Cornering, swaying and wheel spacing - Nissan Xterra Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-17-2017, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
Andro
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Cornering, swaying and wheel spacing

Good morning,

I've just acquired a '01 Xterra last month and, after the initial period of checkouts and minor repairs, started driving her. Now, overall the X behaves very well and I have no issues with it but I am running into a single bit of trouble. My other car, the everyday driver is a Honda CR-Z - and most of my previous cars were similar in nature, small, nimble, fast and low. I'm used to good maneuverability and cornering ability, and Xterra feels more than a bit frightening in that regard. Now, having checked the suspension myself, as well having my conclusions confirmed by a mechanic, I know there are no problems with shocks, struts, balance etc at all - she sits on the road as she should. But between being bigger and heavier, taller and top-heavier and my sitting far higher, every time I turn a corner at a speed I feel a bit like my wheels are about to lift off the ground.

The X is, as far as I know, pretty much stock - I haven't checked the tire sizes but I don't think it's lifted or modded.

Question is, is there a remedy for this sort of behavior/feel? I'm guessing spacing the wheels a bit wider (1-1.5" spacers?) may reduce the feeling of instability due to a wider wheelbase? Would mucking with sway bars do anything? Bolting some railroad tracks to the underside to drop the center of gravity?

As you may be able to tell by my questions, I'm not much of a wrench-monkey yet so I appreciate any wisdom, advice and comradely condescending snark you may wanna toss my way
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-17-2017, 10:28 AM
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Andro, I have a 2000 x and from what I can tell it's not going to get much better no matter what you do. If you put in a new suspension that might help, but your X is definitely never going to handle like your CR-Z. However, I focus more on the off road capability on mine so there is probably someone on here that could help you out a lot better than me. Are you more interested in the on road or off road aspects of your X?

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post #3 of 9 Old 05-17-2017, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Ben,

Thanks for the welcome and the response! I am aware there's no way X is ever going to handle like my CRZ so I'm working on figuring what I can do VS how much I just get used to it I'm planning on using my Xterra as a weekend warrior vehicle in the Rockies, so camping, off the pavement, forest roads but I have no real interest in full-blown offroading or rockcrawling as of yet. I mostly want to be able to make it to more remote campsites, hiking trails and kayaking lakes, as well as to work during winter.

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-17-2017, 01:40 PM
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Well it's going to be great at that! You may just have to deal with the SUV on road quirks, but I know that you'll love it for getting you to where you need to go!

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-17-2017, 03:00 PM
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Suppose you could drop it like a mini truck, but it is what it is. Mine doesn't handle like my civic either. But the civic doesn't like pot holes and would probably suck off road. Just the nature of the beast. When you get used to it,it's not bad . One thing about sway bars. The 1st gen rear bar is useless. It can potentially break shocks off road and you won't miss it at all. I don't mine left the truck 2to 3 years ago. Didn't change the handling
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-18-2017, 09:33 PM
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You could get some good shocks (Bilsteins) meant for a suspension lift. They're have stiffer valve rates and actually make quite a bit of difference in cornering. Then if you do a lift, they will be what you want anyway. They will fit a stock rig no problem. Check out 4x4parts.com

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-19-2017, 08:12 AM
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Cornering, swaying and wheel spacing

Stiffer shocks help. I have bilstein 5160 in the rear and bilstein 5100 up front. There's not much body roll and I removed my sway bar. It is nothing like my miata however, it's a frame on body suv it's just how it goes man


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post #8 of 9 Old 05-19-2017, 08:50 AM
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When mine was bone stock; it would drift just fine. I have also had a non stock Miata for reference. You are going to get that roll feel due to the higher COG. Sloppy is when you remove both sway bars. Probably the best you can do was mentioned above is to get the Bilsteins to help it out. Stock are way too soft.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-21-2017, 01:39 PM
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I almost rolled mine on the highway when i first bought it my old explorer didnt sway as much i fixed it for pavement new rear shocks monotube monroe reflex new sway bar bushings front and back stopped the lean but off road a little too stiff now bounces a little around corners
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