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How to lift?? Among other things


jessrob
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So I literally just joined the forum about an hour or two ago and it's truly a godsend, I feel like Pathys are so underrated and so parts (without knowing what to look for) are so hard to comeby. SO my big thing is that I want to get my gal lifted. I don't offroad very aggresively with her because I'm to afraid to get hung up on something  and do some serious damage to my undercarriage which would be physically painful for me as I love my Pathy lol. Anyways, I've done some browsing but I'm so confused, could someone explain to me exactly what I need to do and how to do it? My goal would likely be a 3" inch lift. I'm also curious as to what kinds of modifications (if any) everyone has done to their engines. I want more hp out of my v6 and I've read that the vq35de reacts well to bolt on performance parts but I honestly just don't know where to begin to look. What does everyone's exhaust set-up look like? I crave a more aggressive sound than what my stock offers but every part store I look to doesn't seem to offer what I'm looking for. Could someone provide me with some solid links to where they find their parts? 

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Welcome @jessrob.  Bearer of bad news here:

  • Max lift the truck can support without an SFD (subframe drop) is 2", accomplished with lift springs (OME, AC) or strut spacers.  The use of spacers may lead to busted CVs, depending on your setup.  SFD allows for more lift, which allows for up to about 6" total lift, but they are custom parts.
  • There are practically no performance bolt-ons for our truck except a K&N filter.  No intakes, no headers, no tuners.  Our VQ35DE shares virtually nothing with other VQ35DE-equipped cars.  Anything you do here will be custom.
  • The last statement also applies to exhaust.

The truck is fairly capable and underrated, but there's no aftermarket for it.  That's not to say things can't be upgraded.  Lift is the most readily-achievable goal; OME has a great product in both springs and struts/shocks.  I'd advise sifting around the forum a bit more to learn about lift options and SFDs.

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1 hour ago, hawairish said:

Welcome @jessrob.  Bearer of bad news here:

  • Max lift the truck can support without an SFD (subframe drop) is 2", accomplished with lift springs (OME, AC) or strut spacers.  The use of spacers may lead to busted CVs, depending on your setup.  SFD allows for more lift, which allows for up to about 6" total lift, but they are custom parts.
  • There are practically no performance bolt-ons for our truck except a K&N filter.  No intakes, no headers, no tuners.  Our VQ35DE shares virtually nothing with other VQ35DE-equipped cars.  Anything you do here will be custom.
  • The last statement also applies to exhaust.

The truck is fairly capable and underrated, but there's no aftermarket for it.  That's not to say things can't be upgraded.  Lift is the most readily-achievable goal; OME has a great product in both springs and struts/shocks.  I'd advise sifting around the forum a bit more to learn about lift options and SFDs.

So what exactly is a subframe drop? Like how does it work and why is it so crucial? What does AC stand for? Also, thank you for your detailed response lol I've looked all over for info but I haven't had any luck until I stumbled across the forum. I guess I've got a bit of a challenge for my newbie self then eh? Ah well, I love to learn haha

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So what exactly is a subframe drop? Like how does it work and why is it so crucial? What does AC stand for? Also, thank you for your detailed response lol I've looked all over for info but I haven't had any luck until I stumbled across the forum. I guess I've got a bit of a challenge for my newbie self then eh? Ah well, I love to learn haha

AC is Automotive Customizers out of Florida. They have an undisclosed spring set they offer - 2” of lift but generally acknowledged to be a bit harsher than the ARB OME stuff. AC is oft despised for hiding their brands & charging outrageous shipping. Land Rover (LR) springs have become the product of choice for lifting the rear - just search the forum. The NPORA forum is, quite honestly, the gold standard information source on R50s -[mention=36148]hawairish[/mention] is one of the gurus.

 

Welcome!

 

(Also - I’m the self proclaimed Power Valve Evangelist - if you’ve got an Auto tranny & especially if your ‘01-‘03 ish, you need to secure your power valves to avoid a potential engine failure - a 2-3 hr job

 

http://www.nissanpathfinders.net/forum/topic/17104-threadlocker-on-power-valve-screws-pics/page-1

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1 hour ago, jessrob said:

So what exactly is a subframe drop? Like how does it work and why is it so crucial? What does AC stand for? Also, thank you for your detailed response lol I've looked all over for info but I haven't had any luck until I stumbled across the forum. I guess I've got a bit of a challenge for my newbie self then eh? Ah well, I love to learn haha

 

Our unibody trucks have all of the following components mounted to a front subframe:

  • suspension (lower control arm + MacPherson strut)
  • steering (rack and pinion)
  • drivetrain (front differential)
  • motor mounts

A subframe drop uses a series of spacers to separate the subframe from the chassis and motor.  You gain lift without replacing any individual suspension components, just by moving the subframe away from the chassis.  Typical SFD sizes are 3" and 4" and do not require other suspension part upgrades, but you can use lift springs in conjunction with it...that's where the 6" total lift comes from (i.e., 4" SFD + 2" lift springs).

 

Our CVs are near their maximum operating angles with only 2" of conventional lift; anything more risks busting CVs.  (Note that springs alone can't cause broken CVs.)  An SFD is essential/required if you want more than 2" of lift because it assures CVs can be kept within their operating angles.

 

Also, an SFD only addresses the front suspension.  For the rear suspension, OME and AC have 2" springs for non-SFD applications.  Beyond that, there's an array of LR springs that are good for up to 4", as well as spacers.

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Welcome! I'll add that SF Creations makes the spacers for our trucks too. Take a look at their website, I believe the guys that own that company are regulars here as well. Careful around the 2" spacers without SFD though, and also note that any aftermarket axles will have a worse operating angle than originals.

 

@hawairish  , I'm looking for some advice regarding my set up as well, which brought me to this thread. Can you help me out (or anyone else)? Thinking I have to do a SFD...

 

I installed the SFC 2" spacers on top of Rancho RS5000 / OME HD strut assembly with oem axles and it sounds like I'm still getting binding in the axles BUT only when 4x4 is engaged. Have you heard of this happening before after a spacer install?

I'm looking at doing the SFD sometime this winter as well to fix this, so how long would you say a SFD task would take for 1 or 2 guys in a driveway? Am I going to need an engine hoist? Is there a reliable procedure kicking around the forum? I'll continue digging around to see what I can find.

 

Thanks!

 

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21 hours ago, flyingpathy said:

Welcome! I'll add that SF Creations makes the spacers for our trucks too. Take a look at their website, I believe the guys that own that company are regulars here as well. Careful around the 2" spacers without SFD though, and also note that any aftermarket axles will have a worse operating angle than originals.

 

@hawairish  , I'm looking for some advice regarding my set up as well, which brought me to this thread. Can you help me out (or anyone else)? Thinking I have to do a SFD...

 

I installed the SFC 2" spacers on top of Rancho RS5000 / OME HD strut assembly with oem axles and it sounds like I'm still getting binding in the axles BUT only when 4x4 is engaged. Have you heard of this happening before after a spacer install?

I'm looking at doing the SFD sometime this winter as well to fix this, so how long would you say a SFD task would take for 1 or 2 guys in a driveway? Am I going to need an engine hoist? Is there a reliable procedure kicking around the forum? I'll continue digging around to see what I can find.

 

I don't think we've confirmed that all aftermarket axles have lesser operating angles than stock, but yes, some have less.  I did a write up on this a few months ago.

 

When you say it sounds like binding when in 4WD, you mean you hear/feel something while driving?  Or just a driveway test?  Not sure why it'd be more pronounced in 4wd—I'd guess because torque and/or resistance is being applied—but you should confirm if it's binding at all.  Pull the tire, put a screwdriver in the rotor, and slowly turn it with minimal, consistent force.  Any hesitation you feel is probably from binding (presuming it's not something else, like brakes or bearings).

 

Plan on a full day for SFD install.  I don't recall a set of instructions being online, though I started writing some a while ago and never finished.  You don't need an engine hoist.  I've always supported the engine from underneath, or you can buy an engine support bar to support from above (Harbor Freight sells one that worked well on an install).  If you've been on the bubble about installing a Lokka, this would also be a good time to do it since the SFD install requires dropping the diff.

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On 11/24/2020 at 4:14 PM, hawairish said:

When you say it sounds like binding when in 4WD, you mean you hear/feel something while driving?  Or just a driveway test?  Not sure why it'd be more pronounced in 4wd—I'd guess because torque and/or resistance is being applied—but you should confirm if it's binding at all.  Pull the tire, put a screwdriver in the rotor, and slowly turn it with minimal, consistent force.  Any hesitation you feel is probably from binding (presuming it's not something else, like brakes or bearings).

 

While driving yes. Yet rear wheel drive is perfectly fine. Sounds very much like it did when I had my aftermarket axles with the lift when cornering but I agree, I didn't think it made much sense either. Thanks for the tips, I'll look into that soon.

 

I haven't kept up on the Lokka install yet but I'll take a look into that too. I look forward to seeing a SFD procedure down the road! Thanks for your help.

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