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1999 Frontier Lung Transplant


Red Skull Member
Jul 18, 2020
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The infamous NORD (that's the Nissan Frontier with the Ford bed) started acting up on the last trip to Kairos. The brake clean test indicated that it has a leaking intake gasket. Fun. So it got packed up and ignored for the last few months. Realizing that our annual Uwharrie run was coming in in 2 weeks, I finally dragged it out and started tearing in to it. My hopes that it would be easy and only be the upper plenum gasket were quickly killed when I get the upper manifold off and found nothing unusual with the gasket. Then I noticed that at least one of the nuts for the lower manifold was completely loose. Fuck.

Being the idiot that I am, I decided that since I have it torn down this far and I'm not going to want to do it again, I might was well throw that factory supercharger on while I'm at it. Why not? Luckily I had almost 2 complete setups, minus a few key parts here and there.
I ordered a gasket set and a bunch of the hoses that got fucked in the removal process or would be impossible to get to again once it was all bolted back together, and I went at it.

For the most part, the is a direct bolt-on swap. You need the lower manifold, the SC plenum and blower (obviously), the pulley bridge, harmonic balancer, a/c compressor and ECU.

The reason for swapping the harmonic balancer and compressor is that the blower runs a 6 rib belt around the HB-a/c compressor, two idlers and then the blower. The N/A uses a 4-rib belt that runs through the HB/compressor and idler. I don't have time to fuck with pulling the balancer and didn't want to have to vent and recharge the A/C so I did what any reasonable idiot would and just cut 2 ribs off the 6 rib belt. :laughing: I'll see how long this lasts. My rationale at the moment is that this blower is pretty worn out with no coating left on the rotors. I have another blower that plan to rebuild and get the rotors recoated. When I swap that in, I'll worry about the belt. I'll probably throw a smaller pulley on the blower at the point too.
A box cutter made quick work or that belt de-ribbing:

Pretty much fully buttoned up. The hood closes enough to catch the safety latch, but won't close all the way. Gonna be getting a custom vented hood - a la sawzall. :lmao:
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This brings me to where I am as of this morning. I got the last few things buttoned up. Had to run to the junk yard to grab a connector off the harness.....mine being a '99 has a slightly different set of plugs on the injector harness. My old harness was pretty well disintegrating and I didn't realize the plugs were different until last night. Ended up just making a simple pigtail harness with the correct plugs on either side so I wouldn't have to cut up the main harness. Easy.

She fired right up, once I went back and caught of few of the plugs I had missed. But she's idling really high at the moment....like 2,600rpm high.

There's a chance it's because I don't have the SC ecu installed yet....a buddy of mine is going to bring it on Thursday and we'll install it at camp, but I don't think that would cause a high idle.

I'm starting to think that my original problem wasn't the intake gasket at all and I have a bad sensor or something. I changed throttle bodies, I can mostly rule out the TPS. I'm getting a MAP code, but that shouldn't affect idle this much. Cleaned the MAF and unplugging the MAF affects idle so I believe it's working.

I'm a little stumped. We'll swap the ECU on Thursday and see what happens. There will be other first gen Xterras there, so I'll be able to borrow parts to rule out sensors.
And since I haven't post much of this truck here....a few action shots. I didn't build it and I didn't pay much for it. I don't care about it and I beat it like a rented whore.



So I found the source of my high reving, but I'm not 100% sure why it's doing it yet. For some reason when I had the Torque app looking at the OBDii parameters yesterday, several weren't showing up. In fact, from memory the only thing really working was revs. I just started it up tonight to see how it would act with a completely cold start and this time I get the full array of parameters on the screen. And the big thing that sticks out is that it shows the throttle at 56% even though it's clearly fully closed and on the stops.

Gonna swap the TPS tomorrow and see what happens. I seriously doubt it's the sensor as this is a different one than before and the is the same symptom I had before the swap. I'm almost wondering if there's a short in the wiring somewhere or if the ECU is shot. I'd prefer the latter since I need to swap in an SC ECU any way.
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