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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Lower Ball Joint Install

I bought the lower joints today, and they did not look like I expected.

Instead of pressing out the ball, you apparently press out the assembly.

The Replacements I have are full Socket and Ball assemblies, not just ball joints.

I have the ball joint press that the autozone site said I needed.
But I'm not real sure on the removal proccess.

When I changed the stabilizers, I found it very easy to heat up the sway bar with a torche and tap out the old stabilizers, but I didn't know if this method would work here.

So, you guys know the best procedure for this? Should I use the ball joint press for removal and installation? Or can I hammer the old one out without too much risk? Haven't had any trouble with the rest of the swaps but wanted a little advice before I dive into this in the morning. She needs to be ready for work by 4 pm.

Thanks in advance,

~Distortion

Last edited by Distortion 5.0; 02-06-2007 at 01:12 AM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 11:17 PM
 
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Maybe someone will chime in with a good technique for changing just the lower ball joints, but I found it easier to swap out the entire lower control arm for a new one with new bushings and ball joint installed.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supernatural
Maybe someone will chime in with a good technique for changing just the lower ball joints, but I found it easier to swap out the entire lower control arm for a new one with new bushings and ball joint installed.
Yeah, was gonna do the same but availibility was low and I cant wait for/ afford shipping from online sources. Dunno why the local places didn't have the whole thing in stock. Gonna come back with bushings when I do the struts, after the tie rod ends.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:00 AM
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We only sell em as the whole assembly so i dunno

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well s***, I guess it's out there with a torche and mini sledge hammer I go...

LOL, wish me luck!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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BIG PROBLEM!!!

I got the old lower out on my left wheel, I go to install the old one, and UH OH, NOT ENOUGH GROUND CLEARANCE!!! The press is basically a heavy duety C clamp with different bearings to use. Pressing the old one out through the top was easy enough, but pressing this one in from the bottom? OH S***!!!

I have no idea what to do. The Press isn't wide enough to get enough bearings in it to make it work from the top, and I have NO WAY of getting this car 4 feet off of the ground!!

What am I gonna do !!?? This sux!!!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 02:53 PM
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you need one of those 6 ton floor mount presses to install the ball joints and bushings. Any shop should have the press.




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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortion 5.0
BIG PROBLEM!!!

I got the old lower out on my left wheel, I go to install the old one, and UH OH, NOT ENOUGH GROUND CLEARANCE!!! The press is basically a heavy duety C clamp with different bearings to use. Pressing the old one out through the top was easy enough, but pressing this one in from the bottom? OH S***!!!

I have no idea what to do. The Press isn't wide enough to get enough bearings in it to make it work from the top, and I have NO WAY of getting this car 4 feet off of the ground!!

What am I gonna do !!?? This sux!!!
Ive replaced the ball joints with the exact tool your talking about. My best suggestion is to simply remove the lowe control arm then press the new joint in off the car. Its not too hard to remove the control arm. Just unblot the lower strut bolt, unbolt the strut rod where it connects to the lowe control arm, then disconnect the control arm from the chassis. I pressed mine in with it laying it on the ground. I imagine that a vise would be helpful, but i didnt use one.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Yea I think taking the contol arm off seems the logical next step to getting the job done.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thats for the responses, I took the ball joints back and got control arms, So I'm sure everything is gonna go much smoother now. As long as my electric impact wrench works again, (I think it over heated earlier) but it might be shot. Don't think I'll be able to get the stabilizer bar (Big *** bolt that has an arm running to the under radiator area) without it, as that bar is torsionable.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortion 5.0
I found it very easy to heat up the sway bar with a torche and tap out the old stabilizers
Don't do that anymore. You are tempering the sway bar and that isnt a good thing. You can get a pickle fork set for only a few bucks (use a small fork perpendicular to the sway bar end and they pop right out.) After fighting a few times with the clamp style tool i invested in a large press (and even then there are times it isnt a pleasant job.) just drag the arms to a shop and they can press them right in for you.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Anybody have one of those Buttons from staples?
Cause "That was easy" .TM
Now Im gonna go right back out and do the right side before it get's dark.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, everything is finished, car drives really nice. The clunk isn't gone of course, doesn't look like it ever will be. Though it kind of sounds like the springs are worn out now that everything else it tight. I guess these cars have around 50 clunks that come from the front end which all sound the same, but arent. Everytime you try to fix it, and you dont, maybe you just fixed one of them.

But now my brakes dont want to work right, and the bleeder valves are shot, so Gotta throw on calipers in the morning and go ahead and just flush the system.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortion 5.0
Well, everything is finished, car drives really nice. The clunk isn't gone of course, doesn't look like it ever will be. Though it kind of sounds like the springs are worn out now that everything else it tight. I guess these cars have around 50 clunks that come from the front end which all sound the same, but arent. Everytime you try to fix it, and you dont, maybe you just fixed one of them.

But now my brakes dont want to work right, and the bleeder valves are shot, so Gotta throw on calipers in the morning and go ahead and just flush the system.
just replacing the lower arms arent going to do much. if this is the first time the front end has been overhauled, you have a long way to go.




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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Obucina
just replacing the lower arms arent going to do much. if this is the first time the front end has been overhauled, you have a long way to go.
Actually this was the last step. Already done the upper control arms and link stabilizers. Only thing it really needs now is struts. Tie Rod ends are greased and A ok. And I beg to differ, changed the lower arms brought everything else together in a fantastic way. Car even felt like it was riding a little higher in front. (I don't think it is, but it has a nice, 'Suspended' feel to it )
Lacking just an alignment, I think this girl is on her way to riding very nicely.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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So let me get this straight. There's not supposed to be a clunk in the front end of every MN12 i've driven?

I thought that came as standard equipment?
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 09:39 PM
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Apparently, there was a factory clunk delete option listed for $150 I guess most people thought it wasn't worth it.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortion 5.0
Actually this was the last step. Already done the upper control arms and link stabilizers. Only thing it really needs now is struts. Tie Rod ends are greased and A ok. And I beg to differ, changed the lower arms brought everything else together in a fantastic way. Car even felt like it was riding a little higher in front. (I don't think it is, but it has a nice, 'Suspended' feel to it )
Lacking just an alignment, I think this girl is on her way to riding very nicely.
please tell me you went through the effort to pull the lower arms and DID change all the strut rod bushings....

BTW, you have shocks, not struts. Also, when changing the SHOCKS, get new upper mounts.




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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 10:32 PM
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I just replaced mine last month on my '95 with Vogtland springs and sport shocks. Here's what the old and new tops look like side-by-side. The newer ('96-'97) top is a much better design.


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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Obucina
please tell me you went through the effort to pull the lower arms and DID change all the strut rod bushings....

BTW, you have shocks, not struts. Also, when changing the SHOCKS, get new upper mounts.

I did change all bushings. They came with the Lower Arm. I thought that all Mc Phearson setups where called struts. All the catalogs have called them struts. They pivot, I thought struts pivoted. Regaurdless of name, I need them, and I will get the mounts as well.
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Straight fron the '97 Ford literature.

Quote:
Suspension

The front suspension is a long spindle, short and long arm design. The design consists of:

short upperfront suspension arm bushing joint (3085).

longfront suspension lower arm strut (3468).

front shock absorber (18124).

front coil spring (5310).

front stabilizer bar (5482),lower suspension arm stabilizer bar insulator (5493), andstabilizer bar link (5K484).
Quote:
Shock Absorber

Note:
The front shock absorber (18124) is part of the front shock absorber and spring assembly and requires disassembly of the front suspension in order to replace.

The front shock absorbers provide motion and force and damping between the sprung and unsprung masses of the vehicle when traveling over irregular road surfaces.

The front shock absorber consists of a twin tube gas-pressurized structure providing damping in both the rebound (UP) and compression (DOWN) directions. This damping is accomplished by driving a dual (rebound and compression) acting piston through a fluid environment. The motion resistant forces are controlled by a velocity sensitive variable orifice piston assembly within the front shock absorber.
Quote:
Front shock absorber (18124), front coil spring (5310) and front shock absorber mounting bracket (18183) may be replaced individually. It is not necessary to replace front shock absorbers in pairs.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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K. I'd rather call them shocks anyway. The word strut makes me think of cockiness, which I'm not a fan of.
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