Changing the tie rod ends
Replacing the rear shock absorbers
Replacing the front shock absorbers
Changing the tie rod ends
I'd noticed increasing steering wheel judder over the last couple of thousand miles where the steering wheel judders left and right under heavy braking. This is generally caused by either warped discs or worn tie rod ends (often called track rod ends as well). Given that my discs cost nearly £120 a pair, I thought I'd replace the tie rod ends first, especially as the car is now over 103,000 miles. The track rod ends are a ball-jointed assembly that connects the two rods from the steering assembly to the spindle knuckles and pull the knuckles left and right to steer the car. They must be ball-jointed to allow for rotation as the car is steered and be able to flex up and down with the suspension travel.
[A] This is the tie rod end. It is impossible to tell if they're worn by sight. If the jacked up wheel moves slightly when pulled back and forth when held at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, that's a sign of worn tie rod ends. Note how rusty everything is, this is significant later on.

Start by holding the flat on the tie rod end with an adjustable wrench and loosening the retaining nut with a 21mm spanner. Don't back this nut off, just loosen it.
[B] As the body of the tie rod end is a ball-joint, the central shaft must be prevented from rotating to enable the retaining nut to be removed. The factory tie rod ends have a T27 Torx socket built into the end. Holding this, use a 16mm spanner to remove the retaining nut. It will jam solid with rust and crud before it comes all the way off. STOP here and see the next point.
[C] When the nut starts to feel tight, stop and turn it clockwise a few turns and use penetrating fluid to rinse off the rust and crud. Keep undoing the nut until until it goes tight again. Repeat the previous tightening and rinsing until the nut is removed. I didn't do this for my drivers side end and the Torx socket rounded off with the nut seized. I had to use an angle grinder to cut through the shaft between the tie rod end and the underside of the steering knuckle.

The tie rod end should now drop out of the steering knuckle.
[D] To remove the old tie rod end, hold the hexagonally shaped section at the other end of the tie rod with an adjustable wrench and unscrew the tie rod end anti-clockwise. If it's tight, grip it in some plumbers pliers or mole grips.
[E] Screw the new part onto the tie rod until it reaches the retaining nut. Ensure the shaft of the new part is vertical by screwing it on or off such that you DON'T have to move the retaining nut. If you find you need to, screw the retaining nut towards the new tie rod end and, holding the flat section of the new tie rod end, tighten the nut to as close to 38-40 ft/lbs as you can guess.
[F] You now need to insert the vertical shaft of the new tie rod end back into the hole in the spindle knuckle. This takes a certain amount of strength and dexterity but it helps if you hold the new nut so you can start screwing it on as soon as you see enough thread appearing through the hole in the spindle knuckle. Once the nut's on, tighten it up to 25 ft/lbs of torque. The original nut was 16mm but the new ones were 17mm.
When you're finished, don't be surpised if the steering wheel is nowhere near straight ahead when the rest of the car is! You need to take it to your nearest wheel tracking place and get the tracking reset. Afterwards, my braking judder has virtually stopped and the steering as a whole feels tighter and more 'new' . The old passenger side tie rod end felt very loose and 'clicky', I couldn't tell what state the driver's side one was in as unfortunately I'd had to cut it in half!
Replacing the rear shock absorbers
I've noticed my car feels a bit skippy going round corners lately which suggests the dampers are a bit tired. A quick Google discovered that they were having a 38% off sale on KYB shock absorbers at mister-auto so I ordered a set for the rear of the car. I'll order the front ones next payday and get those done then.
[A] Start by reving the plastic trim piece on each side. I did it by getting my fingertips behind the top lip and yanking hard. Remove the two trim pegs from each side. They look like the one in the picture. If they break, they're readily available at car shops. You can now move the moulded carpets section out of the way.
[B] Be careful removing the driver's side moulded carpet section as it contains the courtesy light. Carefully remove the spade connectors and re-attach later.
[C] You can now see the nut on the end of the damper shaft that holds it to the car. Access on this one, the passenger side, is quite good. The driver's side is slightly more restricted.
[D] In this pic, you can see the small flats that you need to grip to remove the Nylock nut. I was expecting this to be alot harder than it actually was. The ideal tool for holding these flats would be a good quality small adjustable like a Bahco but I used plumbers pliers because my small Bahco adjustable is evidently too small as I've lost it... There is no tightening torque as such when installing the new shock, tighten the nut until it jams against the end of the threads.
[E] Use a 16mm socket to remove the single bolt that holds the lower eye of the shock to the rear suspension beam. It looks wet in the pic because I'd soaked it in penetrating oil before I started. When attaching the new shock, the tightening torque is around 75 ft/lbs of torque.
[F] The new shock is installed! The car jack in the pic is useful if you can't quite align the eye of the shock with the bolt hole and gives a solid base for torqing the bolt up properly.
[G] According to the instructions, you have to release the gas pressure and drain the oil for safety and enviromental reasons before you dispose of them. To release the pressurised nitrogen, drill a 3mm hole 10 mm from the eye - it will release with a quick 'PFFT'. Fully extend the shock and drill a 5mm hole 50mm from the plastic shroud. Now drain over two containers. A messy job but I recovered 2 small cups of green oil and the shocks are safe to recycle.
Replacing the front shock absorbers
Having replaced the rear shocks recently, I decided to do the fronts as well. The car has spent 116,000 miles crashing around the lovely roads of Greater Manchester and the shocks were feeling distinctly tired. As a bonus, the KYB shock discount at mister-auto had gone up to 40% so a major bonus.
[A] To get to one of the bolts at the top of each strut, you need to remove the scuttle panel at the bottom of the windscreen. To do that, you need to remove the wiper arms. Remove the plastic covers over the nuts then remove the 14mm nuts and jiggle the arms until they come off.

This can be a nightmare job as Nissan use no copper grease between the arm and the motor shaft so they corrode together. Use copper grease when you re-assemble!
[B] With the arms off, remove these two screws - there's one at each end of the scuttle.
[C] Remove the rubber strip by grabbing these clips through the rubber and pulling upwards. The scuttle panel will now pull forward and come off.
[D] Now jack the front up and support the car on axle stands. To remove the two lower bolts you'll need a breaker bar as the bolts are extremely tight. The bolt is 16mm and the nut is 18mm. Re-insert one bolt to prevent the whole turret falling off when you remove the three top bolts.
[E] Unclip the two bungs that hold the ABS sensor cable to the shock absorber and remove the shim that holds the brake line and unhook it.
[F] Now undo the stabiliser connecting rod. This nut needs to be removed the same way as the outer tie rod ie if it goes tight, tighten it back up and wash the crud off the thread with WD40 or penetrating fluid and then loosen off further. Keep going until the nut is off.
[G] Now remove the three bolts that hold the top of the shock turret to the car. Remove the supporting bolt on the bottom of the shock and remove the whole assembly.
[H] Check your replacement shock matches the existing one both in general size and shape and in the tabs for the stabiliser connecting rod and the brake and ABS sensor lines.
[I] Now for the potentially dangerous bit. Attach the spring compressors and don't start compressing the spring until they are on opposite sides and the hooks are securely attached. Tighten the compressors alternately with a ratchet until you feel the top assembly come free. I removed the top nut by gripping the shaft with locking grips and using an electric rattle gun on it - it was so tight that the penetrating fluid was smoking when the nut came off! Place the spring on the new shock, refit the top nut and carefully remove the compressors.
[J] A quick pic showing the chaos involved - it took ages to clean all the tools and put everything away afterwards!
[K] Re-assembly is just a case of placing the whole strut back on the car and replacing all the bolts (make sure the ABS sensor cable is in front of the shock before attaching the two bottom bolts).

Torque value for the three top bolts is 15ft/lbs, the bottom two bolts are 80ft/lbs and the stabilser connecting rod is as tight as you can.

I used new bottom nuts as the ESM advises but I'm pretty sure using threadlock on the original nuts would be fine.