How To change out front struts and front rotors - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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#1 Old 08-17-2010, 01:48 PM
bsljacques
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How To change out front struts and front rotors

I just recently changed out my front struts with some Bilstein HD's and my front rotor and pads with R1 Concept E-line cross drilled/slotted rotors and posi quiet extended wear pads (sintered metal...not ceramic)

Front Struts:

You will need:
Spring compressors (rented from autozone)
Asorted wrenches Mostly Metric
Air tools (nice to have and make life easier...but socket set will work)
Air Compressor (good one! you will need to air for the spring compressors)
4' 2x4 for help with pushing the lower control arm down and give you room to remove the strut.

Jack up the SUV and put jack stands under the frame (safety first!(
Remove wheel and set aside
There are 3 nuts on top of the frame bucket with Strut sticking through see picture below

The is one big bolt with nut on lower control arm see picture below

Remove the 3 nuts on top and the big bolt and nut below and put in safe place as you will reuse this hardware
Next take the 4' 2x4 and place it like so in the picture below

Next it's time to transfer the spring to the new strut

A vise would be nice for this...but I did it without one
Put the rented spring compressors in place and slowly and evenly compress the spring. Once the spring is loose and the top spring plate can move freely it's time to remove the top nut on the strut piston shaft. I used an 8mm socket on the strut piston shaft and wrench on the nut (don't remember what size off hand) and be careful! As Drivers side sheared...and that was not fun!



Remember to place the big washer that came with the Bilstein HD's on before anything else gets put on the strut! (FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS THAT WERE IN THE BOX!)

Then put on the spring and spring plate (my upper spring plate isolators where still in very good shape but you may want to replace them if they are torn or if you just want too). REMEMBER to place the spring in the same place (with the end of it outward as in the picture!

Then put the new nut (from the Bilstein HD's kit) on and tighten according to the specs on the Instructions that were included...I believe its 40ft lbs.
[IMG]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc199/bsljacques/Armada/Strutsandrotors008.jpg[/IMG
Then it's time to replace into the SUV.....using your big 2x4 and a helper get it back into place.

Tighten the 3 nuts on top and the big bolt and nut (don't recall the specs off hand...but I did them good and tight) Double check your work on both sides!

Front Rotors:

You will need:
Assorted Metric sockets
an old wire hanger for hanging caliper
C-clamp
lock tight
Anti squeal for the back of the pads (optional)
air tools are nice for this job too...since the caliper hanger is held on with some good lock tight on the 2 big bolts!
Brake cleaner
Small block of wood (for the c-clamp for pushing the pistons back into the caliper)
May need to remove some brake fluid from the res if you have to push the pistons way in. (check before you start anything....it's always easy to add brake fluid) REMEMEBER brake fluid is hard on paint!!!!!!!!!! so be careful!


I turned the wheel to expose the work area for ease of working
Remove the 2 caliper bolts and place in safe place for reuse

Remove the caliper and hang with wire hanger on frame or upper A-arm

Next remove the little gromit that is going to be in the way as in the picture below

Now remove the 2 large bolts (lock tight has been used and they can be a bear to get off...a big cheater bar maybe your best friend!)

Clean the hanger up and set aside
Next remove the old rotor....mine was on there pretty good and I used a rubber mallet to get it off....clean the area that the new rotor will sit on (hub) and you may want to put a little anti seize if its prone to rusting
Finally its time to put the new rotor on....I clean my new rotors off with brake cleaner to make sure there is no protective film or oil (just habbit) and put them into place

Now put the caliper hanger back in place and bolts back on with a small dab of lock tight and put the gromit back into its place.
Next is the new pads on the hanger and then the caliper back in place and bolts back on and tighten to spec.

Double check your work and time to check the brakes and check fluid!

Put the wheel back on and take your time to break them in...it didn't take long on mine....and I love my R1's!

Good look too!


If I missed anything please feel free to add to this thread.

Finally time to enjoy a cold beer and sit back and count the money you just saved!!!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006 Nissan Armada LE 4x4 Navi 143,000 miles (wife's mall crawler...better known as = Silver Bullet) OEM SiriusXM Sat Radio install, M&D DVD install, HID conversion, R1Concepts brakes (front) and Bilsteins HD's, JBA LT headers with Cajun B-pipes and UpRev and AirRaid MXP Intake System, Stillen 3-row Aluminum Radiator.....Level 10 Converter and VB upgrade next!!!
2009 Subaru Forester XT 55,000 miles
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#2 Old 08-17-2010, 02:41 PM
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Good write up but its my understanding that you dont need a spring compressor if you 're just changing out shocks.
http://www.mightytitans.com/forums/s...ht=Front+shock

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#3 Old 08-17-2010, 03:20 PM
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Nice write-up!! Should help a few around here that thought they couldn't do it themselves.

Jerry's 06 SE off road
07+ Intake, Injen CAI, JBA long tubes, Gibson Cat Back, UpRev tuned, 08 caliper kit w/ Frozen/Slotted Rotors, Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines, Stillen 2-row/aluminum Radiator, PML pan, TransGo shift kit, 2" PRG lift, Bilstein 5100s, 20" Ultra Goliath w/Pirelli Scorpion ATR 305/55/20, 4ga. Grounding Kit, LEDs & HIDs, Kenwood DNX-9960 Alpine PDX amps, Kef separates,
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#4 Old 08-17-2010, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baseballfanz View Post
Good write up but its my understanding that you dont need a spring compressor if you 're just changing out shocks.
http://www.mightytitans.com/forums/s...ht=Front+shock
You will need a spring compressor as the new struts do not come with a new spring. It is needed to remove the spring from your old strut to your new strut.

The rear shock do not need a spring compressor to remove and replace...but the front does.

Hope that helps,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006 Nissan Armada LE 4x4 Navi 143,000 miles (wife's mall crawler...better known as = Silver Bullet) OEM SiriusXM Sat Radio install, M&D DVD install, HID conversion, R1Concepts brakes (front) and Bilsteins HD's, JBA LT headers with Cajun B-pipes and UpRev and AirRaid MXP Intake System, Stillen 3-row Aluminum Radiator.....Level 10 Converter and VB upgrade next!!!
2009 Subaru Forester XT 55,000 miles
2011 Harley Fat Bob 8,000 miles
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#5 Old 08-18-2010, 12:21 AM
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This is exactly what I was looking for. Will this work for an 08?? I just posted a couple of days ago looking to see if there was anything like this on here. I am still somewhat nervous about doing it myself, but this is perfect. Thanks for the post and the pics, great job.

Chris

2008 Armada SE, Drivers Pkg, Smoke, Airbox Mod with K&N filter, R1 Concepts Drilled and Slotted Rotors, Posi Ceramics pads. 2 degree advance
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#6 Old 08-18-2010, 07:47 AM
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yes i did it its the same

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#7 Old 08-18-2010, 11:03 AM
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#8 Old 08-18-2010, 11:33 AM
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Thank you all for the compliments....it was a fun project....I think my next one will be like some have mentioned.....Braided lines and I think I will paint the calipers nice too!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006 Nissan Armada LE 4x4 Navi 143,000 miles (wife's mall crawler...better known as = Silver Bullet) OEM SiriusXM Sat Radio install, M&D DVD install, HID conversion, R1Concepts brakes (front) and Bilsteins HD's, JBA LT headers with Cajun B-pipes and UpRev and AirRaid MXP Intake System, Stillen 3-row Aluminum Radiator.....Level 10 Converter and VB upgrade next!!!
2009 Subaru Forester XT 55,000 miles
2011 Harley Fat Bob 8,000 miles

Last edited by bsljacques; 08-18-2010 at 11:33 AM. Reason: more added
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#9 Old 08-18-2010, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsljacques View Post
Thank you all for the compliments....it was a fun project....I think my next one will be like some have mentioned.....Braided lines and I think I will paint the calipers nice too!
What do you think of the shocks? Has the ride comfort / handling improved?

Were they worn out? I just got new tires but only have 30k on my struts and they seem fine but not sure if I should replace them.

Giggity
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#10 Old 08-18-2010, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spta97 View Post
What do you think of the shocks? Has the ride comfort / handling improved?

Were they worn out? I just got new tires but only have 30k on my struts and they seem fine but not sure if I should replace them.
I bought my Armada used with 52K on the clock....I now have 70K and I had a good amount of bump steer....but now it's a new ride all together....much better over bumpy roads and just feels great! I hope to get the new tires on this week or next and get an alignment too....I will keep everyone posted.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2006 Nissan Armada LE 4x4 Navi 143,000 miles (wife's mall crawler...better known as = Silver Bullet) OEM SiriusXM Sat Radio install, M&D DVD install, HID conversion, R1Concepts brakes (front) and Bilsteins HD's, JBA LT headers with Cajun B-pipes and UpRev and AirRaid MXP Intake System, Stillen 3-row Aluminum Radiator.....Level 10 Converter and VB upgrade next!!!
2009 Subaru Forester XT 55,000 miles
2011 Harley Fat Bob 8,000 miles
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