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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Removing your cv axle first is a great way to save time and frustration.* I didnt feel like it at first, and when I did want to remove it, i really struggled to pry it out.* So I didn't.

But all the kinks in the process are now worked out and ill be changing the passenger side next weekend.*

I am not responsible for your personal injury or damaged property.** You must assume all of the inherent risks of working on your vehicle.* Our trucks weigh about 5000 pounds.*Jacking, lifting, repairing, and modifying a vehicle are dangerous actions that should be performed by an experienced mechanic. Be safe.

Start by placing wheel chocks in front of and behind your rear tires.* Set the e brake and disconnect the negative battery terminal.*

Break your lug nuts loose on the front tire.* Remove the center cap and break loose your cv axle nut with a 32mm socket.*

Jack up your truck, slide a 6 ton jack stand under the frame with a plywood board beneath it.

Its a decent idea to support your LCA with a jack stand.* I didnt do it much though because it got in my way.

Pull your abs wire grommets free from their metal attachment points for some wiggle room for the spindle.

Use a small pitman arm puller to break loose your tie rod ball joint and your spindle/UCA ball joint.*

Sometimes these nuts just spin with the ball joints if the threads are cruddy, so remove the flat piece of a c clamp and place the clamp's spindle onto the ball joint bolt and tighten.** Any 6 inch clamp should suffice, these joints just need vertical pressure to function.*

Remove the brake caliper bolts and zip tie the caliper to the frame to prevent over extending the brake line.*

Zip tie your CV axle to your spring to keep it up and out of the way.

Break loose your camber bolts.* I believe they are 13/16 and some metric size that I forget.* Place a wrench on the bolt head that will rest against the frame while you spin the nut off.* WD40 Rust dissolver is excellent here, as it foams up and really penetrates.** I used a breaker bar with a 6 foot long piece of steel tubing to break these loose.*

Once the nuts are off, you can leave the bolts in, for now.*

Remove your lower shock mount bolt.* I had to order a new one from my local Nissan dealer because when I hammered the bolt out, the threads were damaged.* (You can hammer the bolt out by placing a socket backwards over it and hammering the socket if access is tight).

Next up is the lower spindle bolt.* This one gave me all the hell that it could.

I didnt understand how it worked, at first.*
Looking at the new LCA's ball joint led me to believe that the ball joint stub mounted vertically into the hole that is in the lower spindle while the bolt (transversely mounted) clamped the spindle tightly around it.*

I used my pitman arm puller to try to push the stub upward while pulling down on the spindle, but the tension snapped one of the three jaws.*

After looking around thenewx and clubfrontier I deduced that a legitimate ball joint press was necessary for this frosty b****.*

So I spent a hundo and rented one from the zone.* I placed a tapered socket into the threaded press and cranked up onto the ball joint stud.* While cranking with a 6 foot breaker bar attached to an
adjustable wrench, i heard the familiar sound of a ball joint popping free.*

Closer examination revealed that the top two threads of the press cracked under the pressure.* So if anyone has been curious about the strength of out spindles and lca attachment points, rest assured, they are strong AF.*

A friend later explained that the bolt actually secures the ball joint by sliding through its notched section.*

So back the nut off the bolt, and leave it on the last few threads.* This bolt will be seized if you live in the new england/canada area.

Use a breaker bar to break the bolt head loose from the rust.* Then soak the bolt in penetrating fluid by spraying in the pinch space of the lower spindle as well as the head and threads.*

While it soaks, start cranking your breaker bar and hitting the nut with a hammer.*

Use some paint marker to mark the exposed threads to measure your progress.* Slowly but surely youll see the bolt backing out.

It helps to keep applying copious quantities of penetrating fluid all over the bolt area and even the ball joint boot during this process.*

I tightened the but back onto the bolt all the way, then clamped a vise grip to it to keep it from spinning.* Then I continued to crank the bolt with a breaker bar.*

More hammering and then finally using the small pitman arm puller pushed the bolt out.*

Support the spindle before breaking the joint free.* If you dont, the spindle will fall and rip the abs wire off.*

Break the ball joint free by using the small pitman arm puller to push the stub up and out of the spindle hole.*

Hammer the cam bolts out.*

Then knock the LCA to the freedom of the pavement.*

Lightly hammer the new LCA into the mounts and slide the cam bolts through.* Attach the lower shock mount bolt.*

Take a ball joint press and properly align the lower spindle to the LCA.* (Temporarily connecting the tie rod will help).* Crank the press and watch the bolt hole.* Crank until the ball joint stub's notch is lined up and clear for the bolt to pass through.*

Slide the bolt through, tighten to Nissan's torque specs (i used my elbow meter, dont do that).*

Connect your cv shaft to the spindle and tighten the nut to snug.*

Tighten the camber bolts to snug, then, to avoid getting an alignment for 120 bucks, match their positions to the other side (or just take pics before you start this job).* Then tighten all the way to the torque specs.*

Reconnect your UCA and tie rod ball joints.* Again, the clamp trick works well here.* Insert all cotter pins (also in your cv axle nut).*

Reconnect your brake caliper.* Make sure all of the components are in tact.* I kept knocking the brake pad spring wire loose while working, so check carefully.*

Get your wheel on, hand tighten in an alternating pattern.*

Jack up your truck at the frame and remove the stands, and slowly lower to the ground.

Torque your lugs and CV nut.* Remove wheel chocks, reconnect battery, and test brakes.*

Take for a test drive and enjoy your new LCA!

I have a lot of pics but the file size is too big, im not sure how to resize them on my galaxy s6...
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