How do you replace front axle lug bolts for 1998 Nissan Maxima?

I just replaced a broken lug bolt on a front wheel of my son's 1996 Nissan Maxima. You'll need metric sockets, a big socket wrench or bar, a good sized hammer (you don't need a sledge hammer), and probably penetrating oil to loosen things if they're rusted or corroded. The replacement lug bolt and lug nut cost less than 5 dollars at Checker Auto Parts.

Start with the car on a flat level surface with parking brake set. You might want to chock the wheels you're not working on to be certain the car doesn't roll.

Place a jack under the car. Before lifting the car with the jack, slightly loosen all lug nuts a quarter turn. Jack the car and finish removing the lug nuts and the wheel. Remove the brake caliper by removing two bolts on the back side of the caliper and sliding it off the brake pads. Remove the brake pads, remembering which pad is on the inner and outer side, and mark the top of each pad for reassembly. Next, remove the caliper mounting bracket by removing two large bolts on the back; I think I used a 19mm socket. Remove the rotor.

The lug bolt is pressed into the hub from the back side of the hub. Spray the bolt on both sides of the hub liberally with penetrating oil and wait 15 minutes. There is a metal shield on the back side of the hub with a small cutout. Place the transmission in neutral and rotate the hub by hand to align the bolt with the cutout. Place the transmission back in Park. Use a hammer to hammer the bolt from the outside (thread side) of the hub. If you want a bigger target to hit, thread a lug nut on what's left of the broken bolt, flat side out, and stop threading just before the bolt pokes through. Hammer on the flat side of the nut. I used a socket drive bar against the end of the bolt and hit the other end of the bar with the hammer. It took about 5 solid hits to pop the bolt free.

Place the new bolt loosely in the hole facing out. Place the rotor back on. Thread a lug nut on the new bolt with the flat side of the nut against the rotor. Tighten the nut with a lug wrench. As you tighten the nut, the shank of the new bolt will be pulled through the hole. When the bolt is fully seated, the nut will be difficult to turn. Remove the nut and rotor to see if you've pulled the lug bolt fully through the hub and the bolt head is flat against the back of the hub. Tighten more if necessary until the bolt head is flat and fully seated against the hub.

With the rotor back on the hub, re-install the caliper mounting bracket, brake pads, caliper, and then mount the wheel with the lug nuts finger tight. Remember, the angled side of the lug nuts face toward the wheel to center the wheel holes on the bolts. If you have touched the brakes and the piston on the caliper has compressed a little, it won't fit over the brake pads. You'll need to manually compress the caliper piston just enough to slide over the brake pads. Use a C clamp and a piece of flat scrap wood over the piston cup to compress the piston.

Lower the car until the tire touches the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts using a crisscross pattern.