Nissan King Cab (D21) Solid Axle Swap (SAS) with 3 link + Panhard with coil springs.

updated 4/24/2011

I wanted the best suspension for trail riding the Nissan D21.  I decided to make my own Links with johnny joints.

My Goal is too build this truck into the best off road vehicle while still keeping it road worthy and street legal.  I listed all the parts used and where I got them to help others. Material list  has prices and part numbers used.


Plan 35" tires, 4.88 gears, 3 link with track bar. DOM Y steer. OEM sway bar.

This page is broken into sections:
  • Coil buckets - adjustable and removal.
  • Link mounts
  • Links -  with Johnny Joints
  • Shock Mounts
  • Steering
  • Front Driveshaft
  • Sway bar
  • Transmission cross member mod
  • Headers and Y pipe mod
  • Material list xls and pdf


Ballistic coil buckets, track bar mounts. I added a 3/16 plate to reinforce the frame rail. Its 4x8" long. The center of the opening appears to be  exactly the center of the motor mount. I used a laser level to create a Vertical line from fender down to concrete. I used the same basic 2 hole bracket for upper links mounts (both) and track bar mounts (both).

I welded it below coil bucket mount and tied both mounts together with a piece of 3/16.

I added 7.5" of tube to prevent the coil from falling out at full droop. The tube is the stock D21 driveshaft, 16gauge. The rubber insulator is a stock Wd21 rear upper one.


Link/Coil Mount on axle. I used ballistic axle link mounts for coils. I just weld together and attach. These thing are strong, simple and affordable. They are really well made.  I set the truck at future ride height and axle at 14". Thats what a 35" tire is. Then put a bottle jack under pinion for a 15 deg pinion angle. Then place link/coil mount on axle 2" from end of tube and bucket level. Tacked in place. I only tack the plate on.  remove it later when I tie the truss to mount and tie track bar mount to link mount.

I mounted them 3.25" from tube end (the wd21 and d22 I did 3".). I had to notch for the pumpkin clearance.

Upper Link Mounts

The upper link frame side goes through the frame. I make a frame spacer. I use 3 pieces of steel. I use a piece of 16 gauge tube (old front driveshafts) and weld a plate and piece of dom to one end. This is to avoid using a LONG bolt. I could actually use the same bolt as every other link end. But I use a 6" instead of a 4.5".


To install the "frame spacer" I cut a hole on outside frame rail in front of cab mount. Drill a 9/16 hole in inside frame rail. Note the inside frame rail is THICKER than outside. There is another layer of steel in there. This is cut and removed also.  

Now you can install the spacer and gusset the hole. I plate the whole area since the outside frame rail is so thin.


I plated the bottom of another bracket and mounted at angle on the inside frame rail.


This is the finished upper link.


The upper truss started as half of a huge 2 piece truss. From one truss I did 2 trucks.

After a little trimming. I made it level. I had to section it also to avoid the oil pan.

Durng suspension cycling  found the upper link mount needed to be turned to allow bind free flex.

Testing suspension with no shocks or coils.

After some cutting for oil pan clearance.



 2" .250 wall 36" long lower links. Cut to length then weld on the sleeve. So big a Titan fits inside. 32" inside cut to cut.


Frame link mounts. There is a perfect place on the frame rail were the frame is 1/4 thick. Its double wall 1/8. I decided to try some polyperformance offset mounts to get them up high and to the side of the frame. They need to be inward of the frame rail for tire clearance.


Johnny joints are 7 piece assembly. Very easy to assemble. Using these in all ends of the links and one end of the track bar. I had to use a press to get the clips in.


Bolted on the lower link and still have pathy on seperate jack stands from axle. The coil is just for mock up. Actual coils are 7" longer.

Made the upper link the similar to lower except with 1.5 tube. 


Track bar is a .250 wall DOM. About 26" long. I used a Johnny joint one end and poly bushing on the other.


 front shocks I use Rancho rs5005. With removal towers and coil buckets.


SWAY BAR see sway bar page

EXHAUST MOD. (Headers shown)

If You have the VG30, You have to modify the Y pipe for driveshaft clearance. I first just used 2" flex pipe to clear the Header Y pipe. I later built a custom Y pipe.  See headers page for more info on those.

I had to convert the pace setter headers to shortys for upper link clearance. You can see why my driveshaft was hitting the Header in this pic.

I sectioned the long headers and made them the same lenght as the Thorleys I have on the pathfinder. This solved numerous issues. One the headers were so long they had lots of turns to get to the Y pipe. Another issue was blocking the starter bolts.



Part and service Suppliers. - calipers, ball joints, brake pads, brake pins,  oil, shocks  etc..
Bolt depot - 4.5" bolts for links. Dana 44 gears, open carrier, LH 7/8 taps, DOM tube for steering etc..
Currie Enterprise - Johnny Joints - coil buckets, link brackets, Link and Track bar DOM - Header flanges and brake lines

Poly Performace - Link frame brackets, Trark bar brackets, poly link ends