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Suspension

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Community Member Credit: Kevlo911

I bet over 75% of 4th gen owners have a leaking steering rack and/or worn tie rods…

I bought the rack from: https://www.carsteering.com/buynow/1999/Nissan/Maxima/Rack_and_Pinion/80-00386_R

I bought the 99se rack because it is stiffer. It comes with new inner tie rods and new o-rings. You should replace the outer tie rods and sway bar bushings at the same time.

As for the how-to.

  • Loosen lugs
  • Jack up and put the car on jack stands.
  • Remove wheels
  • Remove outer tie rods(I did not and paid for it ) – You need to rent the outer tie rod removal tool from AutoZone to do this.
  • Remove the bolt on top of the sway bar end link and the 2 bolts on the bracket that holds the “inner” bushing in.
  • Move the sway bar up and wiggle it out from the passenger side.

Remove the y-pipe (rent the o2 removal tool)

As you can see, I forgot to rent the tool

Now the fun part. Crossmember. Remove the engine mount bolts, in the rear I used a long 10in extension to get to the bolt from the engine bay(intake removed). Front engine mounts you need an open-end wrench on one side and a socket on the other(or two sockets…) I supported the engine with a jack and a 2×4. If you have a tranny jack it would be better. Remove the 2 bolts in the front and rear(4total bolts) on the cross member and it will dropdown. You can replace the mounts right now if you want to.

See a plate covering this mount on the rack. It is behind the rear header and is held on by three 10mm screws. Remove it.

Now remove the fluid lines, have something to catch the fluid(I had a trash can lid). Remove these from the engine bay, it is much easier that way.

Use a 14mm open-end wrench to get the bottom one. On the top one, remove the hose and swap the nipple on the new rack once it is out of the car.

Remove those nuts. Now you will see the spindle, there is a 12mm nut holding it on the spindle of the rack. Make sure the steering wheel is straight before you remove it.

Remove the bolts holding on the rack now. One mount is pictured above, the other you will see when you are down there. USE THIS ALONG WITH MY TIPS TO CHANGE THE RACK

FSM is basically the same write up too. As you can tell I didn’t do everything they did.

You will remove the rack from the middle, it will NOT slide out from the sides(I found out the hard way). You will move it towards the pass side and then drop it down in the middle. You will install it the same way. I also installed new bushing on the rack, I got MOOG bushings from rockauto.com

You will soon find out the spindle does not want to go into the joint. You will have to bang on top of the joint to get it on the spindle. I used my tq wrench and breaker bar to bang it in. I didn’t have a rubber mallet(I did this with the rack mounts partially in, only the lower nuts were in). Rest is the reversal. Next, you get it aligned… I still have to do this, my wheel is cocked to the right.

This will take all day and would be much easier with air tools. But I saved about 800-1200bucks labor by doing it myself and I now have a stiffer and better feeling steering system.

Community Member Credit: EddyMaxx

My Racing Line End Links finally have up again for the second time. So I decided to switch over to the Moog. I got the fronts for about $50 from Advanced Auto Part using an online coupon code. Don’t get me wrong, the racing line ones were good for the time they lasted. I just didn’t expect them to break off like which is very dangerous on the highway and can cause you to lose control.

Parts Info from RockAuto.com:

  • MOOG K90352 Front Left $18.82
  • MOOG K90353 Front Right $18.97

One-Piece Race Spec Strut Tower Bar constructed of strong Aluminum to extremely tight tolerances and then polished to perfection. Designed for the Nissan to decrease body roll, this bar ties the chassis from left to right at critical stress points (Between the shock/strut towers).

As you drive and maneuver, your car undergoes many different forces that the chassis of the car absorbs; the brace helps to absorb the energy and directs these forces into your suspension components so that they can better do their job and serve their purpose more effectively.

A must for any track-driven, and a great addition to any street or show car, this bar truly lives up to the Megan Racing name.

Price: $106.00 – $110.00

Order Links:

 

Community Member Credit: Shift_Max

Well basically there is a rubber piece that sits in the steering column. Now this is a replacement for that rubber piece. This new piece replaces the rubber piece and provides more direct feeling. The rubber pieces has flex in it when you turn the wheel. This new piece made out of 6061 T6 Aluminum. I have been driving around with this new piece for a long time now and honestly I felt a difference in the way the steering felt and in the way the car reacts.

Here is a picture of the OEM rubber piece that is located in the steering column. Next to it is the aluminium piece however that is the first design that was made. The new version is a little bit different and makes the install alot simpler.

Location of the bushings and what it looks like installed

As you can tell by the date in the picture, I have had this mod for a long time now. Some members have bought them from me as well and their opinions are below

Zero2sixtyZ said “Steering feels more solid and stable. I feel that my OEM bushing was very worn, and needed this mod. No added vibration or anything like that, only benefits.”

Islandmax said “Pain in *** to put in, but is worth it, my stock rubber piece was really worn and soft. Steering is more direct, no added vibrations at idle or in motion.”

Here is a shot of the new design

As far as write-up, this is what I had provided for individuals that have bought the thinner bushings a while back. The process is similar for the new thicker current bushings.

Step 1

Alright some of you might look at the piece and say I have no idea where it goes. Well the piece is located under your dash. If you look at it you see this

You see the black piece behind the pedals ? That is where it is at…

Here is a close-up of it

Now this piece is bolted with Three (3) 10 mm nuts. Remove them.

Once you remove those you would think the piece would come out. Well no it wont because it is a single solid piece. Take a something with a blade and cut it. Now when you cut it I would suggest cutting it on the back side of it so you will not see the piece cut when you look where the pedals are. Now when you cut it, pull and yank on it and it will come out. Reason for cutting it is to

A) make removing it easier
B) Installing it easier
This is what it looks like cut and removed.

You do not have to cut it though since there is enough space to pull the boot up to get to the bolt that holds the column to the steering rack.

This is the view you get when the piece is removed. I already had the aluminum piece installed but on your car it will be rubber. Pictures is the original design of the bushing.

Now the whole piece is held in with Four (4) 12mm nuts. You have to remove each one of them. Also when you are removing them, you will have to turn the sterring wheel to get access to it. It might help to have somebody hold the steering wheel for you when you are loosing it because those nuts are nylon threaded and they are on there tight. I would suggest wearing some gloves if you dont want you hands all beat up. There is alot of metal under there.

Once you remove all those 4 nuts look down and you will see the shaft connected to the rack. There is a bolt that goes straight through. Loosen the bolt but dont remove it. Just enough to pull the shaft up.

Now to get the OEM busing out you have to pull on the steering column towards the driver. But the steering column is bolted down.

next step is to unbolt it… Pictures is installing the bushing on a 4th gen but the same concept goes for the 5th gen.

Once it is removed this is what your car should look like.

Next remove the trim behind the steering wheel. It is held in with screw. This is where the screws are.

There are 6 of them. Once the screws are removed pull the trim off. It will look like this now

Now time to loosen the actual steering column. It is held with 4 nuts. 2 in the front and 2 further back

You can see the 2 nuts in this picture And the other 2 in these next pictures.

Once those 4 nuts are removed the steering column will drop down but be careful since it kinda heavy and there is a bunch of stuff on it

Next you will yank the column towards you and the bushing will fall apart with a bunch of other pieces also.

The next step is to put the new bushing into place. The latest design is a direct replacement so you will only be using the oem hardware.

Once you get the bushing into place, Put the 4 nuts and start them first by hand and then repeat the same procedure you did when you were removing them.
make sure they are tight. If you are not sure you can use some locktite. it can be purchased at any auto parts store.

Once those 4 nuts are tight lift the column up so you an put the 4 nuts back on that held it in place. If the holes dont line up push the whole assembly down. If it doesn’t go down loosen that bolt I was talking about before even more
You can see that bolt in this picture at the bottom

ighten the 4 nuts that held the steering column in place.
Now make sure the 4 nuts on the bushing are tight, the 4 nuts on the steering column are tight and make sure the bolt at the bottom is tight.

Next assemble all the plastic trim behind the steering wheel and under it. Make sure all the hardware goes back into its original place.

You are almost done but now you have to stick that cover back over the shaft of the column. This is a pain i know guys. You dont have to put it back on but you will see the shaft. The easiest way is to align it and open it wider with your hands where you cut it and slide it over and keep working back and forth until you get it to sit the way it was before. That is why I recommend to cut the piece on the back not the front. Once you get it back on tighten the 3 nuts and you are done…..

Take your car for a drive and see how it feels. But please make sure you checked and checked again that all the nuts on the bushing and column are tight.

Well that is a pretty straightforward write up. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Member Credit: godlyone

Parts:

  • Calipers + torque member from a 2004 maxima through a junkyard ($50)
  • Black Zinc coated Dimpled Rotors + Hawk HPS pads via rotorpros ($149)
  • Total of 200 spent

The first step is to really clean the calipers.. they were filthy!

Before:
After:

Then sand the hell out of it and mask everything off for paint:

I used enamel based spray paint (high heat as it is really meant for BBQ grills)

Rotors and pads get delivered:
Look at the size difference with my OEM ones!

So jack up your car, USE JACKSTANDS, take off your wheel

At this point you want to place a drip pan under the caliper and loosen the brake line bolt (12mm)

Then remove 2 bolts (14mm) that hold the caliper on, hang the caliper to the spring using rope or something similar:

Then remove 2 more bolts (19mm) holding the torque member (these are on hella tight):
Use a C-clamp and an old brake pad to push the new caliper’s piston back to allow for the new pads to sit.

Now, connect the brake line to the new caliper and hang that one by the spring.
Place the rotor on. NOTE: some rotors are directional and have curved vanes, follow the instructions!

Put on the new torque member (with those two 19mm bolts). I applied some loctite here for a secure hold.

Put in the new brake pads, apply the special anti-squeal stuff.

Put the caliper on using the two 14mm bolts.

Now you need to bleed the brakes, so pick up some Dot 3 brake fluid, and have a friend help. If you don’t know how to bleed, the person outside of the car opens the bleeder to allow fluid to escape while the person in the car pumps and holds the brake to provide pressure. Keep bleeding until you don’t see any air in the line. It helps to use a tube into a water bottle filled w. some brake fluid so you can see the air bubbles come up. Remember to keep topping off the fluid so you don’t start drawing air in. It’s also a good idea to bleed a whole bunch of that nasty old fluid out..

So here are some size comparisons (remember my car is 2000 so the rotors were smaller than 5.5gens’)

Caliper (04 on left, 00 on right):


(04 on right, 00 on left)
Pad size (newer ones on bottom obviously):
And the best before and after lol:

Also notice my old rotor on the ground there, on the backside there is a very THIN strip where the pad was making actual contact.. I couldn’t believe how crappily the stock setup was working.

Additional Install Pics:


The following suspension components are interchangeable. This is specific to Struts, Springs, Coilovers, and Air Suspension.

2002-2006 Nissan Altima
2004-2008 Nissan Maxima

2007-2015 Nissan Altima
2009-2015 Nissan Maxima

2016-2020 Nissan Maxima
2013-2018 Nissan Altima

 

Member Credit: EddyMaxx

I recently replaced the ABS Actuator on my 2004 Nissan Maxima. Since the job requires removing the brake hard-lines, you will need to bleed all of your brakes to get all the air pockets out. Easy enough right??

Well……. I bled the brakes 4-5x times and the pedal still kept going down to the floor. Literally, no pressure at all. I  started to think that I didn’t tighten one of the hard-lines properly or the calipers were bad. But I didn’t notice any brake fluid leaks or issues.

I reached out to my buddy Raul (@tuneonthego) and he asked if I bled both the inner and outer bleeder. I definitely did not do that (and totally didn’t even notice the inner valves). You are supposed to bleed the inner valve first and then the outer. I went back and did both following the standard bleeding procedure.

AND VIOLA….. brakes were solid and no longer going down to the floor. In total, you have to bleed 8 bleeder valves. Hope this helps someone who has the same issue.

Photos Courtesy of AK370z:

Inner and Outer Bleeder Valves

You can buy this nifty bleeding kit which allows you to do both bleeder valves at once. You can get itfrom Amazon for $20 bucks. I personally did it using my home-made kit, 1 valve at a time.

Standard Brake Bleeding Procedure Sequence

My Akebono BBK (Love these Brakes. Excuse the dirty wheels)