The ball joints have built-in wear indicators. As long as the wear indicator (part of the grease nipple) extends below the ball joint seat, the ball joint is OK. When the indicator recedes beneath the seat, replacement is necessary.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Only one ball joint is used in each lower arm. The MacPherson strut design does not use an upper ball joint.
- Loosen the wheel nuts, raise the car, and remove the wheel.
- Use a 1 / 8 in. drill bit to drill a hole approximately 1 / 4 in. deep in the center of each of the three ball joint rivets.
- Use a 1 / 2 in. drill bit to drill off the rivet heads. Drill only enough to remove the rivet head.
- Use a hammer and punch to remove the rivets. Drive them out from the bottom.
- Loosen the ball joint pinch bolt in the steering knuckle.
- Remove the ball joint.
- Install the new ball joint in the control arm. Tighten the bolts supplied with the replacement joint to 8 ft. lbs.
- Install the ball stud into the knuckle pinch bolt fitting. It should go in easily; if not, check the stud alignment. Install the [xrpinch bolt from the rear to the front. Tighten to 45 ft. lbs. (60 Nm).
- Install the wheel and lower the car.