Nissan Stanza/200SX/240SX 1982-1992 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints



Dial Indicator Method

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Measuring ball joint play with a dial indicator

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  3. Clamp a dial indicator to the transverse link and place the tip of the dial on the lower edge of the brake caliper.
  5. Zero the indicator.
  7. Make sure the front wheels are straight ahead and the brake pedal is fully depressed.
  9. Insert a long prybar between the transverse link and the inner rim of the wheel.
  11. Push down and release the prybar and observe the reading (deflection) on the dial indicator. Take several readings and use the maximum dial indicator deflection as the ball joint vertical end-play. Make sure to 0 the indicator after each reading. If the reading is not within specifications, replace the transverse link or the ball joint. Ball joint vertical end-play specifications are as follows:

    200SX and 240SX- 0 in. (0mm)
    1982-89 Stanza - 0.0040.-039 in. (0.1-1.0mm)
    1990-92 Stanza - 0 in. (0mm)
    Stanza Wagon-0.098 in. (2.5mm) or less


Visual Approximation Method

The lower ball joint should be replaced when play becomes excessive. An effective way to visually approximate ball joint vertical end-play without the use of a dial indicator is to perform the following:

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle until the wheel is clear of the ground. Do not place the jack under the ball joint; it must be unloaded.
  3. Place a long prybar under the tire and move the wheel up and down. Keep one hand on top of the tire while doing this.
  5. If 1 / 4 in. (6mm) or more of play exists at the top of the tire, the ball joint should be replaced. Be sure the wheel bearings are properly adjusted before making this measurement. A double check can be made; while the tire is being moved up and down, observe the ball joint. If play is seen, replace the ball joint.


Rear Wheel Drive

See Figures 2, 3 and 4

If there is a plugged hole in the bottom of the joint for installation of a grease fitting, install a fitting. The ball joint should be greased every 15,000 miles or 1 year.

The transverse link (lower control arm) must be removed and then the ball joint must be pressed out.

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  3. Remove the front wheels.

Click image to see an enlarged view