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2002 Explorer Upper Ball Joint

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Old 11-02-2006, 08:49 AM   #1
Oldwolf
Cary, NC
2002 XLT, 4x4, 4.0 SOHC
 
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2002 Explorer Upper Ball Joint

My maintenance manual says the ball joint and swing arm are and integral part and you have to buy the arm and joint together as one piece. But my local AutoZone has the ball joint available with some loaner tools to push the joint out of the arm.

Is my manual wrong? I sure hope so because Id hate to have to remove perfectly good swing arm.


Ball Joint Separator - Tool for a
2002 FORD TRUCK EXPLORER 4WD

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Ball Joint - Upper for a
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Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
gijoecam
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Trenton, MI
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Uppers are not replacable separately. They are cast into the arm. Lowers, however, can be replaced.

-Joe




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Old 11-03-2006, 08:30 AM   #3
Oldwolf
Cary, NC
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Is AutoZone wrong in that they offer the ball joint as a separate part?
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #4
gijoecam
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All I can tell you is that I've never heard of an upper arm on an Explorer having a replacable ball joint from the factory. I HAVE heard that some of the replacement upper control arms (Moog comes to mind) have a replacable upper ball joint, but again, to my knowledge, the factory uppers must be replaced as an assembly.

That could explain why AutoZone lists a separate joint: Not for the OEM replacement, but for their replacement's replacement.

-Joe




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We must believe in free will we have no choice.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:50 AM   #5
rancherlee
Eveleth MN
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several other ford cars have "intergral" ball joints in the upper control arm that CAN be replaced but its usually just about as cheap to buy the complete assmebly. My ford thnderbird was 44$ for just the ball joint, and 58$ for the whole arm/ball joint assembly. For 14$ more it saves ALOT of work.




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Old 01-22-2009, 10:01 AM   #6
Oldwolf
Cary, NC
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I've been reading the archives on this subject. It looks like some people have been successful using BJ press tools to remove the joint. Current pricing is about $40 or so for the joint and $105 for the joint and arm assembly. Mine is a 4x4 4-door which some are saying is a different generation of front suspension and that the joint can only be replaced as an assembly.

Still, I am not clear if I can remove the joint and keep my old control arm.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:03 PM   #7
themons
Houston, TX
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The upper ball joint on certain models of the 2002 Ford Explorer can be changed without replacing the whole arm. If you have an arm which looks like bent sheet metal, you can do it.

I have a 2002 4 door XLS Explorer. I did it over Christmas. What you have to do is remove the whole arm from the suspension system using the AutoZone pickle fork to spread the knuckle so you can remove the ball joint.

Removal of the joint from the arm works best if you grind off the rotating joint. Otherwise the joint flops around absorbing your efforts. You can then simply hammer out the press fit remainder of the joint.

You can buy the MOOG joint separately from O'Reilly's for about $40 a piece. Autozone also offers their version.

You will have to use the Autozone ball joint tool to press in the new joint. Then all you have to do is replace the arm.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
Oldwolf
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That is helpful information, thanks.
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