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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 05-02-2007, 08:32 PM   #1
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Front end vibration update

Just wanted to add in an update to my current effort to make my maxima a little more stable

its basically a 2001 with 142K miles.. auto

I had previously noticed a shimmy in the steering which was getting worse as speed increased.. I first started with shocks and springs moving to H&R and illuminas...

The vibration went down but not a great deal... the next item i replaced was the outer tie rod ends... the old ones had basically worn out... you could move the ball joint with your pinky... that brought back some stability to the car... i could now comfortably cruise at 75 with some vibration...

The next step was to swap out the lower control arms with new bushing and ball joints... this was a good move... the front end got a whole lot stiffer and the new bushings and balljoints made the car track much better at higher speeds... my stable speed now moved from 75 to 80 with little vibration...

This last week while reading/researching on the internet I read that the inner tie rods cause similar vibration issues... I was debating between rotors, bearings and CV joints... but thought i'd start with the inner tie rods since they were the cheapest....

this evening i just completed the driver side inner tie rod and man am i glad i did this... the steering has become way stiffer than it was... the car now doesnt wander at highway speeds... you dont get a feeling that at higher speeds i'm holding the car rather i'm only holding onto the steering and the car is tracking straight with very minor vibration... my hopes are up that with the passenger side tie rod going in tomorrow... i will have a vibration free front end... i'll update this thread tomorrow again....

thanks you irish who mentioned that inner tie rod could be the issue and that bearings would make noise but not cause vibrations...

I am thinking since i have now replaced almost all the front end components should i just spend another 175 and do the bearings?
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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man please tell me you took your car to a shop before you just started replacing parts. sounds like you could have saved yourself mucho bucks by getting an educated opinion first.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:26 PM   #3
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^^haha that was what I was thinking. It sounds like you need a better mechanic.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:33 AM   #4
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LOL... thanks for the unwanted comments... but yes... I did have the car looked at.

with 142K on the car the gle shocks were blown... so i had to swap them anyways... perfect time to do springs to.. so went in H&R and illuminas...

Next the car was at a dealership for a customer care event when they found the lower control arms out of specs... hence the LCAs...

As for the outer tie rods if you dont know how to check them... man i feel for you guys.. but yeah.. i checked them myself and replaced them.... 60 bucks...

with 140K miles the wear and tear on your car can make your car feel like its a buick...

To me the only additional money i spent was the 300 on LCAs and no other since i put them in myself... as for shocks n springs.. I hated the stock maxima suspension so that was going to be swapped anyways...

When your car hits over 140K let me know how your car feels and maybe u'll know what exact worn part to replace ... currently with the new parts the maxima feels like it has 14K miles instead of 140K... for a car that i paid 5600 for and me spending about 850 in parts... the only additional money was spent on beer...... I now have a maxima that feels way better than maximas with probably a 3rd of my miles... since i do all my work myself not to mention for that price u wont find a maxima with all the fresh frontend parts and full maintenance records LOL....

peace
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:08 AM   #5
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lol im in support of you ku- good work but u shoulda took some pics of ur install . . .
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:02 AM   #6
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sure thing... I'm going to install the inner tie rods probably this evening... will take shots of that.

Thanks for your comment MistMax... you have been of good help in my quest for making my maxima more fun to drive !!
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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alrite cool.. lookin forward to some pics,.. how are u liking the H&R/ illumina combo? ..ive heard only good things...

Quote:
I am thinking since i have now replaced almost all the front end components should i just spend another 175 and do the bearings
why not,.. but you should also spend another 100 on a rear sway bar
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:21 PM   #8
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Just got back from completing the inner tie rods... it was a bad evening as my camera battery was dead and i cudnt take pics. however the car now feels awesome and tight... especially with no vibration etc. there is a pull so i know i need to get the car aligned.

However, if anyone needs reference I basically followed this link on cardomain. It was a inner tie rod swap that someone did on a 97 maxima. The setup on the 5th gen is exactly the same. I simply followed the steps as described. The guy has got all the information one will ever need to do inner tie rods.

I did not buy the lisle tool as described on the link but rented an inner tie rod tool from Autozone.

The link to the site is http://www.cardomain.com/ride/348507/13

I have frankly fallen in love with the H&R illumina combo.

I have the illuminas on 3 all around and they are fine. Only really bad potholes or bumps feel like they upset the car. My other car is a BMW 330ci with sports pkg so i like stiff suspension. The only thing i dont like on the maxima is the excessive body roll. I know my sway bar bushings are also shot... but will wait a month before i do it. I am getting a FSTB next followed by the rear sway bar
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukx30de
Just got back from completing the inner tie rods... it was a bad evening as my camera battery was dead and i cudnt take pics. however the car now feels awesome and tight... especially with no vibration etc. there is a pull so i know i need to get the car aligned.

However, if anyone needs reference I basically followed this link on cardomain. It was a inner tie rod swap that someone did on a 97 maxima. The setup on the 5th gen is exactly the same. I simply followed the steps as described. The guy has got all the information one will ever need to do inner tie rods.

I did not buy the lisle tool as described on the link but rented an inner tie rod tool from Autozone.

The link to the site is http://www.cardomain.com/ride/348507/13

I have frankly fallen in love with the H&R illumina combo.

I have the illuminas on 3 all around and they are fine. Only really bad potholes or bumps feel like they upset the car. My other car is a BMW 330ci with sports pkg so i like stiff suspension. The only thing i dont like on the maxima is the excessive body roll. I know my sway bar bushings are also shot... but will wait a month before i do it. I am getting a FSTB next followed by the rear sway bar
Have you thought of SFC's, there is a group deal on the SubFrame Connectors going on right now. Look in the Group Deals Section. This will help your car far more than any other suspension mod.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Thats a sad scenario as Nissan is aware & totally ignores blaming TIRES for the shake! My 04 Maxima has gone thru 3 sets of tires ( continental, cooper, & goodyear) been special road force tested & balanced by Nissan ,I even had a supposed bent wheel straightened, was told it was tie rods, goodyear tires ... etc I've hundreds of dollars in alignments.... rotations, balancing even thru numerous reputable tire companies, they are not accepting responsibility for the "shimmy Shake" problem! my car failed inspection because the shimmy was a "rack & Pinion" shake from day 1 !!! which connects to (tie rods) and tie rods seldom are the prob as in my case they were are still are TIGHTnow Nissan says "sorry it's out of warranty!" when i complained from day 1 (on the test drive) do not be "suckered into beleiving any of this is a tire balance problem, alignment etc Nissan relaced a strut on the passenger side to satisfy me Problem was still there! HA they blew it with me- yet i love my car & have too much invested. wait these problems do get BIGGER! look at all the remanufactured Rack & pinion steering for these years (tells ya sumthin") good luck! strength in numbers maybe Nissan needs a lawsuit to resolve this matter when it's their problem not ours! If ANYONE in this forum is having this problem, do yourself a favor and be in Nissans Face daily! don't buy into their excuses as did I..... my car Just failed this month and extended warrantee ran out 3 months ago, not Nissans Problem according to them! OH i had a garage tell me first year it was rack & Pinion Nissan balanced tires and never did anything towards checking what i asked! Ignorant and poor service!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:47 AM   #11
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oh boy.... trip down memory lane...

I'm now at 188,780 and even today there are no front end issues!

Looking to swap back to SE springs with the illuminas though... I'm done with the jarring ride of the H&R's. While they did feel awesome early on, as time has gone by I am noticing more and more that it doesnt absorb bumps as well... theres something about that BMW suspension... freaking tight on curves and yet absorbs bumps like a normal car.

I might think about the SFC's though... the flex in the noodle like body structure of the maxima just doesnt inspire confidence!

New tasks lining up for 2010 ... foremost is adding a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl everywhere to reduce ambient noise in the car.

Last edited by kukx30de; 04-01-2010 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #12
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my car never vibrated until i recently put new rims, after 70 car shakes and its because the rims are unbalanced.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukx30de View Post
theres something about that BMW suspension... freaking tight on curves and yet absorbs bumps like a normal car.

I might think about the SFC's though... the flex in the noodle like body structure of the maxima just doesnt inspire confidence!
That's exactly the difference. BMW = luxury (supposedly ) sports cars, hence, the chassis is rigid which handles great. Maxima = perf. family sedan and nothing more, honestly. A33 platform sucks basically lol.

Last edited by Child_uv_KoRn; 04-01-2010 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:34 PM   #14
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wow that dude obviously has something against nissans right now,my car has 197k almost 198 and i replaced my lca's with new bushings ball joints and axles(those were shot) and i noticed a difference with just that,all the items being discussed are wear down items which means over the course of the years they wear down and need to be replaced DUR
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
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That's exactly the difference. BMW = luxury sports cars, hence, the chassis is rigid which handles great. Maxima = perf. family sedan and nothing more, honestly. A33 platform sucks basically lol.
I will say this... our other car is an 02 330ci and it does have more of a lux feel than the max and with the sports pkg man it handles like its on rails!

I do agree with your statement about the A33 not really being there... I have been working on a friends 4th gen and I have to say her SE feels alot tighter than my 5th. IMO the 5th gen moved the max closer to Buick than BMW LOL!

Now that I have realized there are really no sporting aspirations here... I am putting my effort on making the car a true interstate express. Using some additional sound deadening, the car actually feels amazing with minimal road noise and a tad bit of wind noise.

Overall the BMW serves as the weekend warrior and the Max is a perfect daily driver/grocery getter a true workhorse... not spending more time to try making it perform like a thoroughbred. !
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:29 PM   #16
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So i previously always owned subaru's.... this being my 2nd maxima (6th generation) and on the Nissan's winning edge i drive my 92 years old Uncle's New Lincoln and my maxima new gave the same luxury ride.... my reason for spending the time & money to reapir my suspension/rack issues are for just this reason, some may have traded it but being out of the gate i was impressed, yes i hit a hole, blew a tire & wheel and did front end damage. otherwise this car has been Awesome! & for the buick class.... that lacrosse is a gem to test- try it you'll be impressed, i did consider the BMW but pricewise it would have been a strippo as far as options go Maxima had it all to offer and it is not a cheap economical grocery getter the newer maximas rock!
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:19 AM   #17
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My lower control arm are shot but it doesn't vibrate. Rubber is fallin out and it rattles pretty good when I hit a bump. When I get a chance I will replace everything as far as steering goes. Also the motor mounts. How many people have used the energy suspension stuff ? How much did it tighten it up ?
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:19 AM
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