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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone -

First off: I'm technically and mechanically really non-savvy, so apologies if this is a dumb question. I've tried to search thoroughly through the forum, and I think I've got a start on an answer.

I've got a 2012 Pro 4-X on stock suspension but 285 BFG AT/TA KOs. For my application, overlanding and access to camping spots is more important than rock crawling or mudding. I've got about 600lbs. of weight over stock on the truck, with a Gobi rack and Hefty sliders, rear bumper and tire carrier. The extra weight has definitely overcome the stock suspension, causing the weight distribution to move rearward and causing the rear suspension to bottom out over big bumps.

So the question is, do I really need anything beyond a stouter shock setup? Bilstein 5100s seem to be the popular choice, but without a lift, are they overkill? As I understand it, 5100s will help level the truck's ride out, and hopefully they're heavier-duty than stock. Is there anything else that I really need? Upgraded springs, maybe?

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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as said above, shocks arent going to do anything for you as far as how much weight you can hold. you're going to need stiffer springs all the way around to compensate for the added weight. If you're not looking for lift in particular, but are more looking for added weight holding ability, might I point you in the direction of stiffer front coils such as TJM or OME. you can purchase just the coil springs themselves, or if you need shocks as well, you can purchase matching shocks to go with them. now, the will provide lift if you are at stock weight, but if you have lots of added weight, they will not lift as much, but more bring the truck back to stock ride height and feel more stable. now for the rear, you COULD do an AAL which again would add some lift if stock weight, but since you have lots of added weight, it would most likely bring you close back to stock ride height. seeing as you have a 2012 I don't think an AAL would be a bad idea. over time they will wear out though, and then I suggest getting a custom alcan leaf pack.
 

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Look into the Hellwig helper springs. There are a number of people here that use them, and I have been happy with them on my Pro4x.
They are only about $70, and install is easy. If you decide to lift later you can keep them or sell them here. Not much of a loss.
 

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I actually have a set of hellwig helper springs for sale, $20 plus shipping. you would just need to buy the Swuared off U bolts to mount them onto your leaf pack

otherwise there is also airbags but be carefull to not tear them when wheeling
 

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like said above you will need stronger springs to counter the weight. for the front the old man emu stuff is nice without alot of lift. for the rear, with as much weight as you are putting back there, an add a leaf will not help you, i would suggest air bags as they are adjustable so that when you dont have the weight, you can lower the rear because any increase in spring rate will lift the truck when unloaded.
 

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For the rear:
Timbrens are nice but they only really help if the axle touches them. They defiantly fix the bottoming out issue though.

If your rear leaf packs are not already flat, helwigs work great and are lift friendly if you change your mind. Air bags will work too even if the leaf packs are flat but they are not lift friendly.

I am sure you can get "no lift" alcans if you really wanted to but that seems excessive to me.


Front:
Not much if you are against lifting it. They do sell timbrens for the front. I wouldn't think you are sagging to much in the front with the weight you are talking about. Maybe one of the 1/4 inch spacers (1/2 lift) to get some height back.

5100 with heavier springs sounds like an option but they would probably lift you a bit.


If you go lift though, a nice simple 2" spacer + AAL lift with helwig to help with the extra weight seems like a better solution to me. :iconbiggrin:
 

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This is a popular question on the site...

As others have mentioned, shocks will do nothing for added capacity. Also Bilstein 5100s are the same as 4600s which are the same as the PRO 4X suspension you have anyway. The only difference is that the 5100s are longer and for lifts.

You'll need to enhance the suspension. If you come back with a budget it will help.

Budget friendly ~$100 (and easy to install) solutions include:
- Timbren bumpstops
- SuperSprings SumoCoils
- Add-a-leaf AKA A.A.L. (Hellwig, SuperSprings, etc)

Midlevel ~$300 solutions include:
- Stiffer front coils (will add a slight lift and may require new shocks)
- Air bags
- RoadMaster active rear suspension
- Full leaf packs

Higher ~$500+ range solutions include:
- Full OME / Old Man Emu kit (this would be your best option, it adds only 1'' of lift and can handle additional weight. Its a full coil front end, new rear leafs, new shocks - for the added small lift, and all required hardware.)

Each approach has its PROS and CONS. They have been discussed quite a bit here, but if you have a question on why to choose one over the other and haven't found it, please ask.

My opinion would be to get the OME setup and call it a day - but its not cheap by any means. On a side note, you're X is pretty new, and being a PRO-4X should you replace the shocks you can get a couple hundred back selling them on here.
 

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Xstevep1001 and maillet282, I lookeble up http://www.hellwigproducts.com/ and am having trouble finding products for the xterra. Do you have a part number?
unfortunately I don't have the part number. I just have a set that I took off of my X. I do remember that they didn't have the Xterra in their choices for helper springs. I used the part number for the helwig 550 helper springs that go onto a 87-04 Hardbody/Frontier.
 

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My opinion would be to get the OME setup and call it a day - but its not cheap by any means. On a side note, you're X is pretty new, and being a PRO-4X should you replace the shocks you can get a couple hundred back selling them on here.
Hmm.. yup. This slipped my mind. OME is a great option for an overland goal...
 

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I have the OME rear leaf springs and holly cr*p did it ever make a diffrence when towing but I used the helper springs for a year while i was saving up for the leaf springs
 

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Firestone airbags did the trick for me. I've been happy with them so far ... loads, trailering, smoothing out potholes / dips. We'll see how they hold up.
 

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I've got about 600lbs. of weight over stock on the truck, with a Gobi rack and Hefty sliders, rear bumper and tire carrier.
a gobi rack is maybe 150#, sliders are maybe 75#. the rear bumper is roughly the same weight as the OEM bumper and trailer hitch. so you're basically carrying around the extra weight of one large adult male distributed evenly across your suspension. you've moved some of the weight rearward by putting the spare outboard, but many others have done this w/o problem. are you sure there isn't something else going on here?

-SM-
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone. I had sort of prepared myself to spent $1200 or so on parts - I want to improve the truck overall, not just fix a small and annoying problem.

I'll look into the full OME setup - 1-2" inches of lift isn't too much, as far as I'm concerned.

Also, @tikidollracer, thanks for pointing that out. I haven't inspected the rear suspension lately, but the added weight definitely causes a big bump over rough stuff - even on-road. I'll have a look around and see what the story is with my existing setup.

Many thanks for all the information - I really appreciate the input.
 
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