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Balljoints reassembly

Peter Westling

Well-Known Member
December 4, 2003
Reaction score
City, State
Rosersberg, Sweden
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT
Hi all. I am in the balljoint hell right now..;)
I have removed both upper and lower balljoint on my 1st gen 93.
I did not remove the axle or the spindle.

I have pressed in the new ones. But I cant get the knuckles back in place,
the balljoints seems to just some millimeters to long... The axle is in the way.
I have tried to twist the front axle.

Do I need to take the spindle apart (with the ABS sensor and so on)?

Or should the knuckle just slide in with axle in place and balljoints in the knuckle?

All help i appreciated, I have searched the forum but did not find anything telling me if it is mandatory to remove the font axle.

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When you remove the ball joints it is usually a good idea to remove the spindle and pull the axle shaft out. I think this would make life alot easier. I will have to look at my X when it is day lite out to tell you more.


I have always removed the spindle and pulled out the axle shafts. The ABS sensor (aluminum cylinder) can remain, but you must remove the ABS protector. Check out this Ball-Joint Thread It has lots of good info and pics.

Okie. I did the removal in a non "haynes" way. Since the cotter pin and everything was extremly rusted I had to saw it away. I understand now that if I removed the spindle and the axle I wouldnt get dirt in to the bearings..;) And the knuckle would fit better if the axle wasnt there. Any one know the exact size of the nut that holds the ABS sensor? I have searched and found out 12 point, 5mm, 5.5mm ,6 mm ,and 7 mm..;) Thanks for the replys!

Peter Westling said:
... I have searched and found out 12 point, 5mm, 5.5mm ,6 mm ,and 7 mm..;) Thanks for the replys!
6mm 12 point 1/4" drive only, larger drive (3/8) sockets will not fit.

Found it bought it and it worked out good! Thanks DeRocha. It was kind of easy to separate the spindle when it was not attached to the car, just a bang from behind and it went loose. But to get the spindle off in a non normal way was worse on the other hand... I will try the haynes way if there is not that much rust on the cotter pins and bolt on the other side. This was a great opportunity to replace the inner spindle seal too. That one fell of when the axle was free... The seal costed same as one balljoint, though...
One strange thing was that the U-joint behind the spindle was really easy to bend in one (right/left) direction but quite hard in the other way(up/down) . Since that axle is rotating, should it not be the same in both directions?

U-joints should have the same movement in all directions. If they are original then they should be replaced. Over time the lube dries out and allows moisture to enter and rust out the needle bearings. The Seal was only $8 US ...

Check out the U-joint info in my sig line...

The strange thing is that I had could only bend the U-joint with LOTS of energy. I had to lock it up my workbench in a vice and use an extra pipe to bend it. I lubricate it and drag it back and forwards until it could move without huge force.

I have driven the car in 4x4 som few miles lately. If I steer in 4x4 then should that u-joint be bended in the direction it was stuck as figured out.

So then I have two possibilities, either it was not 4wd and axle did not rotate or the other possibility is that my servo is stronger than a horse to be able to bend both of the u-joints in 4wd.

Either way is really strange to me...

Your U-joints need to be changed.

After 120K miles I replaced all 8 of my '93 xlt's U-joints. Only the outer front stub axle u-joints (nearest the steering knuckles) appeared frozen and hard to move. These outer joints do not rotate (unless the front hubs are locked 4x4 mode) but they DO move left/right with steering changes. As such It is common to be able to move the joints in one plane of movement but not the other (the other plane gets frozen due to lack of use, whereas the other continually moves and remains unfrozen). This is why it is important to engage 4x4 at least once a month to keep this from occurring.

I called the parts shop today if they had the u-joints in stock. He told me that it could be two different part numbers, the only way to determine was to take the old ones in and measure them. I understand that dana 28 and 35 can differ in part numbers (both 28 and 35 exist on 1993's as I understand) but can it be two alternatives to my dana 35 axle?

I probably need a really deep cleaning job to get the u-joints out from the dirt so that measurements can be done to determine the part number.
Derocha, was it hard to get them out in your case?