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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a body lift and have 33" tires on now (285/75R16). Old tires were 31", factory was 29"

Someone check my math on re-gearing:

2001 Xterra SE 3.3L AT:

Final drive 4.64 (for factory 29" tires) according to info I can find for the H233B rear and R200A front axles.

So:

33" new tires / 29" factory tires = 1.13 multiply by the old ratio 4.64 = 5.28

4x4Parts.com is recommending 5.14 gears.

However, I keep reading 4.88 is adequate below 35" tires, but that's only a 5% increase in gear size while the tires have gone up 12% in size over factory tires.

I still need the truck for highway driving so its not a dedicated trail rig although it's mostly a weekend trail truck. I'm trying to bring shifting and RPMs back closer to factory.

If 4.88 is adequate for my 33s I can get 4.9 gears out of Gen 1.5 MT Xterras and save a ton of money over the 5.14.

Thoughts on my math and if going to 4.9 will suffice for my scenario?
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Everyone I’ve known or spoke to that went from 4.6 to 4.9 stated it was a waste of time because the end result was so small. Current options for gear ratios go from 3.7 to 5.85 and a bunch of choices in between. The reason changing to 4.9 was touted as a good option long ago was the fact that the only gearing option, other than OEM, For those with 4.6 were the NISMO 5.143 ring and pinion and they were ludicrously priced. Now there are multiple choices from multiple vendors with reasonable prices. Rugged Rocks has most of those choices on there site. Nissan Xterra Ring & Pinion Gears (WD22) 2000 - 2004

That being said the choice to re-gear is influenced by multiple factors. Tire size, weight of the tire/rim combo, overall weight of the truck (bumpers, sliders, skid plates, winches, recovery gear, spares), and engine output (how modded the engine is). My truck is 33’s, steel wheels, 3” SL, 2” BL, bumpers, sliders, skid plates, 3 big totes full of spares/recovery gear, cams, porting, headers, Blah Blah Blah. It’s tall and fat but makes better than average power/torque for an X. I’m on the OEM 4.6 gearing and probably need to move to 5.13/5.14 but until it goes SAS and the front gets locked it’s just not worth it to me to re-gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So after typing that I didn’t ask, why do you want to re-gear?
Same specs for our trucks in terms of being tall and fat, headers and custom dually exhaust among performance mods. I want to leverage that power.
 

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If you never plan on SAS; then 5.14 would be the way I would do it. I believe you have mentioned before that you are already locked front and rear. I am still running the OEM 4.63 myself on 33's. Running a good size transmission cooler can help manipulate the crawling capability slightly without burning up the transmission and the 5.14 can help bring it back to a better crawl ratio without having to get transfer case gears. 5.14 will be much nicer for all the time you are in 2wd on and off road.
 

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If one had the 4.6 gears factory and wanted bigger gears, you could get the 4.9 axles with lsd used for $300. If you wanted to regear to 5.14, it’d cost $1000 easy. Blackberry only gets the cheapest parts so I’d be finding used ones. Mine came with the 4.9 gears so I’d never spend the $$$ to get bigger ones. Check your axle tag in the door jam. The last two numbers are your current ratio. Mines a HG49
 

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I had factory 4.6 gears on my 2000. Recently, I upgraded them to 5.13 gears from Nitro. Also installed a rear ARB locker while I was in there. The 5:13 gears let me run 32" tires at just about the same ratio as the original 4.6 gears had with the factory 29" tire size.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had factory 4.6 gears on my 2000. Recently, I upgraded them to 5.13 gears from Nitro. Also installed a rear ARB locker while I was in there. The 5:13 gears let me run 32" tires at just about the same ratio as the original 4.6 gears had with the factory 29" tire size.
Yup, after doing the research I've ordered in those 5.13 Nitro gears. Already locked front and rear.
 

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Some tips if you're going the DIY route: The service manual requires some custom tools to calculate pinion depth from scratch, and they pretty much can't be found, but you won't need them if you are patient and start from the factory shim set and pattern the gears with yellow grease to get a good starting point and make small steps to finalize it. The front axle bearing cap bolt torque isn't published for some reason but I believe it is supposed to be about 65-70ft/lb. You might want to research and verify. Also, you can order steel shims from McMaster Carr with an inner and outer diameter roughly comparable to the factory shim sets and in thicknesses of fractions of MM that are equivalent to 1-2 thousandths of an inch or more,as you need. I think I ordered some in small fractions of MM thickness to build a shim pack as needed to get the pinion torque right. You will need a 12-20 ton shop press and a few pieces of 1.25, 1.5 or 2" steel tube to press the bearings on and off or you will HATE the process of testing shim settings to get a good gear mesh pattern and the correct pinion torque. Its tedious with it, impossible without it. I also recommend building a "box" out of 2x4 to set the differentials in while working on them. I had to build a 36 inch long flange wrench to get the pinion nuts off and torque them down properly. The front took about 4 tries to get the pinion depth right, and the rear took about 5 or 6, but I was more picky with the rear since it is used 100% of the time. If you've put in lockers, you've dealt with most of the rest of the issues you might run into.
 
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