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How to Replace Front Shocks 03-04 Nissan Frontier and XTerra

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  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:45)
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel, using a pry bar if necessary
  2. step : Removing the Shock (0:59)
    • Apply penetrating oil to the shock bolts
    • Hold the top of the shock with vise grip pliers
    • Remove the 14mm nut from the top of the shock
    • Pull the bushing and washer off the top of the shock
    • Remove the 18mm bolt from the bottom of the shock
    • Pull the shock out
  3. step : Installing the Shock (2:20)
    • Put the metal washer on the new shock
    • Push the bottom of the shock into place on the control arm
    • Insert the 18mm bolt into the bottom of the shock
    • Compress the shock
    • Let the shock expand into the top mounting area
    • Put the bushing and washer on the top of the shock
    • Fasten the 14mm nut onto the top of the shock
  4. step : Reattaching the Wheel (3:39)
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 100 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern

Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and next time you need parts for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to replace the front shock absorbers in this 2003 Nissan Frontier. It's pretty much the same operation for model years 2001 through 2004, as well as for the left side and the right side. Items needed are new shocks from 1AAuto.com; 21, 18, and 14mm sockets with a ratchet; 14mm wrench; pliers or vise grip pliers; a pipe for some extra leverage for a couple of those bolts, and jack and jack stands.

We're going to remove the wheel and tire. If you don't have the benefit of air tools, loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground first, raise and secure the vehicle, and then remove the wheel tire the rest of the way. We use a pry bar for some extra leverage to break the wheel free.

Locate the top mounting point and spray it down with some penetrating oil, and then the bottom mounting point on the lower control arm there. I'm using a vise grip to hold the very top portion of the shock, because if I don't it's going to spin while I turn the 14mm nut. I'm going to use a 14mm wrench and loosen it as I hold the top, and I'm going to go ahead and fast forward as I do that. Go ahead and remove the upper bushing and washer. Here, I'm using an 18mm socket and ratchet, along with a pipe to loosen up the lower mounting point there. That's a bolt that goes through that lower control arm, with a captive nut on the other side, and I'll fast forward as I take that out.

Here's a shot of the shock that we just took out, and you can see when it's compressed, it does not come back up. You can see with the new shock, when you do compress it, it's going to spring back out, which is exactly what you want. This just goes to show that the old shock was worn out.

Put a metal washer and the bushing on the top, and then take the shock and push it through the upper control arm, down into its mounting point on the lower control arm, and reinstall that 18mm bolt. I'm going to go ahead and fast forward as I tighten that up. I'm not going to fully tighten it, I'm going to come back and finish that up later. From underneath, pull down on the shock to compress it, and let it go into the hole where it mounts up top. Put the rubber bushing, and then your last metal washer, and then the 14mm nut on top. Here I'll be able to use a 14mm socket and ratchet to tighten it up, and I'll go ahead and fast forward as I do that. Now, I can go ahead and finish fully tightening that lower bolt, and I'll go ahead and fast forward as I do that.

Now go ahead and reinstall your wheel, and start your lug nuts by hand. I'll go ahead and fast forward as I do that. Now go ahead and re-tighten them back up. Now with the vehicle on the ground, you can go ahead and torque your lug nuts in a star pattern to 100 foot-pounds.

We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Floor Jack
  • Jack Stands

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Vise Grip Pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Ratchet
  • A Piece of Pipe (for leverage)

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 21mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 14mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Vise-Grips

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 14mm Wrench

2002 - 2004  Nissan  Xterra
2003 - 2004  Nissan  Frontier
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