Astro, Safari 1997-2005

Upper Ball Joints

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Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
    NOTE
    The following procedure requires the use of a ball joint separator tool such as J-23742 and J-9519-E ball joint remover and installer set.

  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely by placing stands securely under the lower control arms. Because the vehicle's weight is used to relieve spring tension on the upper control arm, the stands must be positioned between the spring seats and the lower control arm ball joints for maximum leverage.
    CAUTION
    With components unbolted, the stand is holding the lower control arm in place against the coil spring. Make sure the stand is firmly positioned and cannot move, or personal injury could result.

  4.  
  5. Remove tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove brake caliper and support it from the vehicle using a coat hanger or wire. Make sure the brake line is not stretched or damaged and that the caliper's weight is not supported by the line.
  8.  
  9. Remove cotter pin and retaining nut from the upper ball joint.
  10.  
  11. Remove anti-lock brake sensor wire bracket, if equipped.
  12.  
  13. Remove upper ball joint from the steering knuckle using tool J-23742 and pull the steering knuckle free of the ball joint.
    NOTE
    After separating the steering knuckle from the upper ball joint, be sure to support the steering knuckle/hub assembly to prevent damaging the brake hose.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Use a ball joint separator tool to drive the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle

  14.  
  15. Remove the riveted upper ball joint from the upper control arm as follows:
    1. Drill a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) hole, about 1 / 4 in. (6mm) deep into each rivet.
    2.  
    3. Then use a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drill bit, to drill off the rivet heads.
    4.  
    5. Using a pin punch and the hammer, drive out the rivets in order to free the upper ball joint from the upper control arm assembly, then remove the upper ball joint.

      Click image to see an enlarged view