Upper ball joint will not slide into knuckle! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Upper ball joint will not slide into knuckle!


Active Member
October 18, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Green Bay, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Sport
Im on day 2 now with the project of changing upper and lower ball joints. Really its been quite simple, other than having problems with rusted parts like this. Now that I am in the process of putting everything back together. I can not get the upper ball joint to slide into the knuckle. I've tried taking a dremel and sanding down the inside of the pinch area, cleaning out all corrosion and rust. Its shiny clean metal now. I put some grease inside also. I've tried with the tie rod and lower partialy tightened, and completly tightened. The upper will go about 1/4in. into the knuckle and just stop. I can lift up the entire corner of the tuck with the jack, and it still wont slip in. So whats next? Try to pry it open more with a chissel? Heat it with a torch? :mad:


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A nice big hammer will do nicely. A BFH is a mans best friend when replacing ball joints. Put the ball joint in the spindle and hammer it down in.

I guess I was scared of hammering around/on the ball joint itself. Didnt' want to cause any damage. I'll give it a try, thanks!


Hit the upper arm on each side of the ball joint. if you have to hit the ball joint directly just make sure the grease fitting isnt in. Ive had to do this alot on mine, itll go in with a few good whacks.

Thanks everyone, I'll let you know how it goes.