- Raise and support the vehicle safely. Position a jackstand under the control arm to unload the suspension.
- Grasp the wheel at the top and the bottom and shake the wheel in and out, and up and down.
- If there is any visible movement of the steering knuckle in relation the control arm, the ball joint is defective and should be replaced.
- Check the grease boot for rips. A ripped boot will allow foreign material to damage the ball joint, but if the ball joint passes the above test, just replace the boot.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Raise and safely support the vehicle. Position a jackstand under the engine cradle and lower the vehicle so the weight of the vehicle rests on the jackstand and not the control arms.
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
- Remove the castellated nut and cotter pin from the ball joint stud. Disconnect the ball joint from the steering knuckle, using the ball joint separator tool.
- Loosen the stabilizer shaft bushing assembly nut.
- Drill out the rivets retaining the ball joint, if equipped, or remove the retaining bolt/nuts.
- Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle and the control arm.
- Install the ball joint to the steering knuckle and the control arm.
- Install the 3 new ball joint bolts, facing downward. Tighten the nuts to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
- Connect the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Tighten the castellated nut to at least 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm). Tighten farther, if necessary, to align the nut slots with the hole in the stud, then install a new cotter pin.
- Tighten the stabilizer shaft bushing assembly nut to 13 ft. lbs. (17 Nm).
- Install the tire and wheel assembly.
- Lower the vehicle.
- Have the vehicle's alignment professionally set.