What kind of suspension kit - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 01-18-2013, 09:41 AM
Quantum95
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What kind of suspension kit

So i definitely want to get a suspension upgrade, but i dont know what kind to get, where to get it, or who to have install it. I DO NOT want a block lift, i want a suspension lift. I was told my shocks and struts were bad by one person, and fine by another so i dont neccissarly need to replace the shocks and struts, but i thought i had to, in order to upgrade the life. How does this work? Thanks
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#2 Old 01-18-2013, 10:15 AM
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The first question is going to be how much lift do you want to get out of it?

The 2nd gen X can take about 2" of lift with stock components, going beyond that starts requiring things like UCAs, extended brake lines, and such.

Depending on your budget, the cheapest way to go that's still super effective is to get the basic package from PRG - that includes a leveling puck for the front and AALs for the back which will get you right about 2". You'd probably also want to change the rear shocks to ones that are designed for the extra 2" of height.

The next option is to go with a whole kit. The springs in my 05 were flattening out so this is what I eventually opted for: Old Man Emu - You can pick up a kit there that includes front shocks, rear shocks, front springs, and rear springs, + shackles and AALs even if you need them. More expensive but I've got no complaints on them so far, they've held up well and do pretty good through mild stuff.

Going beyond that like I'm considering now can take you through quite a few different options. Right now I've got my sites set on the Titan Swap which is going to be really pricey, but looks to be the best option for getting serious with an IFS and not doing a SAS.

Hope that helps some
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#3 Old 01-18-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revu View Post
The first question is going to be how much lift do you want to get out of it?

The 2nd gen X can take about 2" of lift with stock components, going beyond that starts requiring things like UCAs, extended brake lines, and such.

Depending on your budget, the cheapest way to go that's still super effective is to get the basic package from PRG - that includes a leveling puck for the front and AALs for the back which will get you right about 2". You'd probably also want to change the rear shocks to ones that are designed for the extra 2" of height.

The next option is to go with a whole kit. The springs in my 05 were flattening out so this is what I eventually opted for: Old Man Emu - You can pick up a kit there that includes front shocks, rear shocks, front springs, and rear springs, + shackles and AALs even if you need them. More expensive but I've got no complaints on them so far, they've held up well and do pretty good through mild stuff.

Going beyond that like I'm considering now can take you through quite a few different options. Right now I've got my sites set on the Titan Swap which is going to be really pricey, but looks to be the best option for getting serious with an IFS and not doing a SAS.

Hope that helps some
This helps tons, so definitely 2" is MAX, this is my everyday vehicle but i live on a farm and like to do off roading etc. A big reason for the upgrade is because they dont make a mud tire in my stock size which is 265/70-16 i believe. If i go up a size of two im fine, but then i worry about scraping if i get in a tight spot where my shocks/struts are fully compressed. Now i have heard many bad things about calmini, and the off road mechanic i just left who didnt know his ass from his head, said thats all he sold. I have heard great things from old man emu but i just didnt want to spend a grand. I was trying to keep it at a grand total with labor. One day, in the far far future, i want an X with lockers or electronic locking rear differential :-) and then i will get the sas swap and get real serious. For now i just want to get a subtle to low moderate lift and some MT tires. Now, am i going to have other issues pop up when i get a lift. Some people say things start breaking when you do this lift. Also, I dont know how to choose a mechanic. Are these things easy to install to most mechanics or do i need someone who really knows what they are talking about?
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#4 Old 01-18-2013, 12:28 PM
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When I had that basic PRG package, my dad and I installed them ourselves over a Saturday. The hardest part is taking apart the leaf springs which really isn't that bad. If we could do it and not kill anyone in the process then anyone can

Some mechanics refuse to install components purchased from other sources due to liability reasons, so what I would do is go around and ask something like, "If I brought in a suspension puck to lift the front of my X would you be able to install it?" and if they say yes, then you should be good. If they start asking question like, "What's that?" or "Where does that go?" then you'd want to proceed with caution. If they ask a question like, "Are you sure you're getting a good quality puck that comes with everything we need to put it in?", go with that mechanic
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#5 Old 01-18-2013, 02:04 PM
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Ok i looked at that basic kit and its definitely in my budget, i just hope it works well, but i am taking your word it does. I have read some other post and u seem pretty knowledgeable about this stuff. My next question is wheel travel. It doesnt seem i have alot, well i do compared to other SUVs, but i dont have alot of wheel travel. Will my shocks/struts be able to handle the extra space? Also i tow stuff OFTEN, so i heard that shackles were not good for this as they could break and i should go wita aal? Now i have also been reading stuff like alignment gets messed up, things bumbing and scraping. I just bought this X for like 18,000 bucks and its the most i have ever spent on a vehicle but i know they are bad ass when outfitted right. If i do this upgrade i want it to be perfect, i dont want other things breaking because i didnt do my research correctly. What do you think? Also, in the basic PRG kit, is that everything i need? Or should i need shims or UAVs or whatever?
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#6 Old 01-18-2013, 05:06 PM
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I'm not the expert, I just learned after messing my truck up plenty of times myself So I try and make sure and help people avoid the mistakes I made.

Good questions! After messing with the suspension you'll always need to do an alignment. Those pucks too will change the geometry on the A-Arms and need their position to be adjusted. What your X will need that the kit doesn't come with are cam bolts. 05 Xterras came with them stock, but they weren't included in the 06+. PRG also sells those here.

If you do a lot of towing then longer shackles will put more pressure on the leaf springs and cause them to flatten out. AALs distribute force over the entire leaf spring rather than the end and add extra spring pack stiffness. This isn't ideal for flex while offroading, but it's definitely better for towing and will even keep you more level.

The pucks in the front will not change the travel characteristics at all. Basically all they do is cause the travel to take place two inches lower than it did without them. In the back travel will be minimally affected by AALs. Travel and flex would be gained by shackles because they would allow a greater range of motion for the springs while AALs actually constrict motion. The stock shocks will work with AALs but the ride will feel harsher going over bumps because the old shocks are being preloaded at greater rate than they were built for. So eventually you'd want to get some longer shocks to negate that.

At two inches you won't need shims or extensions. And the UCAs are fine up to two inches. Go beyond that and you need to be really worried because the UCAs won't align properly, lines won't reach or be under sever tension, and components make weird noises, but as long as that's as high as you're taking it, it'll be fine.

Any other questions please ask away!
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#7 Old 01-18-2013, 05:46 PM
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Oh yes, just a few more :-), im finally starting to grab this. I will defnitely grab the cam bolts to accompany my pucks which im assuming are like spacers. I am also assuming i have struts in the front? Regardless do those need to be replaced at all for any reason? And im wondering, i say i tow alot but its an Xterra, i usually tow a max of 4000-5000 lbs, which shouldnt result in too much tongue weight. These guys that reported shackle breaking were running full sized trucks, towable up to 10,000 lbs. Do you really think it will be an issue? I would opt for the shackles cause i always like better performance, but to be safe should i go with aals? Eventually i will upgrade shocks but i think i can hold off for now maybe. I also wanted you to look real quick at this website here http://www.nissteclifts.com/index.ph...mart&Itemid=72
Will this be ok? I would like to have this but we shall see :-)
http://www.nissteclifts.com/index.ph...mart&Itemid=72
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#8 Old 01-22-2013, 10:35 AM
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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
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#9 Old 01-22-2013, 01:08 PM
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I am currently running a ready lift ( the 2" spacers with longer shackles,) and bought a camper that weighs 4300 Lbs dry ( closer to 5000lbs when you add food, water, propane Beer) I had to get some helper springs and use a Equaliser hitch ( weight distribution hitch ) but the truck has definately enough power to tow it. I recomend that if your towing alot as you say that you should go with the Add a leaf in stead of the longer shacles

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#10 Old 01-22-2013, 01:28 PM
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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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TJ's Build Thread ---> http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11532

DIYS http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16434

2001 Xterra SE, 2003 V6, 5 spd, Shrock Sliders, Bumpers and Skids, Warn 9.5xp Winch w/125' MasterPull II, OBA w/4Gal Tank & 4 CFM Compressor, Revolver Shackles, Deaver 3-Pack + Calmini 2-Pack + OEM Leaves, Bilstein 5150, SLR UCA, Diff Drop, 3" SL, 2" BL, 33x13.5/16 LTB's, Snorkel, Electric Fan Swap, etc...

Last edited by TJTJ; 01-22-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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