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Lower Ball Joint Replacement How To (lots of Pictures)

Sounds good yeah i get my employee discount through advance auto parts but figure IF we were just going to sell the truck oe brand would work just fine. But wanted some other opinions 1st.
 



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So, I did this yesterday. I used the MOOG parts I got from Amazon. Used the Press pictured above. Didnt have to smack anything with a hammer..... swore a little, didnt have to resort to beer,,, all in all it was a good day with a great result. total investment $214.00 (including $100 for the shade tree mech that helped me)
Thanks again, you just saved me $600.00
 






The UCA on the passenger side was a piece o' cake. Lower Balljoint OTOH, I can't actually vouch for since I couldn't get the damn brake caliper bracket off. Bottom bolt came loose easy, but I'd guess that top one is permanently fused together. I tried everything except impact wrench (as I haven't got one) and it's still on there.

Worse come to worse I'll do the driver side, then have the shop do the lower one when I go in for alignment. I'd like to see them get that bolt out! :D

Also, some people may find my grease gun story humorous. Cheap tools from AutoZone... you live and learn!
 






... I can't actually vouch for since I couldn't get the damn brake caliper bracket off. Bottom bolt came loose easy, but I'd guess that top one is permanently fused together. I tried everything except impact wrench (as I haven't got one) and it's still on there.
...

Which bolt do you mean, the spindle bolt or the brake caliper bolt? You can remove either pair to get the caliper off. I suggest never loosening the caliper bolts, those that go through rubber boots. I only take the large spindle bolts out, and yes those should be as tight as a lugnut.
 






Which bolt do you mean, the spindle bolt or the brake caliper bolt? You can remove either pair to get the caliper off. I suggest never loosening the caliper bolts, those that go through rubber boots. I only take the large spindle bolts out, and yes those should be as tight as a lugnut.
From my understanding of his post, it's the brake caliper BRACKET bolts. There's 2 of them. 15mm. And Ford puts locktight on them from the factory. So yes, they can be hard to get off the first time. I suggest creating some leverage by putting a long pipe over your socket wrench.
 






The brake bracket has four bolts in it, two run through the caliper into the bracket(rubber boots). The other two are the bolts to take off, they are better than grade 8, very very strong. Yes 15mm fits them, and always use one drop of red loctite on them if you can.

I used those stock bolts in my custom brakes, in each version. Those are great bolts.

I use an extra long 3/8" ratchet for that kind of hard stuff. It's a Craftsman flex head which is longer than a 1/2" ratchet. You need to have that kind of specialty tool in your set.
 

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From my understanding of his post, it's the brake caliper BRACKET bolts. There's 2 of them. 15mm. And Ford puts locktight on them from the factory. So yes, they can be hard to get off the first time. I suggest creating some leverage by putting a long pipe over your socket wrench.

Yeah mine is 2WD so it looks a little different, but it's definitely the 15mm bracket bolt. One was tight, but I was able to get it off with some effort. The other won't budge at all. Thought about using a long piece of pipe but pipe isn't something we have a lot of around here. :p: I was going to get a long breaker bar at Advance Auto today, but found they don't have any. Never does one parts store ever have everything I need. :confused:

Wasn't planning to take the caliper off of the bracket as to avoid dealing with the brake stuff, but it could end up being my only option. Not going to give up without a fight first tho, altho I feel like I've been beaten to hell already... :D

flex head could be useful... I was having trouble keeping it dead on because of the way the bolt is in there. I'll check that out.

BTW, don't forget to get cotter pins beforehand, especially if you've got parts you need to unbolt but not replace. You're supposed to use a new pin each time.
 






Yeah mine is 2WD so it looks a little different, but it's definitely the 15mm bracket bolt. One was tight, but I was able to get it off with some effort. The other won't budge at all. Thought about using a long piece of pipe but pipe isn't something we have a lot of around here. :p: I was going to get a long breaker bar at Advance Auto today, but found they don't have any. Never does one parts store ever have everything I need. :confused:

Wasn't planning to take the caliper off of the bracket as to avoid dealing with the brake stuff, but it could end up being my only option. Not going to give up without a fight first tho, altho I feel like I've been beaten to hell already... :D

flex head could be useful... I was having trouble keeping it dead on because of the way the bolt is in there. I'll check that out.

BTW, don't forget to get cotter pins beforehand, especially if you've got parts you need to unbolt but not replace. You're supposed to use a new pin each time.

The flex head craftsman is one of my favorite tools. If you have a harbor freight nearby they sell a 24" 1/2" breaker bar for around $10. That is what I used to take the bolt off. The other option would be a powerful impact wrench.
 






Turn that wheel all the way inward, that will let you get on the bolts while having the tool and your arm outside the wheel well. That's easier than with your shoulder up in the wheel well etc. I don't have to do that, bt for a stubborn bolt that can make the difference. Regards,
 






WOW! This is a great resource. I'm about to attempt to replace upper and lower ball joints on my 1999 Mazda B2500 and I'm very nervous. The only front end work I've done is replacing the shocks. I was quoted $800 for the work, and I'm on a much stricter budget than that thanks to Dave Ramsey. :)

Couple of questions:
- I'm nervous about reloading the suspension for removal of the upper control arm(see here:http://www.ehow.com/video_4401484_reload-truck-suspension.html). I haven't heard anyone mentioning this...is this the best way to do this? I wanted to leave my jack available for the "jack trick"

- Has anyone else removed the axle nut for a 1999 Mazda B2500? I am trying to verify that is is 27mm

-Does the video mentioned on the early thread pages still exist? Being a novice, the more instruction the better.

Thanks so much y'all!
 






Thx for the suggestions, the Kmart here didn't have the Craftsman flex-head wrench so I just got a breaker bar at Autozone... which my last visit reminded me why I call it the Wal-Mart of Auto Parts. :D

Now to wait for this rain to pass... :thumbdwn:

WOW! This is a great resource. I'm about to attempt to replace upper and lower ball joints on my 1999 Mazda B2500 and I'm very nervous. The only front end work I've done is replacing the shocks. I was quoted $800 for the work, and I'm on a much stricter budget than that thanks to Dave Ramsey. :)

Couple of questions:
- I'm nervous about reloading the suspension for removal of the upper control arm(see here:http://www.ehow.com/video_4401484_reload-truck-suspension.html). I haven't heard anyone mentioning this...is this the best way to do this? I wanted to leave my jack available for the "jack trick"

I didn't do that, but I did use the jack to help me get the spindle attached to the new control arm.
 






This may be a dumb question but do you remove the wheelbearings when replacing your ball joints to get the knuckle off? If so, do you need to repack them? This would be a first for me.

Thanks
 






This may be a dumb question but do you remove the wheelbearings when replacing your ball joints to get the knuckle off? If so, do you need to repack them? This would be a first for me.

Thanks

if you're 2WD then yeah, I would think you would need to? But I don't know enough about the 2WD 2nd gens. But may as well since you're in there.
 






Lower ball joints can't be replaced - must replace control arm?

Both the Haynes and Chilton repair manuals state something like the following for 1995 and later models:

"The balljoints on the upper and lower control arms are not removable or serviceable. If a balljoint is damaged or worn, replace the control arm".

It is pretty obvious this is not true, from all the posts in this long thread. Why do these manuals say this?
 






Both the Haynes and Chilton repair manuals state something like the following for 1995 and later models:

"The balljoints on the upper and lower control arms are not removable or serviceable. If a balljoint is damaged or worn, replace the control arm".

It is pretty obvious this is not true, from all the posts in this long thread. Why do these manuals say this?

it's half true.
the upper balljoints are not replaceable on the OEM UCA's. The balljoint is integrated into the arm.

As for the lowers... liability reasons maybe? No clue.
 






Thanks for the quick reply. I was only doing the lower ones anyway. I am not too proud of either of these Haynes or Chilton repair manuals by the way - they help, but I can usually get better, more detailed information from other sources like this forum. I guess I should shell out for the Ford service manuals - as I have heard they are excellent (at least compared to the above) but I gather they are pretty expensive, right?

Also, Gavin, as an experienced user in this forum, can you tell me where to post the following question:

I need help identifying what to replace in the front end -- as I have a loud hum that sounds like mud-grip tires but is not. I just replaced the bearing assembly on the (passenger) side that it sounded like it was coming from, but no help. Then changed the tires around to be sure it wasn't a tire problem, and no help. When I swerve to the left at speed, the sound about disappears. Where would I post a question about this? Thanks.
 






Thanks for the quick reply. I was only doing the lower ones anyway. I am not too proud of either of these Haynes or Chilton repair manuals by the way - they help, but I can usually get better, more detailed information from other sources like this forum. I guess I should shell out for the Ford service manuals - as I have heard they are excellent (at least compared to the above) but I gather they are pretty expensive, right?

Also, Gavin, as an experienced user in this forum, can you tell me where to post the following question:

I need help identifying what to replace in the front end -- as I have a loud hum that sounds like mud-grip tires but is not. I just replaced the bearing assembly on the (passenger) side that it sounded like it was coming from, but no help. Then changed the tires around to be sure it wasn't a tire problem, and no help. When I swerve to the left at speed, the sound about disappears. Where would I post a question about this? Thanks.

The OEM Ford Service manuals are very in depth.

P1000795.jpg


I recently got one for my Explorer. Both purplish binders are for the Explorer. Ran me about $80 from Helm Inc (http://www.helminc.com). Well over 1,000 pages.
Compared to the black one for my Bronco2 I got years ago, compared to the Chilton's.
Although I'm not sure what the service manual says in regards to the balljoints, I would think the same thing. Chilton's essentially are trimmed-down OEM Service Manuals, really.

and that particular question would go in the Stock 1995-2001 Explorers section.
 






The manuals don't reflect any aftermarket parts choices when they were made. Ford wants you to always buy the whole arm assembly to replace one bad part. They do that for a whole lot of parts, that is common practice with Ford.
 






Both the Haynes and Chilton repair manuals state something like the following for 1995 and later models:

"The balljoints on the upper and lower control arms are not removable or serviceable. If a balljoint is damaged or worn, replace the control arm".

It is pretty obvious this is not true, from all the posts in this long thread. Why do these manuals say this?
Don't forget that the Moog Upper Control Arms come with serviceable ball joints. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

25953_105307269489772_100000314975405_130474_4798336_n.jpg
 



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Did you need to replace the LCA bushings? I will be doing my upper and lowers soon. What's the chances that I will need to replace the lower bushings as well?
Anybody!

2000XLT 2x2 5.0 160k mi
 






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