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How to Replace Front Drivers Side CV Axle 02-06 Nissan Altima

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  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:25)
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull the wheel off the hub
    • Remove the center cap from the wheel with a flat blade screwdriver
  2. step : Removing the Axle (1:17)
    • Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut with needle nose pliers
    • Apply rust penetrant to the axle nut
    • Lift the wheel onto the hub
    • Tighten the lug nuts onto the wheel by hand
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Loosen the axle nut with a breaker bar and a 32mm nut
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull the wheel off the hub
    • Turn the hub by hand to access the ball joint cotter pin
    • Cut the cotter pin with side cutters if necessary
    • Remove the cotter pin with pliers
    • Loosen the ball joint nut with a 22mm wrench and a dead blow mallet if necessary
    • Remove the nut from the ball joint
    • Attach a ball joint separator to the ball joint
    • Turn the ball joint separator with a socket and ratchet
    • Once the ball joint is separated from the steering knuckle, remove the ball joint separator
    • Remove the axle nut from the axle
    • Apply rust penetrant to the axle splines
    • Thread the axle nut onto the axle
    • Strike the axle nut with a dead blow hammer to loosen the axle from the hub
    • Push the axle out of the hub
    • Have a drain pan ready
    • Pry the axle out of the transmission with a pry bar
    • Pull the axle off the transmission
  3. step : Installing the Axle (7:54)
    • Clean the hub splines with a rag
    • Check the condition of the axle seal on the transmission
    • Clean the seal with a rag
    • Push the axle into the transmission
    • Thread the axle nut onto the hub end of the axle
    • Tap the axle into the transmission with a dead blow hammer
    • Remove the axle nut from the axle
    • Apply rust penetrant or white grease to the axle splines
    • Feed the axle into the hub
    • Start the axle nut onto the axle by hand
    • Tighten the axle nut preliminarily with a 32mm socket and ratchet
    • Feed the ball joint stud into the wheel knuckle
    • Tighten the ball joint nut with a 22mm wrench
    • Insert the cotter pin into the 22mm nut
    • Bend the cotter pin into place with pliers
  4. step : Installing the Wheel (11:37)
    • Lift the wheel onto the hub
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Torque the axle nut to 173 - 230 foot-pounds
    • Torque the lug nuts to 73 - 86 foot pounds in a star pattern
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull the wheel off the hub
    • Fit the cotter pin through the axle nut
    • Bend the cotter pin into place with pliers
    • Clip the center cap onto the wheel
    • Lift the wheel onto the hub
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Torque the lug nuts to 73 - 86 foot pounds in a star pattern

Before you lift and support the vehicle, loosen the lug nuts with the wheel on the ground. Use a 21-millimeter socket and breaker bar. Lift and support the vehicle. With the lug nuts loose, you can use the 21-millimeter socket or just your hand. Finish removing the lug nuts. Remove the wheel. Place it aside.

You need to remove the center cap from the wheel. I'm going to take the end of a screwdriver, put the hand on this side and just give it a good whack. Your center cap will pop right out, it's spring-loaded. We'll put that aside.

Remove the cotter pin from the axle using some needle nose pliers. Spray this axle nut with rust penetrant.

Now we're going to put the wheel back on, put the vehicle on the ground. We have to loosen this axle nut with the weight of the vehicle on it so the wheel doesn't turn. I'm just putting these on snug by hand. The vehicle's not going to roll anywhere. We're just going to put it back on the ground. Simply don't want this thing spinning as we're trying to remove it with a breaker bar. Use a breaker bar and a 32 millimeter socket on the axle nut. Break it free. With the axle nut loosened and the vehicle lifted and supported, again, we can remove the wheel to continue working on removing the axle.

To remove the cotter pin, I've got some needle nose pliers. I'm going to try to bend it straight. Sometimes you've just got to grab it and wiggle the cotter pin back and forth and you'll start to see the looped end move and it's freed up. Kind of work the needle nose into it. So pry against it. When these cotter pins get rusty it can be a bit of a pain to get them out. The other trick is to use some side-cutting pliers. Sometimes you get a better grip on them on the cotter pin with the side-cutters and just work it out. Or like that. It actually cut the end off of it. Sometimes you can just cut the looped end right off. Then go back to your needle nose pliers and it's easier because you should replace these cotter pins every time you take this off, and try to slide. Grab one part of the cotter pin. This one's just going to break on me. There we go. I've got it out.

With the cotter pin removed, I can take a 22-millimeter wrench and loosen the nut. This one's on here really tight, so I'm going to take my dead blow mallet or you can use a rubber mallet on the end of the wrench. Just going to hit it, break it free. This is almost off. You really can't get a socket and a ratchet in here. If you've got a ratcheting 22-millimeter wrench, you could use that. I just have a regular box wrench, so just turn by turn, get the nut loose and off.

This control arm is made out of aluminum. It's very soft. You can try to hit the knuckle with a heavy hammer to break this out of the taper, but you could hit the control arm and damage the aluminum, so you really should use a ball joint separator tool. With the ball joint separator tool in place, I'm going to use the appropriate size ratchet and socket. Just going to gently push it out. It will snap when it comes free. Now we can pull this down and out of the way. It should come right out of the taper.

With the lower ball joint separated from the knuckle and the strut and hub assembly, we're going to remove the axle nut that we already loosened on the ground. It's a little tight. I can use the socket. It's loose. It just has some rust on the threads. I'm just going to use this to take it off. I spray some rust penetrant in here, where the splines go into the hub. With any luck this will push out.

It's kind of seized in there. I'm going to take the axle nut, put it on, take a dead blow hammer, and try to pop it out. Spray a little more rust penetrant from the backside. I've got the nut on here so that I don't mushroom the end of the axle shaft as I try to knock it out. That's as far as it'll go with the nut on there. Pull out on the hub and axle assembly like this. Push it out.

Hold the axle. I’ve got a drain pan underneath in case any transmission fluid comes out when I disconnect the axle from the transmission. I've got a small pry bar. I try to go between the subframe here and get this pry bar up and just sort of pry it out of the – there's a circlip inside that locks it in and you just snap it out of that. I'm going to use the pry bar. It's a bit tight, the clearances. There it is.

We did have some force holding them in. What's happening is there is a clip here. This clips inside of the transmission. You basically just need to pop it off of this circlip and then it slides straight out.

This is our old CV axle, pulled from our vehicle. This is our new one from Our car originally did not have ABS. The new CV axle works for cars both with and without ABS. It already comes with the tone ring. See they're the same. They are the same length, with the same style splines and circlip, same spines here, same threaded ends, and it comes with a new axle nut. This should go right in and get you on the road.

Before we try to install our new axle I'm just going to take a rag and just clean out the splines that are in here, just any loose debris. We are losing some fluid here so when we're all done you want to check and fill the transmission with the appropriate fluids the correct level, but for now I'm just going to check the condition of the seal. It looks good. I'll wipe out any dirt that's in here.

Take our CV axle, then guide it in, careful not to nick the seal on the transmission. Seems to be lined up on the splines. I'm just going to try to push it in to lock it. Try pushing it in. It's pretty stiff because it has to get over that circlip. I'm going to put our nut in the end here so I don't damage the end of the axle shaft. Use a dead blow or rubber mallet. I'm just going to tap it in. There it is. Now it's seated. It just need to be tapped a little bit.

I'm going to take this axle nut off. Take a little bit of rust penetrant or if you got some white grease or something. Now we're going to take our axle, bend it over as best we can, and push out the hub. This would come together. There it is. Push it back.

Capture our axle nut. Take that big 32 millimeter socket and I'm just going to thread it down by hand to pull it in. Switch to a ratchet to go a little faster. Okay, so right there it stopped. That's fine because I will torque this after the wheel's on the car and the vehicle is on the ground. I just wanted it tight so I can put this back together for now.

Put the ball joint back into the knuckle. If you need to you can – there you go. We'll put our nut on here. Tighten our ball joint nut down with a 22-millimeter wrench. See, it's pulling these together. It's going to pull the ball joint up into the taper of the hub. That helps to lock it in place. I'll get this nice and tight and then put a cotter pin in. Put our cotter pin in. Take some needle nose pliers. Bend it over. The ball joint is now tight.

Reinstall the wheel on the vehicle. Start the lug nuts by hand. You need to torque the center axle nut The torque as 173 to 230. I’m going to torque it to 180.

Try to reinstall the cotter pin through the wheel opening. It doesn't really fit so unfortunately you have to take the wheel back off, but is the best way to do it, is to torque it with the wheel on the ground on the car. Reinstall our cotter pin. Bend it over. Now we can clip our center cap back into place. We'll reinstall our wheel and we'll torque the lug nuts. Torque on the lug nuts is 73 to 86. Let's torque these to 80 in a cross pattern. The job is complete

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Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Jack Stands
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Drain Pan
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant
  • Paper Towels
  • Cloth Rags

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Side Cutters
  • Needle nose pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 21mm Socket
  • 32mm Socket
  • 22mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Ball Joint Press
  • Dead Blow Hammer

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 22mm Wrench

2002 - 2006  Nissan  Altima
2002 - 2003  Nissan  Altima
2004 - 2004  Nissan  Altima
2004 - 2004  Nissan  Maxima
2014 - 2017  Nissan  Altima
2013 - 2013  Nissan  Altima
2014 - 2018  Nissan  Altima
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