CTS 2003-2005

Lower Ball Joints

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Inspection



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.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle, allowing the front suspension to hang free.
  2.  
  3. 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.
  4.  
  5. A loose castellated nut may indicate a bent stud or a damaged hole in the knuckle boss.
  6.  
  7. 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.
  8.  
  9. 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.
  10.  

Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheel
     
    Lower control arm
     

  4.  
  5. Using a 0.5 inch (13mm) drill, drill out the 3 rivet heads that attach the ball stud to the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball stud from the lower control arm.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Drill out the rivets to remove the ball joint from the lower control arm

  8.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Ball stud to the lower control arm
     
    Bolts through the upper side of the lower control arm. Torque the new bolts to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm).
     
    Lower control arm
     
    Front wheel
     

  2.  
  3. Check and/or adjust the front end alignment.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The replacement ball joint will be bolted to the lower control arm with the bolts supplied in the kit

  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical ball joint replacement

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle using the procedure found in this section.
  4.  
  5. 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.
  6.  

To install:

  1. 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).
  2.  
  3. Install the control arm to the frame using the procedures found in this section.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. The vehicle's wheel alignment should be check by a reputable alignment shop.
  8.  

 
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