Removal and Replacement Instructions
(steps 11-20 of 20)
- Place the new ball joint assembly over the mounting studs in the upper control arm, replace the adjustment
cams and re-install the two 21mm mounting nuts. Tighten the nuts to 107-129 ft-lbs (145-175 Nm).
- Line up the hole in the top of the spindle with the shaft on the new ball joint assembly and insert the shaft
into the top of the spindle. The shaft needs to go into the top the spindle sufficiently "deep" in order for the
spindle bolt to slide in and line up with the "relief" in the shaft of the ball joint. Using a rubber mallet, tap
the ball joint into the spindle to the correct depth. You can look through the hole in the side of the spindle
to see if the shaft is in far enough to allow the bolt to be installed. This is an iterative process and may
involve some cussing. Once it's in and lined up re-install the pinch bolt and nut using an 18mm
socket or wrench and tighten to 67 ft-lbs (92 Nm).
- If your new ball joints came with a grease fitting now is the time to install that fitting. Most all of the
aftermarket ball joints have a grease fitting. If you bought Ford OEM parts you can probaly skip this step.
Carefully screw the fitting into the top of the ball joint and make sure it's tight but don't strip the threads.
- Next, using a grease gun and some high-quality grease, grease the ball joint via the grease
fittings you just installed. If you used OEM / Ford ball joints then they may not have come with grease
fittings (or provisions for even installing grease fittings) and are designed to be "permanently" lubed from the
factory (and thus you can skip this step). If your upper ball joints DO have grease fittings then you need to grease
them. If you don't have a grease gun you can have this done when you have the front end aligned but it's not
a good idea to drive around with your ball joints un-greased. There may be *some* grease in them when new but it's
not enough and driving around too much on dry ball joints will ruin them or at least shorten their life.
- With the ball joint installed and all the bolts securely tightened you can now lower the jack supporting the
lower control arm and remove it from under the car.
- It's time to wrap-up this side of the car. Jack up the car slightly and remove the jack-stand (you did use
a jack-stand right?). Re-install the wheel and partially tighten the lugnuts.
- Lower the jack to allow the front wheel to come in contact with the ground but do not lower the car completely.
- Tighten all lugs nuts using an alternating (star) pattern.
- Lower the car and remove the floor jack.
- Repeat the process for the other side of the car. Once completed, TAKE YOUR CAR IN FOR A FRONT END ALIGNMENT.
We took care to install the ball joints in a similar position to old ones but anytime you change ball joints (or
tie rods, control arm bushings, etc.) you need to have the front end re-aligned. Failure to check the front end
alignment can cause the car to vibrate, pull to one side and can cause premature/excessive tire wear. Don't be a
dufus and skip this step. Your Momma taught you better. If you have any problems or run into any issues please
refer to the Troubleshooting section for this repair.
Congratulations! You just replaced your upper ball joints and saved yourself some money (and gained the satisfaction
of doing it yourself). After your wash your hands and drink an adult beverage please drop us a line and give us some
feedback on the content of this site. We're always trying to improve our content and we love
getting feedback from fellow Do-It-Yourselfers