Sloppy steering after control arm replacement... - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-14-2014, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sloppy steering after control arm replacement...

So I just replaced both front control arms and noticed my front end to be a little more sloppy/loose... Especially when I hit a bump. I did notice that I will need an alignment but not sure if that would cause this feel?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-14-2014, 11:43 PM
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Watch this video (it is a Quest but the LCA are the same as the Murano)


Pay attention to what the poster explain at 7:20 He did an error when reinstalling the ball joint and this could be your case as well. It is a very common error.
(If yes dont drive the car until it is corrected)

Also make sure all bolts are tighten to the spec.

Could it be possible that since you have new solid bushings that vibration(bump) is now absorbed by both(possibly worn) tie-rods instead of being absorbed by your old worn LCA bushings.
Make sure you have solid tie-rods(inner and outter) before going to alignement shops. They cost next to nothing.

Good luck
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-15-2014, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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My car feels as if I took off the front sway bar and the front end became loose. I made sure to check that the ball joint was seated properly as shown in the video but I WILL re-check both sides. The only weird thing about this is that I had a stiffer and more responsive ride before changing out both of the control arms.

My steering wheel is slightly tilted to the right now so I know that I will need and alignment but I dont think this would cause the sloppyness.

The ONLY other thing that I could think of is the right side control arm not sitting flush on the bushing that has the two 19mm bolts going up through it. The reason for this is that I had one bolt snap on each control arm the first time I did a control arm swap 2 years ago. I have been driving like this since (1 bolts on each side) with no issues of any kind and now I feel that maybe the one side did not sit itself flush with the sub-frame. I might have to pull it apart again and see if I can readjust it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-15-2014, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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If there are any other ideas please feel free to throw them in. Like I mentioned before, the ride was awesome before this swap even on the old CA's other than at high speeds because the ball joints were wearing themselves out.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-15-2014, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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So I took a picture of the bushing sitting up against the sub-frame and the fact that its not flush is why I am worried. I am missing the bolt closer to the passenger wheel. This was never an issue with my previous control arm, i just cant remember if the bushing was flush or not last time. I guess that could be the reason why its sloppy. Removing the old bolt would be an issue since only the head snapped off and drilling was a pain that I never finished doing. Here is a pic...


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post #6 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 12:31 AM
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If I remember correctly and others here can confirm that... there is some notches on the frame to properly aligned and seats the brackets at their correct spot. That may be why you have such a gap. When I look at the space between your brackets and the frame it makes me think that when you hit a bump, the brakets may possibly tilt being secured with only one bolt.

If I were you I would correct that as soon as possible and certainly before going to the alignement shop.It can also be dangerous. There is a lot of pressure going through these brackets when you hit a bump. Maybe drill and tap ? Or it can be blown with air once properly heated with a torch at a local shop.

Is the LCA parts number are OK for your Murano ?

Can you describe more what you mean by sloppy/loose steering ?
Keep in mind that when a front-end is badly misaligned(i.e. after changing LCA) all sort of behavior can happen. For example, the left front wheel can fight against the right front wheel causing an inprecise steering or a wandering front end. Like you said, you can confirm your alignement has changes by looking at your steering angle.

Also, make sure your sway bar bushings are OK. But this would normally cause a noise or a clunk when hitting a bump. Certainely worth a check while you're there.

Is tire air pressure OK?

Once the wheel is off the ground, grab it at 3 and 9 o'clock. You should not feel any looseness or endplay when you shake it.

A last thing that comes to my mind is worn shock/strut.

Good luck
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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^^^^ You have brought up some very good points but I believe that I have found the problem. There are a few things that come in play here, some that you've already mentioned...

First of all I took the control arm back out today and placed it next to my old one on the ground. I noticed that the new LCA's bushing was pressed onto the arm in a different position than the one I have previously installed. I had to go to Carquest and get them to pull the bushing off and refit it more like the previous one. After getting that done I reinstalled the LCA and noticed that is sat better than previously but still not a flush as it should. I came to the conclusion that for some reason, I got lucky last time running only 1 bolt..now I actually need both to be properly seated and secured. I decided to swap out the tie-rods to a pair of fresh ones as well.

My next step is to bite the bullet and go ahead with drilling the old one out (this might be a pain since i technically still have to do the other side as well). I cant find a shop that's willing to heat and punch the old sucker out except the dealer, but at $125 per hour, I rather go through a set of drill bits if I have to. I will get an alignment done right after doing all of this in the next couple of days to put the least amount of stress and wear/tear on the entire car and tire as possible. (The entire car rides better now with less alignment issues but I figure its still important to secure both bolts and get an alignment done in the end)

Also, tire pressure has been recently checked and there is ZERO movement with the new LCA's and tie-rods in place at the 9 and 3 hand position.

Here is a picture of my old and new LCA before I went ahead and had the position of it re-adjusted. (Both are set identically on the gound)


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post #8 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 02:25 PM
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Instead of drilling it out, you can bring it to a muffler shop to weld a "hex" head to the broken bolt and remove the bolt with a impact wrench. Costed me $20 when that happened to me (not the same bolt but a broken bolt nevertheless).
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 02:51 PM
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@deeman..... Good idea to weld something to the stub and drives it out. Because I assume the bolt is certainely about 1/8 - 1/4 inch out of the sub-frame. I must admit that turning it red with the heat up to the point it can be blown without damaging the thread is feasible but it needs to be done by a torch expert.
@srT4URBO.... I'm pretty sure after doing all that you will get back a solid steering. I replaced my both LCA and both tie-rods last year and got a good alignement from a reputable local shop.
Damn.... the Murano is a car with the most precise and the most comfy steering I ever had... and I owned a dozen of car before.

Good luck
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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The bolt is actually slightly deeper than the actual LCA bushing which would require me to remove both LCA's out if I wanted to weld a new head on there. Ufortunately my only option is to drill.

My steering feels solid when driving straight on a smooth road..and after reinstalling the LCA back in the second time (with the re-adjusted bushing), my alignment isnt as highly off as before, so I can feel the nice handling potential...yeah I have hope haha
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