Hi I'm looking for some help to change the left side ball joint (control arm) on 1999 Mazda Protege. It looks like the back pin has a nut on top so the whole front end has to drop down is this correct ? Any info & illustrations would be greatley appreciated thanks.
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Here's a YouTube video showing the procedure on the passenger side. Apparently, you can't get just the upper ball joint, you have to replace the upper control arm, but it looks to be a fairly easy project. You can skip the first three minutes of the video - the work starts at about 3:15.
Raise the front of the vehicle and support it by the frame with jack stands. Remove the front wheels using the air gun and a socket.
Place the floor jack under the
lower control arm as close to the ball joint as possible. Raise the jack
until it begins to lift the control arm. Make sure that the floor jack
is positioned where it cannot slip off the control arm.
Remove the cotter pin in the
upper control arm ball joint using the wire cutters. Remove the nut on
the bottom of the upper ball joint using a wrench. Separate the ball
joint using the ball joint separator tool. Insert the tool between the
spindle and the upper control arm and hit it with a hammer until it
comes loose from the spindle.
Remove the upper control arm by
removing the nuts on the engine side of the arm holding it to the frame.
Use a wrench for this, but as the bolts are loosened, keep the
alignment shims together that are behind each nut. It will be necessary
to replace these on the side they were removed from for the alignment.
Lift the upper control arm off
and remove the upper ball joint using the ball joint installer kit. This
procedure is only necessary if the new control arm does not come with a
ball joint, which would be unusual.
Place the receiver over the
bottom of the ball joint and the smaller pusher cylinder on the topside.
Place the large C-clamp from the kit over the cylinders. Use the ½-inch
air gun and socket to push the ball joint out. Reverse the process to
install the ball joint. Install the upper control arm in reverse order
SAFELY RAISE SUPPORT FRONT OF VECHICLE ON JACK STAND MAKE SURE VECHICLE PARKED ON SOLID LEVEL GROUND. REMOVE WHEEL OR TIRE. REMOVE BALL JOINT STUD PINCH BOLT AND NUT FROM THE STEERING KNUCKLE.REMOVE BALL JOINT BY PRYING IT FROM THE KNUCKLE.REMOVE BALL JOINT TO LOWER CONTROL ARM BOLT AND NUT. INSTALL NEW BALL JOINT TO LOWER CONTROL ARM.TORQUE THE BOLT TO 86 FT LBS INSTALL BALL JOINT TO THE STEERING KNUCKLE TORQUE BOLT TO 43 FT LBS YOU MORE LIKELY NEED FRONT END REALIGNMENT AFTER THE JOB DONE.
I use one of these and it does the trick every time. You can get them at the local parts store for about 20 bucks. You have to be very careful not to rip the boot on the ball joint when you are using this though. You place it between the knuckle and the ball joint and hammer away. It will pop it out after a good working. I hope this helps!! Thanks!!
Although you never said what model, 2 or 4 wheel drive and the engine size, I looked around and found this. Both 2 & 4 wheel drive take the same ball joint &/or upper control arm. You can opt to do what ever is money wise or easier for you. Auto-zone carries both. You can press a new one in for about 30 bucks or replace the arm with the ball joint for 104. Auto-zone will lend you the press for no charge if you buy the part there. And as far as indexing, yes always. Although anytime front end components are changed a front wheel alignment should be done. The bushing bolts are your Camber adjustments. http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1999-Chevrolet-Silverado-1500-4WD/Ball-Joint-Upper/_/N-jdwjeZ8oxkv
its easier to get the whole control arm and the lower one has to be pressed in. it is not and easy job if you dont have the right tools checkout rockauto.com to look at the replacement parts and to get a price on them