i have a 1998 Nissan pathfinder, and I need to replace the upper and lower control arm links in the rear suspension because its not safe to drive because of the problem I am having. you see the problems I am having with this SUV is that when I am driving it rocks side to side and you feel like the car is going to roll over or something, its feels very unsafe when it does that. to fix it, I will have to replace the bushings.
this is in regards to post:http://www.wallpaperama.com/forums/nissan-pathfinder-wobbles-problem-rocks-side-to-side-t6838.html
NOTE: upper and lower control arms are also known as links.
i went to the dealer and they told me there was a service bulletin on this. I bought both of the upper and lower control arms, the whole thing cost me $620 dollars.
then I went to my local equipment rental, and I rented a pneumatic impact wrench and an air compressor, it cost me $60 dollars for one day. you will need an impact wrench, otherwise, you will not be able to do this. the bolts are just to tight to remove them by hand, trust me, I tried.
these are the list of tools I use:
from left to right
* the four bars you see on the left, are the old upper and lower control arms. the first two (long) are the lower control arms, the two small ones are the upper control arms.
* Phillips screw driver
* thin and long straight screw driver
* hard and long straight screw driver
* 3/8 1ft extension
* 3/8 6inch extension with wobble
* 3/8 6inch extension
* 3/8 wrench
* 3/8 14mm socket
* 3/8 12mm deep socket
* 3/8 10mm deep socket
* 19mm wrench
* 17mm wrench
* set of metric high impact sockets
* pneumatic impact wrench with hose
now that you have these tools, its time to get dirty.
Before we start, a little bit about me.. Hi my name is Eduardo, I am from the country of El Salvador. El Salvador is a small peaceful country in Central America. We have many Nissan cars there. I want to apologize for my English is not perfect. My primary language is Spanish.
the first step is to make sure you are aware of shop safety, you will be working under a car, proper safety should be practice. DISCLAIMER: I don't take responsibility for any injury you may have. this is tutorial is only meant as informational purposes, its up to you do the repairs. don't try this if you are unsure of any of the steps. Its best to pay a professional to do it.
ok, now that you are aware of the disclaimer, the next thing to do is to raise the car using a jack. HERE IS THE TRICK. to neutralize the tension on the links, get your jack and put it on the axle
NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU PUT TWO JACK STANDS FOR SAFETY
now raise it just enough as the tires get off the ground. raise the vehicle as soon at the tires come up from the ground:
start with the driver side of the truck. and remove the three bolts holding the brake cable (red dots) and remove the plastic screws and bolts using 10mm and 12mm sockets (green dots)
now that you have access to removing the sway bar links, remove the two bolts (green dots)
still on the driver side, remove the three bolts holding the brake cable (green dots)
now that you've remove the brake cable and plastic cover to gas hose, you will have access to removing the bolts holding the lower and upper control arms. remove them and replace them with the new ones. as you can see from the last picture above, I replaced mine with the new one.
now once you have install the upper and lower control arms on the driver side, put back all the bolts your removed and put back everything together and install the tire. and move to the passenger side.
the passenger side will be easier. all you have to do is remove the two bolts holding the sway bar link. (green arrows)
NOTE: on the picture the green arrows look like they are pointing to the two bolts you see on the pictures, but its the bolts I am talking about are actually under neath the bolts the you see on the picture.
once you have removed the sway bar links, you will have easy access to the bolt holding the upper control arm.
once you have remove and install the new upper and lower control arms, you can put back everything together and install the wheel. and you are done.
installing and replacing these control arm links is straight forward process, you just have to be patient and not rush it and use the proper tools. here is a picture of where I had the air compressor while I worked on the truck next to my 300zx.
after the installation was complete, I went for a test drive, and it was amazing, the truck didn't have the problem of swaying back and forth side to side. It was great.
a cheaper alternative would be to replace the bushings only. each busing costs like $25 bucks. It will be much cheaper. the only problem is that in order to remove the bushings and install them in the control arms, you will have to take them to a machine shop to press them out and back in. you can't do this without a machine shop, that will probably cost you an additional $50 dollars. there are ways you can do it yourself, but the costs from the machine shop will be worth it, you wont have to deal with taking them out, plus it will also save you time in the long run, I recommend you take it to a machine shop. If you replace only the bushings, you will only spend 250 dollars instead of 650 dollars. I had to buy the control arms because I had to take a trip to Reno the following week, I couldn't wait, plus, since I have never done this before, I didn't want to take any chances. If you only replace the bushings, please take some pictures and post them here, I would appreciate any feedback or comments from you.
the whole thing I was able to replaced it in about 4 hours. Here is a diagram that will help you find where the parts are located and shows you the torque specs
Thu May 17, 2012
I just bought a 96' Pathfinder from the 2nd owner and they said nothing about this problem,I have the "Death wobble" problem. My question is did just replacing the bushings do the trick 100%?
Sat Mar 17, 2012
drill hole thru rubber part of bushing & saw around rubber with saber saw and rubber will fall out; then saw thru metal shell of bushing with hacksaw and peel out shell with cold chisel....you don't have to give a dime to the machine shop!!
Sun Mar 04, 2012
My friend has this problem and was quoted 1500 to fix it... but not on my shift.
Thank again for posting
Mon Nov 28, 2011
Replaced only the bushings, burned them out and then cut out the outer ring with a sawsall... after leaving the new bushings in the freezer for a bit they went in with a simple push of the hand... the only problem was the axle shifted back droping out the drive shaft, something to watch out for... added a few hours of work to get it back in but now the 97 pathfinder rides so much better with no wobble... good luck to you
Tue Nov 22, 2011
I was curious where you purchased your bushings. Did you buy 8. I have a 98 Pathfinder and considering only replacing the bushings. Dave
Sat Nov 19, 2011
Just bought this kit and will be tiring it this week...
Mon Oct 31, 2011
***Note about Bushing***
DO NOT BUY BUSHINGS FROM PATHFINDERBUSHINGS.COM
T bushing do not fit the pathfinder. I purchased them weeks ago, only to find they were WAY too big. I contacted seller about returning, he asks why, I tell him your parts dont fit and gives me an address. After over a week - I call to see where refund is. Shortly there after I see the refund, over 25% less then what I paid for. I contact seller to find out why. He states: I pay for shipping to and from, and there is a 20% restocking fee. I ask why is there a restocking fee for defective parts. He then states, "My S**t ain't broke" and hangs up.
Also, about the death sway... I know everone is saying its not the shocks/strutts. But make sure to check those first, they are a cheaper/easier fix, and I found that my pathfinder had the original ones still on it. Replaced those and death sway seems to be gone. I checked bushings before doing any work and found them to be undamaged.
Hope this helps.
Mon Oct 03, 2011
Eduardo.....you are the dude! Thanks for taking the time to post this. I have a 97, and I replaced both the upper and lower arms, as well as new shocks. I spend ~ $300 for parts, and another ~ $100 for tools
Getting the bolts off was very difficult. I had to saw through 3 of the 8. It took me an hour or so to get the parts, and get organized, 6 hours of work on Saturday, and 3 hours on Sunday to finish and clean up. I estimate I've saved at least $500 by doing it myself (that's more than $50/hour....my day job doesn't even pay that much!).
And now it drives like a new car!
Wed Aug 17, 2011
I just completed my 1996 Pathfinder and the recommendations posted on this site helped me in solving my "death rock" ride. I live in Hawaii and purchased the Pathfinder which was originally sold in Philly. The rust on the bolts required me to use a reciprocating saw that took 20 minutes a bolt. I did heat up a few bolts with a propane torch which expanded the nut off the bolt. Cost here in Hawaii was $160 for the machine shop to remove old busings and i used poly bushings from Thanks for getting me through this project following the steps above.
Sat Aug 13, 2011
Thanks man. you are of great help. Now I am preparing for the job.
Tue Jul 12, 2011
There is a trick of the trade to get any bushing out, burn the rubber out, outside in an open space then bend the outter sleeve with a punch and hammer and remove it. Now clean and polish out and burrs you have made in the arm with a file. Then what you wanna do is polish the outsides of the new bushings (a wire wheel being the fastest way) and put them in the freezer over night and they will shrink. When the control arms are clean and cool grease the holes and place them on a concrete floor. take a sledge and huge socket that fits over the outside edge of the new bushings and drive them in with some old school muscle. Common practice to save money. Just more time.
Tue Jun 28, 2011
hey i just wanted to say thank u so much for the post i picked my qx4 up back in feb and we love it of course it needed some work this was one of the problems i ran into and couldnt figure out y it was doing this but for 3k i couldnt pass it up so ive book marked this and now i will go but the parts and get to turning wrenches thanx again
Sun Jun 05, 2011
Great posts and info, Remember to always tighten bolts after car is lowered and ride weight is applied on axle, this will prevent premature failure of new one.
Sun May 22, 2011
Can you give me place or part # of polyurathane bushings that don't need to be installed with a press.
Thu May 05, 2011
Don't use Napa or Nissan Factory parts, too expensive and hard to replace.
I used polyurethane bushing from Rines Cadillac bushings. gmctrucks_50s - at - Yahoo! less expensive and easy to install. You can install these bushing with your hands and with out a press.
Check it out.
Rines Cadillac Bushings 270 746 xxxx