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Discussion Starter #1
I have the following observations : [I did search for this kind of info but got mixed results... If you have a thread that covers this please post the link.]

I had parked my 2012 Gen II with 32,000 miles next to my 2000 Gen I with 191,000 miles and noticed that the Gen II seemed to sit lower even though it has slightly bigger tires (265/75/16 vs 31 x 10.50 x 15) So I got a tape measure and did some measuring. I was a bit surprised at the results. Neither truck has ANY suspension mods. All measurements made on concrete drive. Tires at normal PSI.

Front Fender Well opening lip to Ground Gen I = 33 3/4" Gen II 34"
Bottom of hitch to Ground Gen I = 18" Gen II = 17 1/2"
Bottom of Step Rail to Ground Gen I = 15 1/2" Gen II = 12 1/4"
Bottom of Frame middle to Ground Gen I = 13 7/8" Gen II = 11 9/16
Rear Diff lowest point to Ground Gen I = 8 5/8 Gen II = 9 7/8

The one that gets me is the frame height. The Gen II sits much lower to the ground! The pinch seam is also way lower. My stock Gen I would easily go places the Gen II would get body/under carriage damage. Now I know why everyone gets skid plates and sliders first! To get back the lost ground clearance I would have to run, what 34" tires? :dontknow:
 

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After I bought my new X, I had the unique opportunity to take a picture of both of them before the buyer of my 1st Gen showed up.
Keep in mind, this is before all the mods to the 2nd gen, but you can compare similar models in this photo.
1st Gen was a 2004 SuperCharged (SC).


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nissan designed the chassis with everything above the frame rails. So while the frame is a bit lower, the X also has an essentially flat belly.
So does the Gen I. I built a set of skid plates for it and they are flat. Nothing hangs down on a Gen I.

I guess I will not be wheeling this Gen II as much as I thought. I will get a set of sliders for it just to protect the body from large gravel in my drive way.:iconbiggrin: I will start searching but what sliders are also good step rails for accessing the roof and for short wives?

Just slightly disappointed, they added the engine , transmission and locking rear that the GEN I needed, then lowered it... If they want to compete with the Jeep Wrangler, they are headed the wrong direction...
 

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So does the Gen I. I built a set of skid plates for it and they are flat. Nothing hangs down on a Gen I.

I guess I will not be wheeling this Gen II as much as I thought. I will get a set of sliders for it just to protect the body from large gravel in my drive way.:iconbiggrin: I will start searching but what sliders are also good step rails for accessing the roof and for short wives?

Just slightly disappointed, they added the engine , transmission and locking rear that the GEN I needed, then lowered it... If they want to compete with the Jeep Wrangler, they are headed the wrong direction...
I do not think Nissan intent was to compete with the JK's I think they built a SUV that almost everyone could use.

You guys really cant compare the 2 Gens.. The 1st Gen is more truck like than the gen 2. The Gen 1 has a real manual 4wd system the Gen 2 is more every day oriented. Why would ride hight be different? They were trying to squeeze every MPG out of the SUV as they could... The taller the car/truck the harder it is to do this. The Gen 2 Xterra still has the best approach angles of all the SUVs out there..
 

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So does the Gen I. I built a set of skid plates for it and they are flat. Nothing hangs down on a Gen I.

I guess I will not be wheeling this Gen II as much as I thought. ...

My intention wasn't to imply that the 1st gen doesn't have a flat belly. I was trying to emphasize that Nissan designed the X in general to have a flat undercarriage - and that's whats really important. As others have said - a simple lift can get you those 1 or so extra inches back - and then some. At least one of our concerns is not a hanging crossmember or t-case like many other platforms.
So yeah, the 2nd gen is a bit lower - but I hardly think that Nissan was moving the X in the direction of station wagons. Your 2nd gen can wheel just as good as your 1st.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I guess I will soon find out. :iconbiggrin:

I'm heading out to Moab the first week of October for 10 days of camping and wheeling. I'll be towing my Star Craft camper (about 3200 lbs) so will get to see how it handles the Rockies. I towed my boat to the dealer Saturday for some work and it had no trouble with that (2800 lb). However it did sag a bit so, I have a set of the Firestone Air bags ordered and am on the hunt for sliders that can act as step rails for the wife. That should be enough protection to see what the truck can do. I had my automatic Gen I out there last year and had a blast with it.

Got to get my Prodigy II controller permanently mounted, mount/wire the CB, figure out which phone mount to get (HTC EVO) and a few other things before then...
 
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