Mechanics

UPPER BALL JOINTS

1996 Ford Explorer

Suspension problem
1996 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 112500 miles

Hello.I am wondering how hard it is to replace the UPPER control arm/ball joints on my '96 Explorer. Is it something I can do myself with basic hand tools? It looks like its just a few bolts. How exactly does the ball joint come out? Do I just take off the bolt on the side? Do they come already greased? Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks.
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Missmy05gt
March 5, 2008.




You wil need a bit more then just basica hand tools, you have to remove the bolts and then you will need a special tool to seperate the ball joint, some come greased some not depends if its a greasable kind or sealed.

Be sure to take the top ball joint off first then the bottom one.

Blackop555
Mar 15, 2008.
Just did mine tonight. You don't need a special tool to separate the joint. Just get a baby sledge hammer and strike the control arm near the ball joint with an upward motion. It should come right out. Getting the Inner bolts out of the bushings is a real pain, especially the rear one on the drivers side. Very poor clearance by the dim wits at Ford. I would recommend torqueing the bolts to the correct specs. I broke the spindle to ball joint pin bolt. (Sheered it right off by tightening it too tight.

Tiny
Mufflerbearing
Apr 25, 2008.
Ford Explorer Owners beware. Here's what happened to my oxygen sensor. The insulation on the exhaust manifold is made of metal and has a hole where the oxygen sensor mounts to the exhaust manifold. What happens is the glue the insulation is secured with drys out and the insulation gets loose and travels down the oxygen sensor until it makes contact with the oxygen sensor wires. It will dangle there until it cuts through the wire insulation and bingo you have a bad oxygen sensor! Cost me 60.00 for a new one that wouldn't have to be replaced if I had looked for this. Hope this helps Jim

Tiny
Mufflerbearing
Apr 25, 2008.
Thanks for the additional information on the o2 sensors, thats usefull information.

Blackop555
Apr 26, 2008.
Before you install the new ball joint control arm assembly, you might want to remove the small metal ring at the bottom of the boot and with the end of a grease gun hose (no zerk nozzle installed) shoot some grease into the boot. Be sure to reinstall the metal ring before installing the ball joint. It's ashame the manufacturer of mine-TRW does not install a zerk fitting for lubrication. Moog joints have zerk fittings! I'm sure loads of these ball joints would still be serviceable if they had grease fittings in the first place.
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Tiny
Mufflerbearing
Apr 27, 2008.

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