S10 Pickup, Sonoma 2000-2004

Lower Ball Joints


Removal & Installation

The following procedure requires the use of a ball joint remover/installer set (the particular set may vary upon application but must include a clamping-type tool with the appropriately sized adapters) and a ball joint separator tool, such as J-23742.

Tire and wheel assembly

  1. Position a jack under the spring seat of the lower control arm, then raise the jack to support the arm.
    The jack MUST remain under the lower control arm, during the removal and installation procedures, to retain the arm and spring positions. Make sure the jack is securely positioned and will not slip or release during the procedure or personal injury may result.

  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Brake caliper and support it aside using a hanger or wire. Make sure the brake line is not stressed or damaged.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Use a ball joint separator to drive the lower joint from the knuckle

    Lower ball joint cotter pin and discard
    Ball joint stud nut
    Lower ball joint from the steering knuckle using tool J-23742

  5. Carefully guide the lower control arm out of the opening in the splash shield using a putty knife. Position a block of wood between the frame and upper control arm to keep the knuckle out of the way.

    Grease fitting

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Driving the lower joint from the control arm

    Ball joint from the control arm using the ball joint remover set along with the appropriate adapters


To install:

  1. Clean the tapered hole in the steering knuckle of any dirt or foreign matter, then check the hole to see if it is out of round, deformed or otherwise damaged. If a problem is found, then knuckle must be replaced.
  3. Install or connect the following:
    When installing the cotter pin, never loosen the castle nut to expose the cotter pin hole.

    Press the new ball joint (with grease fitting pointing inward) until it bottoms in the control arm using a suitable installation set. Make sure the grease seal is facing inboard.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Installing a new ball joint

    Ball joint stud into the steering knuckle
    Ball joint retaining nut and tighten to 79 ft. lbs. (108 Nm)

    Grease fitting into the ball joint, if not already installed

  5. Use a grease gun to lubricate the joint until grease appears at the seal.

    Brake caliper
    Tire and wheel assembly

  7. Check and adjust the front end alignment, as necessary.

On 4WD vehicles both the upper and lower ball joints are removed in the same manner.