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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have the link to a thread or any idea where to find this procedure? I searched the forum and could not find what I needed. I know that I could find the information in a fsm but I would rather not buy one if I dont have to. Thank you in advance for your help
 

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Does anyone have the link to a thread or any idea where to find this procedure? I searched the forum and could not find what I needed. I know that I could find the information in a fsm but I would rather not buy one if I dont have to. Thank you in advance for your help
Buy a Haynes manual. Well worth the $$ when doing these types of repairs

For uppers, drill out the rivets. Don't need to remove the upper control arm but it makes it easier if you do. If you remove be sure to put the alignment shims back in same location.

For lowers I use a shop with a press to remove the old and press in the new.


Pat
95 SS
 

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I made a tool out of a 1/2 inch diameter, 3 inch bolt, with a nut, washer, and socket. I used it to remove the tapered shaft in the spindle. It worked great, and cost less than $2. Loosen the nut, put the assembly between the ball joints, and spread them apart. The ball joint will pop right out.
 

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I bought a Ball Joint Press kit from Harbor Freight for $30. Not bad quality when you look at other kits for $100. I have done a lot of these over the years so the kit it was worth it to me.

If you don't want to buy one to do this just once, then consider the "Loan a tool" program that both AutoZone and Advance have. But definitely get yourself a Haynes manual and take your time and be careful. You are dealing with some dangerous spring pressure on those front coils.
 

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This is a rough draft of the steps I use on all mine. I may miss a couple things but nothing major. This job is time consuming but not all to difficult if one is mechanically inclined. A Haynes manual is good to have for the required Torque Specs.

1.Put the car on Jack stands.

2.Remove front wheels.

3.Remove brake Caliper and Pads.

4.Remove Rotor and dust shield.

5.IF the ABS sensor will come out do so and lay it out the way. If not unplug it and remove the clamps that secure it to the frame.

6.Place Floor Jack under lower control arm and remove Ball Joint cotter pins and nuts.

7.Remove Spindle, this part may be tough but they make tools for the process. A big pickle fork for Ball Joints is available and most any parts store or Sears Store.

8.Using a press remove and install lower joint.

9.Using a drill remove the rivets securing the upper joint to the A arm.

10.Install new upper joints using the bolts/nuts supplied with the new joint.

Reinstall spindle and other parts removed in reverse order.

 

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I made a tool out of a 1/2 inch diameter, 3 inch bolt, with a nut, washer, and socket. I used it to remove the tapered shaft in the spindle. It worked great, and cost less than $2. Loosen the nut, put the assembly between the ball joints, and spread them apart. The ball joint will pop right out.
If I'm reading your post correctly, that only removes the ball loint from the spindle. rmason's method gets them out of the control arms.

Edit: Nice summary Sinister. :cool:

A couple of things I do differently that you may or may not find useful:

Get an upside down 5 gallon bucket to set the spindle/rotor/caliper assemby on behind the control arm. This saves from having to remove and reinstall the caliper.

Remove the LBJ with a good sized hammer. One or two good smacks will knock it right out of there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used that picture that you posted as a guide. I got the balljoints finished along with the brakes. When you look at it without the spindle in it is alot easier to see what you are doing. The first side was a little harder but Im glad I decided to do it instead of paying. Does anyone know around how much getting the uppers and lowers on both sides replaced would cost?
 

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If I'm reading your post correctly, that only removes the ball loint from the spindle. rmason's method gets them out of the control arms.

Edit: Nice summary Sinister. :cool:

A couple of things I do differently that you may or may not find useful:

Get an upside down 5 gallon bucket to set the spindle/rotor/caliper assemby on behind the control arm. This saves from having to remove and reinstall the caliper.

Remove the LBJ with a good sized hammer. One or two good smacks will knock it right out of there.
You are correct. It just removes the ball joint from the spindle. I did not mean to imply it would remove the ball joint from the arm.
 

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Remove the LBJ with a good sized hammer. One or two good smacks will knock it right out of there.
um ya, i've been hittin on mine with everything in my garage for about two days.... B!tch aint coming off. guess i'm buyin a pickle fork, whatever that is....
 

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um ya, i've been hittin on mine with everything in my garage for about two days.... B!tch aint coming off. guess i'm buyin a pickle fork, whatever that is....
Are you trying to remove the ball joint from the control arm, or the spindle from the ball joint?
 

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um ya, i've been hittin on mine with everything in my garage for about two days.... B!tch aint coming off. guess i'm buyin a pickle fork, whatever that is....
If you are talking about the lower BJ, it's one thing to get them out with a hammer but you still need to press the new BJ in. Don't use a hammer on the new part or you will beat the living crap out of it and possibly damage the new part.

Here is a link to the harbor freight piece
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-1-ball-joint-u-joint-c-frame-press-service-kit-38335.html

a little more than what I paid but you can usually find good sales at harborfreight and get it cheaper. If you ever have to do this again, it is well worth it in aggrevation and F-bombs. If you never do it again, just borrow it from one of the loan a tool programs. I've used mine at least 5 times and never had an issue with it. Unless you want Snap-On quality and price, you really can't go wrong with certain tools from HF.

BTW - Not only will this tool press in the new part, but it will also press out the old part. It will only take you a couple of minutes to get the part out. Sure beats the BFH method. I wouldn't even mess with a pickle fork and don't use them on tie rods either. I prefer to "press" the part in and out.
 

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+1

I have the same tool set, and have used it A LOT. I even used it on my Tahoe, which was probably a little more than what the tool was designed for.

Check your local newspaper for a HF 20% off coupon, if nothing else.

I still find it much quicker/easier to knock the LBJ out of the control arm with a two or three good smacks with a good sized hammer.
 

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I was just trying to get the spindle off the control arm so i could put in 1" drop springs... I finally broke down and bought a 8 dollar pickle fork from O'rielys. Came off in about 30 seconds.:mad: Shoulda done that from the start.
 

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I was just trying to get the spindle off the control arm so i could put in 1" drop springs... I finally broke down and bought a 8 dollar pickle fork from O'rielys. Came off in about 30 seconds.:mad: Shoulda done that from the start.
Having the right tool makes it go quick. I don't like to use those forks cause thay can chew up the boot sometimes. To do spring replacement, I've just loosened the castle nut til the top of the nut is flush with the top of the ball joint stud on the lower ball joint. That way the threads in the stud don't get beat up.

Then hit the top of the nut/stud with a BFH a few times and usually this combined with the spring pressure will cause it to (BOING) pop right off. Just use a saftey chain or keep a floor jack just under the control arm so the spring doesn't fly out if the nut lets go. Always want to be SAFE as I have seen what can happen if things go bad.
 

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This is a rough draft of the steps I use on all mine. I may miss a couple things but nothing major. This job is time consuming but not all to difficult if one is mechanically inclined. A Haynes manual is good to have for the required Torque Specs.

1.Put the car on Jack stands.

2.Remove front wheels.

3.Remove brake Caliper and Pads.

4.Remove Rotor and dust shield.

5.IF the ABS sensor will come out do so and lay it out the way. If not unplug it and remove the clamps that secure it to the frame.

6.Place Floor Jack under lower control arm and remove Ball Joint cotter pins and nuts.

7.Remove Spindle, this part may be tough but they make tools for the process. A big pickle fork for Ball Joints is available and most any parts store or Sears Store.

8.Using a press remove and install lower joint.

9.Using a drill remove the rivets securing the upper joint to the A arm.

10.Install new upper joints using the bolts/nuts supplied with the new joint.

Reinstall spindle and other parts removed in reverse order.

I decided to do this project this week since its spring break and im taking my time with it. i have read through this thread and has been very helpfull. I do have a question for you guys. on the new upper ball joints, a tension O ring come with it, where does it goes as i did not see one when i removed the old joint. also the upper ball joint has a support/casing from the bottom. is the new joint suppose to come all the way out with rubber and all or just the rod?
 

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I posted this in another thread as well, but here is a pic of the tool described in the Haynes manual.
 

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Is it true that 'usually' either the lower or the upper ball joint that wears out? IIRC, it is the lower ball joint that usually goes first. And of course, that is the one that is the hardest to remove and replace. At 275K, I am thinking of just replacing only the one that wears out most often. Is that false economy? Are the uppers so inexpensive that you should go ahead and replace them at the same time?
 

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Bumping a thread I found searching.
I did my ball joints today and I did not remove the caliper or tie rods or anything else.
I just used a strap to hold them up out of the way.

Pressing in the new one:
 

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Tight quarters, especially the top, unless they were done before and bolted in.
 
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