Neon, 2000-2005

Lower Ball Joints

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Removal & Installation



The front suspension ball joints operate with no free-play. The ball joints are replaceable ONLY as an assembly. Do not attempt any type of repair on the ball joint assembly. The ball joint is a press fit into the lower control arm with the joint stud retained in the steering knuckle by the clamp bolt. To check the ball joint, with the weight of the vehicle resting on the road wheels, grasp the grease fitting and without using any tools, attempt to move the grease fitting. If the ball joint is worn the grease fitting will move easily. If movement is noted, replacement of the ball joint is recommended.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Wiggle the grease fitting with your fingers-if it moves, the ball joint should be replaced

Wiggle the grease fitting with your fingers-if it moves, the ball joint should be replaced

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Wheel
     
    Steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud-s pinch bolt and nut
     
    Stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm links
     

  4.  
  5. Loosen, but do not remove the bolts holding the stabilizer bar retainers to the crossmember. Then, rotate the stabilizer bar and attaching links away from the lower control arms.
    WARNING
    Pulling the steering knuckle outward after releasing the ball joint can separate the inner CV-joint.

  6.  
  7. Remove or disconnect the following:
    WARNING
    Be careful when separating the ball joint stud from the knuckle, so the seal does not become damaged.



    Ball joint from the steering knuckle using a pry bar
     



    Front lower control arm bushing-to-crossmember nut and bolt
     
    Rear lower control arm-to-crossmember bolt
     
    Lower control arm
     
    Ball joint using a pry tool
     

  8.  
  9. Using a hydraulic press, press the ball joint from the lower control arm using tools:

    Receiver Tool 6908-2
     
    Adapter Tool 6804

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the ball joint from the control arms

    Removing the ball joint from the control arms

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Aligning the ball joint stud notch to the control arms

    Aligning the ball joint stud notch to the control arms

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Installing the ball joint to the control arms

    Installing the ball joint to the control arms

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Installing the ball joint boot seal

    Installing the ball joint boot seal
     

  10.  

To install:

  1. Reinstall the ball joint into the lower control arm with the notch in the ball joint stud facing the front lower control arm bushing.
  2.  
  3. Using a hydraulic press, press the ball joint into the lower control arm using tools:
    1. Receiver Tool 6758 and Adapter Tool 6804.
    2.  

  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:
    WARNING
    Do not use a shop press that was used to install the ball joint, for the press exerts too much force.


    NOTE
    DO NOT tighten the rear bolt at this time.



    Ball joint boot seal using a driver tool such as a large socket or suitable sized piece of pipe
     



    Lower control arm into the front crossmember
     
    Rear lower control arm-to-crossmember and frame rail bolt
     



    Front lower control arm-to-crossmember nut and bolt
     

  6.  
  7. Torque the lower control arm rear pivot bolt to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm) and the front pivot bolt to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle. Torque the steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud pinch bolt and nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Assemble the stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm link assemblies and bushings.
  12.  
  13. Rotate the stabilizer bar into position, installing the stabilizer bar links into the lower control arms. Install the top stabilizer bar link bushings and nuts. DO NOT tighten the link yet.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel.
  16.  
  17. Lower the vehicle so the suspension is supporting the total weight of the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Torque the stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm links to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Torque the stabilizer bar bushing retainer-to-crossmember bolts to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Check and/or adjust the toe, as necessary.
  24.  

 
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