Community Member Credit: Frank /

When the steering wheel is turned quite a bit (like in a parking lot) you hear a crunk-crunk-crunk.

The upper strut bearing grease dries out which makes the bearing stiffer and more difficult to turn. When this happens, as you turn the steering wheel the bearing does not move, but the front spring “winds up” until there is enough force to overcome the stiff bearing. Then you hear the crunk as the spring unwinds. The whole process repeats over as you turn the steering wheel.


Remove the upper strut bearing, and REPLACE them ($25 each) with new ones. Repacking the grease is tricky, if you don’t pick the correct grease, you will have the problem return in 8-12 months. (I did)

Remove the 2 large nuts and bolts that join the strut, to the steering knuckle.

Not shown: Remove three nuts from the top of the strut. Remove the clip that holds the hydraulic brake line, and free brake line from strut. Remove the 10mm bolt that hold the ABS sensor cable to
the strut.

Attach the spring compressor. Tighten the spring compressor finger tight.

Place the strut in a vice. (carefully, don’t clamp down too much) Tighten the spring compressor until the spring is just a little loose. Remove the single strut nut. This is very easy if you have air tools, but if you do not, then you will need to hold the shaft, and remove the nut.

Be very careful here, springs can KILL and have killed. Always stand beside the spring with the ends pointing to your left and right. If it does break free, it will only put a hole in your wall, and not you.

Remove the dark orange noise insulator, remove the black rubber insulator

Remove the lower part of the black rubber insulator.

The clean spot you see in the center is the place where the strut bearing sits. (Notice all the sand in the upper spring perch. Two out of three drainage holes were blocked with road sand from 5 years of Canadian winters. Make sure to clean out any debris, to allow proper water drainage.

Believe it or not, this dark colored tiny PLASTIC piece is the strut bearing.

The upper strut bearing

The inside of the upper strut bearing.


Do not try to re-grease the bearings. I did, and it lasted 10 months, and the same noise came back. Spend the $40, and it is fixed for the life of the car.

Above: This is a close up of the dark coloured bearing end cups, and the white ring.

To assemble, just reverse the steps. Make sure you tighten all nuts and bolts to the factory specification which are found in the Nissan Service Manual. Since your entire front suspension has been removed, you must get your alignment done, if you want your tires to last.


With the new strut bearings, it turns smoothly, and the crunk-crunk-crunk sound is gone because the spring on the strut will not be “winding up”.

Total cost was $40 for the new upper strut bearings. My alignment was a little more at $80, but now my front camber, and toe are in spec.


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