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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I just bought a 2000 xterra. I am %100 new to 4wd and off roading. Something I've wanted to do for years but just never had the opportunity. Anyway, I've got my x and I need some advice on where to start. It's a 2000 XE 4x4 with 15" rims and about 155k miles on it. I have about $1000 budget to put into it for starters. Anything beyond that will have to wait a while. It needs tires so most of that budget will go there and that's my main question. I've been doing a lot of reading on this forum and a couple others but there is so much information for a complete noob and I'm having a hard time figuring out what would be the right way to go for my needs. This is not my daily ride so I don't need it to be practical really but I'm not made of money. I plan to use this x to pull a smallish (17 ft) travel trailer and do some light to moderate off-roading. I'm not planning to tackle the Rubicon or anything, but I want to be able to handle more than just a dirt road otherwise what's the point?!
I can't afford to buy an expensive set of tires twice so my main question is should I stick with stock ride height and get a good set of 31" or 32" tires or should I go ahead and bite the bullet and put a bit of a lift on it and get bigger tires? Sounds like I can do the PML and a 1.5" SL for relatively cheap to clear bigger tires but I'm just not sure if it's worth it for how I intend to use it.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!
Any other advise for a complete noob would also be appreciated!
Thanks guys.
 

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The X, out of the box, can already handle fire roads, etc, w/o a problem.

Improvements in off road performance can be made by adding more aggressive tires, say, mud terrains, and making them as large as practical.

MT tires do wear faster, generally, so that means you have to buy more of them down the road...so if $ is tight, how often you can afford to buy new ones becomes a reasonable question.

15" tires, luckily, are typically less expensive than the larger rim versions of the same tire.

You can put your own 2" Body Lift together for ~ $100 - 150 or so depending on where you get the pieces, or buy a ready to install kit for ~ $ 225

You can mount 32x11.5/15 with no body lift, just some soft plastic trimming if you are using OEM rims/rims with 5.5" of backspacing.

To fit 33x12.5/15, you'd add the 2" BL.

You can also add a 1.5" Suspension lift for ~ $ 65....as you only need to buy rear lift shackles....to lift the butt, and you can lift the front for free because your X has built-in front ride height adjusters. (PML)


Just remember its the BL, not the SL that makes tire room...except at the mall parking lot.

If OK with the tires rubbing and sometimes binding in the wells (Front only, the rears are fine), you can do the PML and go with the 33's.

>:D


The tire thing means getting FIVE (5) new tires...because if you get a flat/blow a bead off road, you need the spare to be the same diameter or you'll be fighting the passenger/driver sides of the axle against each other, etc. (ON the road you don't need 4WD, and can swap the mis-matched tires to a non-drive axle if need be...)
 

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I have a 3" Performance body lift for my 2000 still in the box. Complete 3 inch body lift.
Buy it from me?
Box weighs about 40 pounds, a lot of parts to install.

Almost forgot, I also have the four frame to body filler pieces that you install after the body lift.

Lot's of goodies to jack an original X with. 33's easy

Ditch the sway bars, want a smooth ride? I had to sawsall off my front bar links. I have rancho 9000 shocks, even a rancho on the steering. Add a spring to the rear springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I think I'm going to hold off on the lift for now and just put the biggest tires I can fit without it. When I mentioned the PML and SL in my first post I was actually referring to the 2" body lift and 1.5" suspension lift that it seems like can be done on the cheap. Mixed up the PML name. That's what I get for trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about while I'm still learning this stuff!! I am aware that the body lift is what's really required for the bigger tires though. So here's another question. I'm really liking the BFG KO2s. They look great and it seems like they are #1 on a lot of peoples performance list. I've seen a lot of people talking about using 32x11.5 KO2s or other tires of that size without a lift and with only minor trimming but is that on stock rims? The reason I ask is that those tires say they are for an 8-10" rim, and I'm pretty sure my stock rims are 7". The guy at the local tire shop (who seemed to know what he was talking about) was trying to steer me away from those because of the pinching in of the sidewall that would happen. I was thinking maybe I should opt for a 31x10.5 instead (which says 7-9" rim), at least until I decide to do the lift and maybe buy new rims. Any thoughts? Are people running 32x11.5 on stock 15s with no problems? Is that extra inch of width and diameter really going to make enough difference to be worth the potential downsides of the pinching and possible rubbing?
 

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I'm running, as are a lot of people, 33x12.5x15s on stock 7" wide wheels. The tires do bubble out a bit but I don't mind, and it would do it less with the 32x11.5s. Trick is finding a shop that will mount them.
 

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Yeah, car tires are a LOT more sensitive to rim width...because their sidewalls are so short.

Truck tires have way more sidewall height, so the tire's rim bead just moves in/out with rim width, without changing the tire's footprint.

Off road, the narrower rims help keep the tire on the rim, and help to avoid blown beads especially when aired down.

So a 32x11.5/15 on stock rims is great...no problemo.


Here's an even wider tire, a 33 x 13.5 on stock rims for comparison:



>:D
 
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