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Discussion Starter #1
This weekend I installed new custom rear coil springs on my 16’ FWD XLE from Coil Spring Specialists (CSS). I consulted with Kevin Crane and he spec’d our several different options for me.

Why?
I tow a trailer/bike rack combo with a 400 lb tongue weight. I continued to have major scrapping issues even with an AirLift 1000 used with a 1” spacer.

Secondly, depending on how things look when loaded, I may do a custom Traxda front spacer to gain better overall ground clearance.

How the process worked:
CSS has you run your VIN with Toyota and pull your exact OEM spring specifications. They build your custom springs off of these specifications.

Price with tax & shipping was $326.58.
Production time was right at 4 weeks as advertised.
They didn’t charge my card until the springs shipped.
Shipping was about 4 days.

Specifications:
Based off of: Rear OEM - coil spring #48231-08-051

CSS Custom Spring:
I.D. Wire Dia. Checking Load @ Checking Load Height Rate F.L. T.C.
4.50" .705" 1250# @ 11.875" 380/450#/in 15.125" 8.375

The goal was to increase ride height by 1.5” and add 425lbscarrying capacity. As a result, the spring rate increased by 30%.

My rear stock unloaded ride height was at 29.75” in the center of the wheel well.

My new unloaded ride height 32”. So, I actually gained 2.25”.

I wasn’t banking on that much of a gain and therefore rake, but it actually seems fine so far. The ride quality is firmer and there seems to be less body roll. I definitely need to adjust my headlights.

I’m getting an alignment tomorrow and I may have a spacer installed to deal with a .38 degree tow issue.

Later this week will embark on a 1,200 mile trip, 5 people suitcases, a roof box and a verticle bike rack holding 5 bikes.

Here is how it looks unloaded:
 

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Hey you have the rake of a truck!

Anyway, sounds like minivans can use stiffer springs just like some SUVs for better handling. I'm not quite sure what you mean by installing a spacer to deal with a .38 degree toe issue though? Are you talking about shims?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey you have the rake of a truck!

Anyway, sounds like minivans can use stiffer springs just like some SUVs for better handling. I'm not quite sure what you mean by installing a spacer to deal with a .38 degree toe issue though? Are you talking about shims?
Yea no kidding, I looks like an old S-10 with new rear leaf springs!

Yes, I do mean a shim for the toe issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good news from Firestone this morning! By raising the back end, I actually took my toe issue and split the difference between toe and camber. The result was that they are both in the "acceptable" range. If I added a shim on the left rear, I'd create and issue on the right rear and throw my total toe off.
 

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Just for future readers... this is not really a good solution for handling a heavy trailer tongue weight. Heavy duty coils will do nothing to get weight back on the front wheels. A FWD van will still have the same reduced traction and both FWD and AWD will have the same steering issues as before.

A much better solution when towing is using a weight distributing hitch (WDH) which will actually get weight back on the front wheels improving traction and steering.

I'm not sure about gen3 vans, but gen2 has a 350 lb tongue weight limit (trailer tongue plus anything else on the hitch) in a weight carrying (non-WDH) capacity. My 2007 is rated at up to 525 lbs with WDH (though my receiver is only rated to 500 with WDH).

-Mike

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I agree a WDH is probably an overall better option. My receiver supports a 525lb tongue weight without WDH.

From what I have found, the Sienna manual lists strict axle load limits and gross vehicle weight limits. And it also speaks to a percentage of tow weight recommendations regarding tongue weight. That recommendation seems to be made with concern to trailer sway. It also says not to exceed receiver ratings, but I haven’t found a strict tongue weight limit in the manual yet. Has anyone else found one?

About the the only dual receiver that will work with WDHs are the GEN-Y standard drop/rise hitches. Ultimately, I’d like to get a:
GEN-Y 7.5” rise
GEN-Y WDH shank
WDH
To get that setup all squared away, I’d be pushing north of $700. If anyone has any good affordable WDH experiences, I’m all ears. eTrailer had some super expensive recommendations. And I’m pretty confident I’d still have some clearance issues absent a rear lift.

Using dual receiver allows me to run the bike rack I have. There are other options out there for carrying bikes, but this is what has worked best for me.

Additionally, I haven’t had any sway issues and my tow weight is only 2,000lbs.

I get that the WDH creates a “virtual” balance point that springs don’t achieve. But with the rake being raised to this degree, it will surely balance weight between the front and rear axles better than my previous rear sagging option did.
 

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It sounds like you needed the aftermarket springs regardless if you're towing or not. Some trucks, especially overlanders are the same way. They always upgrade their rear springs for heavier duty ones due to weight in the rear of their vehicle and for towing. I know on my 2011 Pathfinder, the rear springs come with very soft springs from the factory, just a little weight and a passenger in the 3rd row and you're bottoming out as well. Airbags and factory Armada springs in the rear seems to be a cheap go-to for the same issue you're having. I have an OME lift kit going in to resolve the rear bottoming out and a bit better offroad capability when required as well.
 

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i have the same mood on to a 2018 from them and i love them but here this, i want to do the front to but they do not have the spring specifications and for that they ask to buy with mi money a OEM front spring to study and test and build a new one with mi specifications. i just say no but probably at one point i will agree
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i have the same mood on to a 2018 from them and i love them but here this, i want to do the front to but they do not have the spring specifications and for that they ask to buy with mi money a OEM front spring to study and test and build a new one with mi specifications. i just say no but probably at one point i will agree
That is pretty interesting. So they want you to buy and send them a front OEM set for R&D? Is your goal to raise the front with custom coils?

So far on my setup, the spring rate seems good, the back doesn’t feel light or hoppy compared to the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It sounds like you needed the aftermarket springs regardless if you're towing or not. Some trucks, especially overlanders are the same way. They always upgrade their rear springs for heavier duty ones due to weight in the rear of their vehicle and for towing. I know on my 2011 Pathfinder, the rear springs come with very soft springs from the factory, just a little weight and a passenger in the 3rd row and you're bottoming out as well. Airbags and factory Armada springs in the rear seems to be a cheap go-to for the same issue you're having. I have an OME lift kit going in to resolve the rear bottoming out and a bit better offroad capability when required as well.
It seems that the aesthetics of a level vehicle and the push for ultimate aerodynamics have contributed to this being a pretty common problem.

I went from an 06’ Sienna FWD Limited (some factory rake) to this 16’ Sienna FWD XLE (nearly level). I was super bummed the first time I pulled out of my driveway with the same trailer and just murdered the concrete bottoming out.

From my experience it seems that the 3rd Gens are obviously lower to start and have softer springs.

So are you saying that folks can stuff Armada springs in a Pathfinder?!? If so, that is pretty cool and must be more affordable than full custom.
 

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On my FWD I replaced my springs with AWD springs from same year, front and back. Added about 1' of height gain along with larger tires. (After loading it down, an extra 1200 lbs camper conversion, I had to add airbags to the coils, which restored height loss in the rear) Someone else mentioned using rear springs from a Honda Odyssey.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On my FWD I replaced my springs with AWD springs from same year, front and back. Added about 1' of height gain along with larger tires. (After loading it down, an extra 1200 lbs camper conversion, I had to add airbags to the coils, which restored height loss in the rear) Someone else mentioned using rear springs from a Honda Odyssey.
What size tires did you settle on? I’ve been thinking getting a Light Truck (LT) rated tire versus the Passenger (P) rated tires. There would probably be a little bit of a comfort sacrifice in exchange for longer life.

How many miles do you have on the AirLift? I’m curious how long they typically hold up.
 

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I went from 215/65/16 to 225/70/16 tires. Cooper AT3's, which are large for their size according to Tirerack .com. I felt pretty comfortable on some pretty crummy dirt roads. The tires seems a bit soft, but after the dirt/rock, I get why they are that way.
The car definitely struggles more going up steep grades and I lost about 2 MPG. On the bright side I did about 300 miles of dirt and didn't hit any rocks despite going over some pretty big ones, and felt my clearance was adequate for just about everything I needed.

So far I've put about 2000 miles on the set of them, airlift included. Up into elevation, serious dirt/rock road roads, and quite loaded down, seemed fine. I did check pressure once up in elevation, and the pressure was consistent. How long they last I couldn't say...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, I appreciate it. I think I’ve used those Cooper tires on trucks and SUVs at work. They are pretty good compromise Between road and dirt.
 

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It seems that the aesthetics of a level vehicle and the push for ultimate aerodynamics have contributed to this being a pretty common problem.

I went from an 06’ Sienna FWD Limited (some factory rake) to this 16’ Sienna FWD XLE (nearly level). I was super bummed the first time I pulled out of my driveway with the same trailer and just murdered the concrete bottoming out.

From my experience it seems that the 3rd Gens are obviously lower to start and have softer springs.

So are you saying that folks can stuff Armada springs in a Pathfinder?!? If so, that is pretty cool and must be more affordable than full custom.
The rear Armada springs yes, the front no. However, you can swap in all the suspension arms from a Nissan Titan into the coinciding Frontier/Pathfinder for more articulation if you wanted to stay IFS in the front and not do a SAS. The Titan swap in the front gives you a wider stance in front though which some people don't like because it gives you that prerunner look and some trails are just a tad too tight sometimes. And you're correct about cost, definitely much more affordable than full custom. Instead of spending $20-50 on a used spring from an Armada, I shelled out almost $600 for just the rear shock and springs from OME o_O I'm trying to keep up with an FJ80 Land Cruiser, FJ100 Land Cruiser, and FJ Cruiser in October at Anza Borrego.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The rear Armada springs yes, the front no. However, you can swap in all the suspension arms from a Nissan Titan into the coinciding Frontier/Pathfinder for more articulation if you wanted to stay IFS in the front and not do a SAS. The Titan swap in the front gives you a wider stance in front though which some people don't like because it gives you that prerunner look and some trails are just a tad too tight sometimes. And you're correct about cost, definitely much more affordable than full custom. Instead of spending $20-50 on a used spring from an Armada, I shelled out almost $600 for just the rear shock and springs from OME o_O I'm trying to keep up with an FJ80 Land Cruiser, FJ100 Land Cruiser, and FJ Cruiser in October at Anza Borrego.
That is awesome! I’m rooting for the underdog! What year is your Pathfinder?
 

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This weekend I installed new custom rear coil springs on my 16’ FWD XLE from Coil Spring Specialists (CSS). I consulted with Kevin Crane and he spec’d our several different options for me.

Why?
I tow a trailer/bike rack combo with a 400 lb tongue weight. I continued to have major scrapping issues even with an AirLift 1000 used with a 1” spacer.

Secondly, depending on how things look when loaded, I may do a custom Traxda front spacer to gain better overall ground clearance.

How the process worked:
CSS has you run your VIN with Toyota and pull your exact OEM spring specifications. They build your custom springs off of these specifications.

Price with tax & shipping was $326.58.
Production time was right at 4 weeks as advertised.
They didn’t charge my card until the springs shipped.
Shipping was about 4 days.

Specifications:
Based off of: Rear OEM - coil spring #48231-08-051

CSS Custom Spring:
I.D. Wire Dia. Checking Load @ Checking Load Height Rate F.L. T.C.
4.50" .705" 1250# @ 11.875" 380/450#/in 15.125" 8.375

The goal was to increase ride height by 1.5” and add 425lbscarrying capacity. As a result, the spring rate increased by 30%.

My rear stock unloaded ride height was at 29.75” in the center of the wheel well.

My new unloaded ride height 32”. So, I actually gained 2.25”.

I wasn’t banking on that much of a gain and therefore rake, but it actually seems fine so far. The ride quality is firmer and there seems to be less body roll. I definitely need to adjust my headlights.

I’m getting an alignment tomorrow and I may have a spacer installed to deal with a .38 degree tow issue.

Later this week will embark on a 1,200 mile trip, 5 people suitcases, a roof box and a verticle bike rack holding 5 bikes.

Here is how it looks unloaded:
 

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The Van looks great! So the picture is with rear springs only? Nothing up front yet? I'm considering the journeys kit but I'd rather improve my rear springs and just get spacers for the front. My wife is actually into the idea because of Minnesnowta winters. I'm not sure if you can just by front spacers only - maybe springs all around is the way to go.
 
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