The lower ball joint is an integral part of the lower control arm. If the lower ball joint is defective, the entire lower control arm must be replaced.
- Raise the vehicle on a hoist or floor jack so that the front wheel falls to the full down position.
- Have an assistant grasp the bottom of the tire and move the wheel in and out.
- As the wheel is being moved, observe the lower control arm where the spindle attaches to it.
- Any movement between the lower part of the spindle and the lower control arm indicates a bad control arm which must be replaced.
During this check, the upper ball joint will be unloaded and may move; this is normal and not an indication of a bad ball joint. Also, do not mistake a loose wheel bearing for a worn ball joint.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Position an upper control arm support between the upper arm and side rail.
- Raise the vehicle, position jack stands, and remove the wheel and tire.
- Remove the stabilizer bar-to-link attaching nut and disconnect the bar from the link.
- Remove the link bolt from the lower arm.
- Remove the strut bar-to-lower attaching nuts and bolts.
- Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and back off the nut. Using a suitable tool, loosen the ball joint stud in the spindle.
- Remove the nut from the arm and lower arm.
- Remove the lower arm-to-underbody cam attaching parts and remove the arm.
- Position the lower arm in the underbody and install the ball joint and cam attaching parts loosely.
- Install the stabilizer and strut, and torque the attaching parts to specifications.
- Torque the lower arm pivot and ball joint stud to specifications.
- Lower the car and remove the upper arm support.
- Front end alignment must be rechecked.