Nissan Z - ZX 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Shock Absorbers

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1970-78 Models

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

1970-78 Z and ZX models are equipped with a MacPherson strut rear suspension.

The struts are precision parts and retain the springs under tremendous pressure even when removed from the vehicle. 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 a spring or shock absorber repair is required, you remove the strut(s) involved and take them to a repair facility which is fully equipped and familiar with the vehicle.

This procedure can be used to remove the strut, the wheel bearing housing, the bearings, the stub axle and the rear brake assembly as a unit. If you wish to remove the stub axle first, refer to Drive Train . In any case, it is easiest to remove the brake with the strut and disassemble the parts after removal from the vehicle.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Unfasten the brake line (1) and the side linkage, if equipped. The parking brake cable (2) may also be removed for added clearance



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the sway bar if equipped. Arrows indicate hardware locations



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Fig. Fig. 3: Transverse link lockbolt (1) and nut (2)

  1. Loosen the wheel nuts. Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands as shown in General Information & Maintenance .
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel nuts and wheels. Disconnect the brake hose at the lower strut and brake caliper.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the stabilizer bar at the crossmember and the transverse link.
  6.  
  7. Remove the transverse link outer spindle self-locking nuts and the spindle bolt. Pull the spindle out and separate the transverse link and strut.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the driveshaft at the outer end.
  10.  
  11. Place a jack under the lower end of the strut. Remove the strut installation nuts from inside the passenger compartment. Lower the strut carefully with the jack.
  12.  
  13. Inspect all of the bushings and replace as necessary.
  14.  
  15. To install, reverse the removal procedures.
  16.  

Install the spindle so that the shorter length, when measured from the locking bolt notch, is toward the front.

  1. Tighten the components using the following figures:

    Axle shaft flange bolts at the differential side to 36-43 ft. lbs. (50-60 Nm) for 1970-72; 23-31 ft. lbs. (32-43 Nm) for 1973-74 and 1978 or 17-23 ft. lbs. (24-43 Nm) for 1977.
     
    Axle shaft flange bolts at the wheel side to 36-43 ft. lbs. (50-60 Nm).
     
    Strut installation nuts to 12-15 ft. lbs. (16-21 Nm) for 1970-72 or 18-25 ft. lbs. (25-35 Nm), 1973-78.
     
    Link spindle lockbolt to 7.2-8.7 ft. lbs. (10-12 Nm).
     
    Stabilizer bar at the link to 8.7-12.3 ft. lbs. (12-17 Nm).
     
    Stabilizer bar at the crossmember to 7.2-8.7 ft. lbs. (10-12 Nm).
     
    Brake line connector to 11-13 ft. lbs. (15-18 Nm).
     

  2.  
  3. Fill and bleed brake system.
  4.  

1979-83 Models

1979-83 Z and ZX models are equipped with a MacPherson strut rear suspension.

  1. Block the front wheels.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  

The vehicle should be far enough off the ground that the rear spring does not support any weight.

  1. Working inside the luggage compartment, turn and remove the caps above the strut mounts. Remove the three strut mounting nuts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the mounting bolt for the strut at the lower arm (transverse link) and remove the strut.
  4.  
  5. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Install the top end first and secure with the nuts snugged down but not tightened to the final torque figure. Attach the lower end of the strut to the lower arm, then tighten the top mounting nuts to 22-29 ft. lbs. (30-40 Nm). Tighten the strut bolt at the lower arm to 43-58 ft. lbs. (60-80 Nm).
  6.  

1984-88 Models

See Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7

1984-88 Z and ZX models are equipped with rear suspensions consisting of separate shock and coil assemblies.

  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle with jackstands, under the suspension arms.
  2.  
  3. Working inside the luggage compartment, remove the shock absorber-to-body nuts.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the lower shock absorber-to-suspension arm bolt.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Loosen the shock lower retaining nut and bolt



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a suitable jack to support the suspension assembly



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the lower bolt



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Fig. Fig. 7: With the bolt removed, slide the shock out of the lower mount

  1. Compress the shock absorber and remove it from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Check the shock absorber for leakage, cracks, deformation or other damage; (if necessary) replace it. Check the rubber parts for wear, cracks or other damage; (if necessary) replace it.
  4.  

When installing the shock absorber, perform the final torquing with the weight of the vehicle on the ground.

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedures. Tighten the shock absorber-to-body nuts to 23-31 ft. lbs. (31-42 Nm) and the shock absorber-to-suspension arm nut/bolt to 43-58 ft. lbs. (59-78 Nm).
  2.  

TESTING



Shocks/struts require replacement if the vehicle fails to recover quickly after hitting a large bump or if the vehicle sways excessively with a change in steering wheel position.

A good way to test the shocks/struts is to intermittently apply downward pressure to one corner of the vehicle until it is moving up and down for almost the full suspension travel, then release it and watch the recovery. If the vehicle bounces slightly about one more time and then comes to rest, the shocks/struts are serviceable. If the vehicle goes on bouncing, replace the shocks/struts.

 
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