Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Ball Joint

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Justy

See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: Ball joint mounted to the steering knuckle and control arm-Justy

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lower ball joint cotter pin and castle nut. Discard the cotter pin.
  8.  
  9. Separate the ball joint stud from the lower control arm assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower ball joint pinch bolt from the steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Spread the ears on the steering knuckle and disconnect the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install lower ball joint into the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint pinch bolt and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Guide the ball joint stud through the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the ball joint castle nut and tighten to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

Sedan Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat

See Figures 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 2: Ball joint mounted to the steering knuckle and control arm-Sedan Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat



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Fig. Fig. 3: Prying the steering knuckle to remove the ball joint assembly

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint castle nut, and discard.
  8.  
  9. Loosen and remove the castle nut.
  10.  
  11. Separate the ball joint stud from the lower control arm using a suitable tool.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower ball joint to steering knuckle pinch bolt.
  14.  
  15. Using a suitable wedge, remove the lower ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Install the ball joint into the steering knuckle and install the pinch bolt. Tighten the bolt to 33 ft. lbs. (46 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint stud through the lower control arm and install the castle nut. Tighten the castle nut to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install a new cotter pin. If necessary to align the cotter pin tighten the nut. NEVER loosen the castle nut to align the cotter pin holes.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

Legacy and Impreza

See Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

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Fig. Fig. 4: Ball joint mounted to the steering knuckle and control arm-Legacy and Impreza



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint stud



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen and remove the castle nut from the ball joint stud



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Fig. Fig. 7: Using a puller to separate the ball joint from the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 8: A prytool may be needed to raise the ball joint stud enough to clear the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 9: Loosen the steering knuckle pinch bolt ...



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Fig. Fig. 10: ... and remove from the mounting hole



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Fig. Fig. 11: Using a drift to wedge the steering knuckle mount enough ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... to remove the ball joint

  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. Install the ball joint to the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Install the bolt, and tighten the retaining bolt to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
  4.  
  5. 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.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

SVX

See Figures 13

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Fig. Fig. 13: 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.  

To install:
  1. Position the lower ball joint on the control arm and install the three mounting nuts. Tighten the mounting nuts to 91 ft. lbs. (123 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Guide the ball joint stud into the bottom of the steering knuckle until the notch in the stud is visible through the bolt hole in the steering knuckle. Install the pinch bolt and nut and tighten to 38 ft. lbs. (52 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

INSPECTION



See Figures 14 and 15

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Fig. Fig. 14: Ball joint check points



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Fig. Fig. 15: Checking the ball joint for smooth oscillation

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Using a suitable prytool, position it under the wheel then pry upward on the wheel several times. If more than 0.012 in. (3mm) of movement is noticed at the ball joint it should be replaced.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the dust seal. If damaged or cracked, the ball joint should be replaced.
  6.  

 
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