Before performing this inspection, make sure the wheel bearings are adjusted correctly and that the control arm bushings are in good condition.
- Jack the car up under the front lower control arm at the spring seat.
- Raise the car until there is 1-2 in. (25-51mm) of 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 if the lower ball joint is worn by visual inspection while prying on the wheel.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figure 1
To prevent component damage, an on-car ball joint press, such as Kent-Moore tool J-9519-23 should be used.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle, then remove the wheel.
- Support the lower control arm spring seat with a jack.
- Loosen the lower ball stud nut. Break the ball stud loose. Remove the ball stud nut.
- Remove the ball stud from the steering knuckle. Support the steering knuckle aside using a hanger or wire.
- Using a ball joint press, remove the ball joint from the lower control arm.
- Install the new ball joint, using the press.
- Install the ball stud in the steering knuckle boss.
- Install the nut on the ball stud, tightening to 77 ft. lbs. (105 Nm) on all models. Continue to tighten the nut until the cotter pin holes align and install the pin. Do not back off the nut to align the holes.
- Install the lube fitting and grease the new joint.