How to Replace the Lower Ball Joint in a Nissan Maxima


Lower ball joints on a Nissan Maxima the press-in type with a snap ring retainer on the upper side of the ball joint. A ball joint is the point of connection for the lower control arm and the spindle. Each ball joint allows horizontal and off-vertical movement of the spindle.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ball joint press kit
  • Ball joint separator tool
  • Hammer
  • Air gun with ½-inch drive
  • Set of ½-inch drive sockets
  • Wire cutters
  • Set of wrenches
  • Ratchet with 3/8-inch drive
  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Raise the car and support it securely on the jack stands. Remove the front wheels with the ½-inch air gun.

  • Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint stud with the wire cutters. Remove the ball joint nut using a wrench.

  • Separate the spindle from the ball joint stud by placing the ball joint separator between the spindle and the lower control arm. Hammer the tool until the ball joint stud separates from the tapered hole in the spindle.

  • Push the lower control arm down while lifting on the spindle until the stud is free of the spindle. Push the spindle to the rear of the control arm to keep it out of the way.

  • Remove the snap ring on the top side of the ball joint using the snap ring pliers.

  • Put the ball joint press tool on the ball joint and press the joint out of the control arm.

  • Push the new ball joint in through the bottom of the control arm. Make sure it is lined up to go in straight. Attach the ball joint press. Press the ball joint completely into the lower control arm with the ball joint press.

  • Attach the snap ring on the top side of the ball joint. Lift the spindle and line the hole in the bottom with the ball joint stud. Lay it down so the stud enters the tapered hole. Screw on the ball joint nut and tighten it with a wrench. Push the cotter pin into the ball joint stud and bend the ends outward.

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