Idler Arm Install

Nov. 01, 2005 By Robert Morawski

Tools needed:
19mm x2
Jack and jack stand
Lug wrench
Possibly a grinder, either angle or bench.

OK here we go. The need for the idler arm brace is due to the inherent weakness of any IFS equipped vehicle. The Idler arm holds the main tie rod in place with relation to the frame and is located on the passenger side of the vehicle. It looks similar to a pitman arm. The other option to strengthen the IFS is to replace the OEM idler arm with a Moog idler arm. I do not know of anyone that has modified a idler arm brace to work in conjunction with a Moog idler arm. If anyone has a picture of a Moog arm installed, send one to me and I will include it here for comparison. This particular installation was completed on a 1988 Pathfinder, though the Idler Arm Brace is available for other Nissan models.

Here is where the idler arm brace is installed and the 3 nuts that need to be removed.

It should go without saying, but I will say it anyways. Removing the tire is the easy way to perform this install. Be sure to use jack stands whenever you lift a vehicle. I'm sure it can be done with out jacking the vehicle, but it may take longer. Install time is between 30 to 60 minutes from start to finish.

Step 1: You will need to remove the skid plate to hold the head of the bolts on the other side of the frame; otherwise the nuts will just spin. The two nuts attached to the frame are 19mm, and the single nut at the base of the idler arm is 17mm. The 10mm bolts hold the skid plate on.
Step 2: Remove passenger front tire for better access to the idler arm. Be sure to use jack stands!
Step 3: Remove the 2 19mm nuts and 1 17mm nut.
Step 4: See if the brace will fit without modification.

Step 5: Trim the brace as needed.
Step 6. Install brace, the 2 19mm nuts, and 1 17mm nut.
Step 7. Install tire and skid plate.
Step 8. Go Wheeling and test it!

As you can see, I had to break out the angle grinder to chop off about 3/4 of an inch of material to get it to fit.

The red circle shows why I needed to trim some of the material away. Also notice that the bottom of the brace does hang down a bit. Depending on your wheeling style, you may or may not be concerned with this.

I purchased the Idler Arm brace two years ago through Automotive Customizers for 29.95 and is offered for Hardbody, Pathfinder, Xterra, and Frontier product lines. The price may have changed. Contact them for availability and pricing.
The Moog Idler arm can be purchased through many auto parts stores, or at (Last I looked, it was part# K9500 and was 59.94 + S&H)
If you have additional questions E-Mail me.
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