U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-04-2012, 11:35 AM
 
792 posts, read 2,699,712 times
Reputation: 877

Advertisements

I bought a front suspension kit and new struts for my '98 Altima. It's "everything must go" weekend. I'll be replacing struts, lower control arms, sway bar links, and tie rods.

Since everything is coming out, I'm not sure about the easiest/best way to do this work. Take everything out and then put new in? Or maybe, replace struts, then tackle LCA and other parts? How would you guys tackle this?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-04-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,718 posts, read 76,621,787 times
Reputation: 40731
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBPisgah View Post
Since everything is coming out, I'm not sure about the easiest/best way to do this work.
How would you guys tackle this?
1) I wouldn't replace parts that are functional
2) If I did... I'd open my FACTORY service manual for my vehicle
and proceed in the manner (or sequence) that the engineers designed for.

hth
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 11:54 AM
 
792 posts, read 2,699,712 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
1) I wouldn't replace parts that are functional
2) If I did... I'd open my FACTORY service manual for my vehicle
and proceed in the manner (or sequence) that the engineers designed for.

hth
The FSM specifies the procedure for each, but doesn't say anything about the most sensible order for doing multiple things, so that's what I'm wondering.

Maybe this IS too much. At this point, though, I own new LCAs and I've been told twice - once by shop I trust - that the struts are very weak and will have to be done sooner or later. Also, the inner tie rods have play and the dust boots are shot on the links and ball joints. With 175K on all parts, I guess I'm assuming a failure in the next year or three. A failure of anything in winter when I'd have to pay a mechanic would cost me as much in labor as all the parts except the struts. So that's my thinking. If people want to say just replace the dust boots, though, I'm open to that.

Last edited by JBPisgah; 06-04-2012 at 12:20 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,718 posts, read 76,621,787 times
Reputation: 40731
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBPisgah View Post
The FSM specifies the procedure for each, but doesn't say anything about the most sensible order for doing multiple things, so that's what I'm wondering.
I can't be specific about your car... but if you have the space and equipment (lifts, jacks etc) then go for it and do it all at once... one side/corner at a time.

My last FE & suspension rebuild was on a rig a bit larger than an Altima:
Attached Thumbnails
new front suspension - best order to perform work-rvsusp.jpg  
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 04:57 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,907,616 times
Reputation: 6810
Outside of any shop manual, I would swap one part at a time, one side at a time. Taking everything apart if unnecessary is asking for trouble. You also need to mark the locations of the pieces so you can get them back in the same place, or at least close enough for the car to be driveable prior to having it aligned.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 05:44 PM
 
Location: What use to be the South
441 posts, read 1,419,945 times
Reputation: 486
Some valid points given. The biggest issues you'll have is basic alignment to get it to the shop and changing the springs on the struts.
Taking good note of position and orientation of certain parts before disassembly can help a great deal. This is where digital cameras can be quite handy these days.
I've never done this make, but most strut front ends are quite similar. Depending on your skill and memory and the assembly of this type of suspension, I personally wouldn't hesitate to pull all or at least one side at a time. Your really only dealing with two major assemblies each side (strut assembly and lower control arm) unless you have to pull the rack to replace the inner tierod ends. And in either case this will give more room to do that. No need to pull spindle, axle, brakes, just use a ratchet strap to hang. you can use simple means to get a base alignment using a string, square, boards and a tape measure.

Please by all means get a service manual. Do you have a spring compressor and an inner tie rod tool? If not research what you'll need and Chk the rental places.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 06:40 PM
 
792 posts, read 2,699,712 times
Reputation: 877
Are you guys saying the alignment could be so far off I couldn't drive it a few miles to get it aligned? If so, that's a bit concerning. Maybe I should just do the struts, or maybe struts and LCAs, and leave the tie rods alone for now.

(Also NC proud myself, btw, although I live in Denver now.)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 07:03 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 22,907,616 times
Reputation: 6810
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBPisgah View Post
Are you guys saying the alignment could be so far off I couldn't drive it a few miles to get it aligned? If so, that's a bit concerning. Maybe I should just do the struts, or maybe struts and LCAs, and leave the tie rods alone for now.

(Also NC proud myself, btw, although I live in Denver now.)
Sure it's possible if you don't pay attention to the locations of the current parts. But it's not likely if you make some simple marks. I used electrical tape at the tie rod ends so I know how far to screw on the new ones. A marker works for the other parts.

I would change all the parts now rather than having to get the car aligned twice.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 08:09 PM
 
Location: What use to be the South
441 posts, read 1,419,945 times
Reputation: 486
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBPisgah View Post
Are you guys saying the alignment could be so far off I couldn't drive it a few miles to get it aligned? If so, that's a bit concerning. Maybe I should just do the struts, or maybe struts and LCAs, and leave the tie rods alone for now.

(Also NC proud myself, btw, although I live in Denver now.)
Yes, but if you do as VM stated, you'll be quite close.

Before disassembly, slide a square up to the tire. It should touch the bottom before the top. This is the lean of the tire known as camber. Top out, positive camber, top in, negative camber. After you have replaced everything and you have the camber close to what it was before or a little in at the top, get the steering wheel straight. Don't pay attention to the tires, other then having them as close to neuteral as possible. Take a string and tie it to two jack stands or similar beyond the length of the car. Move to where it just touches both front and rear of the rear tire. Do this on both sides. Now adjust the tie rod ends untill the front tires are parallel to the string. This will get the trust angle pretty close, assuming the rear axle is square. You accomplish this by turning the tie rods to get the desired effect. Now, take the two boards of approx. 24 inches in length and stand them on their side against the side of the tire. Have a friend hold the tape to the back of the board, stretch it across to the othe side and take a measurement. Go to the front of the tire and measure in the same fashion the front of the board. Hopefully, the two measurements will be close. Just to get you to the alignment shop, make the front measurement about 1/16-1/8 larger than the rear. This is your toe measurement. You need a little toe in or out for stability, but not so much your scrubbing the tires. Lock everything down and take it for a test drive. You'll be surprised how close you'll be.
Forgot to mention, pull the front tire up on a couple of plastic garbage bagels. This make adjustments a lot easier with more reliable readings.

I hope I didn't go over anyone's head. This is really quite simple.
Hope it helps.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-04-2012, 10:02 PM
 
792 posts, read 2,699,712 times
Reputation: 877
Is the tie rod the main alignment concern? I wouldn't imagine the struts or sway bar links would throw off the alignment much. I don't know about the lower control arms. Just curious. Thanks for the advice, everyone. These are great posts.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top