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Complete Suspension Upgrade Recommendations?


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I live in rural Central America and work as a community development professional, and needless to say, my access to parts can be a little difficult at times. I have fairly infrequent access to internet, and not a lot of time to browse when I do get to it, hence the question that I know has been asked a million times. Thanks for your understanding and suggestions as you read this post.

 

I’m currently looking to upgrade the very tired (400K kilometer) suspension on my daily driver (‘91 2.7TD). I live several miles out a fairly nasty road that can require 4WD and/or a decent amount of flexibility on a regular basis. I’m currently on a stock suspension (and have been for the past two years), but deteriorating road conditions are warranting an upgrade.

 

Here is the specific part. I would like to purchase suspension/steering components comprehensive enough to cover all bases but that is tough and forgiving enough to use on a daily basis in rough conditions. Due to weight and travel frequency from the US. I would like to make this a one-time upgrade. If I’m missing parts, it is going to make things VERY DIFFICULT for me really quickly. This is my daily driver, and I don’t travel to the US very often. I’m looking to purchase prior to my next trip to the States so that I can bring it back down and/or check it and then ship it down.

 

Dependability, performance, “installability (a.k.a. lack of needed fabrication)” and lack of kidney bruising is more important than cost, look, or total height. If I could get 2-3” of lift out of it, that should be plenty. I’m looking to replace everything from shocks, to torsion bbars, to necessary steering components. I’d also like to stay on stock rims with the largest size that will definitely not rub under normal driving conditions and rub minimally under rough conditions.

 

All that to say, could you kind folk please help me with a recommended parts list and recommended suppliers or point me to a post where this is already done? I realize that everyone has different opinions, but I hope that between all, there might be some sort of consensus for what I’m aiming for.

 

I’m typing this up on Word now to copy and paste when I have Internet access, so again, please forgive me for asking a surely common question.

 

In advance, I’m truly grateful for any help you might be able to provide.

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Check out the 4x4.com site, a lot of us have installed the complete 3inch lift system. It's a bolt on system with no fabrication required. I have a package installed on my 95 pathfinder and was able to do the whole thing in about two full days of hrs by myself. You can see the difference between stock and lifted really quick. It's a pretty straight forward install. Hopefully this helps you out. Good luck.

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Thanks for the help. I'm thinking in the direction of the AC or Calmini complete system. My next question/recommendation would be tire size. I really don't want to go exceptionally large, just slightly larger than stock to gain some height with the lift staying on stock rims. Again, looking for daily drivability, preferably with narrower tires. I have thought towards 31x10.50 or 32x10.50. Does anyone have any experience running these tires with a 3" lift. Any photos or thoughts are appreciated.

 

Thanks again.

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Again, I would say the ac lift from 4x4.com would be a great lift to work with. I installed 32 inch tires with the 3 inch of lifting. I'm very happy with the results. You can see my ride in reader's rides under my 95 nissan pathfinder build. Or thru my friend's page. Hopefully this helps.

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32 inch tires sound ideal to me, but I do not want to go any wider than 10.50 if possible. Did you end up with 32x11.50s? It seems that 32x10.50s on the 15inch rims are nearly impossible to find in something not Interco. This being more of a daily-driver, I'm intending to stay as narrow as possible on tires that don't seem too small. I'm assuming that 31x10.50s are the best bet. I've loved BFG ATs before and am open to MTs, but don't want to go as aggressive as Intercos.

 

Do 31x10.50s stick out of the wheel-well much on the stock rims with no backspacing? Are 31x9.50s an option? Any metric sizes that would be comparable height wise? I've done the size-conversions online, but doubt that any common sizes are available in a 15" rim.

 

I ended up purchasing the Calmini system after research, although it seems that it primarily comes down to opinion between AC and Calmini. Thanks for the help though.

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31x10.5R15 was a factory size. Never had rubbing issues with them mounted on factory alloys (Legos) at stock height and they don't stick out past the factory flares. I've heard you can go up to 33x10.5 on Legos with minor fender work. If it works at stock height, you should be golden on a 3" lift.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Finally installed a complete Calmini kit (control arms, torsion bars, rear springs, front shocks, appropriate extensions) in addition to all four Dunlop Grantrek MTs (31x10.50x15). I'm very pleased with the overall result. On road handling has improved dramatically. Our (dirt/rock) road is in pretty rough condition right now with about 15-20 minutes of what would probably classify as light to medium trail driving. The height has really helped me clear a couple of spots along the way, however the ride is now log wagon quality.

 

I'm assuming the dramatically increased front-end stiffness is due to the cranked (and replaced, stiffer) torsion bars (and new shocks?), since the back end seems to be just marginally stiffer. That being said, is this the common experience among those with a similar ride here? Is there any way to soften this ride? I weight 200 lbs and can jump up and down on the front and it will budge maybe an inch or so. I even dropped the bars down about an 1" with similar result.

 

Will the bars and shocks break in some after a while? I remember seeing that it looked like there were left and right torsion bars, but at the moment of install, I didn't pay too much attention to this detail and may have installed them in reverse. Can torsion bars be side specific? That seems like an odd concept to me.

 

Thanks for everyone's input. These forums have been very helpful. I appreciate the assistance. Couple of pictures below.

 

BEFORE

 

Before_zps0ox1h4s6.jpg

 

AFTER

 

After1%201280x960_zps47nyn7zn.jpg

 

 

 

AfterSideFlex_zpsotxtexfx.jpg

 

AfterClimb%201280x960_zpsioilsjy6.jpg

Edited by honduraspathfinder
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