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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's funny how auto makers invent new technical terms for parts. The transverse link (control arm) ball joint had to be removed from my car.

I noticed a clunking sound when accelerating from a stop and when braking to a stop. After jacking up the front end it became apparent after shaking each wheel that one ball joint had failed. It was getting loose in the ball and was not tight like normal.

If you have the PSU.pdf file can you send it to me. I'll write a procedure for other Versa owners and post it. Alternatively, if someone wants to post the procedure that would be great.
 

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It's funny how auto makers invent new technical terms for parts. The transverse link (control arm) ball joint had to be removed from my car.

I noticed a clunking sound when accelerating from a stop and when braking to a stop. After jacking up the front end it became apparent after shaking each wheel that one ball joint had failed. It was getting loose in the ball and was not tight like normal.

If you have the PSU.pdf file can you send it to me. I'll write a procedure for other Versa owners and post it. Alternatively, if someone wants to post the procedure that would be great.
It's your right to ask the PSU to the dealership and that is their responsibility. I was into the same situation when noticing that the car is shaking and that was the first time i encountered that issue. The mechanic replaced the whole control arm as their is damaged on it which definitely create the unwanted sound coming from under.

____________________________
http://www.car-stuff.com/controlarm.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How many miles were on your V's when your ball joints failed? On my V it happened at 107000 miles.
103000 km, ~60,000 miles

I had not done suspension work on cars in about 15 years, so I was a bit rusty and missing a couple of tools. The pickling fork was needed; although it is such an *old* school design to have to break the ball joint out of the spindle. wack, wack, wack, wack... and finally it let loose.

My suggestion is that the ball joint be broken free of the spindle before the control are bolts are removed from the frame members.

I reused the nuts and bolts, but the manual states to replace them. Any thoughts about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
An update... my first post above was for the failure of the left side ball joint. The right side failed a month ago. I just did the repair for the right side and have an update.

The knuckle where the ball joint stem inserts will refuse to let go. I had to drive a chisel/wedge into the steering knuckle (where it is split for the ball joint stem) to open it very slightly. When that was done the control dropped after a couple of hits.

Again, I say this is a poor design, poor parts that Nissan is using, and a waste of time. Great for the dealership that does service, lousy for the customer. For an extra $10 I'm confident Nissan could have used much better quality parts.

FSU...
TRANSVERSE LINK
Removal and Installation INFOID:0000000004305869
REMOVAL
1. Remove front tires using power tool.
2. Remove transverse link ball joint nut and bolt. Then, remove transverse link from steering knuckle.
3. Remove transverse link nuts and bolts, then remove transverse
link from front suspension member.
NOTE:
When removing LH transverse link it may be necessay to lower
the suspension member in order to remove bolts to avoid con-tact with the transaxle.
a. Set jack under front suspension member.
b. Loosen RH upper link bolts, LH upper link bolt (front suspension
member side), front suspension member bolts (left/right). Lower
the front suspension member in order to remove transverse link
bolts.
4. Remove transverse link.
INSPECTION AFTER REMOVAL
Visual Inspection
Check the following:
• Transverse link and bushing for deformation, cracks or damage. Replace it if necessary.
• Ball joint boot for cracks or other damage, and alsofor grease leakage. Replace it if necessary.
Ball Joint Inspection
Manually move ball stud to confirm it moves smoothly with no binding.
Swing Torque Inspection
NOTE:
Before measurement, move ball stud at least ten times by hand to check for smooth movement.
• Hook a spring balance at the cutout on ball stud. Confirm spring
balance measurement value is within specifications when ball stud
begins moving.
• If it is outside the specified range, replace transverse link assem-bly.
Axial End Play Inspection
• Move tip of ball stud in axial direction to check for looseness.
• If it is outside the specified range, replace transverse link assembly.
INSTALLATION
Installation is in the reverse order of removal.
• For tightening torque, refer to FSU-10, "Component".
• Perform final tightening of bolts and at the front suspension member installation position (rubber bushing)
under unladen conditions with tires on level ground. Check wheel alignment. Refer to FSU-7, "Wheel Align-ment Inspection"
 

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The knuckle where the ball joint stem inserts will refuse to let go. I had to drive a chisel/wedge into the steering knuckle (where it is split for the ball joint stem) to open it very slightly. When that was done the control dropped after a couple of hits.
I just finished up replacing the passenger side control arm on my Versa tonight. Like you, I had a heck of a time getting the ball joint stem goes up into the knuckle. It took a lot of hammering, wedging, prying, and generous helpings of PB Blaster before it finally came loose.

The bolt that goes through the knuckle ended up getting sheared off in the process, so I had to piece together some new hardware at O'Reilly's. I may break down and buy a replacement bolt and nut direct from Nissan just to get the factory style hardware in there at some point.
 

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Agree. It was tough to get the ball joint off the knuckle. I cut the rubber boot to expose the ball. Use my air hammer with the V shape chisel bit to hammer at ball to knock it off the knuckle. After I figured this out, it only took me 10 seconds to take it off.

FYI: I have 2007 Versa SL CVT transmission. The transmission is not in the way of taking one of bolt out of the driver side lower control arm. Less work if you have a CVT.

Update 1: I am wondering how Nissan technician press it out without damaging the ball joint when my car need to change CV boot, axle or wheel bearings. I may take the control arm out leaving the ball joint attached the knuckle. After removing the axle nut, slide the axle out of the knuckle with the lower control arm attached. With the axle out of the way, I can use my air hammer to knock it out from the top with a flat head attachment.
 

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Thanks to everyone who has contributed to these forums. My 2008 Nissan Versa SL Hatchback with 125K miles just failed a Massachusetts safety inspection and these forums were essential in making the needed repairs.

I ended up replacing the inner and outer tie rods (both sides), both stabilizer connecting rods, and both lower control arms (transverse links) with ball joints. I thought I would help others by posting a few tips, along with the information I spent a long time looking for...

Nissan Versa 2008

-- Factory Repair Manual - Front Suspension: Download (The relevant steps are posted above, but the diagram and other details are helpful.
-- Full Manual for 2008 Nissan Versa: Download
-- As mentioned above, I can confirm that the CVT Versa does NOT have the known issue with removing the control arm bolt on the driver's side. This makes the work a thousand percent easier.

Torque Specs (from service manual) for Control Arm:
--Lugs - 83 ft/lb
--Control arm left bolt (one with horizontal orientation) - 88 ft/lb
--Control arm right bolt (one with vertical orientation) - 102 ft/lb
--Lower ball joint pinch bolt: 41 ft/lb


Other Torque Specs for Pressing in New Ball joint with Control Arm attached, replacing tie rods, or stabalizer connecting rods:

--Inner Tie Rod - 63 ft/lb
--Outer tie rod lock nut - 31 ft/lb
--Outer tie rod castle nut - 25 ft/lb
--Axle nut - 83 ft/lb
--Caliper pin bolt: 20 ft/lb
--Stabalizer connecting rod bolts (upper and lower) - 27 ft/lb
--Strut to knuckle bolts: 129 ft/lb
--Abs/wheel sensor 7 ft/lb

Notes on the steps for replacing control arms:
--I followed the general steps provided in the service manual and posted earlier in this thread.
--The control arms come off after three bolts are removed: (1) Ball joint pinch bolt in knuckle, (2) left bolt that goes horiztonally through bushing, and (3) right bolt that goes veriitically through bushing. In regard to #2 and #3 , when facing either the passenger or driver side control arm, bolt #2 is on the left, toward the front of the car. It goes through its bushing horizontally. And, bolt 3 is on the right, toward the rear of the car. It goes through its bushing vertically.
--After soaking each bolt w/ penetrating oil, I removed the pinch bolt first, using a punch to get it out. Careful here since you'll be re-using all these bolts.
--I then placed the spare tire jack with one of these jack pads on top beneath the rotor. I raised the jack just a bit to provide support so that I could more effectively hammer out the ball joint stem from the knuckle. Ball joint came out without hammering on the ball or prying open the knuckle as some videos suggest.
--I then removed the left and right bolts. It helped to turn the steering wheel to get some clearance for removing the control arm, which came out without much trouble.
--For me, reinstalling the new arms was more difficult than getting them out
--I started by inserting the vertical bushing and bolt (right side, bolt 3). I loosely threaded the nut. This helped keep the vertical bushing oriented correctly while the horizontal bushing was aligned
--Then, I rotated the arm on bolt 2 until the horiztonal bushing was aligned and I could insert bolt 2. Again, turning the wheel helped with clearance here.
--Finally, I shifted the ball joint stem with closed wrench until it was aligned with knuckle. I got it loosely set into knuckle but couldn't get it to pop fully into place. This is where the spare tire jack and jack pad came in handy again. I set the jack pad tilted (~30 degrees toward ball joint) with one side against the lower control arm (which is not level with the ground) and the other side pinched between the slot in the stock nissan jack. I raised the jack slowly and the ball joint slid easily into the knuckle. Look down at top of knuckle as you are doign this so that you can stop raising jack when stem is flush with top of the knuckle.
--Torqued everything to spec and then went to get the alignment checked. Bolt 1 required a 6 inch extension and a universal joint was helpful to clear the back of caliper.
--Also, if you are replacing the stabalizer connecting rods at the same time, the lower bolts are hard to access with a torque wrench. For reference, I used the 1/2 inch drive Tekton 24335 which is 18 3/8" long. I barely managed to get this wrench to fit with a shallow impact socket and an impact universal adapter.

Hope this helps!
 

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Clint - even though you wrote this a while ago, I have the exact same car and this is going to be a huge help to me next week. Thanks for taking the time. Hope your hatchback still chugging along. Mine's still going strong.


Thanks to everyone who has contributed to these forums. My 2008 Nissan Versa SL Hatchback with 125K miles just failed a Massachusetts safety inspection and these forums were essential in making the needed repairs.

I ended up replacing the inner and outer tie rods (both sides), both stabilizer connecting rods, and both lower control arms (transverse links) with ball joints. I thought I would help others by posting a few tips, along with the information I spent a long time looking for...

Nissan Versa 2008

-- Factory Repair Manual - Front Suspension: Download (The relevant steps are posted above, but the diagram and other details are helpful.
-- Full Manual for 2008 Nissan Versa: Download
-- As mentioned above, I can confirm that the CVT Versa does NOT have the known issue with removing the control arm bolt on the driver's side. This makes the work a thousand percent easier.

Torque Specs (from service manual) for Control Arm:
--Lugs - 83 ft/lb
--Control arm left bolt (one with horizontal orientation) - 88 ft/lb
--Control arm right bolt (one with vertical orientation) - 102 ft/lb
--Lower ball joint pinch bolt: 41 ft/lb


Other Torque Specs for Pressing in New Ball joint with Control Arm attached, replacing tie rods, or stabalizer connecting rods:

--Inner Tie Rod - 63 ft/lb
--Outer tie rod lock nut - 31 ft/lb
--Outer tie rod castle nut - 25 ft/lb
--Axle nut - 83 ft/lb
--Caliper pin bolt: 20 ft/lb
--Stabalizer connecting rod bolts (upper and lower) - 27 ft/lb
--Strut to knuckle bolts: 129 ft/lb
--Abs/wheel sensor 7 ft/lb

Notes on the steps for replacing control arms:
--I followed the general steps provided in the service manual and posted earlier in this thread.
--The control arms come off after three bolts are removed: (1) Ball joint pinch bolt in knuckle, (2) left bolt that goes horiztonally through bushing, and (3) right bolt that goes veriitically through bushing. In regard to #2 and #3 , when facing either the passenger or driver side control arm, bolt #2 is on the left, toward the front of the car. It goes through its bushing horizontally. And, bolt 3 is on the right, toward the rear of the car. It goes through its bushing vertically.
--After soaking each bolt w/ penetrating oil, I removed the pinch bolt first, using a punch to get it out. Careful here since you'll be re-using all these bolts.
--I then placed the spare tire jack with one of these jack pads on top beneath the rotor. I raised the jack just a bit to provide support so that I could more effectively hammer out the ball joint stem from the knuckle. Ball joint came out without hammering on the ball or prying open the knuckle as some videos suggest.
--I then removed the left and right bolts. It helped to turn the steering wheel to get some clearance for removing the control arm, which came out without much trouble.
--For me, reinstalling the new arms was more difficult than getting them out
--I started by inserting the vertical bushing and bolt (right side, bolt 3). I loosely threaded the nut. This helped keep the vertical bushing oriented correctly while the horizontal bushing was aligned
--Then, I rotated the arm on bolt 2 until the horiztonal bushing was aligned and I could insert bolt 2. Again, turning the wheel helped with clearance here.
--Finally, I shifted the ball joint stem with closed wrench until it was aligned with knuckle. I got it loosely set into knuckle but couldn't get it to pop fully into place. This is where the spare tire jack and jack pad came in handy again. I set the jack pad tilted (~30 degrees toward ball joint) with one side against the lower control arm (which is not level with the ground) and the other side pinched between the slot in the stock nissan jack. I raised the jack slowly and the ball joint slid easily into the knuckle. Look down at top of knuckle as you are doign this so that you can stop raising jack when stem is flush with top of the knuckle.
--Torqued everything to spec and then went to get the alignment checked. Bolt 1 required a 6 inch extension and a universal joint was helpful to clear the back of caliper.
--Also, if you are replacing the stabalizer connecting rods at the same time, the lower bolts are hard to access with a torque wrench. For reference, I used the 1/2 inch drive Tekton 24335 which is 18 3/8" long. I barely managed to get this wrench to fit with a shallow impact socket and an impact universal adapter.

Hope this helps!
 
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