ParaphrasedForumUser wrote: Im looking to possibly paint my rims black. Do you think it will look fine with the stock rims?
Looking to just do a small lift. 2 inch max and some better tires. not a huge offroader but wouldn't mind being able to crawl through some small stuff. whats the best way to do this on a budget.
i think there should be some pics of others doing their stock rims black in this thread, it should give you some idea of what yours would look like. it starts at the last page so just go backwards until you see your rims:
http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic. ... &start=360
as for the painting black....so i plastidip'd mine almost 2 years ago. about a month ago i finally had one wheel that started peeling/cracking a little. so now i'm peeling/sanding the plasti off all of my rims (one at a time) and painting them black. cost is ~$10 per rim as i'm doing primer and paint.
there's big debates about powdercoating vs rattlecan painting, but i think painting is pretty easy to 'repair' if you get a chip in it or whatnot. once you powdercoat, that's it. you can't repowdercoat or whatever since they sandblast (sometimes) and re-cook the rims. so, choice is yours on plasti vs paint vs powdercoating.
whatever you do with the lift, i would for sure add the airlift 1000 to the rear springs. it's the cheapest upgrade that nets you the biggest help in firming up the rear, plus it just about eliminates the rear sag if you're carrying passengers + gear (not to mention if you tow -anything-)
as for the lift vs budget....some people just put in the 2in spring spacers and like it just fine. the spacers are basically plastic/poly "hockey pucks" that you put inbetween the spring and the upper spring seat. it nets you a ~2in lift but uses the existing (crap)springs and existing (crap ass) shocks/struts. i myself would not go that route. it does give you 2 inches, but i bet you'll be wishing you did something else a month after you do it.
next is the route i first took and is what i would recommend at a minimum: i ordered a package deal from 4x4parts.com (supposedly it's currently backordered, but i haven't checked in quite awhile) that came with bilstein 5100 ride height adjustable struts for the front (reuses existing front coils), new medium duty +2in springs for the rear, and bilstein HD shocks for the rear. the front shocks have a spacer ring that you can adjust (not on the fly, you set it and then reassemble the strut/coil pack) how much lift you want in 1/2 in increments up to max 2inches. it's basically a spring spacer but done from where the lower coil seat is on the strut. imo this wasn't a -bad- setup and really firmed up the super squishy stock ride. that plus the airlift really took out alot of body roll/sway in cornering. it did make offroading alot more 'bumpy' but seeing as how it's on the road more than off i was good with that. this setup was ~$440 in parts. i did the work myself (really not -that- hard, just some bolts are a pain to get to), but had two shop charges, one for alignment (which you'd have in any of these cases) and $50 per strut to swap my struts out. i couldn't get the spring spacer in between the coils to compress it, so a shop had to do it for me with their compression tool.
however this is the 'budget' route i would recommend, even though it's the most expensive of these lowest three options for lift stages i'm mentioning. while the rear did firm up alot with the 4x4parts package, the front still seemed a little sloshy. due to some noise i thought was a busted strut (turns out it's not, and i'm still getting a strange noise in front when it's cold and i go over speed bumps, almost like a suspension rub but i can't find any rub spots) i ended up replacing my fronts with the rancho 9000XL coilovers. they send you an assembled strut with coil, so no need to use spring compressors or take your existing coilover to a shop to have them swap out struts from the coil. the 9000s also have an adjustable dampener, so when you're onroad you can have it super firm but when offroad you can just turn the dial and have it really squishy to absorb the bumps. i'm really happy with the firmness of the ride, and you can adjust it to your liking with the ranchos in the front, and temper it with the inflation pressure of rear airbags. i really recommend this because i really feel it gives you the most flexibility in getting your desired ride qualities dialed in to exactly what you want. with the bilstens and some of the other non adjustables you're stuck with what you have and you have to live with it. not sure how to price this one, but it was ~$330 shipped for the two ranchos. but like i said with this setup you won't find yourself wanting more or this or that after you do it. had i done it this way first i probably would have saved a couple hundred and a boatload of time.