Repair Nissan Pathfinder Wobbles Problem Rocks Side To Side

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you will find information oh now to resolve a problem on nissan pathfinder SUV issues with the suspension when the truck wobbles side to side also known as the Death Wobble. I will show you how to fix it with picture and images to stop the swaying 4x4
i have a 1998 nissan pathfinder SUV truck that i bought about 5 years ago. its very dependable, but lately my wife has been getting on my case because i need to fix the car.

the problem is that it wobbles back and forth when you are driving on the highway/freeway. so i replaced the front and rear shocks. while it did help, it did not fix the problem. everytime while driving downhill or when it hits a bump and rocks from left to right, its very scary and dangerous when it rocks side to side like that.

so today i went under the rear car and check the rear suspension to see what i could find.. and i think i may have found the problem. so i crawl under the truck and there it was, the upper and lower control arm bushings seem to be broken. check out these pictures i took with my cell phone:

so i went to the local auto parts store and they did not carry the bushings for this car. they said i have to go to the dealer for that.. which sucks, cuz them punks are going to charge alot.

ok, later in the day i went to the local nissan dealer and i asked for the lower and uppper control arms bushings, and before i can finish my sentence, i noticed that look on his face. then he replied, yes i know what you are talking about, you have a problem with your pathfinder excessive play right, there is a service bulleting. he showed me that bulletin and it says:


Classification: RA97-002
Reference: NTB98-001
Date: April 1, 1998


Applied Vehicle: 1996-98 Pathfinder (R50)
Applied VIN: Vehicles built before JN8AR05Y*WW256932


If a 1996-98 Pathfinder exhibits the following conditions, the cause may be from worn bushing(s) in the rear suspension upper and/or lower links.

* Excessive play in the rear axle especially during moderate acceleration or deceleration.

* Vehicle pulling at a constant speed

* Excessive sway and rocking motion in the front suspension when coming to a stop.

To correct these conditions, use the service procedure on page 2.

1. Test drive the vehicle under the conditions described by the customer to verify the incident.

2. Inspect the upper and lower rear suspension links (indicated by the arrows in Figure 1 ) for damaged or worn bushings as follows:

A. Remove a suspension link from the vehicle.
B. Use a screwdriver to move the inner metal portion of the bushing in all directions while inspecting the rubber portion of the bushing for damage or wear (see Figure 2).

3. Replace the links that have damaged or worn bushings.

4. Tighten the link retaining bolts/nuts to specification.

IMPORTANT: Before tightening the link retaining bolts/nuts, the rear axle !lli!ยง! be
positioned in its normal ride height. Use one of the two procedures listed below to correctly position the axle before tightening the link retaining bolts/nuts:
.Place the vehicle on the ground.
.With the vehicle on the lift) support the rear axle with jack stands and slowly lower the vehicle lift until the rear lift arm pads just separate from the vehicle. Stop lowering the lift as soon as the gap between the lift arm pads and the vehicle is 1/2 inch.

5. Test drive the vehicle again to ensure the incident is resolved.

here is how to fix it

the rear end on these pathfinders is a recurring problem (you may be aware by now). were you successful in fixing this on your own? my 98 pathfinder se is terrible right now with the same problem. i had it fixed about 50k ago but it needs to get this fixed again. please let me a ball park figure on what to expect to pay for parts, and if possible, what you think it might cost for me to get a mechanic to fix it.

first thanks for the info. this was very helpful and i appreciate it. i just wanted to let everyone know i found the bushings for my pathfinder at napa auto parts for about $10 bucks cheaper apiece than my local dealer. thanks again.
it is the sway bar. i had the same problem and got it fixed for about $300.
the information i read was eye opening and now i know. thank you for sutch information.
it ain't the swaybar. had the same problem, all 8 bushings on the 4 trailing links were garbage. i got aftermarket poly bushings and bolts and nuts for all 4 trailing links and the panhard rod. the panhard bushings turned out to be ok, but replaced them along with the trailing link ones. a lot of work, but cheaper than a dealer doing it. i needed a high speed cutting wheel to cut off 2 of the old bolts - a hacksaw wasn't working too well, and an impact hammer wouldn't get the bolts out after i got the nuts off. having a hydraulic lift made it easier. if you do aftermarket bushings instead of replacing the entire link you need an impact chisel to get the old bushings out and a big vice to press the new bushings in. see 4x4parts for one source of poly bushings. the truck drives great now, but there is a noticeable gear whine in the cabin now due to the harder bushings. cost about $255.00 for the aftermarket parts. good luck.
wow i cant believe what i'm reading, i talked to mechanics and others about this exact problem and everybody looked at me like i was crazy! one guy wanted to rebuild the whole front end and i backed away from that. thanks so much for this info, i was just serching what ever to try to find info on this problem and by chance i stumbled on this. i will try to change the bushings and see if that works. thanks agine.
how many lower links dose a pathfinder have???
Can this be done by a novist. The most I've done are the basics. I've been driving with this problem for 2 years and have to have doe. Has anyone had a mechanic do it? How much am I looking at? Thank all of oyu for the information. I to was told I was crazy when describing it.
i had the same problem so replaced all 8 bushings plus the swaybar bushings, linkpins and shocks but the problem still there. Can anyone point me in another direction. Maybe coil springs
did you replaced them yourself or you had someone do them for you?

if you had someone i would make sure its someone trustworthy, i say this because replacing the bushings will solve the problem

or you have a totally different problem all together.
I have a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder, and my truck has the same symptoms as the vehicle described. What is Nissan doing about the problem? Are they assisting owners with the repair?
oh yeah, they are assisting you.

if you go to the dealer and ask them to fix it for you. they will gladly fix it for you. in exchange,, all they ask of you is your money.
hahahahahah that right dealership=STEALERSHIP
Here's a lil infonugget for you guys: Prepare yourself for a shock when you go bushings shopping. My Toyota developed the rocking problem as well. Bushings as a part, not available. Had to buy the entire control arme that they are made onto!! So save your pennies!!! Mine were over a hundred dollars per control arm, and that is with my dealership employee discount!! Good luck everyone!
I HAVE same issue on my 1999 with 230K Miles. YES I know it's high! Anyway after a bunch of OTHER fixes I did. I KNOW its the trailing bars (some call them upper and lower control arms). I ALMOST got the poly bushings, but instead I found aftermarket NEW Trailing ARMS made my DORMAN Part # 905-803 and 905-804 for the (2) REAR Lowers which are the LONG BARS,and 905-802 for the 2 shorter Upper bars. I ONLY bought the LONG BARS (Lower Control Arms) for $114 for BOTH! I am going to see if this fixes it 1st, if not, I will also get the upper ones. I called mfg. and they said these fit, BUT I have not read of 1 person doing this and I am not sure why?? I am not keeping the car for THAT much longer since it has 230K, but I bet this will fix it and be EASY to do as my mechanic friend will do it for me with his impact wrench. I plan to buy new BOLTS. Hope this helps! Take Care, Gary
thanks gary . i went with your dorman parts at auto zone. i just bought the two lower rear and it took the swaying problem away. feels like a brand new car! again, i thank you and my family thanks you!! great advice!!!
Gary- did the Dormans work? I'm looking at doing the same thing but can not find one response on the internet if they do work.
it does work...just did my friends car for him...but MAKE SURE YOU DON'T TIGHTEN THEM UNTIL YOU HAVE LOWERED THE VEHICLE DOWN.
l had the same problem and l replaced the " lower suspension link " l just would like to say that who ever did put this information on this site THANK YOU .
I have a '96 Pathfinder SE with the same issue. Refused to take it to the dealer, because I don't trust them and they're too expensive. Took it to a local mechanic and he wasn't able to find anything wrong with the upper or lower links. He did notice the steering rack bushing was going bad and thought sloppy steering could be the cause. This did not fix the issue, but did clear up a bad bushing that had been caught at another repair shop. He finally agreed to replace the link arm bushings, but couldn't locate the parts from his distributors. I purchased the parts from 4x4Parts and dropped the truck off this morning. One thing to note is that if you press these in yourself, it's advisable to have the correct tool, otherwise you can end up damaging the bushing while pressing in the sleeve. I've read this online and it's something he also mentioned. He has the special tool, so it shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully this fixes the issue with the loose/swaying Pathfinder.
Ditto what Ray said. '97 Pathfinder, same issue, same repair fixed it. Total cost $650.
I am currently experiencing this problem with my 2002 Qx4 Infinity, and I was told to get an alignment. I have just noticed this rocking over the last 2-3 months. I will get the bushings checked. This information is helpful is gives me a starting place when talking to the mechanics.
I have 98 Pathfinder. What if you dont get these bushings replaced? I have been dealing with this problem for a while and it hasnt gotten better or worse. What happens if i continue to drive it and never get it replaced?
I have been suffering from this issue for more than a year and its progessively worse. I bought the Dorman arms from AutoZone, had to prepay as they were special order (lower arms only) and cost $89 each. Thanks for the Dorman tip. Install: I tried to remove the first lower arm after work one day and i can tell you the bolt on the lower arm closest to the axle is impossible to get off even with my impact wrench. I had to put the car back together and attempt it on a weekend as i need to get my SawsAll back so i can cut off that bolt. I also bought new bolt and nuts, the Bolts are $2.15 each and the nuts are $1 each. Part# 54368-0w02a for Bolts, and 08918-6441A for nuts. You will need at least 2 for lower arms. i know this will fix my issue as when i took one bolt off, the bushing was so worn i could push it out with my thumb which when new had to be pressed in by machine. There is a great write up on how to do this online with pics. Cant wait to fix the sway of death. Good luck!
Bill your absolutely right it's completely impossible to remove to bolts located on the lower control arm. For anyone trying to do this the only way will be to cut the bolts off. so make sure you buy the bolts and nuts. As for the upper control arms i was able to remove and replace them with an impact wrench, buy new bolts and nuts for these as well bc the old seem to be pretty rusted.i have a good friend that has a shop and was able let me use it along with all his tools so its was a little bit easier for me but cutting the bolts is the most difficult thing by far. after i replaced the upper and lower control arms and bolts my 1997 nissan pathfinder ride exceptional and i haven't noticed the death wobble any more.
I have a 98 nissan pathfinder with 308000 miles. i never had that problem. In fact ive had no problems other than tires,oil change abd normal wear and tear. I am the orginal owner and i beat the hell out of it every time i drive it
Well I have a 2000 Pathfinder 2 WD with 125K miles on it and started to experience this on the freeway about 6 months ago which I never had before. It really seemed noticeable when the freeway or road is taking a left turn. Seems to really start rocking back and forth when there are bumps in the road while the road is turning left. Also notice it was especially bad when you get in the dips that are made from lots of trucks on freeways and road or freeway is turning left. It is very scary as the Pathfinder starts rocking back and forth so much sometimes that it could easily get out of control. Does this on roads too. Mostly going over 45 mph. I replaced the tires, front struts and rear shocks. This helped a tiny bit but now have noticed that it is still there and Bad! The place where I took it to get the struts and shocks has no idea what it is. So should I print this web page out and take it to him? Has this really fixed the problems for everyone? Has this fix not worked for anyone? Let me know. Thanks.
Buy the parts upper and lower bars with new bushing already pressed. I bought all four bars for 250.00 and changed them myself. I had to pay 2.00 for one bolt a mechanic striped that i was going to pay to do it. 17mm and 19mm wrench with a breaker bar. 257.00 is all i paid with 5 hours of work. Dealership 1200.00 fuqin rip off. Local shop striped one side and said i needed a special socket. If you want this job done right by work and price your are going to have to do it yourself.
can you tell me where to find parts you found...i just bought a 98 and its has the same problem...and ill be damned if i going to pay some jackass 1200 to fix it...thanks
OMG!!! thanks so much for your posting, I'm having the same problem with 98 pathfinder...
I own a 1998 Pathfinder 262,000 miles. i started experiencing the hillbilly rock about a year ago. I quickly identified the problem and went to Pic A Part to pull some bars off of a totaled Pathfinder. OMG I was only able to get the bolts off of one side. But on my vehicle I was able to take both bars off. What I did on the one I didn't replace was pack the bushing with JB Weld. It hasn't rocked on me in the year since i did that.
You guys are great!!! I bought a 96' Pathfinder with the same issue,the Death Wobble,taking the advise from this link I bought the lowers with bushings for $75ea from a Nissan dealer and the upper bushing from Napa Auto parts. It's fixed. Just replacing the lower bars did the trick but I had the sway bar bushing replaced and the upper bushings replaced as well. I had a mechanic close to my shop do the work,labor was $300 and the parts came to $250. Got it all handled for $550. I'm thankful for the information you guys have provided.
I have a 2002 Pathfinder and noticed the wobbling a couple of months ago, will be getting it checked out this weekend. Thanks for the information, will take this article with me to the repair shop.
I'm getting ready to get the lower bars but was wondering if i should replace the top bars too because i would rather do this once then twice like my father always told me if you are going to do it do it all right the first time.
YES, you should replace the TOP and the BOTTOM bushings. otherwise, if you only do the bottom ones, you'll just waste your time and will have to come back and do the top ones too. so do them at the same time
I have a 2003 Pathfinder.. the wobble started a few months ago. It was very minor at first. It would torque to one direction when i hit the gas and then rock back the other direction when i let go of the gas. So i thought it might be the motor mounts. However.. now it basicly just wobbles all the time while im under gas or hit a bump on the highway. Its become dangerous.. Could there be more to it than just the rear end? Perhaps motor mounts and rear end? It sucks allot.
Thank All You fine folks !!! My 1996 Pathfinder just atarted doing this & freaked me out ! Nearly had wreck / But got back in controll . Now I know what to do ! FIX IT & SELL IT !!!! I love it when I bought it ! But not worth getting killed in ! OR Killing someone else , From head on crash !!!!!! NO MORE NISSAN FOR ME !!!!!!! After this.
Title: Repair Nissan Pathfinder Wobbles Problem Rocks Side To Side [2319]
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