Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: North Ridgeville, Ohio
The upper ball joints are non-separable from the control arm; you will need to buy a whole new upper control arm.
The UCAs aren't a big deal as far as replacement; pull the tire and place a small jack under the lower control arm. Jack it up an inch or so, just enough to take the strain off the UCA. Remove the nut from the pinch bolt, then use a hammer to knock out the pinch bolt (this can take a bit of work; I soaked the whole bolt with PB B'laster then used a crescent wrench to rock the square head of the bolt back and forth to loosen it up, then whacked it a few times, then repeated the whole process several times until it came out...). Once you get the pinch bolt out, knock the ball joint arm from the spindle with a hammer. Once that's removed, remove the two bolts holding the UCA to the shock tower, they're located inside the engine compartment (should be easy enough to find them). The front bolt shouldn't be too hard to get at, you might have to take off the air intake tube to get at it. As far as the rear bolt, I had it easy because I tore out my a/c lines to flush the system so I was able to get at it easy. Normally the a/c accumulator lives in the way... Luckily the nuts have a locking tab on them which only requires one hand/wrench to tighten or loosen them. Once you get the UCA out, the install should be self explanatory. When I did mine, it took me on the order of an hour to get it out... maybe 40-45 min. to get the new one in.
97 Laser Red Thunderbird LX 162k,
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Last edited by theterminator93; 04-24-2009 at 10:00 AM.