- Raise and safely support the vehicle. Position a jackstand under the engine cradle, then lower the vehicle so the weight of the vehicle rests on the a jackstand and not the control arms.
- Grasp the wheel at the top and the bottom and shake the wheel in and out.
- If you see any movement at the ball joint or movement of the steering knuckle in relation the control arm, the ball joints are defective and should be replaced.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
Use only the proper tools for separating the ball joint from the steering knuckle. If you don't use the correct tools, you could damage the ball joint and seal.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle. Position a jackstand under the engine cradle and lower the vehicle so the weight of the vehicle rests on the jackstand and not the control arms.
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
- Remove and discard the cotter pin, then loosen the castellated nut from the ball stud.
- Disconnect the ball joint from the steering knuckle, using tool J-36226, or equivalent suitable ball joint separator tool.
- Loosen the stabilizer shaft link nut.
- Drill out the three rivets retaining the ball joint, then remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle and the control arm.
- Position the ball joint to the steering knuckle, aligning with the holes in the control arm.
- Install the 3 ball joint bolts, facing down, and the nuts. Tighten the ball joint-to-control arm nuts to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
- Install the stabilizer shaft link nut and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm).
- Install the ball joint slotted nut and tighten to 88 inch lbs. (2 Nm). Then, tighten the nut an additional 40° (2 flats on the nut) during which a torque of 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) must be achieved.
- Install a new cotter pin. To align the slot, if necessary, tighten the nut up to one more flat. NEVER loosen the nut to install the pin.
- Install the tire and wheel assembly.
- Carefully lower the vehicle, then tighten the lug nuts to 20 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).