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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ball joints

I have to change the upper ball joint on my drivers side.
Is it hard to do???
I have no experience with it at all, just thought I would do it myself for experience and to save on labor costs.


-Jason
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 08:24 PM
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plan on replacing the upper control arm, not just the ball joint. from what I have heard (i haven't done this myself yet) you will probably want to get a 18mm ratcheting wrench to aid in removing one of the bolts...

John

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 09:16 PM
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You are correct the upper balljoints come as an assembly with the upper control arm. A 18mm ratcheting wrench would be a big help but can also be done with a non ratheting. There is a pinch bol that holds the ball joint to the spindle and two bolts that hld the upper control arm to the shock tower. The worst one is the passenger side between the tower and the firewall because the ac dryer is right there

Birdless

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 12:56 AM
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Yeah, it isn't difficult to do the upper arms at all, just mildly frustrating. OTOH what about these cars isn't?

It's the rear UCA bolts that are the "problem". The arm-to-spindle bolts and the front arm-to-body bolts are so easy that when you get to the rear arm-to-body bolts you'll be thinking WTF? Access to the engine compartment side of the rear arm-to-body bolt is very limited, so it's moderately difficult to get to, and you can't get much movement of the wrench. So it's a bazillion little movements and the nut is a interference-fit type and it fights every step of the way. No get it loose and spin the nut off here. Accessing from underneath helps, but its a bit of a stretch.

Anyway, just exercise a bit of patience and you'll be fine.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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That's where the ratcheting wrench comes in. I've had the best luck taking the electrical weatherpack connector apart, and unbolting it from the fender on the passenger's side, it actually gives you a little room to work. The driver's side is easiest with small hands going between the brake booster and firewall.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:31 AM
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Guys,

How about that pinch bolt????????? I can NOT get mine to come free. Any ideas???


Tony

Tony McColl
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New motor as of Aug 1st.
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Just two runs at 5800 ft.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:41 AM
 
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When I had mine done a few weeks ago, the mechanic had to use 4 different tools, 3 lb sledge, 10 lb sledge, torch and finally the only thing that worked was an air hammer, kind of like a small jackhammer. This was a PITA, took over 25 minutes just to get the bolt out!

Be prepared to get upset, if you aren't patient like me!

Dave
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:54 AM
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I fussed with it a little yesterday thinking maybe it would come out since the shocks were replaced about two years ago but I gave up and did the backs instead.

I did not want to apply to much heat since the upper boot was starting to melt.

Those bolts are no longer available from Ford BTW and were $26.00 a piece.

T

Tony McColl
1994 LX 4.6L
New motor as of Aug 1st.
No Dyno Numbers yet.
Just two runs at 5800 ft.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 12:00 PM
 
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It's times like this u with you had an NA 3.8!! I think it's easier since there is alot more room under the hood and around the engine to get to them. On a 4.6 you can't even see around the engine... let alone get a wrench down there!

Jake
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