See Figures 1, 2 and 3
- Raise the vehicle and position floor stands under the left and right lower control arm as near as possible to each lower ball joint. There should be sufficient space between the upper control arm bumper and frame.
- Position a dial indicator against the wheel rim.
- Grasp the front wheel and push in on bottom of the tire while pulling out at the top. Read the gauge, then reverse the push-pull procedure. Horizontal deflection on the dial indicator should not exceed 0.125 inch (3.18mm).
- If the indicator exceeds 0.125 inch (3.18mm) or if the ball stud, when disconnected from the knuckle assembly, can be twisted in its socket by hand, replace the ball joint.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Raise and safely support the vehicle; place floor stands under the lower control arm between the spring seats and the ball joints.
Leave the jack under the spring seat during removal and installation, in order to compress the coil spring and relieve spring tension from the upper control arm.
- Remove the wheel.
- Remove the cotter pin and nut from the upper ball joint.
- Using a ball joint splitter tool, break the stud loose and pull the stud out of the knuckle. Support the steering knuckle to prevent damage to the brake line.
- Using a 1 / 8 inch diameter drill bit, drill into each of the 4 rivet heads to a depth of 1 / 4 inch
- Drill off the rivet heads with a 1 / 2 inch diameter bit.
- Punch out the rivets with a suitable tool and remove the ball joint.
- Place the new ball joint in the upper control arm and secure it with 4 bolts and nuts in place of rivets. Torque the nuts to specifications.
- Connect the ball joint to steering knuckle. Torque the nut to 60 ft. lbs. (82 Nm) and insert a new cotter pin.
When replacing the ball joints, use only high-quality replacement parts; bolts and nuts specified to be strong enough to endure the stress. Always turn the ball stud nut to align the cotter pin hole.
- Install the grease fitting and lubricate until grease appears at the seal.
- Install the wheel and road test the vehicle. Align the vehicle front end as necessary.