On Vehicle Inspection
- Support the vehicle on stands.
- Disconnect the ball joint at the lower end of the strut as described below; you need not remove the lower control arm entirely.
- Install the nut back onto the ball stud.
- Using an inch lb. torque wrench, measure the torque required to start the ball joint rotating. Acceptable specifications are 9-30 inch lbs. (1.01-3.39 Nm).
If the figures are within specification, the ball joint is satisfactory. If the figure is too high, the joint should be replaced. If the figure is too low, you can still reuse the joint provided its rotation is smooth and even. If there is roughness or play, it must be replaced.
Off Vehicle Inspection See Figure 1
With the removed ball joint set in a vise, measure the lower ball joint end-play with a dial indicator. The limit is 0.020 in. (0.5mm). If the lower ball joint end-play exceeds the limit, replace the lower ball joint with a new one.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 2 and 3
- Raise the vehicle and support it safely on jackstands.
- Remove the wheel-refer to the previous instructions in this section.
- Remove the lower control arm-refer to the procedures later in this section.
- Remove the ball joint retaining nuts and bolts and remove the ball joint from the arm.
- Install the new ball joint. Tighten the ball joint retaining nuts and bolts to the following amounts:
- Install the lower control arm and connect the ball joint to the knuckle. Tighten the ball stud nut to 87-130 ft. lbs (120-180 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
- Lubricate the ball joint with a grease gun.
- Install the wheel and lower the vehicle back to the ground.
- Adjust the riding height, if equipped with a torsion bar, and align the front end.