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Changing CVs on a N15 Pulsar

A friend's Pulsar developed the tell-tale "click, click, click" of shot CVs a while back but was able to drive on them for some time. When looking to sell the car however, the loud mechanical clicking every time a corner is taken does not make for a good sales pitch, so I took a look. In preparation I found a bunch of apparent how-to guides for changing Pulsar CVs, but found them all lacking. This then, is written as a step-by-step guide for anyone else undertaking job on a Nissan N15 Pulsar. With the right method the task is dead simple and shouldn't take much longer than an hour. It will however, be an hour of the messiest work known to the backyard mechanic, so ensure there are plenty of rags, degreaser and hand cleaner on standby.

  1. Before raising the car, crack each of the wheel lugs on one side. Pop the centre cover out of the rim cover to expose the wheel nut. The centre cover has a slot for a screwdriver to lever it off, but the plastic might be very brittle and difficult not to crack.
  2. If necessary, bend the split pin flat against the axle stub to allow a 32mm deep socket to slip over the wheel nut. Loosen the wheel nut with your torque tool of choice - breaker bar or impact wrench. It'll probably take at least 5 metric grunts to get it to budge - the factory torque spec is 196 - 275Nm.
  3. With the nuts loosened, raise the car off the wheel and place onto an jack stand. Finish removing the wheel and wheel nut. At this point the wheel makes a great seat for the rest of the job.
  4. Exposed wheel hub
  5. Undo the two bolts that hold the strut to the wheel hub. They're either 17mm or 19mm bolt and nuts and the torque spec is 114 - 133Nm, so they could use some loving too.
  6. Tap the shim out that holds the brake line to the strut and free the brake line. It can be handy to have a couple of bricks to rest the wheel hub on, and to route the brake line under the strut to maximise access to the CV joint.
  7. Now turn the steering full lock so the steering arm comes out as far as possible. Turn the hub the opposite way and lean it out off the control arm ball joint.
  8. Push the driveshaft in towards the gearbox and pull the CV joint out of the hub. It may be necessary to tap the end of the driveshaft stub that pokes through the hub. Smile when you've managed to free the CV joint.
  9. DSC02301.JPG
  10. Turn the steering back the other way and tuck the wheel hub out of the road.
  11. Raise the other side of the car up and place it on a jack stand as well.
  12. Shimmy under the front of the car head first until you can see where the driveshaft enters the gearbox. It first goes into a transaxle that has its own rubber boot with a small and a large boot band.
  13. Loosen the large boot band (the end closest to the gearbox) with a flat screwdriver and a pair of needle nosed pliers. Work the screwdriver under the boot and prise it off the transaxle. Being able to reach over and turn the opposite wheel works wonders here.
  14. Back out from under the car, carefully pull the driveshaft to remove it from the transaxle. It should come very easily now. It might be a good idea to put a plastic bag over the spider at the end of the driveshaft as soon as possible, to try to contain the grease. The bag that the new CV joint comes in might do the trick.
  15. Place the driveshaft in a vice with the CV joint hanging down. Give the star of the CV joint a few whacks with a hammer (you are replacing it, right?) until it slides off the shaft. Also remove the old boot.
  16. Driveshaft in vice
  17. Now it gets fun. Put the small boot band on, the boot itself, and then get elbow deep in grease. Pack the CV, the boot, your nostrils and your hair. Put it everywhere. Make sure the CV is full of grease, and that if the new CV came with grease, that you use it all (both packets if there are two!).
  18. Fitting the new CV on to the shaft is the last tricky bit. If you can rest the spider on some soft ground with a plastic bag around the end to contain the grease, then you can tap the CV on from the other end. Put the wheel nut on the axle stub so that most of its turns are in contact with the shaft, and then give the nut a few metric whacks. Hopefully you'll feel the circlip pop into position, but if you've done it right and packed it to the brim with grease, you'll barely notice the circlip slipping into the groove.
  19. Tighten the new small and large boot bands and swivel the CV to ensure the boot handles all angles.
  20. There are no gotchas with reassembly. Slide the drive shaft back into the transaxle and retighten the boot band. Insert the stub axle back into the wheel hub. Clip the brake hose back in position and refit the strut to the hub. Put the wheel nut back on and do it up a bit.
  21. Now refit the split pin into the axle stub. Using a new one is not only a good idea, but may make it a great deal easier to slide back through the hole. Bend the ends down so you can still fit the nut socket over it.
  22. Put the wheel back on and drop the car back on to its wheels. You'll need to have both wheels on the ground (unless you have someone willing to stand on the brakes) in order to do up the wheel nut properly. Remember we're talking over 200Nm here, so get your strong socket handle out.
  23. Pop the rim covers back on, remove the tools from under the car and go wash your dirty self.
  24. Test drive, turning full lock both ways while accelerating. If it works, grab yourself a beer and enjoy the sweet reward of DIY. If it doesn't, grab yourself a beer - it's going to be a long day.



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You are a champion mate.

Will give this a shot tomorrow :)

great sense of humour! also best guide i have found after scratching my head and wasting hours trying to find a "makes sense" step by step guide, and a guide that actually matches my car, on the web - thank you!

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