GM Celebrity/Century/Ciera/6000 1982-1996 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



  1. Raise and safely support the car.
  2.  
  3. Grasp the tire at top and bottom and move the top to the tire in and out.
  4.  
  5. Observe for any horizontal movement of the knuckle relative to the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Ball joints must be replaced if there is any looseness in the ball joint and should be replaced if the seal is damaged. The ball joint may check good with a bad seal, but will not last long due to dirt and water entering the joint.
  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 and 2

Only one ball joint is used in each lower arm. The MacPherson strut design does not use an upper ball joint.

Care must be exercised to prevent the halfshafts from being overextended. Support the lower arm.

  1. Loosen the wheel nuts, raise the car.
  2.  
  3. Place a jackstand under the vehicles frame or suspension support.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle slightly, so that the weight of the vehicle rest on the jackstands and not on the control arms.
  6.  
  7. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  8.  
  9. Install a CV-boot protector.
  10.  
  11. Remove the steering knuckle bolts, then remove the ball joint nut and cotter pin from the steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Use a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) drill bit to drill a hole approximately 1 / 4 in. (6mm) deep in the center of each of the three ball joint rivets.
  14.  
  15. Use a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drill bit to drill off the rivet heads. Drill only enough to remove the rivet head.
  16.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Use a 1/8 in. (3mm) drill bit to drill a hole approximately 1/4 in. (6mm) deep in the center of each of the three ball joint rivets


WARNING
Take care not to drill through the halfshaft dust boots.

  1. Use a hammer and punch to remove the rivets. Drive them out from the bottom.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the stabilizer shaft insulator nuts, then remove the ball joint assembly.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the new ball joint into the control arm. Secure the three ball joint nuts, see your instructions supplied by the part supplier for tightening specifications.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Install the new ball joint into the control arm, then secure the three ball joint nuts

  1. Install the ball joint into the knuckle pinch bolt fitting. It should go in easily if not, check the stud alignment. Install the pinch bolt from the rear to the front. Tighten to 40 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) for 1982-84, 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) for 1985-93 and 38 ft. lbs. (52 Nm) for 1994-96.
  2.  
  3. Remove the CV-boot protector.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the stabilizer shaft clamp insulator bolts to 32 ft. lbs. (43 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel, hand-tighten the lug nuts.
  8.  
  9. Raise the vehicle slightly to allow removal of the jackstands.
  10.  
  11. Remove the jackstands, then lower the vehicle, tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  12.  

 
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