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Hardware for control arm/ball joint and upper link replacment?

8330 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Simon Roberts
Hi all, I find myself about to change out the control arm and the vertical assist link that goes somewhat with it on a 2009 Versa 1.8L 6 speed manual.

I managed to source parts from rock auto, but they won't arrive for several days, and they don't seem to come with new bolts. I would like to replace those bolts while I'm at it; can anyone tell me what size/length/strength I require for these?

And related the Haynes manual casually says "to get the pivot bolt out you might have to lower the suspension cross member." Anyone have experience with this want to tell me if I will, or merely "might"?
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Use your eyes, if the bolt head is on the top and the suspension plate traps it you are likely there. Maybe not on these, the '11 model shows the bolt head on bottom. Same chassis I'm thinking.

The strength, or property class should be on the bolt head. Not necessary to change them even by Nissan as they are not TTY bolts and can be retorqued more than once, your issue would be if the bolt does not seem to pull up tight then it would need replacing or say corrosion damage.
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This is out of a 2008 versa manual. I think they are the same?

Are we talking about bolts for 12 & 13?
You should be able to purchase any OEM bolt from a local dealer. You just have to find the correct part number.
When I did my sub-frame on a 2011, I had to replace the lower bolt on #12. I got it from my local dealer.

The parts guys at the dealerships are usually top-notch, they know there stuff.

And related the Haynes manual casually says "to get the pivot bolt out you might have to lower the suspension cross member." Anyone have experience with this want to tell me if I will, or merely "might"?
In-order to get the big horizontal bolt that holds the control arm to the sub-frame, you have to either lower the sub-frame a bit, or unbolt the engine mount on that side of the engine and jack the engine up a bit. I've heard it being done both ways.

Here's a video a guy talking about it.

Your two problem spots will be removing the lower bolt on #12 (it might be fused in the linkage) and removing the lower control's ball joint from the steering knuckle.

good luck!


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Remove the engine mount, that does not force a wheel alignment when done. Lowering the subframe does.

Unless you are in the rusty belt a simple screwdriver stuck up in the slot for the ball joint stud in the knuckle to open the slot a little bit lets the stud fall right out, going back in is where most have trouble, the stud keeps tipping out of plane with the hole, it must be dead on plane to plane to go in instantly. So many have lost patience by then to thoroughly lose their butts on that simple task.
LOL, yes! All my warnings and problem spots, come from the Rust Belt!

If your not in the rust belt, then everything should be much easier.
Thanks everyone! I'm not in a rust belt, but I think the car was before it came here. Looks like it was born in Illinois, even though it emigrated to Colorado. So, engine mount eh. I'll give that a try.
You might only have to do the engine mount trick to the drivers side. I can't remember if the horizontal lower control arm bolt issue was on the driver side or both.

My brain is foggy, it's been awhile since I researched this stuff.
So, two bits of good news, and one somewhat worrying uncertainty.

Good news number one, my parts arrived today, two days ahead of schedule, and that's awesome, since I have today off work! (well, I have tomorrow two, but if I spend Thanksgiving under the car, I'll likely be forced to sleep there by the family!)

Good news number two, my 6 speed manual gearbox version has nothing in the way of the forward bolt coming out there's literally nothing there except for a piece of the plastic splash guard. Clearly God drives a stick :)

Just to check, the bolt that causes the trouble normally is the one that is labeled "119 (12, 88)" in the diagram that scarecrowdjinn posted, right?

However, that bolt doesn't seem to have a nut on the back of it? It looks like it just screws into something captive in the subframe. Is that right? At first I thought someone had totally rounded it off trying to get it out, but looking at the other side, and the diagram, I think that it screws right into the subframe.

This might seem like a stupid question, but I'm lacking a socket for this bolt right now, and have to wait for my wife to come back to take me to buy more tools (yeah, I'm not normally into this level of car work!) So, I figured I'd ask while I'm waiting.

I have another question about that bolt. What do those numbers in the diagram mean? That is, what's the significance of "119 (12, 88)". I notice several bolts with that label, so I'm guessing it's a description, not an identity. But it would be great to actually know...?

Thanks again for everyone's help by the way, it's *really* a great relief to discover I'm not totally alone in my effort to fix this!
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Belay that question on the numbers. I just realized that 119 Newton Meters is equal to 12 Kgf-M and 88 ft-lb :) That seems too much of a coincidence, so I'm going to believe that (at least unless anyone screams otherwise!)
Oh, but wait, now I realize I totally misunderstood. scarecrowdjinn's observation about the bolt for #12 was referring to the vertical link (part number 12). I thought we were talking about the forward pivot bolt--because it has that number 119 (12, 88) and I mistook that for being what you were referring to.

Did I mention this is not within my normal range of car work. Sigh :(

Anyway, I did want to replace that vertical (I bought it). So, perhaps that's still going to give me trouble... I'll take another look.

Sorry for rambling and being so inexperienced.
You got it right on the numbers being the various ways to express torque.
Just to clarify my ramblings.

The horizontal bolt that connects the lower control arm to the sub-frame "119(12,88)" is the one where you either have to jack up the engine or lower the sub-frame to get it out.

The lower bolt on #12 (linkage) can be problem in the rust belt, the fuses into the #12 part. This is only a problem if you need to replace this part. Other wise, If you choose to lower the frame, just remove the upper bolt on #12 and leave the bottom one alone.
Thanks, I understand now!

I have succeeded in my replacement of the control arm. I didn't bother with the vertical in the end (though I might yet go back to it particularly if they tell me that they still can't do the wheel alignment for any reason). Two things I discovered:

- as I mentioned, with the six-speed manual, the troublesome horizontal pivot bolt is a non-issue. There's nothing in the way:)
- I got hold of the workshop manual that scarecrowdjinn had shown a picture from and discovered that the white cross on a black circle background (the one that looks like a philips/crosshead screw) that shows up in the image means "do not reuse this part". So, I'll be putting a new nut on that vertically oriented pivot bolt fairly soon

Other than that, guess what? All the experience I got on the left side will soon get practiced on the right side. I took it in for alignment after finishing the left side, and they told me the ball joint on the right side is shot too (just nowhere near as badly/obviously as the one on the left, for which the arm itself was also bent about 20 degrees!)

Anyway, many thanks again for all the help, encouragement, and explanations!
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