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Well... here goes.

You may have scanned through the posting real quick to look for before and after pics. You didn't see any because there aren't any. I didn't gain any lift with these springs. My ground to fender measurement (going up the center line of the wheel) is an unchanged 36.5. Just to preface the rest of my editorial, I ordered stock ride height + 150 lbs.

The Alcan spring pack was thicker than the stock leaf pack by 9/16 of an inch. You may be able to see it in this picture. The Alcan pack uses 9 leaves.


I fumbled around at my local auto parts store and managed to find a slighly longer U-bolt that fit perfectly. Here is the stock U-bolt side-by-side with one of the new U-bolts.


This U-bolt is made by "Superior Industries," and their part # is 13-0116. The measurements are 7/16 x 3-1/16 x 6-3/4 x 3.

The biggest problem I had was getting the polyurethane bushings into my shackles (AC) and the mounting bracket on the other end. My dad (I never have the good ideas) came up with an easy way to spread the shackles and brackets apart. This one is a no-brainer. Slap a socket on the exposed bolt and an open ended box wrench on the nut on the exposed bolt and crank away. Worked great and made the install a sinch.


The problem came when I realized that the center pin on both of the leaf packs was REVERSED, like it should be on a SOA set-up. I need to call Alcan today and tell them that not everyone can be like Ponyboy, and that the rest of us mere mortals have to deal with the stock spring under axle set up on the Xterras. Needless to say, I was a little unhappy upon discovering this. I was able to clamp the leaf packs together, pull out the center pins and reverse them. On a side note, you can re-use the nut (which is a 14mm) from your factory center pins on the Alcan center pin, just to retain the "everything-is-metric" feel.

Anyway... I had stated in my previous post that my goal was to re-gain some of the lift I lost after installing the front bumper. I think that the extra thickness of the new leaf packs (which has a lowering effect) offset any extra lift I would have got back if the packs were the same size. My advice to anyone else who tries to go the same route is to order you springs with an extra 1" of lift.

The rig sits completely level now with this set up in the rear and AC springs in the front. 36.5 at all four corners. But again, I was hoping for a little extra out back.

Other than the problems noted above, these springs are great. The ride is quite a bit more firm (but not uncomfortable), which I like. There isn't as much body roll, even in slow corners. And I shouldn't have any more problems with bottoming out.

Oh yeah... I double checked my receipt; $230 per pack, plus $60 shipping to Oregon.
 

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Nice write up. However I need to comment on the thickness of a pack adding lift. A thicker leaf pack shouldnt add lift. Its the arc of the top spring that gives lift.
 

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Interesting option you went with.
Hopefully your new ubolts hold up!! Have seen many of that companies products fail.
Since you were in Oregon, is there a reason you didn't go with these guys.
http://www.benzspring.com/
They have been around for a long time and are just good people.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
PonyBoy said:
Nice write up. However I need to comment on the thickness of a pack adding lift. A thicker leaf pack shouldnt add lift. Its the arc of the top spring that gives lift.
I'll have to go back and double check my post. I was (to the contrary) trying to suggest that a thicker spring pack on a spring under axle set-up would actually have a lowering effect and tend to draw the body down, when compared to a thinner leaf pack of similar arch. After thinking about what you said, however, I guess it really would depend on the arch of the top leaf more than anything. Anyway... hindsight being 20/20, I should have ordered them with a little more lift than what I did. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Also, I hope you didn't take offense to my reference to you in the posting. I was just joking around and being a smart @ss (and I was a little bitter about the center pin issue). Oh well.

Thanks for the heads up about Benz Spring, whoever that was. Had not heard of them before. If I break a U-bolt (knocking on wood) I will definitely keep them in mind.
 

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No offense taken. I found it to be rather funny ;) If you need that extra lift, Calmini shackles would be a good choice. The ones I have didn't add much lift with the alcan spring combo. You could get your inch from the shackles. Just be sure to keep the sleeves that came with your spring bushings to use with them. The bushings that came with yours leafs wont work with the Calmini sleeves.
 

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Muzikman said:
The Calmini shackles would give you more lift than the AC shackles?
Calmini claims 1.5" lift with their shackles. I saw no such lift. I got around .5"-1" but defiantely no more than 1". However, mine were not made for SOA leaf springs, so that might be why.

It seems he doesn't want too much lift in the rear, so thats why I suggested Calmini.
 

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: I figured it was an oversight, I just wanted to make there wasn't something about the Calmini shackles I didn't know about.
 

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PonyBoy said:
Muzikman said:
The thing is though that he already has AC shackles.
This is a perfect example to READ the whole post first :drunken: I will go shove my foot in my mouth now. :geek:
I too suffer from this ailment.
 

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*bump*

So how are you liking these after running them awhile? I am thinking of this for my next purchase, probably with an extra inch of lift.

Have you confirmed that bottoming out is gone?

Does anyone have any recommendations for alternate U-bolt manufacturers?

Do they squeak? Mine drive me nuts!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ride is great, definitely stiffer than stock but not uncomfortable. Haven't bottomed out once since I put them on.

The only downside (and I'm sure everyone saw this coming) was that they settled 1/4 to 1/2 an inch after riding around for a few weeks. I knew they would, just didn't want to think about it. Although, I'm still pretty level at all four corners. But, If I had to do it again, I would definitely have them arched a little bit more (1-2 inches).
 

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OregonX said:
Oh yeah... there's still a squeak.
Sorry to bring up an old post, but if there is still a squeak then it has to be coming from something else. Perhaps rear swaybar bushings, or the shackle bushings??
 

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I have the alcans too and after a couple powerwashings the squeeking started, so yesterday I spread the leaves with a screwdriver while it was jacked up at full extention and applyed grease to the pack.... I lowered the truck and the squeeking was still there so I had someone else jack it up and down while I pinpointed the noise ...it was the shackel bushings
and unless you have daystar shackles that you can grease or want to pull them off and re-grease them just turn up the radio thats what do . :chug:
 

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Ah I have Daystar! It might be the front bushings though.
 
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