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Ball Joints, etc.


New Member
February 26, 2019
Reaction score
City, State
Alpharetta, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2009 Mercury Mountaineer
Hey folks, first post

I have a 2009 Mountaineer 2WD 4.0L that recently started squeaking something terrible. I took it to a shop today and they told me my front upper and lower ball joints are in need of replacing, and that it will cost nearly $1300. As you well know most of that cost is labor, so I decided I would do it myself. Here's what I am planning, feel free to correct me if any parts of this is not a good way to go.

Since I'm going to be changing all four ball joints, I am thinking I might as well do the control arms, tie rod ends and struts at the same time. Looking at they have the Moog Kit 4R which is upper and lower ball joint/control arm assemblies and tie rod ends. Also looking to get the Monroe 171124 quick strut assemblies.

What are your thoughts? Good choices for parts? Any of this unnecessary or unwise? Any pitfalls? Any tips? Any links to a good thread or video that will help?

Thanks for all your help. While this is my first time posting, I've spent many hours getting info from the site. Glad to now be a part of the community, and I am hoping I can contribute in some way.

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You dont say how many miles is on your explorer. If its around 100k+, I would go ahead and do front bearings at the same time. Reason being 90%+ of the time you have to remove the knuckle and press the old ones out (even though they are designed to not have to do that) so while you have it off replacing ball joints, I would go ahead and do that at the same time. If you don't have access to a press, a machine shop or auto shop should be able to press them out for you in a few min for minimal cost.

I dont know that you really need to do control arms unless yours have something wrong with them. Get or rent a ball joint press and re-use your stock arms.

167k miles. Hub bearings would be a great idea because I've learned they are a big failure point after 100K or so miles, but I actually had them done late last year. Wish I'd done ball joints at the same time! Should have thought more proactively then! Lesson learned.

I replaced the upper and lower bj's multiple times on our 2 expl.
For the upper, I just get the whole arm assembly since it's just few bucks more than just the ball joint, and those bushings on the UCA fail also.
The lower ball joint is about $ 40 a piece, and I use a ball joint remover kit with a big c-clamp. I think the kit is about $ 50 on line.
You need to remove the knuckle from the car but since you doing the upper, that's half of the work anyway.
The tie rod ends are also inexpensive.
For all those parts, I always use Moog.
I also replaced all my struts with Monroe Quick Struts. Do them at the same time since you'll have everything apart. For struts, you'll need to disconnect stabilizer links, and I'd replace them too.

$1300 for ball joints is outrages but I guess those are the prices now.

After all that you'll need an alignment.

Take any photos??? I'm pressing in new upper ball joints and lower ball joints today. Have tool and time. ...and glove.












Very nice job!!!! I’m building new struts with the moog progressive rear coil springs - installing in two weeks. Will take photos. Just finished one side of front ball joints a few moments ago.

Edit: both of my upper joints were pretty bad off.

how the hell did you get the knuckle to release from the lower ball joint, I tried and do it and quit after it wasnt budging I have a wheel hub that is too stuck and if all the youtube tricks fail I will have to take it off and find a shop

Yea I had to take both of mine off to get the bearing out. All the youtube tricks failed me. Luckily I work at a shop so I just brought it in to work. My first lower ball joint came out pretty easy, but for the second one I needed one of these 3/4 in. Ball Joint Separator

Word of advice, if doing the uppers get the whole arm. They are a PITA to get out. Had one freeze when I was doing my lower ball joints and had to chop it out. Almost seems like they weren't meant to be replaceable. Would have done it myself , but I did the job on a weekend and the ball joints themselves were all that was available locally. Cost me as much as the whole arm would have on rock auto. Borrow the tools from part source, or autozone in the US.

As a matter of fact, I just placed my order with Rock Auto for a Moog control arm/ball joint/tie rod end kit, Monroe struts and stabilizer arm links. Looking forward to getting started!