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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,
I am new to this site but have seen a lot of great info from it. I wanted to take the opportunity to ask some question for anyone who won't mind answering.
I have a 2002 X and very much enjoy off-roading. I am, however, getting a little tire of my stock suspension performance. What would everyone recommend I do to upgrade the performance?

I am not too familiar with the various options out there.
I am definitely on a budget.
I am looking for function, performance, and quality, and not necessarily pure aesthetics.

I would really appreciate some advice on what to do to increase my off road performance!
Thanks
 

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Where do you find it lacking? Ground clearance, articulation, ride quality, etc?
 

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4x4parts.com, good prices, I am starting with a PML, IAB, some shocks(when i can afford it), a steering stabilizer (WICAI), and I am sure you will love it and start to get the modding bug like everyone else...lol

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Where do you find it lacking? Ground clearance, articulation, ride quality, etc?
I want more ground clearance for sure. I guess I am looking for a tough off road set up that will let me have good off road performance, while also maintaining the ability of a daily driver.
Hope that makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I dont know if it's possible, but no more than a couple hundred bucks. I see that many of the common kits and setups are near a grand or more.
 

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PML is shackles and alignment...less than $200 and 1.5" lift, then save for 2" BL...cheapest route to go for 3"

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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5,824 Posts
I want more ground clearance for sure. I guess I am looking for a tough off road set up that will let me have good off road performance, while also maintaining the ability of a daily driver.
Hope that makes sense.
A suspension lift will raise the frame and body, and give you more ground clearance. But the only way to raise the rear axle and the control arms is to put bigger tires on it.

Given your budget, you can do a PML which is shackles in the rear and bringing the front up with the built-in torsion bar adjusters. You can also do a body lift for around $100 but then you're going to want to put 33s on it, because you can fit them, and that's another $1k...

http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=37167

http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2600

http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2554

http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2151

http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2191
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How much of a performance gain is the PML and torsion bar adjustment? If I choose to do these things, should I also look into upgrading other components? such as shocks, control arms, steering, CV axles and tie rods, etc etc etc.?
 

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How much of a performance gain is the PML and torsion bar adjustment? If I choose to do these things, should I also look into upgrading other components? such as shocks, control arms, steering, CV axles and tie rods, etc etc etc.?
You'll get better articulation out of the rear but new shocks will be needed to fully take advantage.

Steering upgrades will really be needed related to going bigger with tires. The one exception might be tie rod adjusters, which can fold or break with stock tire size.
 

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If you go larger then stock tire size you WILL eventually have to replace all the steering linkage components. Trust me I just finished doing it and I'm running 33x12.50s ( not to be mistaken for 32.8x11.4s...lmao)

The PML is extremely easy, as is the DIY BL if you know what you are doing. Both together are less than $300. However, an excellent point was made earlier. Once you do the BL you'll want new wheels and tires. Thats at least a quick $800.

If you want maximum articulation I'd suggest as SAS up front and SOA in the rear. If you're gonna do it...do it right...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK. so lets say i want to have a sort of suspension set up that will allow me to crawl comfortably on nasty terrain, but also perform well at somewhat high speeds--with as much stability as possible. what type of set up would you recommend, keeping in mind the fact that i cant shell out thousands of dollars.

sorry for the confusing question, i just want to learn as much as possible.
i have always wanted to get into the off roading scene, but just now has that become a possibility.
 

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A go anywhere truck is going to cost several grand. I personally have 3k invested in mods/upgades including a front locker and there are plenty of places I still cant go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
what is your opinion on removing the rear sway bar? is there a noticeable difference in off-road performance?
 

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Definitely a good idea. You'll gain a bit more flex in the rear, but by removing it you don't risk damaging the passenger rear shock. Thats the main purpose of taking it off. Also get poly bushings for the front sway bar. The rubber ones wear out really quick once the rear is removed.
 

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See the PML how to in my signature. See the remove rear sway bar how to in my signature. I recommend both.

If your budget is a few hundred dollars...

Do the PML -> $70

OR:

Do the PML with Revolver shackles -> $285

http://www.4x4parts.com/i-18981295-xterra-revolver-shackles.html

Get Bilstein rear shocks for a 3" lift -> ~ $66 per shock.

Remove rear sway bar -> Free!

http://www.4x4parts.com/i-18981417-xterra-heavy-duty-bilstein-rear-shock.html

This gives you more articulation in the rear (or if you go with revolvers...you get A LOT more artulcation in the rear), and a 1.5" suspension lift

Note: A body lift by itself doesn't do much to help off road...it's purpose is to allow bigger tires, which gives you better traction off road. If your tires are in good shape and you aren't bumping up anytime soon or at all, then the body lift is not really needed. You could still do it, but it would be cosmetic only, essentially.

As mentioned, you can piece together a body lift for about $75 if you search around for it.
 

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Me personally, I am looking into either making or buying the quick disconnects...just because when I do tow something, I will want the extra sway control

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I want to remove the rear sway bar so that i can have better ride off road. however, i also want to remove the full sized spare tire i have from underneath the vehicle to a different location, so that i can increase my departure angle, as well as have easier access. my original plan was to put it on a roof rack.
would anyone advise against doing this combination, with the reason being that it may become too top heavy? if anyone advises against it, what other budget solutions would you recommend?
 
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