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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried searching and could not find much information on the subject, so I wanted to share some of the investigation I have done on our 2012 Altima.

The biggest complaint my wife and I had on our 2012 was the body roll and vagueness that this car had right out of the box along with stance. To fix this, my wife and I started goofing around with ideas, images and some used parts at my shop.

First off.....

We lowered the car using TEIN S-TECH springs. Cheap and simple to do. But the car still handled like poo.

Next......

Since the rear suspension is pretty much identical both a 350Z and the Maxima. I started cross referencing part numbers, measuring components and so on.

With this, I grabbed a set of lightly used rear struts from a 370Z. I was unable to find any data on valving difference, but given that the 370Z is a much firmer ride. I made a bet that they would aid in roll control and firming up the ride. Which I was right... The 370Z struts have about a 0.5" shorter extended length (fine for S-Techs) and but the valves median point just about in the middle of the shock body when sitting on the ground and in the normal range of motion.

Finally......

After crawling up under a buddy's Maxima and various web images. I noticed that the sway bars were identical in length, bend and orientation to a Altima. I called my buddy's over at Stillen and asked for some information between the two sway bars (Altima and Maxima) that they produce.
- Altima = ~18mm Dia
- Maxima = ~ 21mm Dia

With this in mind, I ordered a Maxima sway bar from Stillen and a pair of new OEM Maxima bushings from Nissan.

Both the Sway bars and the Struts bolt on with NO modifications to the chassis or parts.

To further the "frankenstein-ing", I also completed the installation of an Akebono BBK from the 370Z Sport models. Massive 14.1" Rotors, 4-piston calipers up front with slightly smaller 13.4" rotors with 2-piston calipers in the rear. The kit bolted right on. You had to modify the dust shield of course, but parking brake and so on works like factory.

To test this, my wife and I (who also own a pair of Z32's) took the Altima to the Tail of the Dragon in Deals Gap, NC during the ZDayZ event last weekend. I let a good buddy of mine, aka Pirelli World Challenge NISMO 370Z Driver Brian Kleeman take the Altima for a spin. The results were AWESOME....

Here is a video taken by a TT Z32 who was chasing. Granted the Altima is running 225 Front and 245 Rear series tires in a 2.5L sedan, you can see by the end of the video that the TT had a bit of issues keeping up. Brakes gave no issues and even Brian claimed to have a great time tossing the Altima around:


With some input given to us by Brian, I will be looking at doing a slightly stiffer front sway bar (most likely a Maxima front since I believe it is larger than an Altima) and stepping up the front tire size to a 245 series to run a semi-square set up. Looking to step up to some type of coilover in the front (NOT BC Coilovers). After that I will be investigating power mods. Honestly I am keeping my eyes peeled for a Gen 4 with the 3.5 V6 & 6 spd. I would like to replicate this exact car for a TC class sedan, full cage and so forth.

 

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That is excellent information. Looks like you've got quite an interesting setup. Currently your only front modification is springs? Yuo would think it would want to push like crazy going through the twisties.
 

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Great stuff.
I need another suspension option. Both BC and D2 broke on me. I want something that will last longer than a year or a few months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is excellent information. Looks like you've got quite an interesting setup. Currently your only front modification is springs? Yuo would think it would want to push like crazy going through the twisties.
Yeah, the springs are it for the moment. We originally stepped up to a 245 series front tire which were already on the wheels (I stole them off one of our Z's). When I blew the right front hitting a nasty trasition on an overpass, I found four good, used BFG KDW's froma buddy's 350Z. I ended having to step down to a 225. The tire width is still larger than the factory, but not by much.

Brian, the race drive, commented that it did have some understeer at times. But he thought it was manageable and seemed normal for a FWD. The Max front bar will help hopefully as well as a slightly more aggressive alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Great stuff.
I need another suspension option. Both BC and D2 broke on me. I want something that will last longer than a year or a few months.
TEIN Suspension products are hands down what I will be going with. BC and D2 are made in the same Taiwanese factory from what I recall. TEIN now offers a Street Advance Coilover and Street Basic Coilover system for the Sedan and Coupes. Looking at around a $1000, but much higher quality. I run the TEIN Flex with EDFC on my personal Z32. Both my wife Altima and Z32 have the S-Tech springs. I have NEVER ONCE had a single QC issue in 5 yrs with their products.

I will be getting the Street Advance system. Unless I piece together something since many components are similar to other vehicles.
 

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TEIN Suspension products are hand down what I will be going with. BC and D2 are made in the same Taiwanese factory from what I recall. TEIN now offers a Street Advance Coilover and Street Basic Coilover system for the Sedan and Altimas. Looking at around a $1000, but much higher quality. I run the TEIN Flex with EDFC on my personal Z32. Both my wife Altima and Z32 have the S-Tech springs. I have NEVER ONCE had a single QC issue in 5 yrs with their products.

I will be getting the Street Advance system. Unless I piece together something since many components are similar to other vehicles.
I would have went with Tein if they had them when I first got coils. I hear nothing but good things from them and there customer service. Looks like I need to save even more money :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So a rear sway bar from a maxima will fit an altima?
Yes sir. I will be under the car Friday. I can take pics if you want. I was under a new model Maxima in the shop and noted the similarities. Took measurements and called my buddies over at Stillen. Sure enough it fits. The only real difference was the diameter of the bar itself. You will need OEM Maxima sway bar bushings and can reuse your stock brackets. The end links will even bolt back on as well.
 

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Yes sir. I will be under the car Friday. I can take pics if you want. I was under a new model Maxima in the shop and noted the similarities. Took measurements and called my buddies over at Stillen. Sure enough it fits. The only real difference was the diameter of the bar itself. You will need OEM Maxima sway bar bushings and can reuse your stock brackets. The end links will even bolt back on as well.

Wow that's good to know...Do you think the Maxima oem RSB is better than an aftermarket oem upgrade for the Altima like RacingLine ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow that's good to know...Do you think the Maxima oem RSB is better than an aftermarket oem upgrade for the Altima like RacingLine ??
Honestly I cannot speak on either the OEM or Racing Line products. We knew we wanted MUCH more rear bar and opted for a STILLEN bar (aftermarket) instead. An OEM one is still an upgrade I am sure and may be found used online, cheaper than aftermarket. I would still go aftermarket either way. We have put a few thousand miles on the Altima with the STILLEN bar and have no complaints.

My wife drove a friends earlier Gen 4 model and HATED how it handled. The difference in body roll control with the Maxima STILLEN bar is awesome.
 

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Thanx for sharing mate ! Great results , love your experiments in there . Sub d .
 

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"Good to know" information and a pretty cool wife, too! I might not ever do a lot of suspension mods because the Altima is actually my wife's car and she's a bit gun shy because I have a habit of constantly wrenching on my cars more than I drive 'em. It's an 2012 Altima sedan we just got and I agree, the suspension is pretty lame and seriously wallows and wanders vaguely in the lane. I was originally thinking of a few alignment tweaks but I could probably sneak in a sway bar (or 2) upgrade easily enough.
 

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Wonder if they would fit a 3rd Gen Alti , I think not , but we never know .
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Good to know" information and a pretty cool wife, too! I might not ever do a lot of suspension mods because the Altima is actually my wife's car and she's a bit gun shy because I have a habit of constantly wrenching on my cars more than I drive 'em. It's an 2012 Altima sedan we just got and I agree, the suspension is pretty lame and seriously wallows and wanders vaguely in the lane. I was originally thinking of a few alignment tweaks but I could probably sneak in a sway bar (or 2) upgrade easily enough.
That vague, wallowing feeling is nearly eliminated with the STILLEN bar in the rear.

BTW...The rear stabilizer bushing you need to accompany any (A35) Maxima Rear Sway bar (aftermarket or OE) is a 56243-9N10A. You need two (2) of these. MSRP is around $14 ea.
 

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Yes sir. I will be under the car Friday. I can take pics if you want. I was under a new model Maxima in the shop and noted the similarities. Took measurements and called my buddies over at Stillen. Sure enough it fits. The only real difference was the diameter of the bar itself. You will need OEM Maxima sway bar bushings and can reuse your stock brackets. The end links will even bolt back on as well.

what year Maxima did you get the sway bar from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Never got around to doing the front. Still on the list though. The Altima project took somewhat of a back seat due to me moving to TN to work for Nissan while my wife is still down in GA. Hoping to get back on it this winter amongst a few other things.

The Rear Sway Bar is from a 2009 thru 2014 Maxima.
 
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