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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening all. Hope everyone is well. Allan here. I have just recently purchased a 2018 Armada Platinum and I do find the ride a little on the " bouncy " side. I know I had read through a few postings and one gentleman had said to install Bilstein shocks. Now I have looked into these shocks and I can't find anyone who has them available. ( Including Bilstein ) So.....that being said, has anyone out there changed their shocks to a different brand with some degree of success in controlling the bounce in the vehicle ?? Thanks in advance......Allan. ( In Canada )
 

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The Y62 Armadas and Z62 QX56/80s have no aftermarket support, domestically. The Bilsteins you’re reading about are for the previous gen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply and the info. Now just wondering, would any suspension upgrades ( assuming they are available ) for the Titan be potentially the same shocks that may fit the Armada ?? Just a thought.
 

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I was thinking the same thing but here's what I found out when I cross referenced Monroe (73048) OE strut replacements for these trucks. The obvious, the Y62/Z62s share the same front strut but when checking the newer H61 Titans (non-XD), its still utilizes the same struts/specs (71358) up front as the original first gens. Our Y62/Z62 has a shorter strut body of about 3/4" and slight differences in compressed, extended and travel. I know Radflo and King have front coilovers available for the Y62 Patrol which would be the closest to our trucks.
 

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The only thing I can think of is maybe going for the 22" OEM Amrada wheels that are on the 2020 Platinum trim. I became interested in the Armada's from a friend who has a 2016 Qx56. At that time, he purchased it used with about 37k miles (rental car). The light floating sensation was one of his gripes. Once he swapped his 18" for the OEM 22" from Infiniti, it changed that floating sensation. Now, I only experienced riding in that car twice since he made that change and for very short distances since he strictly uses it as a Family car for long distance getaways (4 children). I know this is really not an ideal suggestion going for bigger wheels, but the fact that our cars have no support at all in this matter is sad. In addition, he paid quite some $ to buy those wheels. I researched the Bilsteins also and they wont work with our cars. Other more ideal suggestion is sitter springs if that is available. I do read that our springs are soft especially in the rear due to the air shocks.
 

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The reasons why Bilstein won't "fit" has to do with the bushing mount on the lower eyelet. The strut mount bracket on the LCA of the Z62/Y62 is slightly wider apart. Here's how I know ;)
The lower eyelet bushing on the OE struts are roughly 8mm wider than the Bilsteins.


I installed these B8 6100s over a month ago. All I did was add a couple 1/2 SS spacers to fill in the gap on the LCA strut bracket. I bored out the holes to roughly 14mm in order for the bolt to pass thru. What I also found out, since the top strut mount is the same from 04-current armadas, titans, qx56/80 non-HBMC, so are the strut mount rubber bushings. In other words, if you were to replace just the top strut mount from Nissan, for a Y62...it would cost almost $50/each. Don't even get me started on the spring seat and strut rubber bushings. I paid right around $60, Rockauto.com, for new Moog strut mounts w/ spring seats and KYB strut rubber bushings for both sides. What a huge difference it made on my QX80. The ride feels firmer but not jarring and when driving over multiple road construction plates, the truck still feels so planted. I knew these B8 6100s would be overkill but I'm sure they would show their true worth for those off roading with their trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The reasons why Bilstein won't "fit" has to do with the bushing mount on the lower eyelet. The strut mount bracket on the LCA of the Z62/Y62 is slightly wider apart. Here's how I know ;)
The lower eyelet bushing on the OE struts are roughly 8mm wider than the Bilsteins.


I installed these B8 6100s over a month ago. All I did was add a couple 1/2 SS spacers to fill in the gap on the LCA strut bracket. I bored out the holes to roughly 14mm in order for the bolt to pass thru. What I also found out, since the top strut mount is the same from 04-current armadas, titans, qx56/80 non-HBMC, so are the strut mount rubber bushings. In other words, if you were to replace just the top strut mount from Nissan, for a Y62...it would cost almost $50/each. Don't even get me started on the spring seat and strut rubber bushings. I paid right around $60, Rockauto.com, for new Moog strut mounts w/ spring seats and KYB strut rubber bushings for both sides. What a huge difference it made on my QX80. The ride feels firmer but not jarring and when driving over multiple road construction plates, the truck still feels so planted. I knew these B8 6100s would be overkill but I'm sure they would show their true worth for those off roading with their trucks.
Thanks very much for all that info ! I am glad that you had figured all that out and are now sharing with others.The ride is nice of course but on the rougher roads feels a little out of control with all the roll.I will look into these and see what I come up with. Thanks very much again for your time !
 

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Before going with the Bilsteins, I contacted Radflo. They actually have a front coilover kit for the Y62 Armada which I was ready to buy. When I mentioned I had a QX80, I was told they would have to check with their engineers if it would fit. I tried explaining it would fit and even sent them pics of the non-HBMC suspension on my QX80. Never heard from them after several emails.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for that info ! I will look into those. Was it necessary to replace the upper components you also had to order or was that just your choice ? ( spring seat and rubber bushings ) ( Do you have parts numbers for those also ? ) I assume this change was for the front only since the rears, of course, have the air bags.
 

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With my QX80 breaking the 100K mark this year, its only proper to replace all those suspension related rubber bushings. A few things to note regarding this setup if you decide not to go with Radflo, King, etc.

I opted for the B8 6100s because it was as close as to the OE Tokico struts in regards to size, collapsed/extended lengths and travel. Now, the model I opted for was for the 04-16 Titans, 7 adjustable ride heights. It is also available for the 17-up Titan but it cost slightly more. From what Summit Racing had told me, the difference possibly has to do with how Bilstein changed up the slots for the adjustable coil perch on the newer Titans.
When I first installed it on the lowest perch setting, the front end of my truck was much lower than the rear. The coils on the Y62/Z62 are much softer and shorter than the previous gen. When I went to compress the springs to remove them from the OE struts, it didn't take much to do so with the manual strut compressor tools. I had to place the perch on the 4th or 5th slot; that pretty much leveled out the front end and brought the height right up to OE spec (35in. from ground to fender).
The rear OE pieces were already showing signs of cracks and splintering on the rubber bushings so I replaced those too.

Parts I installed:
Bilstein B8 6100 24-270182
Moog K160344 front strut mount w/ spring seat
KYB SM5700 front strut upper bushings
1/2" spacers, holes bored out to 14mm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I priced the B8-6100 here and they are $500. each !! Ouch. Now I see that there is a 5100 series shock that will fit. Did you investigate these before making your choice ? I believe in your correspondence you had mentioned that the ones your installed where " overkill ". Thanks......Allan.
 

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Wow, that is expensive. I paid $607/pair but I see you’re up in Canada so that likely explains the price difference. I did my own research, comparing the OE specs of the shocks and finding what was similar. I only opted for the B8-6100s because it’s the closest thing where the valving is similar to what you’d find in a coilover such as Radflo, Fox, etc. I had Fox 2.0 coilovers on my previous armada so I already knew what type of suspension I wanted to upgrade up front on the QX80.
The reason I mentioned it’s “overkill” is because I live in NYC and have no plans ever to take my QX80 off-roading, trailing or
muddling. That is where I’m sure the true potential of these 6100s would shine. Potholes, construction plates, the occasional pedestrian (lol, j/k) is what the majority of the suspension is ever going to see.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
So I have to ask......when you changed these front shocks, was the difference in ride and handling ( especially ) barely noticeable, quite a difference, or wow....what a difference ! I have found a company near Toronto that has them for just about what you paid. So I want it from the horses mouth in regard to the benefits of making this change. Thanks again for all your wonderful info !!! Allan.
 

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So I have to ask......when you changed these front shocks, was the difference in ride and handling ( especially ) barely noticeable, quite a difference, or wow....what a difference ! I have found a company near Toronto that has them for just about what you paid. So I want it from the horses mouth in regard to the benefits of making this change. Thanks again for all your wonderful info !!! Allan.
Even several months later, I still think to myself what a huge difference these 6100s have been. Don’t forget, we all have different opinions on ride characteristics and how we each expect a vehicle is supposed drive and handle. I personally don’t like the wallowing, multiple rebounding or bouncing feel of a suspension going over uneven pavement, chip seals or even taking swooping turns on roadway helixes. These 6100s checks off everything for me in what I look for when upgrading the shock/strut and I even feel these are better than the Fox 2.0 coilovers I had on my 04. Just the size of the body tells you these Bilsteins mean business. Not only that it significantly has more oil inside, throw in the larger piston and these 6100s just maintains a smooth, consistent response to bumps, hard hits or dips on the roads.
Btw, this was the video I found that had me sold on experimenting with the 6100s.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just the info I was after !! Again, thank you so much for your attention to my issue. I'm sure you have done the same for many other Armada/QX80 owners. Allan.
 

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This forum has been such a huge help going back to my early days with my 04 LE so I do what can to return the favor. Just to let you know, I’ve already begun my research for the rear. Knowing how these air compressors like to fail so easily, it’s only time when I’ll be ready to replace it with a non-leveling suspension. Of course, I’ll post that up too when it does happen.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
One final inquiry. Was there a second choice shock that you also would have possibly been happy with ? ( Bilstein of course like a 5100 series )
 

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After having installed these 6100s, I honestly feel none of the other Bilsteins (4600/5100) comes close to how these perform. My QX80 is on 22s and it still has that firm, yet comfortable, supple ride. I’m actually glad Radflo never got back to me because I saved over $600 and couldn’t be any happier with these 6100s.
 
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Did you consider going with King shocks for the Y62? Pricey but I hear they fit without modification:

 
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