Subaru Car 1998-05

Lower Ball Joints

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Removal & Installation



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

    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheel and tire assembly
     
    Ball joint castle nut cotter pin and discard the cotter pin
     
    Castle nut
     
    Ball joint from the lower control arm using a suitable puller or prytool
     
    Bolt securing the ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Ball joint using a suitable wedge to expand the steering knuckle connection point
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Retaining bolt and tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
     
    Ball joint to the lower control arm and tighten the castle nut on all models except WRX to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). On WRX sedan models, tighten to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) and 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) on all other WRX models. Then, tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
     
    New cotter pin
     
    Wheel
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  2.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheel and tire assembly
     
    Ball joint castle nut cotter pin and discard the cotter pin
     
    Castle nut
     
    Ball joint from the lower control arm using a suitable puller or prytool
     
    Bolt securing the ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Ball joint using a suitable wedge to expand the steering knuckle connection point
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Retaining bolt and tighten to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm)
     
    Ball joint to the lower control arm and tighten the castle nut to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Then, tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
     
    New cotter pin
     
    Wheel
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Ball joint mounted to the steering knuckle and control arm-Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Ball joint mounted to the steering knuckle and control arm-Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint stud (1997)

Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint stud (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Loosen and remove the castle nut from the ball joint stud (1997)

Loosen and remove the castle nut from the ball joint stud (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Using a puller to separate the ball joint from the control arm (1997)

Using a puller to separate the ball joint from the control arm (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. A prytool may be needed to raise the ball joint stud enough to clear the control arm (1997)

A prytool may be needed to raise the ball joint stud enough to clear the control arm (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Loosen the steering knuckle pinch bolt . . .

Loosen the steering knuckle pinch bolt . . .

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . and remove from the mounting hole (1997)

. . . and remove from the mounting hole (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Using a drift to wedge the steering knuckle mount enough . . .

Using a drift to wedge the steering knuckle mount enough . . .

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . to remove the ball joint (1997)

. . . to remove the ball joint (1997)
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball joint castle nut cotter pin. Discard the cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Loosen and remove the castle nut.
  10.  
  11. Using a suitable puller or prytool, disconnect the ball joint from the lower control arm assembly.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolt securing the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Use a suitable wedge to expand the steering knuckle connection point, and remove the ball joint.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Attach the ball joint to the steering knuckle, insert the bolt, and tighten to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Connect the ball joint to the lower control arm, and tighten the castle nut to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Then tighten the castle nut an additional 60° until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint. Install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Install the wheel, lower the vehicle. Connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Loosening the steering knuckle pinch bolt. The arrows indicate the ball joint-to-control arm retaining nut locations

Loosening the steering knuckle pinch bolt. The arrows indicate the ball joint-to-control arm retaining nut locations
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the ball joint-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt.
  6.  
  7. Separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the three lower ball joint mounting nuts and remove the lower ball joint assembly.
  10.  
  11. Install and secure all components in the reverse order of removal. Tighten the lower ball joint mounting nuts to 91 ft. lbs. (123 Nm). Tighten the pinch bolt and nut to 38 ft. lbs. (52 Nm).
  12.  

  1. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheel and tire assembly
     
    Ball joint castle nut cotter pin and discard the cotter pin
     
    Castle nut
     
    Ball joint from the lower control arm using a suitable puller or pry tool
     
    Bolt securing the ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Ball joint using a suitable wedge to expand the steering knuckle connection point
     

  2.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Ball joint to the steering knuckle
     
    Retaining bolt and tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
     
    Ball joint to the lower control arm and tighten the castle nut on all except WRX to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). On WRX sedan, tighten to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) and 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm) on all other WRX. Then, tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
     
    New cotter pin
     
    Wheel
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  2.  

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin from the ball stud. Remove the castle nut. Extract the ball stud from the transverse link.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolt securing the ball joint to the housing. Extract the ball joint from the housing.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint to the transverse link arm and tighten the castle nut to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) on sedan with DOHC and STI. On all other vehicles, tighten to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm). Tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Check and adjust alignment, as required.
  6.  

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the stabilizer bar brackets and bushings (both sides).
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin from the ball stud. Remove the castle nut. Extract the ball stud from the transverse link.
  10.  
  11. Remove the bolt securing the ball joint to the housing. Extract the ball joint from the housing.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint to the transverse link arm and tighten the castle nut to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm), if the front arm is aluminum and 28.8 ft. lbs. (39 Nm), if the front arm is steel. Tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. The stabilizer bracket has a set orientation. Install it with the arrow mark facing the upper side of the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Always fully tighten the rubber bushings when the wheels are in full contact with the ground and the vehicle is at curb height.
  8.  
  9. Check and adjust alignment, as required.
  10.  

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin from the ball stud. Remove the castle nut. Extract the ball stud from the transverse link.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolt securing the ball joint to the housing. Extract the ball joint from the housing.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint to the transverse link arm and tighten the castle nut to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Tighten the castle nut an additional 60 degrees until the slot in the castle nut is aligned with the cotter pin hole in the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Check and adjust alignment, as required.
  6.  

 
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