Control arm ball joint installation issue

Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHRYSLER SEBRING
  • 2.7L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 186,000 MILES
Installed new front lower control arm ball joint assembly. I'm unable to line up/insert to the ball joint stud to steering knuckle.
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Sunday, March 24th, 2019 AT 8:58 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey 427SHD@GMAIL. COM,

You should be able to move the ball joint stud to an angle where it will fit into the steering knuckle. If the ball joint is stiff and the stud won't angle you can use the closed end of a wrench over the stud to lever it into place.

If it's a case of not being able to move the knuckle enough to get the stud in you may need to loosen off another component to get the clearance.

I have attached to this message the instructions for removing the lower control arm, installing should always be the reverse of removal. This might give you an idea of what needs to be done to get the knuckle to move.

Let me know if that works for you.

If not and you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Regards, Joe
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Sunday, March 24th, 2019 AT 9:13 PM
Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe, thank you for your quick response! I will try using the wrench to pull joint stud closer. Here is a quick run down of what I tried prior to asking for help:
Removed old control arm and installed new LCA with all nuts and bolts but unable to insert ball joint to knuckle. So I:
1) Removed tie rod from steering knuckle.
2) Removed bolt from front mount.
3) Detached stabilizer bar and removed thru bolt for clevis.
4) Rear mount has bolt and nut and is tightened therefore only thing holding control arm in place.
I have a few questions. First, should I loosen the rear mount bolt and nut?
Second, should both driver and passenger sides be raised? I am working on passenger side. At first, I had both sides up on jack stands. But now I only have passenger side raised with jack stand at lowest level. And third, when attaching the ball stud should I lower the vehicle some (will have to remove jack stand? But I will not be under car at that point and I always place a tire under the car.
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 9:26 AM
Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey 427SHD@GMAIL. COM,

So to perform this repair you will need to jack up the front of the vehicle and support the body/front sub-frame both sides with jack stands. This will allow the front suspension to hang both sides.

If you only have one side lifted or are supporting the other side on the lower control arm you will have problems re-attaching the sway bar.

Loosen off the that rear mount nut and bolt first. Then fit the control arm into the front mount on the sub-frame. Start the bolt for the front mount but do not tighten. Then lift the lower arm, line up the ball joint stud and start the nut. You should then be able to line up the bolt hole with the clevis and attach the shock. Also reattach the sway bar.

Tighten everything down once you have everything started.

You should not need to lower the vehicle. You could potentially have to jack up the lower arm to get the sway bar or clevis to line up. You should be able to manipulate the ball joint stud and the knuckle enough to get them to line up. You may have to clean the hole on the knuckle and potentially give the lower arm a tap to get the stud in all the way but this should not be difficult.

You could always remove the new lower arm and make sure the stud fits into the knuckle so you are not fighting a loosing battle.

If it still wont go let me know.

Regards, Joe
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 4:57 PM
Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
Thank you. Will give it another go tomorrow. I'll follow up to let you know how it goes. With your advice I have confidence. Thanks again.
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:38 PM
Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey 427SHD@GMAIL. COM,

No problem, if you persist you will get there.

It can take a bit of maneuvering to get suspension parts to line up.

All part of the fun.

Best of luck.

Regards, Joe
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Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 AT 8:21 AM
Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
Hi, just wanted to follow up with you. The control arm that Detroit Axle sent me wasn't the correct one. Looked the same but at closer comparison I realized the new LCA had more of an angle and was about an inch or so too long. Thank you for all your great advice. I now have the correct part and going to work on it tomorrow. Thanks again.
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Thursday, April 11th, 2019 AT 1:02 PM
Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey 427SHD@GMAIL. COM,

Those pesky parts places.

It is really more common than people think to get the wrong part.
Always good to check it against the old unit before trying to fit.

When ordering I would always give the VIN to help them identify the vehicle correctly.

The beauty of genuine parts is that you do get much less of this happening but even the dealers get it wrong sometimes.

Thank you for letting us know what the issue was.

Best of luck with the repair.

Regards, Joe
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Sunday, April 14th, 2019 AT 7:36 AM
Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
I always give the 8th letter of my VIN. In this case is R (2004 sedan "R series"). I actually went to a pull your own parts place. Removed one from an 2006 Stratus, perfect fit (they provide an interchange list). Just a pain getting it all lined up. Especially the darn clevis getting in the way. I checked the part out before pulling it, it looks fairly new (pretty sure not original LCA). By the way, I am a female and have tackled this without any help, aside from your great advice. Thank you kindly.
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Monday, April 15th, 2019 AT 12:03 AM
Tiny
427SHD@GMAIL.COM
  • MEMBER
And I agree, genuine parts is best option, unfortunately I can not afford price tag.
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Monday, April 15th, 2019 AT 12:08 AM
Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey 427shd@gmail. Com,

Happy to help, glad you got there in the end.

A bit of perseverance goes a long way, excellent work!

Thank you for using 2CarPros.

Regards, Joe
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Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 AT 6:28 PM

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