GM Cadillac 1967-1989 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints

Print

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



All Models Except 1986-89 Eldorado/Seville

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it securely. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower ball stud cotter pin, and loosen the ball stud nut just one turn.
  4.  
  5. Install a special tool designed for such work between the two ball studs, and press the stud downward in the steering knuckle. Remove the stud nut.
  6.  
  7. Pull the tire outward and at the same time upward, with your hands on the bottom (of the tire), to free the steering knuckle from the ball stud. The, remove the wheel.
  8.  
  9. Lift up on the upper control arm and place a block of wood between it and the frame. Be careful not to put any tension on the brake hose in doing this.
  10.  
  11. Pressed-in ball joints:
    1. Press the ball joint out of the lower control arm with a tool made for that purpose. You may have to disconnect the tie rod at the steering knuckle to do this.
    2.  
    3. To install, position the new ball joint, with the vent in the rubber boot facing inward, onto the lower control arm. Press the joint fully into the control arm with a tool designed for this.
    4.  

  12.  
  13. Riveted ball joints:
    1. With the control arm in the raised position, drill a hole 1 / 4 in. (6mm) deep into each rivet. Use a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) drill bit.
    2.  
    3. Use a 1 / 2 in. drill bit and drill off the heads of each rivet.
    4.  
    5. Punch out the rivets using a small punch, then remove the ball joint.
    6.  
    7. Install the new ball joint using fasteners that meet GM specifications. Bolts should come in from the bottom with the nuts going on top. Torque to 10 ft. lbs. (14 Nm).
    8.  

  14.  
  15. Turn the ball stud cotter pin hole so it is fore and aft.
  16.  
  17. Remove the block of wood holding the upper control arm out of the way, and inspect the tapered hole in the steering knuckle. Remove any dirt from the hole. If the hole is out of round or there is other noticeable damage, replace the entire steering knuckle.
  18.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Using a ball joint removal tool - disconnect the lower ball joint



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Pressing out lower ball joint

1986-89 Eldorado and Seville

See Figure 3

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it under the cradle in a secure manner, so the control arms will hang free.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the stabilizer bar insulators, retainers, spacer, and bolt.
  6.  
  7. Using a 1 / 4 in. drill bit for the first pass, and a 1 / 2 in. bit for the second, drill out the three rivets retaining the joint. Remove the cotter pin and nut and remove the ball joint.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install in reverse order, replacing the ball joint mounting rivets with bolts and torque them to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Insert the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle, and install the nut. Torque the nut to 7 ft. lbs. (9 Nm) then turn it an additional 180 degrees while watching the required torque. It must reach at least 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). The nut may be turned as much as 1 / 16 turn more to install the cotter pin. Install the cotter pin. Reverse the remaining procedures to complete the installation.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Installing the ball joint - 1986-89 Eldorado and Seville

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo