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How To: Replacing Upper Ball Joints on a 3rd Gen 4x4 [Pictures]

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by thepotroast, July 11, 2009.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. JeffBoudah

    JeffBoudah New Member

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    Did both mine today. Took about 5 hours; did it without removing the arm. Ended up blasting the first one through the top. lol

    Used the 80008. It was knurled with a zerk. :thumbsup:

    Did my sway bar endlinks (moog) while I was in there, that was about an hour of it since they sheared off and needed to be cut out.
     
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  3. thepotroast

    thepotroast Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you had the same result as I did when I originally made this thread/post, about one of the ball joints splitting at the top! Glad it all worked out for you, and that was a great move to knock out those swar bar links while you were in the thick of it. :thumbsup:
     
  4. cdub-fromTexas

    cdub-fromTexas New Member

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    Lower Ball Joint

    Mr. thepotroast,

    I saw somewhere you mentioned you were going to post a thread on replacing lower ball joints on a 4X4. Have you had a chance to knock that out? TIA.
     
  5. jeepstud

    jeepstud New Member

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    What happened to all the pictures? I have a shop trying to get me to replace the upper control arms, for $600, because the ball joints are worn out. I would like to see how this is done.

    I can't read or write English so the pictures would be a big help.

    Thanks for your help.


    It's a 2004 Explorer 2WD limited, btw.
     
  6. Mr Dubya

    Mr Dubya Elite Wannabe Explorer Elite Explorer

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    A pair of upper control arms can be found on eBay for tremendously LESS than $600 dollars.


    -Dubya
     
  7. jeepstud

    jeepstud New Member

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    Yeah I found just the ball joints on Amazon for $30/ea (moog's). I don't want to replace the whole UCA. I was wanting to look at the pics on the first page for reference. I did find a few pics in some of the other pages in this thread, just wanted to see the origionals.
     
  8. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    What language do you speak?

    See post #152 for pictures: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249135&page=8

    Get parts from here: http://www.rockauto.com/
     
  9. jeepstud

    jeepstud New Member

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  10. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    :D

    If you get the ball joint press like I did, it's very easy to change the ball joints. And to be clear, what did your purchase? Ball joints or a new upper control arm?
     
  11. jeepstud

    jeepstud New Member

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    I just got the ball joints...and tie rod ends while I'm In there. I'll borrow a ball joint press from autozone for the installation.
     
  12. Trueoo7

    Trueoo7 New Member

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    "If you have a Haynes manual for your Ex, take a look at it....even it tells you that the upper ball joints are not serviceable and you must replace the entire arm assembly. FALSE!"


    It also says this for the lower ball joints, is this false also? Can't find any threads for the lower ball joints and I need to do them sooner rather than later.
     
  13. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    Don't hold your breath for me, but i have the lower ball joints and plan to tackle them in the next month or so.
     
  14. Trueoo7

    Trueoo7 New Member

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    Do you plan to do the whole arm or just the ball joint or do you know at this point?
     
  15. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    I would be doing only the ball joints because I currently have them sitting on a shelf. My tires are needing to be replaced, so I may be doing this in the next 2-3 weeks.
     
  16. Trueoo7

    Trueoo7 New Member

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    I'll probably tackle it this weekend, I'll let you know how it goes. Not sure which ball joints to order because MOOG sells an oversize one if the original hole has become enlarged. I won't know that till I take it apart.
     
  17. jeepstud

    jeepstud New Member

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    I did mine this past weekend. It was pretty straight forward. The first side took about 2 hours. The pass. side took about 20 minutes. Why does it always happen that way?

    If you need to press the old ball joints out because they are still in tight enough to be pressed out you should be fine with the normal size ones. The new Moogs have a serrated edge that will grip better than oem ones.

    Good luck with the install.
     
  18. 2Trux

    2Trux Active Member

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    I did uppers and lowers last night after the alignment place wanted big dollars to replace them. The uppers were dry as a bone and had play in the joint. The lowers did not seem very bad.
    I used this thread for the uppers. I was surprised how hard it was to remove the arm after it was unbolted.
    I pulled the brakes, & pushed out the axle so I could get the steering knuckle totally out of the way. I also moved the axle up as far as it would go and tied it off so it would be out of the way of the press.
    I used the Moog joints since I tend to keep trucks until they're totally shot.
    No problems or oddities encountered while doing this job. Total time from setup until end of cleanup was 5 hrs, saving me $425 in labor costs.:)
    The joints they quoted were half the cost of what I spent so I will assume they would have used cheap ones. Just need to take it back to get the alignment done and I'll be ready for our trip to Mo.
    (Sorry, no pics. It was night and I was in a hurry.)
     
  19. jawbreaker5

    jawbreaker5 New Member

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    Thanks for the write up and photos. Made my mission that much easier when I did mine. I replaced the whole control arm instead of messing with the ball joint, however, when it came to the lower ball joint that was a different challenge.
    That sucker was really in the knuckle. Was able to get it out but that was time consuming.
     
  20. roush9799

    roush9799 Active Member

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    I'm about to attempt the uppers and lowers someday this week, whenever work allows it. One question about the uppers popping out. Would a bit of locktite on the uppers prevent this from happening? I've got a bit over 80K on the vehicle, and I have greasables to put in. By the time they need them again the vehicle would be dead, or I'd just have to replace the whole a-arm, but it would be worth it if I wouldn't have to worry about the issue.
     
  21. Mr Dubya

    Mr Dubya Elite Wannabe Explorer Elite Explorer

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    I assume you mean the ball joint itself from the stamped steel control arm. I believe that if the ball joints are subject to the kind of stress that would cause them to pop out, the stamped steel would shred open before lock tite could ever do anything. Let me know of I misunderstood.
     

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