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ASE certified wiseass
174 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

I just finished changing my struts in my 95 Alty SE and I thought I would share the procedure. It was actually pretty easy.

I put in the KYB Gr-2's and my only complaint is that the front struts are black and the back are silver.

Check this out.

Feel free to use to your desire or correct if necessary.


The link doesn't work so here is the text.

How to change your 1st gen Nissan Altima struts

1. Jack one front wheel safely and remove the wheel.
2. Using a flathead screwdriver and hammer, tap the c-clip off the brake hose and remove the hose from the strut assembly.
3. Using a breaker bar and 17mm 6-point socket and 17 mm box-end wrench, break loose the two nuts that attach the strut to the knuckle. Be sure to hold the bolt and turn the nut. I recommend removing the bottom nut first. The manual recommends replacing these nuts, but the Nissan dealer says that it is not necessary.
4. Using a 14mm socket remove the three nuts on the top of the strut mount under the hood. (you will need to remove the strut-bar if so equipped).
5. At this point the strut assembly will be able to be removed from the vehicle. Take it to your bench.
6. Remove the rubber cover over the pinion nut and loosen, but do not remove the pinion nut. If you remove it a large force will be released from the spring.
7. Connect two spring compressors to opposite sides of the spring and tighten until the spring is loose in the perches. Be careful not to loose the rubber rings on either end.
8. Remove the pinion nut and the top perch assembly which will have a perch plate, a keyed plate, and the rotating mount with bushing.
9. The strut should now slide out. Remove the rubber boot and bumpstop assembly and install on the new strut.
10. Install the new strut in the same way the old strut came out. Be sure to align the spring in the perches properly and the keyed plate.
11. Using the new pinion nut provided with the new struts, tighten a few turn on the nut.
12. Slowly release the spring compressors making sure they seat in the proper locations and on the rubber rings.
13. Tighten the pinion nut to about 50 ft-lbs and replace the rubber seal.
14. Place strut back into position and insert the two bolts into the knuckle while you rotate the top assembly to align the three bolts. It only goes one way.
15. Tighten the top three bolts (tight) and then tighten the bottom two nuts to 100 ft-lbs. Be sure to hold the bolt and tighten the nut.
16. Reattach the brake line using the c-clip and a small hammer.
17. Reattach the wheel and slowly lower the car listening for any strange noises.
18. Repeat for the other front side.
19. Now start on the rear by removing the rear seat (two 17mm screws) and the seat back (two 10mm screws) to gain access to the top of the strut towers. Remove the black rubber covers.
20. Jack the car safely and remove one wheel.
21. Remove the 14mm nut to release the brake line holder.
22. Remove the 14mm nut to the rear sway bar by holding the inside of the balljoint with a 14mm open-end wrench.
23. Remove the two 17mm nuts and bolts as you did the front.
24. Remove the three 14mm bolts on the top of the strut tower.
25. Remove the strut assembly from the car an put it on the bench.
26. IMPORTANT: Look at the orientation of the top plate with regards to the side of the car. The top plate does not rotate like the front one does, so it needs to be assembled correctly or it won’t go in. I recommend making a mark on the top plate and upper spring perch with a marker that matches the knuckle bracket on the strut. Now that you have recorded its location, you can start disassembly.
27. Using a monster allen wrench or a really big vise-grips, remove the jam nut on the top by holding the mounting perch and rotating it.
28. Apply the spring compressors until the spring is loose in the perch. Be careful to not loose the rubber rings.
29. Remove the pinion nut from the top of the strut. It will have a lock-washer, flat washer and a 1” spacer. Remove them all.
30. Remove the strut and remove the rubber boot and bumpstop assembly. Install on new strut.
31. Put new strut in making sure you line-up the top plate the same exact way the old one came off.
32. Install spacer, washer, and the new nut supplied with the struts. Hand tighten a few turns.
33. Slowly release the spring compressors making sure they seat in the proper areas and that the top plate is oriented properly.
34. Torque the pinion nut to 50 ft-lbs.
35. Place the strut back into place and verify that the three top nuts align in the holes properly with the knuckle on the bottom. Insert the two bolts through the knuckle in the bottom of the strut.
36. Tighten the three nuts at the top of the strut and replace the rubber cover.
37. Reconnect the strut bar linkage and tighten to 50ft-lbs.
38. Reconnect the brake line tab and tighten.
39. Tighten the two bottom nuts to 100ft-lbs by holding the bolt and turning the nut.
40. Verify everything looks correct and reconnect the wheel.
41. Lower the vehicle slowly and listen for any strange noises.
42. Repeat for other side.

Alignment: The Helms manual doesn’t say to get it re-aligned after replacing the shocks, but you should at least have the camber checked.

Lowering springs: If you are installing lowering springs at the same time you will need to release the spring compressor from the stock springs in a safe fashion and apply them to the new springs.

Sorry for the length.


Cube Farmer
1,671 Posts
Sounds about right, might want to add a part about making sure that you get the bolts on the sway bar in back really really tight or it will make clunking noises. That was my problem for about a month and i couldnt figure it out....
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