Nissan Xterra Sensen Strut vs Monroe Quick-Strut vs Nissan OEM

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Sensen vs Monroe Quick-Strut

So after driving my beloved Xterra for 8 years I decided it was time to replace all the suspensions. I googled and found a brand named Sensen. They had a model 9214-0125 which came with coil overs so you can easily switch the struts out. Why did I decide to buy Sensen?

My reasons:

  • Affordable. It was the cheapest in the market compared to other competitors.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Japanese made NOK seals. Because we all know the Japanese make superior products.
  • A few good reviews on forums.
  • I hate myself

The installation went fine. Only a small issue is the top bolts provided by Sensen, they do strip easy so be careful.  After three months I noticed one of the driver side strut bushing was ripping out. I decided to replace it. Six months later, I decided to check the passenger side strut bushing and it was getting terrible. Next I went to look at the driver side bushing. To my dismay, it was getting bad too. Lifetime warranty is great right? I can replace the strut whenever they get bad. But why would I want to spend hours every 3 to 6 months to replace the strut? My original Nissan strut lasted 8 years without any issue. Clearly the Sensen strut is designed with faulty bushings so no matter how many replacements it’ll just tear apart.


Passenger side bushing tearing.

Back view.

Comparison


From left to right.  New Monroe quick-strut, Sensen (6 months), Sensen (3 months), Nissan OEM Strut (8 years)


Top to bottom.  New Monroe quick-strut, Sensen (6 months), Sensen (3 months), Nissan OEM Strut (8 years)


This is what the bushing looks like on a 8 year old Nissan OEM strut.


This is on a 3 month old Sensen strut.


This is what a 6 month old Sensen strut bushing looks like.


New Monroe quick-strut bushing.

Rear Shocks

I decided to buy rear Monroe shocks to replace the Sensen shocks I installed. After seeing the quality of the Sensen strut, I no longer wanted any Sensen products on my car. I took off the driver Sensen rear shocks after 6 months of use. To my surprise the bushings did not suffer any issue. The compression seemed weaker on the driver side rear suspension. When I was getting ready to take off the passenger rear shocks I noticed there was grease marks on the side of it. When I did take it off it, the suspensions wouldn’t spring back, so it’s clear the grease mark as due to the suspension leaking all of its fluid.

Monroe shocks and Sensen side by side.


After 6 months the passenger Sensen shock leaked and lost all of its compression.


A beautiful view of the Monroe strut installed.

After two months, the strut’s rubber bushing isn’t showing any issue of tearing. The suspensions and struts work fine! I noticed less body roll when turning and less bumpiness on the freeway. I’ll update in a few months with pictures of what it looks like.

Nissan Xterra, Frontier, Pathfinder Squeaking Noise

The title is pretty broad for a squeaking noise. A car can make many squeaking noise throughout its lifetime but this squeaking noise in particular with Nissan Xterra, Pathfinder, and Frontier is unique. It sounds like a wild turkey under the hood when you drive over a bump. What’s the main cause? It’s a simple fix, an uneven rubber bumper under the hood.

You can find 3 of these rubber bumper under the hood at the front edge.

How do you imitate the sound? I noticed while standing outside and shutting the driver or passenger door can replicate the noise.

What’s the cause? Two things. Firstly, It’s the rubber rubbing against the metal frames that’s causing the turkey sound. I think since the rubber gets older, it’ll get harder and the noise will become apparent. Secondly, when driving the vibration is causing the rubber bumper to tighten into the hood giving it more room to move.

How to fix it? If you can, make sure you rotate it counterclockwise so that the rubber bumper comes out a little more so the hood doesn’t move and is tight when you shut it. Make sure you don’t adjust it too much or the hood will not be leveled to the fenders on the side.

Sadly, in my situation the rubber bumper was no longer tightening because it was getting old and warped.

Old vs New Rubber Bumper

 

Old rubber bumper. It wont stay in position when I adjust it.

New rubber bumper!

Lowest price I found was on Amazon! Part number is 65829-8J000. You can also try calling your local dealership, it might be cheaper.

I’ve been driving the Xterra for months after installing the rubber hood. It’s safe to say the annoying squeaking noise is gone!

Nissan Sway Stabilizer Bar Bushing Bar Bushing Kit


Old vs new sway bushings.

 

 

So one day when I was turning left on my Xterra it made a thump sound. I researched and thought it might be a ball joint that has gone bad. So I did the usual test where you see if the wheel wiggles from side to side but there was no play in the ball joints. People have mentioned that you might need to tighten the sway bars bushing brackets. So I did it but still it didn’t fix the issue. What fixed the issue was spraying silicon lubricant inside the rubber bushing. I noticed the sway bar bushing was a little warped, so I went ahead and bought new sway bar bushing “Moog K200347 Sway Bar Bushing Kit” that looked exactly like the Nissan OEM.

 

Moog K200347 Sway Bar Bushing Kit

 

I installed it but it warped right away and the middle does not meet up. It’ll actually split apart. After a few months of driving the thump noise when turning came back so I googled to see if there’s any other alternative or aftermarket sway bar bushing kit. I did find a forum post that mentioned a person making custom polyurethane bushing kits but they were too expensive for my taste. I searched a little more and I found out that Nissan actually updated the sway bar bushing design “Nissan 54613-ZL10A” so its opening cut is not on the bottom but to the side. I actually called up the dealership and found them to be cheaper than most online Nissan parts website but the second cheapest place I found them would be through a seller on Amazon.

 

Nissan 54613-ZL10A is the model number for it’s new sway bar bushing. I actually bought these at the dealership since they are cheaper but the link provided is the cheapest I can find on the internet compared to other websites.

Here’s removing the old bushing. You can’t tell but its all cracked and split in warped after a few months of use.

The back view of the old Moog K200347 Sway Bar Bushing.

Top view of the old bushing.

Old vs New bushing. The white streaks inside are actually grease. Notice the cut is to the side and not the bottom.

Bottom view.

Bushing installed. It’s nice seeing it not warped.

I’m not sure if this is a placebo but it does seem like there’s less rumble in the front. Maybe because its fully closed? I also noticed the turning is smoother. Maybe because there’s grease on the bushing? But it’s a nice to see the sway bar bushing not warped and no more thumping sound when turning.