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S13 Tension Control Rod Install

Old 06-02-2007, 11:02 AM
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S13 Tension Control Rod Install

I had these pics laying around since I first began my suspension upgrades a couple of months ago so I compiled some of them into this tension control rod install. This was my very first suspension upgrade and at the time I didn't really have a lot of know-how or confidence in my abilities to install these parts but I did my research, made sure I had the right parts/tools and just dove into the project head first. At this point the only suspension upgrades to my car was a strut/spring combo which was put on by a friend of mine who worked at a car dealership. Thinking back, I really wish I had done that myself but enough about that and on to the install.

Tools needed:
Socket wrench
17mm socket
17mm wrench
Small hammer
Torque wrench

The following are just some random pics showing the terrible condition that my front suspension and undercarraige was in before I started.
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Painting brake calipers while they are still on the car...big mistake. Check out the grime build-up and the swaybar endlink that was not connected.
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More grime.
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Yet more grime! Notice the bent tension rod bracket and the cracked tension control rod bushing leaking the dreaded goo from around the bolt. Time to put an end to that!
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Nismo tension control rods, I wanted to go spherical bearing but I couldn't pass up this deal from RHDJapan for $85(They retail for $250). They were used but I didn't care I just wanted a Nismo suspension part and they were in excellent condition. First, you jack the car up, remove the tires and place your jackstands in the appropriate places.
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Stock tension control rod, 13+ year old part and bushing.
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You need a 17mm socket and a 17mm wrench to remove the tension control rod bolt from the brackets. Turn the socket with one hand while you hold the wrench with the other to keep the bolt from spinning.
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Use a small hammer to tap the bolt out from the tension rod bracket.
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Now you need to remove the two bolts holding the T/C rod to the lower control arm.
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Use a 17mm socket to remove both bolts from below the lower control arm.
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Use a prybar to pop the T/C rod loose if you can't pull it away.
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Done, halfway there!
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This is what it looked like when I first removed it. Phantom menace...dreaded goo!
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The OEM T/C rod and the Nismo T/C rod, they look quite similiar.
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I cleaned up the frontend and put a Nismo power brace on also.
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Take the new T/C rod and position it on the lower control arm...
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and the T/C bracket.
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The head of my T/C rod didn't want to line up...
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so I used a screwdriver as an alignment tool.
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Now you can run the bolt through.
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Use the 17mm socket and the 17mm wrench to put the bolt back on.
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PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! DO NOT TIGHTEN OR TORQUE THE BOLTS UNTIL YOU PUT THE TIRES BACK ON AND LOWER THE CAR TO THE GROUND OR YOU WILL BUST THE HELL OUT OF ANY RUBBER OR POLY BUSHINGS THAT YOU HAVE!!!! At the time I hadn't done all my research and I made that mistake. I can get a new set from Nismo for fairly cheap but it's still a waste that I did that. You live you learn!
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Next, put the bolts back on the ends of the T/C rods that connect to the lower control arm and torque to 69-83ft. lbs.
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Put the wheels back on, lower the car and NOW you can tighten the head of the T/C rod and torque to 80-94ft. lbs.
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Torque wrench.
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You probably could have tightened the rods before if you had T/C rods with spherical bearings.

Last edited by positron; 10-02-2008 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:30 PM
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once again good right up brother keep em coming.. i should have about two more coming soon since i got my new motor.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:58 AM
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Awesome write-up. This helped me alot this weekend. Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:29 PM
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So only tighten the bolts when the car is on the ground? My car is pretty low and with the tire on that would be prett hard? Any other way? Thanks.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:00 AM
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Other than getting some small ramps there's no other way that I can think of short of just taking a chance and trying not to bust the bushings while the car is still up. Anyone chime in on this.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:55 AM
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put rims/tires on the car. put stock scissor jack under the tire/wheel you're working on. jack up the jack. that will load up the suspension so you can torque down the bolt as needed.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the write up
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:47 PM
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I don't mean to bump an old thread but thank you for the tip on letting the car down before tightening to help the rubber. I did not know that before thank you.
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