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Center Link Installed Backwards!

Bought 4 new tires just before holidays. Needed new Ball Joints, Center Link, Idler Arm and Tie Rods Arms in order to align. Spent 5 weeks trying to figure out why sharp turns were a problem and why my new tires were prematurely wearing. Nissan couldn’t even figure it out and told me everything was cool…went there twice! Finally learned Center Link and consequently Tie Rod arms were installed backwards. I’m $2000 into this now. How dangerous was this error and what do I rightfully deserve from company that screwed up. Do I sue??? I paid them $600. The Idler Arm they installed was junk and needed to be replaced. Company that diagnosed said whole job should be redone…said parts are junk and that cotter pin holes are not in the correct position, which they say is a serious safety issue. Would love some advice. Thanks.

Are you saying that someone else did the work before you took the truck to the Nissan dealer?
If so, did you go back and ask them about these problems?

What does the word junk mean when referring to these parts? Unless they’re salvage yard parts or new ones trashed by an incorrect installation I’d be a bit antsy over someone throwing that word around about all of the parts.

Thanks for your response.

Nissan did not do the original work…I took it to them for diagnosis. When I went back to place that did the work, they insisted it was a rack and pinion problem and wouldn’t even recheck the alignment. (I might add here that my truck does not have rack and pinion). In fact, the owner of the shop and his alignment person had a screaming match in front of me. The owner refunded the portion of my bill for the alignment. Obviously the mechanic is incompetent and I do not want them to touch my truck any more…that’s why I went to Nissan.

As far as the term “junk” goes, here’s what the shop that fixed my problem said when the emailed me photos of before and after:

“I have attached pictures of the incorrectly installed (part was installed backwards) center link assembly and of the inferior (made out of stamp steel and undersized) quality idler arm assembly. The previous repair facility incorrectly installed the center link assembly which created the improper geometry causing the vehicle to handle and steer erratically (which could had resulted in an accident). If you compare the build quality of the cast gray colored (Moog supplied part) compared with the black colored (previously installed from other repair facility), you will noticed a significant difference between the two, in terms of build quality and overall size. We would actually recommend replacing all of the tie rods and ball joints replaced by the previous facility, since there are of a poor build quality (i.e. the cotter pin holes are not in the correct position, which is a serious safety issue).”

As far as the cotter pins go, i can attest some were missing and dropping out.

How serious is this? What should I ask original facility to do for me?


I would get back all the replaced parts and return them to the mechanic/owner who did the previous work, with the pictures and email note. I would ask for full refund. There can be differences in parts, and at times properly installed ones would be fine, but improperly installed parts are a hazard. I would stick with the safety issues here, not necesarily the build quality, although the cotter pins falling out is never good.

If they stonewall you, then small claims court is in order.

I agree with jayhawkroy. A full refund is in order and if they won’t cooperate then file a small claim against them. Once served they may decide to pay up rather than appear in court.

Thank you for clarification of the problem because what you posted really clears things up.
The part that just stuns me is this stamped steel idler arm thing. No way would I ever use, nor have I ever seen, a stamped steel idler arm.
The only thing I can figure is that this part must be from one of those importers who work on the side providing vastly inferior Chinese made parts; what I refer to as “white box” parts which have no name brand on them with only a number for application purposes.

Just curious, but did the original shop have to order parts? If so, that could be a sign of a white box user.