Well damn. There goes that A arm.

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Ever seen this happen to another xterra? I haven't. But I guess that's what you get with Rancho Shocks and a design they thought better than Nissans. F&#!
 

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GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Nothing really out of the ordinary for me. I live up 5 miles of steep mountain dirt road, it is well travelled but for sure has its spots that suck particularly bad. But I never really hit anything massive like rocks or anything, I mean you figure that would make some serious noise when it happened and I didn't hear it I just could feel something was wrong. Low and behold. I had planned on getting new shocks already but now I have to replace the friggin A arm the shocks and new tires on it. Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love this truck. I just haven't quite made it how I would like it yet. Little by little but it seems I have to redo or replace much of what someone else had done more often than upgrade.
 

Brunnie

Wheeling
Supporting Member
Location
Colorado Springs
Nothing really out of the ordinary for me. I live up 5 miles of steep mountain dirt road, it is well travelled but for sure has its spots that suck particularly bad. But I never really hit anything massive like rocks or anything, I mean you figure that would make some serious noise when it happened and I didn't hear it I just could feel something was wrong. Low and behold. I had planned on getting new shocks already but now I have to replace the friggin A arm the shocks and new tires on it. Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love this truck. I just haven't quite made it how I would like it yet. Little by little but it seems I have to redo or replace much of what someone else had done more often than upgrade.
Oh come on..... a little duct tape, some JB Weld, a spritz of paint to make it look pretty and you're all set. No need for a new A arm. ;)
 

TheCrabby1

Lockers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
Nothing really out of the ordinary for me. I live up 5 miles of steep mountain dirt road, it is well travelled but for sure has its spots that suck particularly bad. But I never really hit anything massive like rocks or anything, I mean you figure that would make some serious noise when it happened and I didn't hear it I just could feel something was wrong. Low and behold. I had planned on getting new shocks already but now I have to replace the friggin A arm the shocks and new tires on it. Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love this truck. I just haven't quite made it how I would like it yet. Little by little but it seems I have to redo or replace much of what someone else had done more often than upgrade.
Well...............................................if there's a bright side ? You get to redo it the way YOU want it to be . :D
 

Bklyn.X

Sliders
Supporting Member
Founding Member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I hate to say it but I've seen that many times.

The metal fatigues, rust and hairline cracks form on the arm around that shock mount. After some time it goes just as pictured.

Anyone still driving on their original arms should be checking for this.

I'd check the other side if I was you....

I saw this happen on a brand new Chinese aftermarket arm with just a few hundred miles on it. That mount went, then the arm bent in half at that spot! Yikes! The truck just dropped to the ground.

Back in the day there was a mod for this. I think it was from the now defunct SLR.

You would cut the mount off, weld a specifically cut plate to the top of the arm reinforcing the thin metal these arms are made of. Then weld the shock mount to the plate.

I have come to the conclusion that the thin metal of these arms are the reason the Nissan Service Manual has you change the entire arm (a pita) when the ball joint is worn instead of just changing the ball joint itself (a fairly easy job).

The arm is made to last only that long...

*edit* I just read about you taking out your sway-a-way aftermarket torsion bars. The combination of the more "forgiving" OEM torsion bars with the stiffer, "less forgiving" Rancho shocks adds stress to the top of the arm and in turn hastens this particular failure.

Leaving everything stock will not prevent this from happening, just prolong the life of the arm a bit...
 
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GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Hey, thanks for all of that insight. Totally makes sense. Really, I appreciate the time you took to write all this up man. Was thinking the same solution and have checked the other side. Even though taking the sway bar off accelerated this happening, would you say that keeping it off even though I prefer the way it handles is actually a bad thing?
 

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Well...............................................if there's a bright side ? You get to redo it the way YOU want it to be . :D
Kind of like Monty Python says.....Always look on the bright side of life.......True story, still a bit of a hard one to digest over here.
 

Bklyn.X

Sliders
Supporting Member
Founding Member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
If this was my truck and I like the "preferred handling" of the OEM torsion bar I'd also switch to a OEM spec shock. Rancho shocks are normally made for a stiff for off road ride... OEM spec shocks normally bottom out off road.
 

Bklyn.X

Sliders
Supporting Member
Founding Member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Also, insist on only Genuine Nissan OEM part when replacing the arm. Nothing else will do. I've learned the hard way that even a used Nissan arm in good shape is better than a new knock off in this case.
 

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Oh come on..... a little duct tape, some JB Weld, a spritz of paint to make it look pretty and you're all set. No need for a new A arm. ;)
I am actually a huge believer in two part epoxy for fixing everything. However, I do not think it will be helping me out this time.....damnit. lol
 

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
If this was my truck and I like the "preferred handling" of the OEM torsion bar I'd also switch to a OEM spec shock. Rancho shocks are normally made for a stiff for off road ride... OEM spec shocks normally bottom out off road.
Right there with you totally agree and was planning on getting some bilsteins this weekend actually. I knew I needed to I was just a little late on or totally slacked on getting them on there before this happened. In hind sight it really was my fault as well as the fact that the weak OEM A arm. However, it would not have broken had I when I removed the sway bar installed appropriate shocks. But still it sucks any way you look at it.
 

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Also, insist on only Genuine Nissan OEM part when replacing the arm. Nothing else will do. I've learned the hard way that even a used Nissan arm in good shape is better than a new knock off in this case.
Yeah, everything I replace on this truck will ALWAYS be the beefiest version I can find. Especially since just driving to and from my property is pretty much offroading. Then there is winter........
 

GonzoGirl5

Test Drive
Also, insist on only Genuine Nissan OEM part when replacing the arm. Nothing else will do. I've learned the hard way that even a used Nissan arm in good shape is better than a new knock off in this case.
Oh, and I appreciate your and everyone else's learning the hard way for us and there being forums like this to learn by other peoples experiences to save ourselves from the same fate. lol
 

Bklyn.X

Sliders
Supporting Member
Founding Member
Location
Brooklyn, NY
...However, it would not have broken had I when I removed the sway bar installed appropriate shocks....
This ^ is could be true but not necessarily. It's hard to tell what was actually the cause in this case especially after it's happened. That arm could very well have been fatigued before you touched the torsion bars and could have failed anyways...
 
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TheCrabby1

Lockers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
Kind of like Monty Python says.....Always look on the bright side of life.......True story, still a bit of a hard one to digest over here.
I've replaced the engine , transmission , 3 catastrophic converter's and the radiator not by choice ! ""Talk about indigestion"" But the mod's I've done so far , hardcore rear bumper , complete OME suspension , SPC - uca's , OEM lca's and a ship-load of smaller thing's help me to not worry about remembering to take my tum's when I think of the checking account Aka [ the almost empty shoebox in the basement ] As crazy as it is dumping $$$ into my 16 yo vehicle I would'nt trade it for the world ............unless it's for a 2015 Pro V , avalanche white of course. :D:D
 
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