Gen X's 2010 S

Gen X Jan 20, 2020

  1. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    Fromfrontier2Xterra and TerryD like this.
  2. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    You can clear 33s at your current ride height. Look up the "Melt Mod".

    That looks like a decent lift. The shims go between the axle and the springs with the thick end forward to kick the pinion angle up to prevent vibrations caused by the u-joint at the t-case in the rear drive shaft.

    I wouldn't use extended shackles if that add-a-leaf is supposed to lift it 2". You will need cam bolts though.

    I'm not sure on the springs but a little increase in spring rate won't be that big a deal. I ran for several months with a stock front bumper and no winch on 650lb/in sprung Rads without issue.

    I'm running stock brake hoses and ABS wiring. Just take the rear wires out of the brackets on the axle tubes and they should be ok.
     
    Xterrorista likes this.
  3. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'd be surprised if that single AAL was actually able to net 2" of lift for very long on the stock leaf pack (I think yours is all factory at the moment).

    For the front coilovers I'd do the heavier rate springs now and skip the lift spacer for the moment. They're a pain to take apart without a shop spring compressor so if you can assemble them the way you want the first time it saves you from having to tear it all apart again.

    I have the 5100's on my front coilovers set to 1" of lift on factory spring rated coils and they really struggle at times to control the preload. The 5100's to me feel a little soft and they also tend to fade quickly on anything like washboard or even rough concrete interstate. That said, if I were doing it again I would set the perch to the lowest setting. The 5100's are slightly longer than the 4600's so you'll gain something like a half inch just from that.

    I still have the factory brake lines/abs wiring, on the front you can bend the mounting tabs around to give the abs a little more room and like TerryD said on the rear you can unbolt the brake line mounts on the axle. I used some steel brackets I fabricated in a [ shape to mount them maybe an inch higher up.
     
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  4. Zack.

    Zack. Has been dubbed Arnold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    I’d call or email them and ask if they would be willing to swap out the single AAL in that package for the 3 leaf AAL pack for the difference in list price. Then also get new u-bolts.

    6433D0B8-CF5B-458C-BABA-A3FF152EECE8.png
     
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  5. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    I was thinking just that on the way home tonight. I think the 3 leaf AAL would be a better option.


    General_Tarfun, do you think the Rancho RS9000XL shocks are a better option? There is a package with those shocks but I thought Bilsteins were a better product.
     
  6. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA

    I have that 3 leaf AAL and it's been great so far, a little under a year but no sag and the ride quality is pretty good. The Bilsteins are probably better than Ranchos, I think the only way to get something better is to spend a lot more money. There's a huge price jump from Bilsteins to something like Fox, Radflo, etc.
     
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  7. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    I think Rancho makes a decent shock. Their gas charged shocks are not industry leaders by any means but they perform well and hold up ok.

    I think Bilstein are better though.
     
  8. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    So, the more I read, I'm thinking a full rear leaf replacement would be the best option. I'm assuming the leafs on the truck are original. With 122k, better to replace than risk a break.

    And, original plan was 33's, but I'm looking at all the builds with 35's and they look good. If I'm going to plan this build right, might as well go for 35's. Again, don't want to spend on 33's and regret it.

    A couple questions. Will I need to re-gear if I go to 35's?

    And, if I buy all this, can I fit 35's without a body lift? I don't like body lifts for some reason. Not sure why, just doesn't appeal to me.

    Screenshot 2020-01-28 at 8.07.53 PM.png
     
  9. Zack.

    Zack. Has been dubbed Arnold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    From what I understand of it you could probably get rear to clear, but front is where you will run into issues.
     
  10. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    You'll have to do some trimming on the front. Check out @Smileyshaun build. He's running 35s at factory height (1" lift actually I think) with just trimming and relocating the rear axle back an inch.

    You'll most likely want to regear with 35s if you are a X or S or if you armor up. I'm looking at regearing on 33s because of the added weight.
     
  11. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Bought an X

    Messages:
    114
    1.5 inches of lift and I moved the rear axle forward a inch and took 2” out of the front fenders
     
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  12. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Bought an X

    Messages:
    114
    Wheel and tire choice is very important , any more backspacing or tire width and it would t fit as well.
     
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  13. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Sorry, was going from memory....
     
  14. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I wouldn't worry about them breaking too much, it happens occasionally but more often the problem is just the sagging. Full leaf pack replacement is way easier to do than the AAL route, I won't pretend that rebuilding my leaf packs wasn't a massive PIA, it takes hours to do, a lot of clamps, fighting to align stuff, etc.

    Most people will want to re-gear after going to 35's, you can wait and see how much it bothers you obviously but I'd plan on doing it at some point. FWIW I'm not a fan of body lifts either really, at least on their own. Probably ok for a street truck but I think most of us care more about off road performance.
     
  15. Smileyshaun

    Smileyshaun Bought an X

    Messages:
    114
    no worries , and I only went 35s because I like deep snow . If I was doing more technical trails I would have stuck with 33s for that little bit of extra gearing .
     
    TerryD likes this.
  16. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Ahh, so many options. I'm still trying to nail down what lift I want. Got a cash bonus on the way and don't want it to sit around too long so I've been digging back into lift choices.

    I want a 3" lift and want replace the extended UCAs for better alignment. A full leaf pack replacement would be easier, but I found this kit at NissTec.

    http://nissteclifts.com/NissTec-Radflo-Extended-Travel-Ultimate-Kit-05-Xterra_p_214.html

    It looks like this only gives 2.5" of lift. I can replace the AAL with a full leaf set for another $425, but my bonus isn't that much. This looks to have just about everything I want, I would also add the cam bolts for the LCAs. This is about $1880 with AAL and $2305 with a leaf pack.

    Will this give me the lift I want or will I need to add spacers and rear extended shackles?


    My next option requires a bit more labor, but is a bit less expensive. This is similar to what I posted earlier, but adds the UCAs and greasable shackles rather than the regular ones. I could add new front coils for $180, either way I need to assemble them which I've never done and would need to rent the tools. Since this is a bit less, I could also afford to add a U bolt flip kit and again would also be adding LCA cam bolts. About $1700 and with new coils $1880. Is a spacer needed for the front to match the rear shackles?

    Screenshot 2020-05-16 at 9.25.40 AM.png


    And yet another option is the full OME kit from Rocky Road. I can get a new leaf pack and assembled front coils. I would add the extended UCAs, extended lift shackles and cam bolts. All in about $2k. But do I need a spacer upfront to compensate for the rear shackles?

    https://www.rocky-road.com/xterra-lift-kit.html

    Like I said, many options. So, how do I get 3" of lift and the best bang for the buck?
     
  17. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Best bang for the buck would probably be buying the rockauto SPC UCA's, leaving the 5100's at either the lowest or next perch up with a factory coil, and a spacer to get the rest of the lift. The 5100's are about a 1/2" longer than the stock 4600's (PRG Greg told me that bit) so you could do the second from bottom perch and 2" lift spacer. IME the 5100's ride like crap with a lot of preload applied to them over rough pavement, if you have nice roads nearby might not be an issue.

    Whatever you do, don't use moog coils at anything above the bottom perch if you go that route. My X is currently on jack stands because I went to replace the moog coils for some new OE coils and as soon as the old coils were removed the snap rings fell off. It looks like because the moogs were binding so much they were beating the snap rings to death to the point of complete failure. Thankfully I caught it in a parking lot and not on the highway.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  18. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    I hadn't seen that UCA option before. Are they extended or stock length? I see they have adjustable ball joints to make alignment easier, but if they are stock length will they provide less travel than the extended ones?
     
  19. Zack.

    Zack. Has been dubbed Arnold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Regular length, better design to avoid coil bucket contact, adjustable ball joint to fix camber and castor. May require trimming bell shaped edge of coil bucket back a bit.
     
  20. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    What do you use or want to use your X for? Let's start there and see if we can help you pin down what lift you actually want.
     
    Glenlivet likes this.
  21. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Thanks TerryD. Being here in Northern VA, I ran mostly Flagpole Knob, Peter's Mill, Tasker's Gap and I had one trip to AOAA. This was all in the 2001 that succumbed to black ice in December. I want to get this 2nd Gen built for more of the same. I stick primarily to blue trails as I had no skids. I take the vehicle camping, on ski trips, and toss the canoe on top to hit fishing spots. AOAA was a blast so want to get to more of those bigger parks and events like ECXC, Moab, etc. I currently have 265s but will go to 285s eventually. So, I guess the majority of my time is more in the over-landing category with the occasional off road trip.

    -EDIT-

    Screenshot 2020-05-20 at 12.45.46 PM.png

    I would prefer an option with pre-assembled front coils, so found this with 4x4 parts as well.

    I then factored in shipping costs, $265 from 4x4 parts. The OME package from Rocky Road is shipped on them, they only charge about $14 for packing materials. But, the OME package also went up in cost yesterday by $122.

    The difference after adding shipping is that the OME package will cost about $160 more. Not a huge drop in the bucket. That comes pre-assembled and with new bushings and a rear sway bar relocate kit (not sure if keeping the sway bar or not).

    Anyone have a comparison between the Ranchos and OME? I'm going off reputation I guess, but aren't OMEs a better shock?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  22. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    How are axle degree shims installed? Do I need to take out the leaf center pin to install them? Or do they just fit over the center pin? If I need to take the center pin out, that may steer me to getting an AAL vice a new leaf pack.
     
  23. Zack.

    Zack. Has been dubbed Arnold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    Both kinds exist, I believe the consensus for our setup (possibly in general) is the one that involves pin removal/reinstallation is better/more secure
     
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  24. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Makes sense to have them held by the pin, more secure. I was hoping to keep from having to disassemble any leaf packs, but not a big deal. A little extra work to make things right is OK with me.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  25. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    So, I've been all over the map planning this build. I have put packages together numerous ways. Well, you may have heard the term shiat or get off the pot. Time to get this build rolling. I just ordered the first half of my needed goodies from 4x4 Parts. I went with:

    3 Leaf AAL
    Rancho Quick Lift Loaded Front Shocks
    Rancho 9000XL Rear Shocks
    Extended Front Brake Lines
    Extended Rear Brake Lines

    The next purchase will be from Nisstec and complete my kit. I'll get this gear once the other items show up. From Nisstec I'll be getting:

    Rear sway bar relocate
    3 degree axle shims
    SPC UCAs with 2" spacers and cam bolts
    UCA bolts - just in case old ones don't come out
    U bolt flip kit
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    TerryD and Newb like this.
  26. Newb

    Newb Test Drive

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Charlottesvile, VA
    Sounds like you're on you way! Will be great to see how it turns out and how you like it.
     
  27. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    You won't need the spacers with the QL. They are already lifted. Running more than 2.5-3" lift at OE width is murder on ball joints, TREs, CVs and the steering rack.
     
  28. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    I see. Then maybe this 1" spacer? The QL gives about 1.5", adding this will get me to 2.5". But if I do this spacer I need to take apart the top hat and add longer studs? Which ones would I need, press studs or clinch studs?

    http://nissteclifts.com/1-Lift-Top-Plate-Spacer-05-Xterra-Frontier-Pathfinder_p_500.html
     
  29. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    I'm not familiar with the QL shocks to know what they need as far as studs. You'd probably have to call Nisstec and see what they say.

    From the pictures on Rancho's website it looks like they come with pretty long studs already. You might not need them. The studs listed on Nisstec's website are for Rads or OE style (Bilstein) shocks.
     
  30. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Thanks TerryD, I'll check with Nisstec.
     
  31. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
    TerryD likes this.
  32. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Zack. and TerryD like this.
  33. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Ok, so now I'm under a bit of a time crunch. Purchasing my last batch of items was delayed for some other expenses. I also have an appointment to replace my rear axle half shaft (thanks @TerryD for the axle donation), I just need to go pick it up before going to the shop.

    The order just went in for these:

    Rear sway bar relocate
    3 degree axle shims
    UCA bolts - two sets in case old ones don't come out
    U bolt flip kit
    1" Top Plate Spacer - I needed to add the press studs for a stock OE top hat to fit the Rancho QLs

    Hopefully this last shipment comes quickly. Unfortunately I don't know if I'll actually get any of this installed. I've got to head out of country for work in mid September, just received the assignment date last week (not military any longer, but am a gov't employee). I wanted to do everything myself, but may not have time now. I'm going to get a quote from the shop when they do my axle. Also need them to take a look at a slow leak that started. I just wrapped up about a 2k mile road trip, looks like my T-case is seeping.

    If I can't get everything done before heading out, I guess I'll just put the parts into storage and do this later. I'm on assignment for a year, but get some trips back during that time. I thought about leaving the parts in my truck and doing the upgrade on one of my breaks. However, all my tools will be in storage so I'd need a shop to do it anyway.

    I may just get a storage space for these items as well. Got a few other things I'd put in there (skis, camping gear, tools). Once things go into storage it's not always easy to get items out individually, and I can only pull items once.

    Well, got some more planning to do. Let's see how this plays out.
     
  34. General_Tarfun

    General_Tarfun Need Bigger Tires Supporting Member

    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    The top spacers are easy if you get one that doesn't require pressing the studs in, I did a 2 inch version a long time ago and it took maybe 2 hours max.
     
  35. hybrid90

    hybrid90 Test Drive

    Messages:
    6
    Following this thread. I'm thinking of the same type lift as you OP. Been looking at the Rancho quicklifts for quite some time now, just been gathering info here and there. Please take pics or videos of your install when it comes time to tackle it. I would love to see your installation and also it would be an awesome tool to use when it comes to my install.
     
  36. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Grabbed @TerryD's axle on Sunday. The shop said his was in better condition so I had them swap the axles completely rather than just the axle shaft I had gotten it for originally. Didn't add much for labor doing that. They said the fluid was dirty, I had it changed a couple thousand miles ago so it should have been clean. The truck was driving fine, no noise, I'm not exactly sure what the issue was.

    I just wish I wasn't at work when they figured this out. I would have had them put in all the rear axle lift components.

    I thought about having them wait to put everything back together, but that would have tied up their lift all day since they called me at 10am with the news. This shop has always been really good to me so didn't want to put them in that situation.

    But, on the bright side, now when I go to do everything I know all the bolts will break loose :).
     
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  37. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    Well, I ran out of time. I'm overseas now, got out here on Sep 18th. I'm in quarantine for 14 days then will get to work. The only parts installed so far are the rear shocks and brake lines. When I had the axle work done, I also had the shop put on the lines. The brake lines are definitely extended. Since I have no lift yet, they are a bit long. I had to zip tie them out of the way on the front so they weren't rubbing against the tires. The rear shocks were totally rusted out so I put the Ranchos on.

    I decided to keep the rest of the parts out of storage. I put everything in a bin and have them in the back of the truck. I kept the truck out of storage as well so I have something to drive when home on break. I'll get everything installed at some point.
     
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  38. TerryD

    TerryD Total Tease Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Keep us posted man!

    When are you looking at being back?
     
  39. Gen X

    Gen X Bought an X Supporting Member

    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    Ashburn, VA
    This is a one year assignment but I get some breaks during the tour. If the plan works out, my first trip back stateside will be around Christmas.
     
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