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Replacing Rear Torsion Beam

Old 03-27-2015, 07:25 AM
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Replacing Rear Torsion Beam

I'm replacing this heavily rusted torsion beam along with several other parts.

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Old 03-27-2015, 07:28 AM
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The left trailing arm bushing is cracked. Instead of replacing the trailing arm bushings I'm inserting another torsion beam. A used beam I found at a local JY is in great condition.

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Old 03-27-2015, 07:30 AM
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For $75 I also got the rear hub assemblies with ABS rotors, rear OEM calipers & brackets, and slotted brembo discs. The lateral link and control rod was included but I'll be replacing those.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:34 AM
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Lucky deal!

Sent from my Z998 using Maxima
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:35 AM
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I'm also throwing on new rear baffle plates (disc splash shields), swapping out the rear pressed hub assemblies, 4 red powder coated calipers & brackets, and 4 used slotted & drilled brembo discs.

After I powder coat the OEM calipers I'll rebuild them with a Nissan caliper kit. I'll also turn then paint the brembo discs.

Last edited by jholley; 05-12-2015 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jholley View Post
NOTE:

I made several posts beacuse I'll be editing this into a HOW To thread. This is the 2nd rear torsion beam I've replaced on an A32.
2nd? How were your results? I just might have to replace mine. Too much toe in.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:24 PM
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That would be great if you could detail the process! Mine isn't looking as unmolested as I'd like. Might also be following in your footsteps.

If nothing else, how replacing the bushings and link goes and which replacements you used!

Thank YOU!
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by nismomaxgtr18 View Post
2nd? How were your results? I just might have to replace mine. Too much toe in.
The beam I installed last summer had to be re-adjusted. I used Kevlo's thread to get it centered again:

https://maxima.org/forums/advanced-s...centering.html

It's held fine since then.

With only 5 bolts (shocks, trailing arms, lateral link) mounting that beam is a simple but time consuming job. Oh, don't forget the wheels, calipers, their brackets, parking brake cable, and ABS sensor that need to be removed. The tricky part is the order it needs to be done.

On my 98 I'm inserting new splash shields and swapping the wheel hub assemblies.

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Old 04-04-2015, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
That would be great if you could detail the process! Mine isn't looking as unmolested as I'd like. Might also be following in your footsteps.

If nothing else, how replacing the bushings and link goes and which replacements you used!

Thank YOU!
I'll be starting to remove my rear beam on Monday. The trailing arm bushings on the used beam I'll be installing are in good shape so I'm not going to replace them. Jsutter's thread will give details on those bushings:

https://maxima.org/forums/4th-genera...-fits-a32.html

Reading post 50 in that thread states the trailing arm bushings can be installed by just removing the shocks and trailing arm bolts. The ES 7.3120G Bushings will fit the trailing arms along with these SuperPro SPF1942K bushings. They're both polyurethane.

Read this B15 thread for pictures and steps on replacing those trailing arm bushings:

http://www.b15sentra.net/forums/show...pf1942k&page=5

As seen the rear beam was left on the B15 Sentra.

The beam can also be left on when replacing the lateral link. There's no aftermarket replacement for the lateral link. Only the small control rod has replacements (Kuos, Febest, Dorman...)

Last edited by jholley; 04-06-2015 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:08 AM
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Awesome. Looking forward to updates and pics.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:44 PM
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Thank you kindly jholley!

I look forward to your outcome!
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jholley View Post
I'll be starting to remove my rear beam on Monday. The trailing arm bushings on the used beam I'll be installing are in good shape so I'm not going to replace them.
Change of mind.

The rubber trailing arm bushings are fine on the used rear beam I'll be inserting but might as well upgrade to the ES bushings. I ordered them today at Autozone for $32 total. Much easier to replace them with the beam sitting in my garage.

I already refurbished the rear beam with rust converter and semigloss black paint after using a 3M rust stripper. To avoid harming the paint I'll try to skip the torching. I'll take pictures when I start it in a day or two.

Last edited by jholley; 04-26-2015 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:04 AM
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one of these day holley man, ima come see u for some extreme maxy maintenance
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:17 PM
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Here's the refurbished beam I'll be installing

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After I insert the trailing arm ES bushings I'll start the replacement sometime next week. If I take enough photos to create a HowTo I'll delete this thread and start a new one.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:21 PM
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^^ Very nice!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:25 PM
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That beam looks real nice. You have no issues with your rear wheel alignment? In terms of toe?
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nismomaxgtr18 View Post
That beam looks real nice. You have no issues with your rear wheel alignment? In terms of toe?
The OEM beam currently on there is fine. Both rear wheels point straight with no wearing on neither tire. I've had 4 wheel alignment performed numerous times over the last decade. Before removing the OEM beam I'll take measurements between the wheel's center cap and the rear quarter lips.

I'm only replacing it because of the heavy rust and the left trailing arm bushing is cracked. I remember one former member from Canada posted that one of his trailing arms broke on him. Most likely caused by excessive rust. The trailing arms are nowhere near as solid as the beam they're welded onto.

Last edited by jholley; 04-26-2015 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jholley View Post
....
I'm only replacing it because of the heavy rust and the left trailing arm bushing is cracked. I remember one former member from Canada posted that one of his trailing arms broke on him. Most likely caused by excessive rust. The trailing arms are nowhere near as solid as the beam they're welded onto.
I was wondering about that. I saw th rust on the main beam and thought, OK it's rusty and unattractive but should still be 100% functional? That makes much more sense now.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:36 PM
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Cleaned out those rubber bushings on the trailing arms. Used a large hole cut saw to get most of it removed. Used a sharp blade, small fine wire brush, and sandpaper to clean off the remaining rubber.

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Coated the ES bushings with the grease provided and pressed them in easily with a C clamp.

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Old 04-14-2015, 06:37 PM
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Mounted the refurbished rear torsion beam.




I’ll balance and tighten it tomorrow then throw on all the dropped parts.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:57 AM
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Balance and tightened the beam bolts then threw on all the dropped parts last Wednesday but didn't get to drive it until yesterday.

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Old 04-20-2015, 07:02 AM
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She drives much darn smoother now!

No more rear wobbling when hitting bumps. It also has less understeer due to the ES polyurethane bushings I installed in the trailing arms.

It wasn't just the rubber left trailing arm bushing that was cracked on my OEM beam. When I removed the lateral link off the beam the bushings got torn.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:49 AM
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Hey jholley! So glad i found your thread! I just purchased a '99 GLE and I know it's beam needs to be replaced. Doesn't look to complicated to do exceptthat I don't know how to do an alignment. Plus I'd really like to get something that can handle a bit more abuse and preform better than OEM. Also looking to do quite a bit more to this vehicle after a while. I'm pretty knowledgeable about cars, but I'm no pro just yet. Still learning. Any chance of contactingyou to pick your brain?
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:11 PM
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Bubba - There's no alignment to do on the rear of the fixed beam. There's really not much to do to improve it aside from the bushings. It's a descent suspension, the Russell Link does a good job keeping the rear wheels planted. You can add an addition sway bar to stiffen it up a bit, but there are negatives to that as well.

A sway bar adds unsprung weight to the suspension and also makes the rear a bit twitchy, which gives little to no feedback right before the rear slides out. Several members have experienced this and the damage associated with a loss of control during a high speed sweeper.

I speak from experience, the car rides much better without any additional bolt on stabilizers in the rear and with the right suspension, handles just as well with much needed feedback to keep the car in control on those twisties.
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Old 04-26-2015, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbatyre View Post
Hey jholley! So glad i found your thread! I just purchased a '99 GLE and I know it's beam needs to be replaced. Doesn't look to complicated to do exceptthat I don't know how to do an alignment. Plus I'd really like to get something that can handle a bit more abuse and preform better than OEM. Also looking to do quite a bit more to this vehicle after a while. I'm pretty knowledgeable about cars, but I'm no pro just yet. Still learning. Any chance of contactingyou to pick your brain?
As NJ said the rear beam doesn't need aligning. It only needs to be balanced properly. I used Kevlo's tips along with the Rear Axle & Suspension FSM.

With the entire rear setup disassembled the first step is to tighten the control rod onto the lateral link and the rear beam horizontally. Raise the beam with bottle jacks on both sides high enough to get the trailing arm bolts thru the chassis. Only hand tighten those trailing arm nuts & bolts. With the shocks left off raise the rear beam on both sides with trans bottle jacks high enough to get the lateral link onto the chassis. Hand tighten lateral link bolt onto the chassis. Raise the beam more trying to get it as horizontal as possible with the lateral link. With the lateral link connected to the right side of the beam the left side will raise first. Fully tighten the lateral link and control rod nuts & bolts. Lower the beam to slide the bolts thru the shocks then fully tighten them. With the beam loaded with the shocks now fully tighten the trailing arm bolts. All nuts & bolts in this setup requires 72-87 ft/ lbs besides the control rod nut & bolt connecting it to the lateral link. That requires only 43-58 ft/ lbs.

Download all FSM forms for your 99 Maxima from this link

http://www.boredmder.com/FSMs/Nissan/Maxima/1999/

The RA.pdf form defines this setup.

If you're not dropping the rear beam and only balancing it then you only need to fully remove the shock's nuts & bolts. Loosen all other nuts & bolts to perform the balancing.

EDIT: If all the bushings are fine and the beam is only heavily rusted then let it be. The beam is solid and has only bent on a few maxima's from what I've read. Measure the center of your rear wheels to the front, top, and rear sections of the quarter's lips. Both wheels should measure the same distance from the quarter's lips.

Last edited by jholley; 04-26-2015 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:20 PM
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Thanks guys! I got a bit confused there for a second. I was reading kinda fast and thought I was understanding that there was a rear alignment to be done. Hah

Now, I didn't get to take that good of a look at my car yet. I just bought this puppy. But there's a kind of stressed noise that comes from the rear when you coast and break. It's a ghost noise though, so I haven't been able to catch it to find the source. I'm believing it's the link bushings by guess.

But looking for that noise is what made me look at the beam. To me it looks possibly more than rusted from what I remember. I'll have to get under there again. Depending on how corroded it might be, even though I don't remember seeing anything bent, should I still not bother changing it out?

And from a performance angle, I'm also wondering about whether I should change to an independent setup. This is my first time with a car that's had a connected rear suspension. I've heard that it does wonders in cornering for Ford's new RS, but how wrould that play on a car this size vs retrofitted A-frames?

Mind you, I'm coming from a 99 V6 Accord that I pretty much learned everything I know about suspension so far on. One thing's for sure, this looks a TON less complicated.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by njmaxseltd View Post
Bubba - There's no alignment to do on the rear of the fixed beam. There's really not much to do to improve it aside from the bushings. It's a descent suspension, the Russell Link does a good job keeping the rear wheels planted. You can add an addition sway bar to stiffen it up a bit, but there are negatives to that as well.

A sway bar adds unsprung weight to the suspension and also makes the rear a bit twitchy, which gives little to no feedback right before the rear slides out. Several members have experienced this and the damage associated with a loss of control during a high speed sweeper.

I speak from experience, the car rides much better without any additional bolt on stabilizers in the rear and with the right suspension, handles just as well with much needed feedback to keep the car in control on those twisties.
thousand. I had the RSB in my previous Maxima. Tail got hot and unstable at times just as you described.

If you're lowered, forget the RSB altogether.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbatyre View Post
...And from a performance angle, I'm also wondering about whether I should change to an independent setup. This is my first time with a car that's had a connected rear suspension. I've heard that it does wonders in cornering for Ford's new RS, but how wrould that play on a car this size vs retrofitted A-frames?....
Don't bother. Nissan did their homework. This car handles, especially if you drop it with H&R springs. The multi-link beam will far out handle the live axle suspensions you see in cars like mustangs. Much less unsprung weight. Also, the bigger, heavier 5th gen maxima (2000 to 2003) also has the multi-link beam.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbatyre View Post
........ But there's a kind of stressed noise that comes from the rear when you coast and break. It's a ghost noise though, so I haven't been able to catch it to find the source. I'm believing it's the link bushings by guess.
....
I visualized my cracked left trailing arm bushing while raising the rear section of the vehicle with a jack under the rear beam. Raise your rear beam and check your bushings during the process. A cracked or torn bushing is easier to catch when it's being pressurized.

If the lateral link or trailing arm bushings needs replacing you can do it while leaving the beam installed. Nearly all the side attached parts can be left alone. Read my earlier posts for more details on that.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:32 AM
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THANK YOU jholley!!!!!!! times 1000!

This is a wealth of knowledge here. Dealers ignore it as they do with the lower radiator supports rotting, because they don't sell any solutions.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
THANK YOU jholley!!!!!!! times 1000!

This is a wealth of knowledge here. Dealers ignore it as they do with the lower radiator supports rotting, because they don't sell any solutions.
+ another 1000. I am so glad that I found this thread.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:37 PM
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Hmmm I have a fair amount of rattle from the rear of the car when I go over speed bumps. I keep wanting to blame the front sway bar bushing, but it definitely sounds like its coming from the rear. Could this be the culprit? Bushings gone bad?
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Old Yesterday, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
Hmmm I have a fair amount of rattle from the rear of the car when I go over speed bumps. I keep wanting to blame the front sway bar bushing, but it definitely sounds like its coming from the rear. Could this be the culprit? Bushings gone bad?
Could be the lateral link, control rod, trailing arms, or even the rear hubs that usually last lifetime. After getting it on jackstands raise the rear beam with a hydraulic jack.Check all the rubber bushings while raising her in different areas if needed.

To check the rear hubs wobble the rear wheels around while she's raised.

Last edited by jholley; Yesterday at 09:16 AM.
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