Nissan Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! Name is Nate, and as the title says I have a 93 Sentra XE with a GA16DE motor on an auto tranny. I've read around these forums a little but havn't really used them till today. Reason I need the forum for now, is that I have a bad half shaft (CV Joint) that I need to replace and my wife is not confident that this is a job I should be performing. The part is like, 75 bucks or so w/tax, and it costs 169 to have a shop install it here. I've never done a half shaft and have some questions that hopefully the forums or people in the forums will be able to help me out with.

1- What are the procedures to replacing the drivers side half shaft.
2- Is a front end alignment required afterwards like it is on a Caravan.
3- Are there any special tools that I need to have like ring pliers or anything like that.

As for the car and future plans, well, plans yes, funds to make it happen, no not really. But eventually I'd like to put a body kit, upgrade the breaks to 4 wheel ABS all disc and capable disc breaks at that. Also I'm not sure which way to go, but, 1.5" lowering springs vs. coilovers, strut bars and anti sways. Then there's a list of other things for the motor, but I'm not sure how worthy this car is of the treatment simply because it's an auto and I don't know how many horses it's capable of performing along side of. Assuming it's pretty capeable, it will eventually get headers, and a disco potato w/intercooler kit.

The car already has 127K miles on it so, I'm sure there's other maintenance things that will need to be done, but for now the half shaft is really popping when accelerating around corners, heck, sometimes not even with the accelerating part. So, time to get her done.

I bought the car about a month ago from a guy who put it in the paper for 1900. I talked him down 400 becuase I had cash and because I knew it would have some little things that would need to be done, like.. the rear breaks are nearly gone (maybe 500 miles left on them?), and the half shaft popping indicating it would need replacement, and finally there is some mild body damage that is a bunch of little indentations which looks like someone popped it out from the inside from a minor fender bender (Rear drivers side corner under the tail light/turn signal). So, I've got some work cut out for me.

So far the car has been fun to drive, slow off the line, but zippy for a 110 HP car. Mods completed.. well, if you want to call them mods, I changed the air filter to a Fram AirHog, and changed the oil to Mobil One Pure Synthetic 5w30. Fuel economy was 21 on the first tank, so I did that work and it went up to 24. And I ran some Slick50 Fuel System cleaner through it and have gotten 27 in town on my last 2 tanks of fuel. From what I gather that's pretty much par for this motor with an auto tranny, so I'm happy with that.

The only thing I don't like for sure, is the smell of the car when I've pushed it. After I get out and walk around the front, it has almost a rotten egg smell which I'm assuming means either my Cat is bad, or something along the lines of a faulty EGR/PCV. Any thoughts?

That's it for now. If anyone knows or has specifics on the replacement steps and ease of work to replace the half shaft please holla at me. I am doing this in the street at my apartment and have a basic toolbox so keep that in mind when considering what tools I might need to complete the work.

Thanks for the warm welcome!
 

·
even better the 2nd time
Joined
·
2,719 Posts
welcome to NF

hopefully somone with a GA can help ya out
you might try posting this in the GA16 or B13 sections tho, you might get more views there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bumpin said:
Moved to the B13 section.
Thanks for putting this in a more appropriate place.

Since I posted, I tried pulling my driver side half shaft and ended up breaking 2 craftsman sockets on the strut tower bolts. So, I'm going to assume I will have to use an impact wrench and high impact bits to break those free.. which I do not have at this time.

I did get some quotes to get the job done, parts labor, out the door, and the best I could get is 166.90. Most shops quoted me 220-290 ( huge variance isn't it?) to get it done and out the door. I'm curious, what's a good price?

Thanks for the help, any info on this is greatly appreciated. I know I may get flammed cause I'm sure this topic has to be covered somewhere in these forums, I just wasn't able to find it. And, yes, I did check sentra.net and even G20.net to see if I could find anything on it. If this is covered anywhere in these forums and you know where, please, post the link rather than wasting your time re-typing. Again, thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
The only thing I don't like for sure, is the smell of the car when I've pushed it. After I get out and walk around the front, it has almost a rotten egg smell which I'm assuming means either my Cat is bad, or something along the lines of a faulty EGR/PCV. Any thoughts?
I would guess a bad cat. I have the same car. Just replaced my PCV valve with an OEM one from dealership, and removed EGR and cleaned the carboned up pintle this week. Definite improvement.

Not able to help you with your drive shaft. My mechanic has replaced outer boots 2 times, and the Mitsu dealership replaced the passenger side shaft when I bought it. The previous owner was driving it with a ripped boot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
replacing the axle is soooo easy. what my dad showed me was: drop the lower control arm and then disconnect the strut, and the axle should be freed up by now, then just pop the axle out and pop the new one in before all the fluid leaks, and without messing up the seal. it was so easy that me and a friend did it again in his drive way when i broke the axle my dad just rewplaced a month ago :)o dont ask)
 

·
absolutely classic
Joined
·
455 Posts
nhladky said:
Since I posted, I tried pulling my driver side half shaft and ended up breaking 2 craftsman sockets on the strut tower bolts. So, I'm going to assume I will have to use an impact wrench and high impact bits to break those free.. which I do not have at this time.

I did get some quotes to get the job done, parts labor, out the door, and the best I could get is 166.90. Most shops quoted me 220-290 ( huge variance isn't it?) to get it done and out the door. I'm curious, what's a good price?
There's no reason to be removing the strut tower bolts... unless you are doing the struts too... Changing the axle is pretty simple. Getting the hub nut off is a pain if you don't have an impact. After that, it's simple. I remove the rotors so I have more room to play with, take out the two bolts that hold the hub assembly to the suspension. Pop the axle from the transmission with a large screwdriver or prybar and a mallet, but don't dent anything (ie: whack the crap out of it). Swing the hub assembly out and pull the axle. You will lose trans fluid so be ready for that, it's actaully a great time to throw some new fluid in. Put the new axle in and make sure you get it seated by pushing on it good a few times. DO NOT pull on the axle after it's in the transmission, you could mess the CV's up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kindfiend said:
Take out the two bolts that hold the hub assembly to the suspension. Pop the axle from the transmission with a large screwdriver or prybar and a mallet, but don't dent anything (ie: whack the crap out of it). Swing the hub assembly out and pull the axle. You will lose trans fluid so be ready for that, it's actaully a great time to throw some new fluid in. Put the new axle in and make sure you get it seated by pushing on it good a few times. DO NOT pull on the axle after it's in the transmission, you could mess the CV's up.
Thanks for the tip! That makes it sound more like something I should be able to do on my own. Just a few questions from the neighbor hood suspension idiot- 1- What does the control arm look like or where is it, and 2- Which 2 bolts hold that hub assembly to the suspension?

So far I'm able to pull the axle nut, and pull the 2 bolts that hold the rotor and break calipers to the wheel hub. But I'm not sure what to pull next that will allow the hub to pull away from the suspension giving me the extra ~4 " I need to pull the whole shaft. Is there something I'm missing? If I'm understanding this correctly, the 2 bolts would be the antisway looking bar, and the bolt that holds the lower arm to the bottom of the wheel hub. Is this correct? Sorry, I really am a suspension idiot, and I don't have a book. I looked at getting the Haynes book and it was way too vague, so I started looking for a Chiltons and never did find one. The help is definately appreciated. I've continued looking through the forums for this info, and still have not found it, you guys are hitting right on the info I need though, so thank you for that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've written a walkthrough for replacing both halfshafts since I had to do them both to get the driverside done. Was kind of odd, but I got ahold of a mechanic shops documentation and it is in the directions. I will post this in another thread just for people who are wanting info on how to do this job and not sure about it or who just have questions. Here it is!

The job isn't that hard, but it will take a few hours so make sure you have about 4 hours to get it done. I'll detail the work I did here:

First of all, my Sentra is is also an 93 XE Automatic and it does not have ABS. You will know if you have ABS by checking to see if you have disk breaks on the rear wheels. If drum breaks are back there, then you do NOT have ABS. This makes the job easy. For the record, I don't think the XE Automatics came with ABS, I believe the SE-Rs and 240's do.

I'll go with basics to make this a walkthrough for you. First thing's first, if you are going to have to change out the drivers side be prepared to pull the passenger side. The procedure is almost identical on both sides, I will note the only difference in procedures when the time comes. The reason you can not pull the driver side w/o pulling the passenger side is pressure related. The seals will not release on the driver side till the passenger side has been removed. Not sure why, but I pryed for a good 30 minutes before I read that part, and believe me, the drivers side will not come out till the passenger side is removed.

1- First pull your hub caps for both front tires, and make sure your rear wheels are blocked and your transmission is in neutral with the E-Brake on.

2- In the middle of the hub is the axle bolt that has a crown with a cotter pin in it. Remove the cotter pin with a flat head screwdriver and pliers, the crown will slide off with ease. Put these parts side by side.

You will need a 32mm high impact deep socket with 1/2" drive, and a breaker bar. The stock torque on the axel bolt is 150 ft/lbs, so you will likely want your breaker to be at least 1.5 ft or more. You'll probably have to use your legs to break the bolts free. Note- all bolts turn counter clockwise to remove. Do not remove the axle bolt, but do break it free so it will come off easily later.

Remember, if doing the driver side (left) half shaft(axle), you will have to remove the passenger side half shaft first.

3- Loosen the lug nuts for both front tires. Jack up both sides of the vehicle and lower onto jackstands. Make sure you push on the front sides of the vehicle once on the jackstands to make sure the vehicle is secure while you are underneath it. Remove the lug nuts from the front tires and place them under the center of the vehicle at the outer edges. This will act as a fail safe should your jackstands fail.

4- There are 2 bolts behind the disk breaks that hold the calipers/pads and rotors on. Remove these bolts (9/16ths if I recall) using a cresent wrench (a socket will not get on the upper bolt, but will on the lower). There is a clip holding the break line to the bottom of the strut behind the nuckle, remove it with a flat head screwdriver and set the clip aside. Slide the break line from the clip housing. Use some twine or a coathanger to suspend the calipers up by the springs where they will be out of the way. Do this for both sides if replacing driver side half shaft.

5- Finish removing the axle bolts and place them next to the crown and cotter pins on each side of the vehicle.

6- The nuckle is the last part we have left to pull from the suspension. These bolts were extremely difficult and I snapped many 11/16ths sockets before I bought a set of deep socket high impact sockets with lifetime warranties to get the job done. You will need 2 wrenches, one for both the nut and the bolt, pull on the right, push on the left(as facing the bolts to pull them). I used one end of a 4 way lug puller, and a deep socket impact bit on a pry bar. To be honest, these 4 bolts were the hardest for me because of the lack of space and leverage I had available.

7- With the nuckle bolts removed the hub will swing away from the chasis giving you the needed room to remove the half shafts(axles) from the hub. Remove them using a rubber mallot, they should come out with a few good taps.

8- Starting with the passenger side half shaft, using a 16" prybar with a 1" 45 degree angle on the end (can buy at local D&B, CSK, Napa or AutoZone) or just a really good prybar that you can fit in there, wedge the prybar between the inner CV casing and the transfer case, pry fairly hard, then rotate the shaft by hand, pry again. I had to turn the shaft 4 times, 1/4 rotation each time and the 4th pry popped it out. Remove half shaft from transfercase.

9- You can do this either of 2 ways. A- Use a really long screwdriver (metal only, do not try using a dowel- don't want wood in your tranny), slide the screwdriver into the transfercase through the passenger side half shaft opening. There is a bar dividing the center where the shafts come close together. Go to the top or side of this divider bar and use your rubber mallot to hit the but of the screwdriver. This method requires a lot of dextarity because there's not going to be much room under there to swing.
OR
B- Use your pry bar to pry the driver side shaft out using the same method as the passenger side. There will be more room on this side to work with for leverage, and you'll need it. You will probably have to pry and turn this shaft 6 to 10 times before it will pop out.

Voila, removing is the hard part. When putting the shafts back in, do not use a normal hammer as this can and likely will damage the transfer case seperating pin (will hose your tranny!). Instead, slide the proper end of the driveline into the transfer case (will have a little metal snap ring, can't miss it-DO NOT install replacements if they do not have snaprings present or you will blow your new parts in a week). Once you have the shaft lined up, you can tap it into place just by sliding it in. If it does not lock in (and you'll hear the snap ring lock it into place), then simply repeat adding a little more pressure or speed till it does lock into place and is secure. At this point, you only have to install the other side and do the reverse of this whole procedure.

I might add that when you are done, you will probably want to take your car down for an alignment. My adventure in this project required 16 bucks for tools or tool replacements I should say, and 153 for both reman half shafts from CSK (Checker,Schucks,Krager) and they come with limited lifetime warranties for lifetime of the vehicle. They will warranty them provided you keep a recipt of the front end alignment after putting them in. My front end alignment was 40 bucks from Big O Tires. Had I gone to a mechanic to have this done I would have paid 340 Minimum for the parts/labor. I did it for under 170 for parts and tools and a good bonding experience with my car. :)

If you have any questions or are just not sure about whether you can do this task or not, feel free to email me: [email protected] . I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top