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woo-hoo
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, I went offroading for the first time last weekend in my new 4x4 XE v6 CC LB I was very impressed with how my truck performed... it didn't get stuck once and there were at least 3 times where it should have gotten seriously bogged down in the mud. It's all stock right now with the 265/70r15 BFGoodrich Long Trails (which never left me wanting more traction) but the truck could definitely stand to be a little higher off the ground. If I do a simple 3" suspension lift... what's the biggest tires I can put on her. I think the stock tires are 29.4 inches in diameter. Also I really tore up the front bumpers and scratched up the sides of the truck with all the sage brush out there. Is there anyway to combat this. Does anybody make good bumper protection or maybe a metal bumper replacement? I'm new to all this off-road gear!

Later
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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black_knight said:
Hey, I went offroading for the first time last weekend in my new 4x4 XE v6 CC LB I was very impressed with how my truck performed... it didn't get stuck once and there were at least 3 times where it should have gotten seriously bogged down in the mud. It's all stock right now with the 265/70r15 BFGoodrich Long Trails (which never left me wanting more traction) but the truck could definitely stand to be a little higher off the ground. If I do a simple 3" suspension lift... what's the biggest tires I can put on her. I think the stock tires are 29.4 inches in diameter. Also I really tore up the front bumpers and scratched up the sides of the truck with all the sage brush out there. Is there anyway to combat this. Does anybody make good bumper protection or maybe a metal bumper replacement? I'm new to all this off-road gear!

Later
31" are about the biggest that will fit. After looking at the suspension and playing around with it, I don't recomend going more than 3" without some serious engineering. Calmini, SLR and AC makes most of the good Nissan truck stuff.
 

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black_knight said:
Hey, I went offroading for the first time last weekend in my new 4x4 XE v6 CC LB I was very impressed with how my truck performed... it didn't get stuck once and there were at least 3 times where it should have gotten seriously bogged down in the mud. It's all stock right now with the 265/70r15 BFGoodrich Long Trails (which never left me wanting more traction) but the truck could definitely stand to be a little higher off the ground. If I do a simple 3" suspension lift... what's the biggest tires I can put on her. I think the stock tires are 29.4 inches in diameter. Also I really tore up the front bumpers and scratched up the sides of the truck with all the sage brush out there. Is there anyway to combat this. Does anybody make good bumper protection or maybe a metal bumper replacement? I'm new to all this off-road gear!

Later
if you do a 3" you can use 32" tires with the right rims....i have a 3" suspension lift with 32" muds, it rubbed very little, so i shaved like an 1/8" off the inside of the wheel well, as far as the bumper, put an ARB on there...best way to go, i love my ARB....
 

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Stick with 7" rims and no more than 10" wide tires and you can run 32's all day long on a 3" SL.

Come over to NissanOffroad.net for 4Wheelin mods. There's a Frontier forum there.

Also, use a good carnuba wax on your truck before your next offroad excursion. It will help save your paint from the sage.
 

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black_knight said:
Hey, I went offroading for the first time last weekend in my new 4x4 XE v6 CC LB I was very impressed with how my truck performed... it didn't get stuck once and there were at least 3 times where it should have gotten seriously bogged down in the mud. It's all stock right now with the 265/70r15 BFGoodrich Long Trails (which never left me wanting more traction) but the truck could definitely stand to be a little higher off the ground. If I do a simple 3" suspension lift... what's the biggest tires I can put on her. I think the stock tires are 29.4 inches in diameter. Also I really tore up the front bumpers and scratched up the sides of the truck with all the sage brush out there. Is there anyway to combat this. Does anybody make good bumper protection or maybe a metal bumper replacement? I'm new to all this off-road gear!

Later
Glad to see that you got all the Dealer BS worked out.
As for a 3" lift, Well, unless really serious OFF ROAD, you may begin to dislike the balance, drive and overall road feel.
www.spencerlowracing.com does have some of the best PROVEN works. And the Nissan Off Road club in Dallas has some Great " Been there, Done That ".
OH, If you get a chance, role north to 395 and just south of Alturas Or even go to Truckee and north. You have ALOT of good trails and excellent Scenery.
 

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black_knight, glad to see you enjoyed the 4-wheeling adventure. A 3" SL (suspension lift) will definitely help your wheel travel and ride in typical off-road situations. Although, a suspension will change the trucks center gravity geometry and the steering/handling. On another note, once installing a suspension lift to your truck you are going to create added stress on the CV joints due to the increased angles, stock TREs and adjuster rods, factory torsion bars and mostly on the factory (weak) steering conponents as well. I highly recommend that you start budgeting now for either a Calmini, L&P or SLR type aftermarket steering system, you will need one. Your factory OEM steering system will wear out fairly fast after installing a new SL and wheel alignments will eventually become nearly impossible, plus the OEM steering components will fail even faster if you drive off-road. My factory steering (Idler Arm First) wore out in only nine months with running just 31" (31.8/10.50/17) BFG ATs after installing an AC (Automotive Customizers) deluex 3" SL system.

Without having to perform any body or fender/flare trimming to your 04 Frontier, I would say that most 31" tires mounted on the factory rims will be OK. It depends on the actual diameter and width of each manufactures' tire size due to the fact they all vary in tire diameter size. Although, you will still have minor rubbing issues even with only 31" (10.50 width) tires if you still have the factory mud flaps on your truck. If you want larger tires you will need to install a BL (body lift) as well. A 3" BL with a 3" SL and extended rear 1.5" shackles will allow up to 33" tires with little to almost no fender flare trimming.

Some of the most popular aftermarket manufacturers of off-road (steel) bumpers are but not limited to; ARB, Calmini and ShrockWorks. There are even more manufactures depending on which style or type of bumper armor you want for your rig.

 

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woo-hoo
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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate all the tips... but after all the problems I'm having with the truck (I haven't had the truck for more than a Day since march 13th and still dont' have it) I think it's off-roading days are over. I'm either going to demand it be bought back by nissan or it's going bye-bye this summer and being swapped for a car and an early nineties 4x4 beater (harbody,pathfinder,4runner,etc) to off-road with. I really wish I could fix this truck but I have no more trust in it anymore. Right now it's waiting for a new transmission :rolleyes:

till next time,
 

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black_knight said:
I appreciate all the tips... but after all the problems I'm having with the truck (I haven't had the truck for more than a Day since march 13th and still dont' have it) I think it's off-roading days are over. I'm either going to demand it be bought back by nissan or it's going bye-bye this summer and being swapped for a car and an early nineties 4x4 beater (harbody,pathfinder,4runner,etc) to off-road with. I really wish I could fix this truck but I have no more trust in it anymore. Right now it's waiting for a new transmission :rolleyes:

till next time,
HOLY CRAP!! You are putting a new transmission in? What else have you had go wrong with your truck? You bought that new didn't you?
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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Supercharger1 said:
black_knight, glad to see you enjoyed the 4-wheeling adventure. A 3" SL (suspension lift) will definitely help your wheel travel and ride in typical off-road situations. Although, a suspension will change the trucks center gravity geometry and the steering/handling. On another note, once installing a suspension lift to your truck you are going to create added stress on the CV joints due to the increased angles, stock TREs and adjuster rods, factory torsion bars and mostly on the factory (weak) steering conponents as well. I highly recommend that you start budgeting now for either a Calmini, L&P or SLR type aftermarket steering system, you will need one. Your factory OEM steering system will wear out fairly fast after installing a new SL and wheel alignments will eventually become nearly impossible, plus the OEM steering components will fail even faster if you drive off-road. My factory steering (Idler Arm First) wore out in only nine months with running just 31" (31.8/10.50/17) BFG ATs after installing an AC (Automotive Customizers) deluex 3" SL system.


]
I can't stress how quickly the stock steering will wear out with bigger wheels and any sort of a lift, even driving on the street.

I recomend Calmini because its the only system that addresses bumpsteer whch is a severe geometricaly induced handling problem. The other companies parts are much stronger adressing the wear but the the geometry is the same as stock and the bump steer is the same. Calmini's parts are the biggest and most beefy to boot. You can see them here:

http://www.nissanperformancemag.com/march05/pathfinder/

The Calmini system also quickens the steering ratio and has more ackerman in the geometry as well. It make the steering feel like rack and pinion.
 

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morepower2 said:
I can't stress how quickly the stock steering will wear out with bigger wheels and any sort of a lift, even driving on the street.

I recomend Calmini because its the only system that addresses bumpsteer whch is a severe geometricaly induced handling problem. The other companies parts are much stronger adressing the wear but the the geometry is the same as stock and the bump steer is the same. Calmini's parts are the biggest and most beefy to boot. You can see them here:

http://www.nissanperformancemag.com/march05/pathfinder/

The Calmini system also quickens the steering ratio and has more ackerman in the geometry as well. It make the steering feel like rack and pinion.
Both Calmini and the L&P STILL use stock TREs in their systems....its really a preference thing.
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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werks2much said:
Both Calmini and the L&P STILL use stock TREs in their systems....its really a preference thing.
Tie rod end strenght is not an issue in these cars, the first problem is the ilder arm trength, then its the center link wear and rock, then its the innner tie rods and the tie rod tubes. The outer tie rods don't wear fast or break.

There are significant technical differences between the L&P and Calmini. The L&P is plenty strong but does nothing to address issues with geoemtry. Ever drive a lifted D21/WD21 on the freeway fast? Notice wthe wandering and tramlining which gets really bad with bumps. Notice the steering twich when driving off road and hitting bumps? Doesnt feel to good does it. Tahts bumpsteer.

Read the article in the link to read what causes this and what done to fix it.
 

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I drive mine on the freeway often enough and the steering is rock-solid. I steer with one hand and hardly have to correct the wheel at 65 MPH. I have very little bumpsteer with no steering stabilizer, and I run 33" tires on steel wheels.

You seem to have a fascination with expressing your opinion on how bad the geometry is on stock steering and how some systems "fix it" and some don't, but do you have any actual experience with it? That's just my 2 cents.

By the way, the outer tie rods are the first thing to bend when offroading on stock steering. I WOULD know about this one.


 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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88pathoffroad said:
I drive mine on the freeway often enough and the steering is rock-solid. I steer with one hand and hardly have to correct the wheel at 65 MPH. I have very little bumpsteer with no steering stabilizer, and I run 33" tires on steel wheels.

You seem to have a fascination with expressing your opinion on how bad the geometry is on stock steering and how some systems "fix it" and some don't, but do you have any actual experience with it? That's just my 2 cents.

By the way, the outer tie rods are the first thing to bend when offroading on stock steering. I WOULD know about this one.
Its not an opinion that the stock steering geometry is screwed, its a fact. It gets more screwed up when the truck is lifted. I work on and design suspension parts as an engineer. I test suspension parts and modify them all the time.

I have explained the geometric problems with the stock steering and you can check these issues yourself if you don't belive me. There are plenty of text books on the subject and I am writing an easy to understand series on suspension for Sport Compact Car Magazine if your read that, the third part in the series will discuss bump steer and how to correct it.

For an unequal length A arm suspension like a D21 or WD21 to have no bump steer, the tie rods have to fall between the plain of two vertical lines drawn between the ball joints on one side and the inner pivots on the other. The tie rods also have to point towards the suspensions instant center which is the virtual point in space that the suspension pivots about. You find the instant center by extending lines from the ball joints to the inner pivots out into space until they intersect.

If the tie rod placement is close to this, bump steer is minimized. You can look at the stock linkage in a raised up truck and see that this is not even close. You can also look at Calmini's pivot locations and although they are not 100% ideal for this, they are much closer than stock for a raised truck. This is really obvious just by eyeballing it.

Other things, Calamini has increased the ackerman angle of the steering by moving the drag link (used to be a centerlink) outward which improves turn in and reduces scrub in corners. This is mostly an on the road handling improvement but it does feel a lot better on the road. By reducing the effective length of idler and pitman arm, they have also effectively quickened the steering as well, again another improvement that is better for street driving.

First let me say that I am not making fun of you, the stuff you have done to your truck is cool. Your thinking that there is nothing wrong with the stock suspension geometry is an opinion. Let me challenge you. Go and find out for yourself.

Here is some stuff you can do easily to understand what I am talking about. Measure your toe with a tape measure, you can do this by measuring the tread of your tire at some point in the front and back of the tire as high as you can go before it hits something on the chassis.

Now rock the center link all the way one way, measure the toe, then all the way the other way and measure again. The toe changes by 1/4" a significant amount. Most decent drivers can feel a 1/16" change.

Now park one of your tires on some sort of object like a curb to articulate the suspension and remeasure the toe and compare it to your baseline, It will be off by at least 1/2". That is bumpsteer. Thats what causes the wander and weird feeling on road and steering kickback off road.

If you drive trucks most of the time you probably only have what a trucks steering feels like as a reference so of course your steering is gonna feel much tighter. It is still not going to feel precise as a modern truck or a car with good steering and it will wander and tramline. I could even show you on your own car. One thing that I am not sure if is if the L&P system keeps the center link from rocking as much as the stock one, it might depending on the bearings and the travel in them. But they would have to be careful about not allowing enough angularity and bending things when the suspension is stroked. Its a very good execution of strengthening the stock steering. Mounting things in double shear is good engineering, it nearly doubles the rated strength of the rod ends.

Also from what I understand, bending the outer tie rod is from it striking the stock centerlink when the truck is raised and the steering is turned at the wrong angle, not from it being weak. The loads on the outer tie rod are actually less than the inner. However I don't do extreme off roading like you do so there are probably other ways to break things than what I understand.

Crap I wrote alot but I am not talking out of my ass when it comes to this subject.
 

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*bows to the steering master*

I've been pwn3d! :(

Thank you for the write-up. I understand what you're saying and how it works now. Sometimes it just takes a kick in the shin or a whack upside the head to get a different viewpoint on things and really be able to visualize things as they move and articulate...

Oh, and actually I was going straight up a hill in 4LO when those tie rods bent like that. No turning of the wheels. Apparently it doesn't take much coercion to get a tie rod to bend if you have enough slop in the centerlink joints... ;) But spares from the junkyard are cheap!
 
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