Getting the axle spindle out without pulling the ball joint apart - Maxima Forums

Go Back  Maxima Forums > Maxima Discussions > 4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
Reload this Page >

Getting the axle spindle out without pulling the ball joint apart

4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999) Visit the 4th Generation forum to ask specific questions or find out more about the 4th Generation Maxima.

Getting the axle spindle out without pulling the ball joint apart

Old 03-01-2019, 09:09 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Getting the axle spindle out without pulling the ball joint apart

Hey!

So I believe, in the past, I was able to remove the axle spindle from the wheel hub by disconnecting the knuckle from the strut, disconnecting the tie rod end from the knuckle and rotating the knuckle/hub assembly forward. This allowed me to pull out the axle. This was also before I ever replaced the lower ball joint and the old one was already falling apart.

Will I put undue stress on the lower ball joint by pulling the knuckle assembly forward and removing the axle from it? Don't want to mess up the ball joint!
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:13 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Loosen the nut to the end of the threads and give it a tap with the hammer. Undo the tie rod off the knuckle and you'll get the axle out with some manipulation Then the Ball Joint and Strut.
KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:14 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Loosen the nut to the end of the threads and give it a tap with the hammer. Undo the tie rod off the knuckle and you'll get the axle out with some manipulation Then the Ball Joint!
Hmmm which nut we talking about The one on the ball joint or the one on the axle?
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 09:24 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 550
What job you doin? I've always removed tie rod, control arm, and then the hub can be pulled off the axle, possibly needing the nut loosen to the end and a hard tap to get it out
Violator is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 10:31 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Have to replace the wheel bearing and possibly the hub. Was hoping to get the axle out without removing the lower control arm.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 11:33 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 550
It's just 6 21mm bolts and the 14mm sway bar and the nut on the ball joint. Although that ball joint and nut can rust to the knuckle I had to cut my balljoint when I changed my control

Only time I needed a wheel bearing I just took it into the shop, probably won't be doing that again
Violator is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 01:42 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
Hmmm which nut we talking about The one on the ball joint or the one on the axle?
Which Nut?

The guy sitting in your chair. LOL

The axle nut that keeps the Axle in the steering knuckle and bearings. When you loosen the nut to the end, the nut protects the treads when you tap it with the hammer to disengage it from the bearings. It's either a 32mm or 36mm socket. I have both. One for my Max and one for my Durango. I figure it out real time. LOL Impact gun knocks it loose in a flash whether the tire is off the ground or not. You DON'T need to disengage the control arm, maybe the end link if you can't manipulate the axle out. The Tie Rod end bolt is 14mm like Violator said and the Ball Joint nut is a 21mm, or maybe a 22mm. Or maybe the strut bolts are 22mm? LOL But you'll need all of those! I can get my axle out by removing the tie rod end and turning the knuckle and manipulating the axle out.

I find it easier to torque off the Ball Joint Nut off when the strut is still attached or everything will be flopping all over. Don't be cheap and get new cotter pins. LOL

Gonna be a six pack before ya know it! LOL

KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 05:02 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 550
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Which Nut?

The guy sitting in your chair. LOL

The axle nut that keeps the Axle in the steering knuckle and bearings. When you loosen the nut to the end, the nut protects the treads when you tap it with the hammer to disengage it from the bearings. It's either a 32mm or 36mm socket. I have both. One for my Max and one for my Durango. I figure it out real time. LOL Impact gun knocks it loose in a flash whether the tire is off the ground or not. You DON'T need to disengage the control arm, maybe the end link if you can't manipulate the axle out. The Tie Rod end bolt is 14mm like Violator said and the Ball Joint nut is a 21mm, or maybe a 22mm. Or maybe the strut bolts are 22mm? LOL But you'll need all of those! I can get my axle out by removing the tie rod end and turning the knuckle and manipulating the axle out.

I find it easier to torque off the Ball Joint Nut off when the strut is still attached or everything will be flopping all over. Don't be cheap and get new cotter pins. LOL

Gonna be a six pack before ya know it! LOL
Struts are 19mm bolts and 17mm nuts or the other way around
Violator is offline  
Old 03-01-2019, 06:26 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by Violator View Post
Struts are 19mm bolts and 17mm nuts or the other way around
Could be.... It's been 2 years since doing it the last time. I remember using a 22mm somewhere. Probably the Aftermarket (Moog) ball Joint Nut.
KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-02-2019, 01:53 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 10,347
Strut bolt heads are 17mm and the nuts are 19mm.
The nut on the axle shaft is 36mm.
DennisMik is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:07 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Which Nut?

The guy sitting in your chair. LOL
Har har har... Sometimes you feel like a nut

Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
I can get my axle out by removing the tie rod end and turning the knuckle and manipulating the axle out.

I find it easier to torque off the Ball Joint Nut off when the strut is still attached or everything will be flopping all over. Don't be cheap and get new cotter pins. LOL

Gonna be a six pack before ya know it! LOL
I remember this! I remember being able to get the axle out without removing the knuckle from the lower ball joint. It took a little wiggling but it worked. I'll try to find my ball joint separator just in case but I don't think I'll actually need it.
I just need to dig up my 36 mm socket...
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:07 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by DennisMik View Post
Strut bolt heads are 17mm and the nuts are 19mm.
The nut on the axle shaft is 36mm.
Thanks!!
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:06 AM
  #13  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 232
Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
Har har har... Sometimes you feel like a nut



I remember this! I remember being able to get the axle out without removing the knuckle from the lower ball joint. It took a little wiggling but it worked. I'll try to find my ball joint separator just in case but I don't think I'll actually need it.
I just need to dig up my 36 mm socket...
Yes, i've always taken out the axles without touching the ball joint. Done it with just the axle nut removed and strut bolts. Also might've unbolted the caliper for extra clearance but i don't remember.
flames101sully is online now  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:17 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
Yes, i've always taken out the axles without touching the ball joint. Done it with just the axle nut removed and strut bolts. Also might've unbolted the caliper for extra clearance but i don't remember.
Since he has to remove the whole knuckle, it's easiest to remove the tie rod end first and pull the axle without touching the strut bolts. Then he won't have the knuckle flopping when removing the ball joint nut.

So Shrout1, Loosen the Tie Rod Nut at the knuckle. Take it off and turn it around so the crown faces in and thread it to where the stud and nut are flush. Whack the metal around the tie rod stud hard with a hammer and alternately tap the tie rod stud up and it will break without using your pickle fork. Keep it for the pickles, Too risky for boot damage. Piece of cake.
KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:27 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Since he has to remove the whole knuckle, it's easiest to remove the tie rod end first and pull the axle without touching the strut bolts. Then he won't have the knuckle flopping when removing the ball joint nut.

So Shrout1, Loosen the Tie Rod Nut at the knuckle. Take it off and turn it around so the crown faces in and thread it to where the stud and nut are flush. Whack the metal around the tie rod stud hard with a hammer and alternately tap the tie rod stud up and it will break without using your pickle fork. Keep it for the pickles, Too risky for boot damage. Piece of cake.
Sounds good!

I actually don't need to take off the whole knuckle since I can push the bearing out in place.

I am curious about how one backs the hub out if you can't physically pull it off. In the change out video I watched the bearing was so far gone that the hub practically fell out when pulled... I might end up having more of a fight than that.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:52 PM
  #16  
Got Retrofit?
iTrader: (34)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 14,538
It can definitely be done without bumping the ball joint off.

I usually remove the caliper, bracket rotor along with all that you mentioned just to make things easier for myself. Electric impact makes everything a breeze
ChrisMan287 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 01:25 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Yeah I'm going to rent a slide hammer and a hub puller at Autozone this evening so we can pull it off tomorrow without a problem. Gotta go dig up the rest of my tools!
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:17 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
Yeah I'm going to rent a slide hammer and a hub puller at Autozone this evening so we can pull it off tomorrow without a problem. Gotta go dig up the rest of my tools!
If you're leaving the knuckle in the car to avoid removing from the ball joint, If you did it 2 years ago, you're making a mistake. Whack the metal around the ball joint stud with a hammer HARD. The LCA will drop if the strut is still attached. Since there's two of you, one can help a little with the fork. The Hub needs a LOT of gradual pressure when all is new to press it out. (assuming it's perfectly intact) Bearings too. And more to press in the new.

I'll have popcorn when reading about your fun doing this tomorrow night. LOL
KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 05:27 AM
  #19  
Father of the 00 VI
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: amsterdam ,new york
Posts: 3,031
Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
Have to replace the wheel bearing and possibly the hub. Was hoping to get the axle out without removing the lower control arm.
You never have to take the control arm off to change the axle. Or the spindle for that matter.

The key is to jack up both sides of the car. Takes tension off the sway bar.
krismax is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 06:12 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
If you're leaving the knuckle in the car to avoid removing from the ball joint, If you did it 2 years ago, you're making a mistake. Whack the metal around the ball joint stud with a hammer HARD. The LCA will drop if the strut is still attached. Since there's two of you, one can help a little with the fork. The Hub needs a LOT of gradual pressure when all is new to press it out. (assuming it's perfectly intact) Bearings too. And more to press in the new.

I'll have popcorn when reading about your fun doing this tomorrow night. LOL
I just don't want to deal with removing the ABS sensor, really. And if the hub being new matters then I'm in luck; this hub has about 192k miles on it.

I picked up this bearing puller / press from Amazon:

Amazon Amazon
.

I need to see if I have the correct sized wrench to hold the back nut of this thing... Might have to go buy that at lunch. In the video I posted the guy managed to back the bearing out using this tool without removing the knuckle from the car. It's possible that he just got lucky doing it, but I'm going to give it a try. Worst case I can rent a blind bearing puller from AutoZone and fit it to the slide hammer to back the old bearing out. If that fails then I won't have a choice but to pull the knuckle, find the point that the ABS sensor connects to the harness and remove everything. Then I'll take it to a shop tomorrow and have them press out the old bearing and install the new bearing / hub assembly.

I'm hoping it doesn't come to that! I'm borrowing a friend's garage and I don't want to wear out my welcome... Hopefully the thing will cooperate and come out with either even pressure from the puller or coercion from the slide hammer.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 07:54 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Like I said above............


KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 07:58 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Like I said above............


:P You are such a troll!!! I'm gonna take a picture of me *victoriously* holding the bearing (whatever is left of it) and put it on here. My smiling mug
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 09:07 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by Shrout1 View Post
:P You are such a troll!!! I'm gonna take a picture of me *victoriously* holding the bearing (whatever is left of it) and put it on here. My smiling mug
FINE!

You eat the bearings

And I'll eat the cake.... By MYSELF!

Good luck!



KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 08:31 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Ok so are there front and back snap rings inside the spindle? We pretty much messed up my press tool trying to pull the bearing out, but looking at what's still inside I think there are two retaining snap rings that we didn't see (DOH).

We removed the spindle assembly from the car entirely and I'm going to take it to a shop in town tomorrow to get the inner race pressed out. I'm pissed that I'm eating KP's cake right now because I think we just didn't look closely enough at the problem. Aargh.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 08:45 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Yeah I'm feeling like a pretty big idiot at the moment:


Parts 3 and 8 are both snap rings, both of which are still in the freaking assembly. Ermahgerd I don't know how I botched this one so badly. Geez. Next time I think I'll actually look at the FSM for realz before I do this. Outta time tho, headed on the road tomorrow - probably need to find a shop to press it out tomorrow either way. The car is living in my friend's garage overnight. I also did not have wheel seals.

Can snap rings be reused if they're still springy?

Last edited by Shrout1; 03-05-2019 at 08:47 PM.
Shrout1 is offline  
Old 03-05-2019, 10:49 PM
  #26  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Long Island
Posts: 834
Well Bubba.... I can call you that now that you live in Alabama.

In one of these threads you brought up doing this, I told you about the new bearings (NTK), Retainer Clips, Seals and Hubs, and the Hubs being the only thing you might be able to reuse. IOW, new other three parts. No acknowledgement. So I figured you were onboard. Of course there are retainer rings. How else would the bearings stay positioned in the knuckle? The guy in that video spoke of them. Musta been chowing on some Gumbo during that part, Eh?

Well, Mama always said.........

Now that you've beyond mangled the retainer clips pressing the bearings out without removing them, you better order some asap. OEM or Timken also makes them (same part numbers in and out). AND new Inner and outer seals (same part numbers in and out) Maybe you can return the press. LOL

Sorry.... I ate the WHOLE Cake. Because......Cake is for Winners. LOL

Can't wait to see the picture of YOUR MUG with the bearings AND mangled retainer rings in your mouth! LOL

Coulda been worse. It's only embarrassing. You'll survive despite all the PMs going back and forth about this laughing at you. LOL (J/K)

But seriously... No CAKE for you!

Found what I said: https://maxima.org/forums/4th-genera...ml#post9196354

Last edited by KP11520; 03-05-2019 at 10:56 PM.
KP11520 is offline  
Old 03-06-2019, 06:31 AM
  #27  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AL
Posts: 312
Originally Posted by KP11520 View Post
Well Bubba.... I can call you that now that you live in Alabama.

In one of these threads you brought up doing this, I told you about the new bearings (NTK), Retainer Clips, Seals and Hubs, and the Hubs being the only thing you might be able to reuse. IOW, new other three parts. No acknowledgement. So I figured you were onboard. Of course there are retainer rings. How else would the bearings stay positioned in the knuckle? The guy in that video spoke of them. Musta been chowing on some Gumbo during that part, Eh?

Well, Mama always said.........

Now that you've beyond mangled the retainer clips pressing the bearings out without removing them, you better order some asap. OEM or Timken also makes them (same part numbers in and out). AND new Inner and outer seals (same part numbers in and out) Maybe you can return the press. LOL

Sorry.... I ate the WHOLE Cake. Because......Cake is for Winners. LOL

Can't wait to see the picture of YOUR MUG with the bearings AND mangled retainer rings in your mouth! LOL

Coulda been worse. It's only embarrassing. You'll survive despite all the PMs going back and forth about this laughing at you. LOL (J/K)

But seriously... No CAKE for you!

Found what I said: https://maxima.org/forums/4th-genera...ml#post9196354
Oh man they say the devil's in the details. I'm flying like a million miles an hour this week and I just need to slow down... Sorry for not reading!! Well, really, doubly sorry for not reading... Because not only did I not read anything that you all said, but I didn't read the FSM or really much of anything at all... Neither my friend nor I recognized that the snap rings were snap rings :P We thought they were a part of the bearing outer race that was ruined. My noobness overwhelmed us on this job.

I also completely trashed the press tool that I bought :P The amount of force that we exerted bent the bearing pushers so they are now slightly conical... I think that tool might have been able to do it.

Anyway, I'm having quite the morning. Dropped the knuckle, the bearing & hub kit plus two wheel seals off with my mechanic. He also noted that pushing out a bearing with the snap rings in is "Impossible". At least he didn't turn me away :P

Last edited by Shrout1; 03-06-2019 at 06:41 AM.
Shrout1 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
zabnat
3rd Generation Maxima (1989-1994)
6
07-22-2016 03:03 AM
KP11520
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
17
12-22-2014 07:26 PM
Cstyle
4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999)
10
08-08-2006 10:09 PM
arges
3rd Generation Maxima (1989-1994)
9
12-19-2002 12:46 AM
arges
5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)
0
12-16-2002 10:29 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Getting the axle spindle out without pulling the ball joint apart


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.