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Lower Ball Joint or whole assembly

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by KingTriEye, July 25, 2011.

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    1. KingTriEye

      KingTriEye Member

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      So I just brought my truck in for the MA state inspection and go figure, they checked the ball joints and tie rods. Aparently I need a new tie rod end on the Right side and a new lower ball joint on the left.

      RockAuto has a decent prices, but i know ball joints can be a pain to replace. Does anyone have a recommendation as to whether or not I should replace just the ball joint and if it's easy or if i should replace the whole assembly.

      As far as the Tie Rod end, I have trouble believing it's bad as both sides were replaced last summer at a Sullivans tire. I dont' know what the warranty is with them, but I'll probably be reaching out to them before I attempt to do those as well.

      Thanks!
       
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    3. Sbyrne97

      Sbyrne97 Active Member

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      Unless your mr. money bags, just replace the ball joint...it's no more of a pain than any other ball joint, I have replaced...and a hell of a lot easier than the UCA's.

      a BFH, alot of swearing and a ball joint press and you should be good to go....
       
    4. KingTriEye

      KingTriEye Member

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      Ive never replaced any of the ball joints, I just didn't know how hard it'd be to press them in and out.
       
    5. BubbaFL

      BubbaFL Active Member

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      Get a press and adapter kit from Harbor Freight, or borrow one somewhere, and it's a piece of cake.
       
    6. kc97xlt

      kc97xlt New Member

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      Did both of my lower ball joints a couple of weeks ago. Just get the ball joints then go to AutoZone and get the ball joint press through the loan-a-tool program. Took me about 9 hours to do both, but I also did both UCA and new spark plugs/wires at the same time. If you buy the whole lower control arm then you will have to take off the torsion bars which I think would be a bigger PITA.
       
    7. gavin

      gavin Elite Explorer

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      you can most likely get away with just dong the LBJ.

      But FWIW, the LCA is quite easy to replace. It's probably easier too, IMHO. But of course spendier parts, plus having to re-adjust the torsion bar adjuster bolt.
       
    8. KingTriEye

      KingTriEye Member

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      Yeah I think I'm just going to stick with the LBJ's for now. Don't know if i want to start dealing with the torsion bolts right now.
       
    9. bluestream1

      bluestream1 Active Member

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      Do the LBJ only, but I would do both side. The other one can't be too far behind unless it has been changed
       
    10. Steeda90GT

      Steeda90GT Active Member

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      I came across this situation too. I couldnt work on the vehicle at the time for lack of space, so I paid to have it done. It was actually cheaper to have both lower arms (full assembly) vs balljoints done. The labor was significantly cheaper on the arms, making it a better deal.
       
    11. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      If you are doing the work yourself, the tierod ends and ball joints are inexpensive parts. The labor is what whacks you at a shop. If you can turn a wrench, you can replace these yourself. The job is not difficult, just very slow with hand tools and a ball joint press (get a loaner from any parts house). Some guys have good fast results resting the control arm on wooden blocks and hammering the ball joint out with a sledge. It does work quickly (couple minutes compared to 30 with the press), but be careful to strike it straight or you might bend out the hole in the arm leaving the new joint a little loose fitting.
       
    12. KingTriEye

      KingTriEye Member

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      Thanks for all the suggestions guys. So this would have been all completed yesterday but FedEx didn't get here until 6:15 last night with the parts. I took apart both sides and by the time the parts got here it was raining. Didn't stop til 9 p.m. either. Decided to put everything together today. Learned a couple tricks i'm sure you're all aware of.

      1) BFH and a jack work a lot better than the $100 AZ tool for getting the new ball joints back in
      2) You can never have enough PB Blaster
      3) If at first you don't succeed, throw a tool and try again
      4) Seriosuly.... that tool is junk from AZ. Took me forever just to press them out and the tool itself looks beat. Hope they take it back!.

      Off to get an allignment.
       

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