearings. If your bearings are loose or in-op, your hub/wheel will have some play in it and intermittent vibrations. My recommendations: Check bearings/ball joints first - jack one side up, put hands on 12 o'clock, and 6 o'clock (of tire) and wiggle back and forth. Any play is bad. If there is looseness, diagnose it from there. If no play, double check (visual inspection and component looseness) of all suspension and steering components. I doubt the shocks are to blame - shocks really don't help a whole lot with wheel wobble - that's not really their function. If you had bad shocks, you would be noticing more of a "bounce" after going over a bump (basically like the vehicle does not settle and is "floating"). Are there any wear patterns on your tires? Any special characteristics (only does it going over hard bump, or turning, or braking?) I would honestly focus more on any loose/broken components. It would take a lot for an alignment to really vibrate the whole vehicle (or it would be a more consistent vibration). But that's just my opinion. Hope this kind of helps!
  14. As far as more hp goes, not sure if just an exhaust system will work. I have aftermarket exhaust from headers to tailpipe (highflow to reduce restrictions). It's loud, and it has a little more horsepower, but I still have trouble rolling up those hills. I'm not sure where you live, but if you're in high-altitude, there's not much you can do - short of forced induction/tuning/engine swap. Exhaust WILL get you more hps, but I don't think it'll be enough. You can tune it to have a richer mixture (richer mixture = a little more hp). That being said, richer mixture will cause your cat to go out a little faster, and potentially not being able to pass emissions (higher HC's and CO's from unburnt fuel). Maybe if you tuned it and a new exhaust system you could get enough hps?
  15. I've experimented with the "Tornado" cold air intake. Yeah, they're pretty much a scam. I've tried 3 different (differnet sizez, dual blade, single blade, you name it) ones, and neither of them made a noticible difference. I've also tried them in different places in the intake to see if they would make any kind of difference - it didn't. Along those same lines: from what I've read, the electric superchargers, also do not work (the reason for that is they do not build any pressure). The ES's might help with a little intake flow, but they most definitely do not produce a boost. I have heard people swear by the centrifugal electric superchargers, as they do produce some pressure. I'm still very skeptical of that, being that the ES's seem to overheat, and with a centrifugal, it would have to be running constantly (I think?). If anyone does try the chip, let us know how it works out for you!
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