Quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup

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PEZi
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Quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup

Postby PEZi » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:41 pm

Many people tend to be curious as to the lowering of their pickups when they get them. This is the simple process to lower your nissan trucks all the way from back in the datsun days through the hardbody days. The process is by using lowering blocks in the rear and cranking down the torsion bars in the front.

For the rear: You will need a set of lowering blocks which can be found at many local parts stores such as checker. You simply go up to an employee and tell them what you're looking for as they are typically in the back. They come generally in 2" 2.5" and 3" blocks and will lower the truck accordingly. Longer u-bolts will also be needed; your best bet is to take the old ones off once you get going to check out the size as different model pickups may have different sizes. The length will need to be extended in respect to the size block you purchase. New nuts and washers are typically included with the u-bolts. Lastly you will need new "drop shocks". These are shocks specifically made for the change in ride height that your block is giving you.

For the front: In later model pickups ie: 720 and hardbody, you will only need a socket wrench and an open end wrench. The size socket and open end will likely depend on the year your truck was produced so it is best to check what size you will need before starting. In earlier model datsun truck you may also need longer bolts in place of the stock torsion bar anchors as well. Make sure these bolts are grade 8!!!!

Reference Pictures:
Image
Image
Image

The process rear:
I. With wheel chucks around your front tires jack up the rear and put jackstands under the vehicle. Once the truck is up, release the jack so the springs will drop to full extension, but once full extension is reached use the jack as support for the axle while working.
II. Unbolt all four nuts from the u-bolts (see pic 1). The typical socket size is a 19mm deep dish though it should always be checked as your truck may be different. Also unbolt both the top and bottom bolts of the shock and remove it. The top is typically 18mm and the bottom a 16mm. Once the shock is removed, the u-bolts can be removed from the lower plate and the whole assembly can be removed from the axle.
III. Repeat on other side of the truck.
IV. Jack the axle back up as to separate the axle from the leaf springs.
V. Slide the lowering block into place in between the axle and leaf springs. There is a tab on the block and that will face down into a hole in the leaf spring. The stock tab on the axle will fit into a hole found on the opposite side of the tab on the block.
VI. Repeat on the other side of the truck. A partner may be helpful for this step as the other side may be unseated while putting in the second side's block. The bet way is for one person to set in the blocks and then align the axle while a second person then lowers the jack back to full extension. Leave jack under for support.
VII. Put the new u-bolts around the axle.
VIII. Reattach the lower plate and torque the new nuts to the u-bolts at 75-85 ft lbs. Re torque after 100 miles!
IX. Repeat on other side.
X. Reattach new shocks. Attach the lower end of the new shocks in to both sides. You may need to jack the axle up a couple inches in order to attach the tops of the shocks. Once attached and everything is tight, remove the jack stands and lower the truck.

The process front:
I. With the e-brake on and wheel chucks around rear tires, jack the front end of the truck up and put it on jack stands.
II. Proceed to the torsion bar anchor bolts which are shown in picture 2. If you are having trouble finding them refer to picture 3. Picture 3 shows the path the torsion bar takes back to the anchor bolts from the front suspension.
III. Put your socket wrench (typically 17mm) on the bolt itself and the open end wrench (typically 15mm) on the nut on top of the bolt.
IV. Turn the bolt left (loosen) to lower the front end. You will need to choose your own ride height when doing this as there is not a 1:1 ratio for bolt movement to lowering height. This means you may end up jacking the truck up and down several times before you get it completely right. Each time you should let the shocks settle before measuring height. With older model trucks keep in mind you may need longer bolts to achieve your desired drop.
V. Remove jack stands and drop the truck.
VI. Go get a front end alignment because both your toe and camber will be out severely. You may find that if you have frame damage your camber may not be able to be fully readjusted due to the new drop.

It took me about an hour by myself to lower the rear and you can bet on about 5 minutes for the front if you get the ride height right the first try... otherwise jacking up again and so on will take a bit longer.

When all was said and done... I ended up with this

Image


InsertNameHere
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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (PEZi303)

Postby InsertNameHere » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:59 am

Nice write up.

I'll try to get some pics of the torsion bars of my 92 because they are ever so slightly different than your 720.

Just a little tip: When I was lowering my front torsion bars, I used a "Locking Flex Ratcheting Combination Wrench" It made lowering the front a whole lot easier than using an open ended wrench because of the limited space. The nuts for the torsion bar adjustment on my 92 hardbody were both 19mm, but it may be different for other years.


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Postby Rev_D21 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:58 am

Awesome work guys! I vote sticky.

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Re: (Reverend D)

Postby FlatBlackIan » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:12 am

Looks good Anthony.

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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (PEZi303)

Postby InsertNameHere » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:02 pm

Here's a pic of the 90's 2WD torsion bar adjusting nuts. As you can see there are plenty of threads left on the stock bolt.


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Postby Rev_D21 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:39 pm

The only thing I might want to suggest is re-indexing your control arm bushings with the weight of the truck on them. This will prevent over extending them since they were torqued with the original ride height in mind. It's just a matter of loosening them and re-torquing them which allows them to adjust to the new ride height. Bushings only have so much travel and by lowering the truck they go out of their "range" thus shortening their life. Re-indexing them allows for the new ride height while keeping the bushings within "range".

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Re: (Reverend D)

Postby young-gunn » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:04 pm

I dropped mine last night and aligned it this afternoon, but it's very bouncy. is there any way to sidden the front up? I'm going to be buying some aftermarket shocks too once winter is over.

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Re: (young-gunn)

Postby PEZi » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:13 pm

young-gunn wrote:I dropped mine last night and aligned it this afternoon, but it's very bouncy. is there any way to sidden the front up? I'm going to be buying some aftermarket shocks too once winter is over.
the aftermarket shocks should fix it... mine is extremely stiff because i wanted to keep it ready for auto x.

there are many options out there in that respect including KYB monomax that are pretty good... but if you're really looking for the 'perfect' ride they make adjustable KONI's that can be found on summitracing.com... that way you get to choose exactly what ride you get out of the vehicle... most expensive option of course

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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (PEZi303)

Postby young-gunn » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:01 pm

is there any way to get my truck any lower without resorting to air? There's lots of the ones built for drift that are right low, and I cant imagine them using air.

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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (young-gunn)

Postby PEZi » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:33 pm

for the front you can get drop spindles... that with the torsion bars can lower you to the ground if you want

for the rear couple the lowering blocks with along with a re-arch of the leaf springs (or flip the eyelets of the leaf springs) but that needs to be done at a spring shop.

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Re: (Reverend D)

Postby rizzobc » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:01 pm

ok, you guys are great. you have helped me ou so much, but i do hve a question. how do you reindex the control arm bushings? you see this is all new to me. thanks Rizz

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Re: (rizzobc)

Postby Desert Rat » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:03 am

I can lower your truck faster.

Let the air out of the tires


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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (PEZi720)

Postby flinterman2000 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:35 am

My brother had an83 king cab and lowered his about three inches with lowering blocks. I also know that he cut the chassis and installed a piece of 4" pipe to get the full travel of the diff. Is that really necessary for that kind of drop or only if you are going really radical.

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Re: (Desert Rat)

Postby kibatheloanwolf » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:54 am

Desert Rat wrote:I can lower your truck faster.

Let the air out of the tires
No no no you for got one other option Desert Rat You for got taking the rims off :P

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Postby lavagray » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:33 pm

More info on: reindex the control arm bushings?

Changing the shocks will get you close to stock ride again?

Sorry for the noobie question.

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FN-QR

Postby PEZi » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:20 pm

if you search for re-indexing you should find a thread... i know there was one specifically on re-indexing possibly in the ODPL section of NICO

shocks will not change your ride height unless the current ones are completely shot and even then it wouldn't take you up much

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Re: quick way to lower a nissan/datsun pickup (PEZi720)

Postby 97PickUp » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:38 pm

I found this way of removing the stock U bolts easier:

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Postby PEZi » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:11 pm

hot damn! mine came off pretty easy the normal way... but yeah that works too!

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Re: FN-QR (PEZi720)

Postby 97PickUp » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:19 pm

Hahaha. to be fair, the bolts were rusted to all hell.

and just a side note ^ On my '97 I found it was also a 19 or 3/4 for the torsion bars (3/4 seemed to work better for some reason)

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Postby lavagray » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:44 pm

Sorry. My question is if the truck is lowered, do you lose much on the ride comfort? The rears I would think is the same ride, so does the front ride get harsher?

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Postby PEZi » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:03 pm

its not as comfortable no... but it can be helped by getting better shocks

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Re: (young-gunn)

Postby Jamman » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:50 pm

Remember that you can lower out the front suspension travel. Which will give you no travel and an unsafe ride not to mention destroy your truck and maybe even teeth

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Re: (Jamman)

Postby LVM » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:20 am

What is the difference out of the drop spindles as opposed to the drop control arms?Does anyone have problems with the drop blocks and is it worth the money to get drop leafs? Summit sells them, and I know blocks are illegal in some states, but do they cause any issues with the way you are able to drive your truck. In the near future once I figure out where my rear end is coming from, I'm going to start drifting my truck, and I wasn't sure if anyone has had issues or not.

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Re: (LVM)

Postby PEZi » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:04 pm

LVM wrote:What is the difference out of the drop spindles as opposed to the drop control arms?Does anyone have problems with the drop blocks and is it worth the money to get drop leafs? Summit sells them, and I know blocks are illegal in some states, but do they cause any issues with the way you are able to drive your truck. In the near future once I figure out where my rear end is coming from, I'm going to start drifting my truck, and I wasn't sure if anyone has had issues or not.
with the power these trucks make the rear drop blocks don't cause any issues... however... with higher HP they will allow for 'axle wrap' and not be all that fun... remember this is the 'quick way to lower it'if you want to drift either get drop leafs or if you want to be completely sure about your purchase have them lowered at a spring shop... i autocross and have no issues with the blocks until the back end breaks loose... but considering i'm not supposed to be breaking loose i'll leave it until i do my suspension buildas far as the front... i've never heard of drop control arms... but the spindles will work great! i'm sure someone here has heard of the control arms but i haven't... so i'll let them tell you about those

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Re: (PEZi720)

Postby kibatheloanwolf » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:34 am

Two questions 1. Why are the hard body's a** end always higher than the front of the truck?

2. suppose I wanna Raise the nose of my truck how would I do that?

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Re: (kibatheloanwolf)

Postby PEZi » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:16 am

to raise the front you just 'tighten' the torsion bar bolts (turn to the right)

but personally i like the front lower... i lowered my front more than the rear... helps my driving style at autocross too

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Re: (PEZi720)

Postby kibatheloanwolf » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:32 pm

Do I need to put it on stands first?

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Postby PEZi » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:24 pm

yep

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Re: FN-QR (PEZi720)

Postby kibatheloanwolf » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:37 pm

Thanks PEZi Anything I wanna check While it's on the stands?

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Postby PEZi » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:35 pm

check the bushings... every last little rubber piece under there


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