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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will soon be doing all the ball joints, uppers and lowers. Never done all 4 at the same time but I just cant see myself paying $200(if I can find a shop that will charge that, yea right dream on) just on labor so I will be trying it myself.

I've done some front end work before(putting springs on) so the front end i'm somewhat familiar with. I will be renting the ball joint press tool from AZ to get the lowers in/out and a spring compressor since the damn lower control arm doesnt move enough to take out even the Intrax springs, but I dont know where to start with all this, the lowers or uppers? Does it matter? Fastest way? I will also be taking out the springs to put in new isolators on the top correctly, one of them came off the spring GRRR!! :mad: do I really have to do that?

thanks all.... post anything I should know before I dive into this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The uppers are easy as you only need to drill off the head of the rivet(stock) or unbolt the bolts(non-stock).

The lowers need to be pressed on & off with a impact gun.

You do know that to take out springs you need to remove the shock. Not to be sarcastic but I almost removed my stock non-sagging 9C1 springs, when I disconnected my shock and Lower bj.

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Start with the uppers(remove & replace) then release the shock & lower Ball joints. Next do the isolators then move on to the lower ball joint(remove & replace). Then out the shock back on.

FYI, you might need a cutting torch depending on the condition of your tools & rustiness of your parts.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just remember that you do need to jack the car from under the control arm so the spring doesnt extend and go flying etc.

use a jackstand for the arm too for an extra safety measure

the top one for me was a pain in the ass because my bits were dull so get a good set or at least some good bits 1 thin and 1 thick
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How do I inspect the steering knuckle where the ball joint stud goes in? I read in a search it has to be in good condition. How do I find out what size the LBJ is on my car??

How is the ball joint press tool from AZ used? thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ball joint press from AZ is used in conjunction with an impact gun as it is nothing more than a Giant C-Clamp with adpaters to remove ball joints.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I did my lowers with the C-Clamp, I didn't own an impact yet, so I used a 2 foot long 1/2" breaker bar. I'm not sure an impact would have had enough umph to do it, took everything I had to get the old BJ's out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by claSSic Caprice:
im about to start on the uppers, do I need to support anything when taking them out?
Not to totally discourage you, but from the sounds of your previous posts, you may want to farm this R&R out.
This R&R requires an understanding of the SAFETY precautions to be used, inorder to avoid serious injury, or death. Front Coil Spring is under tremendous pressure!!

Regards shearing those UBJ rivets off with a hand chisel & hammer, it is a bear.
An AIR Impact Chisel is the way to go, for rivet head removal.

And yes, when removing UCA BJ from steering knuckle, LCA MUST be securely supported, so LCA doesn't over extend[to avoid spring POP OUT].
Same when removing LCA BJ, you must support LCA.
Place a STURDY Jack Stand under LCA, positioned between shock & LBJ, OR a Floor Jack placed under shock.

All UBJ PN's are the same.
If vehicle is not "late 1995, all 1996 9C1"[5/8" LBJ], you've got 9/16" LBJ's.
Carefully measure the diameter of threaded stud that protrudes above castellated nut holding LBJ.
It will either be 9/16" or 5/8".
Tip: You can close the jaws of an Adjustable Wrench around the stud, then measure opening of jaws.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had to heat my lower arms up to get my ball joints out. Hammers prybars and C clamps would'nt do it. Torch helped them slide right out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i've done the springs before, just never removed the ball joint from the arm or had done a upper ball joint before. Last night I finished the upper ball joints in an hour or two. I will remove the springs today or tommorow and the ball joints too. I got a 9/16 wrench and it barely fit on the ball joint stud so that means I have the 9/16 ball joints?

Last time I took out my 9C1 spings, I popped the ball joint loose from the spindle and lowered the jack slowly so the spring wouldnt shoot out, the jack went down slowly but the control arm didnt move at all, I had to use a compressor to get the springs out. I still wont be taking my chances, I'll be using spring compressors, jacks and things under the arm, im scared of those things too. :eek:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Um, if you remove the castle nut and let the jack down, the LCA should move with it UNLESS the arm and jack are binding together. You have to keep in mind that the LCA's range of motion isn't neccessarily going to match the jack's. That's probably what hung up. Once you have the jack down all the way, you force the LCA down even more with your foot. At that point, just start tugging on the spring like a monkey until it clangs out of position. You might crap yourself, but you're not in danger.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by Kevin Moore:
Once you have the jack down all the way, you force the LCA down even more with your foot. At that point, just start tugging on the spring like a monkey until it clangs out of position. You might crap yourself, but you're not in danger.
:eek: If following above suggestion, either be using Spring Compressor, or leave Shock attached.

ClaSSic, what was your method of removal, of rivet heads on UBJ's?
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Originally posted by LarryCigar:
:eek: If following above suggestion, either be using Spring Compressor, or leave Shock attached.
Larry,

I highly suspect the reason the LCA wouldn't drop is because it was binding on the jack. Obviously you don't want to kick down the LCA while it's still on the jack. If it doesn't go down smoothly after letting pressure out of the jack, then it's time to regroup. But assuming the jack lets the LCA down smoothly, then you are already out of harms way as there is VERY little spring tension left. That's why I said the spring may "clang" out of its home, but has little energy built up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well it was a bad day today... I couldn't get the damn AZ press tool to fit in, looks like the spindle will have to go off. The instructions on the box are no good, there is not enough clearance....

To top it off the NAPA drones gave me the wrong spring isolators... GRRR


oh yea btw the springs in the car are Intrax springs, they are very short!! Ive been using the spring compresser though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe if you disconnect the sway bar endlinks the LCA will drop farther? You REALLY don't need a spring compressor with these cars! I promise!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I already got the springs out, I had to get my friend who is 300 lbs to put his feet on the LCA, he had to put some push into it then it went down all the way and now it moves easy when you push on the LCA like its supposed to. yes I removed everything! :cool:

Now i'm having problems with the ball joint press, the instructions on the case do no good for my situation, as the C clamp with the adapters is not long enough, is there a way to use the tool without the adapters? This is all im stuck at, removing out the old ball joints, after that I just have to put the new ones in and bolt everything up!!

im having b-body withdrawls :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Take one of the new LBJ's to a Plumbing Supply, and buy a piece of 1 foot long pipe, that's slightly larger in inside diameter than bottom of BJ.

Brute force removal method:
Place pipe below LBJ[acting as receiver] under LCA , and proudly smack BJ stud, with a sledge
[BJ will be forced out, and into pipe]. That should take care of removal. Make sure pipe sits on hard surface; i.e. concrete, plywood, etc.

For install, place supplied[AZ Tool] "tall receiver adaptor"** over top hole in LCA, and set end of
C-Clamp on bottom face of new LBJ, then press into Arm.
Think in reverse of removal; i.e. C-Clamp is acting as sledge, when pressing in.

**receiver should be of larger diameter than hole in LCA

Note: DO NOT use brute force[sledge ]method for installing, you could damage new BJ.
It must be pressed in.

EDIT ADD: Maybe this will help you visualize.
Scroll down to bottom of page in below link:
www.lislecorp.com/tool_detail.cfm?detail=764
:eek: Illustration is of 'receiver adaptor', at bottom of LCA, in position to "REMOVE" BJ.
:eek: To "INSTALL", place 'adaptor' on top of LCA.
:eek: "EASY"
 
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