Subaru ff-1/1300/1400/1600/1800/Brat 1970-1984 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



ff-1 and 1300G

Inspect the lower ball joint next, with the vehicle still raised and supported with jackstands, as follows:

  1. Grasp the wheel and move it up and down (vertically).
  2.  
  3. Move the wheel back and forth.
  4.  
  5. If play is excessive in either or both directions, replace the upper ball joint.
  6.  

Excessive wheel play may also be caused by a worn wheel bearing or an improperly installed bearing nut.

1972-74 GL and DL

The lower control arm (transverse link) must be removed from the vehicle, in order to check the ball joint; see below.

  1. Use a pull scale to apply a force of 154 ft. lbs. (208 Nm) to the ball joint stud.
  2.  
  3. The ball joint should have no more than 0.3mm play when this force is applied.
  4.  
  5. Replace the entire control arm assembly if the ball joint is defective.
  6.  
  7. Check the boot for wear, tears, or other signs of damage. Replace it, as necessary.
  8.  
  9. Lubricate the ball stud with 0.28-0.35 oz. (8-10g) of long life chassis grease and apply 0.11 oz. (3g) of grease to the inside of the boot.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1 Lubricate the ball stud with 0.28-0.35 oz. (8-10g) of long life chassis grease and apply 0.11 oz. (3g) of grease to the inside of the boot. 1972-74 model shown

1975-84
INSPECTION

Inspect the lower ball joint, with the vehicle still raised and supported with jackstands, as follows:

  1. Grasp the wheel and move it up and down (vertically).
  2.  
  3. Move the wheel back and forth.
  4.  
  5. If play is excessive in either or both directions, replace the upper ball joint.
  6.  

Excessive wheel play may also be caused by a worn wheel bearing or an improperly installed bearing nut.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



ff-1 and 1300G

In order to remove the ball joints, it will be necessary to remove the steering knuckle/hub assembly from the car first. See the Knuckle and Spindle removal and installation procedures later in this section for the correct procedure. Knuckle and spindle removal is also necessary for bearing service. After completing removal, perform the following Steps:

  1. Remove the cotter pin from the castellated nut. Unfasten the nut.
  2.  
  3. Extract the ball joint with a puller.
  4.  
  5. Repeat for the other ball joint.
  6.  
  7. Reverse the above steps to install the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. Torque the ball joint stud nuts to 43-65 ft. lbs. (58-88 Nm).
  10.  

1972-74 GL and DL

The single ball joint on these models is integral with the lower control arm (transverse link). If the ball joint is defective, the entire assembly must be replaced. See control arm removal and installation in this section.

1975-79 Models
  1. Raise the front wheel and use a jackstand to safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and castle nut from the stud on top of the ball joint.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bolts and self-locking nuts which attach the ball joint to the transverse link. Detach the ball joint.
  6.  
  7. Reverse the above process to install the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the self-locking nuts to 38 ft. lbs. (51 Nm) and the castle nut to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
  10.  

Use new self-locking nuts, the old ones may not be reused.

1980-84
  1. Raise the front of the car and support it with jackstands. Remove the wheels.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and the castellated nut.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bolt on the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball joint.
  8.  
  9. If you're considering reusing it, inspect the joint for damage to the grease, boot or stress cracks.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2 Use a pair of pliers to remove the cotter pin



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3 Use a wrench or socket to remove the castellated nut

To install:

  1. Insert the ball stud, ungreased, into the steering knuckle, install the bolt, and torque it to 22-29 ft. lbs. (29-39 Nm)
  2.  
  3. Connect the joint to the transverse link and install the castellated nut, torquing to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Then, torque the nut further, just until the castellations are aligned with the hole in the end of the ballstud.
  4.  
  5. Install a new cotter pin and bend it around the nut.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4 Use a puller to separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle

 
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