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How to Replace the Shocks on a Nissan Frontier

by Jody L. Campbell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Wheel chock

  • 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive metric socket set (up to 21 mm)

  • 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench

  • Metric ratcheting wrench set (suggested)

  • Metric box end wrench set

  • Creeper (suggested)

  • Hammer

  • Safety glasses

You can enhance the performance of the suspension in your Nissan Frontier by replacing the shocks after the first 30,000 to 50,000 miles. A quality brand aftermarket shock can actually be better than the one that the Frontier came with originally. Changing the shocks yourself will save you a great deal of money on labor that local repair shops will charge in addition to the price of the parts.

Replacing the Front Shocks

Park the Frontier on a paved, level surface. Apply the parking brake. Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires.

Break the lug nuts loose on the two front tires using the breaker bar and a 21-mm socket.

Lift the front left quarter of the Frontier using the floor jack and place a jack stand under the left control arm. Remove the lug nuts and wheel.

Remove the lower shock absorber mounting bolt and nut using the ratchet and a socket and holding the bolt head with a box end wrench.

Remove the upper shock mounting nut using a ratcheting wrench. Hold the shock stem stationary with a small box end wrench while removing the mounting nut if necessary.

Remove the shock and install the new one in reverse order. Compress the shock to align with the lower mounting bolt and nut when you're ready.

Replace the tire and lug nuts. Lower the left side and torque the lug nuts to 80 ft-lbs. with the torque wrench and a 21-mm socket.

Repeat steps 3 through 7 on the right side front shock absorber. Remove the wheel chock when finished.

Replacing the Rear Shocks

Park the Frontier on a paved, level surface. Apply the parking brake. Place a wheel chock in front of one of the front tires.

Lift the left rear quarter of the Frontier with the floor jack and place a jack stand under the axle out of the way of the shock absorber mount. Lift the right rear quarter and place a jack stand under the axle (again out of the way of the shock absorber) to elevate the entire rear axle of the truck.

Put on the safety glasses and crawl underneath on a creeper if you have one.

Remove the left upper shock mounting bolt and nut with the ratchet and socket while holding the bolt head with a box end wrench. Tap the bolt free with a hammer if necessary.

Remove the left lower shock mounting bolt and nut with the ratchet and socket while holding the bolt head with a box end wrench. Tap the bolt free with a hammer if necessary.

Insert the upper mounting bolt and nut onto the new shock and tighten with the ratchet, socket, and box end wrench. Compress the shock, align the lower mounting bolt through the shock eyelet and replace the mounting nut onto the bolt. Tighten the nut while holding the bolt.

Repeat steps 4 through 6 on the right side shock absorber. Lower the Frontier and remove the wheel chock when finished.

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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