CalMini’s 6-inch Lift for the New Cummins Titan XD

Mid-sized diesel pickups are here. And the aftermarket has gone full-speed ahead in creating products to make these smaller diesels our own. When Nissan announced it’d be releasing its new Titan XD with the Cummins engine, the Nissan suspension experts at CalMini grabbed one of the first XDs made and immediately tore it apart. Their goal? A 6-inch lift kit for the new diesel pickup. After a few weeks of R&R, the dust had settled and CalMini had created the first ever 6-inch lift for the new Titan XD. The kit consists of multiple drop-down brackets used to lower the lower control arm mounting points, new upper control arms, new steering knuckles and a whole slew of other parts to get the truck sitting at trail-ready stance. 

The New Titan uses a double wishbone suspension system (AKA A-Arm Suspension) up front with a strut. Everything seen here must be removed to install the CalMini kit.

CalMini owner Steve Kraemer called us and asked if we’d like to see the first production kit being installed. Of course we were in, but there was a catch; being such a new truck (with an even newer suspension system) no one had designed a wheel specifically for the XD. So we gave Ultra Wheel Co. a call. Ultra Wheel was great and worked with us to find the perfect wheel to fit the truck, but also to match the Titan’s style. As it turned out, some of the same wheels that fit on a full-size Chevy 1500 fit the Titan XD. So designing a wheel specific for the Titan XD was not necessary at all. Once we figured that out, Ultra recommended a set of their 810 Sentry wheels from their Worx Alloy line. The Worx Sentry wheels are cast as one piece from grade A356.2 Aluminum for strength and came in a satin black powdercoat with a second layer of clear coat to keep them looking new for years to come.

With our new set of Worx Wheels and Falken WildPeak AT tires in hand, we hopped on the road and headed to CalMini in Bakersfield, California to check out the world’s first 6-inch lifted Nissan Titan XD. DW

After removing the brake caliper and unbolting the axle half shaft from the hub, CalMini’s Bert Tapia used a brass hammer to break the three different ball joints free. This technique is a helpful mechanic’s trick—by hitting the side of the steering knuckle surrounding the ball joint with the hammer the vibrations will actually free the ball joint.
The CalMini kit uses multiple “drop brackets” which, among other things, lower the bottom control arm mounting points that in turn allow for a taller ride height while keeping the stock ride quality. This requires removal of the factory rear crossmember seen here.

Here’s the front CalMini drop bracket/cross member being installed. Note that the front differential is currently held up by a screw jack. CalMini’s kit lowers the differential as well this way all shaft angles stay within good working range under full suspension compression and droop.
When you move suspension pivot points down with drop brackets, you lose a small amount of strength. So CalMini went above and beyond to put that strength back, and then added a ton more by adding strut bars (left) and by tying the two drop brackets together with a massive 0.25-inch thick skidplate (right).
When you move suspension pivot points down with drop brackets, you lose a small amount of strength. So CalMini went above and beyond to put that strength back, and then added a ton more by adding strut bars (left) and by tying the two drop brackets together with a massive 0.25-inch thick skidplate (right).
The sway bar is also lowered to match the new suspension using a pair of steel brackets.
With the new drop brackets installed, the factory lower control arms could then be bolted up in their new locations. It’s important to leave the two pivot bolts lose until the vehicle is sitting on the ground. Failure to do so could cause the bushings to tear from being loaded at an incorrect position.

Next on the list were the upper control arms. Seen here is the stock arm next to CalMini’s highly adjustable heim jointed arm (the heim’s are optional with the kit). The new arm is slightly different from the stock piece but entirely necessary to keep the alignment angles correct. Plus, it’s a much stronger piece than the stock stamped steel arm.
Next, Tapia installed the modified factory strut. CalMini makes a spacer that moves the strut down to match the rest of the suspension. This spacer simply bolts to the factory strut, and then to the factory strut mounting locations on the Titan.
A bump stop spacer is also utilized. Notice that all hardware used in CalMini’s kit is high-end Grade 8 fasteners.
Tapia’s last modification involves moving the hub, brake rotor and wheel speed sensors from the factory steering knuckle onto the new CalMini spindle. The CalMini spindle is a 100-percent new unit that moves the steering pivot point as well as the upper control arm mount to work flawlessly with the other parts in the 6-inch lift kit keeping steering geometry where it needs to be.
Tapia could then hang the new knuckle on the vehicle. Making sure to first slide the 4WD half shaft through the hub. Failure to do so would necessitate removing the half shaft from the differential to properly install it in the hub. Better to do it right the first time.

New Titan XD front end all done and ready to hit the trails. We’re sure that skid plate will come in handy in the dirt and will keep the undercarriage nice and protected.
Getting the rear end up to match the front was a much easier task. Here’s Tapia installing the 3-inch lift block and longer u-bolts.
Due to the added distance between the axle and frame of the truck, brake lines and sensors needed to be extended. So instead of adding all new lines and wire leads (which is unnecessary for this type of build) CalMini made a few brackets that extend the mounting points for said lines and leads. This will make sure nothing gets overextended.
A new set of Bilstein 5100 Shocks are employed to soak up the bumps.
Last piece of the puzzle: new wheels from Worx Alloy and tires from Falken Tire.
All said and done, the entire install took the better part of a day, and the Titan XD is definitely looking (and performing) better with the extra height and more stylish wheels and tires.
Worx Alloy’s 810 Sentry wheels are one-piece cast from A356.2 grade aluminum for strength. The black powdercoat also has a clearcoat to protect the finish even more. We chose to wrap them in Falken’s new WildPeak AT3 tires for good manners both on and off road.





Worx Wheels



Falken Tires


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