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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
’15 P4X with 28K miles and I think what I’m feeling (and have pretty much felt since new) is the rear factory Bilstein shocks hit hard on bumps.
Crap Colorado roads here. Especially when I hit large expansion joints/dips/bumps where both rear wheels hit simultaneously.
I’m not looking for Cadillac plush by any means, I actually like a stiffer suspension as it helps driving dynamics, but these rear shocks are pretty brutal on a daily.
Any suggestions?
No lift, stock tire sizes.
I researched this on this forum a few years ago and saw there was a go-to replacement for the P4X Bilsteins, but I cannot find the thread(s) anymore.

Thanks!
 

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The stock rear springs are notoriously soft - you will regularly bottom out the suspension and hit the bump stops with a trailer, moderate cargo load or rear seat passengers and on larger bumps with no extra weight at all. There are lots of threads on stiffening or replacing the rear springs or replacing the rear bump stops with a more progressive bump stop. Personally, I am happy with regular duty General Springs (similar to OEM), Bilsten 4600 shocks (OEM, but new) and Timbren SES bump stops for a no-lift 2011 PRO4X, but there are lots of different opinions about rear suspension options. Basically, my rear suspension is OEM but with taller and more progressive bump stops instead of stock. I don't think your primary issue is with the shocks - they are just dampening the suspension, not preventing it from bottoming out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The stock rear springs are notoriously soft - you will regularly bottom out the suspension and hit the bump stops with a trailer, moderate cargo load or rear seat passengers and on larger bumps with no extra weight at all. There are lots of threads on stiffening or replacing the rear springs or replacing the rear bump stops with a more progressive bump stop. Personally, I am happy with regular duty General Springs (similar to OEM), Bilsten 4600 shocks (OEM, but new) and Timbren SES bump stops for a no-lift 2011 PRO4X, but there are lots of different opinions about rear suspension options. Basically, my rear suspension is OEM but with taller and more progressive bump stops instead of stock. I don't think your primary issue is with the shocks - they are just dampening the suspension, not preventing it from bottoming out.
Thanks for the answers all.
Do you have a link to these better bump stops? How’s the install difficulty? And yes, there’s a nice giant bump I hit every day at speed (no way to slow or avoid it) on my commute home from work that bottoms the rear out every single time. Even if I could take the edge off that would be awesome!

EDIT: Found ‘em. Dayam! Them some pricey pieces of rubber.
$214 w/10% off that, should I do it?

 

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Thanks for the answers all.
Do you have a link to these better bump stops? How’s the install difficulty? And yes, there’s a nice giant bump I hit every day at speed (no way to slow or avoid it) on my commute home from work that bottoms the rear out every single time. Even if I could take the edge off that would be awesome!

EDIT: Found ‘em. Dayam! Them some pricey pieces of rubber.
$214 w/10% off that, should I do it?

They are worth every penny. Made a night and day difference on my 2011 pro4x.
 

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Installing aftermarket bump stops is pretty easy as long as you are prepared for rusted bolts. Start by removing the wheel to get better access to the bump stop. Coat the mounting bolt threads with PB Blaster from the top to make your life easier, then remove the bolts from the bottom and the OEM bump stops. If the bolts sieze (or more likely break off like mine did), you can use a hammer and small cold chisel (or sturdy flathead screwdriver) to break the old nuts off (they are tack welded to the frame). In this case, you have to use the new hardware that comes with the bump stops instead of re-using the stock bolts. Position the new bump stops as far as you can toward the rear of the vehicle to make sure they are centered on the axle when the springs compress.

Even if you eventually change out the springs or use an add-a-leaf to stiffen them up, I don't think you will regret replacing the bump stops.

While you have the wheels off, take a good look at your springs and make sure none of the leaves are cracked, broken or missing. Depending on your location and if you drive on salted roads in the winter, the OEM springs might not last more than a few years. Both of mine broke after eight years and 90,000 miles on South Dakota roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Installing aftermarket bump stops is pretty easy as long as you are prepared for rusted bolts. Start by removing the wheel to get better access to the bump stop. Coat the mounting bolt threads with PB Blaster from the top to make your life easier, then remove the bolts from the bottom and the OEM bump stops. If the bolts sieze (or more likely break off like mine did), you can use a hammer and small cold chisel (or sturdy flathead screwdriver) to break the old nuts off (they are tack welded to the frame). In this case, you have to use the new hardware that comes with the bump stops instead of re-using the stock bolts. Position the new bump stops as far as you can toward the rear of the vehicle to make sure they are centered on the axle when the springs compress.

Even if you eventually change out the springs or use an add-a-leaf to stiffen them up, I don't think you will regret replacing the bump stops.

While you have the wheels off, take a good look at your springs and make sure none of the leaves are cracked, broken or missing. Depending on your location and if you drive on salted roads in the winter, the OEM springs might not last more than a few years. Both of mine broke after eight years and 90,000 miles on South Dakota roads.
Excellent info - thanks!!
 

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The vendor for the bump stops you linked to has a confusing description, so I'm not sure what exactly they are selling. Timbren makes two versions of rear bump stops - SES (part #JRC01) and Active Offroad (part #ABSJRC01). The vendor indicates "front axle" in the description, which is wrong (front bump stops also exist, but they are not interchangeable with rear bump stops). Their photo shows an SRS box, but the description says Active Offroad, and they use the Active Offroad part number.

I have the SRS version and am happy with them, but you might prefer the Active Offroad version which is newer. The differences are described in this video:

SumoSprings also makes two versions of bump stops. You could search the forum for opinions about which bump stop is best for your purposes and also visit the Timbren and SumoSprings websites. I think the SumoSprings are taller than the Timbrens so they always touch the axle rather than sit about an inch above it.
 

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My 07 offroad was always hitting the bumpstops. Finally put ARB's in after one of the springs broke in half. Been 10 months and only felt the bump stop once. Huge improvement!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ordered the Active Offroad Bumpstops - ABSJRC01

Thanks again all, and I’ll update this thread once I get ’em installed.

Very excited to have a better riding truck!
 

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Sumosprings = $230
Timbren= $214
General Springs leaf springs= $280

The Timbren and Sumosprings work well when used with healthy springs in preventing bottoming out if your Xterra is loaded with weight or trailering.

If your xterra is regularly bottoming out in a non loaded situation, your springs are weak and in need of replacement.

In your case, using a spring assist is much like putting a bandaid onto a known problem.

For basically the same cost as a fix, you can repair the problem by replacing your springs. If you tow alot, add a Timbren/Sumospring for added load assist if you wish. But to be clear, your springs should not be bottoming out regularly unless they have failed you
 

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If your xterra is regularly bottoming out in a non loaded situation, your springs are weak and in need of replacement....
But to be clear, your springs should not be bottoming out regularly unless they have failed you
I think those statements are debatable - my X was bottoming out on large bumps and dips with only one person in it starting the day I drove it off the lot as a new vehicle. Installing new bump stops may be all the OP needs to do (assuming the springs aren't sagging/broken/weak), or as you say they could be a band-aid for a bigger problem (sagging/broken/weak springs). The conservative thing to do would be to examine the springs first and if they are broken that's obviously the problem but if they're not broken and the truck isn't sagging then it's still a guess as to the condition of the springs. The key point for me is that replacing bump stops yourself is easy, whereas replacing springs is a PITA and I've done both. The cost of new springs is also more than $280 - you have to pay for very expensive shipping (like $200), buy new fasteners and might as well replace the shocks at the same time. I spent almost $800 replacing rear springs and shocks and it took me about two days and a lot of swearing before it was done.

These trucks are great, but I think we all agree that the rear suspension needs aftermarket help - whether that's airbags, add-a-leafs, bump stops or new springs. Opinions are all over the board on these options, but I've never read of someone regretting installing aftermarket bump stops.
 

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Ordered the Active Offroad Bumpstops - ABSJRC01

Thanks again all, and I’ll update this thread once I get ’em installed.

Very excited to have a better riding truck!
You're still going to have the suspension bottom out and now, it might be worse since you're going to be putting longer stops in. Sure, the active bumpstops are progressive and won't seem to hit as hard, but if you have a saggy rear-end, you might permanently ride on the stops. To fix this, properly, you need to update springs to match your driving/load habits and then match a shock to that spring. Bumpstops are a bandaid for this situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sumosprings = $230
Timbren= $214
General Springs leaf springs= $280

The Timbren and Sumosprings work well when used with healthy springs in preventing bottoming out if your Xterra is loaded with weight or trailering.

If your xterra is regularly bottoming out in a non loaded situation, your springs are weak and in need of replacement.

In your case, using a spring assist is much like putting a bandaid onto a known problem.

For basically the same cost as a fix, you can repair the problem by replacing your springs. If you tow alot, add a Timbren/Sumospring for added load assist if you wish. But to be clear, your springs should not be bottoming out regularly unless they have failed you
I hear what you’re saying.
This behavior has been going on since I bought the truck new and it’s got only 28K miles on it now. It’s real bad with a bike rack and my MTB loaded.
Nothing has worsened or degraded, it’s been this way since new.

That said, I’ll obviously inspect the springs when I yank the rear tires off to do the install.

Thanks
 

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This behavior has been going on since I bought the truck new and it’s got only 28K miles on it now. It’s real bad with a bike rack and my MTB loaded.
Nothing has worsened or degraded, it’s been this way since new.
That's really good information and I apologize for not asking those questions up front - it's hard not to jump in with a solution before all the facts are clear. I still think you're a good candidate for aftermarket bump stops, but that was probably a lucky guess on my part.

Just a Hunter and RikRong are right that progressive bump stops will mask any degrading of your springs from this point on, so you should inspect them regularly. I think all X owners are destined for new rear springs at some point - it's just a matter of time. Please let us know how the new bump stops work out.
 

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Sumosprings = $230
Timbren= $214
General Springs leaf springs= $280

The Timbren and Sumosprings work well when used with healthy springs in preventing bottoming out if your Xterra is loaded with weight or trailering.

If your xterra is regularly bottoming out in a non loaded situation, your springs are weak and in need of replacement.

In your case, using a spring assist is much like putting a bandaid onto a known problem.

For basically the same cost as a fix, you can repair the problem by replacing your springs. If you tow alot, add a Timbren/Sumospring for added load assist if you wish. But to be clear, your springs should not be bottoming out regularly unless they have failed you
I agree with this. If you’re bottoming out a bump stop is only going to help cushion the blow, not stop it. Replacing the leaf springs if the only way to fix the problem. I live in Colorado and bottomed out constantly with the factory leaf springs. Even when I added an add a leaf it was happening regularly. Once I put on alcans the problem was completely resolved. The weak link is the leaf springs.
 
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