Rear Suspension Upgrades - Extras and Things to Consider (2nd Gen)

ffxcores

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The intent for these threads isn't to steer anyone towards specific products - there are plenty of threads that exist for that. This is for the "extra" stuff that I didn't realize I'd need at first and didn't consider, besides the obvious.

First, the actual obvious: if you're doing new leaf springs, you'll need new bushings and u-bolts. Grease for the bushings of course.

Nissan recommends replacing the following parts when removed:
Upper shock mount nut (08912-7421A) (x2)
Front leaf spring mount bolt (54459-EA00A) (x2)

I went ahead and replaced the shackle nuts (08918-3421A) (x4) that were pretty gnarly, and the next time I do it, I'll go ahead and replace the shackle itself at only $14 per (55220-EB000) (x2) instead of scraping all the crudded up baked-on bits of bushing with a screwdriver and using sandpaper to get it back down to a smooth surface.

Consider picking up a set of axle shims. If your new leaf pack will result in a lift, the change in angle can trigger mild driveline vibrations at certain speeds. Some people say you don't need them, some say 1 degree for every inch of lift, and some people say they've had to deviate from that. Based on my own observations, the most common seems to be the degree-per-inch and that worked for me. Unfortunately if you get it wrong and have to re-do it, that also on paper means new u-bolts when you try something different. There are two kinds of shims - ones that go around the center pin head with a spacer ring, and the kind with a smaller hole that sit under the head of the center pin and won't move. I like the ones that don't move, but that's just me. Either way you have to remove the pin to install it.

If you're keeping your sway bar, you may need a relocate kit for the mount to the axle to keep it from hitting the shock on the driver side. I'll agree with probably not needing the sway bar at all with a new leaf pack, but when I had the stock leaf pack in (even with an add-a-leaf) and without extended bump stops, I appreciated having mine there because I was flopping all over the place. Also, check your brake line length at full droop before deciding to remove the sway bar. Even at 2” you may need extended lines or to modify them in some way before removing the sway bar.

https://www.nissanpartsdeal.com/parts-list/2015-nissan-xterra/axle_suspension/rear_suspension.html is where I got the parts diagram below. Depending on how rusty you are underneath, if the price is low enough, you may consider just getting new stuff even if not recommended (like lower shock bolt/nut for example). Courtesy parts is another online place with sometimes lower prices, and of course eBay or a local dealership can fill in gaps.

If I'm forgetting anything, please add it!

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