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Old 07-27-2009, 11:07 AM
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Default '00-'01 vs '93-'99 Spring & strut height differences

Sources of info:
Overnight AutoParts Catalog - 1995 Nissan Altima Strut Assembly - '93-'99 strut free and compressed lengths, as the Monroe web catalog won't load on my pc.
Overnight AutoParts Catalog - 2001 Nissan Altima Strut Assembly - '00-01 strut free and compressed lengths
RockAuto has the spring free lengths listed, but no spring rates

'93-'99 Front struts: 18.875 in. extended length; 13 in. compressed length
'00-'01 Front struts: 18.875 in. extended length; 13.375 in. compressed length

'93-'99 Rear struts: 22.25 in. extended length; 15 in. compressed length
'00-'01 Rear struts: 22.25 in. extended length; 15.375 in. compressed length

'93-'99 XE/GXE/SE/GLE Front springs M/T: RAYBESTOS Part # 5851248 Inside Diameter=5.718" Wire Diameter=.562" Free Height=14.75" Load height=9"
'93-'99 SE Front springs A/T: RAYBESTOS Part # 5851249 Inside Diameter=5.718" Wire Diameter=.562" Free Height=15.5" Load height=9
'00-'01 Front springs: RAYBESTOS Part # 5851314 Can't find info on spring sizes

'93-'99 Rear springs: RAYBESTOS Part # 5911128 Inside Diameter=4.642" Wire Diameter=.5" Free Height=12.5" Load height=9"
'00-'01 Rear springs: RAYBESTOS Part # 5911139 Inside Diameter=4.642" Wire Diameter=.5" Free Height=13.25" Load height=9"

'93-'97 (possibly '98-'99) Spring rates, non-SE: 123/112 f/r
'93-'97 (possibly '98-'99) Spring rates, SE: 134/123

I find it interesting that for all of the talk of the '00-'01 models having reduced ride height, the front and rear both have less stroke, and the rear springs are actually taller. Specs in the FSM for unladen heights are the same between the 1st gen and the '00-'01 (don't have the '98-'99 fsms; I'm assuming the #s are similar to the 1st gen), and the newer models do not have spring rates listed, which I find to be an annoying omission.

However, I searched and found Nissan Forums: Nissan Altima Forum so I am wondering what the deal is.

I'm only hunting around for info because my rear struts should be replaced, and since I need to do the brakes and I plan on a rear disc conversion anyway, might as well take care of the dampers while I'm down there. For vanity's sake, I'd like to lower the front of my car so I don't have the disproportionate amount of wheel gap there vs in the rear, and doing '00-'01 front springs (which appear to be the same regardless of trim level) with '00-'01 spec Monroes looks to be a fairly cheap and efficient way of maintaining OEM ride quality while lowering the front end. The problem is that I'm not sure if the Monroes actually ride so much better that it's worth losing the fractional amount of stroke; most of Nissan's FWD vehicles from this era would benefit from more suspension travel, because lowering the car tends to send the ride quality to crap if it's bouncing off the bump stops more frequently.

If Bilsteins & Konis weren't out of my price range, I would try to figure out which cartridges they make that would fit, and be decent in terms of valving that there would be an improvement in stiffness without completely destroying the ability to soak up minor road imperfections.

I realize most people whom would've tried this would've been replacing tired struts, so the difference may not be that apparent when compared with a stock suspension car that still has life left in it. With that said, any first gen owners running around with '00-'01 front springs and '00-'01 Monroe struts all around? If so, was it an improvement?
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:39 PM
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What about the KYB gas struts, they're meant to be good quality! From what I've been told from my friend who's a mechanic, a lot of people have problems with the Monroe shocks. I don't think they would be much of an improvement on stock anyway. Coilover suspension would be the way to go, but they are expensive!
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:40 AM
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Everyone used KYB back in the day. Better ride, lasted longer, better for your money.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:07 PM
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dont forget though that kyb are the same as oem. oem struts are actually stamped kyb... the kyb gr2's are very slightly improved, not even sure youd notice the difference over old tired struts anyways. ultimatuc has monroes in the front of his car and it rides nice.
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