Toyota Corolla 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Lower Ball Joint

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INSPECTION



See Figure 1

  1. Straighten the front wheels and jack up the front of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Place an 7.09-7.87 in. (180-200mm) wooden block under one front tire.
  4.  
  5. Slowly lower the jack until there is about half a load on the front coil spring.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Checking the lower ball joint

  1. Position jackstands near jack for safety.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that the front wheels are still straight and block them.
  4.  
  5. Move the lower suspension arm up and down and check the vertical play in the joint.
  6.  
  7. Repeat the procedure for the other side.
  8.  

The maximum ball joint vertical play on Corolla RWD models is 0.098 in. (2.5mm). The maximum ball joint vertical play on FWD models is 0.0 in. (0.0mm)

If the ball joint is checked while disconnected from the steering knuckle, it should have minimal or no free-play and should not twist in its socket under finger pressure

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 2, 3 and 4

The use of the correct tools is REQUIRED for this procedure. A ball joint separator is a commonly available tool which prevents damage to the joint and knuckle. Do not attempt to separate the joint with hammers, prybars or similar tools

RWD Models

To replace the lower ball joint on these models the lower control (suspension arm) assembly must be removed and the unit replaced as an assembly. Refer to the Lower Control Arm removal and installation service procedures.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Use a separator tool in order to free the ball joint



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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the lower suspension components-FWD models



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Fig. Fig. 4: Exploded view of lower suspension components-RWD models

FWD Models

See Figures 5, 6 and 7

This service procedure is for removing the lower ball joint assembly with the lower control arm attached to the vehicle. IF NECESSARY you may remove the Lower Control arm assembly, then remove the lower ball joint from the lower control arm. Refer to the Lower Control Arm Assembly Removal and Installation outlined in this section

  1. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle. Do not place the stands under the control arms; they must hang free.
  2.  

Do not allow the driveshaft joints to over-extend. The CV-joints can become disconnected under extreme extension

  1. Install a protective cover over the CV-boot.
  2.  

  1. Remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin from the ball joint nut.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the castle nut but do not remove it. Unscrew it just to the top of the threads and install the ball joint separator. Use the nut to bear on the tool; this protects the threaded shaft from damage during removal.
  6.  
  7. Use the separator to loosen the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nuts and bolt holding the ball joint to the control arm.
  10.  
  11. Remove the ball joint from the control arm and steering knuckle.
  12.  

To install:
  1. When reinstalling, attach the ball joint to the control arm and tighten the bolts/nuts evenly.
  2.  
  3. Carefully install the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Use a NEW CASTLE NUT and tighten it to 72-76 ft. lbs. (97-103 Nm)
  4.  
  5. Install a NEW COTTER PIN through the castle nut and stud.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Removing the lower ball joint retaining nut



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Fig. Fig. 6: Using a ball joint removal tool and brass hammer to separate the lower ball joint



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Fig. Fig. 7: Removing the lower ball joint-to-lower arm retaining bolts

  1. Remove the protector from the CV-boot.
  2.  
  3. Install the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Check wheel Alignment.
  6.  

 
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