1998 Mercury Sable Mercury Sable Lower Control Arm Removal

Tiny
SAMMYDAUG
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 MERCURY SABLE
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 126,000 MILES
I would like to know how to remove the lower control arm from the drivers side of a 98 Mercury Sable Wagon. This started out as a simple Ball joint replacement. After using a pickle fork on the ball joint, I managed to pull the ball from the socket, NOT GOOD. I have tried for days to remove the ball joint from the lower control arm without success. Pickle fork, sledge hammer and pitman arm puller did not work even with heat. SO, I figured I would remove the lower control arm and press out the remains of the ball joint. I removed the bolt holding the rear part of the control arm and was able to remove the nut from the front part of the control arm. Here's the trouble, the front bolt is removed from the top, the engine mount is in the way and does not clear the engine mount, I can't get the bolt out! I tried jacking up the engine but only got an additional inch of clearance, not enough to clear the bolt. I was thinking of cutting the bolt out.
1) Can I cut the bolt off, then place a new bolt in from the bottom instead of the top?
2) Any other suggestions on removing the ball joint from the lower control arm?
3) Is it time to get it towed to a mechanic?
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Sunday, April 19th, 2009 AT 9:01 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
The ball joint stud is frozen into the control arm. You need a ball joint seperator to remove it. You can gain additional access to the bolt you are trying to remove by disconnecting the transmission mount from the subframe. This will give you some additional clearance for removal of the bolt. I would not recommend cutting the bolt or installing one from the bottom. They are installed as they are for a reason, and you would most likely end up creating as many problems as you solve. For that matter, those bolts are grade 8, and do not cut easily. Also you would have to get a replacement from the dealer.

The press idea sounds as good as a special tool, since you are this far along.
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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 5:50 PM
Tiny
SAMMYDAUG
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your quick response. I am guessing that by your response, the transmission mount is the device that is in the way. I removed the 2 bolts holding the transmission mount to the frame on the drivers side, I could get another1-2" but not enough clearance.

How high can I jack up the engine before I break something?
Is there a trick to this that I am missing?
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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 7:50 PM
Tiny
JGAROFALO
  • MEMBER
You can also loosen the motor mount bolts on the right side for a bit more flexibility. The bracket that the mount is attached to can be unbolted from the transmission. There are 3 bolts on each side.

For the most part, you can go up quite a bit as long as you keep checking for anything that is stretching and stressing above. Some things may have to be loosened or taken off to prevent breakage, but as long as you go carefully, you can go up quite a bit more.
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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 8:28 PM

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