What is a Titan Swap?
Titan swaps, otherwise referred to as a tswap, is a modification made to the 2005-2019 D40 Nissan Frontier or 2005-2015 Nissan Xterra which extends the track width of the vehicle and gives the suspension a greater amount of upward and downward travel. This increased travel makes for a more capable offroader. Long travel suspension kits are common in the aftermarket and are offered by companies such as Dirt King and Total Chaos but are generally very expensive to the end user. Cost can range in the $5k to $7k range, after including custom length axle shafts and custom coilover shocks.
Some wild cats have found that the D40 Nissan Frontier and Xterra are able to use OEM 2004-2015 Nissan Titan front end components to mimic aftermarket long travel kits for a fraction of the cost. The D40 Nissan Frontier and Xterra share the same front suspension mounting points for upper and lower control arms as the Titan. There are also OEM front axle shafts which can be sourced for a tswap. What all this means is that a tswap enables the end user to produce a long travel suspension at a fraction of the cost of an aftermarket setup. It also means that the components are readily and inexpensively available if replacement is needed. The Nissan D40 Frontier and Xterra are very attractive platforms for truly capable offroaders.
Titan swaps generally will lift your truck approximately 4”. They will also increase the track width of your vehicle about 3” on driver and passenger side. Keep this in mind, as some users may want to run spacers on their rear wheels to increase rear track width. A tswap will increase your travel to approximately 8” to 12” (depending on the coilover option used). A stock D40 Frontier or Xterra has 5.8” of travel!
How Do I Titan swap?
Titan swaps involve a bit of preparation, as there aren’t a lot of companies offering an all-inclusive bundle. Those that do generally have significant markup, making the tswap more expensive than it needs to be. Generally, the most cost-effective way to piece together a tswap is to purchase the necessary OEM components from pick-and-pull parts yards or from websites such as Rockauto or your local OEM parts place (Oreillys, NAPA, Advance, etc). There are some aftermarket components which are necessary to complete a tswap – the primary piece being the front coilovers. Companies such as Radflo manufacture coilover kits custom tailored to the appropriate extended and collapsed shock lengths needed to get the most travel out of a tswap. For the true penny-pinchers, there is also an option to run 3rd gen Toyota 4Runner or 1st gen Toyota Tundra front struts, though this option doesn’t offer as much travel as a custom coilover.
Here’s a parts list for all the necessary items to successfully complete a tswap:
Front Lower Control Arms
Front Upper Control Arms
- Must be aftermarket to achieve proper alignment and travel. We prefer SPC UCA’s as they are adjustable and make proper alignment much easier. The correct partnumber is SPC 25560. They also include greaseable ball joints.
Front Tie Rods
- OEM Titan inner and outer tie rods can be used. Otherwise, aftermarket tie rod extensions can be used to extend OEM Frontier / Xterra tie rods.
Front Differential/Axles (Applicable to 4x4 Models)
- If you plan on running the OE R180 front differential, you can source Infiniti QX80 axles as these have the correct extended length (Rockauto P/N - NI8433). Otherwise, you can find an M205 front differential from the Titan. The M205 is significantly stronger than the R180 and will directly bolt into the Frontier / Xterra. If the M205 is being used, Titan front axles are appropriate for use and you'll want to make sure you have the same gearing for the front and rear diffs.
- OEM Titan and Frontier/Xterra coilovers and struts are too short for use in a Titan Swap. They will not work. Radflo has been making tswap-specific coilovers for the longest time. They have ideal valving and extended/collapsed lengths and will net the most travel and the best ride of aftermarket options currently available. They come in 2.0”, 2.5”, and 2.5” w/ remote reservoir options. They also have a variety of spring rates available to them. Toyota 3rd gen 4Runner and 1st gen Tundra struts can be used to good effect but are generally a little too long and limit travel to approximately 7.5”. With a custom tophat, travel can be extended to approximately 10”.
- Generally, you’ll want to increase the rear end height to level out your truck. The best way to accomplish this is by a replacement leaf pack paired with extended shackles. This will offer maximum articulation and the best ride. If your stock leaf pack is in good condition, it is possible to use an AAL kit in combination with extended shackles to get the necessary height.