Xterra Tweaks & Changes

We haven’t been able to get out nearly as much as usual this summer — making the site fairly quiet. Hopefully, as we move towards fall we’ll be able to resume our more regular cadence for trips and adventures. Until then, I’ve been tinkering with a few things here and there.

No pictures, but I restored the headlight lenses and swapped the OEM bulbs for Sylvania Silver Star Ultras. On a vehicle like the X that doesn’t have DRLs, the short life-span of the Ultras is a moot issue. The bulbs I like. The restoration kit I used (Turtle Wax) I’m not as thrilled about.

With the new fridge slide/shelf, we’re able to move a lot more gear inside the Xterra. Which is my preference. It’s easier on fuel, more secure, and less of a “dick magnet” at every gas station. “Yes, that’s a snorkel. No, I don’t want to talk to you.”

Since I was able to increase the space between the shelf and the ceiling, AND the shelf and the floor. You can now fully open the cooler when slid out.

The ax was removed from the roof and now lives in Quickfists mounted on the shelf. Oh, and you can see I finally got the shelf painted.

The shovel is also off the roof and now mounted to the tire swing-arm. I’ll probably redo this mount if I like it long-term. For now, it’s just a piece of aluminum angle I cut, bent, riveted into place. Pretty solid. One small downside is you have to open the swing-arm further to get the hatch to clear. Trade-offs.

Another addition to the shelf was adding a tablet mount. We don’t often watch downloaded movies at night. But when the weather makes it miserable to be outside and you can’t have a fire (most places in the summer), it’s a nice option.

I freed up my 12V outlet in the center console from the CB and used a fuse tap on the seat heater (not equipped) to hardwire the CB into keyed power. That also let me re-route the cord and get it out of the freaking way finally.

In that same photo, you can see that the wireless winch remote finally found a permanent home.

The newly freed 12V outlet now powers the Garmin; which use to be powered off the USB in the 12V outlet in the dash. But by adding the Garmin GTM 60 HD Digital Traffic Reciever power cable, we’re able to get real-time traffic updates without using Smartphone Link (which means it works when you don’t have service). Which is a win, because my phone now connects to something much better…

A mere $20 changed my life forever. SoundBot brings Bluetooth audio through the factory aux port and Bluetooth calling that actually works. For those of you with an Xterra, you’re well aware that the factory Bluetooth is basically worthless.

The Pro Clip mount for my phone was using the console mount. But, if you’re like me and push the front seat forward to sleep inside the truck — the mount hits the seat before it slides all the way forward. In fact, my short wife would hit the console mount moving the seat forward enough to drive. Are you listening to Pro Clip? Terrible.

Anyway, with the Xterra being at a point that resale is impossible, I figured what are a couple more holes in the dash? And remounted the phone holder straight to the dash using old-fashioned screws. Ah, much better.

Considering how much shit is hardwired (CB, dash cam, compressor switch) or mounted (CB, cell phone, Bluetooth, GPS) or routed around/in/through the center stack (too many to list), it looks pretty clean.

Also, clay barred (waaayyy overdue) and sealed the truck using DuraGloss 101. I’m impressed with the DuraGloss so far. It’s been on there about two months and the paint is still super smooth and dirt and mud just beads off of it.

That’s it. Mostly housekeeping and tinkering. Need to put together more than a couple of consecutive hours of free time so we can get out and adventure instead ;)