Poor Mans Lift

This 1st gen Frontier was lifted 2.5 inches in the front, without spending any money on parts, by tightening the OEM torsion bars.

4/18/20203 min read

Lifted the front ~2.5"

This ClubFrontier.org post has a lot of good information on lifting the first generation Frontier with links to videos, which can probably answer a bunch of questions you might have. If you want to fit 33" tires without cutting the fenders, you'll want to install a 3" body lift and not install wheels with a huge negative offset. I went the cheaper route and with a -12mm offset wheel, so I had some cutting to do.
You need two 19mm wrenches, a 19mm socket, and a breaker bar would help. Make sure the front of the truck is lifted off the ground when you tighten them, and take measurements beforehand as well.

Bump Stops

It's recommended to leave at least 1/2" of space between the bump stop and the Upper Control Arm. Measure it when the truck is back on the ground, after rocking it a little and rolling the truck back and forth to get it in it's resting position. I'll eventually be acquiring the Ultra Low Profile Bump Stops as pictured above (see Parts List below).

Upper Control Arms and Camber Bolts

I will eventually be swapping out the UCA's, camber bolts, and bump stops. The alignment tech wasn't able to adjust the camber bolts due to the rust, so I'll probably need to cut them off in order to replace the UCA's. You can get about 2-2.5" of lift in the front without needing to get new UCA's, and after replacing the parts mentioned above, you can get another .5-1" or so. Be aware that the maxed out lift angled will be harder on the CV axle joints and you could wear them out faster.

Before and After

The rear was lifted about 3", so there will be a little rake, until I get the 4x4parts.com UCA, and possibly the low profile bump stop, which should let me get about another 1/2" or so lift in the front.

Instructions for installing new rear leaf packs can be viewed here.

No additional parts were required to lift this truck to the point were it is now. If you want to replace parts to get the full lift possible, or need replacement parts, I'll include links below.

Alignment is a Must

An alignment is definitely a requirement once you have lifted the truck to your desired height to prevent tire cupping and premature wear. I purchased the Lifetime Alignment from Firestone Auto, because I knew I'd be going back a few times.
The tech was unable to resolve all the issues due to the above mentioned rusted bolts. The current specs seem fine as it is, and as of 2024, I've got about 22k miles on the current mud terrains without seeing any major wear issues besides a little tread feathering. I rotate the tires to the rear every oil change, and the tread returns to normal.