Nissan Maxima 1993-1998 Repair Guide

Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



The lower ball joint should be replaced when play becomes excessive. An effective way to determine ball joint play is to raise the vehicle until the wheel is just a couple of inches off the ground and the ball joint is unloaded (meaning you can't raise directly under the ball joint). Place a long bar under the tire and move the wheel and tire assembly up and down. Keep one hand on top of the tire while you are doing this. If there is over 1 / 4 in. of play at the top of the tire, the ball joint is probably bad. This is assuming that the wheel bearings are in good shape and properly adjusted. As a double check on this, have someone watch the ball joint while you move the tire up and down with the bar. If you can see considerable play, besides feeling play at the top of the wheel, the ball joint needs replacing.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1993-94 Models

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the lower ball joint-to-traverse link securing bolts/nuts.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball joint cotter pin and castle nut.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Loosen the lower ball joint securing nuts



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the cotter pin and the castle nut

  1. Remove the lower ball joint-to-traverse link securing bolts/nuts.
  2.  
  3. Using the Ball Joint Remover tool HT72520000 or equivalent, separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Special tools are available to separate the ball joint from the knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 4: After it is separated, remove the ball joint from the vehicle

  1. Remove the ball joint.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install the ball joint in the spindle and tighten the ball joint-to-steering knuckle nut. Install a new cotter pin.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint-to-traverse link securing bolts. Tighten the ball joint-to-traverse link bolts/nuts.
  4.  
  5. Install the wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Check the vehicle for proper alignment.
  10.  

1995-98 Models

See Figure 5

The lower ball joint is not replaceable, if the ball joint is defective the lower control arm or transverse link must be replaced.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: After it is separated, remove the ball joint from the vehicle

 
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