Nissan Navara Suspension Issues Explained(+3 Tips)

In this brief article we are going to discuss the different Nissan Navara Suspension problems, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

Top 5 most common suspension issues in the Nissan Navara? 

The most common suspension issues seen in the Nissan Navara are:

  • Leafspring Breakage
  • Leafspring Misalignment
  • Rear Shock Absorber Failure

What suspension does the Nissan Navara have?

The Nissan Navara is the brand name given to Nissan Pickup Trucks’ D21, D22, D40 and D23 generations. In the America’s the Navara is sold under the name Nissan Frontier or Nissan NP300.

Front Suspension

The Front suspension in the Nissan Navara is a Double Wishbone Set-up with Upper, Lower control Arms, Coilovers and Anti-roll bar. This arrangement is mounted onto the chassis frame.

Rear Suspension

In the initial launch of the Navara, the Rear suspension was a Solid-Axle leaf spring set-up.

In 2014, with the launch of the Nissan Navara NP300, the Rear suspension changed to a Solid-axle 5-link set-up: An upper and Lower trailing arm on each side and a Pan-hard Rod lateral arm.

Coil Springs, Anti roll bars and Shock Absorbers provide Stiffness and Damping properties to the suspension. 

Nissan Navara Leafspring Breakage

Symptoms:

  • Vehicle ride height will be low on one side
  • Noisy Rear end. Squeaks and Rattles mostly.

Troubleshooting Nissan Navara Leafspring Breakage

  • Examine both sides of the rear suspension.
  • A Sudden reduction in ride height on one side is a clear sign of spring breakage. When a leaf breaks, it reduces the spring rate on that side. So for the same load, the broken spring side sags more than the normal spring side.
  • Generally, at this point the springs would need to be replaced.

Pro Tip

  • Always have identical springs on the Left hand and right hand side of the rear axle. Avoid fitting Original and aftermarket springs at the same time.
  • While the springs are in dismantled condition, take the time to grease the spaces in between the springs, where they contact. This will reduce “Squeaks” when the vehicle runs

Leafspring Misalignment with Rear Axle

Symptoms:

  • Rear axle is not straight. The Axle sits at an angle to the truck
  • Driving is difficult since the vehicle is steering from the rear

Root Cause:

  • Looseness in the Spring Clamp U-Bolts due to less-than-required torque applied
  • U-Bolt threads worn out

Troubleshooting Leafspring Misalignment 

  • In order to correct spring Misalignment, the spring clamps need to be dismantled.
  • Anchor a Ratchet Strap to a secure point on the front of the chassis and run it around the axle. 
  • Now tighten the strap until the axle is straight once again
  • To check axle straightness, you can measure the wheel center distance from any reference point on the body in the longitudinal direction.
  • Once you are satisfied the axle is straight again, you can re-clamp the springs

Pro Tip

  • Carefully examine the U-bolts and nuts for thread wear. Replace where necessary.
  • When applying the final tightening torque to the Spring Clamp U-Bolts, always use a suitable ‘Torque Wrench’ and set the torque to the recommended torque as per your Truck’s Service Instruction Manual

Rear Shock Absorber Failure

Symptoms:

  • Rattling Noise going over any rough patches
  • Rear end bouncier than normal
  • Changes in handling behaviour; Vehicle not feeling stable at high speed cornering

Troubleshooting Front Shock Absorber Failure

  • The Bouncy Ride symptom points to the Shock Absorber as a probable cause.
  • If your vehicle has crossed 50K miles, then it could be due for a shock replacement. Due to long-term internal wear, the shock starts becoming ineffective over time.
  • If the front strut shock has started leaking oil due to a failed oil-seal, then it means that the shock will no longer be effective.
  • One good way to tell if your shock has failed or not is to do a “Bounce Test”. Put all your weight on one of the front corners of the vehicle pushing it downwards. Keep oscillating the corner till you feel that it has reached its maximum height. Once you take your hands off the corner, observe how it settles. If it takes more than 2 oscillations to settle, that means the damper has failed.
  • Once the shock has been removed you can test whether it has fully failed by compressing it by hand. If it goes in easily and does not come back when you remove your hand, it means that the shock has completely failed.
  • You can compare the same with the new replacement shock. It will be much harder to compress by hand as compared to the old part. And once you release the pressure, it expands back on its own.

Pro Tip

  • When tightening the Shock bottom bolt, make sure that the vehicle is at its normal ride height.
  • If this bush is tightened at any other ride height, the Bush  always rests in a twisted condition at normal ride height and will result in a reduced Bush service life.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the different Nissan Navara Suspension problems, what the causes are, and Troubleshooting Tips.

For any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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