GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



  1. Raise and safely support the vehicles on jackstands. Allow the suspension to hang free.
  2.  
  3. Grasp the tire at the top and the bottom and move the top of the tire in and out.
  4.  
  5. Observe for any horizontal movement of the steering knuckle relative to the front lower control arm. If any movement is detected, replace the ball joint.
  6.  
  7. If the ball stud is disconnected from the steering knuckle and any looseness is detected, or if the ball stud can be twisted in its socket using finger pressure, replace the ball joint.
  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint and ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... using a wrench, loosen and remove the ball joint retaining nut



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use a suitable prytool to remove the lower ball joint/control arm from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 4: The factory ball joint is mounted to the lower control arm by three rivets. They must be drilled out to remove the ball joint

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  

Care must be exercised to prevent the axle shaft joints from being over-extended. When either end of the shaft is disconnected, over-extension of the joint could result in separation of internal components and possible joint failure. Failure to observe this can result in interior joint or boot damage and possible joint failure.

  1. Disconnect the stabilizer link from the control arm.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle using an appropriate tool.
  6.  
  7. Drill out the 3 rivets retaining ball joint to the lower control arm. Use an 1 / 8 in. (3mm) drill bit to make a pilot hole through the rivets. Finish drilling rivets with a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drill bit.
  8.  
  9. Remove the ball joint from the control arm.
  10.  

To install:


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Fig. Fig. 5: Replacement ball joints are mounted by three bolts

  1. Install ball joint into the control arm.
  2.  
  3. Install 3 new bolts and nuts (supplied with new ball joint) and tighten.
  4.  
  5. Position ball joint stud through the steering knuckle and tighten nut to 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Connect the stabilizer link to stabilizer bar and tighten the nut to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install tire and wheel assembly.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Check front wheel alignment and adjust, if necessary.
  14.  

 
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