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Discussion Starter #1
new owner of a new to me 2010 Silver Graphite QX56. Bought several weeks ago.

My current puzzle is with the state of the suspension.
At it the dealership it was advertised as having air ride and the mechanic who did the PPI made no mention of any issue with the suspension so imagine my surprise when I got under it for a diff change and realized that the air hose's were cut, and the back struts are strutmaster gas shocks.

Whats confusing to me is that there is a noticeable sag in the rear end. For reference (was in a parking lot with no ruler) I can fit an IPhone 6 (5.5") easily between the tire and front wheel arch, but cannot on the rear tire and wheel arch, I didn't think much of it until I found online that the arch heights are equal on the 4wd model. Strutmaster has said that with their kit there should be no sag, even with blown out rear shocks. Is it possible someone just swap the shocks and left the coils? Do infiniti coils have any special markings on them? Does anyone have any advice or experience with that type or any type of gas conversion.

My end goal is to have a level, comfortable ride, with some of its factory towing capabilities
 

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Count the number of coils on the spring. Factory springs would have about 6 coils while replacements would likely have 8 or more. I have also seen the factory coils with paint markings.

I don’t know why they would have not replaced the springs with the shocks since changing the springs is fairly easy.
 

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new owner of a new to me 2010 Silver Graphite QX56. Bought several weeks ago.

My current puzzle is with the state of the suspension.
At it the dealership it was advertised as having air ride and the mechanic who did the PPI made no mention of any issue with the suspension so imagine my surprise when I got under it for a diff change and realized that the air hose's were cut, and the back struts are strutmaster gas shocks.

Whats confusing to me is that there is a noticeable sag in the rear end. For reference (was in a parking lot with no ruler) I can fit an IPhone 6 (5.5") easily between the tire and front wheel arch, but cannot on the rear tire and wheel arch, I didn't think much of it until I found online that the arch heights are equal on the 4wd model. Strutmaster has said that with their kit there should be no sag, even with blown out rear shocks. Is it possible someone just swap the shocks and left the coils? Do infiniti coils have any special markings on them? Does anyone have any advice or experience with that type or any type of gas conversion.

My end goal is to have a level, comfortable ride, with some of its factory towing capabilities
It sounds like the previous owner might have done a swap of springs and or put in lower springs. Sourcing stock springs should be easy and not too expensive. Shocks in the rear are not expensive either. Common setup for first Gen Armadas is Bilstein 4600 in rear with the 4600 Fronts or 5100 in the front. Bilstein 5100 Fronts are adjustable FYI.

There are other options for rear shocks like (Icon, Rancho 9000, KYB EXCEL-G, Belltech OE Street Performance Shock Absorber). The Belltech lowers the ride height from what I've found out.

I will be doing the Bilstein swap soon on my rig but in no rush as my Armada came with new suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Count the number of coils on the spring. Factory springs would have about 6 coils while replacements would likely have 8 or more. I have also seen the factory coils with paint markings.

I don’t know why they would have not replaced the springs with the shocks since changing the springs is fairly easy.
I'm starting to wonder if the conversion may have been done haphazardly. Can't tell if the front strut assembly is strut master or not. The red springs make me think that, but the sticker on the strut shows they are monroe OE spectrum.

Wondering if the sag is a combination of a lot of things adding up; higher riding front coils, pushing back on the weaker coils in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It sounds like the previous owner might have done a swap of springs and or put in lower springs. Sourcing stock springs should be easy and not too expensive. Shocks in the rear are not expensive either. Common setup for first Gen Armadas is Bilstein 4600 in rear with the 4600 Fronts or 5100 in the front. Bilstein 5100 Fronts are adjustable FYI.

There are other options for rear shocks like (Icon, Rancho 9000, KYB EXCEL-G, Belltech OE Street Performance Shock Absorber). The Belltech lowers the ride height from what I've found out.

I will be doing the Bilstein swap soon on my rig but in no rush as my Armada came with new suspension.
I was planning on doing the Bilstein 4600 for the rear shocks. For the coil spring I've been reading alot about the moog 81085. I'm worried that the front will be higher with stock springs because of the aftermarket strut assembly
 

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I'm starting to wonder if the conversion may have been done haphazardly. Can't tell if the front strut assembly is strut master or not. The red springs make me think that, but the sticker on the strut shows they are monroe OE spectrum.

Wondering if the sag is a combination of a lot of things adding up; higher riding front coils, pushing back on the weaker coils in the back.
Take some pics and share with the group. There is a lot of people here with good knowledge.
 

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I recently installed Bilstein 4600 and Moog 81085 in the back. The height is 36.5” ground to fender. I have Bilsteins in front with stock springs. That is 35.5”.
 

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I recently installed Bilstein 4600 and Moog 81085 in the back. The height is 36.5” ground to fender. I have Bilsteins in front with stock springs. That is 35.5”.
You did the 4600 on all 4 corners ? Or you did the 5100's on the front ? I ask because the 5100's are 0"-2'' adjustable for the fronts.
 

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I have had the Bilstein 4600 nonadjustable struts for years now. But you could use 5100 to level out front with back. I am happy with current setup. 1 inch difference is not noticeable to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Take some pics and share with the group. There is a lot of people here with good knowledge.
Sorry for taking so long with the pics. Raining all day so when it finally died down it was nice and dark. First couple are of fronts strut. Then rear suspension, definitely aftermarket spring because it has 8 coils. (can you spot the bushing floating around inside the left coil?)

Last pictures are of distance between rear and front wheel arch space measured with flashlight (incapable of finding an actual ruler or tape measure) Last photo is with nothing inside. Rear is lower by a couple of inches. With people and stuff the sag is even worse and the ride is sloppy at best.

IMG_0770.JPG IMG_0769.JPG IMG_0770.JPG IMG_0773.JPG IMG_0774.JPG IMG_0775.JPG IMG_0776.JPG IMG_0778.JPG IMG_0779.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I recently installed Bilstein 4600 and Moog 81085 in the back. The height is 36.5” ground to fender. I have Bilsteins in front with stock springs. That is 35.5”.
When you did the Moog 81085 did you find the rubber spring seat arrows lining up correctly with the spring? How is the ride after? I have no comparison to the air ride, but is it nice?
 

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The arrows don’t both line up. I lined up the botTom one. Haven’t had any issues. Ride is similair to the air shocks.

But I think your real problem is the front. It looks lifted. Those red shocks look like they might be too stiff. When I changed out my front struts for the Bilsteins I noticed a huge improvement in handling and ride. I am approaching 100K on mine and they still ride great. I would start with the front and then see how the ride is. Your back may be fine.
 

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Is the Red Coil Spring Factory on your QX? If not that is a problem. It could be an Eibach spring being longer than OEM or stiffer. As suggested start there.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I do not think its factory, either from strut master conversion kit (they used to be red and they sell the OESpectrum strut for the qx56) or some other quick strut assembly. I was hoping it was part of the strutmaster since that was supposed to give a level ride height.

If swapped in the bilstein for the front, should I swap out the front springs for oem?
I am going to do measurements all around tomorrow to see how it compares to the service manual. QX56 archheight.JPG
 

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Good plan with checking the ride heights. If it were me, I would use all OEM Infiniti/Nissan parts for the new strut assembly except for the Bilsteins. They are more $ but should last longer and less chance for problems. You might also check the condition of the sway bar bushings and end links as those also wear out and affect ride. The QX56/Armada have a really good ride if everything works right.
 

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The QX56/Armada have a really good ride if everything works right.
This is very accurate statement☝.

The first two Armadas I test drove were not near as nice as the one I just purchased. Good working suspension will transform your ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry for taking so long in continuing this thread and thank you to everyone who has shared their advice I really appreciate it.

Finally did the measurements: Front 37" from ground to top of arch, rear a little under 36"
measured on flat ground, unladen, near empty tank.

I think its a combination stiffer front eibach springs as Tanks pointed out and a weaker aftermarket rear spring.
My plan is to start working my way forward from the rear. Even though the front suspension is high, it handles alright in terms of comfort. I also need to get over my fear of spring compressors to do the front.

My plan as of now is starting with Moog 81085 swap (advance auto has them for 105 with free shipping) and Bilstein 4600 struts.

Anyone know the minimum lift height/weight for a floor jack, the one for my old minivan doesn't come close to cutting it.
 

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Another helpful idea is to pull the front shocks and take them to a local shop you reach out to and ask them to do the swap of Springs to the new shocks and you reinstall them yourself. I did this with a local shop and it cost me $60. I too have never used the tools to remove springs but they can be rented from your local auto parts store.
 

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When I converted ours, even with the correct heavier springs the rear sat a little lower than the front, but handled and rode just fine. I added a 1.5" leveling kit to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Another helpful idea is to pull the front shocks and take them to a local shop you reach out to and ask them to do the swap of Springs to the new shocks and you reinstall them yourself. I did this with a local shop and it cost me $60. I too have never used the tools to remove springs but they can be rented from your local auto parts store.
Since its my daily, I'm planning on buying all the oem parts [chromedomer's advice] for the struts assembly from the diagram (minus the oem strut), then trying to assemble it either on my own or at a shop. If anyone has guy in the Hartford area, I'd much appreciate it.
QX56 Strut Assembly Diagram.JPG
 
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