GM Corsica/Beretta 1988-1996 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



  1. Raise and safely support the front of the car, allowing the suspension to hang free.
  2.  
  3. Grasp the wheel at the top and the bottom and shake it in an in-and-out motion. Check for any horizontal movement of the steering knuckle relative to the lower control arm. Replace the ball joint if such movement is noted.
  4.  
  5. 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.
  6.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



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

1988-90 Vehicles

See Figure 1

  1. With the vehicle on the ground, break the lug nuts loose.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle, then remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Use a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) drill bit to drill a hole through the center of each of the 3 ball joint rivets.
  6.  
  7. Use a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drill bit to drill completely through the rivet.
  8.  
  9. Use a hammer and punch to remove the rivets. Drive them out from the bottom.
  10.  
  11. Use the special tool J-29330 or equivalent ball joint removal tool to separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle (see illustration). Don't forget to remove and discard the cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower control arm, then remove the ball joint.
  14.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Lower ball joint removal and installation - 1988-90 vehicles

To install:
  1. Install the new ball joint into the control arm with the 3 bolts supplied as shown and tighten to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Installation of the remaining components is in the reverse order of removal.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the castellated nut on the ball joint to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm) and use a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and tire assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Take the vehicle to a reputable repair shop to have the toe setting checked and adjusted if necessary.
  10.  

1991-96 Vehicles

See Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5

  1. With the vehicle on the ground, break the lug nuts loose.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Place jackstands under the suspension supports.
    1. Carefully lower the vehicle slightly, so the weight of the vehicle rest on the suspension supports and NOT on the control arms.
    2.  

  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  8.  


WARNING
Care must be taken not to allow the tri-pot joints from being over extended when either end of the shaft is disconnected. Over extension could result in separation of the internal components.

  1. Install modified inner drive axle seal protector J 34754, to prevent possible boot damage.
  2.  


WARNING
Failure to use the recommended tool could result in ball joint and seal damage.

  1. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the ball joint and separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle, using tool J 29330 or equivalent.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove and discard the cotter pin from the lower ball joint nut ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: ... then remove the lower ball joint nut



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle

  1. Use a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) drill bit to drill a hole through the center of each of the 3 ball joint rivets.
  2.  
  3. Use a 1 / 2 in. (13mm) drill bit to drill completely through the rivet.
  4.  
  5. Use a hammer and punch to remove the rivets. Drive them out from the bottom.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the nut attaching the stabilizer link to the stabilizer shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle and control arm.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Position the ball joint to the control arm and install the bolts and nuts as shown in the ball joint kit. Tighten to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Insert the ball stud through the steering knuckle and install the ball joint nut. Tighten the nut to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm) plus an additional 60 degree rotation for 1991 vehicles, and to a minimum of 41 ft lbs. (55 Nm) and a maximum of 50 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) for 1992-96 vehicles.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the replacement ball joint assembly - 1991-96 vehicles

  1. Install a new cotter pin.
  2.  
  3. Install the nut attaching the stabilizer link to the stabilizer shaft and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm) for 1991 vehicles, except GTZ models, and 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) for 1991 GTZ models and all 1992-96 models.
  4.  
  5. Remove the modified inner drive belt seal protector.
  6.  
  7. Slightly raise the vehicle and remove the jackstands from under the suspension supports.
  8.  
  9. Install the tire and wheel assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Take the vehicle to a reputable repair shop and have the front end alignment checked.
  12.  

 
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