06 Lower Ball Joint | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free! Once registered you can join the Elite Explorers to eliminate ads from the website.

06 Lower Ball Joint

1Lonewolf

Member
Joined
June 27, 2013
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer 4x4 V6
The passenger lower ball joint on my 06 4x4 V6 needs to be replaced, and looks like it's held in with a snap ring on top. I did the lowers on my 01 F150 4x4 in my driveway, and want to know if I can replace just the lower ball joints or if I need to get the lower control arm? I haven't found any info anywhere. Thanks!
 



Join the Elite Explorers $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.



Flag Gibby

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 14, 2012
Messages
1,641
Reaction score
4
City, State
Flagstaff, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Mountaineer AWD
Fordparts.com shows it as a standalone $50.00 part, no need to get the control arm too and I am pretty sure that the ball joint is pressed into the control arm.
 












1Lonewolf

Member
Joined
June 27, 2013
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer 4x4 V6
Confirmation!

Thanks for the confirmation guys! I found a Moog ball joint listed separately, and thought that I could do it myself, but wanted to make sure that there wasn't something extra tricky that I shouldn't attempt myself. Again, thanks!!!!:salute:
 






Ornery

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 7, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
3
City, State
Northeast Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer EB V8 4WD
I'm also replacing the lower right ball joint on an '06 Explorer 4WD. Can that thing be removed without disassembling the entire steering assembly? I watched a video or two for an F150, and Mountaineer having it done, and it involved removing not only the caliper and frame (which I wouldn't mind doing), but the sway bar link, tie rod, upper ball joint, half shaft... Damn, that's a lot of screwing around!





This last one is 3rd gen, but check out the tools!



I'm thinking if I can bust loose the lower ball joint with a pickling fork, and lift the lower arm (or push the upper arm down) to free it from the knuckle, I should be able to press it, or draw it out of the LCA even with the limited clearance of the shaft assembly.

I mostly dread trying to "slide" the shaft from the bearing assembly. I replaced the left bearing a couple years ago, and rust had the spline seized pretty bad. REALLY don't want to fight with that again if I don't have to. Hoping I can use the ball joint press "backward", and just keep slipping spacers under the anvil end as the ball joint gets worked down.

Anybody have success with this installation without all the disassembly shown in the videos?
 






Explorer_PL

Elite Explorer
Joined
November 16, 2007
Messages
2,910
Reaction score
210
City, State
Rockland County, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
06EB V8
I did both lower ball joints on my 06 and do not recall dismounting so much. I just did it on the car using a cheap ball joint remover kit from ebay.
 






Flag Gibby

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 14, 2012
Messages
1,641
Reaction score
4
City, State
Flagstaff, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Mountaineer AWD
I agree with Explorer_PL, the lowers can be done on the vehicle (without much removal) with the right tool since there is enough room to get in there to them. However, the uppers don't have enough room with my tools to do them on the vehicle, but I have been to shops that can do the uppers on the vehicle too. However, I never like to replace ball joints one at a time. If one is bad then replace both of them so that you don't end up with an alignment issue on that side or the other ball joint failing shortly thereafter. In the case of doing both ball joints, pull the whole assembly out to do the job.
 






Ornery

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 7, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
3
City, State
Northeast Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer EB V8 4WD
Thanks for the input and suggestion. It will be at least a week before I have at it. I might take a picture or two, if I'm not too busy cursing and throwing things around. Not really looking forward to it...
 






Explorer_PL

Elite Explorer
Joined
November 16, 2007
Messages
2,910
Reaction score
210
City, State
Rockland County, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
06EB V8
For the upper ones, I do not bother replacing them. The price difference between the whole arm and just the bearing is about 10-15 dollars, not worth it.

But you may need an alignment after.
 






Ornery

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 7, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
3
City, State
Northeast Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer EB V8 4WD
What a nice surprise. My $24 Moog K80771 was on the door step in Ohio when I got home. Seller sent it USPS from Oregon instead of UPS, and free to boot. Astro Pneumatic Ball Joint Press should make it easily by Saturday. It's estimated to arrive via USPS tomorrow.

The guys who installed our new Hankook Dynapro ATM RF-10 tires said the front right upper ball joint and bearing were bad. I had a MOOG RK80722 upper control arm and TIMKEN HA590156 hub assembly ready to order, but decided to check for myself first. Glad I did. Nothing wrong with either the upper ball joint or wheel bearing. However, lower ball joint is worn, so that's what I ordered. Not ready to plop another $250 into it (for the UCA, hub assy., shipping & alignment) if I don't have to. Not to mention my extra labor!

I will take pictures, maybe video, no matter how it goes, good or bad.
 






Ornery

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 7, 2012
Messages
423
Reaction score
3
City, State
Northeast Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Explorer EB V8 4WD
I have 3-1/2 hours of GoPro video of the whole ordeal... And, it was an ORDEAL! I pulled the camera out of my helmet cam, and neglected to enable the internal mic, so no sound.

To make a long story short, the easiest method is to pull it apart, like the videos above.

The long story:
  • Broke loose lower ball joint. Could not lower knuckle enough to release it from ball joint.
  • Broke loose upper ball joint. Hoped to tip outward enough to free it, but half shaft housing wouldn't allow it to drop enough no matter which way I twisted it.
  • Removed stabilizer link and broke loose tie rod end. Still couldn't clear the lower ball joint because of the half shaft assembly.
  • Removed caliper frame and tied it out of the way, as well as the speed sensor cable.
  • Removed corrosion from shaft threads and nut. Too far gone to remove the nut.
  • Cut 3/8" from end of lower ball joint. Success! Removed snap ring.
  • New ball joint press couldn't seem to break out the ball joint. 3 pound hammer had no problem after supporting lower arm with jack.
  • Cut 3/8" from threads of new ball joint. That removed the cotter pin hole. OEM ball joint had no cotter pin, only locking nut.
  • Installed new ball joint with press, no problem, Knuckle able to attach OK thanks to shortened threads.
  • Installed ball joint castle nut upside down, drilled new cotter pin hole and installed cotter pin. Nut has full thread engagement.
  • Buttoned it back up with new zirc fitting and greased it.
I'll upload a still of the heavily corroded axle nut if I can find it... Found it. Oh, and there is sound after all:



This shows the condition after wire brush as well as the shortened old ball joint:



If that right bearing goes, I can count on replacing the half shaft as well. I did buy a 250 lb. torque wrench from Harbor Freight for $65 after coupon. Wanted to have it on hand in case I pulled the bearing assembly. Not sure if I should bother to keep it.

Bottom line: If you're driving a 4x4, it ALL has to come apart! Well, if you cut the ball joint shorter, you could get the knuckle off the bottom. Probably still have to remove the link to swing it away from the shaft assembly. Still won't leave much room for the press or swinging a hammer. Save your sanity. Just pull it apart from the start!
 






Trainmaster

Active Member
Joined
November 24, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
30
City, State
Rockaway Beach NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 Expr Ltd; 2016 XLT
Replaced lower ball joint on my 2010. Only removed ball joint nuts, tie rod end nut and 32mm shaft nut. Lifted the knuckle (with rotor and caliper still on it) out and hung with wire off upper control arm. The bottom ball joint hammered right out and a new Motorcraft one pressed right in. Very easy job with the right tools.
 






Top