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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
After digesting all my searches for perfect way to do front lift i came to these conclusions
Preloading springs is what lift comes from, moving "good ride" zone toward firmer tension range of the spring, away from factory designed ride
All aftermarket lift springs come with shocks designed to work together and mixing leads to variable results that may or may not result in desirable ride on or offroad or both
Looking at aftermarket springs they are obviously designed to work at higher than stock springs tension hence the ride is firmer or harsh
If i add a spacer above spring the ride will stay the same(or almost) but l will achieve lift according to thickness of the spacer. So if i add 1/4spacer lift will be 1/2" ?
My street/highway to offroad driving ratio is about 75% to 25% hence comfort is important. Perhaps my "perfect ride" can be achieved by Bils 5100 set at 1" lift plus 1/4" spacers to achive total 1.5 springs? Of course i do have adjustable USAs so camber setting is not an issue
 

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'06 Off Road & '11 Pro-4X
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After digesting all my searches for perfect way to do front lift i came to these conclusions
Preloading springs is what lift comes from, moving "good ride" zone toward firmer tension range of the spring, away from factory designed ride
All aftermarket lift springs come with shocks designed to work together and mixing leads to variable results that may or may not result in desirable ride on or offroad or both
Looking at aftermarket springs they are obviously designed to work at higher than stock springs tension hence the ride is firmer or harsh

If i add a spacer above spring the ride will stay the same(or almost) but l will achieve lift according to thickness of the spacer. So if i add 1/4spacer lift will be 1/2" ? Correct!
My street/highway to offroad driving ratio is about 75% to 25% hence comfort is important. Perhaps my "perfect ride" can be achieved by Bils 5100 set at 1" lift plus 1/4" spacers to achive total 1.5 springs? Of course i do have adjustable USAs so camber setting is not an issue
On a front strut suspension like the Xterra uses, the height increase for a lift comes from adding a puck / spacer on the top of the strut assembly, using taller springs, or by using an adjustable spring perch like the Bilstein 5100's have (or a threaded shock body as you'll find on Radflo's, Ironman 4X4, Nisstec, etc... coilovers.) There are also coil spring spacers but they have mostly fallen by the wayside. When you lift with a top spacer or longer spring you are not adding an appreciable amount of additional pre-load to the spring. Lifting by adjusting the shock / strut's spring perch does add pre-load; which often translates to a firmer ride and it will impact the stroke length of the shock.

Yes, lift springs & struts are often bundled together as a package and good vendors / manufacturers will put in the work to ensure they perform well together as a package. However, this doesn't mean that lift springs and shocks that are not sold as a "set" will not work. Aftermarket lift springs also aren't necessarily going to have a higher spring rate. You just have to do your due diligence and take into consideration your driving style, vehicle usage and future mods into account. If you want a ride comparable to stock and your vehicle doesn't have additional weight from things like sliders, skids, plate bumper, etc... then a spring with a rate close to the factory specs will work best. Trying to run stock rate springs on a vehicle with a winch, plate bumper, etc... will result in a soft, bouncy ride and the desired lift will not be hit. Conversely, heavy duty springs on an otherwise stock X leads to a harsh, bone-jarring ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Timely thread ...

I put on 5100s all around using my OEM Pro4X springs with the perch set to the 2nd position for 1" lift on the front and a single AAL with stock leafs back in Sept of 2018. So more than 4 years ago. I've been super happy with the ride offroad; onroad it's a little rougher than stock but totally liveable for me. See the following post for my Original measurements and pictures.

I just went out to my garage and measured the drivers side and got drivers side front 35.0" and drivers side rear 37.0". When I put them on I was at 35.5" and 37.25". That is not bad at all for sag over 4 years. Plus, I just added a winch carrier, not bumper, and winch (synthetic rope) so I'd think that's where most of that front height loss came from. The rear as far as tires etc is exactly the same as when originally measured.

I was not really liking the rake anymore so I'm thinking of getting some ADO Medium springs and maybe the 1/2" spacer to lift the front up a little more. If I do I'll post what the measurements are.
Comparing your measurements to mine(no lift yet) my front ride height is 34.75", if 1" shock lift added 35.75", yours was 35.5" when lifted so it all adds up with the difference being the age of the spring and winch. This is very helpful. My goal is 1.5" lift so i should end up with 36.25" ride height after all is done. Trying to find 1/4" front spacer now or will make it myself
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I was aware of these but my parts buying has been chaotic, will have to order a set now. On the other paw did anyone replace lower arm balljoints only? It seems Nissan doesnt sell balljoints only
but a whole lower arm. Since it was impossible to determine the condition of my balljoint without destroying it i ended up removing it which was the easiest part. The arm bushings seem to be
in excellent shape being tight and no play so i will replace balljoints only. Any recommendations on balljoints are welcome
 

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'06 Off Road & '11 Pro-4X
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FYI... I bought a set of these and the bottom of the spacer is not flat. Looks like the material is poured into an open mold in a liquid state & a meniscus (see example below) forms at the edges of the mold. Will try to remember to grab a pic of the spacers when I get home this evening.

Rectangle Terrestrial plant Font Parallel Number


Mevotech offers lower ball joints for the Xterra. Their TTX line is supposed to be built for heavy duty use and to better than OEM specs... https://www.mevotech.com/part/TXMS30520/ RockAuto has them for $55.79 each. You could also get complete Mevotech Supreme series lower control arm assemblies for $90.79 each. https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/nissan,2011,xterra,4.0l+v6,1447318,suspension,control+arm,10401
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Just ordered those fancy balljonts saving all the work replacing whole arms. Original balljoints were fine but damaged after disconnect. Complete arms used much cheaper balljoints and bushings.
I prefer old but functional OEM parts vs new unknown quality parts, it has worked for me for 30 years
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Did not try those bolts yet but using PB blaster pretreat all nuts and bolts came off so i don't expect any problem. In fact my X is not very rusty afa nuts and bolts after 10 years of use
I got a kit with camber bolts and new adjustable UCAs, need to find out if UCAs have sufficient adjustment range. Have to read comments about before and after camber with 1.5" lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Like i expected my bolts were NOT seized but some rust inside the bore made it little hard but after PBblasting and some turning bolts are out. My bushings seem to be in good shape.
I read most of the posts about replacing bushings and found some myths being circulated on this forum. First of LCA bushings are replaceable and available. If bolts come out it is an option saving money with a bit more work
Anyone with hydraulic press and couple of drifts can easily remove and install new bushings. I have done plenty before on a different vehicle but with very similar design
It took seconds to remove LCA balljoint and i will replace it with new Mevotech BJ from Rockauto, higher quality than one on the new LCA.
The cambolt kit i bought from Rockauto will be going back, it doesn't look safe with almost half of the bolt removed for cam action. Ordered OEM cam bolts and washers for piece of mind
My question to those of you who installed adjustable UCAs and 1.5" lift, what caster did you set? Did you set balljoint at far out setting to prevent contact?
Thanks to all members who took time to help, it made a big impact in my project
 

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'06 Off Road & '11 Pro-4X
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Like i expected my bolts were NOT seized but some rust inside the bore made it little hard but after PBblasting and some turning bolts are out. My bushings seem to be in good shape.
I read most of the posts about replacing bushings and found some myths being circulated on this forum. First of LCA bushings are replaceable and available. If bolts come out it is an option saving money with a bit more work
Anyone with hydraulic press and couple of drifts can easily remove and install new bushings. I have done plenty before on a different vehicle but with very similar design
It took seconds to remove LCA balljoint and i will replace it with new Mevotech BJ from Rockauto, higher quality than one on the new LCA.
The cambolt kit i bought from Rockauto will be going back, it doesn't look safe with almost half of the bolt removed for cam action. Ordered OEM cam bolts and washers for piece of mind
My question to those of you who installed adjustable UCAs and 1.5" lift, what caster did you set? Did you set balljoint at far out setting to prevent contact?
Thanks to all members who took time to help, it made a big impact in my project
It's best to clearance the outside lip on the strut tower / coil bucket, by about 1/4", to prevent damage to the SPC ball joint's boot. Like so...
Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle Tire Synthetic rubber
 

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I have a 2" lift with 5100s set at first perch & ADO HD coils up front. Better to have the springs do the lifting than the struts. The same goes for the rear: Better to have the leafs lift the rig than installing extended shackles, which will prematurely wear out your leaf springs. I have been told by more than one suspension shop over the years that the worst thing you can do to your rear suspension is installing extended shackles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
You are always lifting with springs. Adjusting 5100 shocks spring perch location from the bottom simply moves suspension into harder ride direction, nothing different than using aftermarket springs with higher rated load and higher spring rate. I will wait until suspension is together and see if i have to trim bucket and how much.
All but one LCA bolts came out, the last one is stubborn and getting PB treatment overnight. Rust is the best loctite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
So it was just one bolt that seized to inside bushing and i had to cut the bolt on both ends and grind the remainder flush with bushing so that LCA dropped down and out. Got new Moog bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Preparing for the next step assembling it all, based on 1.5" lift(1" from 5100 3rd groove and 1/4" spacer under bucket) using SPC arms where did you set balljoint? Middle? All the way out?
Just interested in initial setting to prevent bucket contact but leaving enough adjustment from LCA camber bolts. What caster did you choose? Instructions suggest 0 degrees caster toothed washer orientation with 2-3" lift but i got 1.5. Nissan suggests (according to post) 2.17 degrees. I dont have the caster tool but it is the least important part of alignment, so if anyone recalls their caster setting and alignment results please share, ideally with 1.5" lift and stock springs like i have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Trying to disconnect connectors for brakes i managed to mangle connectors as it was impossible to disconnect due to dust inside and design of latch.
Anyone ran into this peoblem?
I will have to replace connectors. Hopefully finding those at pcik a part
 
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