I always carry an FRS Radio in the glove box, it can be used to contact help in emergencies but more importantly it’s the UXOC’s main means of communication on trail runs, and most other 4wheel groups that I travel with use it also.
The first thing to do before you take the Xterra offroad is to remove the stock step rails. They’re strong enough to stand on but as soon as a rock hits them they’ll bend. They’re worth nothing on the trail, so take them off before you hit the trail. Plus if you take them off early you can sell them in mint condition on eBay for $150-$200. The use that money to buy you some real rock sliders.
Which kind you get is totally your preference but I recommend the Shrockworks or Calmini, I got the Shrockworks because I like how the stick out a little farther from the sides for easier jacking with the Hi-Lift. A word of caution when jacking with the Hi-Lift on a slider, make sure the jack wont slip but also remember to open your door so that if the jack leans in it won’t dent the door.
To improve visibility with the mirrors I got some simple round fish-eye mirrors and stuck them onto the side mirrors. Another simple $2.00 improvement. I already had my side mirrors out covering my blind spots ala the Car Talk method, but the round mirrors give me a better view up, down, and even further to the side.
I got some wheel locks for the same reason I got the Locking Gas cap, I don’t think I’ll ever have my wheels stolen but now I don’t have to worry at all. The locks replace one lug nut on each wheel and require a special key to get off. The back end of the key is the same size as the rest of the lug nuts so you don’t need two sizes of socket to get the wheels off. Just be sure NOT TO LOSE THE KEY!!
All it takes to siphon gas or pour sugar into a stock Xterra tank is to open the gas door and unscrew the cap, even though it’s unlikely for it to happen I wanted to be sure it never happened so I got a Stant locking gas cap for 4 bucks. It may be protecting me from a threat that was never there but 4 bucks is a small price to pay for piece of mind.
I want to bolt some permanent hooks to the frame for extraction but I haven’t figured out exactly how I want to do it, till then I have a simple D-Ring around the rear leaf spring hanger. It’s not a very good solution but it’s a good band-aid till I bolt some new hooks on. When the D-Ring is pulled back the bar hits where the leaf spring hanger meets the frame so there isn’t much chance of ripping the spring hanger off.
I was having a problem with warm air coming though the vents even when the air was cool outside. Many Xterras have problems with the vents under the windshield being blocked, mine didn’t have the problem but I was still getting warm air. I figured heat was coming through the firewall so I thought of putting some insulation in there. When I removed the plastic covers I found out there was more to the problem.
My Xterra didn’t come with BSMs but a member of the UXOC had just painted the side of his Xterra and took his off and he was nice enough to give them to me. It took me three years to finally clean the old tape off of them and get new tape to remount them. Now they’re finally done and I can rest a little easier when thinking about people opening their doors into mine.
One problem I have with the Xterra is that the rear wiper works at too quickly an interval or not at all, you either leave it off or it will go so often that the window will dry and the wiper will skip across the glass. Plus the large back of the Xterra creates a large eddy current that causes alot of trail dust to stick to the window. To keep the rear window clear I got the Nissan Air Deflector for the back to re-direct air over the window. It does a great job keeping the window clean; it won’t keep all the dirt off but it does ALOT better than without it.
I put the vent visors on so that I could crack the windows a bit in the summer to keep the cabin from getting too hot, this way they don’t look like they’re open. Plus you can crack open the windows while driving during a rainstorm and the water won’t get in. The only drawback, the edges are kind of sharp; I’ve never cut myself on one but I wouldn’t want to rub against them either.