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Aerostar Forum The Ford Aerostar shares a lot of common parts with the Ford Explorer. Besides that a lot of our members own an Aerostar and an Explorer.

Upper/lower ball joints & inner/outer tie rods.

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Old 10-02-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
emerson
Prince George
'94&'97 Aerostar AWD
 
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Upper/lower ball joints & inner/outer tie rods.

I just replaced these in my AWD '97. I bought a generic ball joint press kit for $120 and pickle fork 3 piece set for $30 or so. I found the inner tie rod removal easier when the steering wheel was turned toward the side being worked on. I pounded out the lower ball joint (after removing snap ring) with a big hammer, no issues. The factory upper ball joint was still riveted in. I wedged a piece of 2x4 under the upper control arm to get some space, center punched the rivets and drilled them out to 1/8". Then I ground off the bottom rivet heads and hammered a cold chisel between the upper ball joint and the control arm, thus wedging them upward and out. On the axle nut I used a 32mm deep socket (which did seem sloppy) and using the same piece of 2x4 to protect the threads, knocked the axle shaft out of the hub. When reinstalling the new tie rods, I first measured the old one's total length and made sure the new ones were the same. Afterward, I measured the toe in @1/4", which according to my former ford mechanic co-worker, is perfect. Also, because the connections constantly leak and the same mechanic said he did the same; I cut the power steering cooler lines and joined them together with a double barbed fitting and 2 hose clamps.

Last edited by emerson; 10-02-2010 at 04:07 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:17 PM   #2
BrooklynBay
Brooklyn, NY
 
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I did the upper ball joints on my 88 & 89 while the upper control arm assemby was out of the vehicle. There is limited space to work while it's connected. Did you take any pictures while you were doing these rapairs? How were the upper control arm bushings?
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #3
emerson
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No, I didn't get any pictures. With the spindle out of the way and the upper control arm wedged up the space wasn't bad. The bushings I left alone. They are probably worn somewhat, but the toe in was perfect, the steering wheel is now centered, and the van tracks perfectly straight, so considering how much it's worth, that's one more cost not being paid now.
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