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As my truck is starting to take shape, and become more what I envisaged, I thought it was worth starting a thread dedicated to it. Especially as My Garage is running out of photo spaces.

So here goes....

I'd been after a Nav for a long time, but the D40's stated combined MPG was too low for it to qualify for a company fuel card. So, when the NP300 came out, with a combined MPG released as 44mpg, I decided it was time to start looking.
Originally, I was looking at ordering a brand new Acenta+, just based on price, but then I found an ex-demo Tekna online, with 10 miles on the clock, and £10k off the list price. It meant I could have the top spec for less than I was originally looking to spend. I wanted it in red, but couldn't pass up the deal, so settled for black.

It was advertised on Looker's website, but was over in Leeds, so without even seeing it, I told my local Lookers that I wanted it. Unfortunately, due to it's size, it wouldn't fit on the back of their delivery truck, so they drove it over. But still, it only had 160ish miles on the clock.

It came with the Nissan Premium Hardtop, Nissan plastic bedliner and Nissan rubber mats already fitted, and although I'm the first registered keeper, being ex-demo, Nissan consider it a used car, so threw in two years free servicing. I still get the benefit of the 5 years (although I'll hit 100k before 5 years) warranty and breakdown cover.

It wasn't until I arrived at my local delivery to collect it, that the salesman pointed out that there were a couple of scuffs on the paintwork (front bumper and rear tub), but the dealer agreed to repair these as part of the purchase. A mobile body repair specialist turned up at my house within a month. Good as new!

Big Nelly got her name because;
  1. Nelly Navara has a good ring to it
  2. It has a big trunk (excuse the Americanism) like Nelly the Elephant
 

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First mod - Drawers for tub

Going from a small SUV, to a large pickup posed a problem.... all my tools etc were sliding all around the the tub.
To solve this, I started designing some custom built drawers for the tub, but after bending my wife's ear about them for a week or two, she suggested I buy some instead, to say my time, so I could spend more of it with our, then, 1 year old daughter.
After a bit of research, and price comparison, I opted for the Direct4x4.co.uk ones, with two full length drawers and a sliding top.

These were bolted to the floor of the tub, and meant I could organise all my kit, and more importantly, keep it in place.
 

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Next up - Gas bonnet struts

My previous 3 cars had the convenience of gas bonnet struts, so I was surprised the NP300 didn't come with them as standard, but I decided they'd be easy enough to fit.

I ordered the bonnet struts off eBay, but they came without fitting instructions, so thought I'd do a quick write up on howto install them....

Firstly, the struts I bought were these £35ish ones from this seller in Taiwan. I was also charge about £5 by the courier for import tax. But still not a bad price.
The kit comes with two struts, two brackets, 4 nuts and 4 washers. Mine had two nuts missing, but when I contacted the seller, they offered to send more, or refund £5.... I took the refund!

So down to the fitting....

First, you need to take the upper (looking when the bonnet is open) nut off the bonnet hinge, and fit the bracket. Use the rectangular hole not the round one, and butt the bracket right up to the hinge. Do this on both sides of the bonnet.

Next, put attach the silver/piston end of the strut to the body, using the hole already available about half way down the wing. It's the hole right next to the washer bottle mounting point. Put the thread through the hole, then use the washer and nut supplied on the underside to fix in place.

For the next bit, you will have to remove the current bonnet stay from the bonnet and put it back in it's clip, as the gas struts lift the lid higher than the standard stay.

While holding the bonnet up (I used my head, but you might find someone to help), put the thread on the black end of the struts through the hole in the brackets you placed earlier, putting it through from the outer edge. Fix in place with the remaining nuts, making sure to use the washers supplied.

And you're done!! :thumbleft:
 

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Forum Stickers

Having already received a fair bit of advice from forum members, I thought I better contribute to the cause by adding some forum stickers to my truck.

You can find out how to order your own stickers by following the link in my signature below. :thumbleft:
 

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A new number

At this point, I bought my wife a new (to her) Alfa Romeo Mito. Great little car, 0.9l but 105bhp and handles like a go-kart.
Her only problem was, it wasn't brand new, like her previous 4 cars. My solution, a private plate. And if she was having one, I wanted one too. So we got matching.
 

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Time for new tyres

Mostly for the rugged look, but also for some basic greenlaning etc, I decided I wanted to put some all-terrain tyres on Nelly. My problem is, there are two things that confuse me in life.... water bills and tyre sizes!
After much discussion on the Wheel & Tyres NP300 thread, I decided to opt for Cooper Discoverer AT3 Sports in 265/60 R18 110 T with RWL/OWL.

The AT3 Sports aren't as rugged as I would have liked (although they're chunkier than they look in the photo), but they are definitely a decent compromise. I haven't noticed any difference in road noise, in fact, they are rated at 72dB, just like the factory fitted Conti's. As for comfort, I can tell the difference, but my wife can't, so it can't be that major. In fact, I'm probably being overly sensitive to the change because I was expecting one. I've been using them on both wet and dry roads, as well as wet and dry gravel/farm tracks, and they've performed brilliantly.

£500 got me four tyres, fully fitted, from my local fitter. That's £30 cheaper than I could find them just supplied online. Then the fitter knocked off the £20 I'd paid for a repair on one of the Conti's the previous week. So really happy with the deal!
 

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A few extras

I wanted to add a few little extras;

1. Rewire Security 104-Pro Tracker - I'm not going to tell you where/how I installed it, but it seems to do the job. You can communicate with it via SMS, or through a webpage.

2. Brodit ProClip phone holder. Big fan of these, as you buy a piece specific to your vehicle, and then a second piece specific to your phone, and fix them together.

3. DDPai M6 Plus Dashcam. Mounted behind the rearview mirror, and the cable routed around the windscreen to behind the dash for power.

4. Hidden 12v sockets behind the dash. These are wired into an ignition switch fuse behind the glove box, and provide hidden power to my phone holder and dashcam (and anything else I decide to add)

5. 32gb SanDisk Ultra Fit USB drive plugged into the dash USB socket, loaded with thousands of MP3s
 

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Remote contoller LED lightbar

I wanted to add an LED lightbar, but without interfering with any of the truck's wiring, or having to drill holes in the dash or anything. I decided a wireless remote would be the best bet.

After receiving advice from a few members on the Remote Controlled LED Light Bar thread, I bought a remote controlled relay from ebay, and with a little help from our old Administrator, came up with the attached wiring diagram.

I mounted the light bar in the lower grille, by fashioning some brackets using building steel.

 

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Sorry drawers, this isn't going to work out

Having had the drawers in the tub for approx. 12 months, I started to think they weren't right for what I wanted. They take up a fair bit of room in there, and because they're bolted down, and are heavy, they couldn't be removed easily when I needed to carry something bigger. I was considering taking them out and replacing them with some crates, but didn't want to see them go to waste. Luckily, a fellow forum member approached me, and ended up buying them.

I replaced the drawers with two (NATO approved) crates. These are much lighter, even when full, and can either be rearranged, stacked or removed altogether when I need to carry bulkier items.
 

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Bed Divider

Now that the drawers have gone, and have been replaced with crates, the new problem was that they were sliding around the tub.

The Nissan (and after market) bed dividers seem a little expensive, so I decided to make my own for less than £15!!

All I used was 3x Heavy Duty Strap Bends and some bolts to fit them together.





The idea was, I could bolt two straps together in the middle, and the bent ends would hook into the c-channel clamps/cleats. Meaning the divider could be re positioned by just sliding the clamps along the channels. The divider is also easily removed by just lifting out.
However, this left the divider a little high, and let the cases slide underneath, so I put some extra bends into the straps.






As the cases I've got in my truck don't fill the width, they were still sliding side to side, so I added one more strap hooked into a clamp on the far channel and bolted this strap two the others. If you wanted the cases to be held central instead of to one side, you could add another strap/clamp on the other side.





I've left the front to back strap longer, so that if I have to move cross piece closer to the back of the truck, it can still be bolted together.





The holes in the straps also allow for other things to be fixed to them using bungee cords and alike.

All these photos can also be found in one of my albums; Jem - Bed Divider
Hope this helps others. It's nothing special, but it does the job I need it to do.
 

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Dechroming

I'd been wanting to dechrome my truck, to make it all black, but didn't think my wife would approve. As luck would have it, she saw a Pathfinder all in black and liked it, so she came home and told me mine would look good like that. Jackpot!

After chatting to @rob8420, I opted to use Raptor Liner. I'd considered PlastiDip, as I'd used it before, but didn't think it would be hard-wearing enough for the front facing pieces, so Raptor seemed like a good option. Problem was, I don't have spraying facilities, so decided to roll it on with a 4" foam roller.

I removed all the bits that could be removed; rear bumper, wing mirror caps, side steps, fog light surrounds and the chrome bit of the front grille. Sanded them all down and gave them all a good 4-6 coats each before refitting. The bits I couldn't remove easily (roof bars, door handles & window sills) I painted in situ.

I then used PlastiDip to do the rear Nissan badge, and removed the NP300, Navara and Truck of the Year badges altogether.

The biggest problem was doing the graphite section of the front grille, as I wasn't going to be able to get the roller into all the gaps, so I used PlastiKote (approx. £6 per can). One can was enough to do about 6 coats on this section.

I also added black headlight and taillight surrounds to complete the effect.
 

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Website sticker

Added a website strap for my side project/business. Supplied by Paul, who also does the forum stickers, and printed to match the forum sticker.

Remember, you can order forum stickers for your truck. Find out how by following the link in my signature below. :thumbleft:
 

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Switch Panel & Auxiliary Fuse box

As I wanted to add some amber flashing lights for work purposes, I decided it was time to add an auxiliary switch panel, as I didn't want to end up with loads of different remote fobs, losing them or forgetting which one was which.

I couldn't find anywhere to mount a standard switch panel, but found a set which comprised of a touch control panel which could be mounted on the dash, and a control unit which would sit behind the dash.

I wired the switch panel into an ignition switched fuse in the cab, so that turning the ignition off would turn any auxiliary devices off.

When installing, I had a major problem, where the new wiring was greatly reducing the range of the smart fob. You can read more about that in my Smart fob range massively reduced after adding auxiliary devices and associated wiring thread. But briefly, the issue was fixed by one of the following three things;
- charging the main battery fully
- earthing to the body instead of the battery
- adding ferrite clips to the circuit.

I've attached two versions of my wiring diagram. The edited one shows (in purple) where I added the ferrite clips, and also that I removed one of the fuse boxes. This fuse box was only ever to act as a junction box for the switching cables, so devices could be added easily at a later date. Instead of this fuse box, I have just left the cables from the switch control unit tied up in the engine bay with female spade connectors on the ends.

At this point, I moved the control of my LED light bar over from the remote relay to this switch panel.
 

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Air horn

This was done much earlier in the process, but I forgot to add it to the thread in the correct place....

The NP300 horn is pitiful!! I wanted to upgrade it to something with a bit more grunt to it.

I first opted for the 12v Ultra Compact Black Stebel Nautilus Car Twin Tone Air Horn, and put it in place of the horn behind the grille. Because of the extra draw of power, I had to add a 30amp relay to the circuit, and took the 12v feed from the battery with an inline fuse (this has since been moved over to my auxiliary fuse box). I also disconnected the second horn in the wheelarch.

In my opinion, the Stebel horn wasn't much better than the NP300, so I changed it to a cheap eBay airhorn with separate compressor and two long horns. This was an improvement, but still not quite what I wanted.

Now, more recently (yesterday)....

I was discussing this with a mate, and he said he had a couple of long horns knocking around, which he had removed from a Landrover fire engine. He kindly donated them to my truck, and I was able to hook them up to my existing compressor. NOW, that is a horn!!
 

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Front flashing LEDS

As my work sometimes takes me to places where additional hazard lights are required, most notably, airports, it was time to fit some. Until now, I had been using some mag-mounted, battery powered strobes, but wanted something tidier and more permanent.

Now that the switch panel wiring, and fuse box was in place, it was fairly easy to add some amber flashing lights to the front grille. I chose some cheap ones from eBay. They're 6x 3 watt LEDs per light, so are pretty bright. If they prove not to be very good, I'll swap them out for some from Response Vehicle Lighting, but these were £15 for 4, rather than £20 each.


The flash patterns can be changed, and I haven't yet settled on my preferred option.
I've also ordered another set of 4 for the back of the truck. These will be added to a separate switch on the panel, so that front and back can be used independently of each other.
 

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A great thread Jem. Congratulations on all you have done so far...... what is next on the list?


I have copied you on many things already and now I can see your bonnet strut mod I shall be doing that also.

I removed my grill to to plastidip spray & took it apart .....so I had the chrome part and the grey part in separate pieces. I didn’t spray the grey part as I quite liked the contrast but I may well take it off down the line.

I came to the same conclusion as you with the drawers, too much compromise of space but I really like your bed divider solution... another copy for me probably as I have loads of roof straps here.

I was pondering a bed rug but the cost is big... I have stumbled across a flooring used in gyms for dropping weights onto.... it is brilliant and it’s only 35 pounds... no more sliding tools and sore knees when clambering in. I must get a photo hosting solution sorted out so I can share my mods.

Thanks for sharing.... i’ll Be watching with interest and copying most of it ;)
 

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A great thread Jem. Congratulations on all you have done so far...... what is next on the list?
Thank you! :thumbleft: Next up is the amber flashers on the rear, as soon as they arrive (eta: beginning of next week). I also want to get my wheels powder coated and add a DC to DC charger and additional batteries in the tub, but the costs involved keep delaying both of these.

I have copied you on many things already and now I can see your bonnet strut mod I shall be doing that also.
The bonnet struts are really easy to install, once you know where to bolt it. Took me a bit of trial and error, hence the write up.

I removed my grill to to plastidip spray & took it apart .....so I had the chrome part and the grey part in separate pieces. I didn’t spray the grey part as I quite liked the contrast but I may well take it off down the line.
I did exactly the same, took the grille off and separated the two parts. Painted just the chrome bit black (albeit with Raptor liner and a roller), then refitted it. I liked the contrast to start with, but soon decided I wanted it all black, so took the grille off again, separated it, and just sprayed the graphite section with the PlastiKote.

I came to the same conclusion as you with the drawers, too much compromise of space but I really like your bed divider solution... another copy for me probably as I have loads of roof straps here.
Another easy mod, and a fraction of the cost of the Nissan/aftermarket ones

I was pondering a bed rug but the cost is big... I have stumbled across a flooring used in gyms for dropping weights onto.... it is brilliant and it’s only 35 pounds... no more sliding tools and sore knees when clambering in.
That sounds ideal. My truck came with the plastic bedliner already fitted, but I'm considering removing it and painting the tub with Raptor. Just another thing on the list

I must get a photo hosting solution sorted out so I can share my mods.
You can share photos directly to the forum, this is a good option for longevity, as if you ever close your photo hosting account, or like Photobucket, something else happens, they're still available here.
Either, add them direct to your post for them to appear as thumbnails at the bottom of the post, or create an album in the Gallery seciton, and then link to individual photos in your post, that way you can put them in the appropriate place in the post.
You can see both options in the operation throughout this thread.

Thanks for sharing.... i’ll Be watching with interest and copying most of it ;)
I don't do anything too complicated, as my skills are fairly basic. But happy to share what I do get up to for exactly that reason, they're simple enough to copy. :thumbleft:
 

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Perfect Jem... for me its exactly what a forum is for....sharing knowledge and experience. :)

Thanks for the info with the pics also. i'll experiment over the weekend.

We are similar in that I gave up on a new example for a very well specced "used" or pre reg version... I couldn't turn mine down as it had the protection pack, the Nissan hardtop and tow bar and the sun roof.... I too had to compromise on colour as i would have chosen something else out of choice.


As far as the bed liner goes have a look at this link below.... I too have the protection pack so the bed liner and the rubber mats.... this stuff looks identical to the textured plastic tub its 12mm thick and it doesn't slip or allow stuff to roll about at all.... so much better than spraying or spending 400 on a rug :)


[ame]https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E0MF2RU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
 

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Great right up Jem, really nice set of mods.

Quick question, what make/model are the C channel tracks and anchor points in your tub?
Are the tracks on the floor of the same system?

Keen to find a solution similar to this.
 

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Great right up Jem, really nice set of mods.

Quick question, what make/model are the C channel tracks and anchor points in your tub?
Are the tracks on the floor of the same system?

Keen to find a solution similar to this.
Thank you! :thumbleft:

The C channels on the sides of the tub are the Nissan ones, which come as standard on the higher spec levels in the UK.

The tracks on the floor are from a company in the UK called Direct4x4. I forgot to mention these in my thread as I've never actually bolted them down, so they don't currently get used

Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse brevity and mistakes.
 
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