Find a solution to stiffen the Xterra’s front – improving ON-ROAD handing, cornering, bump absorption, sway, etc. If possible, retain stock off-road capabilities.
I (and many other members) find the Xterra’s suspension to be a bit soft. This is well documented for the rear leaf springs with multiple solutions (AALs, bump stops, air bags, etc). For the rear I personally added a Road Master Active suspension and found it helpful (my reviews of this product are on the site).
Stiffening the rear helped, but I still wanted to improve upon the X’s on-road capabilities without detracting much from its stock off-road capabilities. My X is a DD and sees 90% of its life on pavement with the remaining 10% towing and light off-roading to trail heads.
Researching, I stumbled across a company that makes a number of suspension solutions. The company is SuperSprings and based in CA. I found their SumoSpring product of particular interest.
(They also make a bumpstops and AALs. And could be a viable alternative to Timbrens, etc.)
They did not have an Xterra listed, so I contacted the company and over the course of a few weeks I worked directly with them to take measurements and adapt one of their existing models to the Xterra.
Review / Verdict:
I worked with Mike at SuperSprings, who really was just an awesome guy and extremely helpful. He set me up with guidelines for taking measurements of the front coils (both under load and at full drop). From there he recommended product number CCS-1094
to start. A few days later it was at my house.
I had it easily installed over the weekend (more on that below) and took it for a 650+ mile round trip mini-vacation to Washington, D.C. Driving from CT to DC I was able to experience a number of on-road suspension scenarios. From highway cruising, to city driving, the Xterra went though high speed potholes, construction zones, speed bumps and terrible NYC / DC roads. With a high speed avoidance maneuver and a few hard braking sessions to add to the fun.
In the end I found that the SumoCoil springs were up to the task and made a noticeable difference.
I find them to be an excellent value, especially for the price (retail $114.30). For those seeking to retain stock off-road capabilities and improve on-road handing these are excellent. They also do not lift the truck (a plus for me since city parking was barely tall enough for the X as is it). I found them to be a good alternative to the much more expensive stiffer coil options / shocks I was contemplating.
SumoCoils are progressive poly foam inserts put between the coils. They make for a more controlled suspension engagement. I found that the X was better at taking corners and absorbing road imperfections. I was worried (and willing to accept) that a stiffer front would lead to a harsher ride – but not with this product. The X is much smoother, with no sudden drop or jarrings over pot holes / speed bumps. The front end soaks things up quite well and handling is improved. By no means is the X a race car. It’s a bit more nimble - it's less floaty / flubbery. The suspension is no longer easily upset. Wind sway is also (slightly) reduced.
For what I wanted, my money was well spent on this product. I am a satisfied customer and would recommend them to others.
(P.S. they are also supposed to help with front end load. Mostly snow-plows – but I could see this being a possible help to those running front armor and not upgrading the front suspension.)
This video is great: http://www.etrailer.com/tv-install-s...-css-1145.aspx
1. Optional: Wash your X.
2. Jack up the front and remove the tires. Clean the coils
3. Slide the SumoCoils between the 3rd and 4th coil on the X and secure in place
4. Optional: Add stickers