How-To: 1st Gen Ball Joints / U Joints / Spindle Bearings | Page 6 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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How-To: 1st Gen Ball Joints / U Joints / Spindle Bearings

IAmTodd

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I used rustoleum but the first time I took it wheeling the chunks of ice pretty much demolished my pretty drivers side beam. Everything else is holding up well.
 
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smegun

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i see the step on the axel shaft for the seal... when purchasing the seal at autozone there seems to be no backing plate like the timken variety im concerned on the issue regarding correct orientation i can see by the original axel picture and hopefully how the original seal is orientated tell me if im wrong the step appears to be on the inside along with the step of the original dirt seal? looking at this situation wants me to run out an buy the timken kit as the seal seems to turn with the shaft or rubbing on the cut out for the shaft and backside of the spindle mount ... turning around on the hole is somewhat benign ....she said

the shafts turn easy enough after replacing my u joints but im looking for the culprit to a rattling sound( in 4x4 high mostly) and was searching for the correct orientation of the axel shaft seal leading into the spindle mount ... duh theres a hole with a shaft turning with a top hat

...... I used a Timken kit, which comes with a metal plate and a new gasket. You must heat the plate on a stove until it glows red,

mabe this is a solver of problems as there seemed to be no other parts when servicing these axels when pulling the shafts in to put on the spline washer and c clip they but right up to the back of the spindle mount housing but without another set of bearings what was the X thinking
 
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natenkiki2004

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Just a hint to avoid trouble when you go to put the final c-clip on after the wheel locknuts; mine didn't have enough room, it was like the axle shaft wasn't "out" all the way. It was so close though, tempting to hammer the c-clip in but inside I pried on the u-joint and got the clearance I needed.

When doing the other side, I found the culprit;
It's the new grease on the axle shaft seal for the spindle and extra air being trapped forming a kind of suction/pressure point that doesn't allow the axle shaft to slide outwards enough. Once you're on the road and the axle shafts are spinning, all that grease will be worked in and everything will settle in nicely. It's not like anything is binding.

The solution I found is that when you go to put the spindle back on the knuckle, pull the axle shaft out as much as you can (without the other end falling out) and then slide the spindle on it, twisting it as you slide it on fully. This will settle the grease in, then you can slide both the spindle and axle shaft onto the knuckle. Once I had everything back together, I pressed the c-clip on the end of the axle, there was plenty of room, nothing tight but just loose enough.
 
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ofr

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Awesomely great thread.
One question - the goofy little bolt in Step 3 - Removing the ABS sensor. The little bolt is shown about 3 O'Clock position on the picture relative to the ABS sensor.

What tool is needed to remove this bolt?!? I saw in this thread comments about it being a 6mm 12 side but it really looks like it has something like a torx star. Also, it it impossible to access with a socket unless the socket is a 1/4" drive deep. The sensor body is in the way for using anything other than an ultra skinny socket.

I've been goofing around with this and can not get a good fit with any sockets that I have in my garage. As mentioned in another thread talking about this dis-assembly, it may resort to drilling it out and re-tapping. Before i go there, I would appreciate any insights/comments to help remove this bolt without resorting to the destroy/rebuild tactic.
 
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ofr

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Follow up comments regarding ABS bolt problem I previously posted.
It got trashed trying to remove, so I drilled it out and ran tap down to clean threads. Used same threads as were original bolt (6mm 1.00 metric) and ran it out to the end of the drilled hole in the heat-sink block. The original bolt was short of the full lenght by almost 1/2 inch, so there was plenty of material there to put in a good thread. Bought an allen head bolt instead of the goofy 12 point. For that matter, skipped using hex because even fitting a deep-thin socket was difficult with the ABS sensor body right next to bold. Considered putting in torx, but napa had allens, so allen it was. Put some threadlok and it went back together tight.

Another detail question if someone could advise. The upper ball joint I removed did not have c-clip on lower (fat) end. There was small clip on top by the pinch bolt. But the bottom did not have one. I thought it had rusted out so kinda ignored it. I did examine it before pressing it out and the groove was not entirely clear of knuckle. So I thought maybe c-clip had evaporate and joint had maybe worked it's way out a bit. BUT, when I re-pressed the new upper ball joint, the c-clip groove was only about 75% exposed. It had cleaned the seat out really well, so it was not hung on gunk/rust/[email protected] The lower ball joint had pressed in nicely and showed complete groove. Ugh. So I removed them to examine thinking I had mucked something. But no, all parts were clean and clear and new ball joints matched dimensions of old ones.

So the question is - Is it normal/typical installation of the upper ball joint to NOT have the lower c-clip installed? Only the smaller upper c-clip above the pinch joint is installed?

(Ask if you are interested and I can post some pictures)

Full Disclosure: 1996 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 4.0 L Dana-35

Thanks to all forum for all the great information you've posted.
 
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Maniak

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So the question is - Is it normal/typical installation of the upper ball joint to NOT have the lower c-clip installed? Only the smaller upper c-clip above the pinch joint is installed?

(Ask if you are interested and I can post some pictures)

Full Disclosure: 1996 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 4.0 L Dana-35

There is only 1 clip on the upper ball joint and it's at the very top. The Lower ball joint does have a big clip holding it in, but not the upper joint.

Depending on the camber/caster cam/adjuster you have in there you might not be able to get the upper ball joint c-clip on it. When I put in my SPC adjusters I didn't have enough room to put the clip on the upper ball joint. I contacted SPC and asked if I should grind down the cam or just not run the clip and they told me to just not run the clip on the upper ball joint.

I've been running like that for more than a few years and haven't had any issues because of that.

I doubt if your ranger TTB setup is that much different than that of my 1992 Explorer TTB.

~Mark
 
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Suicide77

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Did anybody else have a heck of a time trying to hammer out the upper joint? I took out the C-clip, but it has taken about 45min to get this far and it still won't punch out?

001_zps9loehc1l.jpg


002_zpssbbphoov.jpg
 
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natenkiki2004

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I don't recall having a hard time with that. Might just be a lot of rust (anti-seize in this area when it goes back together will make your life easier next time). Hammer in a chisel or screwdriver in the gap where the pinch bolt goes to spread it open a bit. If that doesn't help then maybe your camber adjuster is what's causing the trouble.
 
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gmanpaint

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Had a tow truck driver drag the rig 30 miles from the rear. Front inner bearing spun, and created a bunch of slop allowing the rotor to bash & smash everything. Destroyed the knuckle and ground the inner pad keeper gone. Rendered the spindle useless. So I am rebuilding another knuckle with new BJ's-camber bushings.

Question about the 2 pc adjustable bushings. Since I no longer have a point of reference, is there a certain place to start with going by the markings on them?

Edit: Just set them at Neutral position, set the toe, and took it in for a proper alignment.
 
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Immortal1663

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Ted, first off thanks this is a great piece of info you have posted here, I never thought I would find anything on this old vehicle of mine.
Just one question I am really lost as to what to use to get the upper pinch bolt out, I can't even get a socket on it with the surrounding metal covering the bolt head.
Does this take a special tool?

Sincerely,
Kris A Baringer
 
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natenkiki2004

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I think that bolt is a 12 point metric bolt but I could be wrong. It's not a super special socket but more special than a basic homeowner toolkit.
 
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Immortal1663

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Got Some Pic's. I'll see if I can find something to get in there, or maybe I'll get a grinder out and get rid of the metal around the bolt head.
Thanks
Can't seem to upload the pics, sry


I think that bolt is a 12 point metric bolt but I could be wrong. It's not a super special socket but more special than a basic homeowner toolkit.
 
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natenkiki2004

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I remember now, it's a recessed bolt. Here's a picture:
CameraZOOM-20140913121750559.jpg


That should still come out with a regular socket. An impact socket will likely be too thick but your average 12-point chrome socket should work fine. I think it's down around 12mm or so, I can't fully remember.
 
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natenkiki2004

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I just went out to the shop to look in my tools and I had this 12pt 12mm socket all by itself. I'm 95% sure I bought it just for the ball joint job, got it at my local NAPA, Carlyle brand. It's not a "special" tool like an O2 sensor socket, but it's something that a lot of people may not have.

2016-09-13 19.56.45.jpg
 
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Immortal1663

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Thanks,
I'm ready to take a sledge hammer to this turd. ahhhh Bailing out on the ball joints till next weekend. I just figure out how to take all the 4 wheel drive crap apart and now I'm putting it back together till I get more time.
My current problem is I replace both power steering hoses from the pump to the gear box a couple of weeks ago, and wouldn't you know it after I get this puppy up on stands and start the ball joints I watch all my power steering fluid run out of the bottom of the gearbox. Yessssss
Anyway bought the seal kit, can anyone tell me what size nut is holding the pittman arm on the gear box and will I need a puller, a seal installation tool, and things I'm not sure of to get it off and replace the seal?

Sincerely,
Kris
 
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gmanpaint

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Try some Lucas Power steering fluid. Those seals shrink up and cause the leak. Lucas will swell the seal back to shape. Fixed my seal leak pretty good.

If that doesn't work, then you will need the pitman puller for sure, and get a good one for this, not the cheapo's. I can't remember what the nut size is off hand. You will need a good strong set of snap ring pliers to get to the seal itself. Get the kind that is straight, not 90* bend. Getting the arm and snapring off, is the hardest part of this job. Keep in mind that these boxes wear out over time, and the bearings develop slop, causing play/wander. Remans are less then $100 (after core return) and sometimes replacing the entire unit is easier, and better in the long run.
 
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YahwehisKing

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Well spent some time getting that 12 point 6mm for the ABS sensor (Oreilys had a set with one) now the damn thing is stripped. What method has anyone done to get it out if stripped????? i also broke one of the plastic rings on the hub asembly the guys at oreilys said they dont make the kit any more and i would have to get a auto to man hub kit and the get a manual hub.Ill be going to the Bone Yard in the morning to pull an assembly off another 94 explorer. But i cant get the spindle out without removing that abs sensor !!! how should i get it out if its striped?????
 
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YahwehisKing

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And another thankyou for even making this i thought i was stuck when i realized i had first gen ball joints this skips 600$ !!!!
 
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Tbars4

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I've had several run in with those. I've used vise grips with success then broke the heads off and then vice grips just to pull the screw out after somewhat easily pulling the sensor off after the busted screw head.

Be sure to grab some of those screws while you are at the junkyard. :)
 
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YahwehisKing

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I've had several run in with those. I've used vise grips with success then broke the heads off and then vice grips just to pull the screw out after somewhat easily pulling the sensor off after the busted screw head.

Be sure to grab some of those screws while you are at the junkyard. :)
Lmao i was about to write a bunch a realized what you said. so the sensor has no thread in it ? Hows it affect that sensor guard that blocks the spindle from coming off???
 
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