REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Raise the vehicle and support it safely with jackstands.
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
- Support the lower control arm with a floor jack.
- Remove the upper ball stud nut, then install the nut finger-tight.
- Install a ball joint separator tool J-26407 or equivalent with the cup end over the lower ball stud nut.
- Turn the threaded end of the tool until the upper ball stud is free of the steering knuckle.
- Remove the tool and remove the nut from the ball stud.
- On 1984-86 models, remove the two nuts and bolts attaching the ball joint to the upper control arm. Note which way the flat of the ball joint is pointing before removing it. The direction of the flat on the new ball joint should be in the same direction as the one removed unless a change in camber is desired.
- On 1987-88 models, center punch the three rivets and drill a pilot hole with an 1 / 8 inch bit. Drill out the rivet head using an 1 / 4 inch drill bit and drive the rivets out with a punch.
- Remove the ball joint.
Inspect the tapered hole in the steering knuckle. Remove any dirt and if any out-of-roundness, deformation, or damage is noted, the knuckle must be replaced.
- On 1984-86 models, install the two bolts and nuts attaching the ball joint to the upper control arm and torque them to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm), then mate the upper control arm ball stud to the steering knuckle.
- On 1987-88 models, install the three bolts and nuts provided with new ball joint to the upper control arm and torque to the specification given by the service repair package.
- Install the ball joint to knuckle nut and torque it to 30-40 ft. lbs. (40-55 Nm) + 1 / 16 turn to align it with the cotter pin hole, and install the cotter pin.
- Install the tire and wheel assembly and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm). Lower the vehicle.
The toe adjustment must be checked and adjusted as necessary. Refer to the Alignment procedures in this section.Lower
The lower ball joint is welded to the lower control arm and cannot be serviced separately. Replacement of the entire lower control arm will be necessary if the lower ball joint requires replacement. Refer to the Front Spring/Lower Control Arm Removal and Installation procedure.1988 MODELS
- Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.
- Raise the vehicle and support with jackstands. Remove the front wheel assemblies.
- Position a jack under the lower control arm to support the spring during removal.
- Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
- Remove the lower ball joint nut. Using a ball joint separator tool J-26407 or equivalent, remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
- Swing the knuckle and rotor, caliper and bearing out of the way.
Inspect the tapered hole in the steering knuckle for out-of-roundness, deformation and damage. Replace the knuckle if these conditions exist. Clean all dirt and rust out the tapered hole before installation.
- Remove the ball joint using a lower ball joint removing and installation tool No. J-9519-10 and J-9519-18. Refer to the accompanying illustration.
- Install the lower ball joint into the lower control arm using the Lower Ball Joint installation and remove tools No. J-37161-3, J-37161-1, J-37161-4 and J-37161-2. Refer to the accompanying illustration.
- Press the ball joint into the lower control arm.
- Position the ball stud into the steering knuckle boss and install the ball stud nut. Torque the nut 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm) + 1 / 2 turn (180°). Give an additional 1 / 6 turn maximum to align and install the cotter pin.
- Install the tie rod end to the steering knuckle and torque to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) + 1 / 2 turn (180°). Give an additional 1 / 6 turn maximum to align and install the cotter pin.
- Install the front wheel assemblies and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
- Remove the jack from under the lower control arm and lower the vehicle to the ground.
- Check and align the front end as outlined in the "Front Alignment" in this section.
The Do-it-Yourself mechanic should not attempt to perform any wheel alignment procedures. Expensive alignment tools are needed and it would not be cost efficient to purchase these tools. The wheel alignment should be performed by a certified alignment technician using the proper alignment tools.