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#680142 - 10/06/13 10:46 AM How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit?
sdxterror Offline
Member

Registered: 29/02/12
Posts: 25
Hi, I purchased my 2001 Xterra SE used a while back. I'm tired of the harsh and shitty ride that is mostly likely due to the Rancho Lift Kit that was installed on the car from when I purchased it. I was also told by the alignment shop that they could not align my car because the UCAs were maxed out and they couldn't adjust the caster any further. Also, they said the UCA bushings were worn out - I just replaced them about 1.5 years ago - and don't go off-roading so not sure how they could have worn out so quickly. In any case, I'd like to remove the lift kit. I want to replace the UCAs with OEM UCAs. I also want to remove the AAL. Are there any instructions on removing this stuff anywhere? Also, how exactly is the front of the truck lifted? What do I need to remove there? I also plan to replace the Rancho shocks with some Bilstein ones. Anything else that I should be aware of? Will aftermarket stock UCAs work? I found these on Ebay but am not sure of the quality: http://www.ebay.com/itm/XTERRA-FRONTIER-UPPER-LEFT-CONTROL-ARM-BALL-JOINT-00-04-/290928995142?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A2001%7CMake%3ANissan%7CModel%3AXterra&hash=item43bcb82b46&vxp=mtr


Edited by sdxterror (10/06/13 10:53 AM)

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#680147 - 11/06/13 03:51 PM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: sdxterror]
TJ Offline
Member
*****

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: sdxterror
Hi, I purchased my 2001 Xterra SE used a while back. I'm tired of the harsh and shitty ride that is mostly likely due to the Rancho Lift Kit that was installed on the car from when I purchased it. I was also told by the alignment shop that they could not align my car because the UCAs were maxed out and they couldn't adjust the caster any further. Also, they said the UCA bushings were worn out - I just replaced them about 1.5 years ago - and don't go off-roading so not sure how they could have worn out so quickly. In any case, I'd like to remove the lift kit. I want to replace the UCAs with OEM UCAs. I also want to remove the AAL. Are there any instructions on removing this stuff anywhere? Also, how exactly is the front of the truck lifted? What do I need to remove there? I also plan to replace the Rancho shocks with some Bilstein ones. Anything else that I should be aware of? Will aftermarket stock UCAs work? I found these on Ebay but am not sure of the quality: http://www.ebay.com/itm/XTERRA-FRONTIER-UPPER-LEFT-CONTROL-ARM-BALL-JOINT-00-04-/290928995142?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A2001%7CMake%3ANissan%7CModel%3AXterra&hash=item43bcb82b46&vxp=mtr


Your best bet is to pretend its stock, get the 3" SL kit at 4x4parts.com, and install it.

You'll be removing the broken/worn out Rancho crap and replacing it with the kit parts, curing the problem.

Its POSSIBLE btw, that the Rancho SHOCKS are OK, and that you just need to replace the UCA that they supply that doesn't have enough adjustment, with the AC UCA which does allow enough adjustment, and the STIFF single leaf AAL, with a flexier 3 leaf AAL + a longer shackle to allow some swing/ride compliance, etc.

The Bils ARE better shocks, but, the harshness on the Rancho kit is not typically the shocks fault unless you are off roading/going over rough enough terrain....its typically those other parts at fault.

IE: It might save you some $ if the shocks are OK after all that other stuff is replaced.

If you just want a clean slate, sure, get the Bils, the Articulator kit is pretty sweet btw.

Its my personal fav out of the ones they offer.

laugh
_________________________
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.

http://www.gifsoup.com/view/501230/tj-tackling-crawlers-ridge-o.gif

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#680150 - 11/06/13 08:57 PM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: TJ]
sdxterror Offline
Member

Registered: 29/02/12
Posts: 25
Turns out I don't have AALs but longer shackles: http://imgur.com/BwicCil

So what should I do now to get a softer suspension? Do the longer shackles lead to a harsher suspension?


Edited by sdxterror (11/06/13 09:03 PM)

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#680154 - 13/06/13 07:46 PM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: sdxterror]
TJ Offline
Member
*****

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: sdxterror
Turns out I don't have AALs but longer shackles: http://imgur.com/BwicCil

So what should I do now to get a softer suspension? Do the longer shackles lead to a harsher suspension?



The opposite, longer shackles make the ride softer. AAL's make the ride harsher.

Measure the shackles from center of bolt to center of bolt from the hangar to the leaf.

The OEM are 3" long. I want to know how long yours are. 6" would give 1.5" of lift for example.

I see you still have the rear sway bar on. Most of us throw it in the garbage as it doesn't reduce sway, at least no one can tell the difference so far. It also tends to whack the passenger side rear shock, and wreck it over time...a very common problem/reason the chuck the sway bar. (Bad design, its been gone over a gazillion times on the various boards already).

The rear bar does make the X ride more roughly, and it limits wheel travel.


I now also need your shock measurements...as the Rancho lift used AAL, and, now, we're not sure WHAT's under there.

Measure the shock fully extended, and fully compressed. Look at the shiny piston shaft first before removing the lower shock mount (You only need to take off the lower to measure...).

See how much of the shaft looks shiny, and how much is still dirty. (Take a pic)


Check the torque on those rear shackles. If too tight, it can bind, and ride rough (too loose, it falls off, another issue...)

laugh



Go to the front, and measure the gap between the UCA and the upper bumpstop.

Passing something through the gap of known size is how we normally do it. Rolling up a piece of paper to get the right size is easy for example.


Go to the front P-Side corner of the rig, and push it up/down a few times, to bounce it...then let go when its DOWN.

If it just rises back up to rise height and stops, that's about perfect.

If it rises up above ride height, then settles right back down to ride height and stops, that's considered OK.

If it rises above, then drops below, and THEN goes back up, etc, that's considered inadequate.

Repeat for the other 3 corners.



(Rules of thumb, but its at least easy to do)


That will see if the shocks are a potential culprit right off the bat.


Measure the distance to the ground off the front, and rear, of the two steps. That gives 4 measurements.

The front two should be ~ 1.5" less than the rear two measurements. (Supposed to have some nose-down rake)


With all of the above, we'll have a VERY good idea of what's going on.


Report back!

laugh
_________________________
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.

http://www.gifsoup.com/view/501230/tj-tackling-crawlers-ridge-o.gif

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#680166 - 19/06/13 11:31 AM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: TJ]
sdxterror Offline
Member

Registered: 29/02/12
Posts: 25
Hi TJ,

Okay, so I haven't had a chance to take the measurements you asked for above. But I can say this for certain, the shackles are about 6" long. The vehicle looks level, there front is not 1.5" lower than the rear. The shocks are shot - when I bounce the car it goes up/down several times before it settles. The first thing I'm going to do is replace the shocks. I'm thinking of going with these (first set on the page, part numbers front 24-187824 (F4-B46-1099-H2) and rear 24-184908(F4-B46-2126-H1)):

http://eshocks.com/bil_veh.asp?Model_Index=6Q79&Manf=Bilstein&SubChar=Q

I would like to spend less than $278 for shocks but IDK, can't find them cheaper anywhere else. And I don't want to install shitty shocks.

The Rancho RS9000XL are on sale right now. I can pick up a set for $343 from Summit. Those shocks are adjustable. I am curious if on setting 1 they would be super soft and the ride would be like a Range Rover Classic. I'm probably dreaming though as the RRC has a coil spring suspension (no torsion bars or leaf springs).


Edited by sdxterror (19/06/13 11:59 AM)

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#680167 - 19/06/13 03:18 PM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: sdxterror]
SteeevO Offline
Member

Registered: 28/01/11
Posts: 14
Loc: california
Chances are that the torsion bars are cranked up too high.
Just lower the front a little bit and the ride should improve drastically. It should also align correctly once that is done.

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#680172 - 20/06/13 04:06 PM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: SteeevO]
TJ Offline
Member
*****

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 7756
Loc: Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: SteeevO
Chances are that the torsion bars are cranked up too high.
Just lower the front a little bit and the ride should improve drastically. It should also align correctly once that is done.



/\ /\ /\

My thoughts too.

Do that.

laugh
_________________________
- TJ

2001 Xterra '03 VG33, SE 5 spd, 305/70/16's, Revolvers, UBSkidderz, Doubled AAL's, 3"SL/2"BL, winch/bumpers, skids, sliders, OBA, Snorkel, pine stripes....

Friends don't let friends drive stock.

http://www.gifsoup.com/view/501230/tj-tackling-crawlers-ridge-o.gif

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#680180 - 24/06/13 11:09 AM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: TJ]
sdxterror Offline
Member

Registered: 29/02/12
Posts: 25
Ok, I will lower the front of the Xterra and let you guys know how it goes.

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#680210 - 02/07/13 10:32 AM Re: How to Remove Rancho Lift Kit? [Re: sdxterror]
sdxterror Offline
Member

Registered: 29/02/12
Posts: 25
I measured the height of the front compared to the rear at the where the sheet metal pinches together under the vehicle. I measured 18" in the front and 19" in the rear. I guess I can lower the front 0.5" and see how that affects the ride.

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