Vehicles with strut suspensions have only one ball joint on each side located at the base of the strut in the track control arm.
Raise the car and support it under the frame. The wheel must be clear of the ground.
With a lever, apply upward pressure to the track control arm. Apply the pressure gently and slowly; it is important that only enough pressure is exerted to check the play in the ball joint and not compress the suspension.
Using a vernier caliper, measure the distance between the control arm and the lower edge of the ball joint flange. Record the reading. Release the pressure on the track control arm and again measure the distance between the control arm and the lower edge of the ball joint flange. Record the reading. Subtract the higher reading from the lower reading. If the difference is more than 0.10 in., the ball joint should be replaced.
Remember that even in a new joint there will be measurable play because the ball in the ball joint is spring loaded.
- Jack up the car and remove the wheel and tire.
- Remove the nut from the ball joint stud and remove the stud from the track control arm.
- Bend back the locking tab and remove the three ball joint securing screws.
- Pull the track control arm downward and remove the ball joint from the strut.
- Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.