Nissan Frontier Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After months and months and months of wavering and researching, I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Koni 82 series from ADO: medium springs, no top spacer, add-a-leaf. I kept my OEM upper control arms and rear shackles: Alldogs Offroad Complete Lift Kit w/ Koni 82 Series Shocks for 2nd Gen Nissan Frontier

I want to thank Chad especially from ADO for helping me research and then troubleshooting late last night and even today on Thanksgiving with some tricky spots. I couldn't have done it without him.

Summary:
I watched every video I could find and read up as much as I could on how to install the kit. I have limited experience working on cars, having done a brake job and some rear shock work on a previous vehicle. I have a decent set of metric sockets and wrenches, a heavy duty jack, a low-profile aluminum jack, and some jack stands. I rented more jack stands, an electric impact wrench, and a sawzall from a shop down the road from me. I ended up not needing the impact wrench, and the Sawzall was used for about one minute total. I could've done the job with just two jack stands but four made it a bit faster. Six would've been ideal, with four holding the truck and two holding the rear axle. I used my two jacks on the rear axle instead. Per Chad's instructions, I did not keep the overload leaf in the back since he says the add-a-leaf compensates for it.

I did it all in my driveway yesterday and this morning. I ordered the kit from ADO on Monday and it arrived last night, in the dark unfortunately. I did prep work in the daylight yesterday of removing as much of the OEM suspension pieces as I could. I took my time and it went about 3 hours, as there was no rush since the new parts weren't even at my house yet.

I got the UPS delivery around 7 last night and finished work at about 11. I would've finished the entire job by then had I not run into a shock bolt issue, which I'll talk about below. I got too cold and couldn't see well enough, and was too tired/frustrated to continue so I came back to it this morning.

I just took it for a short drive and it feels good. Maybe placebo effect but it feels a bit smoother so far, which is what I wanted. There's about 2 inches of lift in the rear that will settle down a bit as the springs and shocks break in, and about 1.5ish up front.

Here's the most helpful video and resource I found: Ry the Car Guy doing a Bilstein installation on his Xterra:

Here's the bolt sizes and torque specs you'll need: http://rtcg.tv/2020/09/19/xterra-suspension-technical-info/

The Good:
Alldogs Offroad have been phenomenal helping me along the way, choosing the parts that make sense and then answering so many questions (I believe the last count is 42 emails just with Chad). They made buying easy, were very informative, and the shipment was same-day out the door. It was scheduled to arrive Friday (5 days) but got here early on Wednesday. Things were well packaged and assembled (I had them assemble the front coilovers). Things were still wet with fresh paint and grease when they arrived.

The Unexpected:
The 2005 model was the only one to come from the factory with adjustable front camber bolts. However, at some point my truck had those installed by a mechanic or previous owner, so that saved me an entire step of replacing them with the SPC camber bolts that ADO includes in their complete kits.

After the rear was done and I reinstalled the wheels and lowered it, there was double the clearance from the top of the wheel to the body. That was extremely concerning but once I put the whole truck on the ground, things settled out, and should continue to do so. It was the equivalent of a 6" lift out back for a while there!

The Bad:
ADO doesn't include any instructions whatsoever, which really surprised me. Hence all the videos I watched and the Ry the Car Guy video and tech specs I linked above (which ADO recommends). Seems like an easy, low-lift fix.

The OEM upper control arms don't need to be replaced with this kit, but they would've solved the biggest issue I had with the driver's side lower shock bolt simply not lining up with the mounting hole. It took me hours and lots of emails with Chad and consultation with a mechanic friend before solving it: I had to pry up the whole shock assembly and hammer the bolt through. I got it eventually but it was extremely frustrating. The passenger side one slid in with zero trouble at all, which was surprising but I was grateful for the ease. I ended up using a 3/8" socket extension to pry it up. In the process of installation, both of the front shocks had their paint chipped, which concerns me for rust. Not sure what to do about that. The reason replacement control arms would've solved the issue is that the OEM arm was limited from going down as far as I needed by the coil bucket. All I needed was an 1/8th of an inch, and I couldn't get it.

The u-bolts from ADO are much larger than the OEM ones, which I knew. I drilled out the mounting plate using a step bit to the recommended 9/16th of an inch diameter. That wasn't big enough though. I had to go back and redrill them out to 5/8 of an inch to get the bolts through. That meant the paint I had sprayed them with was drilled out, leaving them vulnerable to rust. The ubolts themselves also seem to be pretty bare and may rust very quickly. Not sure what I'm going to do about that yet. The supplied nuts are also much larger accordingly so make sure you have a 22mm socket for them and torque them to the new spec of 90 ft-lbs.

I kept my leaf springs on the truck when installing the add-a-leaf. Chad recommended against it, but I did it anyway. It's definitely doable, and definitely a pain in the ***. The supplied center pin for the pack is very long and has to be cut down. I'm not sure why they don't just supply the appropriate length pin in the first place, as I can't see a reason for giving the longer one.

Conclusion
I would recommend working with Alldogs Offroad wholeheartedly. The customer service is fantastic. I struggled with a couple of things but was able to complete the whole thing using hand tools (and a very small Makita electric driver for spinning already loosened nuts more quickly). I'm going to take it in to get an alignment in the next week or so and will update as I drive it more and see how the ride quality compares to the Bilstein 4600s. I am a little sad about not getting the 90 Raids but they were $500 more, and I don't do serious enough off-roading to justify them. We'll see how these work for my daily driving and my travel trailer towing.

Pictures
Before:
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle


After:
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire


Surprise adjustable camber bolts
Automotive tire Asphalt Gas Bumper Rim


Driver's side shock bolt alignment problems:





Rear AAL, shock, and new (golden) ubolts:


Front coilover (passenger's side) installed:
 

· Registered
2017 Pro4x
Joined
·
90 Posts
Awesome!
Looks very nice with the minor lift added compared to stock height! Thanks for the references! will definitely be looking at the torque specs when installing mines, hopefully before new years.

Side question, what tint % are you running up front?
 

· Premium Member
2012 CC "S" 4x4
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
the center pin is always long in my experience and trim to fit no matter whose kit used, with all the different leafs and AALs whether the overloads are left in or not it, it is better to supply a long bolt to ensure customers get a long enough bolt for their application, your truck looks good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AzureApe

· Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quick comment - paint chips on shocks are often easily repaired with nail polish. Comes with a small brush applicator built in and tends be very durable paint..

Truck looks great and that's an excellent write-up.
Oh, that's a great idea. I'll pick some up this weekend.

Awesome!
Looks very nice with the minor lift added compared to stock height! Thanks for the references! will definitely be looking at the torque specs when installing mines, hopefully before new years.

Side question, what tint % are you running up front?
Thanks and good luck. If I had all the parts in and been able to start in the morning, I'd have finished in like 8 hours or so. No idea on the tint, as I purchased the truck used. Wasn't sure if it was OEM or aftermarket.

the center pin is always long in my experience and trim to fit no matter whose kit used, with all the different leafs and AALs whether the overloads are left in or not it, it is better to supply a long bolt to ensure customers get a long enough bolt for their application, your truck looks good.
Thanks. Yeah it makes sense but still it's like twice the height it needs to be. Seems strange to me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just found your thread and it's very timely. I'm still in the waving and humming/hawing phase. I have an '09 Xterra OR with 55k miles and am considering this exact lift. My concern is that I'm going to somehow spend the money and run into issues or make the vehicle have a worse rough ride.

I only off-road about 15 - 20% of the time so on road ride and NVH matters. I'll be interested to see your feedback after you have it a little longer and put more miles on it.

Thanks,

Rick
 

· Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
I just found your thread and it's very timely. I'm still in the waving and humming/hawing phase. I have an '09 Xterra OR with 55k miles and am considering this exact lift. My concern is that I'm going to somehow spend the money and run into issues or make the vehicle have a worse rough ride.

I only off-road about 15 - 20% of the time so on road ride and NVH matters. I'll be interested to see your feedback after you have it a little longer and put more miles on it.

Thanks,

Rick

I'm not the OP and you're question isn't directed specifically at me but I've got relevant experience so I'll pipe up..

Comments below are based on my good friends rig that I just helped him install this kit into, 2015 Xterra Pro-4X

The ride is better. For sure. Especially if you haven't replaced your shocks in the last 5 years. The Koni shocks are just awesome. The only problem you're likely to encounter is removing the LCA mounting bolts (AKA: cam bolts). Even on the 2015 I just installed into, there was no way the existing cam bolts were coming out; we tired brute force (think 8lb sledge hammer and solid steel rod), heat, penetrating oil (let them soak for several days before we started the install), a 24" breaker bar and even took it in to a shop to try an air hammer. The only fix is to cut them out them out and replace the LCA's. SO plan for that in your build. But fortunately, LCA's are cheap (I think we paid less about $250CAD for the pair) and they have new LBJ's so they're good to replace regardless.

AAL may not be enough to correct a sagging (and with the heavy back end on an X they're pretty much guaranteed to be a bit saggy out back) rear end. My buddy ordered the AAL and wishes he'd gone for full leaf packs because now he has to get his leaves re-arched because even with the AAL he's still sitting rear low.

One other thing to be aware of is that depending how your factory UCA mounting bolts are inserted you may have to disconnect the steering shaft to get the bolts out. This is likely to be a bit challenging based on the age of your rig but it can be done with a bit force and some patience. Obviously if your not changing the UCA's this isn't a concern.

If you haven't already, check out RytheCarguy on youtube, he's got a some great Xterra videos including replacing the LCA's and UCA's.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got back from the dealership where I had an oil change and alignment done (and leaking rear diff gasket replaced...). Alignment was fantastic already somehow: camber and toe were completely in-spec. The only thing that's wonky is the driver's side caster being negative, and they said they couldn't get it any better. I'm wondering if that's why I had such trouble getting the shock in on that side. Took the truck on errands yesterday including going out to a tree farm to cut down the annual Christmas tree. Definitely a bit smoother, nothing miraculous.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Glad to hear you were able to get it installed, and I second the ADO recommendation. Chad answered emails over the weekend while he was in the mountains on a camping trip on questions I had, truly awesome customer service.
Love those head lights also, got a pair of those installed the same weekend I did my lift and they look great.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update after driving it a bit, and I'm feeling disappointed. The quality of the materials is great, but I was wanting a softer ride, and I'm not really perceiving that. The Koni shocks may be softer than the Bilsteins, but it's hard to tell, as the springs front and rear feel super stiff. Maybe with a bunch of weight that might change but in day to day driving, I think it's probably stiffer than the OEM Pro-4X setup, and that's not what I wanted.
 

· Registered
2017 Pro4x
Joined
·
90 Posts
Update after driving it a bit, and I'm feeling disappointed. The quality of the materials is great, but I was wanting a softer ride, and I'm not really perceiving that. The Koni shocks may be softer than the Bilsteins, but it's hard to tell, as the springs front and rear feel super stiff. Maybe with a bunch of weight that might change but in day to day driving, I think it's probably stiffer than the OEM Pro-4X setup, and that's not what I wanted.
Dam that sucks to hear, knowing that you were going for a more plush ride and not the opposite.

Thinking it's their stiffer springs offered on the Konis (Think they use their normal marketed heavy springs as default for medium option for the Koni shocks due to length req). Don't entirely remember what thread or post I read that information from but I might be wrong.
AAL probably stiffened up the rear for you as well compared to shackles/blocks lift.

Can't install my Dobinsons until after mid Dec, intrigued to see how different it'll be compared to stock Pro4x/4600s.
 

· Premium Member
2012 CC "S" 4x4
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
ADO medium springs are +100lbs and you added a leaf, so your ride will be stiffer, not the right parts to soften the ride. sorry you're not happy, you put in a lot of work.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh, for sure, but I just kept reading and hearing that the Koni setup as I bought it was far and aware more comfortable than the stock Bilstein 4600s. The rebound and overall performance hitting medium to large bumps is better but I'm not sure small things that doesn't really engage the springs or struts, like broken pavement and eventually forest service roads. We'll see in the spring how it performs towing and hauling.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top