Nissan Pick-ups and Pathfinder 1970-1988

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

1970-79 Models
  1. Raise the front of the truck and support it with jackstands placed under the frame.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins and nuts securing the side rod ball studs to the steering knuckle/spindle arms.
  4.  
  5. Use a puller to disconnect the side rod ball studs from the steering knuckle arms. If a puller is not available, strike the side of the steering knuckle arm boss with a hammer, backing it up with a heavy hammer on the opposite side, and at the same time having an assistant pull the ball stud out of the steering knuckle arm.
  6.  

Do not strike the ball stud head, the ball socket on the side rod, or the side rod with the hammer.

  1. Remove the nut securing the steering gear arm on the sector shaft and remove the gear arm with a puller. If a puller is not available, and the steering gear arm need not be removed, disconnect the side arm and tie rod ball studs from the steering gear arm in the same manner as outlined in Step 3.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm assembly from the frame by unscrewing the two attaching nuts.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the steering linkage in the reverse order of removal. Tighten the ball stud nuts to 40-55 ft. lbs., idler arm assembly attaching nuts to 23-27 ft. lbs., and the tie rod adjustment locknuts to 58-72 ft. lbs. Adjust the toe-in and steering angle.
  2.  

1980-88 Models

See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20

Before working on any of the following steering linkage components, disconnect the battery cable, raise the front of the truck and support it with safety stands.

PITMAN ARM
  1. Remove the strut bar.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the pitman arm nut.
  4.  
  5. Using a tie rod end puller or the like, disconnect the pitman arm from the sector shaft.
  6.  
  7. Using a tie rod end puller or the like, disconnect the pitman arm from the cross rod.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Align the marks on the pitman arm and sector shaft and connect them. Tighten the nut to 94-108 ft. lbs. (127-147 Nm) on models with manual steering; or 101-130 ft. lbs. (137-177 Nm) on models with power steering.
  2.  
  3. Connect the arm to the cross rod and tighten the nut. Install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Install the strut bar.
  6.  

TIE ROD
  1. Using a tie rod end puller, disconnect the tie rod from the cross rod.
  2.  
  3. Using a tie rod end puller, disconnect the tie rod from the knuckle arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tie rod and remove the tie rod ends.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Screw the tie rod ends onto the tie rod. The tie rod length should be:

    1980-86 2wd (720D series): 13.07 in. (332mm).
     
    1986-88 2wd (D21D series): 13.54 in. (344mm).
     
    1981-83 4wd: 10.83 in. (275mm).
     
    1984-86 4wd (720D series): 11.54 in. (293mm).
     
    1986-88 4wd (D21D series): 11.06 in. (281mm).
     

  2.  

The remaining length of threads on both ends should always be equal. On 1986-88 models (D21D series), the tie rod ends should always be screwed on at least 1.38 in. (35mm).

  1. Turn the tie rod ends so they cross at about 90° (17.5° on 1986-88 4wd models). Tighten the clamp nuts to 8-12 ft. lbs. (11-17 Nm) on 1980-86 2wd models (720D series); or 10-14 ft. lbs (14-20 Nm) on 1986-88 2wd models (D21D series). Tighten the locknuts to 58-72 ft. lbs. (78-98 Nm) on all 4wd models.
  2.  
  3. Connect the tie rod to the knuckle arm and cross rod and tighten the mounting nuts to 40-72 ft. lbs. (54-98 Nm).
  4.  

CROSS ROD
  1. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the cross rod.
  2.  
  3. Using a tie rod end puller, disconnect the pitman arm from the cross rod.
  4.  
  5. Using a tie rod end puller, disconnect the idler arm from the cross rod.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rod and inspect it for cracks or other damage.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Connect the cross rod to the idler arm and tighten the nut 40-72 ft. lbs. (54-98 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Connect the cross rod to the pitman arm and tighten the nut to 40-72 ft. lbs. (54-98 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the tie rod ends to the cross rod and tighten the nuts to 40-72 ft. lbs. (54-98 Nm).
  6.  

STEERING DAMPER
  1. Disconnect the steering damper at the cross rod.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the damper at the frame and remove the damper with all washers and cushions.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the damper to the frame bracket and tighten the nut to 7-8 ft. lbs. (9-12 Nm) on 1981-86 models (720D series), or 13-17 ft. lbs. (18-24 Nm) on 1986-88 models (D21D series).
  2.  
  3. Connect the other end of the steering damper to the cross rod and tighten the nut to 14-19 ft. lbs. (19-25 Nm) on 1981-86 models (720D series), or 27-36 ft. lbs. (37-49 Nm) on 1986-88 models (D21D series).
  4.  

IDLER ARM BRACKET
  1. Disconnect the cross rod from the idler arm.
  2.  
  3. Remove the mounting bolts and remove the idler arm bracket with the arm attached.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Position the bracket and arm on the frame and tighten the bolts to 36-51 ft. lbs. (49-69 Nm) on 1981-86 models (720D series), or 58-72 ft. lbs. (78-98 Nm) on 1986-88 models (D21D series).
  2.  
  3. Connect the idler arm to the cross rod and tighten the nut to 40-72 ft. lbs. (54-98 Nm). Install a new cotter pin.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the steering linkage - 1980-86 (720D series)



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Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of the steering linkage - 1986-88 2wd models (D21D series)



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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the steering linkage - 1986-88 4wd models (D21D series)



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Fig. Fig. 4: Tie rod length and angle measurement - 1986-88 2wd models; other years similar



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Fig. Fig. 5: Tie rod length and angle measurement - 1986-88 4wd models; other years similar



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosening the tie rod lock nut



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Fig. Fig. 7: Removing the tie rod cotter pin - always replace upon installation



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Fig. Fig. 8: Removing the tie rod nut



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Fig. Fig. 9: View of the tie rod assembly after being greased



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Fig. Fig. 10: Separating the tie rod with puller type tool



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Fig. Fig. 11: Removing the tie rod from the spindle assembly



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Fig. Fig. 12: Removing the tie rod end-count the threads to remove, install the same amount



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Fig. Fig. 13: Removing the idle arm cotter pin, replace upon installation



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Fig. Fig. 14: Removing the idle arm nut



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Fig. Fig. 15: Removing the idle arm assembly with a puller type tool



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Fig. Fig. 16: Removing the idle arm from the frame bracket



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Fig. Fig. 17: View of the idler arm and washer assembly



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Fig. Fig. 18: Installing the idler arm assembly



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Fig. Fig. 19: View of the steering damper assembly



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Fig. Fig. 20: Removing the steering damper

 
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