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2004 Nissan Titan - Project Titan, Part 1

Posted in Project Vehicles on April 1, 2005 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Ken Brubaker

Last year, we lucky staffers were gifted with a pre-production Titan pickup to tweak and modify for use as an official support vehicle for Top Truck Challenge. At first it seemed like a dream come true--after all, it was an entirely new truck complete with all the attributes that earned it Four Wheeler's coveted 2004 Pickup Truck of the Year award. Beginning with such a capable platform excited our editors, along with the fact that Nissan promised it would be around awhile for us to use while covering events, trail rides, and the like.

We left our first project brainstorming session with a huge list of interesting ideas and concepts. Unfortunately, our enthusiasm turned to anguish when we found out that very few aftermarket parts exist for the Titan. As time passed, our efforts to change our Nissan's appearance persisted with little progress. Dozens of phone calls and countless Web searches revealed only a handful of products we could easily bolt on to distinguish our truck from the rest. One of the few products we found and actually liked was a set of fender flares from Bushwacker.

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We also turned to APE Wraps of San Diego, California, for a lower quarter vinyl wrap. Essentially, these guys are a team of graphic artists that can pretty much put anything you can imagine on any smooth surface. The graphics treatment was just what we needed to ensure our Top Truck Titan's identity wouldn't get confused with other trucks at the annual SEMA show where it was to be displayed.

As SEMA got closer, our stress levels climbed because nobody made a suspension lift for a 4WD Titan. Two weeks before SEMA, during one of our daily nail-biting sessions, we contacted Pro Comp Suspension to inquire about a new coilover conversion kit we'd recently caught wind of. As it turned out, Pro Comp had just developed a 6-inch Titan suspension lift that would allow up to 35-inch rubber with no trimming. Without hesitation, we quickly dispatched our Titan down to Pro Comp's Southern California manufacturing facility. A day later, we had a silky smooth ride quality and a full 6 inches of ride height to work with. We picked a set of Pro Comp 35-inch All-Terrain tires on 17-inch Pro Comp Extreme Alloy Series 1059 polished aluminum wheels to give our Titan just enough bling for SEMA.

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One reason it took so long to develop the four-wheel-drive Titan lift kit is partially due to the front differentials rearmost mount. As you can see here, the factory mounting bracket has no provision for lowering the diff housing. Pro Comp's creative solution requires no drilling or welding; instead, they simply added a custom half washer to provide a biting surface for the mounting bolt.

How Does She Ride?
The amazing part about the Pro Comp 6-inch Titan lift system is that the handling improvements are so noticeable, you have to wonder if Nissan's engineers even knew what they were doing when they put together the OEM suspension. Instead of a hard basketball-like rebound and harsh transfers between the tires and the chassis, the Pro Comp kit made our truck ride gracefully. We loved the way the Pro Comp system smoothed out the entire dampening process with improved hydraulics and less poppy-spring rebound. It reminds us of a 1/2-ton Silverado. With reduced body roll, we felt much more in control during hard cornering than before.

We took our newly lifted TTC Titan out to Southern California's Glamis sand dunes over Thanksgiving weekend to flog it over some serious whoops. Indeed, the Pro Comp system held up to one of the most brutal thrashings we could dish out. An alignment and two new factory lower A-arms were all we needed to get the truck going straight again. Pro Comp stands behind its product, and now we know why.

Sources

Bushwacker
Portlandville, OR 97203
800-234-8920
www.bushwacker.com
Pro Comp Suspension
Chula Vista , CA 91914
619-216-1444
www.explorerprocomp.com
Pro Comp Tires
866-232-0665
www.procomptires.com

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