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Old 05-03-2022, 12:26 PM   #4
Cusser's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Hot Arizona
Posts: 817
Vehicle: 2004 Frontier
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Funny, I was experiencing some steering wheel and front end instability at 50 mph or more on a non-Nissan, my 1988 Mazda truck with 226K miles. I had decent 4-year-old tires on the front, the rears were older and needed replacement, so I was suspecting out-of-balance front tires, as I didn't see any real bumps or bulges when I spun those and observed.

Anyway, I had a pair of brand-new ball joints for this (bolt-in type) and 3 tie rod ends closeout from RockAuto a few years ago, plus two remaining ball joints and one tie rod end on lifetime warranty from Autozone/O'Reilly so decided why not install those. I also got new tensioner bushings and new sway bar bushings to replace the factory ones. I also found the lower lock bolt on the steering coupler was a little loose, tried to torque that, but found it stripped; I don't know if the coupler threads themselves were stripped or not, but fixed that with longer grade 8 bolt and nut.

While the wheels were off, I also noticed the factory front flexible brake lines had cracks, so I replaced those and bled the brakes (this "finding stuff before it fails" is why I like to do most of my own work.

Some of the existing tie rod ends and ball joints had torn boots, some were too-tight, some very loosey-goosey, so good that I addressed all that.

Bottom line: the two front tires were out-of-balance, so re-balanced for free; the tire guy wasn't sure if that amount of mis-balance could be the cause of the front end instability. I had the two new tires put on the front, and that solved the front end instability issues. But I'm glad that I addressed all the other stuff, which had a minimal cost due to close-out and lifetime-warranty parts.
2004 Frontier King Cab (2WD, 5-speed, 4-cylinder, 105K), 1998 Frontier regular cab (2WD, 5-speed, 4-cylinder 253K), 1988 Mazda B2200 (2WD, 5-speed, 4-cylinder, 220K), 1971 VW Convertible (140K), 2005 Yukon (215K), 1970 VW (260+K)
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