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So you want to lift your 96-up Pathy?

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I want to get bigger tires, and do some more offroading, but is it worth it to lift my Pathy? Lurking around on here, I've read that it can cause some problems. I'm new at this whole thing, and I like the look and idea of the lift, but is it worth it, or should I just get new tires and have that be it?



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or course lift it! it way cooler! and a lotof people notice :cool2: since no local shops selll a lift for the r50.. i was at the local 4 wheel performance parts and those guys were like WHOA! how much is that lifted where did you get it?!

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Yes lift it. It's worth it. With a 1 inch lift you souldn't have any problems 4 or 2 wheel drive. It works and rides great on my 2x4. As for the 2 inch lift you might run into a couple of problems with the 4x4 cv axles I think but I'm sure thier are people on here that can give you better information on that since I don't have to worry about it.

Edited by Trialsin26
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I dont regret lifting mine, but it is entirely up to you.... (and maybe your wallet) :)



although, how much bigger do you want your tires??

and maybe the question is - what is the biggest tire you can fit without a lift - if youre not 100% on getting a lift ?? (sorry I dont know the answer to that)

Edited by Pezzy
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I say go for it, but be aware of a few things that will arise from lifting it.


These are in regards to the 2" (advertised) lift (I got 3"F and 3.5"R):


Firstly, your front struts WILL top out going over bumps. This WILL NOT cause any significant problems, it is more of an annoyance than anything. But it will scare the living crap out of you the first time it happens, and you'll turn around and go right back to the shop and be like WTF! :confused: I've had my lift on for 50,000 miles, and the struts are just now starting to feel like they're wearing out. I'll likely have to replace them in about 10,000 miles...KYB's estimated useful life for them is ~60,000 miles anyways. I think that I've gotten a great amount of life out of them considering how and where I drive my truck.


Secondly, your CV axles will be at a more extreme angle, and this will expedite the wear on the boots. To alleviate this, I HIGHLY suggest getting the Warn Manual locking hubs to replace your full time drive flanges. With the warn hubs unlocked, and the t-case in 2wd, you have the entire front driveline disengaged, and nothing is turning. This in turn creates less wear on the front end driveline parts, and will give you a slight increase in fuel economy. (I saw about a 1.5-2mpg increase). I did not install the manual hubs immediately, and regret not doing so, because I had to replace both CV axles at the same time, to the tune of $200.


Thirdly, since the 2" AC coils are not any longer than the factory coils, but are simply a higher spring rate, the ride of your truck will change completely. I love the way my truck rides now. Before I lifted it, it felt like a station wagon, now it feels like a truck should. It will ride stiffer, and the suspension will be a lot firmer.


Stock, you can fit 31x10.50" tires on your factory rims.


With the lift, I had no problems fitting 32x11.50x15" tires on 15x8" rims with 3.75" Backspacing. In order to fit 32s, you MUST get new wheels with a backspacing of no more than 4", otherwise, the tires will not clear the strut.


Finally, nothing can be better than the looks you get driving a newer Lifted Pathfinder with big mud-tires...I LOVE IT!


I say DOO EET!!! :aok:

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They replace the full time drive flanges that exist on your truck.




They work by turning the "face" of it to lock in the hub. When the hubs are locked, it is basically like running as stock, but you can opt to unlock them to disengage the front drivetrain.

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If you want to build your truck as you get the funds, here's my advice to get the most bang for your buck as you develop your 4x4 driving skill:


If you're a 4x4 novice, you'll probably have no idea what kind of 'wheeling you like best, so you want to get a little bit into the sport before blowing wads of cash on mods, only to find out later that you spent money on unbeneficial mods. The process outlined below assumes you don't have unlimited cash to spend all at once.


1) Start with better tires. Get some slightly larger all-terrain tires. Get the metric equivalent of a 31" tire for your 16" wheels. BFG AT-ko or Bridgestone Dueler AT are excellent choices.


After you get used to what your truck can and can't do on the terrain you enjoy, your next decision should be either:

2a) 2" lift - get the truck's chassis farther away from the ground. If your truck has low miles, you don't need to replace the shocks or struts simultaneously. If it has > 50K miles (80K km), you'll probably want to get shocks and struts as well.

2b) armor - super-strong reinforced sidesteps (aka "rock sliders") that will protect your rocker panels from damage; metal (not plastic) skidplates that will protect the drivetrain.


If you opted for the lift, installing manual hubs is a good idea, followed by armor. If you opted for armor, the lift should be next on your list.


Modding beyond the above requires getting a better sense of what you value: engine performance, appearance, pure 'wheelability, comfort, lighting, entertainment systems, etc.


If you're on somewhat of a budget, don't rush right in and mod everything at once. Build up in phases and you'll not only gain 4x4 driving experience, but you will become intimately familiar with your truck's limitations and capabilities. It's amazingly capable in stock form (with better tires).

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Lots of good info XPLORX4!!


Can we get this stickied, as there are often questions about lifts that we've pretty much answered here...

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Thanks for all the info Xplorx :thumb:


I am a novice, i've been off road a couple times on my crappy road tires. I got stuck bad in the mud, so I decided not to do it again until I at LEAST get some tires.


That being said, I figured it would be best to do the tires and lift at the same time. I figure all told, it will cost me about $1200 for the AC lift and some BFG AT's. then I started researching it, became a member here, and found out there are complications.


So with this manual locking hub, in order to put it in 4wd, you have to use the selecter in the vehicle, and then get out and switch them on? but leave it off for regular use?


Sorry I don't know much about this stuff, thats why I'm researching first, then buy and play :)

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Sometimes there's no mod available that will prevent you from getting stuck in mud. Before driving over difficult terrain, especially mud (which is usually a lot deeper than you expect), You need to decide the risk of getting stuck and have an action plan for getting yourself unstuck if you go for it and don't make it.


That being said, one of the first things any 'wheeler should get (even before tires and a lift!) is a 30,000 lb. tow strap and a pair of D-ring shackles. You can get D-ring shackles at most hardware stores, near where they sell chain, or you can buy them online as well.


30,000 lb. tow straps


D-ring shackles


Put one loop of the tow strap through the D-ring, and put the D-ring on one of the tow hooks on the front of the Pathfinder. If you have a trailer hitch, insert the loop of the tow strap through the receiver, then secure it in place with the receiver pin. Alternatively, you can use one of these.


If mud is your favorite type of terrain, you will probably not want to get AT tires, but MT tires, such as Bridgestone Dueler MT, BFG MT, Interco TRXUS or something that has a more agressive tread pattern. AT tires don't do so well in mud.


You'll also probably want to get yourself a good pressure washer so you can clean off the underbelly after you're through.


Another thing that you'll find will help your truck in most other types of terrain is reducing the air pressure in the tires to 18psi. Of course, if you do this you will need some way of reinflating the tires for extended highway driving. A cheap cigarette-lighter-powered air compressor is an affordable introductory solution.


Anyway, getting back to your question about manual hubs. Your truck comes with full-time hubs or "drive flanges" that set the entire front drivetrain in motion whenever the truck is moving, no matter what mode the transfer case is in. This is what allows you to "shift on the fly" into 4WD at speeds up to 50mph. (Mechanically, it doesn't matter what speed you're going, but you probably shouldn't be going over 50mph if you're feeling the need to shift into 4WD anyway.) Although the front drivetrain always turns, it basically "freewheels" unless 4WD is engaged. Naturally, a constantly-spinning, but unpowered drivetrain will negatively influence fuel economy, too.


Aside from potential fuel economy losses, the problem with drive flanges is that they contribute to premature wear of the CV boot, especially when a lift is installed, since the CV joint angles increase. This is why many people install manual hubs as part of a lift.


With manual hubs, you basically have two modes: locked and unlocked. When the hubs are locked, they behave just like drive flanges. When unlocked, the wheels are mechanically disengaged from the axleshafts. In other words, wheel rotation can now occur independent of drivetrain rotation.


Another advantage of manual hubs is drivetrain failure. I recently snapped a front CV axle while off-roading in Utah. I was able to unlock the hubs and continue driving without causing further damage. In fact, I drove over 1200 miles back home with a broken CV axle. This could not have been done without manual hubs.


Installing hubs with the lift is definitely optional, though. I don't think I installed manual hubs in my truck until over a year after it was lifted, and even then I did so only in hopes of increasing fuel economy. The other advantages became apparent afterwards, and besides, I didn't get as much fuel economy benefit as I had hoped anyway. ;)

Edited by XPLORx4
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  • 3 weeks later...

I would say do it, no question.


It is much easier (AND CHEAPER) to replace both front hubs with the Warn Premium manual locking hubs, than it is to replace one CV axle. Since installing the hubs, I have not had one CV boot tear, and it's been some two years now.


In the 9 months between when I got my lift both inner CV boots ripped, and I had to replace both axles at a cost of ~$130 each, from an auto parts store. The dealer charges $480 for the whole axleshaft assembly. I paid $100 for the hubs.


Also, it is incredibly easy to install the warn hubs...at least once you get that flange cap off.


If you are trying to justify the purchase of them, they will pay for themselves within a year to 18 months of purchasing the lift if you use 4WD at all.


Your mileage may vary, others have been more lucky than myself with CV boots, though I've never shattered a CV, I'm just waiting for it to happen.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Vengeful, when you say that the struts will top out, are you talking about the stock struts, or do they top out everytime you go over a bump with after market struts?


MY KYB Struts top out of I hit a speed bump too fast... I've never had an issue offroad - I just have to take the speed bumps & pot holes a bit easier... (I just pretend we still have the lowrider civic! lol!!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys I'm new here my name is Fernie, I'm over here in Cali.

Just bougth myself a 98 Pathfinder SE 4wd. Anyway just have a few questions, i'm going to start modifying my Pathfinder so it could be ready for off-roading, and I'm taking XPLORx4 advice and I'm starting off with the tires ... but here is my question, I've heard of you guys talk about brands like BFG's AT, which I'm assuming are BF Goodrich All Terrain, and MT's must be Mud-Terrain right? I've also heard of other brands mentioned like Bridgestone Dueler AT's, but one brand that I've haven't heard on these replies when pertaining to tires are Mickey Thopmsons, is there a particular reason why? Also Vengeful said that "Stock, you can fit 31x10.50" tires on your factory rims" are those the biggest, and how much will they run (if possible can you guys put price for each brand)? :confused:


Finally step two in my mod list will be the lift, now here is something I need to get clarify, you guys are saying that if one gets a 2" lift, one MUST get manual locking hubs is that right? Well, what if I get a 1 "lift, or is that so insignificant were its unnoticeable in the way it looks and rides to the point were i should just get a 2" lift. If that's the case how much will the 2" lift, with manual locking hubs, and shocks and struts run me? Do I have to do that in parts too, like getting the lift first, then the hubs, then the shocks and struts, and in which order? And finally brands, do they matter, or is anybrand as good as the rest.. If so, can you please specify which ones perform or last longer for the item listed above (tires, lift kit, shocks, struts, manual looking hubs) and ohh yeah air filter is it recommended yes or no? :confused:


Anyway the site is great!!! I'm looking forward to reading your responses, thanks!!!! :aok:

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I have a few answers... but not all..


BFG's AT, which I'm assuming are BF Goodrich All Terrain, and MT's must be Mud-Terrain right?



if one gets a 2" lift, one MUST get manual locking hubs is that right?

It's not a must, but it's recommended... I havent done this yet... so if youre thinking of 1" - then the same would apply.


I would say get the lift as well as the shocks/struts at the same time... but you can hold off on the hubs until later if you want...

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Somewhere in this forum there was a discussion on replacing stock coils with Jeep Grand Cherokee coils, and that these would give the Pathfinder a 1.5" - 2" lift.


If this is true, would this be the cheaper alternative to the AC 2" lift, and would it compare in terms of ride quality and durability?


And when installing a 2" suspension lift kit, bigger shocks (and struts?) than the stock ones are required, right? What sizes/brands are most recommended?

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Somewhere in this forum there was a discussion on replacing stock coils with Jeep Grand Cherokee coils, and that these would give the Pathfinder a 1.5" - 2" lift.


If this is true, would this be the cheaper alternative to the AC 2" lift, and would it compare in terms of ride quality and durability?


And when installing a 2" suspension lift kit, bigger shocks (and struts?) than the stock ones are required, right? What sizes/brands are most recommended?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee coils you are referring to are actually for the WD21 pathfinders. Not ours. If you have stock suspension, you'd want to swap in new shocks and struts. You would need longer shocks...but the struts are still the same. I have the KYB GR-2 struts and Rancho 9000x's in the rear.

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  • 2 months later...

There may be a new caR50 lift coming out soon:




I know he doesn't want to tread on L&P's toes, but he was the very first person (in the US anyway) to do this to an R50, so he probably has a right to market it. Anyhoo, he would appreciate constructive criticism, so if you have any concerns about the lift/price/fitment, go ahead and get ahold of him. I'll try to find a couple pics of it on his Pathy.


I can't wait to see some of you guys running these lifts. I've always appreciated the caR50, but fitting bigger tires has always been a problem. Now I may have to go find myself one...

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