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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 09-10-2006, 09:20 AM   #1
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Axle nuts keep coming loose

I've replaced both front wheel bearings within the past year or so. A few weeks ago I noticed some noise from the front end so jacked up the car only to find the axle nuts had come loose!! I took the cotter pins off, tightened them up real good and put new cotter pins in then went on my way. After driving it a few weeks it happened again.. the axle nuts were loose so I repeated the process but am tryin to figure out why this is happening and what I can do to prevent it????????
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:37 AM   #2
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I had the same problem, well the real problem was Pep Boys doing a half *** job when they put new tires on my car. Did you use an impact gun?
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:38 AM   #3
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Try putting some lock thread on them bolts!
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:42 AM   #4
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Okay i'm going to go get some lock thread then put a hugeass breaker bar on there and torque the crap out of it! I'll see how that holds up. Still makes me wonder why its happening in the first place but oh well. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:46 AM   #5
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Make sure you torque it to specs. If you have a chiltons/haynes, they should tell you how much.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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I had the same problem, well the real problem was Pep Boys doing a half *** job when they put new tires on my car. Did you use an impact gun?
What does his tire have to do with his axle nuts? He doesnt have a lug nut issue, he has a axle bolt issue.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:49 AM   #7
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Oh wait a minute, are you talking about that big nuts with the cotter pin directly in the middle of the rotors in front of the bearings? If so, they aren't supposed to be torqued down. If my memory is correct, you just tighten it lightly, then turn it back like a 1/4 turn, insert pin.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:03 AM   #8
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This nut has (or should have) BIG torque on it. (188 - 245 Ft/lbs) Snug the nut with the wheel off the ground but do the final torquing using a torque wrench AND do it with the front wheels solidly ON the ground. Once you accomplish this and if later on the nut loosens off again then there is a problem with the bearings or the bearing stack.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:03 AM   #9
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Wow, total mis-information. First off, what are you using to torque the nut on the axles? If your answer is anything but a torque wrench, you are wrong. Put down all the tools, head down to Sears, and pick yourself up a torque ft/lbs torque wrench that goes to at LEAST 300 ft/lbs of torque. Next, pull out your haynes or chiltons manual and look up the torque spec on those axles. I don't have one in front of me, but its in the neighborhood of 250 ft/lbs. That is a LOT of torque, if you think your going to use a little breaker bar to do it you are sadly mistaken. If you think you can estimate using the strain on your arm you are sadly mistaken. Before you torque the nuts down, clean off the axle and nut threads with a clean, dry rag. The torque application on those axles does not call for the threads to be lubricated, which can greatly affect torque application. Once you have done all of this, go back in one week and check them again. To do this apply the torque wrench to the same torque setting you used to tighten the nuts. If the nut turns at all before the torque wrench clicks, your nut has loosened again. At this point I suggest going to Nissan and buying replacement nuts. Do the same thing again, waiting 1 week. If you have the same problem, replace the axles and the nuts. I cannot overstate the importance of using a proper torque wrench to do the job. If you overtorque the nuts using a breaker bar you can have a sudden failure of either one of your axles. Think driving 60+ mph down the highly and your wheel suddenly seperating from the car. Do it right or take it to a qualified mechanic.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:34 AM   #10
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It's very likely that the nuts were never torqued to spec. and the bearing stack loosened up soon after and now a year has passed. It's possible that there has been "spinning" of the inner stack causing wear/damage. If after torquing the nut to spec. and you've got any binding or looseness or noise, then the bearings are toast. And as the chap above suggested, recheck the torque after driving for a few days.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
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You really should take your car to a qualified mechanic.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaporHead
Oh wait a minute, are you talking about that big nuts with the cotter pin directly in the middle of the rotors in front of the bearings? If so, they aren't supposed to be torqued down. If my memory is correct, you just tighten it lightly, then turn it back like a 1/4 turn, insert pin.

Yes and as stated, using a breaker bar is just wrong. Get it done right man, when mine was loose and I was driving it made a horrible noise. Dont want to hear about your wheel coming off and you get hurt or worse!
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:41 PM
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