2" Nissan Xterra Body Lift


thanks to AHTOXA on XterraOwnersClub.com for

translated and  simplified instructions












 Well, I had just lifted my Xterra via a Calmini 3" suspension lift, and it was higher, but... well I guess it just wasn't high enough.  Near other Xterra's or similar sized SUV's it did the trick and the lift was obvious, but standing alone in a parking lot or just driving down the road, it just didn't shout "Lifted."  The 31" tire set up I was running could've been taken up a notch, but I wanted to decide if the body lift was right for me first.  Those around me told me it wasn't an "if" scenario, but a "when."  I was even told I couldn't yet badge my window with my own website's name until the heightened X was more noticeable.  So I decided to hold off on the tire upsize, and bumpers until my X grew a couple more inches.

I ordered the 2" Body Lift from Automotive Customizers and went ahead and purchased a steering kit at the same time so my X would be up to running the bigger tires and the already exaggerated CV angles.  The BL came in promptly, but the steering kit took forever and I forced myself to hold off on the lift until it came in.  Once it was all here, I headed over to Steve's for a helpful hand and the plan was to get everything done over the weekend.

I had reviewed the BL instructions ahead of time and before I was able to groan about the lack of photos, I noticed that there were over 75 steps listed!  By researching on XterraOwnersClub.com, I found a great detailed and simplified list of instructions written out by one of the active members.  It turns out not everything included in the kit needs to be used unless one is to install their 3" lift (which I hear adds a couple days to the install).  So I kept AC's book as a reference, but ended up sticking more to the unabridged version.

As usual, I brought my own tools to Steve, because the man doesn't even own a pair of common household Vice Grips- which does lead the mind to a certain question, but he has a wife and two kids so never mind.


Let's get it on:

(actually before getting it on, it's best, especially on older X's to spray down all the bolts you will be tackling with PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench so as to loosen them up. I had no issues with my bolts, but in AZ, no moisture means no rust!) But this stuff does work wonders with suspension bolts too.

1. Disconnect Battery (handles the air bag fuse pull too)

2. Tie off the steering wheel so it does not move at all when you play around with the steering shaft.

3. In the engine compartment, loosen the two 12mm bolts located at the top and bottom of the steering shaft. This will enable the shaft spines to loosen and let it get a little longer during the lift. (When a shop body lifted my old truck, they missed this step and the steering wheel became crazy hard to turn until I adjusted it lengthwise).  The lower bolt is easier to access through the wheel well.

4. The power steering reservoir will need to be slid up and out of its bracket.  You will add to the bracket later to allow for the lift length differences, but for now, just lay it out of the way.

5. While doing these steps or the ones after this one, have your buddy, who would just be watching you and occasionally handing you the wrong size sockets, get to work yanking off the bumpers and the front oil pan skid.  Since they are attached to the frame, you will have to drill new mounting holes so they go up with the body and you aren't left with 2" gaping gaps. I had already put in for a front Shrockworks bumper (the 2" BL version) so I decided to leave the metal of the bumper and remove all the pitiful pathetic plastic sugar coating.  All that cheapness is only held on by  plastic rivet screws so make your friend useful while you do the dirty work.  Make sure he or she removes all the bolts that secure the skeleton of the bumper to the body.  One small screw can keep the entire body from raising later.

The rear bumper seems like it might be able to hold up to a little higher than a 5MPH tap.  There are 3 bolts on each side connecting it to the frame, and if you have the factory tow package (another hunk of metal that unless removed or modified, will be left dangling apart from the body), 3 more bolts at the frame brackets.

6. If your helper monkey has gotten as far as the front skid, you can step skip to just removing the lower part of the fan shroud instead of spending a couple hours draining the radiator, redrilling, and adding lowering brackets.  One of these two things is necessary because while the body is taking the radiator and shroud up with it, the engine and its fan is staying with the frame, which would cause the fan to hit its shroud.  The easiest option is just simply unclipping the bottom part of the two part shroud and tossing it.  The air flow difference should be negligible and your radiator won't be as vulnerable to rock or ricer pokeage.

7. Remove the brake line shield that lays up against the frame side located to the rear of the passenger front tire.  Beneath it you will see the brake lines secured to the frame.  Remove these bolts as well.

8. Now if you follow those same brake lines down towards the rear of the vehicle, you will find them secured along the inner side frame as well.  You will need to remove the next two brackets to prevent binding issues.  Make sure to free the bracket from the frame completely.

9. There is a similar bracket on the other frame rail midway down that holds the emergency brake cable that you should remove too.

10. While still underneath, you should locate the driveshaft safety loop.  It connects the frame crossmember to the floorboard, making a "loop" around the front of the rear drive shaft.  You will be adding extensions to this, so remove the bolts securing it to the floorboard.

11. I did not modify or loosen the gas filler hose.  Just make sure to include its area inside the passenger side rear fender well when you check for any binding issues during the lift, but there shouldn't be a problem.