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Re: upper & lower Ford Ranger ball joints replacement
Approx.$250 in parts & rest is labor. Probably 3 to 4 hrs labor at most, even at 5 hrs labor, that's $100/hr labor. It must include alignment after the repairs, correct? Not sure what your going rate for labor is in your area. Probably wouldn't hurt to call around for a second opinion& estimate just to be sure.
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REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Upper ball joints are not replaceable. The upper ball joint is part of the upper control arm bushing joint and is not serviced separately. If the upper ball joints are found to be defective, the entire upper control arm bushing joint assembly must be replaced.
Lower Ball Joint
Support the vehicle in normal driving position with ball joints loaded.
Wipe the grease fitting and checking surface, so they are free of dirt and grease. The checking surface is the round boss into which the grease fitting is threaded.
The checking surface should project outside the cover. If the checking surface is inside the cover, replace the lower arm assembly.
It's definitely easier to replace the control arms with the ball joints. I think you may have to buy new upper control arms anyway if they are oe i don't think the upper ones can be pressed out. If you are going to press the ball joints out you do not need to remove the springs or struts. Brake caliper/rotor/hub and knuckle are removed leaving the upper and lower control arms. i would disconnect the abs connector too if it has abs. recommend supporting the vehicle on the frame somewhere. You can buy a ball joint press kit for about 80$ online or use a really big hammer to smack them out. Putting them back in may be a pain without a press.
If the ball joints are held in with rivits you will need to cut them out. The easiest way is to use an air chisel. Then you need only to knock them (ball joints) out of their hole in the "A" frame. Then you will just reverse the procedure to install the new ball joints. The replacement joints will just be bolt in to place. Pretty straight forward and easy. Just a little labor intense sometimes. You can do it. Good luck.
You're not supposed to replace the uppers on a 98 ranger. They're not meant to be pressed out because its built in with the control arm as a single unit. Just buy new upper control arms and save yourself the trouble. Ford also claims you have to replace the control arm for the lowers as well, but that's BS. They can be replaced fairly easily with the proper tools.