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The ever popular "rear alignment" issue
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Nissan Path Forum Index -> R51 Suspension and Steering
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zoodragon



Joined: 16 Jul 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:54 am    Post subject: The ever popular "rear alignment" issue Reply with quote

so on my 07 SE ive been fighting suspension issues for like 3 years now. im tired of it and need some advice.

here's my stages of progress:

car first quickly wore out a set of tires, (30-40k miles on a 60k mile tire) figured it was time to do some suspension work. replaced shocks and struts with bilsteins.

got into a fender bender. front strut looks a bit "off" so i pull the trigger and get a set of rancho quick lifts.

take it in for alignment, front camber is out. tech notices front ball joints are shot. i replace entire front control arm with some dormans.

take it in for alignment, tech tells me rear camber bolts are seized (minnesota vehicle...)

i cut off the rear spring buckets (holey crap what a PITA) and replace with oem nissan and replace camber bolts with OEM nissan, install rancho spacer in rear since i had it off anyways.

wife brings it in for alignment and they "forget to print out the specs" i didnt have time to argue so i lived with it figuring it's fine (famous last words)

bought new set of tires and the rears are shot within 20k miles.
Shocked

to make it even better, the place where we went for an alignment doesnt exist anymore. big surprise.

so here's my thoughts:

remove and replace OE spring and spacer (230k miles, the spring is probably shot anyways) with some 4x4parts HD springs.

remove and replace rear 0" lift bilsteins with the 4x4parts 2" lift bilsteins

change out upper control arm bushing with 4x4parts eccentric bushings.
http://www.4x4parts.com/i-22756999-rear-upper-control-arm-bushings.html

im wondering if i should replace the rear lower control arms/toe bolts

the camber bolts were completely seized and not even heating helped break them loose. in fact, i got the nut off of one and hit it with an impact hammer and it wouldnt budge. if those bolts were like that, i wouldnt be surprised of the toe set bolt is shot too.

any thoughts/tips/advice/critiques?
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kevinthefro



Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Torrance, CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming a 2 inch lift:
For the front, you can get camber to spec with camber bolts on the lower control arm. I have not heard of using camber bolts on upper arms before. Caster will still be less than stock. I suggest getting SPC upper control arms. They allow you to get caster back to stock, which made my car wander much less, although that doesn't really affect tire wear. Front toe is easy to set so the shop shouldn't have messed that up.

For the rear, you cannot get both camber and toe to spec. You have to crank the toe adjuster to max first, then turn the camber adjuster to get the toe to zero with the least camber possible, which is about half a degree positive.
In this picture you can see the toe adjuster at max in the foreground and the camber adjuster about center in the background. If your adjusters are not set similarly then the shop didn't align it properly and the toe is scrubbing the tires away. I know this from experience. 35k miles on a set of BFGoodrich TA KOs.



Also check your bushings for play. On my 2010 with 48k miles all upper and lower control arm and spindle bushings were good (I took all the arms off and checked), except the two on the rear link toe adjusters. I have no idea why just those two have torn.



Last edited by kevinthefro on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 116
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to bump this 6 month old thread, but I had a question about this. Is this a generally common issue with the IRS on these vehicles? I'm actually looking at getting some BFG KO2 and would hate to wear them out early seeing as how $$ they are.

Found these that might help, but not too sure on the brand -- http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6556084&cc=1447314&jsn=430&jsn=430&jsn=430
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Thupertrooper



Joined: 15 Jun 2013
Posts: 526
Location: Mesa,AZ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if those would fit the back
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kevinthefro



Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Torrance, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

underworld1001 wrote:
Is this a generally common issue with the IRS on these vehicles?

Not sure which issue you mean.
Does the rear alignment being out cause drivability issues? Yes.
Do bushings wear out in only 6 years? Sometimes, it seems.
Do the alignment bolts commonly rust in place? Yes
Do shops sometimes not align the rear properly because they don't want to deal with the frozen bolts, or they don't know what they're doing? Yes
Does a 2" lift take the rear suspension beyond it's adjustable range? Yes, camber cannot be brought to stock, but toe can.

underworld1001 wrote:
Found these that might help

Those upper control arms are great for increasing caster and travel with a lift, but they are only for the front. I haven't found any aftermarket parts for the Pathfinder rear.
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zoodragon



Joined: 16 Jul 2012
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well it appears most of my issues came from a lazy tech.

got under it to see if the bushings were seized and they were. i couldnt even turn the bolt with a 4 foot breaker bar and a 2 foot cheater!

cut them off and replaced the lower control arm on both sides. yay! i can adjust toe!

protip: if you intend on replacing these make sure you got all the replacement bolts for the rear lower control arm. on the drivers side its easier to just cut it off because they hit the gas tank when you try to remove em. i ended up flipping the bolt out for ease of replacement if i ever do it again.

also, in my quest to locate some alignment stuff i ran across this:

http://superpro.suspension.parts/spf3977k

i didnt pick any up but if the alignment had been off i would have.

the upper control arms seemed fine for now. if i end up replacing them im def getting those bushings. .

I now clear 285/75r16 KO2s with some slight trimming on the front inner fenders and mud guards removed.
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marsdawg



Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have a '07 and have been fooling around with my rear alignment since installing a 2" lift. I initially went with the 4x4 HD springs but upon installation I could tell that there would be no way to get it aligned (it must have raised it 3"). I replaced the springs with Medium Duty models and the difference was gratifyingly noticeable. However after alignment they couldn't get the camber on the left rear quite in spec. Not having confidence in my local dealership when it comes to off road stuff I took my Pathy to a reputable local 4x4 shop to install some new camber adjustment bolts. After that they told me that neither side rear camber would get exactly in spec. I just happened to recall seeing your post about the UCA rear adjustable bushings and had them look them up. As they don't see many Pathys they were not familiar with the bushings and asked if I would let them do some research. They called me back and recommended the bushings from Super Pro suspension. Good thing because they are @$40 cheaper than the ones from 4x4 Parts. At this time I am waiting on delivery and installation and will repost on the results. I am pretty anal on alignment as I buy high end tires and like them to last. I enjoy this forum and am glad to see other owners share their lessons learned.
_________________
2007 SE 4x4 4.0 - 2" lift, Bilstein 5100 front/ 4600 HD rear with medium duty springs, Rear adjustable Upper Control Arm bushings, Firestone Coil-Rite air springs, Michelin LTX/AT2 P265/70/R16, American Outlaw Buckshot wheels, Aftermarket radiator, Timing chain and tensioner replacement.

Integrity: It's what you do when no one's watching!
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marsdawg



Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to update on the installation of the UCA rear adjustable bushings. These things are great. They allowed the rear camber to align within specs and now there's margin to go higher if I ever want to. If anyone is looking to lift their R51 then the first thing I would recommend is this $100 part. It will alleviate all the problems with rear alignment. If I would have known about these sooner I could have easily saved 3 alignment attempts and a lot of time troubleshooting this manner. I hope others can use this lesson learned. Thanks for everyone sharing on this forum.
_________________
2007 SE 4x4 4.0 - 2" lift, Bilstein 5100 front/ 4600 HD rear with medium duty springs, Rear adjustable Upper Control Arm bushings, Firestone Coil-Rite air springs, Michelin LTX/AT2 P265/70/R16, American Outlaw Buckshot wheels, Aftermarket radiator, Timing chain and tensioner replacement.

Integrity: It's what you do when no one's watching!
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1handle



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 24
Location: San Jose CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:18 pm    Post subject: Rear camber...yes, again. Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Got the deluxe suspension package from 4x4 parts, rancho quicklift (w/ coils) upfront and RS9000XL + coils at the back. Alignment for the fronts were no problem, the rear, different story. Toe is good, but camber is at +1.5. Are adjustable UCAs only the way to fix the +camber? Or will superpro adjustable bushing fix the camber? Should I even be worrying about the +1.5 degree camber on the rears? I don't drive it....like a sports car, it's a pathfinder. Gained 2.5" in rear and 2" upfront, will the rear coils settle? I'll get in contact with Mike at 4x4parts tomorrow for some info, but was wondering if any of you know an actual fix. Way better than the stock suspension btw.[/img]
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marsdawg



Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The adjustable UCA bushings will do the trick. You won't get it in spec without them. You will definitely be subject to premature wear on those tires if you drive it like that. I also doubt that the rear coils will settle much. I installed medium duty springs from 4x4 parts which gave me a full 2" lift in the rear and I have not noticed any settling. I would not have gotten it in spec without the bushings. These vehicles are just finicky. We're trying to turn a family wagon into a credible boy toy and there is no easy/cheap way to do it. But I still like mine. Damn thing looks good with just a little effort.
_________________
2007 SE 4x4 4.0 - 2" lift, Bilstein 5100 front/ 4600 HD rear with medium duty springs, Rear adjustable Upper Control Arm bushings, Firestone Coil-Rite air springs, Michelin LTX/AT2 P265/70/R16, American Outlaw Buckshot wheels, Aftermarket radiator, Timing chain and tensioner replacement.

Integrity: It's what you do when no one's watching!
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1handle



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 24
Location: San Jose CA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Marsdawg, the bushings you recommended did indeed get the get the job done. Camber is now in spec., a bit more relieved regarding stability when turning. Not so worried about new tires getting worn out too uneven anymore (Pirelli Scorpion ATR LT265/75/16).

After install of bushing, they did realign all 4 again, below compares alignment after bushing install and the subsequent adjustment.
I do love the lift, can now visually compete with the 4Runners. I have all shocks set to 9, very stiff, how a truck should ride like. The squat in the rear is gone and I couldn't stand the really obvious negative camber on the rears before the lift. Really happy with it. And it did rear coils did settle about 0.25"-0.5". Been about 3 weeks with the lift, good ride. No complaints yet. Was it worth the money spent? It has been 10 years into planning so I would give it a definite yes!!

For those who are interested, I'll list shock PNs below that I received from 4x4parts.com.
4x4parts.com Deluxe Suspension Package Item No. SPAC05DPKGRANQL
Front Suspension Components-Qty. 2 Rancho Quicklift assemblies (Strut and coil) Rancho PN: RS999922
Rear Suspension Components-Qty. 2 Rancho RS9000XL struts PN: RS999312 + 2x 4x4Parts.com HD Coils.

Below are the alignments specs after suspension install and adjustable bushing install.

After Suspension Install
Before Alignment
Camber LF: +1.0 Camber RF: +0.8
Caster LF: +2.9 Caster RF: +2.8
Toe LF: +0.34 Toe RF: +0.33

Camber LR: +1.5 Camber RR: +1.1
Toe LR: -0.42 Toe RR: -0.6

After Alignment
Camber LF: +0.9 Camber RF: +1.0
Caster LF: +2.9 Caster RF: +2.8
Toe LF: +0.07 Toe RF: +0.13

Camber LR: +1.3 Camber RR: +1.3
Toe LR: +0.08 Toe RR: -0.03
TOTAL TOE: 0.03
THRUST ANGLE: 0.05

After bushing install
Before Alignment
Camber LF: +0.5 Camber RF: +1.4
Caster LF: +2.7 Caster RF: +3.0
Toe LF: +0.25 Toe RF: +0.18

Camber LR: -0.5 Camber RR: -0.6
Toe LR: +0.03 Toe RR: -2.03

After Alignment (existing condition)
Camber LF: +1 Camber RF: +0.8
Caster LF: +2.7 Caster RF: +3.0
Toe LF: +0.11 Toe RF: +0.10
Front TOTAL TOE: +0.21
Steer Ahead: 0.00

Camber LR: 0.0 Camber RR: +0.3
Toe LR: +0.01 Toe RR: -0.11
Rear TOTAL TOE: -0.11
Thrust Angle: +0.06
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Livinfly



Joined: 29 Jan 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Aspen, CO

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff!

Looking to swap my rear coils. Would love the HD coils but concerned it will create more of a headache than the medium duty’s, in terms of getting it to spec.

Rear is mush.

Currently running the airlift and rancho 9000xls in addition 1.75” spacer on sagged out springs.

Would I be in the clear if I installed the HD’s and the offset bushing kit? Or should I scale back to replacement stockish coils and keep the spacers.
Rig is running solid, not trying to hack it up with alignment issues.

Any advice would be appreciated
_________________
2006 SE
Rancho quicklift
K&N Cold air
Airlift 1000
285/70/17 Nitto on XD’s
Tepui tent
Wilco Hitchgate
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1handle



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 24
Location: San Jose CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Livinfly, what year is your Pathfinder? Mine is a 06, the bushings work, but the proper way to fix is to get the adjustable UCAs, which is around $400 more than the bushings. I'm planning on replacing the rear UCAs with adjustable UCAs long term. Reason being that I've started to notice this weird rocking when I'm around 70+ MPH going over dips on highway. It's not so bad, it is livable, but I don't like the fact that it's not riding the same when I had first installed the lift. Shop said, it's the bushings...I'm not buying that. The 06's UCA bushings were hard to remove, per the shop. They did not think that replacing the UCA bushings were the 'standard' practice, adding that replacing the whole UCA is the proper fix. When truck rocks, the steering wheel doesn't move, so I'm thinking it has something to do with the rear suspension, most likely from the install. That's why I'm going to replace the rear UCAs in long term. From reading your post, if you move from MD to HD, it may lift your truck slightly higher. The higher it is, it will, of course, throw out your camber, then you'll run into the same concerns I have now, but that could also be the shop that I used. I stuck with the shop since they already did the lift install, I didn't want to go and find another shop. I'm not too worried with the rocking, the bushings did get the alignment to spec. So the bushings did do their job.
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Livinfly



Joined: 29 Jan 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Aspen, CO

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2006. Ive been patiently waiting for the right solution, but getting ready to make some moves. Mines the same way now “ROCKY” so I gotta try heavier springs either way. Looking at running the 4x4parts.com adjustable camber bushings kit and maybe there heavy springs as well. Didn’t do any real research at the UCA. Would it be a swap or new? Who makes them? Would that eliminate the alignment issues as well?

Appreciate the help.

Tom
_________________
2006 SE
Rancho quicklift
K&N Cold air
Airlift 1000
285/70/17 Nitto on XD’s
Tepui tent
Wilco Hitchgate
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1handle



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 24
Location: San Jose CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like I have been under the wrong impression this whole time. There is indeed, no such rear UCA that is adjustable. Sorry for that info, more sorry for me since I guess I'll have to live with the rocking motion for awhile. I guess the bushings that are on there now are pretty much, permanent. That sucks. Only option would be to attempt a Titan swap, but that is way too complex. Sorry Livinfly, the adjustable bushings is all there is that is available to get alignment in spec. Buying an aftermarket rear UCA wouldn't help much if they're the same size (length). Nisstec has a kit for the R51s, it should be better than the kit offered by 4x4parts, but it is $1700, then we'd have to fork out install + alignment. Maybe that can be another option down the line. http://www.nissteclifts.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=59224&category_id=172&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=72
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