Ball joint replacement

Tiny
JOE SCOTT
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 268,000,078 MILES
How to replace ball joint?
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Sunday, November 20th, 2016 AT 2:06 PM

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Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
See picture for instructions. You need to drill rivets then new nuts/bolts will be supplied with new on 50 ft. Lbs torque on those.
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Sunday, November 20th, 2016 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This is a very involved job, and the possibility exists to cause more problems. First, you need a copy of a service manual. I always prefer manufacturer's manuals, but in this case you might find what you need in a Chiltons or Haynes manual. There will be pages of instructions with line drawings and torque specs.

If you are removing an original ball joint, it is going to be riveted to the control arm. I removed those with a very large air hammer with a chisel bit for the heads, then a punch bit to push the rivets out. There is absolutely no way you will get those rivets out with hand tools.

The replacement joint is bolted in. If you are removing a ball joint that was replaced previously, you just need to remove the three bolts. In most cases you will need to remove the half shaft to make room to get the ball joint's stud out of the spindle. This is where most do-it-yourselfers cause more trouble. You need to remove the large axle nut so the shaft can be pushed out of the wheel bearing assembly. It is critical that no vehicle weight ever be on that bearing when the axle nut is not tightened to specs. Even setting the car down on the tire to hold it from rotating so you can loosen that nut will instantly damage the bearing and make it noisy. When reassembling, you must use a click-type torque wrench to tighten that nut to specs. The spec. Is very high. A typical value for small front-wheel-drive cars is 180 foot pounds, but a lot of GM vehicles call for as much as 240 foot pounds.

Be aware that with this ball joint design, the car must be aligned when the repairs are completed. There is very little chance the new ball joint's stud will be in exactly the same place as the old one was, and that is what changes "camber", one of the three primary alignment angles.
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Sunday, November 20th, 2016 AT 3:46 PM

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