4x4parts lift kits: which one?

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD
New '02 Xterra owner here. I'm too much of a noob to piece a lift kit together from different sources so wanted to purchase something ready.

I'm looking at lift packages on 4x4parts.com but having a hard time understanding how are they different from each other. I.e. articulator package and regular suspension package visually have about the same parts in the pictures. Only rear shackles look different. They all advertise 3" lift. There are packages with extra leafs which might be helpful if I were to put heavier bumpers.

Could someone point me in a direction where i could research the question a bit more? Search in 1st gen didn't yield much results.

Opinions regarding the best package on the website are very welcome too. Thanks!
 

kirk

I'm Shady AF. Ask Anyone.
Moderator
Supporting Member
Location
Allen, Texas
Welcome! There are some very knowledgeable first gen guys here that would be glad to help you out. Can you describe a little more about what your overall goal is? Are you wanting to just fit larger tires, or scale boulders? Maybe something in between?

Let us know, I bet we can fix you up.

One thing to research if you havent, is the PML, or Poor Mans Lift, if you just need minimal lift for bigger tires.

Again, welcome!
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
3" is the maximum lift you can get out of the front on a 1st gen without going SAS. So all of the kits that you see on AC's website are the same in the front. The difference is in the rear. You can go with stock shackles and new leaf packs (like Alcan), you can go with an AAL and extended shackles, or anything in the middle to get the matching 3" in the rear. Then if you want bigger tires than 32s you need to do a 2" body lift. That will let you run 33s comfortably especially if you have the 4.90 gearing. 35s are a stretch and will require a sawzall and a regear to 5.13s.
 

reaver

Wheeling
Location
Caldwell, ID
3" is the maximum lift you can get out of the front on a 1st gen without going SAS. So all of the kits that you see on AC's website are the same in the front. The difference is in the rear. You can go with stock shackles and new leaf packs (like Alcan), you can go with an AAL and extended shackles, or anything in the middle to get the matching 3" in the rear. Then if you want bigger tires than 32s you need to do a 2" body lift. That will let you run 33s comfortably especially if you have the 4.90 gearing. 35s are a stretch and will require a sawzall and a regear to 5.13s.
^^This.

I've been wanting to lift my 03 since I bought it, but haven't gotten around to it yet, and it's honestly not slowed me down.

The only real difference between the 4x4parts lifts is the shocks, and how they setup the rear. The best method to lift the rear is new leaf packs, but shackles work just fine.
 

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD
Welcome! There are some very knowledgeable first gen guys here that would be glad to help you out. Can you describe a little more about what your overall goal is? Are you wanting to just fit larger tires, or scale boulders? Maybe something in between?

Let us know, I bet we can fix you up.

One thing to research if you havent, is the PML, or Poor Mans Lift, if you just need minimal lift for bigger tires.

Again, welcome!
Thanks for the warm welcome!

I did look into PML but wanted to go an extra mile because the original shocks are rusted through and falling apart. So i thought it would be a good opportunity to replace them too. Plus lift kits come with new upper control arms which supposedly keep the joints and CV's in correct alignment.

I just got the car a couple of weeks ago and still catching up on the maintenance (timing belt, radiator, liquids) but looking into upgrading the suspension next month. I haven't decided whether i want to do a body lift as it sounds a bit scary at the moment (will have a better idea after the suspension upgrade). Eventually it would be nice to have steel bumpers and larger wheels.

Planned use: mild offroading and camping rig.

I'm currently leaning towards the kits with add a leaf just to be able to handle bigger weight. Does it sound like a right solution for my case?
 

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD
3" is the maximum lift you can get out of the front on a 1st gen without going SAS. So all of the kits that you see on AC's website are the same in the front. The difference is in the rear. You can go with stock shackles and new leaf packs (like Alcan), you can go with an AAL and extended shackles, or anything in the middle to get the matching 3" in the rear. Then if you want bigger tires than 32s you need to do a 2" body lift. That will let you run 33s comfortably especially if you have the 4.90 gearing. 35s are a stretch and will require a sawzall and a regear to 5.13s.
Thanks for the input! Honestly I'm not sure about the gearing. I have an '02 SE 4WD Manual. I think 33" is the maximum size I'd go.
By the way, how noticeable is the difference between 32" and 33" wheels? Is it a substantial gain for offroading? Asking because body lift sounds like a stretch for my current skills and tools.
 

reaver

Wheeling
Location
Caldwell, ID
I will tell you that for true mild offroading, all you need is a good set of tires.

Mine is still at stock height, and I've done some pretty gnarly, sketchy roads without too much drama.

Not that I'm trying to dissuade you from lifting. Just that you don't need it to take the Xterra off road.
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
AAL is a good place to start. Gives you a but better weight capacity. In the long run though, you'll want new packs. The go to is Alcan because you gcan get exactly the lift and extra weight capacity you want.

A body lift is stupid easy. If you ever want to run bigger than 32s you need it.

To do the full 3" lift get the UCAs, shocks, and the Sway-a-way torsion bars. The spring rate is way better and can handle the weight of whatever you want to put on the front end.
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
Thanks for the input! Honestly I'm not sure about the gearing. I have an '02 SE 4WD Manual. I think 33" is the maximum size I'd go.
By the way, how noticeable is the difference between 32" and 33" wheels? Is it a substantial gain for offroading? Asking because body lift sounds like a stretch for my current skills and tools.
Look at the door sticker inside the drivers door near the bottom. At the lower end of the decal under the axle label, t will read HG46 or HG49.

Which is it?

That is your gear ratio. If you have the HG49 (4.90 gears) you can rock 33s with no driveline issues. I assume at as an SE manual (3 pedals for life) that you'll have the 4.90s.

Sonif you want to run 33s, you need the 3" suspension lift and the 2" body lift to be comfortable.
 

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD
I will tell you that for true mild offroading, all you need is a good set of tires.

Mine is still at stock height, and I've done some pretty gnarly, sketchy roads without too much drama.

Not that I'm trying to dissuade you from lifting. Just that you don't need it to take the Xterra off road.
That's very true!
 

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD
Look at the door sticker inside the drivers door near the bottom. At the lower end of the decal under the axle label, t will read HG46 or HG49.

Which is it?

That is your gear ratio. If you have the HG49 (4.90 gears) you can rock 33s with no driveline issues. I assume at as an SE manual (3 pedals for life) that you'll have the 4.90s.

Sonif you want to run 33s, you need the 3" suspension lift and the 2" body lift to be comfortable.
it's HG49, so I guess I should be fine then.

You convinced me about the body lift, i'll have to give it a try!
 

TheCrabby1

Lockers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
hey neighbor! In Clarksburg, recently moved from VA. Exploring the new area
Took a minute to think of where the Clarksburg sign's were , hiding up 270 ! Lol There's a few of us in Md that do a little wheeling and we end up down in Va at P.M.R. or Sweitzer lake . Ffxcores regularly get's a group together and head's down that way , the trail's aren't that hard although PMR is rather rocky/bouncy . I think he's got a run lined up for this sat . He'd be a good one to keep in touch with. I tend to go more in spring or fall due to work.
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
hey neighbor! In Clarksburg, recently moved from VA. Exploring the new area

Took a minute to think of where the Clarksburg sign's were , hiding up 270 ! Lol There's a few of us in Md that do a little wheeling and we end up down in Va at P.M.R. or Sweitzer lake . Ffxcores regularly get's a group together and head's down that way , the trail's aren't that hard although PMR is rather rocky/bouncy . I think he's got a run lined up for this sat . He'd be a good one to keep in touch with. I tend to go more in spring or fall due to work.

Come on out!
 

ni40in

Test Drive
Location
Clarksburg, MD

Come on out!
Thanks for the invite but my truck is on jacks as i'm waiting for the timing belt related parts to arrive. Will definitely join one of these days. I did the Flagpole trail on my Subaru and it was a lot of fun. Can't wait to see what X can do
 
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