Nissan pathfinder problems

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:


upper and lower control arms are also known as links.

The Dealer

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.

Required Tools

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
* hammer
* set of metric high impact sockets
* pneumatic impact wrench with hose

now that you have these tools, its time to get dirty.

About Me

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

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.

Pathfinder Suspension Diagram:

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