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Moog Ball Joint Fitting Problems

dirtwheels

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February 11, 2015
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer
1998 Explorer 4L
Moog K80068 & K8708 Upper Control Arm ball joints do no fit into spindle.

After getting a quote for $1100 to replace the ball joints on my wifes 1998 explorer, I decided it couldn't be that hard to DIY.


Thanks to the knowledgeable folks here and the numerous threads on the project I learned about Rock Auto parts, ordered the parts and saved about $200 on the parts, thank again ya'll!

I eagerly ripped the passenger side components off and had fun with the reassembly, right up to the point of fitting the upper ball joint into the spindle. I just thought my minimally used mechanic skills were the problem as I jacked the lower control arm and beat the upper control arm with my rubber mallet with zero progress.

Frustrated I sat down thinking it's sunday, no way to contact Moog or Rock...

Suddenly or 10 minutes later, my lightning fast mind realized I had the other control arm just sitting in the box....why not see if it fits down in the spindle! I didn't!!!*#@**@@##**!!!

So now I'm wondering if there are different control arms for the OHV & SOHC versions, but the Rock Auto site confirms that is not the case. Oh well.

So here's my question, is there a 1 piece control arm from Moog that has the ball joint to fit my spindle?
 



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I installed Moog ball joints (upper and lower) in my '01 5.0L with no problems. as far as I know, the 2-dr's, 4-dr's, 4.0 OHV, 4.0 SOHC, 5.0L, 2wd, 4x4 and AWD all take the same part numbers. The only difference I've ever heard of was with the Rangers. The ones with coil springs and the ones with T-bars take different UCA/BJ's.
 






Thanks, the upper ball joint only goes in to the point that the raised shoulder contacts to inner ridge of the spindle. You can feel it make contact and stop. That's why I tried the other side to see if the angles of the mounted one was the problem.

Any ideas?

I guess my 1st is to contact moog to see if they've sent any out with ball joints didn't fit.

I installed Moog ball joints (upper and lower) in my '01 5.0L with no problems. as far as I know, the 2-dr's, 4-dr's, 4.0 OHV, 4.0 SOHC, 5.0L, 2wd, 4x4 and AWD all take the same part numbers. The only difference I've ever heard of was with the Rangers. The ones with coil springs and the ones with T-bars take different BJ's.
 






I replaced the passenger side upper control arm in like... 12 minutes with the Moog part RK8710T (it's two part upper, with Zerk fitting). I had no issues...
 






2nd Gen - Upper BJ Won't Go Into Spindle
Turdle (Post #4)

I think your BJ stud is going in at an angle--the top of the hole is decieving-

Try raising the lower arm a tad and adjusting the angle of the spindle. I have seen this before.

The upper should not be at full droop while you are going in with the ball joint.

Is the bolt removed? The ball joint will not slide in with the bolt in the way.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355558
 






Thanks, the ball joint has the zerk fitting too, it nor the drivers side will slide into the spindle.

I replaced the passenger side upper control arm in like... 12 minutes with the Moog part RK8710T (it's two part upper, with Zerk fitting). I had no issues...
 






I think your BJ stud is going in at an angle--the top of the hole is decieving-
  • my thought too, but the I took the control arm from the drivers side and tried to get it in the passenger spindle with no success.


Try raising the lower arm a tad and adjusting the angle of the spindle. I have seen this before.
  • That is the method I used, I even took the shock loose incase it was malfunctioning and not letting the control arm move.
The upper should not be at full droop while you are going in with the ball joint.
  • It's not I can move the control arm much lower.

Is the bolt removed? The ball joint will not slide in with the bolt in the way.
  • Very happy to report no bolt in the knickle.

 






We just successfully did this on my 96 5.0 awd less than 4 hours ago When we went to place the upper ball joint in place we jacked up the lower control arm and gently tapped it into place. It definitely did not wanna go in by hand but it fit try and check inside the hole to see if there is anything blocking it just in case I would post pics of what I did but I still dont know how.. Good Luck My Moog part number was K80068 to replace my two piece
 






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Sorry about the giant photos but as I explained above this is the K80068 Upper balljoint for my 1996 Explorer AWD 5.0 does yours look close to this?
 






That's exactly like mine. Once I confirm the correct measurement I'll try again, it's outside and this today is the last dry day for a while.


Sorry about the giant photos but as I explained above this is the K80068 Upper balljoint for my 1996 Explorer AWD 5.0 does yours look close to this?
 
























I get the stoopid diy'er of the day award! I had the upper control arm too tight to let it move free enough to go in the knuckle.....Ooopppps

THANKS for al the helpful replies!
 






The upper should not be at full droop while you are going in with the ball joint.
  • It's not I can move the control arm much lower.
I guess the UCA wasn't loose after all. ;) BTDT

Glad to hear you got it, remember to check alignment. :thumbsup:
 






Thanks, I could move it, just not freely enough, will be getting an alignment for sure. Replacing tie rod ends now, just got back from parts run.


I guess the UCA wasn't loose after all. ;) BTDT

Glad to hear you got it, remember to check alignment. :thumbsup:
 






Thanks, I could move it, just not freely enough, will be getting an alignment for sure. Replacing tie rod ends now, just got back from parts run.

Glad you got it all worked out!!:D
 



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Is that ice all over your suspension?

Nope its in my garage, but its just the led work light that makes it look like that. Its about 43 degrees and raining here in Alaska
 






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