How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

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Code Pathfinder
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How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu May 06, 2021 5:10 pm

Alright, so most of you have probably have seen my rig at some point on this forum but if you have not, here it is!

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It is one of the few handfuls of Pathfinders in the USA on 35s and one of maybe 2-3 that has a titan swapped front end with a 6-inch drop bracket kit.

Anywho, I have come to show you all that I have been fighting with since day 1 of lifting this beast to the sky. The rear Alignment. :evil:

Here is my current rear alignment situation:

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My camber and toe are completely out of wack in the rear!

Why you may ask? Simple answer - Too much coil spring lift.

Currently, I am running Nissan Armada coil springs with a 4-inch drop bracket lift. The drop bracket lift simply lowers the subframe so that does not cause the alignment issue. It is the Armada coil springs.

The Armada coil springs lift the suspension close to 2.5-3 inches in the rear. That unfortunately is too much for the Independent Rear Suspension to handle.

So currently, I have a stupid amount of positive camber and Negative toe. How does one fix/ make this better?

Lets move into part 2.
Last edited by Code Pathfinder on Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Code Pathfinder
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Re: Rear Alignment Hell Part 2

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu May 06, 2021 5:18 pm

Alright, so you have seen the crapshoot I am in currently and are wondering what to do?

Well, I am in the same boat but ill tell you what I have done to try and fix/lessen this issue.

First off, Superpro suspensions make offset bushings. These bushings look like this:

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Picture 1 shows the offset bushings for the lower and upper rear control arms for the R51 Pathfinder.

Picture 2 shows the offset toe bushings for the rear coil bucket control arms for the R51 Pathfinder.

The offset bushings in Picture 1 will provide 0.5+- Degree of camber adjustment in the rear. If you run both offset bushings on the upper and lower arms, you will get 1 Degree of +- Camber adjustment.

The offset bushings in Picture 2 will provide 0.5 + Degree of toe adjustment.

Here comes the kicker though - They technically do not work on the USA Model pathfinders :evil:

Here is another kicker - I made them work on USA Model Pathfinders :D

How did I do it?

Read below for Part 3

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Code Pathfinder
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Re: Rear Alignment Hell Part 3

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu May 06, 2021 5:26 pm

Alright, so the bushings work on USA Pathfinders but are specifically made for Aussie/European Pathfinders. What is the kicker?

Here is what I know:

The only reason why these bushings don't work on our USA pathfinders is due to the diameter of the offset bushings.

Nissan for whatever reason decided to make the diameter of the bushings on the USA Pathfinders smaller than the diameter of the Aussie/European Pathfinders.

These bushings also have a "Tapered/Conical" end to them. They have this tapered end on them so they will get tighter as you press them into the arms. On the USA Pathfinders, we do not use Tapered/Conical Bushings. We use straight sleeve bushings that are slightly smaller in Diameter.

Besides that annoying difference, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE USA REAR UPPER/LOWER CONTROL ARMS AND THE AUSSIE/EUROPEAN REAR UPPER/LOWER CONTROL ARMS 8)

All the control arms use the same ball joints, the same bolts, and are shaped the same.

So with that said, to run these offset bushings, you need to purchase the rear upper/lower control arms from the Aussie/European R51 Pathfinder via eBay or an international parts dealer.

Shipping times will vary from place to place but I received the Australian Pathfinder Upper Control Arms and Offset bushings within a month's time.

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Code Pathfinder
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Re: Rear Alignment Hell Part 4

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu May 06, 2021 5:32 pm

Another note,

I also noticed that the rear lower control arms only have one camber bolt for adjustment.

LAME :evil:

My question to someone on this thread would be:

Can you weld on a camber gusset plate on both sides like this:

Image

to the lower control arm mount that does not have a camber bolt and swap in a camber bolt for the straight nonadjustable bolt?

Image

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palmerwmd
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Re: Rear Alignment Hell

Postby palmerwmd » Thu May 06, 2021 6:29 pm

I feel you.
Not meaning to hijack your thread but
I been chasing down some ( much smaller ) alignment issues.
Firestone claimed they couldn't align my R51 properly because of the "rear lift and your concentric bolts are too rusted, buy new ones.".

Just had a alignment done at this place
post100494.html#p100494

And they had no problem getting it right on and felt all concentric bolts were "fine" and that it would be a "waste" to put on new ones.

Sorry for the thread hijack.
I have subscribed to this thread and will see when your new parts come in hopefully your issue is solved :D

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smj999smj
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Re: Rear Alignment Hell

Postby smj999smj » Fri May 07, 2021 6:55 am

Good info deserving of "sticky status," and now it is so..

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Code Pathfinder
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Rear Alignment Hell Part 5

Postby Code Pathfinder » Fri May 07, 2021 11:20 am

Alright another update.

So, here’s an interesting development I’ve discovered on our alignment situation.

When shops align the rear end of the vehicle, their goal is to do a “toe and go”

Essentially, set the toe in spec and get the camber somewhat adjusted if possible.

Well, in the rear of the R51 pathfinder, the toe adjuster maxes out positively when you lift the rear end. When the adjuster is at max, you can’t get any more positive toe out of the rear end without a longer coil bucket arm or offset bushings.

So, to get more toe out to get it in spec, what do alignment shops do?

Shops will use the rear lower control arm camber bolt to push the lower control arm outwards.

Since the coil buckets and the lower control arms are all connected to the rear knuckle, when one moves in or out, the other follows suit.

So in this case, the lower control arm moves outward, pulling the coil bucket mount on the knuckle outwards as well.

Then, your toe is back into spec but your camber looks all messed up because it’s set too far positive (since your pushing the arms out for more positive toe)

Sorry for the long explanation, I will explain better in a video and post the link to the video once it’s up on my YouTube channel.

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Code Pathfinder
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Re: How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:44 pm

Alright, time for another update.

I brought my Nissan back to the shop after getting my overseas lower control arms with the offset bushings from super pro suspension

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These lower arms paired with the upper control arms with offset bushings will give you 1 degree of + or - camber adjustment.

According to the shop I am working with, these should be enough to fix my alignment issues.

next post will show the toe arms and their respective super pro bushings.

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Code Pathfinder
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Re: How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby Code Pathfinder » Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:47 pm

Alright, here are the toe arms (also known as the coil buckets)

the one on top is the USA pathfinder toe arm. The one on the bottom is the overseas pathfinder toe arm:

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As you can see, the overseas pathfinder toe arm is beefier and has a larger bushing than the USA pathfinder toe arm.
Hence the reason why the super pro toe bushings that provide 1/2 degree of + toe only work on the overseas pathfinder toe arms. These bushings are 1.75 inches in diameter. the USA Pathfinder toe amr bushings are 1.60 inches in diameter.

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Now again, these may not be necessary for our vehicles if I find out that the camber offset bushings fix my issue. Now granted, you may need both upper and lower offset bushings but that would potentially fix any of our problems we come across with the rear alignment.

silverarrow27
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Re: How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby silverarrow27 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:09 pm

Although the rear coil bucket arm on the USA Pathy looks weak compared to the imported Pathy, the bushing seems to stick a bit further out on the USA Pathy unless it's just the angle that you took the picture that makes it look so?

I'm still dealing with my rear alignment issue myself. I think I have it eyed good enough now, but my traction light came on for some odd reason. I'll have to keep playing with my suspension. At least I can take off my rear UCA less than 20 minutes(includes jacking up the suv, put jack stands in place, and take off wheel).

I've actually been looking into doing a rear Armada conversion. Basically front Titan swap with a rear Armada conversion and the benefit of the 6x5.5 bolt pattern all the way around for way more wheel selections. Won't happen this year, but I'll seriously look more into the rear Armada conversion next year to see if there are any performance benefits to doing it. So far, the only difference I've found is the rear uca is different. Shock lengths seem to be very minimal in differences.

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Code Pathfinder
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Rear Alignment solved!

Postby Code Pathfinder » Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:14 pm

Alright, the offset bushings on the rear upper and lower control arms did the trick. No need for the toe bushings from super pro either which is nice!

Image

I'll post the part numbers for the bushings and arms below.

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Code Pathfinder
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Rear Alignment Part Numbers

Postby Code Pathfinder » Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:16 pm

Alright here are the part numbers:

Passenger Side Rear Upper Control Arm: 55501EB31A

Drivers Side Rear Upper Control Arm: 55502EB31A

Passenger Side Rear Lower Control Arm: 551A0EB31A

Drivers Side Rear Lower Control Arm: 551A1EB31A

SuperPro Offset Bushings Rear Upper Control Arms: SPF3977K

SuperPro Offset Bushings Rear Lower Control Arms: SPF3975K

The rear control arms need to come from the Overseas pathfinder. The Bushings from super pro don't work on the USA pathfinder control arms. The overseas pathfinder arms use larger bushings and they are tapered.

Other than that, they fit like a glove and are beefier as well which is nice!

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Code Pathfinder
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Re: How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby Code Pathfinder » Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:21 pm

silverarrow27 wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:09 pm
Although the rear coil bucket arm on the USA Pathy looks weak compared to the imported Pathy, the bushing seems to stick a bit further out on the USA Pathy unless it's just the angle that you took the picture that makes it look so?

I'm still dealing with my rear alignment issue myself. I think I have it eyed good enough now, but my traction light came on for some odd reason. I'll have to keep playing with my suspension. At least I can take off my rear UCA less than 20 minutes(includes jacking up the suv, put jack stands in place, and take off wheel).

I've actually been looking into doing a rear Armada conversion. Basically front Titan swap with a rear Armada conversion and the benefit of the 6x5.5 bolt pattern all the way around for way more wheel selections. Won't happen this year, but I'll seriously look more into the rear Armada conversion next year to see if there are any performance benefits to doing it. So far, the only difference I've found is the rear uca is different. Shock lengths seem to be very minimal in differences.
The subframe may not swap over easily because the armada frame is wider than the pathfinder frame.

Shocks on the armada are about 2-3 inches longer if you run their extended travel ones like me. They are from bilstein.

Other problems that will be present when swapping over the subframe:

the Differential speed sensors need to be relocated. The speed sensors on the pathfinder go into the rear differential whereas the armadas speed sensors go into the rear hubs.

The pinion flange will need to be swapped or a new driveshaft will have to be made since the flanges are different sizes between the R200 and R230 Differentials.

You'll need to weld in upper shock mounts to the frame since the armada subframe does not use shock mounts as the pathfinder does.

silverarrow27
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Re: How To: Fix Rear Alignment After lift

Postby silverarrow27 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:33 am

I was actually going the route of using the Armada subframe as parts for my R51 subframe. I know the lower control arm is the same between both the Armada and R51, at least that's according to Rockauto. I know the rear UCA is different, so I know I would need to relocate the upper rear UCA brackets or weld on Armada ones depending if Armada UCAs requires wider spacing between the mounts and if the mounts in general are just bigger than the R51. I was thinking of the same thing for the rear upper shock mount. Just piece it over from the Armada as much as possible.

I haven't looked at the rear brake system to compare and if the R51 axles will fit in the Armada hub.

Definitely some good info about rear Armada's having available extended length rear shocks for more suspension travel. Will also have to look into the limits of the rear axle with that much more travel to see if its even feasible to do all that work and finding out the axles can't handle that much more angle compared to a standard 2" suspension lift.

Anyway, I'm excited to hear about what you're trying to fix your rear alignment issue. Hope it gets resolved soon because I certainly feel that way with mine. I can start spending money on mods instead of "fixing".


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