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Discussion Starter #1
Newbie here with my first question :)
So I am trading in my 2002 Frontier crew cab 4x4- figured it was time. I test drove a 2015 Pro-4x 6 speed. and put a deposit down for the dealer to get one the color that I want, which I'll pick up in the next few days. The Frontier was also a stick with bilstiens. I obviously liked the test drive since I put down a deposit, but I noticed that the xterra has much more body roll in tighter turns than the Frontier. I know it has more weight up high and it's not a sports car but its still worse than I expected compared to my Frontier. Has anyone ever tried putting some weight in the back storage tray under the rear cargo area to see if it helps? Maybe a couple of 50 lb bags of sand or something? ( It looks like they would fit perfect there) I did a search on body roll but nothing specific came up.....Thanks
 

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You can tighten up the suspension by getting rid of the Bilstiens and going with something like OME or Radflo shocks & coilovers. Also, either upgrading the leafs with an AAL or a complete replacement pack will work wonders. As for just adding dead weight in the back, I'm not sure it will really help that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I only do light off roading once in a while - I got the Pro-4x because I wanted 4x4, 6sp, and some of the the other options like nav that are standard in it (plus its cool :) . I guess I always thought Bilsteins made the ride firmer. I dont mind changing out the shocks but I dont want to do alot of mods just yet. I would like to just cut down a little on the body roll so I can go a little faster on turnpike ramps. So you think shocks would do it? How do the other xterras without bilsteins do in comparison to the Pro-4x as far as street handling. Thanks for your input!
 

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You need stiffer springs. A helper spring in the rear worked really well for me. An add-a-leaf would also work. Shocks only control rebound and compression rates.
 

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I too miss the handling of my Frontier. It handled great. It's the Xterra's shorter wheel base, slightly more lift, and higher center of gravity that makes the difference. I agree that tightening up the rear suspension would help. No one makes a performance rear sway bar, so you will need to stiffen up the leaf pack.

Enjoy the vastly improved turning radius and much better offroad ability.


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Discussion Starter #9
Are the "helper springs" a bolt on? Do you have a link or PN of ones that are known to work? I'm not crazy about changing out the leafs in a new truck that doesnt have any miles on it yet.
 

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I just installed new OME coilovers and Nisstec's Deaver AALs yesterday, and I'll reaffirm that it is a vast improvement over the stock setup, especially in the rear. As far as installing a helper spring, I'm not sure, but the AALs are two leafs that fit into the middle of the pack and are pretty much bolt on.

http://nissteclifts.com/images/stories/pdf_files/x_aal.pdf

That's the install guide for the AALs, it's actually pretty simple, I had the most difficult time removing the center pin, but it's pretty straight forward.
 

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Different tires help with that too. The stock tires are terrible


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i second that. i got myself a set of duratracs, and even being up a little higher with them, that first drive with them, i felt like they were stuck to the road like velcro. my stock tires squealed like a pig.
 

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I too miss the handling of my Frontier. It handled great. It's the Xterra's shorter wheel base, slightly more lift, and higher center of gravity that makes the difference. I agree that tightening up the rear suspension would help. No one makes a performance rear sway bar, so you will need to stiffen up the leaf pack.

Enjoy the vastly improved turning radius and much better offroad ability.


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This.

A few things to add to this thread.

- Shocks do very little for body roll. Shocks are dampeners. They will DAMPEN motion, not really resist it. The PRO-4X bilsteins are actually valved to be softer for off roading. Replacing the shocks will do only a little for reducing body roll.

- Tires won't do much unless the existing tires have very soft side walls and your new tires have thicker (less squishy) ones. Harder sidewalls also will contribute to a potentially harsher ride, worse mpg from a heavier tire, and additional road noise. (This all depends on the tire, but why replace brand new ones, when you have other options?)

- Coils, sway bars, and leaf packs resist impact / motion. Those are the areas you want to focus on for reducing body roll. Since the Xterra has no upgrade options for sway bars, you are left with either Coil modifications / upgrades or leaf modifications / upgrades.

- Lots of folks on here will tell you to get the OME kit, or the PRG kit, or the Nisstec kit, or XYZ. If you have the money ($800+) and the time to completely swap out the suspension on a brand new truck, that you rarely will off road, then have at it. New coilovers require new shocks, as the stiffer coils require different dampening (or else you will have a bumpy jarring ride). Full coilovers and new leaf packs, when done right are great to improve on road performance as well. The OME kit is an especially good balance between improved on road performance with off roading capability.

- Lastly what you could, and should do is buy something to stiffen your existing, new, suspension. The rear leaf pack in the Xterra is known to be too soft. Many find them weak, and over time they are prone to bottoming out. (I suspect Nissan engineered the Xterra to be soft and less truck like in ride, for mainstream buyers.) There are many threads and options on reducing bottoming out (AALs, air bags, timbren bump stops, etc). But many of those options work (primarily) on the vertical motion plane, the up and down or suspension travel. You want something to resist side to side motion. (I did too.) I did a bunch of research and within 1 month of owning the Xterra I added a Road Master Active suspension (~$350). Its a coil that goes over the leaf pack and will stiffen the rear in all motions. Reducing bottoming out AND body roll. Super springs also makes a similar system call Supersprings. I also stiffened up the front with SumoCoils (~$100) from Super springs. They are poly inserts that go between the front coils. Both modifications were easy to install with minimal hand tools.
 

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As a true dual purpose vehicle, I've always thought that having two sets of wheels and tires would be ideal. Keep the stock wheels with a set of aggressive A/Ts for offroad and for on road an performance oriented all season tire with a lower profile on an 18" wheel.

Not cheap, but it would make a big difference in handling. My 2 cents.


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Before you go spending money (everyone here loves to tell you how to spend money that they don't have), just drive it. At this point you don't have any real idea of what the truck is like. A short test drive is just a short test drive. It isn't actually using it. You could easily be amazed at what it is capable of off the showroom floor.

Also read carefully about tire reviews. Most of the time someone is going from a couple year old bald and worn out set of tires to a brand new set of tires. Just getting exactly what they had before only nor worn out would make a huge improvement. The scale of improvement is usually highly skewed.

Adding weight for the sake of adding weight has never been known as a performance improvement. Decrease payload, decreased gas mileage, slower truck, more brake wear are all known side effects of adding weight for just to carry it around. In snow it is known to help in traction, if there is any to be had under the snow.
 

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Before you go spending money (everyone here loves to tell you how to spend money that they don't have), just drive it. At this point you don't have any real idea of what the truck is like. A short test drive is just a short test drive. It isn't actually using it. You could easily be amazed at what it is capable of off the showroom floor.

Also read carefully about tire reviews. Most of the time someone is going from a couple year old bald and worn out set of tires to a brand new set of tires. Just getting exactly what they had before only nor worn out would make a huge improvement. The scale of improvement is usually highly skewed.

Adding weight for the sake of adding weight has never been known as a performance improvement. Decrease payload, decreased gas mileage, slower truck, more brake wear are all known side effects of adding weight for just to carry it around. In snow it is known to help in traction, if there is any to be had under the snow.
Pretty solid advice.
 
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