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Front struts

front struts

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#1 robcc

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Posted 13 February 2021 - 04:56 PM

We about to put a 1000# popup on our 2009 Nissan Frontier with 130,000 miles. We already have supersprings from towing a raft trailer and we'll have E rated tires. We're wondering if, at that age/miles, whether it would make sense to replace either the front struts and maybe the rear shocks? A starter might be just the front struts (have been noticing some rough ride over potholes). How extensive/expensive of a strut should we get? We'll be offoad, 20% of the time. 


Edited by robcc, 15 February 2021 - 12:50 AM.

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#2 Fishyhead

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 02:45 PM

You'll know if you need to replace them once the camper is on. I had new bilstein 5100s on my truck when I bought the camper and replaced the rear ones with 7100s with stiffer valving to hanle the camper.

The front shocks were fine.
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#3 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:34 PM

Great to hear you got the camper.

Front struts IMO are a dealer/garage job.

They coast a lot more then shocks.

You might ask the next time your rig is in for a oil change .

 

Frank


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#4 robcc

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 09:57 PM

I started this post a while back. We're thinking we are due to replace our front strut to improve ride over pot holes on our 138,000 mileage Nissan Frontier with an ATC Bobcat camper. Our local 4x4 shop is quoting Bilsteins 4600 series for $150 each = plus $250 labor. Does that seem right?

 

Are these Bilstein struts overkill or do people think I can by with something less beafy like a KYB? This local 4x4 shop seems oriented to big bad trucks and he doesn't seem to be all that enthusiastic and keeps calling my truck a compact truck that's not really designed to carry a camper even though we are within the payload capacity.  He also said there are no air bags for such a small truck. We have super springs on there and he said that's the best we can do. 


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#5 rando

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 10:15 PM

If you are still on the original struts/shocks at 13 years and 130k miles, you are probably due for replacement front and back anyway.  The camper will just make that even more evident. 

 

$150 per shock seems a bit high for 4600 series shocks, all 4 can be had for ~$300, or about $150/pair for just the fronts.  

 

However, given that you pay for labor either way, it may be worth upgrading to 5100 series shocks all round.  The rears are trivial to install. 

 

I am pretty sure there are air bags available for the Frontier.


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#6 robcc

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 12:11 PM

Thanks rando--This 4x4 dealer said any airbags we get will not be a as good as the super springs we already have. We are starting to get a slight sag when the 15 gal water tanks are completely full (which is something we'll rarely do -- probably run with 7 gallons).

 

Also I looked at the bilstein 5100 series (and the video comparison) and it seems that they are targeted to people have lifted their trucks vs the factory size 4100's. Are they that much better than the 4100? We're inclined to get the set of 4100 and have our normal (cheaper) auto repair put them on. What do think, something we'll regret?


Edited by robcc, 09 May 2021 - 12:19 PM.

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#7 rando

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 01:26 PM

If you plan on taking the camper on and off, then the airbags may be better - you can reduce the pressure in them to soften the ride with the camper off, then increase the pressure to compensate for the weight of the camper.   If you are happy with how the camper rides with the super springs, then stick with those as they don't need any adjustment and can't leak.

 

My understanding with the shocks is that the 5100 have different valving than the 4600, are firmer and therefor will slightly reduce sway and give a better ride with the camper on, but be rougher with the camper off.   Either will be a big improvement from the factory shocks.   Putting these on is no different than putting factory struts on, so your regular mechanic should have no issues. 


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#8 mrkevinc

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Posted 23 January 2023 - 04:43 PM

Thanks rando--This 4x4 dealer said any airbags we get will not be a as good as the super springs we already have. We are starting to get a slight sag when the 15 gal water tanks are completely full (which is something we'll rarely do -- probably run with 7 gallons).
 
Also I looked at the bilstein 5100 series (and the video comparison) and it seems that they are targeted to people have lifted their trucks vs the factory size 4100's. Are they that much better than the 4100? We're inclined to get the set of 4100 and have our normal (cheaper) auto repair put them on. What do think, something we'll regret?


Curious where you landed with your upgrades? I had a 2007 Nissan Frontier with extra springs (too stiff when unloaded) and added air bags which were great for our FWC Eagle. Unfortunately that truck was just totaled (camper fine)so I’m working on required upgrades for a 2013 Nissan Frontier. Planning on the airbags -but not sure if the extra leaf(s) are required. I did have issues with the 2007 front suspension as it would pogo at times with the rear.

Would love to hear where you landed - or what you would recommend for a stock install. Thanks!
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