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ball joint weekend

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What is the, "CV-axle"? And where is it located? And what do you do when your cotter pin is rusted and will not come out?

Thanks in advance.

 

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You should be able to just break off the cotter pin with a pair of needle nose pliers. Worst case, just drill it out.

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What is the, "CV-axle"? And where is it located?

 

"CV axle" means "constant-velocity axle". A CV joint is a special type of universal joint that is most commonly used in drive axles that use independent suspension. On the Pathfinder, the CV axle connects the front differential with each front wheel. It looks like this:

6750-05386486-1303269.jpg

 

To replace ball joints, you need to partially slide the CV axle out of the front hub in order to allow clearance for the ball joint to be removed.

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And if your pathfinder is 2WD, then you dont have front CV axles right? So should be an easier job?

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Yes, 2wd does not have front axles.

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The torque spec in the instructions I originally posted are incorrect and need to be updated. Here's the new info:

 

To remove the ball joint, you don't need a pickle fork, nor do you need to remove the brakes or unbolt the knuckle/spindle from the strut. However, you do need to partially remove the CV axle.

PREPARATION

1. Jack up the front of the truck and support its weight using jackstands.

2. Remove the front left wheel.

REMOVAL

1. Remove the safety pin (by straightening it with pliers) from the ball joint castle nut and remove the nut.

2. Put some hearing protection on. Seriously. What you're about to do is really REALLY loud and could cause hearing loss.

3. Using a BFH (such as a 2-lb sledgehammer; a regular hammer won't have enough impact), repeatedly whack the side of the knuckle really hard where the ball joint inserts. Don't be timid. If you don't have enough clearance to do this, rotate the steering wheel full left. Be careful not to whack your brake rotor! The repeated impacts will cause the ball joint to pop loose from the knuckle - without the use of a pickle fork. You can also try partially threading the castle nut back onto the ball joint and whacking the bottom of it, but that is sometimes not as effective, and if your new ball joint didn't come with a new castle nut, don't do this.

4. Using a 17mm socket, remove the 3 nuts securing the ball joint to the A-arm.

5. While applying downward force on the A-arm, wiggle the ball joint studs out of the A-arm.

6. At this point, the ball joint should be loose in the knuckle and free from the A-arm, but you'll note that you cannot pull it out because the CV axle is in the way.

7. Pry or twist off the outer hub cap (if you have stock hubs). You can use vise-grips to apply rotational force to the hub while you use a putty knife or large flathead screwdriver to pry off the cap. Insert a screwdriver through the brake caliper and rotor vents to keep the hub from rotating while you remove the cap.

8. Using snap-ring pliers, remove the snap ring securing the CV axle to the hub.

9. Tap the outer end of the CV axle with a hammer as you pull the knuckle/hub/brake assembly away from the vehicle. This will cause the CV axle to partially slide out of the hub and give you enough clearance to fully remove the ball joint.

INSTALLATION

1. Place the new ball joint into the knuckle and hand-thread the castle nut onto it.

2. Re-insert the CV axle all the way into the drive flange, and reinstall the snap ring.

3. Place the ball joint bracket (the part with the three studs on it) into the ball joint and insert the ball joint into the A-arm.

4. Place the three 17mm nuts on ball joint and torque to 76-94 ft-lbs.

5. Tighten the castle nut to 87-123 ft lbs, then tighten a little more so as to allow the safety pin to be inserted.

6. Replace the hub cap.

7. Re-mount the wheel.

8. Lower the truck to the ground.

You're done!

#balljoint
Edited by XPLORx4
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Sorry for bumping an old thread, but its relevant-

What do you do if the balljoint stud just spins when trying to tighten/loosen?  On other cars, I see people jack up on the control arm, but that wont work here.  Jack up on the brake?  prybar between the balljoint and CV? 

I have one side that spins when trying to tighten, and one side broke loose from loosening the nut (at least I can sawzall that)

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You can carefully put a prybar between the ball joint and the CV where you are against the steel housing of the CV joint and not on the boot and apply pressure down on the ball joint so the stud will be pushed harder into the knuckle. 

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If @Mr_Reverse's suggestion doesn't work, only other idea I've got is to start cutting.

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Sadly, cutting doesnt help with installation

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On 3/6/2020 at 6:10 PM, Alxspony said:

Sadly, cutting doesnt help with installation

 

Another option to try is penetrating oil and an impact wrench if you can get one. New ones shouldn't spin as freely as the old loosey goosey ones, in my experience.

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