See Figure 1
- Raise the vehicle and place floor jacks beneath the lower control arms.
- Make sure the front wheel bearings are properly adjusted.
- Inspect the lower ball joint. Replace the lower control arm assembly, if required.
- Have an assistant grasp the bottom of the tire and move the wheel in and out.
- As the wheel is being moved, observe the upper control arm where the spindle attaches to it. Any movement between the upper part of the spindle and the upper control arm indicates a bad ball joint which must be replaced.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Ford Motor Company recommends replacement of the upper control arm and ball joint as an assembly. However, aftermarket replacement parts are available, which can be installed using the following procedure.
- Raise the vehicle and support on frame points so the front wheels fall to their full down position. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
- Drill a 1 / 8 in. hole completely through each ball joint attaching rivet.
- Using a large chisel, cut off the head of each rivet and drive them from the arm.
- Place a jack under the lower arm and raise to compress the coil spring.
- Remove the cotter pin and attaching nut from the ball joint stud.
- Using a ball joint removal tool, loosen the ball joint stud from the spindle and remove the ball joint from the arm.
- Clean all metal burrs from the arm and install the new ball joint, using the service part nuts and bolts to attach the ball joint.
- Install the ball joint stud into the spindle. Tighten the ball joint-to-upper spindle nut to 60-90 ft. lbs. (81-122 Nm). Continue to tighten until the slot for the cotter pin is aligned. Install a new cotter pin.
- Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle. Have the front end alignment checked.