I wrestled my Xterra

My yellow banana

This is my forever project. I want a rig that can get me to the farthest parts and still get me home. I know “overlanding” is all the rage and yes I like everything about camping and back country traveling too. Overlanding seems to focus more on gear and sexy rigs. I always picture light bars and Dometic refrigerators when someone talks about their overland rig.

I am a Missourian that rednecks my way across logging roads, washed out service roads and water crossings. As I get more adventurous sometimes I limp my truck back home and say to myself “that was some real stupid I got myself into”. I don’t have a wagon train of new Rubicons to give me confidence. It’s just me and my truck with no cell service, so I need to trust my Xterra to get me home.

My ball joints….. gigidy.

This week I needed to upgrade my ball joints and get my metal armor ready to mount. The oversized tires and off roading is hard on ball joints. Xterras are not known for having bullet proof steering systems so you gotta check on them.

Replacing ball joints sounds pretty straight forward but everything that could hold me up, held me up. As I write this I’m still not done with the ball joints. The uppers are in half the lowers are in. When I was putting a CV axle back on a busted a bolt so I gave up for the day.

Saturday I’m gonna finish a job that should have taken one day but not for me. I love to be thorough and spread it out over 5 days… jeez.

Anyway, the Xterra is holding down my jack stands and I’m wondering why I haven’t bought a car lift by now.

Skid Plates

Matt Hodel

Update! Me and Theo welded a new bumper on!

I got more done this week than I planned to with the help of the youngest boy. It was a good weekend of man stuff. A lot of garage time and learning for both of us. Theo learned to weld and we powered through to get the front bumper and winch installed.

It is an Addicted Offroad bumper. I liked it because it has a minimalist look and I could never make something like it. The build time from order to delivery took 7 weeks. I also liked it because it didn't use the stock bumper mounts. You have to cut off 3" of the frame of the Xterra and weld in a cross bar. This give the Xterra a better approach angle when off-roading.

I will pull off the bumper and paint it black when the weather warms up. Next weekend we can start welding up the rock sliders.


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