ISUZU Amigo/Pick-ups/Rodeo/Trooper 1981-1996

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



Before performing any ball joint inspection, make sure that the wheel bearings are adjusted correctly and that the control arm bushings are in good condition.

  1. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely with jackstands. Place the jackstand under each lower control arm as close as possible to the lower ball joint. Make sure that the vehicle is stable and the control arm bumpers, if equipped are not contacting the frame.
  4.  
  5. Wipe the ball joints clean and check the seals for cuts or tears. If a seal is cut or torn, then ball joint MUST be replaced.
  6.  
  7. Check the ball joints for horizontal deflection (looseness):
    1. Position a dial indicator against the lowest outboard point on the rim.
    2.  
    3. Grasp the tire (top and bottom), then pull outward on the top and push inward on the bottom; record the reading on the dial indicator.
    4.  
    5. Grasp the tire (top and bottom), then pull outward on the bottom and push inward on the top; record the reading on the dial indicator.
    6.  
    7. The difference in the dial indicator reading is the horizontal deflection of both joints. If the reading exceeds 0.125 in. (3.2mm), the lower ball joint should be checked for wear in order to determine what component(s) must be replaced.
    8.  
    9. With the vehicle still supported by jackstands, place a dial indicator against the spindle in order to measure vertical movement.
    10.  

  8.  


WARNING
DO NOT pry between the lower control arm and the drive axle seal or damage to the seal may result.

    1. Pry between the lower control arm and the outer bearing race while reading the dial indicator. This reading will show vertical deflection (looseness).
    2.  
    3. The lower ball joint is not a pre-loaded joint and may show some looseness, but it should be replaced if movement exceeds 0.125 in. (3.2mm).
    4.  
    5. If necessary, disconnect the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle.
    6.  
    7. Check for any looseness or if the stud can be twisted by hand. If so, the joint should be replaced.
    8.  


Except Hombre

See Figures 1 and 2



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Fig. Fig. 1: Front lower suspension components-except Hombre



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Fig. Fig. 2: Separating the lower ball joint

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Release the torsion bar tension, if needed.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut which retains the ball joint to the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower ball joint-to-lower control arm nuts and bolts.
  10.  
  11. Remove the ball joint.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Position the ball joint on the lower control arm and secure in place with new nuts and bolts tightened to 45-56 ft. lbs. (61-76 Nm) for 2WD models, or to 68-83 ft. lbs. (93-113 Nm) for 4WD models.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint stud on to the steering knuckle and secure with the castellated nut and tighten to 101-116 ft. lbs. (137-157 Nm) for 2WD models, or 87-111 ft. lbs. (117-137 Nm) for 4WD models. Tighten additionally enough to align the cotter pin hole with a castellation on the nut. Install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the lower ball joint through the grease fitting.
  6.  
  7. Install and adjust the torsion bar tension.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheel assembly and lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Check and adjust the front end alignment, as necessary.
  12.  

Hombre

See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6



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Fig. Fig. 3: Separating the lower ball joint from the suspension-Hombre



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Fig. Fig. 4: Use a suitable prytool to work the lower control arm assembly past the caliper splash shield



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Fig. Fig. 5: Pressing the ball joint from the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 6: Using a press to install the ball joint

The following procedure requires the use of a ball joint remover/installer set (the particular set may vary upon application but must include a clamping-type tool with the appropriately sized adapters) and a ball joint separator tool, such as J-23742 or equivalent.

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely on jackstands under the frame such that the control arms hang free.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Position a floor jack under the spring seat of the lower control arm, then raise the jack to support the arm.
  6.  

The floor jack MUST remain under the lower control arm, during the removal and installation to retain the arm and spring positions. Make sure the jack is securely positioned and will not slip or release during the procedure or personal injury may result.

  1. Remove the brake caliper and support it aside using a hanger or wire. Make sure the brake line is not stressed or damaged.
  2.  
  3. Remove and discard the lower ball joint cotter pin, then loosen and remove the stud nut.
  4.  
  5. Position J-23742 or an equivalent ball joint separator tool between the lower joint stud and the control arm. Use the tool to separate the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Carefully guide the lower control arm out of the opening in the splash shield using a putty knife. Position a block of wood between the frame and upper control arm to keep the knuckle out of the way.
  8.  
  9. Remove the grease fitting from the control arm.
  10.  
  11. Use the ball joint remover set along with the appropriate adapters to drive the ball joint from the control arm.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Clean the tapered hole in the steering knuckle of any dirt or foreign matter, then check the hole to see if it is out of round, deformed or otherwise damaged. If a problem is found, then knuckle must be replaced.
  2.  
  3. Using a suitable installation set, press the new ball joint until it bottoms in the control arm. Make sure the grease seal is facing inboard.
  4.  
  5. Position the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle, then install the retaining nut and tighten to 83 ft. lbs. (113 Nm). Install a new cotter pin.
  6.  

When installing the cotter pin, never loosen the castle nut to expose the cotter pin hole.

  1. If not installed already, thread the grease fitting into the ball joint, then use a grease gun to lubricate the joint.
  2.  
  3. Reposition and secure the brake caliper.
  4.  
  5. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Check and adjust the front end alignment, as necessary.
  10.  

 
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