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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, to be honest, I don't know much about cars, so I'm a little clueless...

Long story short, I just wanna have my 1998 Altima handle a little better, not roll so much on sharper turns, be a little smoother, more comfy and whatnot...

What would I need to do or have done?

And seriously, I REALLY don't know much about cars, so even if it's something really obvious, I probably don't know...

So if someone could give me a quick run-down on what to do...

I'd really appreciate it...

I heard earlier though, you can't exactly have the ride more comfy yet handle better, that it's one or the other...

So, um, thoughts/help/suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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176 Posts
you're right on the comfort/performance thing. you don't see too many cadillacs eating it up on the road course, and you don't see too many grandmas driving a vette because of the ride comfort.

for a good compromise between comfort and performance, I suggest some decent 16" wheels with good high performance tires on them.

Then get some good struts (KYB GR-2 are minimum), and some decent springs. Eibach are usually a little stiffer than some of the others, but provide less lowering and better handling than most of the other brands.. stay away from the cheap stuff-- arospeed, neuspeed, dropzone, pretty much the stuff you see going to under $150 on ebay. you get what you pay for when you're dealing with suspension.
 

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aka BigDirty
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41 Posts
'98 riden on 205/17's, DropZone Springs, Tokico Struts....handels like a 911 compared to the stock parts.

 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Okay, so some larger tires would be good...

Would 16's fit without having to do anything to make them fit?
Would 17's?

I know this is major stupid, but, would I need to get new rims?

I'm on my stock tired and rims and whatnot...

Alright, so new springs, I couldn't find a front strut bar for my Altima, but have seen rear strut bars...

What else?

Sorry and thanks again at the same time...

^_^;;

Would lowering my car an inch, getting better springs and larger tires, would that, kind of give better handling about also a little smoother, considering I'm doing both?

And also, what else to get?

Rims/Tires
Springs
Rear Strut bar
Front [if made, in another topic I thought it said they weren't made for my altima]

What else is there...?

Sorry...
 

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Stringz of Death
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2,481 Posts
first off, you need to really decide if you want good performance or comfort. you cant have both. you can compromise though...

i would suggest either Eibach or H&R springs (both will lower about the same and both are about the same stiffness). good struts (at least KYB GR-2s as Matt said, i prefer Tokicos, a little stiffer, helps in handling!) or you could get Ground Control coilovers and adjust the height to what you want...

wheels...16's! they will give a slightly stiffer ride than 15's, but not as harsh as 17's and up. remember, the amount of sidewall you have determines how cushy theyll be...as well as the type of tire...a touring tire or all season is gonna be nicer on your butt than a performance tire. i chose Yokohama AVS ES100's cuz theyre grippy and pretty stiff on the sidewalls, also good in the wet. i dont have to worry about snow so i didnt get all seasons. you could also put snow tires on your stock wheels and be good to go...and also, i remember reading a test on two maximas, one with 15's and one with 16's, and there was nearly no difference in skidpad or slalom results. i imagine the same with 16's and 17's, depending on tires, etc...

Front strut tower brace...needed. helps stiffen the front of the car, making it transition from left to right much better. anytime you can cut down on the flex of the chassis is GOOD! no need for a rear strut bar for an Altima, if you ever take the back seat out you can plainly see how much metal is between the strut towers, unlike civics and sentras that have their strut towers behind the seats...

Rear sway bar...bigger = better cornering...believe me, it works! LOL keeps the car flatter in the corners in the rear.

polyurethane control arm bushings...works wonders. i had body roll up front pretty bad, replaced the bushings and thats nearly eliminated. all this time i just thought the springs werent stiff enough when it was really just the squishy bushings...DO THIS MOD IF YOU WANT MINIMAL BODY ROLL!

for all out performance, i suggest Ground Controls/Tokicos with the front strut tower brace and rear sway bar and Poly bushings. if you want a little more comfort, KYB GR-2's/Eibachs or H&R's with all the other stuff also. now, mind you, all this stuff is gonna run you in the neighborhood of $1,000 or more...so i hope youre prepared to spend. you can piece it all together one at a time (springs and struts then strut tower brace then sway bar then bushings) and break up the cost...its up to you.

if you want true coilover suspension, look into the K-Sport coilovers (aka D2 i believe). around 850 a set, but they have adjustable rebound i think...or is it compression? cant remember...

anyways, good luck, and if you have any other questions just ask!
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks~!

A LOT~!

Trust me...

^_^

I'm gonna have to take you up on that, I know this probably sounds stupid but, what's the difference between a strut bar and a sway bar?
 

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I keep em comin back.....
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3,205 Posts
The strut bar holds the two front struts together giving you more precise turn in. Rear sway bar pretty much holds the rear chassis together and is much thicker so the turns will be tighter and more pronounced, less flex, less body roll, both work together in harmony on cornering. Bushings is almost a must on these cars if you want firmer handling in the front, and to get the maximum performance out of the front sway bar. Someone on here said they had Dropzones, ha!! Dropzones suck ass!! But you get what you pay for! H&R, Eibach's, GC (the best). For struts, Tok's, I don't see any better then the Tok's. Some may beg to differ though
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Okay, so I ought to get...

Eibach Springs...
Tokico or KYB GR-2 struts...
16" Tires...
polyurethane control arm bushings...
rear sway bar...
front strut bar [are those the Tokico or KYB GR-2 things?]
front sway bar...

Anything I'm missing or am wrong on?
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
Joined
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
And after I buy all this stuff, where could I go to have it installed?

And would 16's fit into my car without having to do anything?

Nissan Altima 1998 GXE...

I'm only looking to drop about an inch at most, and also want to put in a magnaflow muffler, so I don't want this so low I scratch it or get stuck on speed bumps...
 

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Stringz of Death
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2,481 Posts
i would do the installation myself if i were you...save $$$$! but get someone who knows what they are doing to help you...i did, now i know how to do it on my own! :)
or you could have a good shop do it all. either way is your choice!

16's will fit no problem, you just have to make sure to get the correct offset...go to www.tirerack.com or www.discounttiredirect.com to get info on offsets and what wheels will fit...205/55/16 is the tire size you want to keep preserve the speedometer readings.

H&Rs and Eibachs drop a little lower than an inch, but its the lowest drop youll get. i have a magnaflow and speedbumps are no problem, you just have to be careful on sharply angled driveways/entrances/exits/etc. go at them at an angle, and slowly! you will scrape or rub sometimes though, no way to get around that...

and a front sway bar isnt necessary...and in all actuality only one is made for us, and i dont think theyre finished with it yet, but its bigger than the rear bar...and with how an Eibach setup would be (stiffer springs in front) the bigger bar in front will cause more understeer, so stay stock on the front bar, and get the rear sway bar...thats what i would do...LOL
 

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aka BigDirty
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41 Posts
BLACK SE said:
Someone on here said they had Dropzones, ha!! Dropzones suck ass!! But you get what you pay for!
I've got the DZ'z, and have no issues, gave a nice drop, handle fine for everday pimpin'


 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I found a front strut bar for about $40...

Yay or nay?
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Okay, I've found...

Eibach springs - $200
Tokico struts and shocks - $320
A generic front strut bar - $40
A generic sway bar [front? back? not sure] - $160

Is it possible to have a front strut bar and a front sway bar?

Looking through for rims and tires later...

But how is all that?
 

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Stringz of Death
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2,481 Posts
you should get the Suspension Techniques (AKA Stillen) rear sway bar...i dont think they make a generic one, the Suspension Tech one is the only one i know of (Stillen just says its theirs, same bar really...)

you can have a front strut bar and sway bar. and personally id go with the Nissan OEM strut tower brace for the 2nd gens (get it at www.courtesyparts.com) because ive looked at the generic bars on Ebay and stuff, and i just dont like the way the ends hook up to the strut towers...they use skinny little bolts and the Nissan bar uses thick, beefy connections (less flex). a Stillen bar is the top of the line, but i cant justify 150 bucks for something i can get for 50 that works nearly as well IMO.

and when you look through rims, get something decently light-weight. Rotas are pretty light, but dont offer much for our bolt pattern...my Enkei's are 16 lbs a piece, which isnt too bad really...the wheel/tire is much lighter than what i had on stock (believe me!!!!)

good job looking around though!
 

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missing El Polo Loco...
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2,165 Posts
ok... what I'm about to suggest may sound a bit cheesy... but since the request was as such...

KYB GR2 + Eibachs, stick on 15" with better Z or W rated rubbers, upgrade rear stabilizer bar and OE front upper strut tower bar.

those will buy you a little better handling, not so much roll on sharper turns, while still retain decent creature comfort..

aparently, Z/W rated on 15 rides differently compared to Z/W rated on 16 or larger.

And as to why the OE front strut bar... steel provides better resistance to flex compared to aluminium.

the rest... they're just obvious.. the stock springs are not really up to sporting standard.. and higher rate springs will need better damper to control their movement. and uprated rear stabilizer should give you some tail lift into the corners.
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Okay...

I like the sound of the front strut bar, being Nissan made and all...

So I'll pick that up...

Found a Suspension Techniques rear sway bar for 140, and I'll pick that up too...

Now 2 questions...

How hard would it be to install the rear sway bar myself/should I get someone else to do it?

Then...

Would it be alright to just do the front strut bar and rear sway bar, THEN at a later date do the springs and struts and shocks, then the polyurethane bushings, then new tires, or should I do it in a different order?

Slowly came to realize, cost is kind of an issue...

^_^;;
 

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Golden Member
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1,834 Posts
of course thats fine.. better even, u may stop there !

only problem with the order, (as you'll soon find out when u actually figure where the bushings go ;) ) is that you'ld do them when u change the "shocks"... unless u like paying lots of $$ in labor redoing stuff that could have been taken out in one fell swoop !
 

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Once again in a DSM!!
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1,499 Posts
Ohh yeah man.. We have Struts not shocks.. just to let you know. as far as doing the install on different days thats up to you but if you are having a shop do the install then might as well wait until you get all the parts that you need and just pay one time for install.. also if you think that you can pull this off as far as the install on everything.. look in the FAQ and there is instructions there to guide you on how to do the install..

another good thing to do is make a parts list on what you need, that would help you keep a focus on what you need to get.. shop around in the for sale forum as well as in the vendor forum and on ebay...

EDIT: Regarding the Sway bar, a lot of peeps here recomend the Miata endlinks when installing the sway bar. you might want to look into that as well.
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hmm...

You're right...

I think it'd probably just be best to do it all at once, especially if I'm going to have someone else do the install...

Where could I get polyurethane bushings?

I've been able to find everything else, except those.

Couple last questions...

I can install the front strut bar myself [since that's easy]...

And have everything else, the rear sway bar, struts, springs, and polyurethane bushings installed by someone else.

Then can I wait to goto 16's?

My tires and whatnot [15's] are basically nearly new from when I bought the car, and I figure, I'll ride on those until I need to replace the tires anyway, but would that be okay to do at a later date?

Because I know they need to change something to the odometer so it remains right, because, it'll be a longer full rotation on a bigger tire, so how do I deal with that, and how much would it cost for the install of everything you guys think?
 

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IONO_g20_nao!
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682 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Or maybe I'll get better rated 15's like someone else reccomended, after I need to get new tires anyway if it's okay...

But I want different rims than the look of my stock hubcabs, but I'm def not looking for new hubcabs, I'm looking for new rims, I guess I gotta find some in 15's...

>_<;;

Eh...

Just one more question, would it be alright to JUST install the front strut bar now, and wait to do the rest later? Like, there won't be any harm in it or anything, right? Like, it won't damage anything or anything like that, right, or make things uneven or something?
 
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