Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Couple Inexpensive, Useful Xterra Mods

My daily driver/BOV is a 2007 Nissan Xterra S that I bought back in April. It's a great truck. After reading the Xterra forum I did a couple of inexpensive modifications. 

First, my baby: 

The Xterra comes with two cargo tie-downs near the lift gate. Unfortunately, they are cheap plastic and will pull out if 
you put to much weight on them. So, I went to Home Depot and picked up a 4-pack of Stanley steel cargo tie-down shackles and a pack of selt-tapping sheet metal screws. I pulled out the OEM tie-downs and installed the metal tie-downs in their place. The screws go into sheet metal under the plastic, so they are secure. I used the left one this weekend to secure a 7 gal. water jug, worked great.

I wanted a mat to cover the plastic floor of the cargo area. It helps to keep things from sliding around and may dampen road noise a little. Nissan wants about $75 for a factory mat. Screw that. Along with the shackles I picked up a 3'x5' rug at Home Depot. Upon getting it home I took out all my crap and laid the rug inside the cargo area. I then used a piece of chalk to trace around the areas I needed to remove, then cut them off. Finally, I sealed the edges with a lighter. It even matches the truck. 

The cargo box is a Contico SUV box that I bought a few years ago at Lowe's. I can highly recommend it. It's made of some sort of hard expanded foam. It does not latch although it does have two places for a padlock. I had to leave it on my back patio over the weekend because I needed the space, and it got rained on heavily. No water got inside the box.

You may notice that I also added a cargo area cover. IMO, if you drive an SUV or a station wagon it's a good idea for security to cover up whatever you keep in the back. What people can't see won't tempt them. 

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