Front lower control arm ball joint stud tightness in the knuckle boss should be checked when inspecting the front lower control arm ball joint. Use the following procedure.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle, allowing the front suspension to hang free.
- Grasp the tire at the top and bottom and move the bottom of the tire in an in-and-out motion while checking for movement of the stud end or castellated (slotted) nut at the knuckle boss.
- A loose castellated nut may indicate a bent stud or a damaged hole in the knuckle boss.
- Observe any horizontal movement of the knuckle relative to the control arm. Ball joints/studs must be replaced if any looseness is detected in the joint or the ball joint seal is cut.
- Worn or damaged parts must be replaced with correct service parts. Failure to use the correct ball joint and specified fastener torque may eventually cause a loose joint and may result in loss of steering control which could result in personal injury.
Removal & Installation
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
- Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle using the procedure found in this section.
- Drill out the three rivets or grind the heads off the rivets holding the ball joint to the control arm. Remove the ball joint from the control arm.
- Align the ball joint to the lower control arm. The replacement ball joint should come with three bolts as replacement for the rivets removed at disassembly. Install the bolts facing down and install the nuts. Tighten the nuts to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
- Install the control arm to the frame using the procedures found in this section.
- Lower the vehicle.
- The vehicle's wheel alignment should be check by a reputable alignment shop.