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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this is answered definitively, in my searches I'm only really seeing some general driving dynamics impressions. I'm working on building my 05 Xterra OR into a more serious off roader. I am wanting to start with a steel bumper to give myself some front recovery points, but I've been reading that the increased weight of the steel bumper may require a suspension upgrade. What are your thoughts? I'm OK with having a bit of a ride quality decrease since this is not my daily driver, but I don't want to risk the reliability of the rig as a whole.
 

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I tried not to upgrade the suspension by driving after the 140 lb Shrockworks bumper was added.

the front dive was noticeable at speed, it was an uncomfortable feeling. And it can only get worse with time.

besides the dive you will also get a sag of the front, and while you can ignore the sag, the dive will be hard to ignore especially if it gets worse

I already had bought the 600 lb coilover springs with Bilsteins inside, but on the drive from one mechanic to another I was doing this testing.

If your bumper weighs 70 lb and no hitch is being added, your stock suspension should be ok. Heavier and you will notice and understand why you need more suspension.
 

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TNX Senior Member
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Welcome. There are plenty of discussions related to this topic that could help point you in the right direction. Searching via google with a “specific topic” and “thenewx” often give you the best results. I will recommend reading a few threads to get a good idea of what the general crowd leans towards, but I will chime in.
Recovery gear and some spare parts are necessary before any modifications, as well as proper maintenance and fluids. Then I would recommend good tires, rock sliders, and skids. Then look to upgrading your front and rear suspension while taking into account your plans for future armor. Then I would add armor, starting with a rear bumper first to gain rear recovery points. You should have a front tow hook already, if not you can add one for cheap. Lastly I would look at the front bumper and possibly a winch. Get use to your trucks capabilities first before you start pushing the limits, and you should be good to go. These are fairly capable trucks in stock form to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you. That it fair and it is more or less my plan. Since I don’t yet know how comfortable I am off roading I don’t know exactly what gear I’ll end up getting. The winch has been on my mind as I look for recovery gear which has lead to my considering the front bumper earlier than I would prefer, but if it leads to suspension upgrades (which it sounds like it does) then I probably will stick with standard gear and opt for hi-lift recovery if winching is necessary (I considered a hand winch but they’re quite expensive). I may also just go with a winch and hitch receiver adapter.
 

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Your looking at 130 lbs for a new bumper and about 90 lbs (depending on brand) for a winch.
No, you dont have to buy a winch, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't.

Removing the current front bumper will save some weight, but not alot.

You didnt mention this, but I suspect you have your factory springs from 05 which would be showing some fatigue by now.

If it was me, I would take the opportunity and swap my front springs for something rated higher (600lb ish).
Additionally, if your going to swap a spring, you may as well do the shock also.
 

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$1000 front bumper and
$1000 front coil overs with shocks
$500 Smitty winch
$550 SPC UCAs (upper control arms) or get stock Nissan, used but one day those will wear out

that’s the bottom line money wise for wanting winch or front bumper

140 Lb Shrockworks bumper
-70lb ol bumper and stuff, not heavier
70 lb for Smitty Gen 3 synthetic line

at 70k I got $1k front coil overs with Bilsteins, 0 to 2 inch adjustable lift. Sweet spot is 1inch or so

I kept the stock UCAs and I am at 118k.They are fine but my mechanic says to get SPCs one day but these are fine for now. They haven’t gotten worse since the bumper, but I drive it light and just little offroad

I was thinking about getting longer lift Radflo and SPCs and selling my 600lb coils and stock UCAs, both run great

first 2 days on new coils sucked, but then they settled and all has been great
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the breakdown that helps a lot. I think for now I’ll stick with basic recovery gear until I get more comfortable, but this is definitely something I’ll want to do.
 

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I mean... I didn’t upgrade my front suspension when I installed my HC. The nose dives a bit more during hard braking, but I’m not a fast and furious driver and I suspect even with stiffer springs you’d get a similar issue (it’s like 200+ extra lbs). I’ll upgrade eventually, but it doesn’t feel unsafe, like any major modification you do, you must adjust your driving style a bit.

.


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I drove around for a few months with my Shrock bumper + Smitty winch and can say for sure that you will notice brake dive and body roll. Not only will good HD springs fix this but they will actually make the ride better than stock. Up front I have Bilsteins set to 1” lift with HD springs and 1.5” spacers and It made all the difference in the world.


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Charlie.

What brand springs did you choose?
 

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Charlie.

What brand springs did you choose?
They’re from PRG, It’s one of their set ups. They said they were Moog but then I looked and could never find Moog springs, so am thinking they’re some other brand and he accidentally called them Moog


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