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Discussion Starter #1
I've been meaning to ask this question for a bit. I often see people extolling the virtues of TS, and money being the only detractor blah blah. So I'd like to throw a hypothetical situation out there of what if one had the money but doesn't need stiffer suspension to support added sprung weight. Go with me for a second.

Let me setup the hypothetical details
Suppose you have a stock XTERRA. Call it a 4WD, OR or P4X trim just so that we can have a touchpoint to tire/gearing specs if needed. Call it an A/T as well.
Suppose the XTERRA is a DD that gets out on trails and such about 10% of the time, and does about 15k-20k miles a year overall in this just to establish a mix of city/highway/trail. Assume for sake of argument that the bouncy stuff (coils, shocks, leafs) is new/OEM (so that we take away aging), and that there's magical spacers in the rear to keep the stance even front-to-back

Specifically I hope to have setup this hypothetical to avoid "if your aim is to get 12 feet of ground clearance..." or "you can do it cheaper by...." or even "it's going to look weird" etc arguments and just discuss the consequence of longer arms, all-else-being-equal or in a vacuum, on independent suspension systems.

The question is: What happens if one does TS by itself? Do the bits for driveline but leave the bouncy bits stock/OEM. What's the good and the bad. There's no ugly because money is not in consideration.
 

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"TS by itself" does not make any sense. "Titan swap" doesn't automatically designate a certain list of components. "Titan swap" can mean swapping 1 or more parts from a Titan.

Most people will swap in the Titan suspension because it almost doubles your travel in the front (with the right components). This is where you gain the most benefit off-road.

Most people will ALSO swap in the Titan front differential and axles. You can do this easily with an auto PRO-4x model since some titan front diffs have 3.36 gearing (which matches factory PRO-4x auto gearing). Without a PRO-4x, you have to regear which is a lot of $$.

Here's what I would say - swapping in just the front diff and some axles that would work (V8 pathfinder axles) on an otherwise stock suspension Xterra is pretty pointless. You take the front diff because it is stronger (for 33" or 35" tires) and because it is easier to swap out a broken CV axle. If you have a stock Xterra that goes off road infrequently, you likely aren't doing things that are gonna break your CV axles. So the good is that you would have stronger front driveline. The bad is that it wouldn't really serve any benefit. You could get way more benefit doing suspension only.
 

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Coilovers!
As mentioned before, you can use any coilover that bolts up to the Frontier coil bucket. Titan coilovers (OEM or Ext length) can also be used if you switch the top plates to match the Frontier coil bucket. But note that unless you use a T swap specific coilover with a high dollar arm, you'll never achieve maximum wheel travel. Its also recommended to have at least 1" of lift after completing the swap to minimize any potential tire rubbing. Be aware that a T swap by itself does not lift your truck, that's what the coilovers do.

-T swap specific-
These are coilovers designed just for a T swap. They are the correct length with the correct valving and will yield the most wheel travel out of what ever arm combo you choose (although max travel can only be achieved with a high dollar arm). These are all rebuildable by the maker or diy. Figure about $80 for a basic diy rebuild and close to $200 for a professional job.


Radflo 2.0TS IFP $789
This is the cheapest proven coilover you can buy designed for a T swap. They have a 2" diameter body and no res. Due to smaller oil capacity when compared to others, they are more prone to shock fade in high speed off road situations and are better suited for low-medium speed wheeling. Although, these will be a massive improvement over stock.
PRG
Nisstec

Radflo 2.0TS Remote $1138
Added high speed off road performance over IFP 2.0s due to added reservoir
Rugged Rocks

Radflo 2.5TS IFP $1250
Uses an internal floating piston but with a larger 2.5" body. Bigger bodied shocks will provide a more consistent feel and may ride better than a similar 2.0 shock. No reservoir on these, therefore some cost savings with only slight performance reduction (mainly effects prolonged high speed off road driving). Nice middle ground between 2.0s and 2.5s with remotes.
Rugged Rocks $1250

Radflo 2.5TS Remote $1349
A considerable step up in performance when compared to a 2.0. They have a 2.5" diameter body with a remote mounted res which provide more damping and better heat dissipation. These are more suited toward high speed off road driving but will still perform excellent in the slow stuff. Very comparable to the 2.5 SAWs, with a shorter wait time. $40 more gets you custom color powdercoated springs.
PRG


Currently not available.
Sway-Away 2.5TS Remote $1349
Nearly the same as the Radflo 2.5 above in all aspects but said to be a bit firmer valving wise. Red anodized body can turn to pink over time, longer wait time over Radflo.
PRG


Note: 11-12-17, Confirmed by Bilstein aftermarket product manager, Bilstein 6112 coilover for a Titan Swap is NOT happening.


-Budget T Swap Options-
While not the best solution, these will work and be better than most Frontier OEM/ext travel/spacer combo.

Gen 1 Tundra Coilovers* $50-$200 used, $250-400 new
Provide nearly the same wheel travel as any of the ones listed above at a fraction of the price. Performance obviously won't be at the same level as a true aftermarket coilover but will provide the lift and wheel travel you want. These are a great option if your looking for an OEM style coilover with excellent weather tolerance, a temporary coilover to use if you need to rebuild your performance ones, or if your just trying to get a t swap as cheap as possible. It's not like these are complete crap either, they actually work surprisingly well and perform better than many non t swap specific coilovers. Be sure to read THIS thread before buying anything though.


-Non-Titan swap coilovers that have been used with decent results-

Most of these were used in conjunction with a spacer on top to provide extra lift with less preload.
Radflo 2.0/2.5 std+Ext travel
SAW 2.0/2.5 std+Ext travel
TJM Ext Travel*
Bilstein 5100*

Denotes strut type coilover, some have experienced broken shock shafts due to the extra angle in the tophat, use with caution
Can use upgraded urethane top hat bushings for better shock response:
http://www.4x4parts.com/i-20946025-front-upper-shock-bushing.html

-Not Recommended Coilovers-
Stock Frontier*- Way under dampened, under sprung, bottom frequently, need a spacer .5" taller than desired lift, physically too short to get any kid of decent travel gain.

Stock Titan*- Too short, still need a spacer, must change tophat to Frontier one still, spring rate too high. Unless you just have these laying around or can get them for free, the Tundra coilovers are a much better option with the same amount of work.
Taken from the compiling t-swap components sticky over on club frontier.org.
 

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To add to Albatross's post - "Titan Swap" could also refer to swapping the stock VQ40 engine, for the Titan VK56. This could be done independently of any suspension or differential upgrades. The question is... why?
 

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Well, I had copied and pasted part of this but since it was so long it's waiting on moderator approval. This is from clubfrontier.org. Since the front suspension is the same it applies to Xterras also.

HOW TO: Compiling and Choosing Titan Swap Components

Of main interest to you
-Not Recommended Coilovers-
Stock Frontier*- Way under dampened, under sprung, bottom frequently, need a spacer .5" taller than desired lift, physically too short to get any kid of decent travel gain.

Stock Titan*- Too short, still need a spacer, must change tophat to Frontier one still, spring rate too high. Unless you just have these laying around or can get them for free, the Tundra coilovers are a much better option with the same amount of work.
 

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But to answer specifically what happens in the OP's hypothetical... (as we are entering already what his lengthly setup was trying to avoid :) )
If you only add Titan Upper and Lower control arms, and get the R180 titan length cv axles, to get you a minimal front end Titan Swap, but then decided to keep the stock Xterra Coilovers (strut and coil)? That is your hypothetical?
Since the longer arms have different mount points further out, you'd change some geometry for sure. Plus the Xterra coilover is slightly shorter than the stock Titan one. It would sit lower than it originally did because the coilover is a fixed length and its further out. (Like closing a pair of scissors).
Not to mention that your front wheels now sits 3" further out due to the longer arms. I would imagine you'd slam the tires into the fender under any compression, but you'd also not be able to turn unless you took out a sawzall.

You "could" add a large spacer to the top of the coilover to lift it enough to avoid the above issues. I've heard of guys doing that temporoarily before installing proper TS length coilovers, but you'd lose all your downtravel, I think it's undersprung for that length, and really a waste of all that work if you left it like that.

If you tried to stick a stock titan coilover you'd have to modify it because the tophat doesnt fit, it still needs a spacer and the coil is way too stiff.
 

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You need to read this entire thread. Lift Options (Please Read) 2005+ Xterra's

Even a basic Titan Swap with just the basic stock control arms and Pathy V8 axles is the easiest and cheepest way to gain travel in the front - which is why it was so popular. So if your looking for extended travel - and like the wider stance - a Titan Swap all by itself is the best and cheapest way to go. The Pathy axles used to be really expensive but I think you can just get rebuilt ones at reasonable prices now days IIRC?

Additionally, its a simple job that most DIY can do - and your using stock parts - albeit stock for a Titan - but it makes getting replacement components fairly easy.

The titan swap widens your front track, which is where a lot of the travel comes from (pure geometry). So once your wider, you need to use spacers to match the back (or just live with it). I personally dislike this look, but I am definitely in the minority.

So it depends on what you want / need, and how much you care to spend. There is no right or wrong answer - most of it is preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you to those that replied and imparted subject matter expertise, in itty-bitty bite size chunks, to this (and hopefully other like me) who are but lay-persons in the actual practice of automotive engineering.

If you only add Titan Upper and Lower control arms, and get the R180 titan length cv axles, to get you a minimal front end Titan Swap, but then decided to keep the stock Xterra Coilovers (strut and coil)? That is your hypothetical?
Yes. I'm trying to get a working knowledge of how the different pieces (arm length, suspension force, etc) work together through this hypothetical, and you've explained it beautifully, thank you.

You need to read this entire thread. Lift Options (Please Read) 2005+ Xterra's
I read it a while back and came away more confused than before, which is why I sought to break out the several pieces through this hypothetical. My aim is to break down the the bits so I can visualize force vectors and the like in my head since I'm an systems engineer by training and a tinkerer but not a mechanic.

Once again my thanks and appreciation.
 

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I read it a while back and came away more confused than before, which is why I sought to break out the several pieces through this hypothetical. My aim is to break down the the bits so I can visualize force vectors and the like in my head since I'm an systems engineer by training and a tinkerer but not a mechanic.

Once again my thanks and appreciation.
So if you start with the basics. The simplest front lift is a spacer lift. Your essentially pushing the front spring / shock down - to push the truck up. You actually end up with less travel - because your using it up for the lift. But you do get lift - and due to geometry its about double the spacer thickness - ie a 1 inch spacer means 2 inches of lift.

But alas, you really haven't gained any suspension benefit. So you can replace the spring / shock combo with something that has both more lift (heavier and longer spring) and more travel. But once you get much more travel you get coil / bucket contact - ie your upper control arm hits its stop point and can't go any further. Not only do you limit travel - but it makes a very annoying clunk.

So the next step is to replace the upper control arms with aftermarket upper control arms that allow more travel - like Calmini for example. This allows more travel without the clunk. However for it to be of use you need extended travel coil overs - to allow the control arms to do their job and travel more.

All of these things can be used in combination - and a titan swap in reality is nothing more than these things - except you get to use OEM titan arms (upper and lower) to get more travel, and then continue to add whatever other upgrades you might like - for example swapping to a Titan Front Diff (much stronger). The Titan swap route is the cheapest and fastest path to get to more travel, more lift, and potential to get a better front diff, all the while using mostly OEM parts you can find for cheap - new, used, or aftermarket. Like I said however the only real downside is your going to have about 6 inches wider track in the front - depending on what wheels you run.

I have skipped a bunch of steps, but this is the basics. As mentioned, its covered in much more detail in the link I posted before.
 

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Or I can actually write it another way.

Bubba buys an X. He throws a spacer / shackle lift in and he is looking good. Doesn't handle any better, but he has more clearance.

Bubba decides to throw on bigger tires. He has a much higher truck, but the gearing is a little steep, and it handles for crap - but Bubba puts up with it. One day Bubba gets a little too brave and tries some rocks. Because he has clearance and tires he is doing pretty good. However he articulates his front end off the ground, and since he doesn't have a front locker his front wheel comes down spinning hard -- immediate stop and boom - his R180 is no more.

So now Bubba needs a new front diff. And he really needs better gearing for his tires, and a locker in the front. If your going to spend all that coin might as well go with a heavier diff. And it would be really great to have more travel to go with all of this. So voila - Titan swap with an ARB locker is a perfect match.
 

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I looked into a titan swap for a good while, and had a lot of similar questions. Personally I wanted to do it at minimal cost and with only stock parts, and then had to convince myself that it wouldn't work out well. The threads that lead up to the tundra 5100 swap coilover were interesting. It explains a good bit of the WHY, when it comes to dialing in the different parameters for the TS coilover.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So if you start with the basics. The simplest front lift is a spacer lift. Your essentially pushing the front spring / shock down - to push the truck up. You actually end up with less travel - because your using it up for the lift. But you do get lift - and due to geometry its about double the spacer thickness - ie a 1 inch spacer means 2 inches of lift.
But I'm not "chasing" lift for lift's (or ground clearance) sake, but more "capability" (whatever that means). Which is why I posted this thread, trying to understand the implications of longer arms. It is easy to understand "more stiff, more carry" and "more beefy, less dingable" The geometry of of the swinging arms is slightly less so.

What I'm really after is peace of mind, both on and off road. The peace of mind on road comes from not mucking the careful engineering that Nissan has built into the platform. The peace of mind off road comes from knowing that you'll be able to make it back to the road on your own power. Which of course means knowing when to hold'em, when to fold'em, know when to walk away and when to run.... I think there's a song about that someplace.

I have skipped a bunch of steps, but this is the basics. As mentioned, its covered in much more detail in the link I posted before.
Yup, I know this as well. And the thread is a good guidance, indeed. As you can see by my post count compared to my tenancy in the forums, I don't much speak here for I am not learned in these matters.

I looked into a titan swap for a good while, and had a lot of similar questions. Personally I wanted to do it at minimal cost and with only stock parts, [snip]
Not to be a jerk about it, but I happen to have the money, what I'm trying to understand as you is do I even want to begin walking down this road, and like you I'm thinking that I rather not muck with it for fear of opening a pandora's box.

In the end I need to figure out what I need to do to to not mess up the truck after adding the RockyMtnX bumper, the front skid plate that came with it, that have been sitting in my garage floor for a couple years now and the white-knuckle sliders that recently joined them.
 

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But I'm not "chasing" lift for lift's (or ground clearance) sake, but more "capability" (whatever that means). Which is why I posted this thread, trying to understand the implications of longer arms. It is easy to understand "more stiff, more carry" and "more beefy, less dingable" The geometry of of the swinging arms is slightly less so.

What I'm really after is peace of mind, both on and off road. The peace of mind on road comes from not mucking the careful engineering that Nissan has built into the platform. The peace of mind off road comes from knowing that you'll be able to make it back to the road on your own power. Which of course means knowing when to hold'em, when to fold'em, know when to walk away and when to run.... I think there's a song about that someplace.


Yup, I know this as well. And the thread is a good guidance, indeed. As you can see by my post count compared to my tenancy in the forums, I don't much speak here for I am not learned in these matters.


Not to be a jerk about it, but I happen to have the money, what I'm trying to understand as you is do I even want to begin walking down this road, and like you I'm thinking that I rather not muck with it for fear of opening a pandora's box.

In the end I need to figure out what I need to do to to not mess up the truck after adding the RockyMtnX bumper, the front skid plate that came with it, that have been sitting in my garage floor for a couple years now and the white-knuckle sliders that recently joined them.
Now you are sort of being a jerk, because no on ever said you should do a Titan swap, and no one ever said you didn't have money, and no one said you were chasing lift. Everyone here simply tried to answer your questions courteously.
 

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One thing to remember with a titan swap is the truck will be about 6" wider (3" each side). While that doesn't seem like a lot I know I've been on trails where I've only had about 1-2" clearance each side with stock set up.
 

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But I'm not "chasing" lift for lift's (or ground clearance) sake, but more "capability" (whatever that means). Which is why I posted this thread, trying to understand the implications of longer arms. It is easy to understand "more stiff, more carry" and "more beefy, less dingable" The geometry of of the swinging arms is slightly less so.
You are contradicting yourself all over this thread. When talking off road, lift and ground clearance IS capability.

I don't know if Titan arms with stock coilovers will even work. You might have less lift than before. And there would be no benefit. The whole point of longer arms is to allow for less harsh angles at the CV/ball joints which in turn allows for more suspension travel. If you do longer arms with stock coilover, you have the same travel. Just having longer arms doesn't automatically make anything better.

You are overthinking it. A Stock X can give you peace of mind. You only need to worry if you are doing stupid stuff, which it doesn't sound like you have or want to at this point.
 

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[Stops rocking in rocking chair, squints eye and points pipe at OP]

Back in my day, a Titan Swap automatically meant installing a 205. It didn't automatically mean control arms.

;)
 
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