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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Searched/Looked and can't see a guide. Would like to know the absolute minimum work required to replace - every video I've watched includes (but not always) track rods, driveshafts, upper ball joints, etc.
Could someone describe order of ops and what tools required so I know what to do and don't end up with a truck in bits and needing to get to town for a part/tool.
Thanks
Chip
 

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The lower ball joint has a retaining clip that needs to be removed which is easily done, but the ball joint needs to be pressed out and the new ball joint needs to be pressed in. Then install the new retaining clip. Access to a press is ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The lower ball joint has a retaining clip that needs to be removed which is easily done, but the ball joint needs to be pressed out and the new ball joint needs to be pressed in. Then install the new retaining clip. Access to a press is ideal.
Yup, but that's ALL I need to disconnect? None of the other stuff?
 

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Nissan actually recommends replacing the control arm assembly because if you stretch the hole out in the arm, the new ball joint could potentially come loose and fall out of the arm, leaving only the snap ring to keep the knuckle attached. Nissan doesn't sell the ball joint separately, but it is available on the aftermarket and some people will replace just the ball joint. Sometimes that bites them, however, when they go to do an alignment and find that the control arm bolts have seized to the steel sleeve in the bushing and the control arm needs to be cut out using a sawzall. If you do replace just the joint, you want to get the steering knuckle assembly out of your way. That would mean disconnecting the tie rod, removing the brake caliper and hanging out of the way, removing the axle nut and upper ball joint. If you want to cut some weight, also remove the brake caliper bracket and rotor.
 

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Nissan actually recommends replacing the control arm assembly
Replacing the control arm is the way to go. The control arm is like $80 vs $20 for a ball joint, and you get fresh bushings as well. If you have more time than money and want to try it out, it's possible to do with a ball joint service kit that you can rent from AutoZone.

If you live where it snows or otherwise rusts cars, I'd spray the cam bolts daily with Aerokroil or something similar for about a week. If the cam bolts are lightly seized then you can knock 'em out with the help of Aerokroil and maybe an air hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Replacing the control arm is the way to go. The control arm is like $80 vs $20 for a ball joint, and you get fresh bushings as well. If you have more time than money and want to try it out, it's possible to do with a ball joint service kit that you can rent from AutoZone.

If you live where it snows or otherwise rusts cars, I'd spray the cam bolts daily with Aerokroil or something similar for about a week. If the cam bolts are lightly seized then you can knock 'em out with the help of Aerokroil and maybe an air hammer.
I do have more time than money and the parts are not those prices in Canada! Also, apparently a cheap ball joint will need replacing in a year or so not advisable to cheap out. Sure, new bushings would be an advantage but the balls are ordered now and on their way.
 

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I put in Moog LBJ both sides about 6mo ago along with bushings/camber bolts, swaybar links, Moog coil springs, Nolathane swaybar bushings and upper shock bushings, and Bilstien 5100's all around with a 2" lift. You do not want to get into replacing the whole LCA if cost is a factor. The camber bolts rarely come out without cutting them with a sawzall, and you do not want the cheap welded washer gr5 bolts.

Moog LBJ's are straight knurled slightly oversize for the very reason to go back in tight. Pull the brakes and hang the caliper, pull the axle nut (had to buy a socket) and wheel sensor, put a jack under the LCA and put a little pressure on it. Remove the lower shock bolt pop the UCA off and tie it up, then lower the LCA and remove the shock/spring assy. Drive a chisel in the slot for the pinch bolt and the LBJ shaft should easily slide out.

You will probably need to swing the swaybar down out of the way also. If I'm not the only one, the first side will take forever, second side will take 45 minutes...
 

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Replacing them on a Frontier is basically the same as any other truck with IFS. The job isn't too difficult (depending on your rust situation), but a ball joint press is a necessity.
Here is a good video on the order of operations
(it's on a Ford Ranger but we have a similar suspension)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I put in Moog LBJ both sides about 6mo ago along with bushings/camber bolts, swaybar links, Moog coil springs, Nolathane swaybar bushings and upper shock bushings, and Bilstien 5100's all around with a 2" lift. You do not want to get into replacing the whole LCA if cost is a factor. The camber bolts rarely come out without cutting them with a sawzall, and you do not want the cheap welded washer gr5 bolts.

Moog LBJ's are straight knurled slightly oversize for the very reason to go back in tight. Pull the brakes and hang the caliper, pull the axle nut (had to buy a socket) and wheel sensor, put a jack under the LCA and put a little pressure on it. Remove the lower shock bolt pop the UCA off and tie it up, then lower the LCA and remove the shock/spring assy. Drive a chisel in the slot for the pinch bolt and the LBJ shaft should easily slide out.

You will probably need to swing the swaybar down out of the way also. If I'm not the only one, the first side will take forever, second side will take 45 minutes...
Thank you fella - at last, a clear answer to the clear question I asked! And, as I suspected, everything DOESN'T have to come off. Just missing the axle nut socket size but I think I can find that on one of those videos - cheers!
 

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Thank you fella - at last, a clear answer to the clear question I asked! And, as I suspected, everything DOESN'T have to come off. Just missing the axle nut socket size but I think I can find that on one of those videos - cheers!
It's 32MM. I bought a Tekton deep impact from amazon for $12.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pull the brakes and hang the caliper, pull the axle nut (had to buy a socket) and wheel sensor, put a jack under the LCA and put a little pressure on it. Remove the lower shock bolt pop the UCA off and tie it up, then lower the LCA and remove the shock/spring assy. Drive a chisel in the slot for the pinch bolt and the LBJ shaft should easily slide out.

You will probably need to swing the swaybar down out of the way also. If I'm not the only one, the first side will take forever, second side will take 45 minutes...
Didn't remove spring/shock as I couldn't see why it would help nor the sway bar. Left the tie-rod/track-rod end in place too as I realised I could give myself enough room to pull the 'hub' casting (what's the proper name for that?!) off the half-shaft by turning the steering all the way to which ever side I was working on.

Still took an evening and all the next day as I didn't have all the tools I needed and I'm still not quite done, with an axle nut that doesn't wanna go back on - slightly damaged threads.

Also remembered why I stopped doing mechanicking..

Last thing I did was try to use my battery booster to put my windows up, having flattened the battery during the day with the ignition on first click to keep the steering free, but connected it back to front resulting in a big spark. Now I have no lights and a flashing 'key in a car' symbol on the dash - how bad is what I've done and how do I fix that?!..

Battery on charge over night.
 

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Didn't remove spring/shock as I couldn't see why it would help nor the sway bar. Left the tie-rod/track-rod end in place too as I realised I could give myself enough room to pull the 'hub' casting (what's the proper name for that?!) off the half-shaft by turning the steering all the way to which ever side I was working on.

Still took an evening and all the next day as I didn't have all the tools I needed and I'm still not quite done, with an axle nut that doesn't wanna go back on - slightly damaged threads.

Also remembered why I stopped doing mechanicking..

Last thing I did was try to use my battery booster to put my windows up, having flattened the battery during the day with the ignition on first click to keep the steering free, but connected it back to front resulting in a big spark. Now I have no lights and a flashing 'key in a car' symbol on the dash - how bad is what I've done and how do I fix that?!..

Battery on charge over night.
Sorry your having a difficult time with it...

I swung the swaybar down to allow access to the lower shock bolt for removal, but I was also doing a lot more work than just the lower ball joints. Plus it gave me plenty of room to work.

So if I understand correctly, you hooked the jump start backwards? +/- -/+ Instead of +/+ -/- ?
Can't say with certainty what may have happened to the electrical system

First thing I would do is disconnect the battery, then look for obvious signs and smells of cooked wires, or blown fuses at the battery, and in both fuse box.

Do you know someone with a OBD reader? I have cheap $15 one from amazon and use it with Torque Pro. Maybe I got lucky but i have used it sucessfully on Chevy, Ford, Nissan, Kia, and Honda for diagnosing and getting test results.

Just prepare yourself. Hope for the best but plan for the worst...you might have cooked something expensive. Good luck man
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So if I understand correctly, you hooked the jump start backwards? +/- -/+ Instead of +/+ -/- ?
Can't say with certainty what may have happened to the electrical system
Yup, and left it on long enough to go round to the cab, try the ignition, realise summat was up and go back round to disconnect. I thought the spark was just me connecting in wrong order - then + rather than + then -. Stupid beer.

Things started whirring as soon as I connected charged battery this morning so it's not complete toast but I haven't found a blown fuse yet.

I've found that the warning light is a 'security indicator' light so I'm hoping that it's just been disabled - perhaps just gotta find out how to un-disable.

Cheers
 

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Most cars have a main/battery fuse that should be on the positive battery cable very close to the terminal. I have never looked for one on a frontier but I have replaced them on several other cars after the owner mixed up the cables.
 

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Most cars have a main/battery fuse that should be on the positive battery cable very close to the terminal. I have never looked for one on a frontier but I have replaced them on several other cars after the owner mixed up the cables.
Hey Charlie
Thanks for your reply and yes, I eventually found those fuses after a bit of noodling around trying everything - I had no idea that's what that unit was and couldn't see the fuses for the grime that covered everything! :) One had indeed blown and I have a replacement unit on order due tomorrow so fingers crossed that's all it is.
Cheers
 

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That's all it was - fuck you Nissan for your manual guidance to submit vehicle to the dealership for immobiliser reset when it's just a fuse.
Good news... That's another one to tuck away in the memory banks for just in case.

I have a similar story
I have a 6MT, and one day I made a quick trip to the hardware store, and when I went to leave it wouldn't start.
Dead, nothing, wouldn't even turn over. After panicking for a few minutes, I remembered reading about a little plastic button on the clutch pedal arm that depresses the safety switch. Seems they have a tendency to wear and fall out.

Yup... there it was on the floor, stepped out of the truck reached in and pushed the switch and turned the key, fixed it when I got home.
 
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