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Lowering a 4x4


Juan Ochoa

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So recently I got my hands on a 85 4x4 Nissan 720. It didn’t have an engine but I have another 720 to swap the engine with. But as I looked at the new truck I thought that the height was a little too high for my tastes and decided that I wanted to lower it. As I tried to research on the internet to see if anyone else has done so, I came back with nothing, and I wanted to see what information you guys can give me to help me reach my goal. I heard it may be too much work and stupid but that’s just how I like it. 

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Put your 'new' engine in first and it will probably look right then.

 

You'll need a carpenter's level. Hold it up against the outermost tension rod mounting bolt head on the lower control arm and measure up to the center of the lower link spindle. This is the part that the lower control arm swings on. You don't specify long or short wheel base so...

 

Long wheelbase or king cab

1.54" to 1.69"

 

Regular cab short wheel base

1.73" to 1.89"

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Front end adjustable by torsion bars, but I have no idea what going outside parameters does to steering geometry. Rear you can put the axle above the springs instead of below. Considering it is a 4x4, I like the height mine is from the factory.

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Any raising or lowering affects the toe but this can be adjusted. Camber is another matter as there is built in, but very limited adjustment. Best to be at the correct stock height.

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Lowering the 4x4 will dial in negative camber.  Since the upper control arm is bolted to the outside of the frame on a 720, you should be able to add shims behind the control arm, between it and the frame.  This is standard practice for aligning these control arms but if taken to extremes it's probably a bad idea.  

 

first put the engine in so you know actual ride height.  Then figure out how much lower you want to go.  If you are talking about dropping this much more than an inch or two it gets messy, complicated, expensive, and rapidly easier to swap in an AWD nissan drivetrain than to try to modify this one to function with moar lowes.

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