Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.. finally have the AC AAL lift on the way. My parents left last week for a weeks vacation in Florida.. checked out where they were going.. turns out 10 mins from AC. I gave them the address and told them they need to find room in their luggage! AALs are coming back in my dad's golf bag, and the coils are going into their suitcases. Sure beats paying the brokerage fees and shipping to Canada. Obviously had them get the shims as well. AC tried to talk them into buying the extended brake lines.

Anyways.. for those with the AC AAL lift, who ditched the load leaf? I kept the load leaf on my 2001 when I put on the Rancho AAL, and it hurt me off road - got hung up on it a few times.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
14 Posts
Ditch it. With the AC AAL your supossed to replace the load leaf for the AAL so you can re-use the OEM U-bolts.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Except for the fact that you should never re-use u-bolts.

The threads and nuts are designed to deform the threads on the u-bolts to act somewhat like a locknut.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
15,651 Posts
Walrus said:
Except for the fact that you should never re-use u-bolts.

The threads and nuts are designed to deform the threads on the u-bolts to act somewhat like a locknut.
Most U-Bolts use teethed nuts or lock washers. You can reuse then without a problem.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
Muzikman said:
Walrus said:
Except for the fact that you should never re-use u-bolts.

The threads and nuts are designed to deform the threads on the u-bolts to act somewhat like a locknut.
Most U-Bolts use teethed nuts or lock washers. You can reuse then without a problem.
Reused them on my axle swap.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
2,938 Posts
I reused mine when I replaced my leaf spring pack. There is no issue as long as you torque it.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I ended up reusing them. Only because the new ones I bought were the wrong size - I bought 7/16 x 3-1/16 x 6-3/4, but the stock ones are 1/2" x 3-1/8 x 6-1/2. This size is also available in an 8" length for thicker leaf packs. Just thought I'd post the size for those who need to replace their u-bolts.

I did notice that the stock u-bolt/nuts are the prevailing torque type - the nuts are tight and can't be threaded on by hand.

The package for the new u-bolts has a statement on it 'Always use new u-bolts when replacing springs'.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Done the front. I borrowed 2 sets of strut coil spring compressors, and that helped. I starting compressing the new coil with only 1 pair of compressors, but it quickly became difficult to tighten them. With 4 of them on the spring (2 pairs) I don't see any way they would ever slip. I then used my air impact gun to tighten each one gradually and it took no time at all.

As others have reported, it is difficult to get them back off because the coils are so close together when compressed. I had to use 2 pry bars to move the coils apart enough. Take the threaded rod completely out of the coil spring claws, that way you can pivot them out easier.

I found the piston rod lock nut difficult to break loose. Putting a bar between the 2 of the 3 mounting studs didn't help - the piston rod just turned. There are flats on the end of the piston rod - I clamped them in a vice and then was able to break the nut loose. And.. the nut isn't 17mm. I think it's 18mm. I was able to get the closed end of a 11/16 wrench around it.

Lastly, the AC coils have about 1/8 more turn than the stock coils, so if you seat the new coils the same way as the stock ones, when the top 3 studs are back in the upper coil bucket, the bottom of the strut is 45deg off so you can't get the bolt through. I ended up turning the lower spring perch on the strut, which I couldn't do until I put the spring compressors back on and compressed the coil again.



If you look at that picture, with the top of the coil ending just before the outboard stud, the lower end of the coil stops further around, towards the front arrow.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One last note:

My truck (2006 Offroad) measured 33.5" front and 34.5" back, to the top of the wheel wells.

So far, after the lift, without driving the truck, it is sitting at 36.38" front and 37.5" back.

That is 2-7/8" lift for the front, and 3" for the rear. I'm sure that will settle and I will report measurements again in a week.

Lastly.. having done a Rancho AAL lift on my 2001 Xterra, the AAL from AC sure looks identical to the Rancho AAL for the 1st gen Xterra, gold zinc plated center bolt and all.

Speaking of center bolt - the head is taller than the stock one. If I didn't put the 2deg shim in, the head would have been too tall - taller than the depth of the hole in the rear axle perch. Also.. the new center bolt is smaller in diameter than the stock one, making it sloppy in the hole.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well.. first drive impressions - the front end now rides like crap. The coils are way too stiff for the stock front struts. Very bouncy/hoppy. Feels like riding in a civic with chopped springs and stock shocks. I don't have an aftermarket front bumper.

I like the firmness how it doesn't nose dive when braking/lift when accelerating.

Does anyone know if the Rancho struts that AC sells in the deluxe kit are valved stiffer?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update after 1 week.

Measurements stable at 36.25" front and 37.25" back. That is an even 2.75" lift front and back.

Front end rides a little better now, or I'm getting used to it.

For anyone considering the AC AALs, DO NOT get the 2deg shims from AC. They aren't enough. I found some 3deg shims locally, and replaced the 2deg ones tonight with those. Vibration is almost gone.. pretty much back to how it was before the lift.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top