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Is it possible to replace ONLY the ball joint without having to buy complete lower control arm? I see some for sale for only the lower B.J. for around 50. I understnad it may need to be pressed in, and thats fine we have a small machine shop where I work that can do that no problem. Im trying to keep this repair as cheap costing as possible as the cars gotta last 3 weeks til trade in. thanks in advance guys.
 

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Rockauto.com shows ball joints available at $44 each. I've done business with Rockauto before this, and they've done well by me.

Since the ball joint is an available part, the answer is yes, you can replace it separately. The factory service manual or a Haynes or Chilton's will outline the procedure.

If a ball joint is bolted in, then a shade tree mechanic can usually replace it in an afternoon without undue trouble. If it's installed with rivets, you may want to have an independent shop do it - they should have a local parts source other than the dealer.

If it has to be pressed in, then I'd take it to a shop. I have tried using screw-down ball joint presses in the past with mixed results.
 

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thats exactly what I was thinking, why replace the whole control arm if its not broken. I deal with rock auto almost all the time for parts. I work on cars ALOT, I have a side business doing it out of my house. licensed etc. Im going to order them from rock auto and see how hard it will be. rivets are nothing new to me. Ive done ball joints on s10 blazers that are riveted in, all you do is cut or drill the old ones out and it comes with bolts that take the rivets place. easy.
Ill order em and when i get em ill post up how hard it was to do it.

thanks
 

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tammiesmurano03 said:
thats exactly what I was thinking, why replace the whole control arm if its not broken. I deal with rock auto almost all the time for parts. I work on cars ALOT, I have a side business doing it out of my house. licensed etc. Im going to order them from rock auto and see how hard it will be. rivets are nothing new to me. Ive done ball joints on s10 blazers that are riveted in, all you do is cut or drill the old ones out and it comes with bolts that take the rivets place. easy.
Ill order em and when i get em ill post up how hard it was to do it.

thanks
Excellent! if you can tackle the rivets in those Blazers, you can do any ball joint replacement needed. Mine ('99 Blazer) were such a pain that I ended up taking them to a shop. The ball joint press that I picked up for the job just could NOT be configured to fit the ball joints, so I gave up.
 

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You can't just replace the ball joint. I've looked at it when I was replacing mine and it's a 1-time-press-fit manufacturing process. If you press it out; there will be no part to fit the hole you have now created.
You will have to replace the entire lower control arm. Sorry:(
 

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DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is truly crappy design. Those parts are perishable.
 

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I just replace both lower control arms - it wasn't very difficult and if your ball joint is worn out then you can bet that the rear rubber bushing is probably at end-of-life condition too. Mine were split pretty baddly - allowing the wheels to torque the arms forward under acceleration and rearward under breaking. It makes the handling of the car rather squirly when under hard acceleration.
 

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now I'm even more curious as I've been told be two sources they "think" it can be done but would need a special tool and over on another board a member said they did it...:confused:
 

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I've seen the old units that came out off my car and there's just no way to install an "aftermarket" ball joint.
You would literally have to damage the control arm to remove the existing ball joint from an OEM part.
Anyone telling you otherwise is selling you something that will not fit an existing OEM arm.
Maybe there is an aftermarket arm that was built/made to allow replacement of the ball joint in future repairs??
 

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BikerJohn said:

Maybe there is an aftermarket arm that was built/made to allow replacement of the ball joint in future repairs??
Maybe that is it....you have a 03 and lots of things were slightly changed in the later years. Does anyone know if these control arms are inter-changable between model years?
 

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Just talked with a mechanic who did a 2006 "very recently" and did an '03 "a few months back." He showed me how to do it and warned (over and over) to be careful of the ABS sensor. In fact he said I could avoid taking off the knuckle and hub all together and not mess with the sensor.

I'll get it done before the week is out (would be sooner but the joint is factory direct order only 2-3 days shipping) and take some pictures for y'all (if it can be done!). If not I'll come crawling back to tell the story! :)
 

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I've wondered about this...

What "damage" would be done to the control arm in doing this?

I'm back where I started - if the part is available, it MUST be possible

It's common for ball joints to be riveted in, and for the removal to require drilling out rivets and using a portable press to remove the old joint and install the new one.
 

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It's true that you don't need to remove the steering knuckle. You just need to remove the lower control arm and the ball joint as one unit.
The problem looks to be the removal of the existing ball joint in the control arm.
It's not install using any rivets so pressing it out would be the only option if possible.
What I remember when I was looking at the old arm was how the ball joint was manufactured within the arm that it looked to be impossible to remove without damaging the hole that it's pressed into.
I would love to see how jsmart makes out. Please do keep us posted on your experience.
 

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either it comes out with a hammer or press (as I was told it should) or I ruin it and replace the whole thing anyway...what have I got to lose? It's either a $30 repair or a $180 repair.

I'll try the $30 route first! I'll take some pics so you can see the outcome either way since there seems to be some question as to the feasability and no definitive answer...yet.

Unless someone speaks up before I get started...:25:
 

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jsmart said:
either it comes out with a hammer or press (as I was told it should) or I ruin it and replace the whole thing anyway...what have I got to lose? It's either a $30 repair or a $180 repair.

I'll try the $30 route first! I'll take some pics so you can see the outcome either way since there seems to be some question as to the feasability and no definitive answer...yet.



Great idea! Take pix, and even if it needs to go to a machine shop to have the old ball joint pressed out, I'm hopeful that it will be a practical repair.
 

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You've got my attention:4:
 

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if I can get the part locally we will find out this afternoon...if not it will be a few more days of a rough ride.

I have a press so I should not need to take it to a shop unless things go real bad...

I'll document it and post pics soon...maybe I'll lose my sticky virginity if I can make it work.
 
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