PhullD's Build Thread

General_Tarfun

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Location
Atlanta, GA
Sounds about right. I ended up putting mine back on a few years ago but fabricated a new mounting bracket for it with 2" (I think) square steel bar. It's in my build thread somewhere. I forget the exact dimensions but I moved it back the 2" and up the amount of my lift so around 4". Basically measured it to see how high it needed to be for the bar to sit flat the way it's supposed to, after that the stability was much improved over before. I know the lean you're talking about and it got rid of most of it.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Sounds about right. I ended up putting mine back on a few years ago but fabricated a new mounting bracket for it with 2" (I think) square steel bar. It's in my build thread somewhere. I forget the exact dimensions but I moved it back the 2" and up the amount of my lift so around 4". Basically measured it to see how high it needed to be for the bar to sit flat the way it's supposed to, after that the stability was much improved over before. I know the lean you're talking about and it got rid of most of it.
This is my hope, and a bonus is the truck won't have a lazy rear on the road. Guess I found out how much lift is too much lift in the rear lol! Did you watch the video? It contradicts everything I've been told but my off-road experience seems to confirm this also applies to the Xterra platform.
 

General_Tarfun

Sliders
Location
Atlanta, GA
Yeah it's hard to argue with what they show in that video but I'm with you, my experience has been similar. I guess it make sense when I think about it, the rear has a ton more travel than the front so if you can use the rear to help the front make better contact you're not losing much. I hope you can track down a swaybar, I'm interested to know what your experience will be since it will be X specific.
 

IM1RU

Skid Plates
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, UT
Looks like I need to put mine back on, especially since I'm now towing a camper.
Meh. I tow all the time. That said my springs are rated for the full load of the rig plus the tongue weight of the trailer. Rig rides a bit stiff on the road when unloaded, but doesn't squat at all fully loaded. I don't mind the body roll.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
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Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Looks like I need to put mine back on, especially since I'm now towing a camper
If you want a bit more stability I would try Hellwig helper springs before putting the sway bar back on, they are very easy to install and not very much money. The issues I'm dealing with only really apply offroad and at the more extreme end of modification.

I won't however recommend towing without one, logic dictates it is safer with one.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
I hope you can track down a swaybar, I'm interested to know what your experience will be since it will be X specific.
I have a couple in the works, everyone is saying "I got one, just have to find it" lol! I will probably need to make extensions for the rear axle and buy longer end links from another application, ideally adjustable end links. I will definitely make it a how-to with parts and pics if it works out.
 

Brunnie

Bumpers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Colorado Springs
If you want a bit more stability I would try Hellwig helper springs before putting the sway bar back on, they are very easy to install and not very much money. The issues I'm dealing with only really apply offroad and at the more extreme end of modification.

I won't however recommend towing without one, logic dictates it is safer with one.
I'll see how it all handles, and if I think I need it I'll put the swaybar back on. Got a weight distrubiting hitch with sway control as the trailer is 3800 lbs, and I just want to be as safe as possible. It has been a long time since I've towed an RV, and the previous tow vehicle was '84 F250 4x4 Supercab, with 460 engine. A real stump puller.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Still no replies for a rear sway bar. With the shear number of people I know that have removed the rear you would think more would be lying around! I threw mine out in 2016 (was living in a condo) lol

Anyway saw this video and it got me thinking.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcgKbUTQJy8


I will start by stating I have 650 lb springs on radflo coilovers up front right now and Alcans in the rear. The front behaves amazing on-road, no need for a sway bar, but the back likes to lean all the time. I can live with that, but I've kind of been disappointed with how the front of my Xterra behaves off-road.

I thought maybe the 650's were too much, maybe they have too much preload (adjusted for lift) but I don't think that's it because the coliover collar is adjusted up only 1/2". I thought of running the coilovers at the lowest setting but in reality I think the problem is the rear. It articulates so much and so freely the front just goes with it, resulting in excess drama up front, and NO articulation and a tire lifting on occasion where it shouldn't. Especially on uphill obstacles. The worst incident resulting in the truck full on leaning when on a banked obstacle and just sliding down once the rear got involved, whereas had it been controlled and the front articulated it would have been nothing. I love the articulation the Alcans provide, but seems like it is now detrimental, and if that video has any truth to it, I think it is worthwhile to experiment with the possibility of re-implementing a sway bar back there.

Thoughts?

My Avatar pick was with different springs and the stock leaf springs, an AAL and Hellwig helpers maxed out. The Hellwigs kind of kept the rear from just drooping so easily and the front would eat bumps articulating nicely because of it, I really miss that feeling.
That's a pretty interesting video.

I found with my XJ that the bastard packs I built with an XJ main leaf and S-10 packs didn't force the front to travel nearly as much as the heavy load OME packs that were on it when I sold it.

Spring rates are very important here. A sway-bar is meant to allow you to run lower rate springs on each corner for improved ride while still maintaining cornering stability of a heavier dynamic rate (spring + swaybar vs just spring).

What allows us to get away with running no sway bars is the much higher spring rates most of us run for the added weight. It makes each corner carry more load in the curves. I'm not sure how much his kits increase the spring rates on each corner of his truck, so you may or may not see similar results because of that.

Coil sprung rear suspensions also tend to be flexier than leaf sprung, which was one reason I prefer the Xterra for a dual purpose rig over a 4Runner, so that might affect it to.

You'll have to set up some tests like he did and take good notes. I'm interested in seeing what you find out.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I have a couple in the works, everyone is saying "I got one, just have to find it" lol! I will probably need to make extensions for the rear axle and buy longer end links from another application, ideally adjustable end links. I will definitely make it a how-to with parts and pics if it works out.
I would buy heims and build my own so you can fine tune everything. You can get high-misalignment spacers for most heims and be able to adjust it. I would also consider putting custom sway-bar mounts on the axle to mount it higher and get rid of the original, low hanging mounts if your tests show good results.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
I would buy heims and build my own so you can fine tune everything. You can get high-misalignment spacers for most heims and be able to adjust it. I would also consider putting custom sway-bar mounts on the axle to mount it higher and get rid of the original, low hanging mounts if your tests show good results.
I don't know about heims, but for sure adjustables will be the focus. Heims don't last long here, it is humid and if you drive in the winter, the salt will mess those up (mine is retired from winter driving). Our end links are like 9" stock so that is out of the question. If my only option is heims, I'll take it though.

As you say the brackets on the axle are kind of low, I would like to move them up, depends how the sway bar lines up with the way I've modified the Xterra and if my second gas tank is an issue. I will post up when I get a sway bar and begin the documenting like I did with the gas tank mod as I go along. My hope is to have it done by the Fall and begin testing, if successful I'll make a couple kits for others to try out.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I don't know about heims, but for sure adjustables will be the focus. Heims don't last long here, it is humid and if you drive in the winter, the salt will mess those up (mine is retired from winter driving). Our end links are like 9" stock so that is out of the question. If my only option is heims, I'll take it though.

As you say the brackets on the axle are kind of low, I would like to move them up, depends how the sway bar lines up with the way I've modified the Xterra and if my second gas tank is an issue. I will post up when I get a sway bar and begin the documenting like I did with the gas tank mod as I go along. My hope is to have it done by the Fall and begin testing, if successful I'll make a couple kits for others to try out.
You might look into ATV TREs on eBay. Maybe mid 90's Kawasaki Bayou 220 TREs.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
I remembered I had played with my ramps, checking out my travel and bump stops. You can see that my body is pretty level in this so before you get too carried away, you might want to do some testing and just see where you're at.

received_241579104932299.jpeg
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Update:

Been a while, with the majority of my weekends absorbed in cutting and processing trees after this past winter, I barely had time to do anything until August. I am also currently between jobs so I haven't spent much time on the Xterra or the trailer even though the yard is finally done. Just had my 2nd interview for a new job, really hoping I get the job because although I have offers for other jobs they will require 2.5hrs of driving every day. This new job is 12 min from my house!

Anyway I'm thinking of selling the Alcans I have currently (+ 800lbs and 3" lift) and re-ordering some lighter duty springs since I no longer load up the Xterra as I once did. I was thinking of dropping down to +400lbs over stock and 4" lift. I was also contemplating the orbit eyes this time.

1. Current poly bushings get chewed up, I will be on my 3rd set if I replace it this year or next (they are almost due)
2. The poly squeaks. I had grease fittings installed on the rear eyelets (that bolt into the shackles) and that has been a real plus, but the front eyelets have to be dropped again for a re-grease
3. I don't daily the Xterra and it doesn't see winter. It parks inside a garage 99% of the time. Also I have a dewalt grease gun so maintenance is not really a problem when it comes to greasing the orbit eyes.

If someone has an opinion I would like to hear it. I don't care about the additional articulation, but to be completely free of the poly bushings seems appealing to me right now.

Yes I am still planning on retro-fitting a sway bar, but I have decided the trailer will take priority.
Also will be replacing the front lower control arms with OEM Titan ones, likely next season. There is a bit of play in the current ones. I would like to weld some tabs for limit straps on the new set.

My regional club's annual offroad event is next weekend, I will hopefully have some photo's/videos to show afterwards.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
My clubs' event on Labour Day weekend.

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PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Ordered a bunch of stuff. New Alcans for lighter duty (+200lbs instead of +800lbs) and better ride quality seeing as I carry 500lbs+ less weight around now.

Z1 performance sells greasable pins for the front eyelets, also got some greasable shackles and new shackle bushings, 1" adapter to solve the tire rub on the upper control arms, and OEM titan lowers to replace the Moog crap that is already getting tired (ball joint and bushings have some play).

Got the top dia.ond plate to finish the trailer....gonna be a busy spring!
 

Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
Glad to hear from you! Glad you're still keeping the faith.

OEM lowers for all things. In fact, OE parts wherever you can. Turns out Nissan knows how to engineer shiat.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
I have a Nisstec u-bolt flip kit on my Alcans right now and I am trying to measure for u-bolt replacements. I know they are semi round, 9/16 at the threads, 8-9" in length but the inner distance between the legs is what I want to double check. I measured 2 1/2". Can anyone double check that?
 
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PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Well all my parts were installed this weekend. I couldn't get the OEM shakle bushings off where the shackles mount to the frame so I couldn't install the greasable bolt that comes with the z1 shackle. Will have to bring it in for that.

Prior I had PRG shackles set to middle setting and 3" Alcans. Now I have Z1 shackles at highest setting (only 2 holes) and Alcans at 4" lift. Seems like it is sitting lower.

Also question, the remaining shock shaft at ride height versus extended bumpstops, is this normal? Not sure if it is less now, but I feel like the shock will bottom out before the bumpstops even touch in a scenario where the whole rear compresses at once, but I know I can stuff my wheel offroad without issues.
 

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Prime

Shut up Baby, I know it!
Admin
Location
Denver Adjacent
It looks like you don't have enough shock travel to come anywhere near the bump stop. Which could result in damage to the shock if it bottoms out with any force. Do you get any sensation of hard hits when driving on the road?
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
It looks like you don't have enough shock travel to come anywhere near the bump stop. Which could result in damage to the shock if it bottoms out with any force. Do you get any sensation of hard hits when driving on the road?
Never. I looked back on some older photos and I lost a bit of "shaft" View: https://i.imgur.com/0hcoOfy.jpg


These were ordered by Nisstec, I would hate to have to replace them because of this.

Perhaps the bump stops should be extended more? But then side to side flexing will suffer.

I can put the PRG shackles back on and max the height setting, but I'd rather not.

Not really sure what to do, these alcans and shackles were supposed to lift me 5.5"
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
It looks like you need longer bump stops or shorter shocks. You're going to bust the upper shock mount or bend your shock with that setup.

Did you accurately weigh your rear axle when you ordered the springs? They look like they're not heavy enough.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
It looks like you need longer bump stops or shorter shocks. You're going to bust the upper shock mount or bend your shock with that setup.

Did you accurately weigh your rear axle when you ordered the springs? They look like they're not heavy enough.
The Springs were for 400lbs over stock and 4 " of lift. All I have is a Maxterra bumper and the gas tank. Loaded I am maybe 350lbs in the rear now, and the Springs aren't sagging.

I honestly think this is something I didn't notice before and Nisstec didn't spec them out properly.

27" hub to center is my rear height, tires are 34 6" so add half, that is 27" + 17.3"= 44.3", stock is 35.59", so difference is 8.71". 1.5" for tires and 3" for bodylift that yields 4.21". Shocks should have been ordered for 3-4" range which I am at.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Contacted radflo, in talks with them, they want me to fully extend a shock to see what length they are. They are supposed to be 24" fully extended for 3" lift applications. Gonna do that tomorrow or the day after.
 

SledheadX

Wheeling
Supporting Member
Location
Rochester, NY
what did you find for the extended length on the shocks? You freaked me out with your 27” dim. To the fender since I didn’t know about your body lift. however, it sounds like you have similar specs to mine at 5” lift reading 24” hub to fender. My Rads are 24” extended and I added a 2 1/2” spacer above my Timbrens. I haven’t pushed my flex to the extreme yet but there‘s no crunch happening to the shocks.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
what did you find for the extended length on the shocks? You freaked me out with your 27” dim. To the fender since I didn’t know about your body lift. however, it sounds like you have similar specs to mine at 5” lift reading 24” hub to fender. My Rads are 24” extended and I added a 2 1/2” spacer above my Timbrens. I haven’t pushed my flex to the extreme yet but there‘s no crunch happening to the shocks.
I haven't had time yet. I was hopping to take a shock off this weekend, will definitely post it when I do.

The OEM bushing at the top of the shackle is pressed in apparently and will be a bigger job to remove (need to be burned out)....not sure the z1 shackles are worth it at this point. I'm probably gonna put the PRG shackles back on for now seeing as the larger bolt of the z1 shackle doesn't fit currently with the oem bushing and sleeve.
 

PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
I re-measured floor to fender lip today after driving 20 min with 5 20kg bags of pool salt in the back (242Lbs + 114lbs for 19 gal of gas). Well, it sits at 43"now, that means I'm at 2.9" of lift from the leafpack and shackle combo. That's so disappointing seeing as it was supposed to be 6" (4" from leafpack and 1.5" from the shackle). I anticipated settling in the springs, but I'm at a 3" deficit right now even though the packs were for 440lbs over stock! :mad:

Now I don't care about the amount of lift per say, I would be perfectly happy to just lower the front to match, but there are some concerns because of the lift lost. As mentioned the Radflo shocks might now be too long (hundreds of $$$ to swap out or rebuild).

Next, the pinion angle and the Tom Woods driveshaft setup were set for 4-5" of lift (not sure if this would need to be changed or cause issues down the road, but $$$). And now I have to pay people to remove the pressed bushings and I STILL have to deal with the aforementioned.

Maybe drill out the bolt holes in the PRG shackles to make them work with the Z1 Sleeves/Dobinson bushings and grease pins? The shackle would allow a bit more lift. I hope this experience helps other people in some way. Maybe save you the thousands I've spent. What a nightmare, was supposed to be an easy swap!
 
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