Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joints

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INSPECTION



Inspect the ball joint stud dust seal (boot) for grease leaks, detachment, tearing or other damage.

Raise and support the vehicle on jackstands so that the suspension control arms hang and the wheels are off of the ground. Use a floor jack to support the lower control arm, then attempt to wobble the wheel in a vertical motion by holding the top of the tire with one hand and the bottom of the tire with the other. If any movement is felt, have an assistant wobble the wheel while you look for movement between the lower control arm and the spindle; the spindle and arm should not move independently of each other. If there is movement, replace the lower ball joint.

If the ball joint appears fine, check the front wheel bearings, then repeat this test to ensure the ball joint is in good condition.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 Models

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

  1. Loosen all of the front wheel lug nuts 1 / 2 turn.
  2.  
  3. Apply the parking brake, block the rear wheels, then raise and safely support the front of the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheel.
  6.  
  7. Position a hydraulic floor jack beneath the lower control arm, then raise the floor jack until it supports the lower control arm.
  8.  
  9. On 4-wheel drive models, remove the wheel hub, as described later in this section.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: To remove the lower ball joint, first remove the cotter pin from the ball joint stud and castellated nut ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: ... then loosen and remove the nut. Make sure to support the lower control arm!

  1. Detach the tie rod end from the steering knuckle arm.
  2.  
  3. Secure the bottom of the coil spring to the lower control arm with a chain. This will prevent the spring from accidentally dislodging form the control arm and possibly causing personal injury.
  4.  
  5. Withdraw the lower ball joint castle nut cotter pin, then remove the castle nut.
  6.