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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a '06 OR with 103k, and took it to Pismo over the weekend. This was the first time there was much of a load in it (3 people and bags) and I definitely noticed it hitting the rear bumpstops on larger freeway bumps. Looking under, it seems there's really not a lot of room between the axle and the stops, despite the wheel gap looking decent (I do have 33's though). I'm not looking for much lift, but if I'm replacing components, I might as well go in that direction.

A replacement ARB/OME leaf pack is abotu $440 shipped (https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/arb-leaf-spring-cs061r/_/R-BHWQ-CS061R). This would be a simple job of unbolt old, bolt in new. I would replace the bushings as well. Seems not too bad in the labor front. (I do my own wrenching)

If I go AAL, the stock, main leaf doesn't get replaced, there's varying amounts of lift, and some are longer springs, but all do largely the same thing. The amount of time spent wrenching sounds considerably more, as you're also dismantling the leaf pack.

The main concern I have, is that if you go AAL, you're still using your old main leaf. How is that going to hold up in 30k, or 50k or 100k? I prefer to do something right the first time. If anyone has 50k+ on an AAL setup, I'd be curious to know how it's aging, and if you've run into any troubles with it?
 

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AAL is a band aid lift for new leaf packs. Your stock OEM inherently weak leaf springs have 103K, they're toast. Replace them. You can order no lift spring options if that's your thing.

I ran an AAL starting at 26K with adjustable shackles, they flattened out in no time, I'm now on my second set of Alcan's at 120k. I only replaced the Alcans because I started carrying even more weight, and I T swapped. Sold the perfectly good 1st set to a friend, which he loves.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That was what I was figuring. I don't mind a bit of lift, i was thinking about 1.5-2", as it's a little, but I don't need to worry about the coil bucket up front. The fronts seem fine for now, I just want to avoid bottoming out with gear and people, as its gettting close to snowboarding season. The ARB from 4wheelparts seems like a good deal, as it'll be in stock, and I won't have to worry about the long lead times (or other issues) I hear about with some of the smaller, more Xterra specific vendors.

I'm also not planning on adding a ton of weight. I may get some sliders/steps so I don't have to worry about the oem ones for mild-medium trails. Those are pretty light though.
 

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Dude check out Ok4wd's website. Big arb dealer based in nj. They had me the front and back shipped directly from the west coast arb warehouse for like 1100 bucks. (The entire kit). They have promo codes...
 

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The combo that I have been running for a while is the DAAL plus a set of Timbren active offroad bumpstops. The bumpstops really help eliminate harsh bottoming out and are an upgrade over the hard stock ones for sure. I added Timbrens first, which helped, then the DAAL, and now I have adjustable shackles. Note that my first priority was eliminating the harsh bottoming out, then adding a little capacity, then lift. The leafs have flattened somewhat, but I think I can hold off on upgrading for a while longer. So this works for me, although I know that at some point I will probably replace the whole thing with Alcans. But I still plan on using the Timbrens and PRG adjustable shackles, so those were a good long term upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The timbrens are a nice idea, but in theory if I replace the leaf pack with the ARB/ Old Man Emu pack, I shouldn't hit the stops anymore? It does sound like when I install those, I should install some adjustable shackles at the same time though? I notice the bushing pack is either for greasable or non-greasable bushings in the shackles, which, as far as I can tell, indicates aftermarket or stock?

Obviously it'd be great if I could solve my problem with a $100 AAL kit, but it seems like that may be a short band-aid, and getting new leafs would be the right long-term solution. Plus I was considering a 1.5-2" lift anyways.
 

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I agree that Timbrens are a band aid - I haven't felt my bump stops since I installed my AAL - including when 4 of us went backcountry skiing or with full camping load......over significant drops and bumps.

I can't speak to long term AAL because I installed mine last winter and couldn't be happier. Install was easy and it was really the first auto work I had done in 10 years. It probably took 3 hours and could shave an hour off that if I had to do it again. A couple C-clamps to hold the leaves in place, remove the bottom leaf, place the AAL (I went with the Deaver from PRG), and line it all up. Torque your bolts. Drive it around and torque again. Install a 3degree shim to avoid doing the work twice due to driveline vibrations (they're cheap)

I was deterred from replacing the springs because the extra expense and reports of the OME squeaking, bushings wearing out, and providing a harsh ride. That all could be wrong but I took a gamble on the AAL and spent the difference on new Bilsteins all around.
 

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The timbrens are a nice idea, but in theory if I replace the leaf pack with the ARB/ Old Man Emu pack, I shouldn't hit the stops anymore? It does sound like when I install those, I should install some adjustable shackles at the same time though? I notice the bushing pack is either for greasable or non-greasable bushings in the shackles, which, as far as I can tell, indicates aftermarket or stock?

Obviously it'd be great if I could solve my problem with a $100 AAL kit, but it seems like that may be a short band-aid, and getting new leafs would be the right long-term solution. Plus I was considering a 1.5-2" lift anyways.
Since less than stellar advice seems to all the rage these days.... Here is some (more) you can count on... from my hard won experience. You can add it to my first post.

You still need a bump stop regardless. (unlike what was suggested above Timbrens are not a band aid) It's there so you don't over flex the springs, just like on the front. I guarantee your springs are shot. They simply don't last over a 100k, period.
OME springs squeak like a bitch and I wouldn't run them if you gave them to me.. I don't know about Deaver (full leaf packs, not the AAL), but have heard good things, and suggest you look there for an in between price. Alcans are awesome, but pricey.

The answer on adjustable shackles: Some are greaseable, some aren't. You don't have to install adjustable, although it's a good idea. I wouldn't install greaseable.

If I were you, since you want to lift 1.5 to 2", I'd buy a decent set of springs at 1" or 1.5" lift, buy adjustable shackles and extend your stock bump stops. The springs will settle. They all do, and you'll never get all the lift they say you'll get after your're on them for a bit.

If you install an AAL on those old ass saggy springs with an Adjustable shackle you WILL BE REPLACING IT ALL sooner than you think. Buy it once, cry once.
 

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FWIW- stock rear bumpstops are 3" tall and hard as a rock, Timbrens are 5" (uncompressed) so what you are getting with Timbrens essentially is a more "progressive" up travel in your rear suspension. They squish down to probably half of their height or more without a harsh jolt or noise. Just better all around and worth the cost, IMO, regardless of how else you decide to redo your suspension.
 

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I love how the ome springs ride. I bought mine from eBay for around $400 delivered.

My oem leafs were shot and bottomed out with just me in it on bridge joints. AAL likely wouldn't have lasted very long and leaf pack could fail (seems common with the X).

The noise. OME springs are loud... If you don't clean and grease them often. I keep a decent amount of WD-40 Li grease on them and all of the poly bushings to keep them quite. I have no noise on mine doing this once a month. The spc UCAs are just as noisy if not lubed up front.

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright, I'm settled on a new leaf pack, likely the OME, as that seems like a reasonable amount. That being said, to do it right looks like quite a bit.

As a dumb question, is there an easy-install (no taking the leaf pack apart) helper spring for ~$100? I see the Hellwig ones, but those are more than a new leaf pack. Basically, can I do a cheap bandaid to get me through the winter, holiday months and then perhaps use a tax return on doing it the right way?
 

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I just changed out my leaf packs with General Spring SD packs. I also replaced the shocks with Bilstien 4100(?).

I got Timbrens too but ordered the wrong ones...they came without hardware. I have the correct ones ordered and will be putting those in soon.

I hit the bumpstops once with the new springs pulling into my local gas station which has a big dip at the entrance. It wasnt a hard hit like I'm used to but they definitely bumped. I tried going over a few speed bumps at work and wasnt able to get them to hit.

Doing research I learned that the OEM springs going bad is a common issue. Mine had a broken leaf in one pack and that seems to be a frequent problem. The Generals were around $350 delivered.
 

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Alright, I'm settled on a new leaf pack, likely the OME, as that seems like a reasonable amount. That being said, to do it right looks like quite a bit.

As a dumb question, is there an easy-install (no taking the leaf pack apart) helper spring for ~$100? I see the Hellwig ones, but those are more than a new leaf pack. Basically, can I do a cheap bandaid to get me through the winter, holiday months and then perhaps use a tax return on doing it the right way?
Just grab a set off eBay. Not worth the markup of name brand. Since the x is spring under axle, they are pretty easy to install. Supreme suspension has an excellent installation video.



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