SorryNEW ANSWER #2Cutting to the chase; unless you can align it yourself too; your better off paying someone to replace all those parts. It is a long, dirty; on your back job. Watch out for the parts stores; THE LEFT AND RIGHT; INNER AND OUTER TIE ROD ENDS ARE DIFFERENT!!. Tell them (Advance and Oreillys) their catalog/computer is wrong; if they argue. I learned the hard way. If you have a good mechanic friend; pay them $100; buy all your parts at NAPA and rest easy. And by all means, replace everytghing you can afford to. Don't just do one or 2 components. If the boots are shot on your cv-axles; THEY CAN BE REPLACED!! You probably don't need axles; unless they are bone dry or damaged. About 10$ a boot. Go to Ebay and get a repair CD and it will tell you how to dis-assemble the axle(s). It's not hard, but very greasy. I just did this last month...... The Real Dirt On Replacing Tie Rods And An Idler Arm, For 1987-1995 Nissan PathfindersThere are two options for replacing an idler arm, stock Nissan style or MOOG style. The MOOG unit (produced, quite predictably, by the MOOG company, or Federal-Mogul) will not last and is NOT recommended, even for strictly on-road driving. If your stock idler arm is bent or twisted, you will probably need to replace the whole assembly, not to mention that it probably means your centerlink is ruined already and should also be inspected for play. Just a tip. If there is simply slop in the idler arm at the pivot pin, you can easily replace the bushings that the arm rotates on. They're plastic and cost about $14 a pair at a dealership. Remove the centerlink joint from the idler arm with a balljoint or tie rod puller, then remove the nut on the bottom end of the pivot pin. The idler arm will slide off.
For replacing all four tie rods you need two outers and two inners. They're entirely reversible if you get one out of order. I've swapped them around outer-inner wise and they still work perfectly fine. You just can't get four inners or four outers to work together because the threading on the inner and outer are reversed so that after they screw into the center adjusters, they can be adjusted in and out for alignment purposes. The center adjusters can be re-used unless you need new ones due to them being stripped or damaged.
To change tie rods (both at once), remove the cotter pins from the tie rod end studs, remove the castle nut, then use a balljoint or tie rod puller to separate the joints from the centerlink on the inside and the steering knuckles on the outside. Try to avoid using a pickle fork, they can damage both your hand and the rubber boots on the (hopefully) still good parts you don't need to change. When removing the tie rods, you need to pay close attention to the length of threaded rod remaining outside the adjuster nuts in the center before you loosen the adjuster nuts. Try to keep the length the same as it used to be, or as close as you can get it. Measuring the amount of exposed threads on the old tie rods will give you an idea of exactly how far to thread together the new tie rods. Keep them even when you thread them into the adjuster so the inner isn't all the way in while the outer is all the way out, or vice-versa. That way they have a full range of adjustment travel in the adjuster for alignment.
Installation is the reverse of removal, only you don't need a puller, just tighten down the castle nuts to the proper specs before installing new cotter pins. Remember to grease your new tie rods, most new ones come with grease zerks even if the old ones didn't. By the way, you DO have a Chilton's book for the vehicle, don't you? If not, they're only $15 and one is definitely worth having. To be honest, if you're a screwdriver mechanic I would find someone you trust to help you on this project, it's not something to want to half-ass and then find out about later. -88pathoffroad
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