SRN’s 2017 Nissan Armada Build Thread

SRN

Adventurer
I’ve had a number of people reach out to me about Old Man Emu Patrol spring options, so I figured it was time to create a proper “build thread” for my Y62 Armada.

I’ll start with the lift install. This is not the easiest install in the world. As such, I did not take a ton of pictures because I was busy wrenching and swearing, but I will do my best to explain how I did it. I have access to a full shop which made this a bit easier, but you could do this in your driveway with the right tools. Also, I legitimately needed three people at points so bribe some friends to come help. If people have insight on how to do this smarter, easier; please pipe up. I could not find any instructions or build threads out there that documented the whole process before I started, just bits of information here and there that I pieced together. I’m hoping that this will help the next guy that comes along.







First, the parts list (All Old Man Emu parts were purchased from Cruiser Outfitters):

Front:

Springs: OME 2978

Struts: OME 90015 x2

Upper Control Arms: SPC 25560

Sway Bar: PRG Replacement End Links and Bushing Kit

Camber/Toe Adjustment Bolts: SPC 87520 (two kits, one per side)



Rear

Springs: OME 2986

Shocks OME 60084 x2

Camber/Toe Adjustment Bolts: SPC 87520 (modified, explained below) AND a 14mm x 2.0 thread die.

_________________________________

Rear Suspension:

First, obviously, jack up and support the vehicle on the frame then remove the rear tire of the side you will be working on. You will want to leave the other three tires on and touching the ground (This is because you need the weight of the vehicle to help you get the new spring into place).

Then disconnect the air compressor. You can either just cap the weather pack and air lines or remove the compressor and associated hardware all together, your choice.

Next remove the air line from the shock. You do this by pushing the red ring towards the shock body with a flathead screwdriver, then pulling the air line out. This will cause a rush of air as the shock deflates.





Remove the top and bottom bolts from the shock and remove it from the vehicle.





Now, unclip the ABS wire from the spring bucket as well as the air suspension height sensor. Support the underside of the spring bucket with a floor jack and remove the inner bolt from the bucket (#2 in the diagram). You do this for two reason, this is also the toe adjustment bolt which you will be replacing with a modified SPC 87520 and because when you are putting the new spring in, this is the straightest angle to get it into place.:





Slowly lower the jack until the spring is free and pull it out.





At this point, you should take the set of SPC 87520 camber bolts that you have for the rear toe adjustment and using the thread die, cut another ~1/2” of thread onto the bolt. Then, leaving the die on the bolt, shorten the bolt by a corresponding 1/2", file the nose down so its tapered a bit, and back the die out to clean up the threads.

This is where shiz gets real! The OME 2986 spring is about 4.5” longer than the stock spring (results will vary here depending on how worn your springs are) and has 2mm thicker bar. There is no way that we could find to get the new spring into place without compressing it about 3”. At this point, I feel obligated to say that is you are in any way uncomfortable with compressing a coil spring that much, I don’t blame you. Take the vehicle to a shop and have them install the lift.





We had a center pull style spring compressor (like this), though we had to modify it to be long enough by using a threaded bolt off of a pull hammer. We installed it with the spring sitting in the bucket and a flat steel plate under the bucket. Then we cranked on that sucker until it fit, like I said about 3” of compression was needed.





Once you can line the spring up with the upper bucket, put a floor jack underneath and slowly jack it up until you can put in the new toe alignment bolt. (You will start to lift the whole vehicle when you do this. That is why you need the other three wheels on the ground so you are using the weight of the vehicle to your advantage). Tighten that up and remove the jack and spring compressor.

Then install the new shock, which is just the reverse of removing it.





Put the wheel back on, and with the tire still in the air use the toe and camber adjustments to eyeball the wheel as straight as you can. Then tighten all the bolts up to spec.

Repeat on the other side.



Front Suspension:

Jack up the front end, support the vehicle on the frame and remove the wheels.

You will first need to remove the old strut assemblies. This is simply taking out the bottom bolt and the three nuts on the top. Once everything is loose, it should just pull out.

Now, dismantle the old strut, pull the top plate off, and then using that with the OME parts, assemble the new strut. You’ll need a way to compress the spring to do this, again you can rent compressors or you can just have a shop build them for you.

Next, you basically have to dismantle the rest of the front end. You’ll need to remove the steering knuckle (I hung the knuckle from the frame so I didn’t disconnect any brake lines):





The sway bar:





And the upper and lower control arms:





Once you have done that, take your new SPC 25560 upper control arms and mock them up in place. Let the arm hit the upper strut tower and mark where it hits and then using your preferred tool, notch the tower so the UCA has maximum range of motion.





(Photo’s courtesy of leeleatherwood because his are way sharper than the ones I took.)



Remove the mocked up UCA.

Reinstall the lower control arm using the new SPC 87520 camber bolts. Leave the LCA loose for when you install the new strut.

Put the new strut into the upper strut tower and loosely reinstall the nuts. Then pull down on the LCA so you can fit the lower eye of the strut into place and install the bolt. Snug both the upper nuts and lower bolt.





Next install the new upper control arm. Follow the instructions from SPC for installing the ball joint. I installed mine as far back in the UCA as I could with them pointing forward, allowing for +0.5* greater camber and caster adjustment. Leave the UCA loose until you reinstall the steering knuckle.

Reinstall the steering knuckle and tighten everything to spec.

Put a floor jack under the LCA and use that to help align the steering knuckle with the upper ball joint. Once that is connected, then reconnect the tie rod and tighten both to spec.

Reinstall the wheels and put the vehicle on the ground. Now, replace the end links and bushings on the sway bar with the new ones and reinstall it on the vehicle.

Jack vehicle back up, eyeball the camber and toe as best you can and tighten everything to spec.

Now, get it aligned! You will have to sacrifice some rear camber to get the toe in spec, but that’s OK.

And you’re done!



Spare Tire:

I’ve read in a couple places that you can’t fit a 35” tire in the factory spare location, this is incorrect. You can indeed fit a 35” tire there easily.



 
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SRN

Adventurer
Skid Plates

I already have a post about this, but I figured I’d consolidate it here as well.
I purchased a set of DASH Offroad skid plates from Nisstec. These are for the Patrol, which means that it is just the three plate kit for the oil pan, transmission, and transfercase. It excludes the radiator skid plate, as the Armada has a longer nose. They are developing a radiator plate, but no ETA on that. The guys at Nisstec in Denver were great to deal with and I’m super happy that they are beginning to bring in more DASH products. The kit came with no instructions, which is fine; they’re just skid plates. But I figured I do a short write up on how I installed them just in case anyone is looking for a little guidance in the future.

1. Unboxed everything. Three skid plates (obviously):



And a package of fasteners:



In the fastener package I had the following:

Bolts:
Two (2) M10 x 1.25 hex head
Five (5) M10 x 1.25 Allen head
Three (3) M8 x 1.25 Allen head (long)
Two (2) M8 x 1.25 Allen Head (medium)
Four (4) M8 x 1.25 Allen head (short)

Studs:
Four (4) M10 x 1.25 | M8 x1.25

Nuts:
Six (6) M10 x 1.25 hex nuts
Three (3) M10 x 1.25 captured nuts
Six (6) M8 x 1.25 rivnuts

Fish Rods (or whatever they’re called):
Two (2) long
One (1) short


2. Next, I lined up all the skid plate in order under the vehicle and make note of where the rivnuts will need to be installed. There are four holes on the cross brace behind the oil pan and two on the cross brace in front of the transfer case.
(As a note, to install the rivnuts you will need an installation tool like this: RZX 8” Rivet NUT Gun)

For the two in front of the transfer case, I had to mark the location and drill holes. Since mine is a fairly early build date ’17 Armada, not sure if this will be the case for everyone. All the other holes lined up perfectly.




3. Next, I fished in the captured nuts. The two longer fish rods go in the cross brace in front of the transfer case. I fished them in from the sides, but there may be other ways.





The short one went in the very back. I forgot to grab a picture of that, but it’s pretty obvious.

4. Install the studs in the cross brace behind the oil pan.




5. Install the bracket at the rear. Again, I forgot to get a picture of it installed, but its obvious:



My only note on this is that the threaded hole that is already part of the vehicle was an M10 x 1.50, not an M10 x 1.25. So I had to source my own bolt for that.


6. Install the skid plates rear to front. The reason for this is that you want the front lip of each plate to be covered by the plate ahead of it so if you do slide these over a rock, the lip doesn’t catch.




7. Tightened them all up, and it looks pretty slick!

This is never going to be a rockcrawler, but it sure feels better to have these on there protecting all the sensitive stuff underneath.
___________________________________

Rock Sliders:

No one in the US makes or carries rock sliders for the Y62 platform, so I snagged a set of Trail Gear Tacoma DC sliders. They are 78" long, and the Armada is 80" between wheel wells, so not a big deal if there is an inch gap on either end. Since my welding skills are pretty weak sauce, I took them to a buddy to modify them a bit and mocked them up:



After we were satisfied with how they fit, I got them powdercoated a textured black. Then it was just welding them on. They turned out great!











 
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SRN

Adventurer
Now that it's stopped raining, here are some post lift parking lot photo's:




Note the front is sitting higher than the rear, this is because I put on the medium rate springs in anticipation of putting a DASH Predator Bar and winch on this summer. That additional weight should weigh it down enough to even everything out.










Here you can see the positive camber I had to use to get the toe straight. There are some camber bushings you can get from OnTrack 4x4 in Australia that can fix this, but I'm thinking I'll try another set of the SPC 87520 camber bolts and see if that'll help.
 
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OneTime

Adventurer
Amazing write up. Truck looks amazing. Thank you for taking the time. Are you sitting over 7’ with the lift and 35s? I live in AZ and parking in the garage is a factor.
 

llamalander

Active member
I don't own an Armada, but I always appreciate more Nissan How-to's & this is a good one.
Thanks for posting and keep us up on what you add next.
 
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Break n Fix

New member
Hey this is a great post! I've been waiting to see you install it because I am tired of waiting on Ironman4x4 and don't want/need coilovers for the adventuring I'll be doing. Are you running true 35x12.5" or are they 305/70's?
 
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SRN

Adventurer
Hey this is a great post! I've been waiting to see you install it because I am tired of waiting on Ironman4x4 and don't want/need coilovers for the adventuring I'll be doing. Are you running true 35x12.5" or are they 305/70's?
They are true 35" x 12.50"s.
 

T-Willy

Well-known member
Looks great. I've always thought Armada was a bit of a sleeper platform.

How does it drive and feel?
 

SRN

Adventurer
Looks great. I've always thought Armada was a bit of a sleeper platform.

How does it drive and feel?
Just road driving since I've installed the lift. A bit stiffer than stock, but by no means unbearable. I've always felt like the Armada had a really loose rear end, this definitely fixes that. I'll be interesting to see how it does on washboard roads. That'll be the real test.
 

TwinDuro

Active member
Very cool build! I’ve always wondered what could be done with this generation of Armada and you’re doing a dang good job IMHO so far!
 
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