Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

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garyhope
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Car: 2002 Nissan Maxima SE

Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby garyhope » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:00 pm

My 02 Maxima has 122+ miles on the clock and the shocks are shot! Bouncy, bouncy, up and down, ka whunk, thud. Embarrassing if not dangerous. I've been researching various brands of complete units and thinking of installing them myself.

My local mechanic/garage wanted $1400 to install 4 new ones and the local Nissan dealer wanted $1100.

The prices I've seen online for 4 complete "loaded" units range between (approx) $200 to $250-300 for non big brand names. No Koni's, Monroe. Gabriel, Biltsteins(?) etc., but Oredy's, Detroit, Million Parts, Moca Auto Parts, Prime Choice, Drive Tech, Eccppk, and other obscure or unknown (to me) brands. These are bolt in units. 5 bolts for the fronts and 3 bolts for the rears. Tools seem simple. Jack, jack stands, sockets, breaker bar, torque wrench, etc. Removal and installation seems straight forward enough that even I could probably do it.

And I'm an Expert,....I've watched all the videos on YouTube. (LOL)

So, what do you think or know or advise about these obscure brands? Should I take a chance on them? They're probably all made in China or some other place. Will I survive another couple thousand miles with these off brands?

I no longer drive like a maniac Mario Andretti, so I probably don't need Koni's. I'm good for about 80 or 90 MPH and then I slow down and put cruise control on. It's not the Interstates,...it's the side streets with the pot holes, railroad tracks and drainage ditches that are the problem.

Thoughts, suggestions, advice, expert opinions, family wisdom?

This old senior citizen thanks you.


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audtatious
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Re: Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby audtatious » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:14 pm

Get the best brand name that you can afford. The aftermarket seems to have exploded as there were not so many brands of offerings when I had my 2k2 SE. At the time I was using Tokico and they were OK.

From an installation perspective both those places should be slapped. I paid 300 to have new springs put on my 2k2 which required the same steps as replacing struts/shocks by themselves. Go to a tire store and shop around for a better deal.

Maxcruiser
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Re: Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby Maxcruiser » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:03 am

Good topic! I need these next after I put my new fuel pump in.
Probably in 2019 I'll get around to the upper struts.
I've heard KYB from Rock Auto are good.
These do not come with the springs or upper mounts/bearings.
I've never done struts before so it will be a first for me.
I had been on you tube getting a few tips.
The rear struts have bolts buried in the trunk which look like a real PIT Head to get to.
You may need some headache tablets afterwards.

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audtatious
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Re: Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby audtatious » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:51 am

The fronts should be pretty straight forward. You are correct in that the rear is at a weird location and more difficult to get to the bolts.

ThePirate
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Re: Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby ThePirate » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:32 pm

I had the front and rear struts replaced with the Monroe Quick Struts on my I35, at my local Sears. Did not do it all at the same time. Rears alone, parts and labor was $611 installed. They were making a noise, and mechanic had said one was broken. Goosed me $90 for an alignment, a rip, but has to be done.
Don't have the bill for the fronts, but probably closer to $500 with easier install. Gets you to about $1,100, done.
I think the Monroe's are very good, but sprung on the comfortable side. I believe KYB makes a complete unit now also. Probably a sportier ride. I could not do the install myself. Car rolls on at 92k...

sleepy floyd
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Re: Best brands of "loaded" shocks/struts for 02 Maxima SE

Postby sleepy floyd » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:16 am

just did my rear strut assemblies last week. I can confirm the interior bolts are a pain in the butt to get too.. you gotta peel back all the trunk upholstery, then there's a corner bracket/brace covering the area above the strut bolts. You'll need to climb into the trunk or crawl through the drop down rear seat hole to reach the nuts which are inside or behind a corner bracket/brace for the trunk. The corner bracket/brace has a small access hole for a wrench, but you cant really swing a wrench very far. I figured out that there's an opening at the top of the bracket/brace, and I managed to use a ratchet with slide a 6 inch extension and a universal joint to get a socket on the nut and loosen and tighten the nuts. You might need a deep socket, depending on how far the replacement bolt stick out of the top of the strut.

I think you might be able to remove the bracket/brace, but it appeared that you'd need to remove the bracing around the drop down rear seat access port, which seemed like a lot of work..


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