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Old 10-23-2021, 04:55 AM   #1
FeintMind
 
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Default 2wd torsion lift, control arms?

TLDR; do the aftermarket "lift" control arms actually make a difference? is it still a torsion lift, but the control arms get you further from the bump stops?
do the arms themselves lift the truck? both? Im trying to research on my own, but at 30+ years of this truck being around, and the majority of its modifying being lowering, its getting exhausting sorting through info...


I've put in a few nights worth of searching so far, and I'm sure this dead horse has been beaten into a thick sticky glue by now, but I'm having a hell of a time finding anything solid and definitive.

I've got 91 d21, 2wd, KA, AT, standard cab. picked it up from a buddy a few years ago for $300. (He said 200 but I felt a little bad about it. He's a good friend and was in a shitty spot and 300 was still a steal to me.)

Driveshaft was f****d, and as far as i knew that was it. he also hadnt been able to smog it...

If I keep typing the backstory im never going to get to the point. I'll fill in the rest later if anyone wants to know.


Fast forward about 3 years. I've put in more work into this truck than all but one vehicle ive ever owned. That'd be my 350z. (Still mine, and only car ive ever financed.)

So where im at now: I'm a "slam cars, lift trucks" kind of guy. I've had nothing but cars my entire adult life and i finally have a truck. It might not be a "real truck" as far as the good ol' boys are concerned, but I love me some nissan and i love me some country music and ill be damned if im not gonna try to blend them.

I know I cant offroad this thing. i dont care to. I just want to (sort of) look the part while im blasting some Garth, George, Tim, and Kenny.

So, I cranked the torsions, I slapped some 265/70 R15's on it, and I like it. Its right about the minimum line for me. This is enough.

But it rides like hell. Which im still fine with. but if im not ON the bumpstops, im way too close. and im concerned about causing damage.

I like the stance (in the front. rear is lower and i plan to lift it with either add a leaf or shackle, leaning towards leaf currently), I dont mind stiff, i just want there to be at least SOME travel because right now theres NONE and i dont want to break anything.

I'd like to keep it as inexpensive as I can, mainly because I do recognize what this truck is. Its an automatic 2wd 4cyl. im not going to do crazy offroad stuff. probably virtually NO offroad. I want it to be reliable but scratch that country boy itch ive got. Ive considered fixing it up and taking the high price tag these things go for and just getting a chevy, but as i said before, Im a nissan guy, and i like being different. Plus theres a sentimental value to this truck, being a close friend's old truck, and having grown up with my dad always having a 91 hardbody (bought brand new. i learned how to drive stick in that truck. and so many other memories...)

I just really want to make this thing work for what i want... and ive already put a ton of work into it. and way more money than i had intended. haha... i think at this point ive fallen in love with it. i just dont want to sell my soul to pay through experiments........ sorry yall im a little bit drunk. HELP! (with the control arms thing, not my high-functioning alcoholism.)
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Old 10-23-2021, 05:05 AM   #2
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OH! Also, if anyone can tell me this one, while we're here (cause thats just going to be another week worth of searching)


If I do lift the rear, whether add a leaf or shackles. should i expect that to be enought to cause problems with driveline angles? I see the 4 degree center bearing shims on 4x4parts, is that intended for a 2"-ish rear lift? is it sufficient? At some point while preparing to get to this point in the last few months, i stumbled across some guy's website detailing all the trials and errors he went through doing so many different things altering the height on his hardbody, but i forgot to bookmark it and i havent been able to find it since. I also toyed around with the idea of lowering it when i was thinking of selling it for a chevy so i dont even know for sure which direction the guy was going lol
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:42 PM   #3
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Hello there,
I'll try to help you out with telling you what I did on my 2WD that I wanted to lift, not drop ( I have cars for that nonsense) There is not a lot of info for us guys with 2wd and lifting.

First I have an 86 2WD V6, AT, standard cab.

I went with bigger tires 255/70R16, only about 1/2 larger than you have.
3 1/2 inch's bigger than the factory size.

Suspension wise I did the Calmini 3inch lift kit. Comes with upper control arms but they don't give any lift, they just correct the alignment after you crank up the torsion bars. The kit comes with larger Sway-a-way T-bars 27.5mm, So yes cranking them up will make the ride stiffer but higher spring rate.
The rear comes with leaf spring inserts and shackles to lift the back. I have both and don't have any driveline angles issues.

With adding the kit I still have almost no travel until I hit the bumpstops on the upper frame location. I swapped the factory bump stops out and added some Ultra Low Bump Stop from Energy Suspension 9.9132G and also added some ball joint spacers (0.5 inch 4x4parts.com) to achieve enough lift and travel to feel safe.


The shocks that come with the kit are garbage and needed to be replaced in 6 months(cheap china crap) I upgraded to a set of rancho RS7000 and are great and helped the ride quality a bunch.

BTW I also have 1.5 inch each spacers on all 4 wheel hubs to clear rubbing issues on the inside of the frame when full lock on the wheel.

Overall I'm really happy with the setup. The ride is generally smooth and good just over rough roads can be a little "stiff" feeling but not killer.
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Old 11-05-2021, 07:30 PM   #4
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link to an album with pictures after the lift and wheels.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/KmwDJrGAwsdpqq6HA
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