Great post @choppersean
- thank you. After much research and deliberation, I'm now preparing to do almost the same as you have outlined here...glad I found your post as I was on the cusp with some aspects, but now moving ahead. There's so many factors to suspension as I've learned from deep diving on the topic and yet probably did not make it through 1/2 of the suspension related posts ha.
(Side note: I was actually about to drop ~35k on a new truck last week but decided instead to put a few grand (~$2) into the X and hold on to it for a while longer. Love the X, but wanting some more storage capacity and clearance at times...maybe not $35k worth)
So my X has ~90k mi now and stock coils, leafs, shocks around...after constantly carting around 500+ lbs. in back over the past 10k miles, the rear in particular has taken a beating! Since I don't "offroad" in the common way of the word, just want to be able to get to some hard(er) to reach trail spots from time to time, here's what I've ordered and will update as I go through with installing, tweaking, driving:
Rear Heavy Duty Leaf springs from Autoandtrucksprings.com Product ID: 69-293HD = $170 pair (adding longer U bolts as you've pointed out = $23 each side); it sounds like the included rubber bushings will be better than poly in my use case (cold weather) and not require greasing as you've also pointed out. Will the HD extra leaf be overkill or just right? We'll see.
Xterra Adjustable Lift Shackles from 4x4parts.com (SPACADJSHACK5X) = $95; depending on the effect of the new leafs when dry vs. loaded up and what tires I want will dictate the shackle adjustment.
Bilstein 5100 Series complete shock Package For Rear 1.5 Inch Lift also from from 4x4parts.com SKU: SPACBIL5100SSPKG15 = $370; estimating that w/ new rear leafs and with adjustable shackles I will end up with a little lift and wanted the new rear shocks to be able to accommodate that hence the 1.5" variation. And the fronts are apparently adjustable up to 2" as well, which I like for leveling out.
As far as the front coils go - for now - going to stick with the stock and see how that turns out? I have no aftermarket bumper/winch weight on front - so may end up dropping another $150-$200 on front coilovers or not we'll see? It sounds like @choppersean
opted-out of those also and it turned out OK.
So if all goes to the plan there will be a bit of a rake when empty and level when loaded up as it often is. All in so far, I'm at about $950 invested on that above and hoping that I can accomplish all the labor with my armchair mechanic neighbor to save a few hundred there. After all that, depending on how it turns out in terms of cost and drive, then I'll back into some new tires and rims which I'm sure will take me another week of opinions and reviews to form my own ha.
Any feedback on the plan above is welcome & like I said will update as I go through it, likely to learn a lot which is 1/2 the fun with mods right?!