REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
All strut assemblies are precision parts and retain the springs under tremendous pressure even when removed from the car. For these reasons, several expensive special tools and substantial specialized knowledge are required to safely and effectively work on these parts. We recommend that if spring or shock absorber repair work is required, you remove the strut or struts involved and take them to a repair facility which is fully equipped and familiar with the car.
- Jack up the car and support it safely with jackstands. Remove the wheel.
- Remove the brake caliper. Remove the disc and hub assembly.
- Disconnect the tension rod and stabilizer bar from the transverse link.
- Unbolt the steering arm. If applicable, remove the lower strut mounting bolts from the control arm. Pry the control arm down to detach it from the strut.
- Place a jack under the bottom of the strut.
- Open the hood and remove the nuts holding the top of the strut.
- Lower the jack slowly and cautiously until the strut assembly can be removed.
- Install the strut assembly on the vehicle and tighten the strut-to-knuckle arm to 53-72 ft. lbs. Tighten the tension rod to transverse link to 33-40 ft. lbs. and the strut to hoodledge bolts to 23-31 ft. lbs.
The self-locking nuts holding the top of the strut must always be replaced when removed.
- Bleed the brakes.
- Install the wheel.
OVERHAUL (STRUT CARTRIDGE REPLACEMENT)
Coil springs on all models must be removed with the aid of a coil spring compressor. If you don't have one, don't try to improvise by using something else: you could risk injury. The Datsun/Nissan coil spring compressor is Special Tool ST3565S001 or variations of that number. Basically, they are all the same tool, except for the 1980-81 200SX and the 1981-83 810 and Maxima spring compressor, Special Tool HT71730000, which is totally different unit. These are the recommended compressors, although they are probably not the only spring compressors which will work. Always follow manufacturer's instructions when operating a spring compressor. You can now buy cartridge type shock absorbers for many Datsun/Nissan: installation procedures are not the same as those given here. In this case, follow the instructions that come with the shock absorbers.
To remove the coil spring, you must first remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
- Secure the strut assembly in a vise.
- Attach the spring compressor to the spring, leaving the top few coils free.
- Remove the dust cap from the top of the strut to expose the center nut, if a dust cap is provided.
- Compress the spring just far enough to permit the strut insulator to be turned by hand. Remove the self locking center nut.
- Take out the strut insulator, strut bearing, oil seal, upper spring seat and bound bumper rubber from the top of the strut. Note their sequence of removal and be sure to assemble them in the same order.
- Remove the spring with the spring compressor still attached.
- To remove the shock absorber: Remove the dust cap, if so equipped, and push the piston rod down until it bottoms. With the piston in this position, loosen and remove the gland packing shock absorber retainer. This calls for Datsun/Nissan Special Tool ST35500001, but you should be able to loosen it either with a pipe wrench or by tapping it around with a drift.
If the gland tube is dirty, clean it before removing it to prevent dirt from contaminating the fluid inside the strut tube.
- Remove the O-ring from the top of the piston rod guide and lift out the piston rod together with the cylinder. Drain all of the fluid from the strut and shock components into a suitable container. Clean all parts.
The piston rod, piston rod guide and cylinder are a matched set: single parts of this shock assembly should not be exchanged with parts of other assemblies.
- Assemble the shock absorber into the assembly with the following notes:
- After installing the cylinder and piston rod assembly (the shock absorber kit) in the outer casing, remove the piston rod guide, if so equipped, from the cylinder and pour the correct amount of new fluid into the cylinder and strut outer casing. To find this amount consult the instructions with your shock absorber kit. The amount of oil should be listed. Use only Nissan Genuine Strut Oil or its equivalent.
It is important that the correct amount of fluid be poured into the strut to assure correct shock absorber damping force.
- b. Install the O-ring, fluid and any other cylinder components. Fit the gland packing and tighten it after greasing the gland packing-to-piston rod mating surfaces. Note that on the Maxima with front wheel drive, you must install the spring as shown in the illustration. Also, make sure on this model that the spring seat is positioned with the notch toward the outside of the car.
When tightening the gland packing, extend the piston rod about 3 to 5 inches from the end of the outer casing to expel most of the air from the strut.
- c. After the kit is installed, bleed the air from the system in the following manner: hold the strut with its bottom end facing down. Pull the piston rod out as far as it will go. Turn the strut upside down and push the piston in as far as it will go. Repeat this procedure several times until an equal pressure is felt on both the pull out and the push in strokes of the piston rods. The remaining assembly is the reverse of disassembly.
- When reassembling the strut assembly, observe the following:
- Make sure you assemble the unit with the shock absorber piston rod fully extended.
- When assembling, take care that the rubber spring seats, both top and bottom, and the spring are positioned in their grooves before releasing the spring.