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SHIFT_into4Lo
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I like the mods they've made, but I think it's interesting that they turned their bad judgement around into a dig on domestic vehicles. If they were going to tow a vehicle, they should have got the correct vehicle to begin with...not a Nissan. A simple half-ton Ford or Chevy or Dodge would have done just fine there. A co-worker has just the vehicle this guy needs -- an '88 Chevy 1/2 ton with 264,000 miles -- more than double what he has on his "reliable" Pathfinder.
 

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I certainly agree. There's more to safe towing than making the Pathy stop better and more stable to tow with just a 1/4 ton Pathy platform is asking for trouble. I think we've all seen the results of an underrated tow vehcile being "pushed".

There are reasons why you use long wheel based 1/2 ,3/4, 1 ton, etc to tow with. It distributes the weight of the trailer plus cargo on the FRONT diffs of the tow vehicle along with the rear. I'm assuming with a load of 4k, they have trailer brakes. The plans are to probably switch out the stock gearing to tow?
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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mookie said:
I certainly agree. There's more to safe towing than making the Pathy stop better and more stable to tow with just a 1/4 ton Pathy platform is asking for trouble. I think we've all seen the results of an underrated tow vehcile being "pushed".

There are reasons why you use long wheel based 1/2 ,3/4, 1 ton, etc to tow with. It distributes the weight of the trailer plus cargo on the FRONT diffs of the tow vehicle along with the rear. I'm assuming with a load of 4k, they have trailer brakes. The plans are to probably switch out the stock gearing to tow?
No kidding, its not like were stupid and don't realize these things, if I could easily do it, I would get a different truck but my wife won't let me.

Well for one, its not bad judgement when you don't have room for another vehicle at your house, you can't convince the wife to let you buy the turbo diesel F250 Superduty you want because she thinks its dumb to spend the money for something you only use once a month and the Pathfinder is paid for and basicaly for free.

The stock gearing is 4.40 or so so you don't need to lower it.

It will be interesting to see if it works.

Mike
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
I like the mods they've made, but I think it's interesting that they turned their bad judgement around into a dig on domestic vehicles. If they were going to tow a vehicle, they should have got the correct vehicle to begin with...not a Nissan. A simple half-ton Ford or Chevy or Dodge would have done just fine there. A co-worker has just the vehicle this guy needs -- an '88 Chevy 1/2 ton with 264,000 miles -- more than double what he has on his "reliable" Pathfinder.
As owner of many domestic vehicles before and the builder of many fast ones, I can say that Nissans are more solidly built and trouble free than any domestic I have ever owned.

This 120k plus pathfinder has never had any sort of repair done to it other than regular maintanance. Not one single repair. I bet thats better thany our buddies Chevy. No domesitc I have ever owned is like this or any of my other Nissans. It doesnt leak a drop of anything, looks pretty new inside and out and doesnt burn a drop of oil inbetween changes.

Its not like I bought this vehicle just to tow, that would be stupid, I know its not a good tow vehicle. I am going to try to make it work and if it doesn't, I am going to sell it and buy a F250 Superduty turbodiesel. I already own the thing, its paid for and if I can make do with it, that one less vehicle I have to find a place to park, make payments on, insure and take care of since I already have 4 cars. Being really into cars is a pain in the ass sometimes.

I know I can build a VG30E with 260 hp and 240 lb/ft of torque which is more than a 5.0 Ford or a 4.6 SOHC modular motor which comes in many half ton trucks. It just might work and save me a bunch of money and space.

Mike
 

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SHIFT_into4Lo
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morepower2 said:
Its not like I bought this vehicle just to tow, that would be stupid, I know its not a good tow vehicle. I am going to try to make it work and if it doesn't, I am going to sell it and buy a F250 Superduty turbodiesel.

I know I can build a VG30E with 260 hp and 240 lb/ft of torque which is more than a 5.0 Ford or a 4.6 SOHC modular motor which comes in many half ton trucks.
If it were me, I'd buy a used 1/2 ton Chevy with the 5.3L. 295 hp and 330 lbs of torque if I'm not mistaken -- way more than you could reliably build a VG30E to. But you already know that it's not the engine that makes the tow vehicle, but the chassis and brakes. In my opinion, you could buy a great 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck for what you could sell your Pathfinder for, plus the cost of all the mods you've done or plan on doing. You'd have a safe and reliable tow vehicle for little outflow of money.

You don't have to buy a new vehicle to get a great vehicle. Every single car I've owned has been used -- and domestic by the way. The Nissan is my first Japanese vehicle and I really like it. It already has over 178k miles on it and I plan to replace it with an Xterra or Frontier in a few years. So far, it's been as good to me as all the domestic cars I've owned (four GM vehicles, an '84 Olds, '87 Buick, '97 Saturn, '97 Cadillac...and only one had fewer than 100k miles) and I hope it stays that way.
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
If it were me, I'd buy a used 1/2 ton Chevy with the 5.3L. 295 hp and 330 lbs of torque if I'm not mistaken -- way more than you could reliably build a VG30E to. But you already know that it's not the engine that makes the tow vehicle, but the chassis and brakes. In my opinion, you could buy a great 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton truck for what you could sell your Pathfinder for, plus the cost of all the mods you've done or plan on doing. You'd have a safe and reliable tow vehicle for little outflow of money.

You don't have to buy a new vehicle to get a great vehicle. Every single car I've owned has been used -- and domestic by the way. The Nissan is my first Japanese vehicle and I really like it. It already has over 178k miles on it and I plan to replace it with an Xterra or Frontier in a few years. So far, it's been as good to me as all the domestic cars I've owned (four GM vehicles, an '84 Olds, '87 Buick, '97 Saturn, '97 Cadillac...and only one had fewer than 100k miles) and I hope it stays that way.
One of the things is that I don't like Chevys, I don't like working on them, there are so many stupid things that makes working on them lame.

Ever try to change plugs on an Astro van, do a clutch job on a Saturn, nearly anything on a late model Camero? Just a simple tune up on a Tech 4 in a cavalier can sometimes end up being rather vexing. Those ar just the Chevys I have worked on lately. I think Chevy does not pay much attention to mantainabilty on their late model stuff. My family used to always buy domestics and every single one of them had lots of problems, we just considered constant repairs normal until we started buying Nissans.

My wife loves her Pathfinder, hates trucks, vetoed my F250 purchase and my Titan purchase. The Armada is too long for my garage to close unless I get rid of my big roll a way tool boxes. I can build Nissan engines cheaply, technicaly I can get 586 whp and 597 lb ft of torque out of a VG30E all bottom end torque if I wanted to really spend money but this is about cheap because I don't really like trucks or SUV's so why dump money into them.

Other pluses the Pathfinder has is that its highly off road capable with good gearing, long travel suspension, short overhangs and a LSD stock. The other thing is I want the engineering challange of doing it. I build 400 whp SR20's and 600 whp VG30DETT's so why not try to build a tow vechicle? :)


Mike
 

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Ditto.

I agree with you Mike. I have experienced the same things. I have worked on some co workers Fxxds lately and I find myself buying Special tools just to change a fuel filter.

My other coworker wanted my help to change his spark plugs on a PT cruizer. You have to remove the intake manifold and its plastic..

I love the engineering that goes into Nissans, Thats why I buy them.
 

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woo-hoo
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why don't you just trade your pathfinder for a newer one (01-03) with that 3.5 engine? tons more power, higher tow rating and since you love your pathfinder so much it'll be like having the same car just more refined and newer!!! and if you replace that one with a new one it will do all the things you are accustomed to and you won't have to find another spot to park it in. Here in texas there are quite a few nice 01-02 models fully loaded for under 20k and good mileage!

later,
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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black_knight said:
why don't you just trade your pathfinder for a newer one (01-03) with that 3.5 engine? tons more power, higher tow rating and since you love your pathfinder so much it'll be like having the same car just more refined and newer!!! and if you replace that one with a new one it will do all the things you are accustomed to and you won't have to find another spot to park it in. Here in texas there are quite a few nice 01-02 models fully loaded for under 20k and good mileage!

later,
I don't like SUV's and I don't want to spend any more money on one than I have to! Plus the old pathfinder has better brakes, stronger body on frame construction and much better off road capabilty. The motor I am going to build has 260 hp and more torque than the VQ stock.

Mike
 

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SHIFT_into4Lo
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Nissan's got their own quirks -- supplying a special spark plug wrench with V6 trucks because you can't get to the plugs with normal tools? That's solving a symptom, not a problem. The people on some of the GM forums regard foreign vehicles the same way you do domestics -- they much prefer American cars because they're simpler to work on. Indeed, I put a water pump on my Cadillac last spring and it took all of about 45 minutes. The pump is driven directly off one the cams on the left side of the engine and doesn't even bolt to the housing -- it's clocked in using a special tool (it's about 20 bucks for the tool). I compare that to the same job on my Nissan truck and just pray that it doesn't fail anytime soon! :) I guess it all depends on your past experience and preferences.

Mike, you mention that you think the older Pathfinders (mid 90s) have better off-road capability than the new ones. Setting tire choice aside, I'd like to discuss that with you. I always thought the front suspension design of the Hardbody/Pathfinder in the 80s and 90s always left something to be desired, especially in terms of suspension travel. It seems that there's less travel than most other trucks, and the torsion bars are much stiffer as a result to keep from bottoming the suspension out. Do you have any comments about that?
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
Nissan's got their own quirks -- supplying a special spark plug wrench with V6 trucks because you can't get to the plugs with normal tools? That's solving a symptom, not a problem. The people on some of the GM forums regard foreign vehicles the same way you do domestics -- they much prefer American cars because they're simpler to work on. Indeed, I put a water pump on my Cadillac last spring and it took all of about 45 minutes. The pump is driven directly off one the cams on the left side of the engine and doesn't even bolt to the housing -- it's clocked in using a special tool (it's about 20 bucks for the tool). I compare that to the same job on my Nissan truck and just pray that it doesn't fail anytime soon! :) I guess it all depends on your past experience and preferences.

Mike, you mention that you think the older Pathfinders (mid 90s) have better off-road capability than the new ones. Setting tire choice aside, I'd like to discuss that with you. I always thought the front suspension design of the Hardbody/Pathfinder in the 80s and 90s always left something to be desired, especially in terms of suspension travel. It seems that there's less travel than most other trucks, and the torsion bars are much stiffer as a result to keep from bottoming the suspension out. Do you have any comments about that?
The VG does not require a special tool to remove the sparkplugs! All you need is a Universal joint, a long extnsion and a regular plug socket. Its not even that hard!

After having both and extensivly working on both, I'd have to say that Nissan's, Toyota's and Honda's are way better engineered and easy to work on cars than the domestics. I think Fords are pretty easy to work on but GM's and Mopars are hopeless. Most people with opinions don't have the experiance and their opinions are baised on predjustice instead of facts.

I mean I actualy work on cars and have built some really fast street cars of many makes domestic and import and there is a reason why I don't like domestics as much.

I didnt realize that the Northstar water pump was that easy, I have never worked on a Northstar engine myself, although the VG really isnt that hard either, I just change it as cheap PM when I change the timing belt.

I think that the Pathfinders torsion bars sag and people neglect to turn them back up. Pathfinders have pretty good wheel travel. My Neigboors S10 thats all lifted certainly doesnt have much travel either and its always breaking the suspension. The Nissan bends its idler arm support and thats about it.

Doing suspension tuning at work, we do some pretty crazy stuff in Nissans and they hold up pretty good. The newer pathfinder has struts up front with less travel , less articulation and poor mod potential and has more rear overhang. In testing it would get stuck and the older car would have to pull it out.

The new Armada and Titan are surprisingly good off road for their size, especialy with the optional locking diff. Their suspension has good articulation and the overhangs are small.

Mike
 

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SHIFT_into4Lo
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morepower2 said:
The VG does not require a special tool to remove the sparkplugs! All you need is a Universal joint, a long extnsion and a regular plug socket. Its not even that hard!
Doesn't the truck come with a tool set that includes a crows foot and other weird looking extensions (like a traditional distributor wrench)? I've seen these on eBay and on friend's trucks. They said it came with it so you could change the #6 spark plug I think it was...

I think Fords are pretty easy to work on but GM's and Mopars are hopeless. Most people with opinions don't have the experiance and their opinions are baised on predjustice instead of facts.
I really don't understand this comment -- but as you say, everyone has opinions... We've done a lot of engine work on a Ford Mustang (performance upgrades) and it was pretty simple... I've swapped engines in a Buick Regal before and it was cake. Took a 403 from a '79 Olds and dropped it in my '87 Regal. Both were Olds small blocks and was as close to a bolt-in engine swap as you get. As for Mopars, I don't know...if it's not a V-8, I stay away from it. Most of their 4s and V-6s are Mitsubishi's anyway. And nowadays, if they're not Mitsus, they're MB's, so who knows what you've got there. To me, Chrysler has always been a mixed bag, but my family has been through 4 Jeeps since 1988 and loved them all. We took our '96 GrandC through two Jeep Jamborees and had a wonderful time. We chewed up the transmission skid plate and twisted a front control arm, but we had a hell of a time doing it! Those Jeeps are such billy goats.

I didnt realize that the Northstar water pump was that easy, I have never worked on a Northstar engine myself, although the VG really isnt that hard either, I just change it as cheap PM when I change the timing belt.
A lot of people who are uninitiated with a particular package are really afraid to work on it, and spread rumors that they're hard to work on, just like you said. Most modern vehicles are as easy to work on as their historic counterparts, once you get down to the basics. You don't even have to set points anymore...heck...most cars don't even have distributors anymore! With the advent of dual platinum-tipped plugs from the factory, spark plug changes are almost eliminated. A dual platinum-tipped spark plug is usually good for hundreds of thousands of miles...usually the life of the car. They really don't need to be changed unless damage has occured. Plugs and wires are still original on my Northstar, at 124k miles, and it still runs 6.7 0-60 times, just like new. The quality of the OEM parts has come a long way since just a decade ago, on both sides of the pond.

Back in the 1980s, America was putting out some really trashy econobox cars, like GM's J- and N-bodies and Chrysler's K-cars, and the Japanese were making cars of a higher quality. Domestic vehicles still have that stigma from decades ago...and it's usually from people who quit buying them way back then and still chide them today. There are still a notable few which could really use some work in my opinion...like Ford/Mazda's compact trucks (Ranger/Explorer). They REALLY feel cheap and seem to use sub-par components. We had them as delivery trucks when I used to work at an auto parts retailer and had fair performance from them.

I think the powertrain engineering has come a long way since the 1980s also. GM has a great line of V8 engines, including the LS1 and the Northstar. These are worldclass powertrains which compare very favorably with the competition. The Corvette gets it done with pushrods and 2 valves/cylinder and the competition is using 4 or 5 valves and turbos. The Northstar engine is actually 1980s engineering, and has undergone very few changes over the past 10 years since it debuted. I think that's testament to how far Detroit has progressed since the days of setting on their laurels in the 1970s and early 1980s.

When I say I don't look forward to changing the water pump on a traditional engine, it's because it uses traditional engineering. You have to remove the radiator shroud, the fan, the clutch, loosen all the accessories, take pullies off, hope nothing is actually bolted to the front of the water pump, take out the bolts (which on an Altima, by the way, are unequal length, what a PITA) and reassemble. I like unconventional engineering. The Northstar and Saturn come to mind to me. The water pump on a Saturn isn't stuck in the middle of the engine where it takes hours just to unbolt everything to get to it. It's hanging off the side of the engine, driven by the belt. Just loosen the serpentine belt and the hoses and unbolt the pump. No fans to screw with, no gaskets or silicone, etc. I also like their automatic transmission filters...a canister -- just like an oil filter. What a novel idea. I wish every automatic transmission was that easy to change the filter on!

I think that the Pathfinders torsion bars sag and people neglect to turn them back up. Pathfinders have pretty good wheel travel. My Neigboors S10 thats all lifted certainly doesnt have much travel either and its always breaking the suspension. The Nissan bends its idler arm support and thats about it.

Doing suspension tuning at work, we do some pretty crazy stuff in Nissans and they hold up pretty good. The newer pathfinder has struts up front with less travel , less articulation and poor mod potential and has more rear overhang. In testing it would get stuck and the older car would have to pull it out.

Mike
I think it's true that torsion bars do sag over time. I think mine probably have. But I compare my Nissan's ride off-road (which I consider choppy and harsh) to the gov't trucks at work (Chevy and Dodge 1/2 tons) and they ride comparatively like Cadillacs. Where my truck gets jarred by even the small ruts, the larger trucks soak them up with aplomb. I attributed this to the short travel and relatively stiff spring rate to keep the truck in the air. I ran without front shocks for a few days, just to see what the difference would have been. There really wasn't that much of a difference. The torsion bars are so stiff, there's really not a lot of uncontrolled movement anyway. Put the Ranchos back on and I could tell they were back on...but not by much. The difference certainly isn't as dramatic as I figured it would be.

Boy, this post sure got long-winded. But I really enjoy a good discussion -- even if it is between two people who's differing opinions on the subject probably never will change. :p
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
Doesn't the truck come with a tool set that includes a crows foot and other weird looking extensions (like a traditional distributor wrench)? I've seen these on eBay and on friend's trucks. They said it came with it so you could change the #6 spark plug I think it was...
Not my Pathfinder and I have had it since new. The rear plugs are not totay easy but a lot easier than the plugs on a Camro or Astro van for that matter!

All cars have some mechanical issues that come about during regular service that are infuriating, but domestics seem to have many more that raise their head even during routine stuff, like the impossible Saturn clutch, the center two spark plugs on an astro van, nearly everything on a late model camaro, Neon brake pads, sheet metal screws holding stuff to the SMC in vettes, the list goes on forever and this is stuff I just have run into lately.

For instance, my z only has the inacessable turbos, knock sensor and EGR valve plumbing, its a complcated car but most of the complication is logical and somewhat easy to deal with. My SE-R's have some plugs on the wiring harness that are a bitch to reach and the drivers side axle can hang up and the pathfinder has been pretty easy to work on.

The oil filters on the SE-R's and pathfinders make a mess when you change them and thats about all the stupid stuff. My experiance with Toyota's and Hondas is about the same.

I am an automotive engineer by trade and it seems like a lot of late model US cars like the Focus, Neon and Saturn use a lot of engineering that is design for assembly, where easy to assemble sub units are installed on the main body on the line. This is efficent and the Japanese pioneered this but often the domestics are diffcult to service or modify because of this. The Saturn and Focus especialy. Like you have to remove a whole assembly to gain access to areas of the car. The Japanese seem a lot better at pulling this off. Ford seems best at this from the domestic side.

These are generalizations but it sure seems that everytime I work on a domestic I get pissed at something and I hardly ever get tweeked or stuck on a stupid thing while working on a car built by the Japanese big three.

Are you sure you could hardly feel a difference with no shocks in your Pathfinder? Its an order of magnitude difference! Look at your bumpstops, if your older pathfinder is on the bumpstops or very close, then your torsion bars have sagged and you basicaly have little wheel travel, hence the harsh offroad ride.

Mike
 

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SHIFT_into4Lo
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Mike,

Looking at my front suspension ('95 Hardbody), the wishbones are pretty much centered between the bumpstops. There's about an inch of travel between both the top and bottom. The ride height is close to what it seems it should be. I can tell when I hit the bumpstops -- there's a pretty noticeable thud...

There's a pretty severe area of roadway which really tests a car's suspension, and it's optionally on my way home from work. It's a longer way home, but I can drive it any day of the week. The road sinks about 3 or 4 inches in a length of about 5 feet and then there's a big "ridge" in the road that really pitches the vehicle upwards.

Kinda like this (vertical heights greatly exagerated). Ignore the periods -- I had to use them to keep the spacing right:

.....___
__/......\..........._______.......<-- direction of travel
.............\____/

In my Cadillac -- and in the full size trucks at work -- the vehicle attitude stays pretty level as it lets the wheels sink down into the depression and then absorbs much of the vertical movement of the suspension over the rise, and then ultimately returns to flat road. In my Nissan by comparison, as the wheels follow the depression, it seems the body starts to fall already before you hit the rise. So the body is falling as the wheels hit the rise, which sends it straight upward...and as the body is catapulted upward, the wheels fall back over the backside of the rise and the body comes "crashing" down. It seems that in the case of my Nissan, the body is tied very closely to the suspension's movement, and I figured it's because the spring rate is very high to keep the wishbones between the bumpstops. It seems there's much less wheel travel on my truck than other vehicles, and I figured it was because of the design of the suspension. I have a '95 Car and Driver magazine where they tested a '95 SE truck new and they mentioned the suspension seemed to pogo off big bumps -- sending your head into the ceiling. I think "pogoing" is a great description of what the truck seems to do.

When I got the truck, the original shocks were still on it -- or at least they were Nissan shocks. My first set of shocks that I put on it were Monroes. The ride was pretty bouncy after that. Again, pogo is a good description. I figured the shocks weren't strong enough to control the stiff springs. So I "sprung" for a set of Rancho RS5000 shocks for the front and the problem continues, although not as badly. Between the Monroes and Ranchos, I rode around for a day without front shocks at all, and I didn't see much of a difference. Sure, it would bounce a little more after a big bump, and the ride was a touch more unsettled, but it wasn't at all what I would have expected. It was actually very smooth -- the texture of the road was gone and it was a very quiet ride. It wasn't safe in an emergency situation so I knew I'd have to proceed to put shocks back on, but I was pleasantly surprised at how it rode. I did the same trick on an '88 Jeep that we lifted (coil springs there) and the bouncing was much more pronounced and obvious.

Do you have any suggestions? If I wanted to really "fix" it so I like it, my first instinct would be to add a 3" lift with new upper wishbones to gain some more travel -- and install a softer front bar. I think the root of my "problem" is a strong torsion bar. They appear stock, but who knows. The Ranchos seem to be able to control it only a bit better than the Monroes did. The spring rate seems to overpower even the Rancho shocks. It's frustrating, but certainly not unlivable.

Thanks,
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
Mike,

Looking at my front suspension ('95 Hardbody), the wishbones are pretty much centered between the bumpstops. There's about an inch of travel between both the top and bottom. The ride height is close to what it seems it should be. I can tell when I hit the bumpstops -- there's a pretty noticeable thud...

There's a pretty severe area of roadway which really tests a car's suspension, and it's optionally on my way home from work. It's a longer way home, but I can drive it any day of the week. The road sinks about 3 or 4 inches in a length of about 5 feet and then there's a big "ridge" in the road that really pitches the vehicle upwards.

Kinda like this (vertical heights greatly exagerated). Ignore the periods -- I had to use them to keep the spacing right:

.....___
__/......\..........._______.......<-- direction of travel
.............\____/

In my Cadillac -- and in the full size trucks at work -- the vehicle attitude stays pretty level as it lets the wheels sink down into the depression and then absorbs much of the vertical movement of the suspension over the rise, and then ultimately returns to flat road. In my Nissan by comparison, as the wheels follow the depression, it seems the body starts to fall already before you hit the rise. So the body is falling as the wheels hit the rise, which sends it straight upward...and as the body is catapulted upward, the wheels fall back over the backside of the rise and the body comes "crashing" down. It seems that in the case of my Nissan, the body is tied very closely to the suspension's movement, and I figured it's because the spring rate is very high to keep the wishbones between the bumpstops. It seems there's much less wheel travel on my truck than other vehicles, and I figured it was because of the design of the suspension. I have a '95 Car and Driver magazine where they tested a '95 SE truck new and they mentioned the suspension seemed to pogo off big bumps -- sending your head into the ceiling. I think "pogoing" is a great description of what the truck seems to do.

When I got the truck, the original shocks were still on it -- or at least they were Nissan shocks. My first set of shocks that I put on it were Monroes. The ride was pretty bouncy after that. Again, pogo is a good description. I figured the shocks weren't strong enough to control the stiff springs. So I "sprung" for a set of Rancho RS5000 shocks for the front and the problem continues, although not as badly. Between the Monroes and Ranchos, I rode around for a day without front shocks at all, and I didn't see much of a difference. Sure, it would bounce a little more after a big bump, and the ride was a touch more unsettled, but it wasn't at all what I would have expected. It was actually very smooth -- the texture of the road was gone and it was a very quiet ride. It wasn't safe in an emergency situation so I knew I'd have to proceed to put shocks back on, but I was pleasantly surprised at how it rode. I did the same trick on an '88 Jeep that we lifted (coil springs there) and the bouncing was much more pronounced and obvious.

Do you have any suggestions? If I wanted to really "fix" it so I like it, my first instinct would be to add a 3" lift with new upper wishbones to gain some more travel -- and install a softer front bar. I think the root of my "problem" is a strong torsion bar. They appear stock, but who knows. The Ranchos seem to be able to control it only a bit better than the Monroes did. The spring rate seems to overpower even the Rancho shocks. It's frustrating, but certainly not unlivable.

Thanks,
It sounds as iff your ride height is correct, my suspension set up is rancho 9000 RSX shocks, Nissan motorsports torsion bars (20% stiffer) rasied just about 3/4 more than stock, nissan motorsports rear springs which raise 1" more than stock, and energy bushings. My ride seems plush and it abosrobs pretty big bumps. Off road it takes a series of 3 or so big bumps to upset the suspension. My friends are suprised on how smooth my truck is off road.

When I hit something really big, I can feel it bottom. Tomarrow I am going to try a long progessive soft foam front bumpstop and a shorter urethane rear bumpstop. I think this will cushion the impact better. I use a simular setup on real low street and race cars and it makes it much harder to feel when the suspension bottoms out. I'll let you know how this works.

The rear bumpstop gives about 2" more rear wheel travel and improves articulation.

Maybe the 5000's don't have enough damping? I swear my bumpy road ride feels plush. Even with my stiffer torsion bars and springs, my ride feels better than stock!

Mike
 

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SHIFT_into4Lo
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morepower2 said:
Maybe the 5000's don't have enough damping? I swear my bumpy road ride feels plush. Even with my stiffer torsion bars and springs, my ride feels better than stock!
I think even the 5000s are a tad too weak. The 9000s were out of my price range -- I was considering the Rancho 5000 or the KYB. I read many review saying the KYBs were stiff, and that's what I think I want. But I myself have had great experience with Rancho before, and I've never heard a bad thing about them, so I tried the 5000 series. These are described by the packaging as a sort of variable damping shock -- meaning it's soft in the middle and hard at the extremes. That over simplifies their description obviously, but I think even they might be too weak to control the spring rate.

My dad had 9000s before on his F-550 truck...are the RSX shocks also adjustable? What setting are you running yours at? I too would like to get some different bump stops on the front -- the lower ones are just huge. Are these the ones you plan to replace with softer foam? I've already removed my front stabilizer bar for more articulation and...you guessed it...couldn't really tell it was gone. If I make an extreme hard turn, I can tell the body is rolling more, but it's really not that much difference.

I think my truck is a freak. :p
 

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Icy Hot Stunta
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jadcock said:
I think even the 5000s are a tad too weak. The 9000s were out of my price range -- I was considering the Rancho 5000 or the KYB. I read many review saying the KYBs were stiff, and that's what I think I want. But I myself have had great experience with Rancho before, and I've never heard a bad thing about them, so I tried the 5000 series. These are described by the packaging as a sort of variable damping shock -- meaning it's soft in the middle and hard at the extremes. That over simplifies their description obviously, but I think even they might be too weak to control the spring rate.

My dad had 9000s before on his F-550 truck...are the RSX shocks also adjustable? What setting are you running yours at? I too would like to get some different bump stops on the front -- the lower ones are just huge. Are these the ones you plan to replace with softer foam? I've already removed my front stabilizer bar for more articulation and...you guessed it...couldn't really tell it was gone. If I make an extreme hard turn, I can tell the body is rolling more, but it's really not that much difference.

I think my truck is a freak. :p
I put the foam front bump stops in and it seems to be pretty good. I was trying to find a bump that could bottom out the car but could not on the street, I was jumping off curbs going 30 mnph and still could not feel bottoming out. The car would just go bloop and soak up the hit. The urethane bump stops didnt fit (I think AC sent the wrong parts) but the Nissan Motorsports springs raised the back up about 3" so I got plenty of travel.

I think all 9000 series shocks are adjustable. I have the front shocks set to 5 and the rear 4 and the ride is very plush and smooth. The car seems to lean a lot less and cornering is a lot better but the front pushes because my alignment is way off. Going to adjust for about 1.2 degrees negative with the higher ride height and about 1/16 toe in. I also have the Rancho in-car remote adjusters and am probably going to put those in next week.

An interesting thing I noticed today is that the idler arm and drag link bushings allow a lot of flex in the steering. I think I wil get the HD spencer lowe parts to fix this now. I added a idler arm brace and a rancho steering damper today as well.

I added energy urethane bushings to the rear swaybar today as well and could feel a nice differene. I'll proably add swaybar quick release end links so I can swtich between on road and off road set ups quickly. I think my road racing background makes me more sensitve to changes, I can't belive you can't feel a difference!

When I took my rear shocks out, I could bottom out the suspension by just bouncing on the bumper without much effort! I can't belive you can bairly feel the difference.
 
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