97 Monty 5.0 AWD - clarification needed upper BJ/control arm | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

97 Monty 5.0 AWD - clarification needed upper BJ/control arm


October 1, 2018
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD
Needing to replace upper & lower BJ's. Went in for alignment as front driver tire wearing on outside. They determined BJ's need to be replaced & everything else looked ok. I've read everything could find about parts needed but need clarification. I bought this 97 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD used with 131k now 136k. Have a mobile mechanic friend that will do the work but not sure what parts to have available. Intend to go with MOOG for all once determine exactly what needed. TN vehicle & rust not issue on these parts so don't think need the overside BJ's. Already have new shocks to put on based on recommendations here.

From what read, if factory uppers will need to replace the whole arm assembly with BJ. Here is what I have. The upper driver side has a one piece CA with BJ that has a grease fitting. From posts it seems the original parts did not have grease fittings. Question: would that mean the arm is not original factory & can change the BJ instead of the whole arm? If can't tell by the grease fitting is there another way to determine if factory or if BJ is replaceable or not? Seem to have read that getting the long bolt out on the 5.0 can be difficult.

The passenger upper has the 2 piece design without grease fitting. Certainly easy enough replace that BJ adjustable arm.

The lowers even if factory can replace the BJ's only?

Thanks for helping to clarify what to order.

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

The uppers need the whole arm, you can't replace just the upper ball joint. The lowers, you can replace just the ball joint

Yes, but what if the upper driver might have been replaced with aftermarket CA. How can I tell? Many aftermarket upper CA have replacable ball joints. Thats what trying to determine. Existing has a zerk on the ball joint which to what I've read means it is aftermarket? Correct?

Thanks. I did go ahead & order new Moog UCA's w BJ's. I stayed with the 2 piece passenger design. I will need the alignment kit for the driver side but is one necessary for the 2 piece design passenger UCA? Saw mixed comments on necessity since it is adjustable.

There were comments about bolts matching both sides. Does that mean need to pull the bolts on the inside piece of the passenger UCA? If so I should have just gone with the one piece. Bushing are fine so didn't think necessary.

If kit necessary for passenger has anyone used the SPC 87310 cams that don't require removing the bolts? They do +-1.75?

Sorry all the questions but for some reason not coming together for me & like to know exactly what needs to be done & that it gets done correctly. Can't afford suprises at the alignment shop.

Other than greater adjustability any advantage bolt kits vs the cams to adjust camber/caster. OEM bolts not working with them, etc.
Point me if already discussed.

Thanks so much. This site is a wealth of info I've used for my 98 & 97.

If you stay with the two piece passenger side no shims needed

You should not need shims for the drivers side either, as this truck is still stock you should be able to align it with no shims (re use the stock settings)
If the torsion bars have sagged enough to result in negative camber then you should use the torsion bar adjuster bolts to level the front of the truck again, thus removing the negative camber, and then get an alignment

Last I checked only Moog makes UCA for us that have replaceable joints....
I am no fan of the moog ball joints just FYI, for many years their stuff turned to crap. I hear they are making an effort to do better, but they left a really bad taste for me, so I moved away from Moog. I run Spicer, Motorcraft or something stronger then OEM if it exists......