- Jack up the front and support the car on jackstands. There must be no weight on the front wheels.
- Apply downward and upward pressure to the wheel avoiding any compression to the spring. If excessive play is encountered between the control arm and the steering knuckle, the ball joint probably needs replacing.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
1971-80 Rear Wheel Drive
Remove the lower control arm as previously outlined. Remove the snapring retaining the ball joint to the control arm. Press out the ball joint using a ball joint remover or have your local automotive machine shop do the job for you. Press a new ball joint into the control arm. Make sure the ball joint does not cock when installing in control arm seat. Installation is in reverse order. Refer to control arm section for torque specifications.Rear Wheel Drive from 1981
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
- Remove the brake caliper and support from the mounting adapter.
- Anchor assembly out of the way with wire to the strut spring.
- Remove the tie rod end nut and separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a removing tool. Remove the bolts securing the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Tap the connection with a plastic hammer to separate.
- Remove the ball joint to control arm mounting bolts and remove the ball joint with the knuckle arm attached. Remove the ball joint stud nut and separate the hall joint and knuckle arm.
- Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque specifications are: ball joint stud nut 43-52 ft. lbs., strut-to-knuckle bolts 58-78 ft. lbs., ball joint-to-control arm bolts 43-51 ft. lbs.
When self-locking nuts are removed, always replace with new self-locking nuts.1979-84 Front Wheel Drive
Unbolt the ball joint from the control arm. Use a ball joint removing tool and separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle after removing the stud retaining nut. Install in the reverse order. Torque specifications are: Ball joint to control arm 69-87 ft. lbs., ball joint stud nut 40-51 ft. lbs.1985-89 Colt
The ball joint is not replaceable. The ball joint and lower control arm must be replaced as an assembly.1985-89 Vista
This procedure requires a hydraulic press.
- See the Lower Control Arm procedure and disconnect the lower arm.
- Remove the ball joint dust cover.
- Using snapring pliers, remove the snapring from the ball joint.
- Using an adapter plate and driver, such as tool MB990800, press the ball joint from the arm.
- Install the ball joint, inverting the tool in the press for installation. Coat the lip and interior of the dust cover with lithium based chassis lub.