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Discussion Starter #1
What I Have: 2001 Xterra SE 4WD; PML w/ 4x4parts.com shackles; 265/75/16 Mud/Snow tires; Custom tubular front bumper and sliders; Mechanically the X is in great shape. I have removed the rear sway bar, but all of the suspension components are stock other than the shackles.

What I Do: Drive it everywhere (about 10k miles per year), but I also push it to the limits offroad. Nothing TOO serious, but I wheel with friends with an H3, Rubicon and FJ60 and can't really keep up with the first two.

What I Want: For YOU to tell me what you would do to make this into a better offroad machine while still maintaining its streetability ... and most importantly WHY you would do it. I will be implementing the best of these ideas.

Thanks ... and have fun with your suggestions!

BTW here's a pic of the X as it is now.

 

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Well, your limiting factors are that the hummer and Rubi have lockers, and you have open diffs.

You also have little tires.

If you had the budget, you could add front and rear lockers, which would equalize things a bit to start with.

If you do a 2-3" BL, you could up the tires to 305/70/16's or 33x13.5/16's, etc.

You already have a PML, you could modify that to have more travel by adding longer rear shocks, and a lot more by swapping on Revolver Shackles and even longer shocks, etc.

Not sure about your skid plates, I do see sliders at least...



If your goal is to be able to keep up with the Rubi et al, what is happening when you "Can't Keep Up"?

Are you crossing mud, a hill climb, a rock garden, etc?

Are they just able to go faster over rough terrain?

Are you high centering where they can clear?


IE: What SPECIFICALLY is holding you back?


THAT will steer you towards the most cost effective/focused solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I say "can't keep up" it is mostly rough hill climbs. I can actually clear more than the factory H3. And I am lucky enough to have an LSD in the pumpkin, so that is *some* better than an open diff.

I don't think I'll go so far as to SAS it ... mostly due to the fact that I am not quite THAT mechanically inclined. But I am definitely open to the possibility of a locker in the rear.

Then again, SAS might not be a bad option. I would have to pay someone to do it, but the reasons it might be a good option are:

1) The fill plug on my front diff is seized. Nothing has ever been able to get it open since I have owned it.

2) Lower ball joints are nearly shot. I have injected them numerous times with green grease and wrapped them in "Rescue Tape".

3) IFS just seems to be a major PITA when it comes to creaky components.

So it's not totally out as an option. Any idea what a SAS might cost? Ballpark?
 

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When I say "can't keep up" it is mostly rough hill climbs. I can actually clear more than the factory H3. And I am lucky enough to have an LSD in the pumpkin, so that is *some* better than an open diff.

I don't think I'll go so far as to SAS it ... mostly due to the fact that I am not quite THAT mechanically inclined. But I am definitely open to the possibility of a locker in the rear.

Then again, SAS might not be a bad option. I would have to pay someone to do it, but the reasons it might be a good option are:

1) The fill plug on my front diff is seized. Nothing has ever been able to get it open since I have owned it.

2) Lower ball joints are nearly shot. I have injected them numerous times with green grease and wrapped them in "Rescue Tape".

3) IFS just seems to be a major PITA when it comes to creaky components.

So it's not totally out as an option. Any idea what a SAS might cost? Ballpark?
Most people who have to pay a mechanic/shop to do most of it, by the time they do all the stuff people do "While They're at It", etc...is ~ $10K or so
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No way I can go that far. Not only can't I afford it, but my voice of reason won't let me. Dropping $10k on a $5k vehicle with 145k on the clock = moronic.

Someone mentioned small tires. Well, here's the issue. They are as big as I can go with my current setup. I don't want to do a BL just to fit larger tires. That will only raise my COG which I don't want. Before I drop $1000 or more on a "lift kit", I would just SAS it. Will the axle swap lift it any at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK ... to make this fair, let's assume I have about a $2-3,000 budget to work with.

What mods would you do with that cash and why. Go.
 

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3 SL + 2 BL w/ 33's and some armor.

why? cause thats about all you can do with that budget.
 

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A body lift will raise your center of gravity but not nearly as much as a suspension lift as you are only lifting the body (500-600lbs if I recall correctly) not the body and frame (full weight of the vehicle).

With the budget you've got to work with, I'd do the DIY body lift (~$75), grab some 33x12.50x15 rubber on steelies (~$1000) and then put the rest towards a rear ARB locker and on-board-air setup ($1200-1500) which would bring your total costs to about $2500.

I am running 285/75/16's right now.. without a PML or a BL.. so without anything, a 32.8 can be run..
You can run bigger tires but they will definitely rub when the suspension flexes while wheeling. I scrubbed my rears (currently 31.6") slightly with just a PML and extended Bilsteins.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
With the budget you've got to work with, I'd do the DIY body lift (~$75), grab some 33x12.50x15 rubber on steelies (~$1000) and then put the rest towards a rear ARB locker and on-board-air setup ($1200-1500) which would bring your total costs to about $2500.
Never thought about the BL only lifting 600 lbs. I like the sound of that. Any other suggestions?

And, yes, this WILL be wheeled to its fullest potential. So, sure, while I could cruise the highways on 32.5's with my current setup, I know I couldn't pull it off on the trails.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Xearth, that is some nice travel you have in your back wheels in the profile pic. Did you go with revolver shackles?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well bend me over and screw me in the butt. I have suddenly realized that a BL is totally out of the question for me ... due to my tubular bumper. It is welded to the frame and will look completely stupid if the body is sitting 2" higher. So I may definitely be looking to those fiberglass fenders as an option.
 

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damn. nice. i need to get some new shackles, i'll have soo much flex then
 
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