Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Asheville, NC
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Sorry I was out all weekend, busy busy
That second kit is actually the exact thing I'm running on my X right now. But as long as your components are good there's no reason to jump on it yet.
Yeah I say pucks, but I mean spacers because everyone else calls them spacers. I use the wrong words for a lot of things and confuse people
The X actually doesn't use struts. At least my understanding of the term strut is that it's a strut if it supports the upper control arm, which it doesn't touch on the IFS of the Xterra. As long as the shock is in good condition then you can adda a spacer without worrying about. You will be able to tell if it's in good condition when you take it out because it should be hard to compress by hand. When I took mine out when I put my spacers on I was able to mash the cheap Monroe shock closed like an accordion, not a good sign, and the tolerance change from the spacer made the ride really bad. A good Bilstein shock shouldn't have that problem though.
4-5000 lbs is a good amount of weight to haul around. Shackles breaking I wouldn't worry about because they are made really, and I mean really tough. What I worry about when it comes to towing is the extra leverage a longer shackle would put on the leaf springs. Basically if you think of a lever, the further you hold it out the more force is applied to it. So 4-5000 lbs applied over a greater distance can equate to an extra few thousand pounds of force being applied to the leaf pack which can result in them sagging out much faster than they would otherwise.
Nisstec seems to be a really good company. They sponsor our AZ Xterra club, and a lot of people down here buy off of them though I haven't had the opportunity to yet. That first kit looks really complete, especially with the cambolt option. On a budget I'd say that's the way to go and then replace the shocks as needed.
Good luck getting all that on
Just to clarify:
Longer shackles do NOT put more pressure on the leaves and cause them to flatten.
That is a misinterpretation of an (OLD) jeep, etc, problem, when the shackles were TOO long, and, not because they put too much pressure on the leaves (Which violates several laws of physics), but because over compression with too long a shackle can REVERSE ARCH the leaf pack...which IS bad for them.
The normal lift shackles for the X's are ALL too short to allow reverse arching on compression....so for the X, its not a problem.
Also, the lift shackles (They come with with reenforced braces, etc), are STRONGER than the OEM shackles anyway, and are LESS likely to break than the OEMs.
A suspension lift does NOT make more room for larger tires, except at ride height. If you brake, turn, go over a bump, etc, compressing the suspension, the tire will hit whatever it WOULD HAVE HIT without the lift.
A BODY LIFT is what makes room for larger tires. (Or removing the fenders or other parts that hit, etc...)
IE: 285/75/16's will fit, with no lift...and adding a suspension lift will not make more room for them. They are also a better size off road than the size you mentioned wanting to use.
Longer shackles ride better, and work better off road than AAL.
AAL stiffen the pack - which is sometimes needed for towing though.
If your priority is the towing, then the AAL is fine. AAL rigs often handle flatter than the longer shackle rigs, as the shackle rides softer than stock, but with the same lean in turns as stock. AAL rigs, due to the stiffer packs, tend to ride harder, and tend to lean less than stock.
The stiffer pack flexes less, so you have less wheel travel/articulation. This makes you more likely to lose traction off road.
Longer shackles increase wheel travel, as the longer shackle can swing inwards more, so you have more traction and more articulation.
If you want to maximize off road performance and ride, the longer shackles are better.
There's no wrong answer, its up to what works best for you.
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