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Sunday, April 30, 2006

 

Nuts can drive you crazy

My wife and I switched cars for last week so I could haul some things back from my house before it sold. Her Nissan Pathfinder had a problem with the rear suspension shaking, like a giant hand had grabbed the rear bumper. A little bounce test suggested that the rear shocks were toast. So I figured that was the problem. Looked like an easy enough job - they're only held on with one nut at the top and one bolt at the bottom. You don't even have to lift up the car to get to them. I bought a pair of Monroe Sensatracks from Pep Boys and went to work.

Well, remember what I said about working on the suspension? Road grime and water are bad for threads, and there's always a stuck fastener in every suspension job. In this case, the nut at the top somehow got into a situation where I could turn it but it wouldn't come off. Hoping that there was a way to salvage things, I asked on the Grassroots Motorsports board, but the response was pretty much unanimous: The nut was stripped, and the only way to get things finished was to destroy the nut. So I sliced it in two with a cut-off wheel and a chisel.

As you can see, the nut was missing a considerable length of thread. I also had to hack off a short length of the stud, which had equally damaged threads. Luckily, there's still enough left to hold on the replacement nut.


Unfortunately, while the new shocks seem to damp out a bit of the vibration, the problem is still there. Seems like there was some other issue and the blown shocks made it worse.


Comments:
An odd link path brought me to your website...I posted the racing story on Evil Editor's blog - and appreciated that your comment on racing being expensive supported my plot a little!

I was too chicken to post my name over there!

We had a really bad problem like the one you're describing with your pathfinder on our old Dodge Grand Caravan. Rattled over every bump like the shocks were bad - we replaced the shocks and the struts, and it never improved...still a mystery since the transmission went out (again!) and we traded it off.

Thanks!
 
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