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PathyGig12

PathyGig12’s Build Thread

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New guy here, been studying the forum for a couple months and finally have all of the pieces lined up for a 2 inch lift.

 

The plan is to get everything done on Monday, I rented out a bay at a local shop that has a two post lift and an assortment of tools. My apartment garage is tiny and not heated, not to mention my only jack currently is the Nissan scissor jack from the truck, so needless to say, it would have taken a week to try and do everything at home.

 

First things first, I’d like to list out the parts I have gathered and make sure that there is nothing I’m missing before tearing into the suspension. Please chime in if you notice anything that was overlooked/ or might be problematic. I am looking for 2” of lift all around with an emphasis on minimizing the possibility of CV damage due to binding, which is why I opted to forego the spacers. I also picked the tire size based on a desire to avoid using wheel spacers. I understand fender rub will likely still be a problem in the front, but I don’t mind doing a bit of cutting.
 

Right now I have:

 

-KYB Gr-2 struts left and right 

 

-OEM strut mounts and bearings 

 

-Two camber bolts for help with alignment 

 

-New set of boots and bumpstops for the struts

 

-AC 2” lift front coils

 

-Land Rover nrc9447 rear coils 

 

-Gabriel Ultra shocks for the rear (will upgrade to longer Bilsteins in the future when I can afford them)

 

-235/85R16 M/Ts

 

If all goes according to plan I should be able to post pics by Tuesday, and update this thread whenever future mods are done. I’m planning on installing manual hubs and a front LOKKA when I have the money for it, along with a coastal off-road bumper and winch. It would also be nice to do some seat covers and floor mats to spruce up the aging and worn interior. Rock sliders aren’t out of the question, but the price is a bit prohibitive when you think that the truck has over 260K in the clock and probably isn’t worth more than 2 grand. The engine is still solid as far as I can tell, but who knows how long till the tranny goes or the power valve screws work themselves loose?

 

I do have a couple of questions before diving into this first phase of the build. I have searched and searched and can’t seem to figure out whether it’s possible to use a standard McPherson strut compressor to install the AC front coils on the new struts? Every post I have seen has either said it’s totally doable if you spread the compressor arms as far apart as possible, or that it’s impossible because they are too strong and too dangerous. Can someone who has done it please confirm that it’s possible? I need to know whether I should plan to visit a pep boys on Monday once I have the old struts removed. The goal is to be as fast as possible because Im only going to have about 8 hours in the shop. And the next day I need my truck to go to work.

 

Also, speaking of the struts, I know that the mounts and bearings must be changed. But what about the top coil seats? Do I just reuse the old ones?

 

I’ve already put on the shocks when I went to replace the panhard and lower trailing arms, so it’s just going to be a matter of getting the front done and slipping the rear coils on. Hopefully it’s doable within the timeframe but the more I can plan ahead, the less messing around I‘ll need to do when the day comes, so any tips and tricks would be helpful. I’m familiar with the process for the struts but I’ve heard varying reports on the difficulty of getting the old ones out because of the clearance issues, especially the driver side one. What needs to be removed to get at the bolts?

 

Also, If I have a spare hour or two, I’ll probably try wiring up the undercarriage camera and dash mounted monitor I bought for visibility off-road. And possibly making a little dohicky that senses water submersion. Like a homemade flood sensor but for 5 dollars instead of 20, and wired to the cabin for instant alarm in the event that water is approaching the level of the airbox intake

 

 

Let me know what you guys think. Any comments, advice, tips, etc would be appreciated. I’m really excited for this to get done.

 

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Regular spring compressors are a bad idea, springs are way too firm.

Top perch stays.


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40 minutes ago, R50JR said:

Regular spring compressors are a bad idea, springs are way too firm.

Top perch stays.


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Ok I hear you.

 

Ive also heard of people doing it with two sets of spring compressors, making 4 total. I’m pretty sure this will be the way I do it, as it seems much safer. Slower, of course, but safer

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Everyone has different tools and different capabilities so you'll get a lot of different answers. My suggestion is if your bay doesn't have a press, have a backup mechanic plan to take the struts to.

 

I installed my AC lift about 12 years ago. I did everything except assembling the struts. I had done it all successfully with an Altima before.

 

I tried using a cheap Autozone McP spring compressor. I used both compressor sides on one strut. The spring barely compressed, the fingers were walking out and the jack screws were bending.

 

Rather than buy a better one with full spring restraints and risking it still might not work, I took the struts to a mechanic to assemble.

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5 hours ago, R50JR said:

Regular spring compressors are a bad idea, springs are way too firm.


Agreed. With the OME MD springs I used 3 standard compressors 120 degrees apart and still felt sketchy. Would not do again even with the MD which are not as stiff as AC. 

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Fair enough, I guess I’ll play it safe and take it to pepboys once I have the old struts off 

 

My biggest worry with having someone else do it is that they wont align all of the notches or orient the thing properly. I suppose after it’s done I can always have them redo it if I notice that they’ve screwed up, but still that’s extra time 

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Fair enough, I guess I’ll play it safe and take it to pepboys once I have the old struts off 
 
My biggest worry with having someone else do it is that they wont align all of the notches or orient the thing properly. I suppose after it’s done I can always have them redo it if I notice that they’ve screwed up, but still that’s extra time 



Buy these for the same cost of having them compressed. A few us of us own these. Do not use power tools on these!!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66


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That strut compressor definitely looks stouter.

I have a whole story around getting this done.

I had to call 3 shops to get someone even willing to touch it, since they weren't doing the whole job.

NTB agreed to do it off the books. The guy was a jerk when I casually pointed out the notches and alignment.

When I got them back they hadn't aligned them, and they hadn't ensured the plastic bearing seated correctly.

I accidentally got the manager of that location fired, though I absolutely did not mean for that to happen. I just wanted them to train their shop employees better.



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12 hours ago, R50JR said:

 

 


Buy these for the same cost of having them compressed. A few us of us own these. Do not use power tools on these!!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

Tempting, but it will still be slower than having the shop do it with a press. And I’ll likely never use the compressor again

 

On a different subject, some of my packages came in early so I’m going to try to wire up the camera and water sensor tomorrow so that I don’t have to worry about squeezing everything into one shop day. I’ll post up some pics when it’s done.

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On 11/7/2019 at 6:41 AM, jlduthie said:


Agreed. With the OME MD springs I used 3 standard compressors 120 degrees apart and still felt sketchy. Would not do again even with the MD which are not as stiff as AC. 

 

I've done the OME HD front springs with 3-standard rental compressors. Sketchy and slow, but doable in a pinch. I was broken down in the middle of nowhere doing it in a parkinglot though, not ideal. 3/10 do not recommend.

 

 

8 hours ago, PathyGig12 said:
20 hours ago, R50JR said:

 

 


Buy these for the same cost of having them compressed. A few us of us own these. Do not use power tools on these!!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Tempting, but it will still be slower than having the shop do it with a press. And I’ll likely never use the compressor again

 

On a different subject, some of my packages came in early so I’m going to try to wire up the camera and water sensor tomorrow so that I don’t have to worry about squeezing everything into one shop day. I’ll post up some pics when it’s done.

 

Honestly, if you plan on working on your vehicle pretty regularly, and have friends who could possibly benefit from using this compressor, I 1000% recommend it. Vs the sketchy rental compressors, these only take minutes to compress an OME HD spring, makes rebuilding the struts incredibly easy.

 

I had a shop do my front struts the first time around and they did it WRONG and it ended up nuking my assembly. I wish I had just done it myself the first time around. You can take your time and make sure everything's done right. It's really not hard and this compressor makes it so much safer.

 

Edited by zakzackzachary
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21 hours ago, R50JR said:

 

 


Buy these for the same cost of having them compressed. A few us of us own these. Do not use power tools on these!!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DP2CDJU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_S2gXDbGPWBH66


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

This is a great tool. 100% reccomend it

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I’ll probably try wiring up the undercarriage camera and dash mounted monitor I bought for visibility off-road. And possibly making a little dohicky that senses water submersion. Like a homemade flood sensor but for 5 dollars instead of 20, and wired to the cabin for instant alarm in the event that water is approaching the level of the airbox intake

I look forward to eventually seeing how those projects turn out. I intend to do the former as well & like the concept of the latter.

You’re a little short on time to get it delivered at this point but the I would strongly recommend the new style spring compressors- they can be as little as $65 & have consensus support from all that have used them as both effective & safe.

I would STRONGLY advocate doing your power valves ASAP. It is only a 2-3 hour job and doesn’t need a rented bay. Pay a shop if necessary. It can DESTROY your engine and make everything else you’ve done pointless & a waste of time & money. I would be prepared to find some screws already missing & needing to be replaced.
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Not just the notches - be very sure about the strut spacer placement on the top hat if you are not using OEM.

That compressor recommended above has been used by several of us, is cheaper than having it done and is VERY stable & safe.@hawairish ,@R50JR & the entire PNW crew wholeheartedly recommend it.

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8 minutes ago, RainGoat said:

Not just the notches - be very sure about the strut spacer placement on the top hat if you are not using OEM.

That compressor recommended above has been used by several of us, is cheaper than having it done and is VERY stable & safe.@hawairish ,@R50JR & the entire PNW crew wholeheartedly recommend it.

You mentioned a strut spacer? I’m confused. What spacer are you referring to?

 

If you mean the spacer inside of the mount, can you elaborate? I bought OEM mounts and bearings but have no clue as to the spacer orientation. Pics would be awesome. I’m going off of the SFcreations installation video when it comes to aligning the pieces of the strut

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29 minutes ago, RainGoat said:


I look forward to eventually seeing how those projects turn out. I intend to do the former as well & like the concept of the latter.

You’re a little short on time to get it delivered at this point but the I would strongly recommend the new style spring compressors- they can be as little as $65 & have consensus support from all that have used them as both effective & safe.

I would STRONGLY advocate doing your power valves ASAP. It is only a 2-3 hour job and doesn’t need a rented bay. Pay a shop if necessary. It can DESTROY your engine and make everything else you’ve done pointless & a waste of time & money. I would be prepared to find some screws already missing & needing to be replaced.

The power valve screws did worry me when I initially heard about the issue, but I figure if they haven’t come out after 260K miles, either my truck is not one of the bad ones, or the previous owner had them locktited under warranty years ago when the problem became known. They could also be well and truly baked into position by this point just because of the heat and corrosion over time. Ill see if I can look into the service history and find out whether it was done but it’s not really at the top of my list right now 

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I didn’t know about it at the time, however, I would have felt the same way until 11/26/17. Mine had lost 5, it was #5 that did the trick. Several others have had similar results. I think we lost about 4 engines on NPORA alone 2018ish. Just doing my civic duty.

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Alright so I got the camera and monitor installed and it turned out great in my opinion. I’m easily satisfied, so don’t look for perfectionist tendencies in my build. If it works, it works. That being said, I’m going to wait to post pics until after the lift is done so that I can see where/if I should move the camera mount to get the absolute best angle. I think the extra inches of height should help better clear the catalytic but as it stands right now the view isn’t too bad. 
 

As for the flood sensor idea....well it sort of worked. But the contacts to make it trigger were not what I wanted them to be. And it also didn’t trigger in water unless the leads were extremely close, meaning that any bumps would have set it off again and again when driving. It also seemed to go off randomly whenever it wanted to....

 

I looked at the data sheet for the MOSFET transistor I was using and it seems that I might have reversed the pins even though that’s what the guide said to connect to, so I’ll try it again the other way and see what I get. I’m also using a slightly better/different window alarm than the one in the guide I’m following, so maybe I need to get the one they used. 
 

This is the guide

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-build-your-own-flood-sensor/

 

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The flood sensor is a cool idea and I’m interested to see what you come up with to get it working well.

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You mentioned a strut spacer? I’m confused. What spacer are you referring to?  

If you mean the spacer inside of the mount, can you elaborate? I bought OEM mounts and bearings but have no clue as to the spacer orientation. Pics would be awesome. I’m going off of the SFcreations installation video when it comes to aligning the pieces of the strut

 

ac81336b7627d207a9619ddcf3322572.jpg0be50916fadb6a0f2e8e3f9c096b5e13.jpge80490cc09a5636c11a3a589ddd04c19.plist

 

If you are using a Nissan Top Hat then the spacer is already a part of it. If aftermarket make sure the spacer gets put in.

 

Here is the compressor everybody is talking about. We used it with my ARB OME HD front springs & rear LR9228 springs. No problem - very stable & safe feeling.

 

 

Strut Alignment

 

The notches on the bottom spring seat and the top spring seat must be aligned as shown. Note that the side of the strut shown in the photo is the inboard (engine-facing) side. When reinstalling the struts, orient the "L" or "R" on the strut insulator (aka "top hat") so that the "L" lines up with the notches for the left strut, and the "R" lines up with the notches for the right strut

 

-can’t get the photo to stick

 

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Phew that was a long day!

 

 

Got up at 8, picked up the keys at 9 and had the truck on the lift by 10. Good start.
 

Taking off the struts was way easier that I thought it would be. The bolts took some decent force to crack, but I had all the clearance for the breaker bars that I could ask for, and the lift made it much more comfortable to work on. The hardest part was reaching one of the bolts on the driver side tower, but still not too bad. Total time for disassembly was 2 hours 

 

Then I brought them to pepboys for the reassembly with AC coils. First thing the “manager” told me was that it would be a few hours because they were all booked up. I said fair enough, and went back to do the rear coils. Before I left I gave him all the parts and explained what everything was, and he was convinced that I didn’t need to leave the old struts because “you’ve already got the tops right here” (pointing at the strut mounts). Oh lord.....

 

After explaining to him that without the old ones he wouldn’t have upper spring perches, he relented and took everything into the shop. When I got back around 4 to pick them up, I wasn’t surprised when I found they had completely messed up the orientation of the notches and mounts. I had them redo it while I waited, and sure enough the second time was still wrong. I had to rotate the mounts on the counter in front of them, but at least they were done so I was happy.

 

Reinstalling them was pretty much just as easy as taking them out, just a bit of a pain holding them up over my head. The rear coils were extremely simple to put in because of the lift. I just had to disconnect the end links, shocks, and panhard, then lower the axle using the tall jack stand the shop had and the OEM springs popped right out. I only needed to compress the Land Rover springs an inch to be able to seat them, and that was only so that it would be easier to maneuver them between the other components. Even fully uncompressed they had a couple inches of clearance between the tops and the upper perches until I reconnected everything and brought the axle back to normal height, so theoretically I didn’t even need to compress them. 
 

PrdE4zu.jpgP9Ht96W.jpgzOsjvYH.jpgvdE58uX.pngxLcaXLh.jpg

 

Where are the pics of the truck??

 

I’m just going to tease you guys with these mid-build pics until I can get the tires mounted tomorrow and the alignment done. Im way too embarrassed to post photos of the truck with its 29.5 inch tires lol

 

Before getting the new tires, Im wondering if I should just guesstimate the rubbing areas and pre cut them? If they rub badly I don’t want to be damaging the tires on the way home

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Thanks for the pics RainGoat, good to know that I already had the spacers. I figured as much, but wasn’t 100% sure

 

Yeah I made sure the shop aligned the strut components properly with the Ls and Rs and notches and whatnot. These incompetent morons could have kill me with how out of whack the geometry would have been, had I used their original configuration. 
 

I would have loved to do it myself, and no doubt could have done it faster than they did, but amazon screwed up my order for the new compressor so it got labeled as “undeliverable” and returned to sender. Oh well. I don’t see myself doing this job again. The truck will likely die before this suspension does

 

Im getting some odd clunking going around corners as soon as I turn the wheel , but it’s intermittent and sometimes doesn’t do it. Hawairish suggested that it might be the end links in the front so I’ll give those some extra tightening when I get a chance. 
 

I haven’t noticed any topping out yet, nor has the ride been harsh at all. These ACs are fantastic as far as I can tell. The 9447s are even nicer still. I cant tell you how great it is to not be bottoming out on every bump! As far as I can tell the truck is perfectly level, but I’ll confirm that tomorrow with some good side angle pics

 

 

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Im way too embarrassed to post photos of the truck with its 29.5 inch tires lol

Hey, I’m still rockin’ stock tire size (& I’ve got the rear on 9448s awaiting the SFD up front). Actually, all of my IG photos this summer are with 29.5” tires. I’m not changing until spring of next year when my lift is complete (plus, I keep wondering if a KO3 might come out).

Great work - I know how nice it feels to have that old worn out stock suspension replaced.
@hawairish &@towndawgr50 are my mechanical gurus so I’d 2nd listening to any advice they send your way.

Congratulations!!

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2 minutes ago, RainGoat said:


Hey, I’m still rockin’ stock tire size (& I’ve got the rear on 9448s awaiting the SFD up front). Actually, all of my IG photos this summer are with 29.5” tires. I’m not changing until spring of next year when my lift is complete (plus, I keep wondering if a KO3 might come out).

Great work - I know how nice it feels to have that old worn out stock suspension replaced.
@hawairish &@towndawgr50 are my mechanical gurus so I’d 2nd listening to any advice they send your way.

Congratulations!!

Thanks man!

 

Yeah he definitely knows his stuff, I’ve been peppering him with questions for the past week and getting too many details to know what to do with! lol

 

Ok maybe the tires aren’t THAT bad. But I won’t let another day pass with them on, I’ll tell you that much!  Haha, I just need those damn wheel wells filled out, and the extra inch of height will be nice too. 
 

Speaking of extra height.... the underbody camera is now able to clearly see both front wheels which is awesome! I’ll be sure to include a pic of the monitor tomorrow. The only weird thing is that it’s mirrored, so the drivers side shows up on the right side of the screen because... backup camera. Not sure if I can change that or if I care to

 

 

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They make “front facing” cameras that avoid that problem- also avoid getting “lines” if you can. Post a pic of the mounted location & its view once you get the new wheels on. It also wouldn’t hurt to know what your mid fender & hub height are.

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