Nissan Pick-ups and Pathfinder 1970-1988

Steering Knuckle And Spindle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 thru 20

1970-79 2wd Models
  1. Raise the front of the vehicle and support it safely with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake hose from the steering knuckle at the bracket.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake caliper.
  8.  
  9. Remove the wheel hub cap, and then remove the cotter pin, adjusting cap and spindle nut from the knuckle spindle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the wheel hub and rotor assembly.
  12.  
  13. Remove the hub from the rotor assembly.
  14.  
  15. Remove the outer bearing cone with fingers and remove the inner bearing cone by prying out the grease seal. Discard the grease seal.
  16.  
  17. If it is necessary to replace the bearing outer race, drive it out from the hub with a brass drift and mallet. Evenly tap the bearing outer race through the hole inside the hub.
  18.  
  19. Remove the baffle plate.
  20.  
  21. Separate the knuckle from the spindle arm.
  22.  
  23. Loosen the torsion bar spring anchor nut. and adjusting nut to cancel the torsion of the torsion bar spring.
  24.  
  25. Remove the upper and lower ball joint securing nuts and then remove the ball joints from the knuckle spindle using ball joint removal Tool ST29020001.
  26.  

To install:
  1. Install the knuckle spindle to the upper and lower ball joints. Tighten the upper ball stud nut to 58-72 ft. lbs. and the lower ball stud nut to 124-141 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the anchor arm adjusting bolt and lock nut to the dimensions show in the illustration.
  4.  
  5. Install the baffle plate.
  6.  
  7. Install and grease the inner and outer bearings and seal if removed. Refer to General Information & Maintenance .
  8.  
  9. Install the knuckle arm and caliper and tighten all retaining bolts to 53-72 ft. lbs.
  10.  

1980-88 2wd Models
  1. Raise the front of the vehicle and support it safely with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake hose from the knuckle at the bracket.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake caliper.
  8.  
  9. Remove the wheel hub cap, and then remove the cotter pin, adjusting cap and spindle nut from the knuckle spindle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the wheel hub and rotor assembly.
  12.  
  13. Remove the hub from the rotor assembly.
  14.  
  15. Remove the outer bearing cone with fingers and remove the inner bearing cone by prying out the grease seal. Discard the grease seal.
  16.  
  17. If it is necessary to replace the bearing outer race, drive it out from the hub with a brass drift and mallet. Evenly tap the bearing outer race through the hole inside the hub.
  18.  
  19. Remove the baffle plate.
  20.  
  21. Loosen but do not remove the upper and lower ball joint tightening nut.
  22.  
  23. Separate the upper and lower ball joint from the knuckle spindle.
  24.  

During Step 12, never remove the ball joint nut which was loosened in Step 11.

  1. Jack up the lower control arm (link), then remove the ball joint tightening nut.
  2.  
  3. Separate the knuckle spindle from the upper and lower control arms (links).
  4.  
  5. Installation is the reverse of removal with the following exceptions:
    1. While jacking up the lower link, install the knuckle spindle to the upper and lower ball joints.
    2.  
    3. When installing the knuckle arm, torque the retaining bolts to 53-72 ft. lbs.
    4.  
    5. Install the front hub wheel bearings as outlined in General Information & Maintenance .
    6.  
    7. When attaching the disc rotor to the hub, torque the bolts to 36-51 ft. lbs.
    8.  

  6.  

1981-83 4wd Models

  1. Block the rear wheels, raise and support the front of the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper and suspend it out of the way. Do not disconnect the brake hose.
  6.  
  7. Remove the axle shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolt securing the knuckle arm to the knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Loosen, but do not remove the upper and lower ball joint tightening nuts.
  12.  
  13. Separate the ball joints from the knuckle with a ball joint removing tool.
  14.  


CAUTION
NEVER REMOVE THE BALL JOINT NUT IN THE ABOVE STEP!

  1. Jack up the lower link and remove the ball joint tightening nut.
  2.  
  3. Remove the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Unbend the lockwasher with a small prybar and remove the front hub locknut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lockwasher and special washer.
  8.  
  9. Push the wheel bearing support out of the hub.
  10.  
  11. Separate the knuckle from the hub with a puller.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bearing collar.
  14.  
  15. Remove the inside bearing and seal. Drive the race out with a brass driver.
  16.  
  17. Separate the hub from the rotor.
  18.  
  19. Knock the hub on a wood block to move the outer bearing away from the hub surface, then pull it the rest of the way with a bearing puller. Remove the grease seal.
  20.  
  21. Remove the axle shaft bearing from the bearing support with a brass driver.
  22.  
  23. Clean and thoroughly repack the bearings.
  24.  
  25. When assembling, note the following points:
    1. Install the bearing outer race into each side of the knuckle with a brass driver.
    2.  
    3. Install the outer grease seal and bearing with a brass driver.
    4.  
    5. Pack the seal lip with wheel bearing grease. Be sure that the seal faces the right direction.
    6.  
    7. The wheel bearing collar thickness determines end play. Determine what thickness to use as follows:

      Install the collar which was removed.
       
      Install the inside bearing with a brass driver.
       
      Install the special washer and lockwasher.
       
      Tighten the locknut to 108-145 ft. lbs.
       
      Turn the hub several times in both directions to seat the bearings.
       
      Using a spring scale as shown, check the preload to see that it falls between 2.2 and 9.5 ft. lbs.
       
      If not, adjust by replacing the collar with one of a different thickness, as shown by the number stamped on the collar. The larger the number, the thickness the collar.
       
      When preload has been correctly set, secure the nut by bending the lockwasher tip.
       

    8.  

  26.  

  1. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Observe the following torques:

    Upper ball joint-to-knuckle: 36-65 ft. lbs.
     
    Lower ball joint-to-knuckle: 43-72 ft. lbs.
     
    Knuckle arm-to-knuckle: 53-72 ft. lbs.
     
    Caliper-to-knuckle: 53-72 ft. lbs.
     
    Axle shaft-to-carrier: 20-27 ft. lbs.
     
    Free running hub: 18-25 ft. lbs.
     
    Stabilizer bar: 12-16 ft. lbs.
     
    Wheel nut: 87-108 ft. lbs.
     

  2.  

1984-86 4wd Models (720D Series)
  1. Raise and support the front end with jackstands under the frame rails.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the calipers and suspend them out of the way.
  6.  
  7. Remove the locking hub assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tie rod using tool HT2520000, or equivalent.
  10.  
  11. Unbolt the knuckle arm from the knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack and remove the upper and lower ball joint-to-knuckle nuts.
  14.  
  15. Separate the ball joints from the knuckle.
  16.  
  17. Remove the snapring and lock washer from the hub.
  18.  
  19. Remove the hub locknut using tool KV40104300 or equivalent.
  20.  
  21. Separate the hub and rotor from the knuckle.
  22.  
  23. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  24.  

1986-88 4wd Models (D21D Series)
  1. Remove the Auto-lock or Manual-lock free running hub assembly as detailed in Drive Train .
  2.  
  3. Separate the axle shaft from the knuckle spindle by slightly tapping the axle shaft end.
  4.  
  5. Loosen, but do not remove the upper and lower ball joint-to-spindle nuts.
  6.  
  7. Separate the knuckle spindle from the upper and lower ball joint studs with Tool HT72520000
  8.  

During Step 4, never remove the ball joint nuts which were loosened in Step 3.

  1. Support the lower control arm with a floor jack and remove the ball joint tightening nuts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the knuckle spindle from the upper and lower control arms.
  4.  
  5. When installing, follow these notes:
    1. When installing the needle bearing into the knuckle spindle, apply multi-purpose grease and make sure that the needle bearing is facing in the proper direction.
    2.  
    3. With the lower control arm jacked up, install the knuckle spindle to the upper and lower ball joints.
    4.  
    5. Adjust the wheel bearing preload.
    6.  
    7. When installing the axle shaft, never reuse the snapring, and check axial end play. Refer to

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 1: Knuckle arm attaching bolt



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      Fig. Fig. 2: Upper and lower ball joint nuts



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      Fig. Fig. 3: Removing the ball joint with a ball joint removal type tool



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      Fig. Fig. 4: Removing the ball joint tightening nuts



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      Fig. Fig. 5: Unbending the lockwasher



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      Fig. Fig. 6: Removing the special washer and lock washer



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      Fig. Fig. 7: Wheel bearing support greasing location



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      Fig. Fig. 8: Using a puller to separate the hub from the knuckle



      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 9: Driving out the inner bearing and seal



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      Fig. Fig. 10: Hit the hub on a block of wood to break the outer bearing loose from the hub



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      Fig. Fig. 11: Removing the outer bearing with a puller



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      Fig. Fig. 12: Bearing collars are stamped with a number to indicate thickness



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      Fig. Fig. 13: Installing the outer bearing into the knuckle



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      Fig. Fig. 14: Proper positioning of the lockwasher and special washer



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      Fig. Fig. 15: Measuring preload with a spring scale



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      Fig. Fig. 16: Tie rod removal



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      Fig. Fig. 17: Knuckle arm removal



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      Fig. Fig. 18: View of the steering knuckle assembly on 4wd model - most models similar



      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Fig. 19: Removing the bumper rubber assembly nut



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      Fig. Fig. 20: Removing the bumper rubber assembly

      Drive Train .
    8.  

  6.  

 
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