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Ongoing Build


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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: wambdd9FSjWwqjBeeh8UUQ?viewBox=731%2C975&ownerId=A3DTK741ARUMEV


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:jrEgGZIjQoKTJrujVJpkyQ?viewBox=731%2C975&ownerId=A3DTK741ARUMEV


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:







Updates coming soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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??


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The pictures aren't working. Gator skin headliner sounds... entertaining? Unique for sure. I keep trying to talk one of my friends into using shag carpet for a headliner so it'll feel like he's driving an anemone.


I made a shift boot out of an air mattress for my transfer case. It would've looked pretty good if I hadn't used the part of the mattress with the inflation instructions printed on it.

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  • 1 month later...

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.


2EB60CCD_0808_4373_9009_39DC18EB9752_IMG_3608.HEIC352A70CC_DB14_49A2_9298_6701329F5E36_IMG_3632.HEIC255E0CD2_C2C8_4963_A5F1_FC8646FA2D80_IMG_3627.HEIC 255E0CD2_C2C8_4963_A5F1_FC8646FA2D80_IMG_3627.HEIC73A309E4_CFBC_4E1B_A61A_8DBA2ED7683B_IMG_3628.HEIC6452D6CD_BD8F_47D7_8C66_2595935CA252_IMG_3629.HEIC0DAD567D_9EDE_4700_B45A_DDD727EE52BF_IMG_3674.HEIC


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. 




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That looks great! Having painted a Ford with a roller I think your paint setup looks perfectly legit. :aok: Thanks for the paint recommendation. The shift surround plate looks good too, makes the boot look less like Grandma's purse. Funnily enough I made a similar plate for the roller-painted Ford, though that was mostly to hide the spot where I messed up cutting the vinyl flooring.

Good idea with the lube on the stainless bolts, stainless likes to gall if you don't put something on them. Did you have to mod the speaker adapters in the doors? Both sets of speakers I've installed in WD21s fouled enough that the adapters needed trimming.


3 hours ago, HappyCarGuy said:

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. 


Related: :clickdalink:

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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. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great build so far!  I was looking and didn’t see any mention of your drivetrain upgrades and what kind of lift you did.  I’m always curious to see the various combinations of what people come up with.  I have a 94 with a 3in BL and was thinking about doing a Calmini 3in SL, but considering a SAS too and putting in a bigger engine too!  So many options!!!  Basically, I’d like to run 33x10.50 or 12.50.  Can’t wait to see more of the interior for your “ginger Pathy”.  Haha!  The shifter plate is Awesome!  

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  • 5 months later...

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. 



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

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! a%3E

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