Inspect the ball joint dust cover for cracks and damage by pushing on it with your finger. If the dust cover is cracked or damaged, the component must be replaced, or damage to the ball joint will result.Except Sebring Coupe and Avenger
The front suspension ball joints operate with no free-play. The ball joints are replaceable ONLY as an assembly. Do not attempt any type of repair on the ball joint assembly. To check the ball joint with the weight of the vehicle resting on its tires, grasp the grease fitting and, without using any tools, attempt to move the grease fitting. If the ball joint is worn, the grease fitting will move easily. If movement is noted, replacement of the ball joint is recommended.Sebring Coupe and Avenger
See Figure 1
Ball joint breakaway torque can be checked using the following procedure.
- An adapter (MB 990326 or equivalent) is available that fits onto the ball joint stud and adapts to an inch pound torque wrench. If this tool is not available, a shop-made substitute can be fabricated.
- Turn the ball joint stud with the torque wrench. The factory standard for breakaway torque is 3-13 inch lbs. (0.3-1.5 Nm).
- If the ball joint stud is out of specification (turns too easily or is too stiff), the upper control arm requires replacement.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
The upper ball joint is an integral part of the upper control arm assembly, and cannot be serviced separately. A worn or damaged ball joint requires replacement of the upper control arm assembly.