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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Upper Control Arm

My upper balljoint needs to be replaced. I heard that you replace the upper control arm for that. How hard is it to do yourself? Any special tools that I would need? Any brand recommendations?

Last question. Do you need an alignment after replacing the upper control arm.

Thank you for your support.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by justintime View Post
My upper balljoint needs to be replaced. I heard that you replace the upper control arm for that. How hard is it to do yourself? Any special tools that I would need? Any brand recommendations?

Last question. Do you need an alignment after replacing the upper control arm.

Thank you for your support.
You must replace the entire arm, you have no choice. Contact the ford parts counter here, Jon can get it to you under $50 for a grease able one. It is Motorcraft brand. The only other brand you should use is Moog, but its more expensive. The Motorcraft one comes with an insert that explains pretty much how to do the job.

Go to lowes or sears and get a ratcheting 18mm box wrench, it will help you a lot for the nuts in confined areas. You will be saving $150 in labor, the wrench is well under $20. I believe you need an 18mm deep socket for the pinch bolt. Taking out the pinch bolt is a bit tricky too, it has a serrated grip on the spindle. Ive used an adjustable wrench or locking pliers to rock the bolt head while hitting it from the other end. The arm will not come out unless the pinch bolt is completely removed.

It is not difficult, may take a bit of thought how to get to nuts in confined areas. You should leave the flags on the bolts, except for the passenger firewall one where you turn the bolt instead of the nut. The passenger side firewall bolt may need a wrench on the nut while you remove the bolt from under the well. This has been my experience.

It is not difficult and a good learning experience. Oh and no alignment is needed for the UPPER ARM. The lower arm does indeed need one though!

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Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-10-2009 at 09:07 AM. Reason: no alignment
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 10:03 AM
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I would get an alignment after removing/replacing any component of the front suspension. While the new control arm may be made to the same specs as the old, it may not be the exact same dimensions. I would do an alignment just to be safe. That is cheaper than buying new tires and doing an alignment later.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 05:17 PM
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x2 on the racheting wrench!!! It is a ROYAL pain in the but to take off with a regular wrench
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank You tbirdguy, johnny cougar,transam 396 and for the tips that you provided.
Appreciate it !!!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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~~~~~~~~~~
It is not difficult, may take a bit of thought how to get to nuts in confined areas. You should leave the flags on the bolts, except for the passenger firewall one where you turn the bolt instead of the nut. The passenger side firewall bolt may need a wrench on the nut while you remove the bolt from under the well. This has been my experience.
~~~~~~~~~~

+1 on this....
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 05:58 PM
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Has any one ever seen an upper control arm bolts rust?

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 05:58 PM
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What I mean by that is rust solid were you can't remove them.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 06:01 PM
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 06:09 PM
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When I did my rear control arms on my 89 the lower two bolts were rusted tight, they rusted into the metal sleeves and I had to end up cutting the bolt and replace both control arm bushings...

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 08:57 PM
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When I did my rear control arms on my 89 the lower two bolts were rusted tight, they rusted into the metal sleeves and I had to end up cutting the bolt and replace both control arm bushings...
i think i have a similar issue. I tried to replace my from spring assembly today and could not get the damn bolt out. The nut came off fine but no amount of abuse could free the bolt. i went and got some PB Blast to let it soak tomorrow so hopefully I can get it off.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2014, 01:45 AM
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i think i have a similar issue. I tried to replace my from spring assembly today and could not get the damn bolt out. The nut came off fine but no amount of abuse could free the bolt. i went and got some PB Blast to let it soak tomorrow so hopefully I can get it off.
If you mean the captive bolt that holds the UCA to the spindle, I found a big friggin hammer (BFH) to be quite convincing for the bolt.

I find myself using this one more often (because of tight spaces) than it's longer handled sibling.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 11:05 AM
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If you mean the captive bolt that holds the UCA to the spindle, I found a big friggin hammer (BFH) to be quite convincing for the bolt.

I find myself using this one more often (because of tight spaces) than it's longer handled sibling.
http://www.harborfreight.com/4-lb-hi...mer-69240.html
yeah i have a trip to lowes planned to pick up one and a ratcheting box wrench. i was trying to use a demo hammer but the head is too small and the handle is too long. i ended up just ordering new UCAs since the boots are torn to hell anyway.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 11:20 AM
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yeah i have a trip to lowes planned to pick up one and a ratcheting box wrench. i was trying to use a demo hammer but the head is too small and the handle is too long. i ended up just ordering new UCAs since the boots are torn to hell anyway.
You weren't replacing the UCA+ball joint as a unit? On some cars, it merits separate replacement but on this car, the UCAs are fairly cheap.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 11:34 AM
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well the original intent was replacing the whole spring assembly. when i saw the state of the ball joint and the fact that i couldn't get that bolt out I just went ahead and ordered new UCAs to replace them as well.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 02:47 PM
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well the original intent was replacing the whole spring assembly. when i saw the state of the ball joint and the fact that i couldn't get that bolt out I just went ahead and ordered new UCAs to replace them as well.
I know how that is... you start replacing Item "A" but WHILE you are there, you might as well replace items B, C, and D.

This is also how adding a dishwasher became a kitchen remodel for me.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2014, 06:45 PM
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I know how that is... you start replacing Item "A" but WHILE you are there, you might as well replace items B, C, and D.
Ain't. That.
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If I had the chance to do it over again, I would have replaced all my front end parts at once. Ball joints, bushings, springs, bar links, brakes... Last time she was in for an alignment the tech said the tie-rods are next. That's the only thing I haven't touched yet!

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