Upper ball joint assembly | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Upper ball joint assembly

I thought you were referring to the ring at the location of the ball. No, there's nothing where it goes through the arm. It's not like the ball joint easily sat into the controller arm - it took a lot of effort with the hammer. The previous ball joint didn't have a retaining ring, either.
 



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You certainly can install a ball joint with a ball peen hammer but it is not recommended. It is very important that the joint is pressed into the control arm with even pressure all around. If even pressure is not applied it could warp or shave away areas on the upper control arm. Although this is a tight fit now, in a year to come it may be able to slide right out if water, rust, etc is able to form around there.

I don't mean to be a nag but too many people make mistakes on vital suspension parts like these. I nag for everyone's safety. (This pops out while at speed, well, you know what would happen) I'm having the same issue with my explorer, the boots are torn and it's time to replace. My UCA's are both rusted, deteriorated, and all the bushings on them are old and rotted. To me it's much more economical to replace the entire UCA assembly in one go. This way there's no pressing, no guessing. If you don't have the proper tools to press ball joints I would recommend this route.

I got two UCA assemblies from MOOG for $230. These both have joints with grease fittings and come with everything necessary to replace the factory parts, bushings, joints, and bolts. The old one's are simply unbolted, and new ones put in the same.

In the end, if you feel confident with it, go ahead. If there's any doubt, reconsider and invest in the proper tools or the entire assembly for the future.. and YES, you should replace both ball joints/UCA assemblies at the same time. The reasoning behind this is not because we all have OCD, it's because if the ball joint you showed us here popped out, how long until the other side pops as well? Not worth the risk.. Always replace in pairs, you'll thank yourself later.
 






I appreciate your advice. Getting the entire control arm with ball joint here in Costa Rica would have cost over $300 at the only Ford dealership. No onr else has it and I don't have the luxury of waiting to bring one in from the US right now, which would have resulted in about a 2 week wait. I'm inclined to risk it but monitor it closely for now. I'm definitely going to replace the other side now, as well.
 












Mevotech are very sturdy and have grease fittings and retainer snap ring or circlip whatever you call it.
 












I'm not sure what my mechanic installed on mine, but they have snap rings which are a brass color. The ball joints are blue, so my Explorer has blue balls. Haha
 






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