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New rear suspension (Moog springs / Bilstein 4600)
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 126
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:21 am    Post subject: New rear suspension (Moog springs / Bilstein 4600) Reply with quote

I purchased my 2011 SV R51 early last month and even though I test drove it, I started having buyers remorse after reading about a number of issues this platform has and daily driving it. Thankfully, most of the issues are for items that I was going to replace anyway. For this post, I replaced the rear suspension.

Getting tired of the excessive squat that the rear would display after going over simple speed bumps and what seems like a uncontrollable rear after going over bumpy pavement, I decided to upgrade it. I looked into the AirLift kit, but decided that it wasn't for me. I wanted something solid, so I opted for replacement springs.

Although I couldn't find any R51 experiences, I decided to pull the trigger and ended up buying Moog rear springs which came in a pair and were actually cheaper than the AirLift kit. Putting them in was really simple as well. Took me longer to jack up the vehicle and take off the wheel, though required a bit more elbow grease. The part number, at the time of this writing, is 81119. A info link is here, http://www.fme-cat.com/overlays/part-detail.aspx?brandId=MC&pNum=81119&partType=Coil%20Spring%20Set. If anyone is wondering about ride height, it's raised it about .5/1in maybe. I didn't measure the before/after unfortunately, but I did take a pic next to my neighbors R51 who has 4wd with stock suspension and similar mileage.

The Bilsteins on the other hand were a PAIN to put on. The part number, at the time of this writing, is 24-197434. Not because of difficulty, but more so due to the limited range of movement when ratcheting. If you can get the correct length extension it's actually not too bad, but if you'd dealing with a simple ratchet and no breaker bar, good luck. I used Aerokroil to break the rust on the drivers side which worked wonders. First time using it and I highly recommend it. In the picture below, you'll want something to hold the top bolt head on the right and the ratchet with about a 2-3 inch extension to turn the nut on the left. Can't see either in pic, sorry. Removing the bottom bolt is cake since the nut is held in place already.

Overall, I am so glad I swapped the springs over and added the new shocks. The ride quality is SMOOTH and I have yet to bottom out where previously this seemed to happen on a almost daily basis. They've been on there for about 2 weeks now and this setup has been through some good testing. Came back from my monthly 320 mile trip (https://goo.gl/maps/SBYcNoZmpNH2) and have done daily driving to/from work and running errands. Earlier I mentioned that I had buyers remorse, but the more I drive it with this setup the more I am glad I purchased the R51. No more squat and acceleration seems more direct. Please don't confuse that for me saying it's faster or I gained HP. I like this setup so much that I am possibly going to do the fronts as well (separate spring/strut and not combo units), though for the time being they seem pretty stout, but still, I'd like to have the same setup all around. The way it rides is how the R51 should have come factory in the first place. I know this is all subjective and my opinion, but I honestly don't think you can go wrong with this setup.

Here's some pics so there's a visual to compare the factory spring to the Moogs. Note there is a slight thickness to the Moogs and the higher number of coils on it as well.

Please let me know if the images don't load or are dead or if there are issues with the image hoster (imgbb.com).




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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 4796
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The front shocks and springs are actually pretty good; it has always been the rear that has been sub-par, as you mention. The Moog has more coils than the factory spring, which is probably what makes all the difference. It's good to know there are other options out there besides the Airlifts.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, Nitto Dura Grappler P265/65R17, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 126
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hesitant to buy them as there was pretty much no data on them for the R51, but decided what the hell. Most info was for the previous generation R50. I suppose as more time passes, other options will pop up.
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Thupertrooper



Joined: 15 Jun 2013
Posts: 532
Location: Mesa,AZ

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good i no longer need my airlifts after going to Armada HD springs from duralast. Stiffest spring i could find and it work good.
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00pathySE



Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good!
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2006 R51 Pathfinder LE
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palmerwmd
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 342
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interest is piqued...
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heckler40



Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going with this setup this spring. Did you reuse the spring seats or get new ones?
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palmerwmd
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 342
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know that you so much for doing this and documenting this.

Now I will have the confidence to execute a srping swap as I want my vehicle to be able to carry a significant load in an emergency and not disply it via excessive squat (I am a prepper) but still drive and look normally when loaded only with myself.

I also just got my R51 used a mere 3 weeks ago... it does handle and drive great to me w/ no bottoming out of any kind.. rear feels pretty solid to me..

But that may be because a) previous owner did something new for it stock or otherwise... and I will investigate this or b) coming from an XTerra which is even softer since its more off road optimized maybe it just feels ok to me.

However i will be careful. I remember spending a lot of money on my XTerra rear and getting socked with a huge labor charge in addition to new springs and in the end the vehicle riding same..

I recently (and finally!) discovered a shop here in northern virginia that is both competent and reasonably priced and I will use them over the dealer
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2012 V6 4WD, in Grey over Grey
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 126
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, sorry for the late responses.

heckler40 wrote:
Going with this setup this spring. Did you reuse the spring seats or get new ones?

I reused the ones that were on there. My brother and I took a close look at them and they looked fine. No cracks or anything in the rubber. Changing out the springs is incredibly simple so I actually might buy new rubber ones and replace the originals on there, but I'm in no rush to do so at the moment.

palmerwmd wrote:
You know that you so much for doing this and documenting this.

Now I will have the confidence to execute a spring swap as I want my vehicle to be able to carry a significant load in an emergency and not display it via excessive squat (I am a prepper) but still drive and look normally when loaded only with myself.

Hey glad to hear it helped! The springs themselves do make the ride a bit firmer. When I initially bought the Pathfinder I actually didn't like the way the rear rode AT ALL. I always felt the rear was not entirely under my control when I'd hit grooves in the road at certain speeds or on bumpy roads. I came from a 2008 Tacoma which has a solid rear and leaf springs so I was used to a firm truck ride. I also used to have a 2003 Xterra 4x4 before that so that's what I'm used to.

The springs make it so the ride is a bit more 'solid axle' feeling, though not completely. It's firm, not harsh, but very smooth as well. These vehicles are heavier than they look. I believe they have a gross vehicle weight of about 5000lbs if I'm not mistaken so stiffer shocks on these doesn't necessarily = harsh ride. Driving around now feels more controlled. I would say that the Bilsteins also helped with that a good amount as well.

Regarding the stance looking stock, I've had about maybe 200lbs of cat litter (don't ask) in the back, along with a full tank of gas, and some other stuff and the squat was minimal if anything.

Note to everyone, these are constant rate springs and not progressive. In case you're curious -- http://automotivethinker.com/suspension/linear-vs-progressive-rate-springs/ -- With that said, these are rated to 353lbs per sq/in. So every 353lbs will compress the spring 1 inch.

Another thing, based on quite a few forums I've visited all with different cars/trucks, the general consensus that the Moog all in one strut/spring combo is a a VERY hit and miss with quality and the shock itself is poorly made. I'd steer clear if anyone is considering those.
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jz39



Joined: 29 Aug 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are the oem springs linear as well? Any idea what the oem spring rates are?

I just ordered this same set up, except for front and rear. Your set up looks great.
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 126
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the stock springs are linear based on a visual with a garbage spring rate. That 2nd part is obviously an opinion, but it's roughly accurate. If I still had them I'd double check for you, but my old springs went to the metal recycler along with a beat up Chevy 305 and the auto transmission hooked up to it.

I'm getting ready to do the fronts actually. I just need to find time to install them. I plan on doing pictures and all that as well so that'll come in the future. With that said, I generally do any major auto repairs/upgrades at my parents house which is 5 hours away. If I try to install things here at my apartment, I can expect a swift fine if I'm caught doing so. If I can get enough for a non-HOA house here in overpriced Austin, I'd definitely be doing more write ups.


how to upload photos from
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jz39



Joined: 29 Aug 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, they look linear to me as well. The Moogs have the same spring rate for front and rear which I was mildly surprised to hear, however, I looked up the weight distribution on the Path and it is actually 51/49. Downright sporty...not!

I just got the Bilsteins in the mail today and they are some nice looking and feeling shocks. Hopefully they perform as well as they look.

I did also order the rubber mounts for the front and rear just to complete the package.
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 126
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, looking back now I'm probably going to order the spring seats for the back just to keep things all new. For the fronts I def will since it looks to be more of a PITA to remove/replace and want all new up there because of that.

Note, from what I understand, the fronts will lift the vehicle about an inch so doing front/back will also result with a nice little leveled lift of the vehicle. Kinda like a 2 for 1; fix the suspension and get a free lift.
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nismopath



Joined: 24 May 2016
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone happen to know the stock ride height ? I am even right now but wondering if I am even and fine, or evenly low! ha
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jz39



Joined: 29 Aug 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the springs will settle at all given the weight of the vehicle?

I got notice that both sets of springs shipped today, so shouldn't be long now.

The funny thing to me is how cheap shocks and springs were for the Pathy. I'm used to sportscar prices and 159$ total for four springs from Amazon was downright economical!
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