For this article, we’ll be installing Stillen’s adjustable tension rods.
Time: 1-3 hours
– 17mm deep socket wrenches, ratchet, extensions
– jack and stands
– open end wrenches
– adjustable tension rods
Very simple. Lift one wheel at a time and unbolt 3 17mm bolts. I used pair of ratchets with regular 17mm socket and deep 17mm socket to get the lower arm bolts. Medium socket would also do.
The painful part is unpressing the studs out of old tension rod.I contacted the local Nissan to see if they sold the studs separately to make the job easier, but they only come pre-pressed in the tension rod. I ended up hammering it out using a block of wood for support. The studs have about 3mm end without thethread, so you will not destroy the threads by hammering them.Nissan recommended grade 8 or better studs if I were to replace them.
Once the stud is pressed in to the new rod, adjust the length to whatever desired. For now, I kept it stock length (370mm fromfarthest stud to the end of bushing center. hard to describe…:-)) I will gradually play with the length of the rod. Tighten the 3 bolts to 75ft-lbs and done! (factory spec 65-80ft-lb).
Lot’s of feedback! It’s amazing how much information is lost in that bushing. Most notable is during braking and cornering. The brake feels much more responsive, because there are no more “big” bushings to absorb the weight transfer. Everything I feel through the steering wheel is almost, yes almost, all response of strut/spring and tire.
During cornering, you can feel what the front tires are doing. This was especially amazing when I pushed into power understeer. You can feel the front tires trying to bite rather than just mushy slipping.
Now into somewhat negative side… Since you can feel the road so much, it gets harsh so to speak. Every little bump the front tires go over, you can feel it on your hand and butt. Even the small ones too. I could imagine the chassis taking quite a bit of abuse now… So if comfort is important to you, it may not be a good idea.