SLR drop bracket installtion.

9heavens Jun 15, 2019

  1. 9heavens

    9heavens Test Drive

    Messages:
    2
    Hi, new member, been checking this forum for a while when I need tech help with my '05 Xterra.

    I’m not used to posting on forums so forgive the clunkiness of this post. I’m here to ask for some opinions and advice.


    About 6 or 7 months ago I purchased a 2005 Xterra Offroad from a Nissan dealer mechanic in Phoenix. It’s already lifted and has some other minor upgrades, like 17 inch wheels and 32’s.

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    I purchased the truck as a daily and to do some occasional moderate offroading here in the desert.

    This lift is about a 5 inch drop-bracket lift, something I didn’t know much about prior to purchasing it. It rides amazingly and handles really well offroad, although I haven’t had the chance yet to put it to the test. Mostly just been on muddy forest roads and some steep inclines, as well as camping. I recently started doing some research on the brands of drop bracket lifts that are available for our X’s, and came across this link:
    https://www.thenewx.org/forum/14-su...s-please-read-2005-xterras.html#/topics/24095 which I have probably learned the most from.


    While comparing pictures of the drop bracket lift kits listed, none of them matched the type that is installed on my truck. I started to worry maybe it was a no name, cheap lift that would give me issues if I started to abuse it…

    I kept digging and ran across a much earlier lift options thread here: https://www.thenewx.org/forum/14-suspension-steering/1261-05-xterra-lift-options.html

    Which kept referencing what is apparently the holy grail of drop bracket lifts: SLR (Scott Low Racing).

    Figured I’d look up some pictures, they’re very scarce but I finally found some here:

    https://www.clubfrontier.org/thread...n-nismo-with-walker-evans-wheels.11358/page-2

    Well, shiat. Guess what’s underneath my X?

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    Yep, SLR 5 inch kit, exactly as pictured here:

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    That is bad ass and I felt lucky to have one of these unicorns. I spent a few hours reading various forums and got a quick education on the issues of SLR, from mishandling of customer orders and demise of SLR as a company. Really unfortunate as these kits are amazing and seem to be head and shoulders above the other drop bracket kits out there.

    Now, for part 2 of my story: I very recently purchased a 2006 Frontier NISMO 4x4 that has a 2” leveling kit. I need the functionality of a pickup and can’t keep both it and the Xterra.

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    I know the front suspensions are essentially the same, and I’m considering swapping out this valuable SLR drop bracket lift from my Xterra to the Frontier, which I will be keeping.



    The Fronty will also be used as a daily driver, mild and moderate offroad use, some hauling, camping, etc. The information I’d like advice and opinions on are this:

    How difficult is the installation/uninstallation of a drop-bracket lift? I know the second (rear) crossmember on the Xterra has been cut to accommodate the drop bracket but from the looks of it, the crossmember on the Fronty is the same, and that is intact.

    Also, I took some measurements of ground clearance in various areas of my vehicles, which both have about the same sized tires.



    On the Xterra:
    Directly underneath the drop bracket clears about 11”

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    The raised arch in the middle clears about 13”

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    The rear crossmember clears about 13”

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    The transfer case clears about 12”

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    The frame below the doors (exposed, no sliders) clear about 16”

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    On the Fronty:

    The skidplate underneath the factory front crossmember clears about 11”

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    The center-rear portion of that skidplate where it joins the rear crossmember clears about 12”

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    The transfer case, etc, are about the same at 12”

    The frame below the doors (protected, with custom sliders/step bars) clear about 14.5”

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    Would I gain any meaningful ground clearance or suspension flex by using this particular drop bracket kit?

    There doesn’t seem to be much of a consensus on if they are an acceptable way to lift a vehicle for offroad use.

    I’m not into looks and don’t care about the vehicle looking big, I just need it to perform as well off road as it can while maintaining decent road characteristics for long trips and highway driving as well. So far, the Xterra does this perfectly. (The awful chrome grille and fancy rims on the Fronty will be the first things to go).



    TL;DR: Will swapping an extremely well made and highly sought after drop-bracket kit from my Xterra (soon to be sold) to my Frontier NISMO (to be kept) be advantageous for offroading or would it be more prudent to leave the SLR kit on the Xterra and look into other suspension options for my Frontier (Coil overs, UCA’s)?

    Looking forward to hearing from you! You may see this cross-posted into another forum as well if you are a member on ClubFrontier or other Xterra forums.

    I also have several more pictures of the SLR drop bracket kit, there don’t appear to be many of how it’s set up and what it looks like:



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  2. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,929
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Welcome to XN.

    Here's the skinny. Those shocks you have on the front are ufcking badass. If you're swapping parts around, definitely keep the UCAs and shocks.

    As far as the drop bracket lift goes, I'll give you my opinion and some facts.

    Fact. Drop brackets do not generally increase ground clearance. The one exception is at the center of the SLR bracket. Since it's curved up like that you get more ground clearance in the center. The only other thing that will give you ground clearance is larger tires. What drop bracket lifts do is raise the frame and body while attempting to keep the front driveline inside of factory specs as far as travel and half shaft deflection.

    Fact. The SLR kit will bolt right into the Fronty. You may have to make some modifications that you noticed on the X to get everything done.

    Opinion. I don't care for drop brackets. Especially on a 2nd gen. In my opinion if you're going to lift it, and not gain ground clearance, what's the point? On the 2nd gens we have a much better option. That option being the titan swap. When done properly, you can get almost as much lift as the drop bracket, more travel, and you gain a lot of ground clearance since the front diff stays right where it is. Other advantage is that you upgrade the front diff to that from a Titan. The M205 is a hell of a lot beefier than the R180 that the 2nd gen comes with. And it's bolt in.
     
  3. 9heavens

    9heavens Test Drive

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for the input and information, Prime!

    Yea I would love to keep the shocks and UCAs but from everything I've read, you have to have aftermarket UCAs to work with the drop bracket spindle because of the design and clearance. I'll see if I can dig it up but I remember reading that PRG UCAs won't work with the SLR kit so I don't know if others would. I might just end up keeping the king coilovers but they too were custom made for Scott Low Racing specifically for that lift kit.

    As for the titan swap I simply don't have the money for that.
     
  4. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    35,929
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Given that, move the lift over to the Fronty and keep on rocking. Those King shocks are worth the price of admission for the SLR kit.
     

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