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Just spent this weekend replacing the CV joint boot, which is basically the same steps as replacing the joint. - Before you begin, borrow (normally free) a CV Joint Puller/or transaxle puller from a local auto store. It should be the kind with the 5 lb sliding weight. Also, get a clamping tool, if the new boot with clamps are the type that need the clamping tool (about $5). You can save a lot of time by getting a 36mm socket for the wheel nut.

- Put on emergency brake (so car doesn't roll)

- Loosen the wheel lug nuts for the side you are going to replace.

- Jack that wheel up only, and remove tire (you need the other wheel grounded to give you leverage when you remove the main wheel nut).

- Remove wheel nut cotter pin.

- Remove nut cap.

- Remove wheel nut. This is difficult without the right size socket (36mm) because it has about 170lbs of torque. I used a large pair of vice grips and a hammer to remove it no problem. Needed socket on other side.

- Remove the washer.

- Now, jack up the other front side of the car, and put it on a stand. This takes all tension off the suspension which is VERY important.

- Remove the two bolts holding the brake assembly. Use a hanger to hang it from the spring out of the way. There is no reason to dissassemble the brake unit unless you want to examine the condition.

- The rotor should slip off.

- Now, unattach the strut. Remove the two bolts holding the steering nuckle to the strut. Again, this takes a lot of force and you need to use a socket (or wrench) on one side to hold the bolt while you use a socket (19mm and 17mm) to take off the nut and bolt.

- Now, rotate the steering nuckle down and away from strut. You may need to loosen the brake line, if it restricts the steering nuckle.

- There should be just enough room to pull the CV joint out of the steering nuckle. If not, try pushing down on the nuckle as you slip the CV joint out.

- Remove old outer boot and clamps (if just replacing outer boot)

- Now the fun part. Attach the CV joint puller (or transaxle puller) to the end of the CV joint axle. Using the sliding weight, thrust it outward quickly while holding the transaxle. This "should" pop the CV joint off the transaxle. If not, keep trying. If you want to simply remove the entire transaxle, don't hold the axle and allow the puller to pull on the entire assembly from the transmission. I only needed to replace the boot, so separating the CV joint from the transaxle was all I needed.

- Clean CV joint using some type of degreaser/cleaner and allow to dry.

- Check for damage of course (i.e. metal filings, broken or heavily scarred bearings or gouges inside joint). If so, you need new joint.

- Repack clean CV joint.

- Put Duct Tape over threads on transaxle, and slide new boot onto transaxle. (don't forget the clamps as well) and remove duct tape.

- Put the main wheel nut back on the end of the CV Joint assembly, as you will be striking it with a mallet. Then allign CV joint to transaxle end (which should have a C-clip at the end). Using some agility and making sure the transaxle, and CV joint are alligned and pressed toward the transmission (i.e. no play), use a heavy mallet and strike the CV joint back onto the transaxle. It took me about 10 strikes before it snapped back into position mainly because I allowed too much play and was not pushing towards the transmission so I was not getting a powerful strike with the mallet. Also, the joint has to slip past the little clip on the end of the transaxle.

- Allign the boot into position, position clamps, and clamp it down with a clamping tool or screw-driver depending on the type of clamp.

- Slide newly booted CV joint end into steering nuckle.

- Rotate nuckle up into strut, allign two holes and replace screws and nuts.

- Reattach rotor.

- Reattach brake assembly housing.

- Lower other side of car (again to give you friction when the main wheel nut goes back on.

- Reinstall washer and nut. Again, you should torque to specifications which is roughly 170-190 lbs.

- Reattach nut cap.

- Replace cotter pin (use new one if you have one)

- Reattach wheel

- Lower vehicle and test drive

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Q: How do you install or repair CV joints on a Nissan Maxima?
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