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Koni front inserts w/ sprint springs

Category: 

Tools Needed:
Torque Wrench
Assorted Sockets (12,14,17,21mm)
Breaker Bar
Pipe Cutter
5-amp drill
Assorted drill bits up to ??
Spring Compressor
Jack
Jack stands
Pliers
Hammer
Assorted Wrenches
Catch Pan
Cutting Oil
Silicone spray
Factory Shop Manual

Estimated time: 4 hours

1. Safely secure the car on jack stands. Safe jack standpoints can be found in the
owner's manual and or in a shop manual such as the factory shop manual, Haynes, or
Chilton's. Remove the two front wheels.

 


2. Disconnect the brake hose from the strut. There is a small metal clip holding the
hose to the strut. Try pulling off the clip by hand. If that doesn?t work, try using
a pair of pliers.


3. Remove the bolts that attach the steering knuckle to the strut. The bolts are
17mm and the nuts are 19mm. They require 116-123 ft. lbs of torque. The bottom of
the strut is now free. It will not move much, but something sturdy like a box can be
placed under the rotor for support.


4. Remove the three upper strut mounting bolts (29-40 ft lbs). The size of this bolt
varies from 1995-1999 on the Nissan Maxima. It may be 14mm or 19mm.


5. The strut is now disconnected. To get it out, just wiggle it out of the knuckle.


6. The next step is to compress the spring. Put the spring compressors on opposite
sides of the spring. It may be easier to put the spring compressors on upside down
so that the bolt on the compressor is away from the upper spring seat. The picture
shows the springs compressors on upside down. It was a bit difficult to get at the
bolts on the spring compressor with a ratchet. That is why it may be easier to put
the spring compressors on upside down.


7. Begin to tighten the bolts on the spring compressor in order to compress the
spring. Tighten each side a little bit at a time. For example, give one bolt 10
turns and then switch to the other. Do this until you can see the spring to lift a
bit off of the strut assembly (bottom of strut) and the upper spring seat (top of
strut). MAKE SURE THAT THE SPRING IS COMPRESSED ALL THE WAY! If it?s not, there is a
good chance that the hat will shoot off when you loosen the nut.


8. To release the spring, the nut on the top of the strut mounting insulator needs
to be removed. Some type of breaker bar will need to be used so that the insulator
does not rotate when the nut is loosened. The nut will not unscrew unless some
forced is used to hold the insulator in place. Notice where the breaker bar was
placed in the picture. The nut may be tough to get off. Make sure there is someone
strong helping out! Slowly loosen the nut and make sure that the insulator isn?t
aimed at anyone in case it shoots off.


9. Remove the spring and make note of the order in which the parts will go back on.
This is the order that the parts go on starting from the top. Spacer, Strut mounting
insulator, Strut mounting insulator bracket, Strut mounting bearing, upper spring
seat, Upper spring rubber seat (attach to the previous part most likely), Bound
bumper, Coil Spring, Strut assembly.


10. It?s now time to begin the modification of the strut. There is a gold colored
piece of metal that resembles a cap at the top of the strut. To open up the strut, a
cut will need to be made just below the cap. It is a good idea to mark off on the
strut where the cap is since the cap will be removed in order to make the cut with
the pipe cutter. A hacksaw was used to make the marks. Anything can be used to make
the marks.


11. Take a hammer and gently hit the cap until it pops off


12. Using the pipe cutter, begin to cut the pipe very slowly and gradually. After a
while you will hear a small gush of air, similar to the sound of a soda can being
opened. When you hear the air release, let it release until the sounds stops.
Continue cutting. You will only have to cut through .5mm of metal so take your time
and make sure it?s a good, clean, even cut.


13. Once the top is cut, take it off, and drain it. You also may want to wash the
oil out from inside the strut. I used soap and water


14. A 14mm hole needs to be cut in the bottom of the strut in order to hold the Koni
insert in the strut.


15. An easy way to drill the hole is to start with a smaller size bit and work it up
to the 14mm. If you can?t find a 14mm bit, 9/16? will work as well. So start with a
smaller size bit, such as 1/4? or something small.


16. Dab some cutting oil (if available) in the center of the bottom of the strut so
that some of the heat will transfer during drilling.


17. Put the rubber sleeve over the top of the strut. This serves as a cover (seal)
so that dirt does not get into the insert.


18. Make sure that you use the black metal staggered washer with the bottom 14mm
bolt. Also remember to put the white washer on the top of the insert and the black
rubber sleeve on the top of the insert. The instructions that come with the Koni
shocks show where to put these if it is unclear.


19. Put the Koni insert in and you will notice that it does not go in all the way
because of a bump in the insert. Put the bolt in the bottom and begin to thread the
bolt. You will notice that the bolt will begin to pull the insert in.


20. Re-adjust the rubber sleeve so that it covers the yellow that?s exposed on the
strut.


21. The hole in the strut mounting insulator is shaped like the letter ?D.? it?s
needs to be a circle so that the insert can fit through it. Use a 1/2" bit and bore
it out.


22. Cut the middle notch out of the bump stop just to be safe since there is 2? less
spring and you don?t want to be bottoming out. A hacksaw was used in the picture to
cut the bump stop.


23. Compress the spring and put the strut back together. The Koni shocks come with
their own bolts. The OEM ones can be used or the supplied ones. The center nut, when
tightened will make the strut insulator rotate so something will need to be wedged
between it so that it will not rotate when the bolt is tightened. This is the same
technique that was used to get the bolt off in the beginning.


24. The strut is now ready to go back into the car. There should be an ?out? label
on the top of the upper spring seat. The ?out? side should point towards the tire,
or the same way the knuckle points out.


25. Don?t forget to put the very paper-thin pink spacer back on top of the strut.
Push the strut up into the car and have someone tighten the upper strut bolts finger
tight. Then push the bottom of the strut back into the knuckle. When everything is
aligned correctly, tighten the upper strut mount bolts first and then do the bottom
ones.


26. Clip the brake line back onto the strut, and put the tires back on. Make sure
that you tighten the lug nuts on the wheels!


27. It?s also recommended that you get an alignment after lowering the vehicle. The
car will most likely be out of spec now for the new suspension.

Credit: 

NickStam