Mazda Trucks 1994-1998 Repair Guide

Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



Navajo and B Series Pick-up Models

See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Checking the ball joints

  1. Check and adjust the front wheel bearings. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Have a helper grasp the lower 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. A 1 / 32 in. (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.  
  9. To check the upper ball joints, while the wheel is being moved, observe the upper spindle arm and the upper part of the axle jaw.
  10.  
  11. A 1 / 32 in. (0.8mm) or greater movement between the upper part of the axle jaw and the upper spindle arm indicates that the upper ball joint must be replaced
  12.  

MPV Models

See Figure 2

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.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: 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.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Navajo and 1994-97 B Series Pick-up

See Figures 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 3: 2WD ball joint removal-4WD similar



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Fig. Fig. 4: 2WD ball joint installation-4WD similar

The ball joints are arranged such that if the upper ball joint is to be removed, the lower ball joint must be removed first. Conversely, on rear wheel drive vehicles, the upper ball joint must be installed first, before the lower ball joint. On 4WD vehicles, when installing the upper ball joint, the lower ball joint must be installed first. Failure to install the ball joints in the correct order will result in a lack of clearance for the installation tool.

  1. Remove the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Place knuckle in vise and remove snapring from bottom ball joint socket if so equipped.
  4.  
  5. Assemble the C-frame, T74P-4635-C, forcing screw, D79T-3010-AE and ball joint remover T83T-3050-A or equivalent on the lower ball joint.
  6.  
  7. Turn forcing screw clockwise until the lower ball joint is removed from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Repeat these steps for the upper ball joint.
  10.  

Always remove the lower ball joint first
To install:
  1. Clean the steering knuckle bore and insert lower ball joint in knuckle as straight as possible. The lower ball joint doesn't have a cotter pin hole in the stud.
  2.  
  3. Assemble the C-frame, T74P-4635-C, forcing screw, D790T-3010-AE, ball joint installer, T83T-3050-A and receiver cup T80T-3010-A3 or equivalent tools, to install the upper ball joint (on rear wheel drive) or the lower ball joint (on 4WD).
  4.  
  5. Turn the forcing screw clockwise until the upper (rear wheel drive) or lower (4WD) ball joint is firmly seated.
  6.  

If the ball joint cannot be installed to the proper depth, realignment of the receiver cup and ball joint installer will be necessary.

  1. Repeat these steps for the remaining ball joint.
  2.  
  3. Be sure to install the snapring on the lower ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Install the steering knuckle.
  6.  

Rear Wheel Drive MPV and All 1998 B Series Pick-up Models

The ball joints on rear wheel drive MPV and all 1998 B Series Pick-up models are integral with the control arms. If the ball joint is defective, the entire control arm must be replaced. Refer to the appropriate control arm removal and installation procedures later in this information.

MPV With 4-Wheel Drive
BALL JOINT

See Figure 5

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the sway 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.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 2 upper bolts, one through-bolt and remove the ball joint.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the ball joint to the lower control arm. Tighten the two upper ball joint-to-control arm bolts and washers to 75-101 ft. lbs. (102-137 Nm). Tighten the through-bolt and nut to 94-127 ft. lbs. (128-172 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the ball stud into the steering knuckle. Torque the nut to 115-137 ft. lbs. (157-186 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Connect the sway bar to the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Ball joint and lower control arm assembly, exploded view-4WD

BALL JOINT DUST BOOT

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.

 
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