2001 Nissan Altima Removing Tire Rod End
The 2001 production year was the last for the second generation Nissan Altima, which was originally named the "Nissan Stanza Altima." The 2001 Nissan Altima came equipped with a 2.4-liter, in-line DOHC four-cylinder engine, capable of producing 155-horsepower, and was available in the SE, GLE, GXE and Limited Edition GXE trim packages. The outer tie rods on the 2001 Altima, are responsible for maintaining the toe alignment of the car. Toe alignment is the angle that the wheels face in or out, based on the front and rear tread faces of the tires.
 Tools Used
|1-ton or greater capacity floor jack|
|2 jack stands|
|3/8-inch-drive ratchet and socket set|
|Small pry bar|
|1/2-inch-drive torque wrench and socket set|
|1/2-inch-drive wheel nut socket|
 Removing Tire Rod End
- Loosen the front wheel lug nuts on the Altima. Raise the front of the Altima with a jack. Place jack stands beneath the front sub-frame rails, on both sides of the engine. Lower the car onto the jack stands. Remove the front lug nuts, then remove the front wheels completely.
- Remove the cotter pin from on of the outer tie rod ends, where it attaches to the steering knuckle. Use pliers to remove the pin. Remove the castle nut from the outer tie rod end ball stud, using a ratchet and socket. Loosen the jam nut on the inboard end of the outer tie rod, using an open-end wrench. Install a second open-end wrench on the outboard end of the inner tie rod, to hold it in place while you loosen the nut.
- Insert a pry bar between the head of the tie rod end and the steering knuckle. Pry the tie rod end up and out of the steering knuckle. Remove the outer tie rod from the inner tie rod, by placing an open-end wrench on the inner tie rod. Turn the outer tie rod counterclockwise to remove it from the inner tie rod. Count the number of turns you make while removing the tie rod end. This will help you during the installation process.
- Install a new outer tie rod end onto the inner tie rod end. Hold the inner tie rod end and spin the outer clockwise, the same amount of turns you made when removing the old tie rod end. Make sure the outer tie rod end ball stud is facing downward when you are finished with installing the end. Insert the ball stud downward through the steering knuckle.
- Tighten the jam nut against the new outer tie rod with an open-end wrench, while holding the inner tie rod still. Install the castle nut onto the outer tie rod ball stud, and tighten the nut between 22 and 28 foot-pounds of torque with a 1/2-inch torque wrench and socket. Install a new cotter pin through the ball stud to hold the castle nut in place. Bend the straight ends of the cotter pin to lock the pin onto the ball stud, using pliers. Tighten the nut enough to accommodate the cotter pin, if needed. Never loosen the castle nut.
- Repeat Steps 2 through 6 to complete the outer tie rod replacement on the second side of the Altima. Install the front wheels when you are finished, then tighten the lug nuts snug with a tire iron. Raise the Altima off the jack stands. Lower the Altima to the ground and tighten the front lug nuts to 90 foot-pounds, using the torque wrench and a wheel nut socket.
- Take the Altima to a professional auto repair facility to have the car aligned properly. Do not depend on your backyard alignment and installation to be trustworthy or accurate. Laser-guided alignments are accurate within 0.01-degrees.
 Tips & Warnings
- Replacing both outer tie rod ends simultaneously will increase the stability and steering strength of the car.
- Never raise a vehicle on uneven ground or on a slope. This can cause jacks or jack stands to collapse.