1997 Lincoln Continental Front Lower Ball Joints

  • V8
  • FWD
  • 156,000 MILES
I am in the process of changing the lower ball joints and having a difficult time getting the strut off. I was reading other materials on your site where the welds had been cut on the plate on top of the strut assembly under the hood. Do you recommend taking the strut out through the top to disassemble the assembly to get to the ball joint? I am compressing the spring on the strut but it just does not seem to be giving me enough room to get the job done.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, September 7th, 2008 AT 7:51 AM

1 Reply

STEERING KNUCKLE Removal 1. Vent air spring on corner to be serviced. See AIR SPRING FILL OR VENT under REMOVAL & INSTALLATION (AIR SYSTEM & ELECTRICAL). Turn ignition switch so steering column is in unlocked position. Turn air suspension switch, located on left side of trunk, to OFF position. 2. Remove and discard axle shaft nut. DO NOT use an impact wrench to remove axle shaft nut. Remove washer from axle shaft. Loosen, but DO NOT remove strut-to-body top mounting nuts. Raise and support vehicle. Remove front wheel. 3. Remove height sensor. See HEIGHT SENSOR under REMOVAL & INSTALLATION (AIR SYSTEM & ELECTRICAL). Remove brake hose bracket from strut. Remove and discard tie rod end nut and cotter pin. Separate tie rod end from steering knuckle. Disconnect stabilizer bar link from front spring and strut assembly. DO NOT use air tools to disconnect stabilizer bar link. Remove brake caliper and secure aside. Remove brake rotor. 4. Remove and discard lower control arm-to-ball joint nut. Using Tie Rod End Remover (3290-D), separate ball joint from steering knuckle. DO NOT use hammer to separate ball joint from steering knuckle. 5. Press axle shaft from hub. See Fig. 13. Wire axle shaft so it is supported in a level position. Remove front spring and strut-to-steering knuckle bolt. Using a screwdriver, slightly spread front spring and strut-to-steering knuckle joint. 6. Remove rotor splash shield (if damaged). Separate steering knuckle from front spring and strut and remove steering knuckle. Fig. 13: Pressing Axle Shaft From Hub Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO. Installation 1. Install splash shield using Heavy Duty Riveter (D80L-23200-A) with NEW rivets (if removed). Install steering knuckle onto front spring and strut. Loosely install a NEW bolt in steering knuckle to retain strut. Lubricate axle shaft splines with 30W engine oil. 2. Insert axle shaft into wheel hub. Install ball joint in lower control arm. Ensure ball stud groove is aligned. Install and tighten NEW ball joint nut to specification. Tighten front spring and strut-to- steering knuckle bolt to specification. 3. Install rotor and brake caliper. Coat brake caliper pins with silicone grease. Tighten brake caliper pins to specification. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS. With steering wheel in straight-ahead position, install tie rod using NEW nut. Tighten nut to specification. If needed, tighten tie rod nut slightly to align cotter pin holes. Install NEW cotter pin. 4. Install stabilizer bar link on strut using NEW nut. Tighten nut to specification. Install wheel. Slightly lower vehicle. CAUTION: DO NOT allow axle to extend outward or CV joint will be damaged. 5. Tighten front strut-to-body top mounting nuts to specification. Install washer and NEW axle shaft nut. Tighten axle shaft nut to specification. Lower vehicle, and turn air suspension on. Pump brake before driving vehicle.
CAUTION: DO NOT reuse axle shaft nut. DO NOT use impact wrench to tighten nut. DO NOT turn air suspension on until vehicle is lowered and vehicle weight exists on all wheels. Lincoln says replace the entire knuckle when ball joint is worn out!
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Sunday, September 7th, 2008 AT 8:21 AM

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