Mazda 323/MX-3/626/MX-6/Millenia/Protégé 1990-1998 and Ford Probe 1993-1997

Lower Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



  1. Disconnect the lower ball joint from the knuckle or spindle.
  2.  
  3. Shake and rotate the ball joint stud several times.
  4.  
  5. Attach a suitable pull scale to the ball joint stud and measure the preload.
  6.  
  7. While the ball stud is rotating, the pull scale reading should be as follows:

    323, Protege, MX-3, 1990-92 626/MX-6: 4.4-7.7 lbs.
     
    1993-98 626/MX-6/Probe: 2.2-11.0 lbs.
     
    Millenia: 0.7-6.6 lbs.
     

  8.  
  9. If the pull scale reading is not as specified, replace the ball joint or lower control arm, as required.
  10.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except MX-3, 323, Protege and Millenia

The lower ball joint is an integral part of the lower control and cannot be replaced separately. If the lower ball joint is defective, the entire lower control arm must be replaced.

MX-3, 323, Protege and Millenia

See Figure 1

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the ball joint stud pinch bolt and nut from the steering knuckle. Pry the lower control arm down from the knuckle, and separate the ball joint from the knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bolt and nut and remove the ball joint from the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten the ball joint-to-lower control arm bolt and nut to 86 ft. lbs. (117 Nm). Tighten the ball joint pinch bolt and nut to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm). Check the front wheel alignment.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a common lower control arm with replaceable ball joint

 
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