BALL JOINT INSPECTION
Before performing this inspection, make sure the wheel bearings are adjusted correctly and that the control arm bushings are in good condition. 1973 and later models covered in this guide are equipped with wear indicators on the lower ball joint. As long as the indicator extends below the ball stud seat, replacement is unnecessary; if only the lower ball joint is bad, however, both upper and lower ball joints should be replaced.
- Raise the car by placing the jack under the lower control arm at the spring seat.
- Raise the car until there is a 1-2 in. (25-50mm) clearance under the wheel.
- Insert a bar under the wheel and pry upward. If the wheel raises more than 1 / 8 in. (3mm), the ball joints are worn. Determine whether the upper or lower ball joint is worn by visual inspection while prying on the wheel.