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I think the shocks/struts/springs may be shot in my 99 sentra. It's at about 130K and although I am not the original owner, I assume they are orignal stock. The car doesn't bounce terribly over bumps but it does rebound somewhat through large dips in the road, plus I can feel every little crack in the road through the suspension. Additionally it appears that the rear end may be sagging a little as it looks lower than the front and the front tires seem to look small for the wheel wells. I only use this as a daily commuter but I want something better than the stock replacements. How can I be sure what I need to replace and are there any good replacements that won't go too deep into my pockets?
 

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I just replaced my struts with KYB GR-2 couple of weeks ago, and the difference is day and night. I have similar miles as yours, and never felt the slow deterioration with the stock ones. Now a hard braking won't produce the kind of nose-dive I had before, and the car feels a lot more solid. I only swapped out the struts and reused the tophats and springs. It's not a too difficult diy project.
 

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You can also try getting the springs from an SER for a slightly better performance spring to use with the GR2's. I have the same struts but put cheap springs on them and am having issues with spring seating and hitting the bump stops. First hand experience at why I use the forum and search before i normally buy.... but had to relearn this I guess.
 

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Any special tools required?

I just replaced my struts with KYB GR-2 .... I only swapped out the struts and reused the tophats and springs. It's not a too difficult diy project.
Any special tools required?:confused: How long did it take you? I'm pretty handy with wrenches and need to do same project.
 

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the only tool you will need that you might not have is the spring compressor tool. autozone and advanced auto have this on the loan-a-tool program.

i would say it would take about a hour per strut, if you have never done it before.
 

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Give it 2 hours per side if you have never done it. Take your time.

You need spring compressors (parts stores have this loaner tool) once the assembly is off the car. Take off the two strut bolts (17 or 19mm???), the knuckle is off the strut. Take off top 3 mounting bolts, the strut is in your hand. There may be some other wires to move around before doing this (brake line, ABS line). Now put the compressor on it, and disassemble, and reassemble in exactly the same fashion (except swapping out the strut). There's only the center bolt that holds everything together. Mark everything before disassemble if you have any doubts (to help realign everything back together).
 

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i forgot to mention that a alignment will be needed after everything is replaced. u probably already knew, but if your like me........u hate surprises.
 

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Yep, planned on that. Also replacing a few bushings, planning to install Energy Suspension kit, then alignment
 

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Camber is not adjustable in the stock configuration, so no need for alignment unless you messed with upper/lower ball joints.
 

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the senrta only has lower balljoints. and every time i have change the struts on my cars, i need a alignment. and i never mess with the balljoints.

besides hes changing the bushings, so he will need a alignment.

i have seen stock sentras with adjustable camber and some without.
 

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the senrta only has lower balljoints. and every time i have change the struts on my cars, i need a alignment. and i never mess with the balljoints.

besides hes changing the bushings, so he will need a alignment.

i have seen stock sentras with adjustable camber and some without.
Minor work will make the toe go out of adjustment.

Some have used camber adj bolts, others have said that they dont hold, they slip.

Best suggestion i have read (and done) is to slot the top hole on the strut.
This then makes it more durable as its clamped by the stock bolt ( and is similar to an OEM adjustable camber ie my Legacy)
 

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Best suggestion i have read (and done) is to slot the top hole on the strut.
This then makes it more durable as its clamped by the stock bolt ( and is similar to an OEM adjustable camber ie my Legacy)
tell me more about this. hows its done and so on.
 

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you only need to mess with this if your camber is out of spec.
mine was at the negative end of the spec and just out. this might have been cause by the springs sagging.
So I used a dremel tool with a emery pad to enlarge the holes in the top hole of the strut.
Since the camber was negative i removed metal, about 1/8 inch, from the top hole towards the wheel. this allows the stub axle to tilt by moving by one half the amount of metal you removed. the angle change is then 1/16 divided the distance from the ball joint to the mid point between the strut bolts in radians.
So this will give you an adjustment of about 0.6 degrees. (assuming about 6 inches for the distance ball joint to strut bolt mid point.)
 

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I have a 93 Sentra and I can remove the strut (front passenger side) but the nut at the top of the strut (which you remove once the spring is compressed) won't come off and the piston just spins within the housing. How do I hold the piston while turning the nut? This is driving me crazy and I asked a mechanic and he said "we have special tools" ...I looked for strut socket and did find a couple but how do I know which one to get?

The bolt does not just come off, as clearly every strut piston is going to spin like this on any strut. I need to know how to get this bolt off the end of the strut. Any help is appreciated!
 

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Use a vise-grip to grab the rod thru spring (an impact wrench helps here too).

Or buy a set of thru sockets which I believe will allow you to turn the nut while holding the rod from the top with a spanner.
 

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Use a vise-grip to grab the rod thru spring (an impact wrench helps here too).

Or buy a set of thru sockets which I believe will allow you to turn the nut while holding the rod from the top with a spanner.

Yeah, I tried the first idea but the shaft is too slippery or the nut is too rusted. I might have to wreck the old strut to get the upper boot and housing off. ..I've never seen thru-sockets for sale in my average tool store. Where would I get that and what size is right for a 93 sentra? Thanks for your help!
 

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Well, I got some offset wrenches which fit into the top of the strut and with a vice grip on the shaft, it finally rotated. I still think there is obviously a nissan tool for this, so if anyone knows the part #, please post it here, thanks!
 
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