Mazda Trucks 1987-1993 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



Pickup
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint stud. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle using tool 49 0727 575 or equivalent.
  6.  
  7. Install tool 49 0180 510B or equivalent to the ball joint stud and attach a suitable pull scale to the stud.
  8.  
  9. After rocking the ball joint stud back and forth 3-4 times, measure the pull scale reading while the ball joint stud is rotating. The pull scale reading should be 4.4-7.7 lbs.
  10.  
  11. If the pull scale reading is not as specified, replace the lower ball joint.
  12.  

MPV

See Figure 1

Defective ball joints are determined by checking the rotational torque with a special preload attachment and spring scale.

  1. Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the control arm for damage and the boots for cracks. Replace them if necessary.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the ball joint for looseness and replace, if necessary.
  6.  
  7. Shake the ball joint stud at least 5 times.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Inspecting the rotational torque of the ball joint using a spring scale

  1. Install tool 49 0180 510B or equivalent to the ball joint stud and attach a suitable pull scale to the stud.
  2.  
  3. After shaking the ball joint stud back and forth 5 times, measure the rotational torque while the ball joint stud is rotating. The rotational torque should be 18-30 inch lbs. (2-3 Nm). The pull scale reading should be 4.4-7.7 lbs.
  4.  
  5. If the reading is not as specified, replace the lower ball joint (4WD) or control arm assembly (rear wheel drive).
  6.  

2WD Navajo

  1. Raise the vehicle and position a jackstand under the I-beam axle beneath the coil spring. Check and adjust the front wheel bearings.
  2.  
  3. Have a helper grasp the upper edge of the tire and move the wheel assembly in and out.
  4.  
  5. While the wheel is being moved, observe the lower spindle arm and the lower part of the axle jaw.
  6.  
  7. One thirty-second inch (0.8mm) or greater movement between the lower part of the axle jaw and the lower spindle arm indicates that the lower ball joint must be replaced.
  8.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Pickup
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  4.  
  5. On 2WD vehicles, remove the bolts attaching the tension rod to the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint stud. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle using tool 49 0727 575 or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolts/nuts attaching the lower ball joint to the lower control arm and remove the lower ball joint.
  10.  
  11. Position the ball joint assembly to the lower control arm and secure it with the mounting hardware. Tighten the lower ball joint-to-lower control arm bolts/nuts to 32-40 ft. lbs. (43-54 Nm) on 2WD vehicles or 41-50 ft. lbs. (55-68 Nm) on 4WD vehicles. Tighten the lower ball joint stud nut to 87-116 ft. lbs. (118-157 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. Check the front end alignment.
  14.  

MPV

See Figure 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Ball joint and lower control arm assembly, exploded view-4WD

On 2WD models, the lower ball joints are pressed into the lower control arm. The ball joints cannot be removed from the lower control arms and in the event of the defective ball joint, the lower control arm and ball joint must be replaced as an assembly. Defective ball joints are determined by checking the rotational torque with a special preload attachment and spring scale. Ripped ball joint dust boots can be replaced. Replacement of the ball joint dust boot is accomplished by removing the lower control arm from the vehicle and chiseling the off old boot. Coat the inside of the new dust boot with lithium grease and press it into the ball joint using the proper tool. Check the ball joint stud threads for damage and repair as necessary. Check the ball joint preload and install the lower control arm by reversing the removal procedure.

  1. On 4WD models, raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint stud. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle using tool 49 0727 575 or equivalent.
  6.  
  7. Install tool 49 0180 510B or equivalent to the ball joint stud and attach a suitable pull scale to the stud.
  8.  
  9. After rocking the ball joint stud back and forth 3-4 times, measure the pull scale reading while the ball joint stud is rotating. The pull scale reading should be 4.4-7.7 lbs.
  10.  
  11. If the pull scale reading is not as specified, replace the lower ball joint. The ball joint assembly is bolted onto the lower control arm. Remove the two upper and one through bolt and remove the ball joint. Install in the reverse order.
  12.  

2WD Navajo

See Figures 3 and 4

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake caliper and support it aside with mechanics wire. Do not let the caliper hang by the brake hose.
  4.  
  5. Remove the dust cap, cotter pin, nut retainer, washer and outer bearing and remove the brake rotor from the spindle. Remove the brake dust shield.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the steering linkage from the spindle and spindle arm by removing the cotter pin and nut. Remove the tie rod end from the spindle arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the lower ball joint stud. Remove the axle clamp bolt from the axle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the camber adjuster from the upper ball joint stud and axle beam.
  12.  
  13. Strike the inside area of the axle to pop the lower ball joint loose from the axle beam. Remove the spindle and ball joint assembly from the axle.
  14.  

Do not use a pickle fork to separate the ball joint from the axle as this will damage the seal and ball joint socket.

  1. Install the spindle assembly in a vise and remove the snapring from the lower ball joint. Remove the lower ball joint from the spindle using C-frame T74P-4635-C or equivalent and a suitable receiver cup to press the ball joint from the spindle.
  2.  

Do not heat the ball joint or the spindle to aid in removal.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Lower ball joint removal



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Lower ball joint installation

To install:
  1. Assemble the C-frame and receiver cup and press in the lower ball joint.
  2.  

Do not heat the ball joint or axle to aid in installation.

  1. Install the snapring onto the ball joint.
  2.  
  3. Place the spindle and ball joints into the axle. Install the camber adjuster in the upper spindle over the ball joint stud making sure it is properly aligned.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the lower ball joint stud nut to 104-146 ft. lbs. (141-198 Nm). Continue tightening the castellated nut until it lines up with the hole in the stud, then install the cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Install the clamp bolt into the axle boss and tighten to 48-65 ft. lbs. (65-88 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the remaining components.
  10.  

 
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