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Repair Pontiac Mid-size 1974-1983 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints



Please refer to the procedure, under Upper Ball Joints for lower ball joint inspection.


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Fig. Fig. 1 Use a suitable tool to disconnect the lower ball joint

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Fig. Fig. 2 Press the lower ball joint out of the lower control arm

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Fig. Fig. 3 The angles for installing a new cotter pin are 40° and 180°

  1. Raise the vehicle and support it securely. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  3. Remove the lower ball stud cotter pin, and loosen the ball stud nut just one turn.
  5. Install a special tool designed for such work between the two ball studs, and press the stud downward in the steering knuckle. Then, remove the stud nut.
  7. Pull the tire outward and at the same time upward, with your hands on the bottom (of the tire), to free the steering knuckle from the ball stud. Then, remove the wheel.
  9. Lift up on the upper control arm and place a block of wood between it and the frame. Be careful not to put any tension on the brake hose in doing this.
  11. Press the ball joint out of the lower control arm with a tool made for that purpose. You may have to disconnect the tie rod at the steering knuckle to do this.

To install:

  1. Position the new ball joint, with the vent in the rubber boot facing inward, onto the lower control arm. Press the joint fully into the control arm with a tool designed for this.
  3. Turn the ball stud cotter pin hole so it is fore and aft.

Cotter pins on Le Mans series and Grand Prix must be installed from the rear as shown in the illustration.

  1. Remove the block of wood holding the upper control arm out of the way, and inspect the tapered hole in the steering knuckle. Remove any dirt from the hole. If the hole is out of round or there is other noticeable damage, replace the entire steering knuckle.