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Bob

6 Inch Lift On 2014 Nissan Armada

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Been thinking about this for a while and I wanted to pick your brains. I have been considering getting a 6 inch lift on my Nissan Armada, along with some new rims and tires to fit. What I am looking for is getting enough lift to easily clear sage brush and the small boulders I usually come across when exploring the deserts. And also being able to get up those washed out roads. Do you think a 6 inch lift would get me up high enough? Anyone have any experience in lifts? Suggestions or ideas?

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The quality of lift kits varies greatly, there is a lot of crap out there that can make your vehicle unsafe.  First thing you'll want to do is make sure that you can re-program the ECU for the larger tires.  If your vehicle has stability control (and I'd bet it does) changing tire sizes without telling the computer can make for some dangerous driving.  A lift isn't going to change your axle clearances, if you're going up to a much larger tire then it's likely you're going to want to change axle ratios as well.. and your ECU needs to be adjusted for that as well. 

Lifts and tires can result in a chain reaction of upgrades.  That being said I know nothing of what's available for an Armada.  If you haven't read this already http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22748

You can lift anything with the will and monty.  You might want to check with some local builder such as Dr. Smash in Carson City see what they can do.  Sometimes a custom lift by a professional is cheaper and better than over the counter options, Dr. Smash is well respected as far as I know.

 

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I just recalled you were thinking about a trailer.  If you lift you can likely forget about towing much of a travel trailer at least safely.  6" may not seem like much, factor in a few inches of tires if you end up needing a 12" drop hitch means when you have to make an emergency braking maneuver you'll going to have thousands of pounds of force trying to lever your front end up... it will affect your ability to control the vehicle.  WD hitches can help but cannot be setup to account for the leverage in that kind of situation and be setup correctly for normal driving. 

Just something to consider, a really small TT would likely be fairly safe.  You can also somewhat alleviate the issue by raising the trailer, that's a bit limited though.  My TT is raised up about as much as it safe and on my stock RAM 1500 4x4 my hitch ball is just a bit raised from level.

Just one of those factors it can be easy to overlook (as I did in my first post ;-)

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Braindead said it. When I inquired about lifts years ago, the first thing I was asked was if I was scraping my differentials. No, I wasn't. Then I didn't need a lift. And I was taught the chain of negative side effects a lift would bring. And we're only talking a 3" lift.

lifting an IFS suspended rig as your Armada is more expensive than the old solid axle/leaf spring setups of yor. As Braindead said, have a reputable shop do it right. Bigger tires require lower gearing, otherwise you as much as add another overdrive gear or two, bad when you want to crawl or compression brake in low range. Since computers run your rig, even your throttle will be effected since your rig is basically drive by wire since there is no physical link between your throttle pedal and your fuel injection system. Since sensors will be out of calibration, your safety is compromised. You will be more vulnerable on off camber trails and on-road evasive maneuvers with that kind of added height. Your wallet will be ematiated. And as you age you will hate getting in and out of the rig on a daily basis. The added weight and inertia of bigger/heavier wheels and tires will take a quicker toll on all your rotating pats - gears, shafts, U-joints and CV joints, steering parts and the like. And the list goes on.

I don't know how much aftermarket support there is for the Armada, something tells me that there isn't much, but some good under armor and maybe sliders will do more for you than extreme lifts. Six inches is extreme in my opinion. Three is better and should have less costly side effects.

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Thanks guys, you just saved me the time, hassle, and extra money on all of that. Maybe I will get larger rims and of course tires and buy a programmer to adjust the computer account for the larger tires. That should give me a little more clearance.

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We're only two opinions..  However I suspect you saw the number of $ increasing rapidly.  ;-)

Programmer and slightly larger tire diameter can help some.   You can always do more mods later.  You might find your needs changing as well, once you sink a lot of money into mods you may feel a bit trapped.

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  If you go coil overs, (front), I would recommend staying away from radflo as many have had problems. I do have them and had no probs so far but that's not the case with many.  I would recommend going either nisstec or PRG and of the two the latter would be the best choice.  Anything over TWO inches and you'll need new upper control arms.

Bob, I'm running 33" tires. (LT285/75 R16E) on my little Frontier and it's plenty, all I have is a two inch lift. I did very minor wack n hack but they fit good. Another consideration that these guys didn't tell you about is the height. My son's Titan had a 6" lift with monster tires and 20" rims and it was USELESS. Couldn't put loads in the back, too damn high, couldn't get in the stupid thing, your wife and daughters will hate it if they have to get in with a dress on. 

On tire size I wouldn't go over 33" (LT285/65 R18) . You're not gonna be rock crawling out there anyways, if you, are maybe a different vehicle would be better for you.

Check this out . . . 

http://www.prgproducts.com/shop/product/armada-airbag-delete-2-lift/

i wouldn't go more than a 2 or 3 inch lift but that's just me. 

Just an after thought; nissans don't mate well with aftermarket wheels.  Their offsets will have your tires outside the body and it will cause tire rubbing and dirt spray on the body. So as was with one of my previous, the stock size tires rubbed and all that was gained was pretty wheels that lasted all the way to the dirt road leading to my house. Lol

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Good info, thank you El. I know the stock rims came with either 20 inch or 18 inch rims. Maybe it would be good to upgrade to the stock 20 inch rims? Are there specific rims that will mate well with the Armada, and if so, what's the largest size I can go with without running into issues?

That's a nice little lift kit, I might have to look into getting that and having a shop install. I sold almost all my tools when I moved, got tired of moving them all.

11 hours ago, braindead0 said:

We're only two opinions..  However I suspect you saw the number of $ increasing rapidly.  ;-)

Programmer and slightly larger tire diameter can help some.   You can always do more mods later.  You might find your needs changing as well, once you sink a lot of money into mods you may feel a bit trapped.

You brought up some important points, such as hauling a trailer, which I plan on doing, so If anything, I will go with a mild 2 inch lift instead of a 6 inch lift.

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12 minutes ago, Bob said:

I know the stock rims came with either 20 inch or 18 inch rims. Maybe it would be good to upgrade to the stock 20 inch rims?

To keep the overall height steady, manufacturers use shorter sidewall tires when using optional larger wheels. Many magazine tests point out that while larger wheels look cool, ride quality deteriorates.

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My ram 1500 has 20" rims, 33" tires stock.  It rides good and is an excellent tow vehicle with this combo.  If I were doing more off road I'd drop the rim diameter as small as possible and put on LT tires with a suitable load range/sidewall rating. 

Airing down low profile tires doesn't work as well, and risks rim damage or deseating a tire.  You'll find a lot of rock crawlers running 37's on 15" rims, but NOT on the street generally.. way too squirrely with that much sidewall.

What we all need is an electric off road folding motorcycle, 2WD with ATV tires and capable of carrying ourselves and 100# of gear at speeds up to 40mph.. and it needs to weigh under 100# and fit in the back of a truck or SUV... and under $2000 new..  Now there's a pipe dream for ya!

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  Ah, outside of lookin purty, I can't see the benefits of 20" wheels either but opinions are like a'holes I suppose, everybody's got one and depending on what side of the breeze you're on, most stink.  The only one I've seen with Nissan wheels is Discount tire and as I said, their offset wasn't right and I didn't like them but they probably have 18's and 20's cheaper than stock 20's. 

 

My my opinion is this; 2" lift, LT285/65 R18E  AT's on stock wheels If I had a 'Mada that's how I would do. 

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Once again, you guys have probably saved me a lot of money on rims (I am not into rims for the looks since I know they are going to get hammered out on the trails), which I can instead use to buy better tires and pay for the lift. Thank you @braindead0 and @El Polvo. :beer:

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6 minutes ago, Bob said:

Once again, you guys have probably saved me a lot of money on rims (I am not into rims for the looks since I know they are going to get hammered out on the trails), which I can instead use to buy better tires and pay for the lift. Thank you @braindead0 and @El Polvo. :beer:

But I disagree with braindead0 about the two wheeled motorcycle! Some of us have a hard time keep these 4 wheels things from tipping over AND if you, your wife and girls all got on one of those things it might get a little crowded!! :lmao22:

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4 hours ago, El Polvo said:

But I disagree with braindead0 about the two wheeled motorcycle! Some of us have a hard time keep these 4 wheels things from tipping over AND if you, your wife and girls all got on one of those things it might get a little crowded!! :lmao22:

No problem at all!

Seven-people-ride-on-same-motorcycle-in-Chinese-city.jpg

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Just some extra thoughts....6 inch lifts usually mean a drop bracket for an IFS vehicle, and that alone can create all manner of headaches. 

Even a more mild lift requires some tweaking of alignment settings.  To date, I have been driving on a sub-optimal alignment, because I can't find a local shop with half a clue.  Dealers, independents, etc, all have their heads squarely up their asses.  Some say "Oh, caster is not adjustable on these trucks.", which is patently false.  And if you don't have 2.0-2.1 degrees of caster, lifted Tacomas tend to wander.  Others will insist on giving you a few tenths of toe out, despite needing 0 or even a few tenths of toe in for a Tacoma.  And I won't get into the camber arguments, or the fact that some shops insist on giving you cross-camber to allow for "road crown". 

While road crown is very real, a whole degree of different in caster from side to side is excessive to compensate for road crown.  Half a degree is more than enough, and .2 to .3 degrees is the sweet spot for these trucks. 

So basically I drive a Tacoma that follows imperfections in the road, though not severely.  I'll have to get her re-adjusted in the next few days, though.

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Ed, how do you got that thing lifted, over strut spacers or coilovers and how much? 

My Fronty has coilovers and aal rear and I've had 0 problemas.

 

I had wheel wobble on my 2nd gen taco as do Jeep CJ & Wranglers but it was correct with stirring stabilizers. 

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8 hours ago, braindead0 said:

I'm sure I can find you a place to do alignment on a taco out here.. Local 4x4 club has tons of members with them, and as far as I know there are several good shops out here.

That's a long-ass ride for an alignment, but as I do seem to find myself in Reno from time to time, I'd be willing to make a special trip in combination with some exploring.  Or it might even be a good excuse to go play on the 1000 yard range at Washoe.  I'll feel inadequate with a .308 next to the 50BMG guys, but I'll only be paying 1/4 the cost per shot.  :)

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8 hours ago, El Polvo said:

Ed, how do you got that thing lifted, over strut spacers or coilovers and how much? 

My Fronty has coilovers and aal rear and I've had 0 problemas.

 

I had wheel wobble on my 2nd gen taco as do Jeep CJ & Wranglers but it was correct with stirring stabilizers. 

Up front it's Sway-A-Way (the 2.0 model, not the 2.5).  Effective lift is about 2.5", but I have a lot of preload since the double cab Tacomas weigh a bunch.  It's just a matter of setting up the numbers properly, which takes more than book time, I'm told. 

No issues with vibration or wobble, though the 2nd gen 4x4 Tacomas have an issue with the front CV bushing being sloppy, which causes a vibration at certain speeds.  ECGS makes a replacement bushing that's nice, but I haven't bought it as I don't have the problem - yet. 

The AAL did fine on the rear until I wanted to load the truck down with tools and a shell, plus my excursion gear, so I added the airbags.  As long as I don't go over about 50 psi, I get lots of articulation for my needs. 

What I'd really like is something stupid-simple - no electronical doodads for the transfer case and locker, no 'adaptive' this or 'electronic' that.  Hence, despite my hate-hate relationship with Carter carbs, I really, really, REALLY miss my '85 CJ.  Aerodynamics of a brick, with a personality to match. :)

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39 minutes ago, desertdog said:

That's a long-ass ride for an alignment, but as I do seem to find myself in Reno from time to time, I'd be willing to make a special trip in combination with some exploring.  Or it might even be a good excuse to go play on the 1000 yard range at Washoe.  I'll feel inadequate with a .308 next to the 50BMG guys, but I'll only be paying 1/4 the cost per shot.  :)

If you're heading this way I can hunt up some shops if interested.  I only went to the washoe range once, it was all old folks with hunting rifles.. they didn't seem to like rapid fire banging the gong with my FAL...  There are so many free places to shoot I haven't been back ;-)

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   I did have a sag issue but I put on an AAL set with three leafs. It added 800# spring capacity although not an increase on axle load cap. It rides stiff but I'm old school. Trucks need high torque, not horsepower. They need to sit higher in the back because when you load them they level out. They ride rough, not like the biggest friggin Lincoln Ford makes. Now days you hear guys talking abot how their gas mileage and ride are but that shouldn't be how trucks are designed anyways.   (There's my rant)

 

ive not had alignment problems with my trucks. I've only had one Tacoma and went right back to Frontier. They fit me better and are cheaper is why. Nissan has not gone to the cylinders cutting out crap yet for gas mileage. They get the worst out of any and still have the same truck as the 2005 model. They're due but I'm not sure which way I'll go then. They're making these trucks into cars anymore. I just want a small truck. Not a SUV with the back end open. 

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10 hours ago, braindead0 said:

If you're heading this way I can hunt up some shops if interested.  I only went to the washoe range once, it was all old folks with hunting rifles.. they didn't seem to like rapid fire banging the gong with my FAL...  There are so many free places to shoot I haven't been back ;-)

Not sure when I'm going up that way, but when I do, I'll hit you up. 

 

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