Mechanics

Ball Joint Replacement

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Ball Joint
How to Replace a Ball Joint

Ball joints are used to connect lower suspension control arm to the steering knuckle on the spindle. When turning your vehicle, the suspension travels up and down and still needs to keep constant control of the wheels, the ball joint allows the control arm to keep solid contact with minimal friction. There are two types of ball joints, sealed units which do not require any lubrication and standard ball joints that require grease to be pumped into the zirk fitting. Over time, sealed ball joints require less maintenance and tend to last longer, while standard ball joints if lubricated regularly can last just as long. When replacing a ball joint it can be proactive to replace the complete lower control arm.

Before you start park the car on level ground, in park with the emergency brake set. Wear protective clothing. gloves and eyewear.

Tools and Supplies Needed to Complete this Job

1. Hammer

2. Sockets and Ratchet

3. Channel Lock

4. Press

5. Floor Jack

6. Jack Stands

7. Shop Towels

8. Replacement Ball Joint

9. Breaker Bar
 

Instructions

1. Lift and support vehicle using solid jack stands.

2. Remove wheel and inspect ball joint connection.

3. Remove brake caliper and make sure to support it so it won’t hang from the brake line.

4. Loosen and remove nut and ball joint stud bolt using a ball joint press.

5. Use a pry ball to separate the ball stud from the knuckle.

6. Inspect the tapered holes in the spindle for any wear or damage.

7. The ball stud may be riveted to the control arm, using a drill you can remove the rivet and remove the ball stud from the control arm. If not the lower control arm will need to be replaced that includes the new ball joint.

8. Remove the lower control arm assembly bolts that connect to the frame.

9. Connect the replacement lower control arm to the frame using new bolts.

10. Connect the ball joint to the knuckle and insert ball joint stud bold and tighten nut to manufacturers recommended torque.

11. Install brake caliper and tighten to manufacturers recommended torque

12. Replace wheel and semi-tighten lug nuts in a star pattern. Lower vehicle and tighten wheel to manufacturers recommended torque evenly so you don’t warp the rotors or damage the studs.

13. Have the front end aligned after the repair has been completed.

If further technical assistance is needed, our certified car repair technicians are ready to answer your car questions. For manufacturer specific repair information visit - Car Repair Manuals

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AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-08-16)