Nissan x-trail

Ford across the River Otter, South Devon in June 2015

Ford across the River Otter, South Devon in June 2015

Our Nissan X-Trail was the first 4x4 I modified. I had always been interested in the dual purpose nature of the car and wanted to see what it could offer us.


The first steps we took to adapt the vehicle to better suit our needs were changing the wheels and tyres. We went with steel wheels and a set of 225/70/16 Hankook Dynapro RF-10's.

The tyres were a massive upgrade from the standard road ones fitted previously. This led to the next and probably most prominant issue with the X-Trail - ground clearance. The sump was protected with a handmade 3mm sheet of steel and the very low exhaust backbox was cured with a bespoke replacment section with much better clearance.

With the sump guard and exhaust section fitted the car was much more competent off road but it still needed more ground clearance. 

My brother went about machining a set of 45mm prototype strut spacers, these have now been developed into welded steel units. The lift transformed the vehicle into a very capable little softish-off roader.

A roof rack was the next upgrade, I wanted to have the capacity for two mountain bikes; the spare wheel; a kayak and some auxiliary lighting.

Relocating the spare wheel to the roof rack left the spare wheel well in the boot empty, so I made a simple partition system to make better use of the space.