How To: Upper Control Arm / Ball Joint Replacement (Lots of Pictures) | Page 20 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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How To: Upper Control Arm / Ball Joint Replacement (Lots of Pictures)

swshawaii

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gatzdon

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I am going to replace the pass side UCA shortly, I was going to use the 1 piece, but I think if I stay with the 2 piece it will be better for me at the alignment shop. I have UCA, I am doing the shocks as well, replacing to KYB gas adjust, is there anything else I may need??

I like to have parts there so I do not have to run and find them while I am in the middle of the job. I can always return them if needed.

Oh it is a 2000 Explorer Ltd, 5.0 V-8, AWD gas guzzler


Thanks

For what it's worth,

I have replaced my two piece twice now and both times, the camber/caster for the passenger side did not require adjustment during the front end alignment. I changed the driver's side at the same time and both times the driver's side camber was adjusted.

Regardless of whether you go with the 1 piece or 2 piece, I recommend the front end alignment proper as tires are expensive.
 
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ffpmme

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Do you have alignment bolts/kit?

No, I do not have them. Where would I find that? I was going to fight it right over to the shop for alignment. Less then 5 miles.

If I am reading things correctly if I count the turns, mark the bolts I should be able to get it back somewhat to where it was. Good enough to get me to the shop. Do I have to replace the 3 bolts holding the 2 part UCA to the the wishbone part of the suspension? Do they come out? I was planning on saoking them with Nutbuster or PB blaster for a day or so before I do the job.
 
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crunchie_frog

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The factory bolts are not adjustable. The bolts and nuts first the upper end of the control arm. They are called caster camber kits I think. You need a total of two bolts and two nuts and the come with the appropriate washers.
 
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ffpmme

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The factory bolts are not adjustable. The bolts and nuts first the upper end of the control arm. They are called caster camber kits I think. You need a total of two bolts and two nuts and the come with the appropriate washers.

But my understanding if I keep the 2 piece kit on the pass side, I just need to remove and then replace the 3 bolts that is holding the second piece to the wish bone part. Since I am not taking that off, no need to replace that right?
 
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crunchie_frog

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If you are only replacing the bottom half of the two pieces then you are correct.
 
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4rd Xplora

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Just getting around to posting, but a few weeks back I started replacing the lower ball joints and rented the press from the local auto parts. Banged the driver's side ball joint with a BFH and proceeded to install the new part. Pressed it in to about 1/8 of completely seating it and the crappy rental did not have the correct receiver cup to complete the job. The next day bad weather hit for roughly about the next 2 weeks, then finally a good day. Went to Harbor Freight pick up a press and was done in 35 minutes. Decided to hold off on the passenger side and the bad weather has returned but it should be a piece of cake WITH ice cream. BTW replaced the outer tie rods also. I posted earlier a shop wanted to charge me $1300.00 + to do the ball joints only. I replaced everything (except the inner tie rods)for way less than that including buying the press. Plenty of beer money left over :chug:
 
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Runnin'OnEmpty

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The new ball joint is easier to install if you leave
it in the freezer for a few hours beforehand. Also
wipe a dab of anti-seize around the outside of the
ball joint.
 
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koda2000

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I removed and installed mine with a BFH and one of the cups from the press tool, I just supported the LCA on a floor jack. The BJ went in reasonably easily, took about the same amount of effort as it took to remove it. Clean the hole in the LCA of dirt and any surface rust and apply a little WD40 to it. Putting the new BJ in the freezer will also help.
 
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4rd Xplora

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Finished up the right side ball joint yesterday, had a little problem with the new part being defective and having to be removed and re-installed. Did the "back yard" alignment, twice, but got it pretty well straight with 57 1/2 inches front and back between the front tires. Test drive went fine. Came out later to go to the store and turned the key and got the infamous clicking in the dash. Luckily last trip to the boneyard picked up some extra gears. Man, I love this truck.

Can you believe my luck? The whole blend door motor went out the next day. Easy fix though.
 
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vtdave

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Thank you Working on my 2001 sport trac is SO much easier if I first watch someone do it Dave
 
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sehaare

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I'm planning on doing this over the weekend. I've read through all the pages. I'm not sure if anyone is responding to this old thread but I've got a question. There seems to be some conflicting info as far as needing the new camber kit bolts or being able to reuse the old ones. I have a completely stock 98 SOHC 4door, and everything else on the front end is in good shape (or has been replaced).

Can I just reuse the same bolts or do I have to get the Moog Camber kit bolts?

Thanks
 
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rb142

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You can reuse the old bolts, but you may not be able to get it aligned properly, especially if you switch to a one-piece arm on the right side. In that case you would have to swap out the bolts to get it aligned. But those kits are cheap. I would strongly recommend putting the camber bolts in if you are going to swap out the control arms.
 
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sehaare

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8 years later and peope (me) are still using this write up - thanks
 
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RadioDoc

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You can reuse the old bolts, but you may not be able to get it aligned properly, especially if you switch to a one-piece arm on the right side.

Why would swapping from a two piece upper control arm to a one piece upper control arm make a difference in the decision to use or not use the MOOG
camber kit ?


As it was explained to me, the two piece upper only offers CASTOR adjustment,
but if that's correct, why didn't Ford put the two piece on both sides ?

Can someone clarify why Ford used the two piece uppers ?
What were they trying to do ?
 
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rb142

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Why would swapping from a two piece upper control arm to a one piece upper control arm make a difference in the decision to use or not use the MOOG
camber kit ?


As it was explained to me, the two piece upper only offers CASTOR adjustment,
but if that's correct, why didn't Ford put the two piece on both sides ?

Can someone clarify why Ford used the two piece uppers ?
What were they trying to do ?

If you swap out the two piece for a one piece, you have the bolts out anyway, so it makes sense to put the castor bolts back in instead of the original ones. Some people just swap the outer half of the two-piece arm so they don't need to touch the bolts (or the alignment) on that side. If you change the driver's side, then all of this is irrelevant and you should just do both sides with new bolts and get it aligned.

The original setup allowed a limited amount of adjustment with respect to the other side. But it's a pretty lousy design which is why most people swap it out with one-piece arms and camber bolts when it is time to change it.
 
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sehaare

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I just did this so I'll add a few thoughts:

As everyone said there are hardlines in the way of removing the bolts on the drivers side. I was able to pop one of the lines out of its holder and move it enough to get the bolt out.

I did the one piece design on the passenger side it has the advantage of getting the bushings replaced at the same time. If you only do the outer part of the two piece design the bushings don't get replaced and these SUV's are old enough that they need the bushings replaced.

I ended up needing the camber bolt kit on both sides. It's a long story but I didn't put the bolt kits in when I had it apart and rolled the dice that they might be able to align it without them. So Lesson learned just go ahead and put in the Moog Camber Bolt Kit (Part No. K80065). you will need two kits one for each side. Since the eccentric washer on the bolt head end comes of (instead of being permanetly attached to the bolt head as are the original bolts) it would probably make clearing the hard lines easier than putting the original bolts back in like me.

I had to use a crow bar to get the spindle open enough to get the old ball joints out. And had to use a BFH to get the new ball joint back in.

And in the end when I took it in to get aligned they found that I had a bad inner tie rod end that I missed (old ball joints were so loose that I didn't see the tie rod move). That repair would have been simple to do my self but at that point I was done crawling under the car for a while so I just paid them to do it.

So in Summary:
1)Go with the one piece design for the passenger side
2)install the Moog Camber Bolt kits on both sides yourself (Part No. K80065)
3) You can get the bolts out just figure on it taking a long time on the drivers side going in and you won't get stressed out.
4) After you get the new control arms in, check to see if you now can find anything else that needs to be replaced.
 
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ballin

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Great thread thanks for all of the info.
I'd like some clarification on MOOG part numbers if anyone knows, since the sites I am looking at all seem to have different stock.

I believe I need the following ('98 4WD SOHC):

K80065 - Bolt kit (x2)
CK8708T - Driver side 1-piece
CK80068 - Passenger side 1-piece

Is that right?
 
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swshawaii

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ballin

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Thank you for the info, and yes I am prepared for that bolt, I have some diazepam and a BFH on standby!!
 
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