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Discussion Starter #1
Well everyone, there has been one plus to my 5 month hiatus resulting from working the new job... I actually have some money to play with now! :cheers:

Now, the question I am trying to answer, and I'm sure that some of you will be able to help me, what is the final cost of installing the lift configurations that you have?

Ponyboy, you don't count. :geek:

I know I can look up the costs of the kits and shipping, but what I'm REALLY looking for is the incidentals.... Did you HAVE to extend the brake-lines, NEED to replace some bushings... shims, cost of getting springs installed, etc...

I'm just trying to get a sense of all the hidden costs that may pop up so I don't get caught with my pants down, and a kit I can't install because I didn't save a little extra cash to get some needed parts, or to do a needed mod to make it work the way it is expected to.

I want:

1) 2-4 inches of lift, to run 33's with plenty of room when I replace the stock tires this winter.
2) Fix the bottoming out of the rear that you all know about...

I know that everyone hear has their opinions regarding certain vendors, in my opinion they have all failed in customer service at some point, so I am not limiting my options to anything. I would even split between several different vendors if I got the most cost effective and reliable set-up that way. So, fire away!

ps. I know that nearly all of this info is available in various places in various threads, but I think that there would be quite a bit of benefit to getting this all into one thread... thanks!
 

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Here is what I run

AC coils with a shackle lift - ~$200
AC coil professional install with alignment - $180
Rancho 9000S rear adjustable shocks - $140

With this setup I did not need new rear shocks or extended brake lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Koko, I'm not clear on your rear shocks... did you put the Ranchos on because you wanted to, but didn't need them? I have the OR Bils, and don't want to replace them unless I need to.
 

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Do you just want to lift it and not worry about gaining much additional articulation for off road use?

If I was on a budget and just wanted to get a lift I would go with AC's front coils and AC’s AAL (with shim).

As long as you do not replace the rear shocks you do not have to extend the brake lines as the shocks are your limiting factor. Obviously for better off road performance you would want to get longer shocks in the rear, but that can even come at a later date when you have more money.

I have been 100% happy with my AC coils upfront. The rear however I am still not happy with.

I started out with the AC AAL's (w/ no shim) and got so much vibration I thought I was on one of them cheap motel beds with the coin boxes. However the ride was great. It was firm and with the rear sway bar off handled well in the corners.

So I took off the AC AAL and installed AC Shackles. This game me lift without the vibration but made the rear end very soft in turns. It was also causing my leaf packs to flatten out (they were sitting on the overload spring).

Not wanting to limit my articulation, I opted out of the Timbren bump stops and went for the Calmini AAL kit (which came with shims). I added these in conjunction with the AC shackles. This stiffened up the rear end in turns, prevented the vibration problem I had with the AC AAL kit and re-arched my stock springs. I also took off the Overload spring.

Now, this is what I am currently running (with longer shocks and brake lines), but it squeaks like nobodies business and is very annoying. I am now thinking of just going with Alcan spring packs and being done with it.

I have done all the work myself (including the coil spring install) except the lifetime alignment at Firestone which cost me $150.
 

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TwinCitiesX said:
Koko, I'm not clear on your rear shocks... did you put the Ranchos on because you wanted to, but didn't need them? I have the OR Bils, and don't want to replace them unless I need to.
Exactly. I still need to extend the brake lines, but only if I add the AAL. But like Jason said I just might upgrade to alcan springs and be done with it.

BTW: I have already had a broken leaf spring, but that is another issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Muzik, Koko, thanks for the great info.

I should clarify a bit more of what I am looking for I guess... while I would love more articulation I need to be honest with myself, I have very little NEED for more at this point. The trails and situations I have thus far encountered are easily handled by the stock suspension. As long as I don't lose articulation I will be more or less happy. If I can gain a bit, wonderful. I know that I can't get my cake and eat it too, if I wan't great articulation and clearance I need to spend some cash. What I really want is a good foundation to build from, so that I can add more as I encounter the need/money for it. As long as what I do ends my bottoming out on bumps, and keeps me tight in the corners I'll be happy.

Muzik, did you try shimming your AC add a leaf before switching?
 

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TwinCitiesX said:
Muzik, did you try shimming your AC add a leaf before switching?
No, my guess though is that with 2-3º shims the AC AAL's would work fine. I was one of the first people to have the AC AAL kit (that I know of) and when I got the vibration I contacted AC who told me it wasn't their problem and that it was Nissan's fault. This angered me enough to try out the Calmini's.

Thing is, some people have run the AC AAL's without issue, even without the shims. I have a feeling it has something to do with the OR model's axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Muzik, It's all coming back to me now... I remember this discussion. :drunken:

Thanks for the info. Shims are cheap, I'm not worried about the cost of that. I was more worried about my Bils and brake lines not being long enough. I know the Bils will limit articulation to a point, but a small trade-off for me, keeping in mind my REAL needs....

Thank you.
 

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Just to give you an idea of what my curent articulation is like.

Front:
AC Front Coils
Stock OR Bilstein Shocks

Rear:
AC Shackles
Calmini AAL
Stock Bump Stops
AC Extended Brake Lines
Relocated ABS Lines
Bilstein 20% stiff Shocks (Longer). These were from AC. They are actually shocks for a Pathfinder.



 

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I just AAL'ed the rear and kept my shocks. No reason to change the brakelines.

IMO:
-AC coils ($140)
-Professional coil install and alignment (~$200)
-AC AAL ($65) or go to your local spring shop and have them make a pair of 2 ft x 2.5 in leaf springs.
-2.5" 2.5° shims (got mine from Rancho <$20)
-3/8" Rancho center bolt (~$10)
-2 x 6-pack good microbrew (~$15)
-friend with tools for the leaf install (priceless).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input guys. Gives me quite a bit of food for thought. I was honestly hoping for a bit bigger response on this question, I figured everyone would be happy to talk about what they are running.......
 

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Oh, and one this I just noticed and that picture above made me thing about it. I am running 285/75R16's BFG MT's with the above mentioned lift. Last week I noticed odd rub marks on my frame behind my rear tires. It looks like under full compression the back side of the tire rubs on the frame. I'll take some pics. I don't think it's going to cause much of a problem even with the amount of wheeling I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Muzik, I'm assuming that this is due to the amount of articulation you've gained with the longer shocks? I'm trying to picture in my mind any other possibility, but that seems the most likely. Am I right?
 

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That would be it. The other factor is that I did not install the bump stop spacers that came with the Calmini AAL kit. I figure that will just limit my travel :)

The one thing I have noticed is that it is possible for me now to reverse my rear leafs (bend them the wrong way). This will most likely lead to failure (and sag) a lot quicker. This is another reason I am thinking about an Alcan pack.
 

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Muzikman said:
The one thing I have noticed is that it is possible for me now to reverse my rear leafs (bend them the wrong way). This will most likely lead to failure (and sag) a lot quicker. This is another reason I am thinking about an Alcan pack.

ewww..that's no good. i woulda thought that the AAL would've helped to prevent that problem. i was thinking of adding AAL, my springs seem really flat all the time with just shackles.
 
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