My lifted xterra rides like a lowered car, How to adjust suspension

Neogixxer Sep 28, 2017

  1. Neogixxer

    Neogixxer Test Drive

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vegas
    So I have a 2002 Xterra with the following suspension/tires upgrades:
    - Calimani (whatever its called) UCA
    - Bilstein 4600 lift shocks
    - Rear Shackles
    - Low-profile bump stops
    - Torsion bars are maxed out (have not re-index them yet)
    - 33' BFG KO2 tires with 15 inch rims

    Problem:
    My xterra rides like a lowered car. Meaning the front suspension seems really stiff. I can feel everything on the road. Another way to describe it would be that the tiniest pothole or crack in the road, if I hit it, it hits hard an I feel it. Trust me I not out to achieve a Lexus style ride quality. Just not something that feels like I have no suspension.

    Info I read:
    I've read tons and of threads bout cranking up or maxing out the torsion bars. Some people say how the torsion bars only adjust the vehicles ride height, raising/lowering the truck and not the ride quality . Other people say adjusting the torsion bars greatly affects the ride quality by either loosing or tightening the tension on the suspension. Also torsion bar thickness etc, tons of specific details and theory's.

    Solution:
    Please correct me if I am wrong, I had a Isuzu pickup back in the day, I cranked the torsion bars down to lower the truck. That made the front suspension really loose an extremely bouncy on the tinniest bumps. So with that said I am thinking if I re-index my torsion bars on my xterra and leave it at the same lifted height it is at now, the torsion bars wont be maxed out anymore and the re-index will allow the LCA to flex more adjusting the ride quality a bit. If that works a bit then possibly getting a stiffer thicker torsion bar from 4x4 parts.com?

    Has anyone gone down this path an fixed their suspension this way? if a little bit? If not what other options are there?
     
  2. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Location:
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    For what you have going on, you really need the upgraded torsion bars. They make a world of difference when it comes to ride quality.

    Reindexing will help level the the ride and center the travel of the bars. But in the end you'll want the upgraded torsion bars.

    Also, where you're sitting now, do you have any upper control arm bump clearance? In other words, is there any droop left in the suspension?
     
  3. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Wheeling Lifetime Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Cranking the torsion bars on our truck has nothing to do with ride quality. When installed correctly it does not increase or decrease tension.

    It only lifts and lowers the ride height.

    Upgraded bars are normally stiffer; made that way to compensate for aftermarket bumpers, a winch and the rigors off taking our trucks off-road.

    I think “Prime” is on the right track asking about your bump clearance. I think you might have it “cranked” too much and are hitting. I would try lowering the truck a bit, so that there is a little more space. This will not release tension in the bar but give your suspension room to cycle.

    Got a picture of your set up you can post?
     
  4. Neogixxer

    Neogixxer Test Drive

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vegas
    I appreciate your both of your help. I have a low-profile bump stop so that may be a issue with the gap space too. Here are the pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Wheeling Lifetime Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    That gap looks okay to me.

    Is the top of your shock attached? Looks out in the pic.

    You getting any bump steer?
     
  6. Neogixxer

    Neogixxer Test Drive

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vegas
    My shock is attached, haha. Slight bump steer.

    Do u think my gap is off because I'm using a low profile bump stop compared to a OEM bump stop?

    So the upgrade torsion bar from 4x4 parts should fix the issue?
     
  7. Bklyn.X

    Bklyn.X Wheeling Lifetime Member Founding Member

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd try lowering your truck just a bit... The bump stop gap looks okay but if you're getting bump steer it might be because the angle of the control arm is too extreme. If that's the case it would affect the ride; making you “feel” every bump in the road. Our IFS is a temperamental little bitch, everything affects everything else.

    Upgraded torsion bars are normally stiffer so I doubt that would address the issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  8. Edwin562

    Edwin562 Test Drive

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Whittier,CA
    missing info.. what is the tire pressure on your tires?

    You will be very surprised how many guys I get into the shop complaining about rough ride quality with 50+ psi on their tires. :confused:
     
  9. Neogixxer

    Neogixxer Test Drive

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vegas
    Thanks everyone for your help, just got the 33's, like a retard I didn't check the tire pressure which of course was at 50psi.

    I lowered it down to 40psi and turn down the front end (torsion bars) by .5 in.
    It made a noticeable difference. thanks again

    Front tires are rubbing a bit, but nothing a dremel cant solve. time to start cutting
     
  10. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    Glad we could help.
     
  11. harryron

    harryron Suspension Lift Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    Location:
    ohio
    Get some after market bumpers and a winch to counter balance the stiffness of the new suspension. Lol
     
  12. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Suffolk, VA
    On 33s I never run more than 30lbs. Do a chalk test on the tires. Draw a line across the tire with a piece of driveway chalk. Roll the line on the ground a few times and see if the entire line gets warn off. If there's still chalk on the outside lugs, you've got too much air.
     

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