How To: Upper Control Arm / Ball Joint Replacement (Lots of Pictures) | Page 9 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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

So I've decided to change my UCAs and ball joints as well. I've gotten what seems to be the best price for Moogs off of Amazon. com

For Left UCA Right UCA and 2 lower ball joints the total is= $224.68.
Does anyone think this is a good price, or do you think this price could be beaten?

Also, their specs for looking up a vehicle was only a 2001 Ford Explorer (no Sport option). I think I have my specs listed under my name, but I can't remember. I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. Are these parts interchangable?

Part numbers are as follows. Moog K869ST lower ball joint

Moog K8710T Upper Control Arm (right)

and Moog K8708T Upper Control Arm (left)

Thanks for your time and input.

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That's the wrong right UCA, get the one piece arm. If you buy that one, it doesn't have the ball joint section, which you have to buy separately. Those are very good prices, they have dropped a lot since I got mine for about $250 for just the arms.

All of the front control arms and ball joints are the same for every 95-01 Explorer, and the Sports until 2005.

There is no picture there. That part number does sound right, I've used the one piece shaft for both of my trucks. I'd confirm with a parts store for the part number before ordering. I got mine at Advance this last time.

Hmn. The pic loads up with no problem for me. Thanks for the advice though, Don. I'll confirm them before I order.

Funny, I get the picture today, that looks right.

Just giving an update, I performed this task earlier last week. Auto zone ball joint press was worthless, I suggest beating them out with a hammer and bar, or whatever is tempered enough to take a beating. I bought cheap "Gunk" penetrating oil, sprayed it on the lower ball joints, they went right in using the jack method. Upper control arm gave no trouble coming out, the driver's side was a pain to get out. My wife has smaller hands, and she was able to get get the camber bolts out after I loosened them. Miraculously, I was able to put them back in.

For those of you who are about to attempt this, my advice is to spray everything that you are going to be taking off with a good penetrating oil, preferably the day before. Also, if removing the flaps in the tire well near the motor doesn't give enough room, do not be afraid to remove the whole plastic piece. Make sure you mark the positions of your camber bolts before you remove them.

Afterwards, I'm not sure if this applies to other models or not. The guy who performed my alignment said that the new camber/caster bolts are a waste of time to put in. He said that they just make the alignment easier for the alignment tech. He also said that even with newer camber/caster bolts, that they still don't have enough of an extension to get the camber to where he'd like to see it. Hopefully perfectly straight. Hehe.

At any rate, take that advice or leave it, I was just stating his opinion. Thanks a lot for your help again guys.

Btw. If your ball joints were as bad as mine, adjust your mirrors when you take it for a test drive, I believe mine rose about 3 inches....I'd never noticed it sink.

Got a 97 2WD, and the rearward UCA camber bolt on the driver's side not only has the "hardline issue" but also what appears to be a bolted down ground wire in the way. Anyone know about this? Should I just disconnect the battery and then remove the attaching bolt?
Can use whatever info is available.

Theres a trick to it

Apparently, you can just keep turning it back and forth and go between the line and get it in/out. I tried and tried, then I took it to a shop to get the bolt replaced, because they couldn't align the front end. I had to shave off about 3/8 - 1/2 inch with the grinder to get mine back in. I then didn't get the bolt back in the grooves and it bent when I tightened it down. I was standing there when the guy put the new one in and he done it in like 1 minute or less literally. I was like WHAT ??? !! so just don't get aggravated and keep workin it around and back and forth and it will go. Good Luck !! I couldn't do this myself :rolleyes:

Also he didn't take the ground or anything loose to do it ...

Anyone have any experience with the Moog K80065 Cam Bolt Kit? Should the cam bolts be replaced with the UCA/BJ?

EDIT: Installed the Moog Uppers and used the factory cam bolts. Took it to Les Schawb for an alignment. They guy couldnt get the camber on the pass. side tire set without the use of a cam bolt kit. He said the factory bolts do not allow for enough camber adjustment. So I got the kit installed. Just an FYI

I did survive.
Two hours to remove the driver's side rear bolt and maybe 5 minutes to replace it. Sheesh. This would be great experience were I ever crazy enough to do it again.
Did find that the Moog replacement was a teeny bit wider across the bushings than my stock and had to do some filing and greasing to prevent a little sledge work on the install.
HOT TIP: when replacing the UCA bolts, start with the flat side of the threads up or down, but not sideways, and the UCA pushed as far back (toward the engine) in the "boxes" while still allowing access to the bushings.

Just did this myself. Wasn't too difficult, except for getting that one bolt around the fuel lines. I just got the dorman replacements from They seem to be fine after a test drive. However, only the driver side came with a grease fitting on top. Passenger side is not greasable. Anyone know why?

I've been following this post and researching on my own, since I have to replace my uppers and lowers. I bought the UCA for the tops, but the bottoms are just the b/j. I want to tear in to my front end tommorrow, but was curious if anyone knew roughly how much it would cost to have a shop press the bottom b/j's?

From what I've read the Moog b/j's are a little wider than the stock ones, and I don't want to beat the hell out of it. Any suggestions would be great. I hope this goes as smoothly as you've made it seem. Wish me luck....

Issue with Front Right Upper Control Arm Bolts

Yesterday I managed to remove everything except for the upper control arm. Due to the beautiful design of my car I had 2 fuel lines in the way of the right bolt on the uppercontrol arm. I managed to remove that one by carefully guiding it inbetween the two lines. However on the left side I could not remove the bolt due to a large aluminum line which I believe is the power steeling line. (Im probably wrong) I was just wondering if anyone here has had that problem and what can I do to get by this line. Is there a different set of bolts I should purchase so I dont have this problem again? I plan on buying the balljoints with the greaser valves so I shouldn't have to do this again but I cannot believe this setup. I think I am going to remove the battery and the cables so I have more room to work with.

Strizzlow-I had the same problem. I ended up removing the clip that holds that line in place located above the uca. I then took a large screwdriver and pried the line gently to give the bolt enough wiggle room. It takes time, and patience, and a third hand would have been nice. But it can be done. To get it back in I reversed the same idea with the screwdriver. Best of luck!

Ditto, there are clamps holding the fuel lines, and that large emissions line in front. Find the bolt for those clamps to gain some clearance.

Thank you for the Response. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy.

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When putting the bolts back in. Can the bolts be put back in with the thread side facing the fuel lines? The bolt does not come close to the fuel lines and the nut just slides in.

No one has mentioned this before. Wheel alignment can only be done with the bolts replaced the way they came out?