Replaced Front Ball Joints and a problem now... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Replaced Front Ball Joints and a problem now...


December 18, 2010
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Two weeks ago, I set out to replace the upper and lower ball joints on the front my 2002 Mountaineer. Having done the driver side bearing a couple of weeks prior, I also did the passenger side bearing as the same time as the ball joints.

Doing the first bearing, i realized i needed new ball joints if I were to do the passenger side correctly, and "finish" the driver side as I felt the bearing job wasn't complete after seeing the condition of the ball joints. one day, I did all the ball joints and passenger side bearing...took me 11 hrs, but I did the bearing the right way....took the knuckle out completely put the new bearing in and torked the 3 bolts correctly.

This is where I think have a the process of taking the knuckle out, I had to unbolt the steering end tie rods. The passenger side end tie rod was pretty difficult to put back together because it just spun when I initially tried to tighten the bolt back on. I fiddled with it and the impact gun and thought I had gotten it on right. The gasket fell off while i had it apart and figured it was probably due a replacement, but I could get by for awhile....

After driving on it about two weeks I noticed, there is a very slight squeal when I turn left. You can't hear it unless the window is down. And today, the wife complained that there is a popping in the steering when she turns left for parking speed maneuvers. i am worried about the steering end tie rod on the passenger side.

I replaced the upper control arms, the bearings, and lower ball joints, and never did a front end alignment...although I think it needs one. As the squealing noise might be by the tire out of whack a little bit.

SO tonight got home and took some pictures, and noticed that the passenger side tie rod "ball" is kinda sitting funny. What do you guys think? I ordered some new parts, but I live overseas, and it will be about a week before I can get the parts delivered. What should I do? Drive on it? or stop...?

Is there something else that could cause the popping? It only happens at very low to no speed....and the ever-so-slight squeal only happens at high speeds with slight to moderate turning to the left...

Photos are below...



ya get new tie rod ends and a allignment. I wouldnt drive it.

When you had it all apart, did the CV axles check out ok?

When you had it all apart, did the CV axles check out ok?

I really don't know....this is the most advanced thing I have done to a car...I live overseas, so if I want something fixed I practically have to do it myself...i took car not to move the axle around too much when i took the knuckle off....i laid it on the lower control arm and tried not to move it more than it needed...

I do know i the popping noise is the same if I am at a stand still or moving...the CV joints don't wouldn't pop if I wasn't moving...and the popping noise is made when moving the steering wheel near the limits of full throw to the left...