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Discussion Starter #1
Truck is a 2010 Xterra X 2WD/auto with 149K on the clock. That mileage was racked up during use as my wife's commuter, and is largely highway. I have now "inherited" it (she gets the new ride) and it will be used mostly for hauling motorcycles on a hitch carrier, and towing our 18ft fiberglass boat (fairly heavy for it's size). The first few uses ranged from annoying (bottoming with hitch carrier) to downright scary (white knuckle sway after hitting rough expansion joints towing the boat at highway speeds!). I thought the issue was shocks, but after reading here and other forums I learned of the Xterra soft suspension. So my first step was the installation of Timbrens, and wow, problems solved! I am amazed at the improvement in the truck. Even though the stock shocks now seem to working fine, I still feel like they should be replaced (149k!). Here's what I'm thinking:
1. KYB montube gas-a-just on the rear (heavy duty) and KYB excel (OEM replacement) on the front. I am very familiar with KYB products from racing motorcycles and I also ran KYB adjustable dampers on my Miata.
2. Bilstein 4600s all around. No personal experience but they seem to be popular amongst the truck crowd. Kinda pricey compared to KYB.
3. Rancho adjustable, but now I feel like that is probably overkill given how good the Timbren system works.

Other options? Opinions? Thanks!
 

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I'm shocked your springs aren't shot. Sorry for the pun. I'd be preparing to replace the leafs completely. If you have no plans to lift it then any of those will be alright.

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I'm shocked your springs aren't shot. Sorry for the pun. I'd be preparing to replace the leafs completely. If you have no plans to lift it then any of those will be alright.

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I keep seeing references to Xterra suspension springs failing, and this puzzles me for at least a couple of reasons. First, I see no evidence of any unloaded sag with my truck. The ride height seems perfectly normal, but of course I never took any measurements when it was new, so I don't have a reference. Second, I'm an old geezer that has been riding and racing motorcycles since the mid 70s, and I am extremely familiar with suspension components and how such things work. I do recall way back in my early days of riding that suspension could "sack out", and you would occasionally see bikes with springs that could no longer do their job. But I thought that modern metallurgy had completely eliminated this problem, and I don't think I've heard reference to it (outside of classic motorcycles) for 30+ years. I don't see how a modern vehicle could have such problems. Is it just that the Xterra comes with overly soft suspension springs when new to keep soccer moms happy, or do the springs really weaken significantly over time?

BTW, I've seen some reviews of Timbrens where the reviewer said they could not install them because the suspension did not allow clearance, and they concluded that the springs were sacked out. However, the instructions for the kit state that one should leave out a rather large included spacer when it is installed on an Xterra. I wonder if some folks did not catch that in the instructions, and concluded their springs had failed.
 

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I keep seeing references to Xterra suspension springs failing, and this puzzles me for at least a couple of reasons. First, I see no evidence of any unloaded sag with my truck. The ride height seems perfectly normal, but of course I never took any measurements when it was new, so I don't have a reference. Second, I'm an old geezer that has been riding and racing motorcycles since the mid 70s, and I am extremely familiar with suspension components and how such things work. I do recall way back in my early days of riding that suspension could "sack out", and you would occasionally see bikes with springs that could no longer do their job. But I thought that modern metallurgy had completely eliminated this problem, and I don't think I've heard reference to it (outside of classic motorcycles) for 30+ years. I don't see how a modern vehicle could have such problems. Is it just that the Xterra comes with overly soft suspension springs when new to keep soccer moms happy, or do the springs really weaken significantly over time?

BTW, I've seen some reviews of Timbrens where the reviewer said they could not install them because the suspension did not allow clearance, and they concluded that the springs were sacked out. However, the instructions for the kit state that one should leave out a rather large included spacer when it is installed on an Xterra. I wonder if some folks did not catch that in the instructions, and concluded their springs had failed.
The passenger side leaf broke on my X this year. Replaced with ARB leafs. No more bump stops. It would hit all the time on my 07.
 

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I keep seeing references to Xterra suspension springs failing, and this puzzles me for at least a couple of reasons. First, I see no evidence of any unloaded sag with my truck. The ride height seems perfectly normal, but of course I never took any measurements when it was new, so I don't have a reference. Second, I'm an old geezer that has been riding and racing motorcycles since the mid 70s, and I am extremely familiar with suspension components and how such things work. I do recall way back in my early days of riding that suspension could "sack out", and you would occasionally see bikes with springs that could no longer do their job. But I thought that modern metallurgy had completely eliminated this problem, and I don't think I've heard reference to it (outside of classic motorcycles) for 30+ years. I don't see how a modern vehicle could have such problems. Is it just that the Xterra comes with overly soft suspension springs when new to keep soccer moms happy, or do the springs really weaken significantly over time?

BTW, I've seen some reviews of Timbrens where the reviewer said they could not install them because the suspension did not allow clearance, and they concluded that the springs were sacked out. However, the instructions for the kit state that one should leave out a rather large included spacer when it is installed on an Xterra. I wonder if some folks did not catch that in the instructions, and concluded their springs had failed.
At 100k miles when I replaced my leafs, one side was 1/2" lower than the front and the other was even with the front. They are supposed to have a decent amount of rake. Metal fatigues. Spring rates does not remain constant in the real world. This is why leafs get re-arched or replaced. These also aren't the highest quality leafsprings so I'm not too shocked they have issues. Plus adding shackles shortens their life and many people do that adding to the issues.

Like most things on a vehicle, they should be treated as a wear item. Shocks, springs, bushings... Ect.

I forget the measurements but they are pretty easy to find searching the forums for each model so you can see where yours are at. My front springs we sagging a little as well. Replaced everything with what should have resulted in 2" of lift and ended up near 2.7". I'd bottom out the rear with just me driving and hitting an expansion joint on the highway at 75 mph. Imagine with a trailer or fully loaded. It was bad. OME leafs and bilsteins have been great.

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Sagging of metal springs happens in this day and age due to cheap materials used.

Maybe I’m lucky as my 08 with 75k miles on it has no sag yet.
 
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