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The Gold Plated Pathfinder? Mo Money, Mo Money! Front end issues


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I am begining to think I will have a Gold Plated Pathfinder by the time I get my New to me 1988 road/winter ready!?

 

I woke up to make a 7:30am appoint today (saturday) at a local reputable tire shop. I bought Kumho Road Venture M/T's 235/75/15 to replace the well worn Michelin LTX's that where on the Pathfinder when I bought it a few months ago.

 

I bought 5 tires (rear mounted spare was original 1988) to replace all 5 at once from www.treaddepot.com I have purchased tires online from them for years and they always are ALOT cheaper than any other internet source I have come in contact with.

 

 

That said the tire shop calls me into their office to let me know the bad new$$$ my Pathfinder needs $959. worth of front end work..UGH

 

The truck has 170k miles on it and I am not really shocked it has some front end needs but OUCH! I did not have them do the work. The told me the truck is unsafe to drive because of a small amount of play when the tire/wheel are moved pushing at the 12 O'clock position on the front drivers side tire I do hear a slight clunk sound.

 

The want to replace pitman arm, ball joints, tie rods... honestly I do not have the sheet in front of me so this list is from memory.

 

Questions - can just the balljoints be replaced? and is it worth it to just replace on side balljoint if need be?

 

All I want is for the truck to be safe and road ready to last 1 winter and then I would like to be able to decide at that point if I want to dump more money into it or punt it.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Andrew

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Definitely get a second opinion. My friend took her car in to the local Les Schwab with what we later discovered were warped rotors, and they wanted to replace the front hubs. My dad took his Frontier in with horribly bad rear brakes (the disks had gouges in them) and they tried to tell him the fronts were bad instead. There's a difference between a mechanic and a part replacer.

 

I hate to be cynical but I suspect there's a good deal of profit padding going on as well. You bought the tires elsewhere, so they weren't going to make a hell of a lot just installing them. You could very well need some front-end work, but probably not a grand's worth.

 

Find a place you can trust to do the work, or learn to do it yourself.

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My take on what likely happened: they felt play in the wheels (this is not good) then took a look around and saw a whole ton of old components. Then gave you a quote to replace the entire front end. Probably $1000 isn't even SO bad of a price from a shop to replace all the parts (of course I haven't seen your quote).

 

BUT probably the play is coming from one thing in particular, I'm guessing either ball joints or wheel bearings, but I think ball joints are more likely on this truck. Possibly you have only one bad ball joint on the truck. That's like $20 and 30 minutes to fix.

 

But quite possibly you could get everything feeling a lot better etc., by giving your front end a review and replace what it needs. If you can do it yourself and buy parts online or somewhere inexpensive it doesn't have to be that bad. If you need bearings and need them pressed in, just take the hubs somewhere and have it done rather than paying someone to take your wheels off etc.

 

:my2cents:

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I agree with sewebster,

 

Online i.e ebay you may spend around $300.00- $400.00 for all the parts. I have bought upper and lower ball joints on ebay for about $ 100.00 for both sides, tierod ends for around $ 100.00 etc...

Buy a shop manual or download the FSM here and if you have some common hand tools, the job can be done in about a day (if you've never done this before) In my estimation the alignment would be the largest cost of this project. I have found that it's not the parts that are so expensive(providing you shop around online) but the labor to install them.

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can always go on rock auto as well for parts, get an idler for like 20 bucks, tie rod ends for 5-6 bucks a piece (there's closeout ones currently on there) upper ball joints for 8 bucks a piece, lowers for about 11, etc etc. (of course that's going by the first cheapest priced parts) and do you have the ability to do the repairs yourself? (it's all basically simple stuff and there's walk-throughs around here that can walk anyone confident through a timing belt, im sure we can get you through a set ball joints)

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i would like to only pay a 1000 to have the front end redone. double that here in oz.

 

 

Well as usual thanks to everyone who replied. I am having the truck towed to a indepent nissan garage tomorrow. I am hoping it only needs one or two ball joints to remove the slight play and then I can get it aligned and call it a day.

 

I will keep you all posted on how the front end issues get resolved once I hear back from the garage.

 

thanks again!

 

Andrew

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I know how you feel man i just brought mine for a alignment about a month ago and got told it was 1300$ so i took it home and I have had to replace both front cv's, all uca bushings, sway bar end link and bushings, all 4 ball joints, shocks, steering stabilizer, center link, and all 4 tie rod ends for under 400 bucks.

 

 

All of that was brand new about 2 years ago and I just had to do it again...little ridiculous how fast that stuff wears out with just a 3" suspension lift and hardly ever off roading.

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I just heard back from my garage. (Very good reputable Independent Nissan garage)

 

My front end is "fine" he told me the only possible issue might be one of the tierod ends can not be loosened to adjust when I bring it in for an alignment. I asked him to go thru and "break" and retighten all of the adjustment points in the front end. If he comes across one that he can not "break loose" then I will have him replace that particular component.

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