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2004 Titan SE 4x4 Big Tow
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Those headlights and grill combo look awesome. Let us know if the lights stay together down the road. I’m hesitant on Amazon headlights for fear of leakage, but those look dang good.
 

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2012 SL, Texas Edition, Big Tow, Blizzard white, Tastefully modded (in my own expert opinion, lol)!
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Discussion Starter #42
Those headlights and grill combo look awesome. Let us know if the lights stay together down the road. I’m hesitant on Amazon headlights for fear of leakage, but those look dang good.
Thanks! I'm pretty happy with how they look!

I'll keep you posted on how well the lights hold up. To hedge my bet, I bought the 3 year protection policy on the lights for $22. If anything goes wrong with the lights within 3 years, I get a full refund and I'm only out the $22 for the protection policy.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
The company I bought the bumper from got back to me bright and early this morning. They asked me to e-mail a picture of the dent to them. Before I even made it to work, they had already emailed me back, saying they would ship me another bumper immediately. Dang! That's some good customer service! They also said that they didn't want me to ship the first bumper back. So, I guess I'll offer it up on Craigslist and see if I can get a couple of bucks for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
The leading edge of my hood looks like its been through a war zone. It's a massive collection of stone chips and sad attempts at filling stone chips. (I'm not sure which looks worse, the chips or the crappy repairs.) Anyway, unless I want to pay for a repaint of the hood (I don't) the next best thing is to cover them. I don't much care for the traditional smoked plastic bug guards that stand off the hood by an inch or so. But, I found the Lund guards that tape directly to the hood an closely follow the hood's contours. The chrome guard, to my eyes, looks like it belongs with my chrome lights and grille. It almost looks like a 2nd Gen Titan. I know this one is not going to be to everyone's liking, but I kinda dig it!





 

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So, I've learned a few cool features on my new Titan within the last few days. These are things that don't seem to appear in the owner's manual, but are nice to know about.
  • Windows down from key fob - Press and hold the unlock button and the front windows roll down remotely. They will stop rolling down when you release the unlock button. Unfortunately, you can't roll them back up remotely.
  • Windows up/down with key - If you insert the key into the door lock, then turn and hold the key in either direction, you can roll the windows up and down from outside of the truck.
  • Turn off the cargo lamp with the doors open - You can turn the cargo on at any time with the switch on the dash. But you can't disable the "on with doors open" feature the way you can with the dome lights. However, if the doors are open and you want the cargo lamp off, just flip the dash switch on and back off again. The cargo lamp will remain off until a door gets opened again.
  • Cargo lamp extended on time - If you turn on the cargo lamp manually, it will stay on until turn it off yourself or the battery saver feature will turn it off to keep you from killing the battery. (I've read anywhere from 15-30 mins.)
  • There are two "automatic" headlight settings - There's the standard light-sensing headlight setting, of course. But if you like to drive with your headlights on all the time, you can just leave them on and the battery saver will turn them off for you. (The warning chime will ring as you exit the truck.) The lights will automatically turn back on the next time you start your truck.
I know most probably won't find these features all that amazing. But remember, I'm coming to the Titan from a 17 year old Ford, so these are pretty cool features to me!
Here is another one with the SL. You have memory seats. You can program button 1 or 2 for your settings. Adjust your seat and side mirrors. If you hit Set, then button 1 or 2, and simultaniously hold the key fob UnLock button, you will program that seat and mirror setting to your fob. So if someone else changes the position of either, pressing unlock of the programmed key fob will bring everything to your preference before you enter the vehicle.
 
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Discussion Starter #46
Here is another one with the SL. You have memory seats. You can program button 1 or 2 for your settings. Adjust your seat and side mirrors. If you hit Set, then button 1 or 2, and simultaniously hold the key fob UnLock button, you will program that seat and mirror setting to your fob. So if someone else changes the position of either, pressing unlock of the programmed key fob will bring everything to your preference before you enter the vehicle.
I already did this. Setting 1, and my remote, is my driving setting. Setting 2 is my lunchtime nap setting!
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
Did a small mod/repair today. I was having the classic "Titan anti-freeze smell" issue. For $17, I bought a new radiator cap and reservoir cap. Smell gone, driver happy!
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Just a quick tip on removing/replacing the bumper and other similar projects. Before you start this, do yourself a favor and buy a BUNCH of plastic retainers like this kit from Amazon: Amazon.com: SunplusTrade 240 Pcs Push Type Retainer Clips for Toyota GM Ford Honda Acura Chrysler with Plastic Storage Case: Automotive

You WILL break at least one or two of the original plastic retainers, and they are STUPID EXPENSIVE to replace one or two at a time. The retainers that hold the plastic end caps onto the bumper cost $4 for a pair at Autozone! Or, you could have 240 assorted fasteners at your beck and call for only $14. And that doesn't even account for the inconvenience of having to run to the parts store to get the fasteners before you can finish your project.

The same goes for cotter pins. I'm about to install a 2" leveling kit and I know that I'll need to replace 2 cotter pins on each side. So, I just ordered this kit from Amazon: Amazon.com: Neiko 50454A Cotter Pin Assortment Kit with Fastener Clip Key and Large Industrial Storage Case, 555 Piece, Silver: Home Improvement
555 cotter pins for $13. If you're going to do projects and work on your own vehicles, you owe it to yourself to stock up on things like pins, fasteners, c-clips, etc... before you are in the middle of a project and really need them.
 

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Nice write-up. Looks great!
 

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2012 SL, Texas Edition, Big Tow, Blizzard white, Tastefully modded (in my own expert opinion, lol)!
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Discussion Starter #50
I've been kind of back and forth on what to do about the scratched up OEM "fog lights." We all know that they are next to useless as actual fog lights, even before the cheap plastic lenses get scratched all to heck.

My first option was to replace them with OEM-style replacements. However, even with modern LED bulbs, they just didn't perform. they are essentially vanity lights that serve no purpose of the than looking better than having empty holes in the front bumper.

My second choice was the same square LED fog lights that I mounted on my Miata. I know they work REALLY well at putting a lot of useful light way down low on the road, right where it should be. In short, they are REAL fog lights. However, I was unsure if I would like the "square peg in a round hole" look, so I moved on to the next choice.

That was the round Morimoto XB fogs lights. they are really high quality LED fogs that work the way fogs lights should. They don;t make a version for the Titan, but they have a generic Nissan version that I decided to give a try. Well, it turned out that the plug for the Nissan version didn't fit my Nissan! Also, I couldn't figure out a mounting solution that made me happy that wouldn't have been more work than I felt was worth it for this project.

So, I went back to the square LED fog lights and decided I could live with the look for trade offs of easy mounting and really good performance.

Here's what I bought:
The lights are DOT approved to be legal on the road. The optics provide a really sharp cutoff that you can aim down low to prevent blinding oncoming traffic and getting people flashing their lights at you all the time. Plus, the very bright light hits the road where you need it, instead of scattering all over and not really helping you see. For less than $100, I really don't think you can do better!

Even though the new fog lights come with a wiring harness and switch, who wants to bother with all that?!?! Besides, my titan already has a perfectly good switch setup built in. The wiring adapters make these light plug-and-play with the OEM fog light wiring and switch.
 

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2012 SL, Texas Edition, Big Tow, Blizzard white, Tastefully modded (in my own expert opinion, lol)!
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Discussion Starter #51
Here's what I did to put it all together. When you pop the original lights out of the bumper, you'll have this to work with:
IMG_20200624_092859 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

Nissan was kind enough to give us lots of room to work with and several holes to use for wires and securing the lights.

First, I grabbed my 3" hole saw and cut several discs from some scrap ABS (Kydex) I had leftover from making a front splitter for my Miata. I cut several so I could screw up a few times., lol!

IMG_20200622_202327 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

Then, using a stepped bit, I drilled holes in the disc to match the holes in the bumper. I would be using plastic fasteners to hold the disc in place.

IMG_20200622_205218 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200622_205232 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200622_205244 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200622_205306 by Rex Keely, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #52
After test-mounting the light in the center hole, I realized that the light bracket has some offset and I needed a mounting hole a bit higher than center.

IMG_20200624_092716 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

The new mounting hols is still within the big OEM center hole in the bumper, so not hole were drilled in the truck and it would be very easy to switch back to the OEM lights, if you wanted. (Though why you would is beyond me.)

With the disc fastened in place, the light mounts through the hole with a 1.75" fender washer on each side of the bumper, and a lockwasher and nut on the inside. Those big fender washer give a lot of bearing surface and are bigger than the OEM center hole that the original bulb went through. This makes for a very firm and secure mount.

IMG_20200624_093946 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

The last thing to do is to use the wiring adapters to plug in the lights:
IMG_20200624_093909 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

I just wrapped the extra long cords around the corner bumper supports a few times to make sure the wioring was out of the way and wouldn't get snagged on anything.

Here's how they look:

IMG_20200624_095152 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200624_095145 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200624_095212 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

And here is the cuttoff:

IMG_20200624_094932 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

That pic is in broad daylight (in Texas!) with the truck parked 10 feet away from my garage door. I'm telling you guys, these light work really well! I'll wait until tonight to go find an appropriate wall to use for final aiming of the lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #53

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Discussion Starter #54
With thanks to Herbpov, I just did the backer rod mod to see if it quiets the wind noise I get at high speeds. Here's the post I found that details it: On windy days air gets though the driver side window.
I'll find out tomorrow morning how well it does on my drive to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Well, the wind noise wasn't fixed. While driving, I pressed on the upper rear corner of the door and could hear a difference. So, the noise seems to be due to the top corner not sealing well enough. I'll have to look at the condition of the seal and see what adjustments to the door are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Today's mod was installing my new tonneau cover. I decided to go with the Pro X15 from Truxedo. I've had tri-fold covers before and never liked that they always cover 1/3 of the bed unless you remove the whole cover. The roll up cover seems the best blend of having coverage when you want it and being unobtrusive when you don't want coverage. The Pro X15 is made of canvas laminate, similar to cloth convertible tops. It just looks classy, imo. It has a lifetime warranty, so I wont have to buy a new one in a few years. The final factor was that it was on sale on Amazon for 10% off, plus there's a $60 rebate. That added up to $113 savings!

Anyway, installation took about 15-20 minutes and was very easy. I still have full access to my Utilitrack rails, other than the 3 points on each side where the cover mounts to the rails. I feel that's a very small trade-off. So here are a few pics:

IMG_20200625_191152 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_191200 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_192952 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_192938 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

I'll be mounting some LED strips inside the bed to make it easier to see in there with the cover closed.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I did a small repair last night. The plastic plate that surrounds the tailgate handle was loose at the bottom. It's held onto the tailgate by 6 plastic clips and some tape. On mine, the two lowest clips had broken and the original tape had dried out and stopped sticking. I took it apart, cleaned all the surfaces and then reassembled it with some new 3M tape around the edges. Good as new and a damn sight cheaper than buying a new tailgate handle (they're about $60!). I have a chrome trim kit inbound to dress up the handle. I'll put that on when I receive it next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
I added LED Strip lighting to the bed today. Now that I have abed cover, I wanted to be able to see into the bed when the cover is close. I ran a strip of LEDs along the each side of the bed and wired them into the original cargo lights that are integrated into the tail lights. That way they operate with the switch on the dash and with the doors, just like the original cargo lamps.

Here's what I did:

After cleaning the underside of the Utilitrack rails with Windex and then isopropyl alcohol, I stuck the LED strips along the bottom of both side rails. The adhesive that came on the strips was pretty pathetic, so I used 3M mounting tape to make sure the strips would stay put.

IMG_20200628_171143 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

I ran the first strip along the passenger side rail, starting at the tailgate. At the bulkhead, I soldered on a wire to run over to the other side. I used a two-conductor wire that has a black cover over it to keep things clean and keep the wires protected. At the bulkhead, I ran the wire through a hole in the inside of the bed.

IMG_20200628_171129 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

From inside the bed, the wore goes out the front :
IMG_20200628_133307 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

Then into the header rail:
IMG_20200628_133305 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

Then it runs across to the other side, out of the header, through the bed rail and back inside to the head of the driver side Utilitrack rail. Then, a littl more soldering is required to connect the second LED strip. That strip runs along the driver side rail to the tailgate. At the tailgate end of the rail, it's time to solder on another wire. That one runs up through a convenient gap...

IMG_20200628_155421 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

... which allows easy access to the area behind the tail light.

IMG_20200628_171713 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

Then I used two Posi-Tap connectors to tap into the wires for the cargo lamp.

MVIMG_20200628_171719 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

And that's it! I now have LED strips along both sides of the bed that are linked into the OEM cargo lamp system. The total cost of this mod was about $25.

IMG_20200628_201038 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

MVIMG_20200628_201029 by Rex Keely, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #59 (Edited)
I did another small upgrade today. The tailgate just looked a little too plain, so I added the standard chrome tailgate handle trim.

Before: Meh
IMG_20200617_204216 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

After: Shiney!
IMG_20200629_190702 by Rex Keely, on Flickr

I also received my Hellwig traction springs today. I'll probably install those on Wednesday, along with my 2" leveling kit.
 
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