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Old 02-13-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default Hardbody Tension Rod Repair

I wanted to make a quick thread going over my repair for the lower control arm Tension Rod frame bracket for my 95' D21 4x4. As most of you know, if the Tension / Compression / Strut bushings on your truck have never been replaced you will likely need to do this repair.

This Thread was my main source of information, I just wanted to add some more info I found useful.

Parts list includes:

Four) LM67010 Bearing Races
Four) 1" Fender Washers (OD wider than bearing races)
One) Brass Bushing: 28mm OD, 20mm ID, 20mm Length
One) 3/4-10 x 2-1/2" Bolt
One) 3/4-10 Nut
Two) 3/4" Fender Washers (OD 2")
One) Moog K200163 Strut Rod Bushing Kit

I picked up the Bearing Races at RockAuto and everything else at ACE Hardware. You will also want a 22MM Deep Well Socket for the Tension Rod to Control Arm Bolts and a 24mm Box Wrench for the rear nut on Tension Rod as you can not get a socket in there (24mm Ratcheting Box Wrench if Possible, makes life easier)

The Bearing races and 1" Washers are used to make replacement bushing cups that will then be welded into place on the factory Tension rod frame bracket.

The rest of the supplies are used to hold the bushing cups aligned while welding and of course new bushings for when we put it back together.

Now the 1" Washers had an Inner Diameter of roughly 27mm which matches the factory bushing cup from Nissan, however I wanted to expand it to 28mm to give the rod slightly more room and so I could use that brass bushing to help align both cups exactly during welding. To do so I used my Dremel with a Tungsten Carbide Bit (Dremel 9903).

I worked in pairs by gluing two washers together then both to a piece of wood. From there I made slow continuous counter clockwise passes around the inside of the washers. I took just a tiny bit of material each pass to keep the inner diameter as round as possible until I could just barely fit the bushing inside them. Then I knocked them loose with a small hammer and used a wire brush attachment to clean them up.

I then removed both passenger and drivers side Tension rods. The rods themselves were thoroughly trashed from years of grinding against the frame bracket after the factory bushings had failed. We decided to temporally reuse the damaged Tension rods until new ones could be ordered from Nissan (PN: 54470-31G00). The factory collar and bushing washer were rusted on to the tension rod so I removed them using a cut off tool on an angle grinder and replaced them with the new ones provided in the Moog kit. You MUST do this; with the factory hardware rusted on there you will not be able to get the new bushings and Tension rod into place when reinstalling.

I then removed the remnants of the factory cups and prepped the surfaces for welding. The front was cleaned with a flap disk but to prep the back side we had to use sanding barrels and small wire cup brushes. Here is what they looked like before cleaning.

My friend then welded the Bearing races to the washers. For the rear cup you may need to flatten one edge of the cup depending on the outside diameter of the washers you used. This is due to fouling on the inside of the metal bracket. This can be done with a bench or angle grinder.

We then bolted the cups to either side of the factory bracket using the Brass Bushing to center the new cups in the frame hole and to each-other. Bolt together as shown with metal bracket in-between. The Brass Bushing placed inside the replacement cups is essential to maintain cup alignment.

Continued Below
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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Then we welded the cups in place and then removed the bolt, washers and brass bushing.

Welding the Rear cup in is a pain because of clearance issues. Ours ended up a tad sloppy.

Then I reinstalled the Tension Rod with new bushings. Torque spec for all Tension rod bolts is 87-108 Ft-Lb per FSM (we couldn't figure a way to fit a Torque wrench on the rear bolt so 'tight enough' worked)

Of note, the replacement bushing collar in our kit was a direct match for the factory collar. As mentioned in this thread, some of the bushing kits seem to be coming with collars that are too long by about 10mm, however the Moog K200163 Kit was a perfect match to the OEM collar. Also, we did not have suitable paint on hand so we skipped painting since I needed to disassemble it again later to replace the Tension rods with new ones. I used Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer, Black Spray Paint to paint the new cups.

That's about it. Let me know what you think!

Last edited by SevenFaux; 02-13-2019 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:54 PM   #3
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Excellent thread and great repair! This would work on 2wd trucks too.
*1992 Supercharged and Body Swapped WD21 Pathfinder
*1995 D21 Regular Cab 2wd
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*1990 WD21 Pathfinder

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Old 02-13-2019, 01:11 PM   #4
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Nice work! Welcome to infamous Nissan, one hell of a first post
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:02 AM   #5
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just did this today. mine didnt look that great but it was still solid and held and was not done by me either... a local shop did it but they did a good job.

cant wait to get some welding skills. it is my next thing i want to learn and hopefully eventually be good at it.

great job. that was really impressive work.
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:01 PM   #6
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Nice work! Glad my old DIY thread was of some use.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:51 AM   #7
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I'm in the process of doing the same thing. I used the post of chicken friend to get me started. I have two questions about this repair. First is regarding the use of the bearing race. The race is made of very high strength material. When wielding it to a mild steel washer the race should become brittle at that point and become prone to breaking. I have a friend make me four copies of the races out of dom tubing. The second is did you see the misalignment of the strut rod from the lower control arm and the frame bracket? Good info and like the brass bushing idea. Good job
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:55 PM   #8
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This is a very helpful tutorial. I really appreciate your efforts posting this solution up. My son and I are doing this on his truck. I am however having difficulty sourcing that brass bushing. Do you by any chance have a part number for it? I have spent hours looking at clutch pilot bushings by dimension, and I have found them close to these dimensions, but not exact. Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:21 PM   #9
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Googled the size and this came up Oilite AAM2028-20 or Dayton 3FJX6

Last edited by Duh 21; 03-17-2020 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 03-29-2020, 03:42 PM   #10
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holy shit!! make this a sticky
ka24de-t 2dr 4x4 5spd pathfinder with
-264 cams
-xessive intake manifold
-450wally pump
-full 3" exhaust
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-1kcc bosch ev14 injectors
-Nismotronics ecu
-Arp main, head, rod bolt studs
-cometic mls
-decked refreshed head
-.10 over cast piston rebuilt bottom end
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