Non-OEM alternative for Nuts and Bolts for the strut base

nissan
sentra

#1

Hello folks,

I plan to change suspensions of my 2006 Sentra. I already have Read-to-mount suspensions, but they did not come with the nuts and bolts for the strut base i.e. near where it binds to the wheel.

I am not too sure of the quality of nuts and bolts of already installed suspensions. Neither do I know if I should be reusing them. Hence started looking at the dealerships for the replacements. Most of the dealerships in my neighborhood do not have it in stock and they need to be ordered. Not everyone assured me that they can get them. Those who can get them, the cost is around $60, which sounds extremely unreasonable to me.

I wonder if I have any alternative to these nuts and bolts, like grade 8 nuts and bolts from The Home Depot or something like it. I am just trying to save some green bills but I do not want to compromise with safety.

Can anyone give me some sage advice in this regard?

Thanks in advance.

(P.S. - I have not yet thought it through to get it done from the mechanic. I am pretty sure, I can do the front ones without much hassle. The rear ones are what I am worried about, which I discussed in another thread.)


#2

reusing old bolts would likely be way safer than going HomeDepot route

I’ve been reusing old suspension bolts/nuts for decades and never had any issues

in addition, from my 2002 Sentra experience, replacing rear struts was much easier than front ones, both sides can be done in half a day even when reusing old springs and with basic tools, so having ready-to-go assemblies should be much faster to do


#3

Just reuse the hardware

There’s no reason to throw out the bolts, and the nuts are almost certainly self-locking. If i makes you feel better, apply some blue loc-tite to the threads and torque them to the specs listed in your service manual

You’re not going to get any satisfaction at dealers . . . they don’t stock such things, because almost nobody goes there, asking for them. And grade 8 bolts at Home Depot is an even worse idea. Grade 8 is standard, and your car uses only metric hardware.

After you’re done installing your parts, I advise you to get a steering alignment


#4

Man I’ve snapped lag bolts clean off from sources like Home Depot. Either re-use or get OEM in my view. I remember when they did the head gaskets on my diesel, the new OEM bolts cost $10 each but that’s life.


#5

Reuse the original hardware.

The factory manual doesn’t mention anything about replacing this hardware.

Also, the factory manual doesn’t mention anything requiring an alignment after replacing the struts.

Tester


#6

Thank you everyone.

I have no idea about this. I was searching the web for what others have used/tried and some forums, I came across this option, so thought must be some novel kind of nuts. Home Depot also lists such nuts at $1 or 2 a piece. Standard ones are a lot cheaper so I got a feeling that they must be novel. Hence I thought of confirming this here.[quote=“db4690, post:3, topic:105902”]
After you’re done installing your parts, I advise you to get a steering alignment
[/quote]
If you don’t mind, can you elaborate on steering alignment. Why is it needed after suspensions replacement and if I need to check anything else than this.

Thanks again folks.


#7

Because there is clearance in the bolt holes and because there are slight variations in aftermarket parts. The factory doesn’t tell Monroe (or any other aftermarket vendor) that the bolt spacing is 72.5 mm and the bracket clearance is 0.30 +/- 0.03 mm. They must go measure them and since there are tolerances on manufacturing, they many not be nominal so the holes may be a little bit bigger and allow a little bit more slop and all this throws off the alignment which has a very small tolerance of its own.

Better to check and adjust than to replace tires in 3000 miles or have the car wander all over the highway,


#8

Sorry!

I looked up the wrong vehicle.

The vehicle will need an alignment after replacing the struts.

But the hardware can be reused.

Tester


#9

In military aviation no nuts and bolts are reused. Of course if one fails you can’t pull over to the curb so aircraft maintenance/repair is beyond anal. As far as dealer prices for automotive fasteners there can be alternatives which meet or exceed their specifications. One of the 2 chain tightening bolts on my 1981 Yamaha 650 twin motorcycle was stripped. I took the good bolt to the dealer who would have to order the 2 replacement bolts (I usually don’t replace half of a pair) at the cost of $39.95 each! I had other transportation (cars) so I declined. There was a warehouse named Willamette Valley Fasteners on my commercial route that I delivered to and picked up shipments from. I presented them with the still serviceable bolt and they had replacements with matching threads and hardness in stock They were cadmium plated instead of chrome (it was not a show bike) and were 6mm longer (the extra 1/4 inch was not a factor). I bought 2 for less than $4 each. They worked perfectly with a 90% + discount! Perhaps OP can find a similar business in their area. Personally I would prefer proper new hardware for suspension parts where a catastrophic failure could result in a very bad day.


#10

An alignment is needed on any make of car after strut replacement; even on cars which have fixed camber and caster.

There’s enough movement in any of the mounting bolt holes to move the spec a degree or two either way.

When the camber and/or caster is shuffled a bit the toe will also be affected.


#11

I have used Fastenal a couple of times for odd ball stuff. I needed a particular set screw for my kitchen faucet an no one had one. They ordered it for me and had it the next day for 50 cents. I also needed some very large washers like 1 1/2" hole for the dock wheels and they had them in stock for $2.50 each. I should mention the guy that started the company was a brother to a guy I worked with, but its a good company and they mainly supply commercial customers with fasteners.


#12

What are such businesses called, and are these the manufacturers or the distributors?[quote=“Bing, post:11, topic:105902”]
I have used Fastenal a couple of times for odd ball stuff.
[/quote]

This is exactly what @sgtrock21 seems to be pointing at. I have a few Fastenal stores in the vicinity, will give them a shot.

Thanks to both of you for the idea.


#13

All strut replacements require realignment. The strut is a critical part of the alignment of the wheel and just small manufacturing variations in the strut are enough to cause alignment problems. Besides that are the variations in mounting described by OK4450.

There are things that factory manuals don’t detail because they’re designed to be used by trained mechanics with a higher level of basic knowledge than the average consumer. One is, for this car, apparently the need to align the vehicle after. Another might be to hang the lower control arm/A-frame when removing the lower strut bolts. Another might be that these bolts are torqued to very high torque values… and you’re probably going to need a heavy-duty impact wrench… with a good compressor… to remove them.