TNX Realm Noobie
2015 Metallic Blue Xterra Pro-4X
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Chandler, AZ
Suspension Upgrade Help
Hey everyone, I'm hoping you can give me a hand and thank you in advance for any and all help. And sorry if this has been beaten into the ground.
I have a 2015 P4X and looking to upgrade the suspension after 40.5k miles on the clock. I've searched for hours on end for the past week and have gone down too many rabbit holes to the point I feel more confused than informed. Before moving to CO 5 years ago, I had an '03 3series and lowering was more the case than lifting. And leaf springs/solid rear axle are a whole new world (I'm not trying to make my X into my bimmer). And I have read through the sticky on lift options.
My end game for the near future is to take away the wallowing that I currently have and take away the hard bottoming out in the rear (occurs even when it's just me the X). I have put on White Knuckle sliders and the hard bottoming in the rear DID occur before install. Most of my gear hauling is road/mtn bike related and the tool box/stand do weigh in around 75lbs, and got back into racing triathlons this year with a total of 3 Xterras for this season (related, but unrelated as to why I bought an X in the first place).
From what I've read and been told by Nissan, the stock Bilsteins are valved to ride softer. I'm 99.9% sure I'm upgrading to the 5100's front/rear and Not sure if with or without the top strut spacer, and making sure the second washer is installed so it doesn't blow through the bushing. The confusion on this comes with the springs. For the front, I cannot find a definitive answer on what the stock spring rate is (400lb, 450lb, or more) and is using the stock front springs adequate? I do want to to add more weight in the cabin with sound deading/dampening (floor, 4 doors, rear cargo area, and rear hatch... and yes, new struts will go in for the hatch).
I would not mind lifting, but I also will then void the warranty... so if a lift is called for, I do want to keep it under 2", so 1-1.5" is more than enough. I don't do enough hardcore of offroading to really need it; hardest would be Imogene or Orphir pass since I live/work in Telluride. The only other body armor that I purchased and is going on is the Shrockworks rear diff cover (called and ordered it yesterday, they had 2 black powder coated ones in stock), but that should not affect suspension. Would moving the front Bilstein spring mount up 2-3 notches with stock springs work or, again, going to a stiffer spring be better?
For the rear springs, I know AAL is a little less predictable for once its sagged versus an adjustable shackle, but will be able to be stiffer and costs more. Is adding a shackle with a helper spring versus a shackle and Timbren off road assist/Sumo spring accomplish the same thing? Would this work for my application? And if I'm going about 1-1.5" in the rear, would I need an axle shim to take care of any potential shimmying? With each .5in of lift, do you go with .5in wheel spacers (and yes, I know that would void other parts of the warranty)?
So to reiterate, I'm looking to get better than stock feel without the wallowing and hard bottoming out in the rear. Don't mind if the only option is to do a mild lift. The added weight I have currently is front 22in LED light bar in bumper (maybe 5lbs), White Knuckle sliders (~100lbs), bike tools/stand (~75lbs, but not always with me) and Kuat rear bike rack (~40lbs without bikes; 2 bikes max and they weigh 17-28lbs depending on which ride I'm going on, so ~55-60lbs is a safe bet for max for 2 bikes). I do want to add sound dampening/deadening so roughly an additional 125lbs.
As a side note, I am having braided steel brake lines installed at the same just to take away that mushy feel. I'm probably missing something to add, but I'm exhausted from searching.
Last edited by Messe46; 08-11-2018 at 03:22 PM.