Love the Juke

Not sure where this one’s going…

We don’t really have any plans to turn the Juke (2011 SV, FWD CVT) into anything more than the reliable daily driver it is.

front strut replacement & tire rotation
spark plugs

So V’s Juke had been pulling right pretty badly for the better part of a year. With all we’ve had going on beyond cars these past two years, I had to let it ride. It also start clunking over bumps, but only at speed.

We took it to the dealer for a final fix-anything-still-under-warranty at 99,990 miles last year. They did a lot for us, but I had this sinking feeling they didn’t torque a ball joint or sway bar end link. I’d jacked it up and given the wheels the obligatory shake top-to-bottom and side-to-side, but it felt solid.

Discovering the FL tire was down through steel cable on the inside recently, I decided it had to be addressed in the name of safety. Through a bit o forum research, I began to suspect the front struts were donezo. When V told me she was due for an oil change, I asked them to diag the front end while they had it.

Here’s what they came back with:

  • $1,687 - replace both front struts, tires, & alignment
  • $318 - replace spark plugs (due at 100k)
  • $99 - replace corroded negative battery terminal
  • $20 - replace rear wiper blade
  • $??? - replace serpentine/accessory belt
  • $??? - replace CVT fluid

All this on top of the $60 oil change. (Good thing we had a coupon.)

Yeah, no thank you.

I had them replace the rear wiper blade because it was shot, none of the local shops seemed to have it when I wanted to replace it a few months back, and $20 is about what they go for anyway—but damn, ya know?

I was fully prepared to pay a premium to have someone else do the work and know it was done right, but I was thinking $600-$800 for struts, tires, and alignment. $1,600-plus is ridiculous.

I checked prices on parts alone, but even then, they wanted $280 apiece for the loaded strut assemblies and $300 for two tires. Fortunately, I’d looked into things in advance and knew that OEM replacements from KYB ran about $150 a pop and the tires were $92 each at Discount.

And I was particularly concerned the tech reported the CVT fluid was dirty, considering it’s been changed twice in the last two years by accident. First time, I wasn’t sure about the engine oil drain bolt and drained the CVT by mistake. Second time, V had it in another shop for a brake job, they recommended changing the CVT (service interval) and she agreed to it. I called them right back to sout “NOOOOOOOOOO!” but the tech had already pulled the drain and went to lunch. I’ve easily got $300 in CVT oil in there at this point—but somehow it’s dirty?

Anyway, yesterday I swapped in the loaded strut assemblies I got off Amazon for $205/pair shipped. Sure, they’re Chinese “Leaccre” units shipped from the jokers at 1AAuto (who branded them “TRQ”), but whatever.

FL Juke strut before

Hit things with PB, mostly because that’s what you do.

FL sway bar end link connection

ZOMG. RUST! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Things came apart real nice down below.

Up topside, I had to remove the wiper arms, weather strip, and garnish to access the top of the struts—pics follow for spark plug stuff—but the FL strut assy just falling out and almost smashing my toes was a surprise!

Comparing Leacre/TRQ to OEM

Chinese junk on the left. Original on the right.

Pretty close, imo.

Compare how the OE unit’s brake line clip is spot welded flat…

…to the TRQ unit’s tack weld. Fortunately, this merely holds the brake line out of the way.

A very animated, mad scientist-looking dude on YouTube showed how the Leacre units he secretly swapped into his wife’s Lexus had much thicker springs and rode like shit. So I decided to compare spring diameters. OE was 14.0mm.

And I was pleased to see the TRQ units were also 14.0mm.

New strut assy installed. Wo0t!

Oh, and because the TRQ (“turkey?”) units had labels on them saying it might take some time for the springs to settle—and the aforementioned mad scientist dude said cheap fixes like these will raise the ride height—I decided to do before and after with the tape measure.


LIFTED! But how lifted?

About 1.5"!

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Having had such good luck with the struts, I decided to replace the spark plugs while I was in there. Now, the dealership said the Juke took platinums at $34 a pop. Turns out it actually take iridiums at $25/ea from Amazon with free shipping.

Interesting Discovery: Juke uses the same plugs as the GTR35, albeit 1.5mm shorter. (Kinda like how you can run a Dodge Viper oil filter on the 420A DSMs, which is smaller than the stock unit.)

Anyway, here’s a picture of the top of a Juke MR16DDT after I’d pulled the plastic trim, FMIC and BOV recirc plumbing to access the COP units.

Look at that cute Mitsubishi TF035HL8-13T turbo compressor. It’s barely larger in diameter than the wastegate solenoid.Awwww.

Here’s another view, just behind a can of Coke.

OE plugs fresh outta the head. Required a skinny 14mm to get down into the wells to get them. A bit crusty, but not too bad.

No. 2 plug had quite a bit of oil on the threads, suggesting the dealership would have very quickly crossed the $2,000 mark when they quoted me the valve cover replacement job I’m not psyching myself up for this winter. (There’s a lot of shit topside in this tiny engine bay.)

In any case, Juke rides a little higher now, tracks straight as an arrow, idles like a buttery smooth sewing machine, and pulls nice and clean. It’s like driving a new car.

Yes. It’s got serious clearcoat issues, and the front bumper is munched from someone who shall not be named being impatient in a gas station parking lot clipping a concrete bollard. Maybe I’ll scrounge up a painted replacement from one of these days.


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A week later, the front left corner appears to be clunking again. Not as much as before, and the car still tracks straight, but not sure what’s going on (and kinda frustrated).

I pulled the wheels and checked all the nuts and bolts. Everything was still nice and tight. Beat on everything with a dead blow mallet to see if I could isolate a rattle or something, but no dice. Ended up putting another 1/8 turn on the center strut nut top side. Maybe it’s just the springs settling?

Any ideas? @PajEvo ever run into this on any of your trucks? TIA

I did actually. I thought I had a balljoint ready to fall out of it, there was such an off sound over certain terrain. A rattly clunk. I went over everything several times both on and off jackstands. Happened to nudge the swaybar when I was removing my long bar from the suspension and there was the sound. Turned out one of the swaybar endlink had loosened off.

I’d check the area surrounding the work you did and see if there’s something else that could possibly be the culprit. Sometimes we get so focussed on what we did that we miss the other possibilities. Or at least I do…

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Thanks Phil. That’s what I’ve been trying to do, both before and after replacing the struts. My concern at this point is thathat replacing the struts immediately eliminated there noise completely, but now it’s back, if not as loud as before. :man_mechanic:

I hate to think a brand new strut would go out so quickly, however cheap. So I’m thinking maybe there’s a front sway bar bushing loose between the wheel wells?

Last time I was under, I rechecked all my nuts and bolts, and beat on things from different angles with the rubber deadblow; front, rear, bottom. Nada!

Such is life!

If you’ve got some spray lube of some kind, try some strategic spritzing, once you have established a method to recreate the noise at will. In a pinch, even water might temporarily silence the noise long enough to establish where its coming from…

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That’s an excellent idea, Phil! I hadn’t thought of that and will definitely give it a shot once I have isolated test conditions. (Like, straight line cruising over moderate bumps.)

Thank you!

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new AGM battery

From the One of the Last Things I Wanted to do After the Kid Went to Bed Department comes this quick little ditty about spending $100 on a new AGM battery installed in the rain (in front of a 2cg with 0c in it). #ohtheirony

@V called at quarter to four. “Juke won’t start.”

Shit. (Been meaning to replace that pedal switch.)

“The lights come on but when I push the button it just clicks.”

Okay. It’s the battery. You have jumper cables, right?

“Oh wait. It just started!”

Drive home. Don’t shut it off. Even to get gas.

As @BradD is going to find out, we rent batteries in Arizona. The old one was 18 months old. The ground post was pretty corroded, but the dealer wanted $100 for that part, so even though I probably could have got away with a cleaning and trickle charge, I needed this done fast and right.

1 spiffy AutoZone AGM-35 with a 3-year full replacement, a can of acid neutralizer, and a new box of the good, orange gloves, and the wallet was $92 lighter out the door.

Juke woke right up on the first try though. #illtakeit

PS: @racedinanger no TPMS sensors in these factory wheels. Not gonna de-solder an LED or pay the dealer to reprogram and turn it off so methinks there’s a spot of electrical tape in my future.

Man your $34 or $25 spark plugs remind me that my truck uses sixteen of those. Thankfully the good ones are ~$8 so… $130ish + delivery for a set

Shame it’s such a pain in the tailpipe to install TPMS, particularly on low profile tires. You can DIY it pretty easy on 70-series (and the like). The actual retail cost of the sensors is pretty trivial, 30 or 40 bucks for a whole set - but you’d be paying some llanteria another $80 to carelessly shove floor jacks under your car’s delicate bits and install 'em and re-balance the tires.

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Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too on the TPMS front. Seems to me the last time Discount put tires on the Juke they replaced all four sensors for $60. That I could live with, but the guy I spoke with when I dropped the car off for new tires told me they were $60 apiece and he couldn’t understand how or why anyone else there would have told me differently in the past. (And of course the receipt from the previous set wasn’t in the glovebox anymore—not that I put them anywhere else. Go figure.) I told him I wasn’t going to spend almost 50% more per corner just to avoid an idiot light.

And so it begins…

Too excited to wait, I guess.

I’ve known I’d have to do a valve cover gasket job on the Juke since doing the plugs earlier this year. It’s just been too damn hot. Well, the Juke’s started randomly stalling out on V, I’ve been unable to make it stall out on me (and man, have I beat on it trying), and she got her first check engine light—EVAR—over the weekend.

P0101 - MAF range/performance

This reminds me… it’s been a while since I cleaned the K&N.
As in, I have no idea how long it’s been.

I pull the filter. Clean side is still clean. Dirty side is caked in grime. A quarter of it is effectively blocked with grime. Feathers, bug carcasses, leaf crumbs, etc. There were a couple very large, dead crane flies in the box, too.

No biggie. I pull the K&N, brush off the grime, and start it soaking in the acid cleaner. Then I go back to pull and clean the MAF. Two screws and it’s out. Piece of cake.

A couple hours later, I go to re-install the filter and that’s when I see it—two broken tabs on the air cleaner box. The cover sort of drops down behind the battery, where a couple tabs on the bottom locate into slots, then a clip on the side and top secure it.

Well, one of the bottom tabs is missing—as is the tab where the side clip holds it shut.

Mass Air Flow sensors and air leaks, anyone?

A new airbox is $300+ from the dealer. A sketchy, used one from Ebay is $280.

A new, Injen short ram intake is $230 shipped.

I also ordered a new O2 sensor (160k miles—it’s due) and that valve cover kit.

Looks like the weather might get less murderous in the coming weeks. Here’s to progress.

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  • Injen SRI install

For reference, here’s what $300 could have bought me on Ebay. I really like the spray paint. :roll_eyes:

One bolt (grommet, top right, below) holds the whole assembly in place. Back half with MAF locates via peg/dowel into a grommeted hole in a lower bracket below. The front half locates into a pair of square peg holes in the bottom of the back half.


The clips are pretty standard fare, but there’s only two on the assembly. The top clip goes from back to front and was fine, but the other clip (just below the MAF, above), clips front to back—and the tab it clipped over was gone. See also, the left tab/peg was missing too.

Conveniently, the battery was pushed back up against the whole thing and barely secured. Could a loose battery have caused the broken tabs? Maybe, but I know I tightened the battery down when I installed it earlier this year and it’s been in to the dealer for an oil change since. :zipper_mouth_face:

In any case, this is probably the easiest install I’ve ever done. Seriously.

BEFORE: 1913hrs


Interesting how they plumbed the BOV recirc into a rather long compressor inlet. See also, that’s where the intake connected to the turbo with a 2-inch silicone coupler. (Turbo is an MHI TF035-13T, by the way. Even my MR16DDT Nissan is powered by Mitsubishi.)


Seven minutes later, the stock airbox is out and I’ve got the Injen test fit together to make sure I’ve got all the parts and know what I’m doing. (Note the little anti-vibration bits and bobs outside the box. And it came with three pages of detailed instructions. #impressed!

The install was so straight forward and so easy, 45 minutes after I’d popped the hood, I’d completed my test drive and was back inside washing my hands. Didn’t even realize I’d forgot to take after pictures that night.

And oh BOY is the Juke fun to drive now. Throaty engine notes. Much turbo sounds. Wow. I told V not to get any tickets. Pictures below are from the next afternoon when we got home from running errands.

Excuse the filthy engine bay. I’ll be cleaning it when I do the O2 sensor and valve cover gasket on an upcoming, cooler weekend. (Both are delivered and waiting on install. Maybe I’ll order a BOV before then…)

Juke is a LOT of fun. Wow. Don’t know that I’d ever want an exhaust on a CVT vehicle due to drone, but if you ever get a chance to drive a Juke, I highly recommend it.