Mechanics

FORD TAURUS BALL JOINT PROBLEM

1997 Ford Taurus

1997 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 95000 miles

I am replacing the lower ball joints and strut asm on my '97 Taurus. After several trips to the parts store to get the tools needed I was able to remove the suspension unit and replace the ball joint and strut asm. I am unable to replace it as a unit because I cannot pry the control arm down enough to insert to ball joint stud. I removed the strut asm and installed the steering knuckle and ball joint. Now I can't get the strut into the knuckle. The strut needs to be compressed or the control arm needs to go lower. Has anyone done this replacement? It doesn't help to compress the spring around the strut. Online videos skip this part.
L.H.
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Lrhredjb
September 10, 2010.




I'm afraid you just need a bigger prybar. You might find it easier to separate the knuckle again and put it on the strut first and then the control arm.

Wrenchtech
Sep 10, 2010.
That is not the problem, the control arm is as far down as the opening in the subframe rail will permit. I am going to try loosening the front control arm mounting bolt to see if that gives me any more downward movement. I wonder how the Ford techs do it? I can't believe I am the 1st guy to have this problem. Thks for the reply by BTW. L. H.

Tiny
Lrhredjb
Sep 11, 2010.
You can always just loosen the whole sub frame and lower it a little. Use a floor jack with a block of wood.

I don't recall ever having a problem with one when changing struts.

Wrenchtech
Sep 11, 2010.
To lower the subframe I am guessing I need to loosen the bolt that joins the subframe to the body behind the steering rack? Do I have to completely remove the bolt? Anything I need to watch out for? THKS

Tiny
Lrhredjb
Sep 11, 2010.
There should be at least one bolt on all for corners. Some have another one on the center of the sides but I don't think that one does. The only thing you have to watch is that you support it so it and the engine doesn't fall down when the bolt comes out. Only lower it as much as you need to. You have to watch for hoses and things that are clamped to the frame and may get stretched or torn. Just lower it slowly watching for things pulling or hitting something. It's not hard to do and we do it all the time for clearance on various repairs. I would only completely remove the bolts from one side at a time and just loosen the other side so you don't lose the bolt alignment.

Wrenchtech
Sep 11, 2010.
Thks, I will try that Monday.
L.H.
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Tiny
Lrhredjb
Sep 11, 2010.
[quote=" lrhredjb" ]

I finally got it! It was quite a job removing the new ball joint from the control arm without damaging it but using the proper tool (ball joint/pitman arm puller) it came out ok. To gain the needed clearance to insert the ball joint stud in the control arm I had to remove the rear control arm bolt and loosen the nut on the front mount. This allowed enough play to swing the strut asm./Steering knuckle in and insert the ball joint stud. The old ball joints were in great shape despite torn rubber boots.
L.H.

Tiny
Lrhredjb
Sep 18, 2010.

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