I wonder if the lower ball joint on a 2002 cavalier is rivated or if it comes on controll arm or just howw its on there ? I am going to have to change it soon and wondered what i am getting in to . Any advise would help !!! Thanks Don
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Typically these are replaced with a complete lower control arm. What happens is the ball joint is reseeding the lower control arm and rusts. When the old ones pressed out it distorts the opening in the lower control arm. When the new one is pressed in they never fit tight.
Anew lower control arm is very easy to replace.
1. Jack up the vehicle on the sub frame or pinch weld.
2. Remove the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint to the knuckle.
3. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle.
4. Remove the two bolts that secure the horizontal bushing to the sub frame.
5. Remove the single bolt that secures the vertical bushing from the subframe.
6. Remove the lower control arm.
If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them.
To perform the following procedure, the lower control arm must be removed from the vehicle. Refer to Removal And Installation for that procedure.
Using a screw driver or other suitable tool, pry the seal boot off of the ball joint assembly
Position receiving cup, Special Tool 6758 to support lower control arm when removing ball joint assembly. Install Remover, Special Tool 6919 on the top of the ball joint assembly.
Using the arbor press, press the ball joint assembly completely out of the lower control arm.
NOTE: When installing ball joint in lower control arm, position the ball joint in control arm so notch in ball joint stud is in the direction shown. This will ease assembly of the ball joint to the steering when installing pinch bolt.
By hand, position ball joint into ball joint bore of lower control arm. Be sure ball joint is not cocked in the bore of the control arm, this will cause the ball joint to bind when being pressed into control arm.
Position control arm with installed ball joint, in an arbor press with Receiving Cup, Special Tool 6758 supporting the lower control arm. Then center Installer, Special Tool 6908-4 on the bottom of the ball joint
Carefully align all pieces. Then press the ball joint into the lower control arm until it is completely seated against surface of lower control arm. The ball joint is correctly installed when there is no gap between the ball joint and the lower control arm. Do not apply excessive force against the ball joint or the lower control arm.
Install a NEW seal boot by hand as far as possible on the ball joint. Installation of the seal boot is to be with the shield positioned as shown.
CAUTION: Do not use an arbor press to install the sealing boot on the ball joint. Damage to the sealing boot will occur if excessive pressure is applied to the sealing boot when it is being installed.
Place Installer, Special Tool 6758 over seal boot and squarely align it with bottom edge of seal boot. Apply hand pressure to Special Tool 6758 until seal boot is pressed squarely against top surface of lower control arm.
CAUTION: A replacement ball joint is not pre-lubricated. Properly lubricate the replacement ball joint using Mopar Multi-Mile grease or an equivalent. Lubricate ball joint after seal boot is installed but prior to top of seal boot being pushed down below notch in ball joint stud. Air must vent out of the seal boot at notch when grease is pumped into ball joint, failure to do so will balloon and damage seal boot. Do not over grease the ball joint, this will prevent the seal boot from pushing down on the stud of the ball joint.
CAUTION: After the ball joint is properly greased, clip the end of the grease fleeing off below the hex. The ball joint seal boot is non-purgeable and further greasing is not required and can result in damage to the seal boot.
It looks like if you buy the joint from Chrysler then it comes complete with the arm however there are aftermarket companies that make just the ball joint which can be pressed in and out. It's fairly common for a manufacturer to offer the joint only as a part of the arm while an aftermarket company will offer the ball joint for sale seperately. A hint on these: Buy the best quality ball joint you can get an grease them on a regular basis. Lower ball joints take quite a beating and there is a big quality difference between cheap and good joints.
Removal & Installation
This procedure requires the use of the following special tools: J 9519-E Lower Ball Joint Remover and Installer, J 34874 Booster Seal Remover/Installer, J 41435 Ball Joint Installer, J 45105-1 Ball Joint Flaring Adapter and J 45105-2 Receiver.
On 4WD vehicles, remove the wheel center cap and drive axle nut.
Raise and support the vehicle.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Tire and wheel
Wheel hub and bearing, if necessary
Outer tie rod retaining nut
Out tie rod from the steering knuckle using a suitable puller
Brake hose bracket retaining bolts and bracket
Upper control arm-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt and nut
Upper control arm from the steering knuckle
Lower ball joint retaining nut
Steering knuckle from the lower control arm using a suitable ball joint removal tool
Steering knuckle from the vehicle
Lower ball joint flange with a chisel
Install tools J 9519-E and J 34874 to the lower ball joint, then use those tools to remove the lower ball joint from the lower control arm.
Install or connect the following:
Lower ball joint to the lower control arm, using tools J 9519-E, J 41435 and J 45105-2
Remove the tools from the lower control arm.
Tools J 9519-E and J 45105-1 to the lower ball joint
Flare the lower ball joint flange with J 9519-E and J 45105-1, then remove the tools from the lower ball joint.
Steering knuckle to the lower control arm
Lower ball joint retaining nut and tighten to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
Upper control arm to the steering knuckle
Upper control arm pinch bolt and nut and tighten to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm)
Brake hose bracket to the steering knuckle
Brake hose bracket retaining nuts and tighten to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm)
Outer tie rod to the steering knuckle
Outer tie rod retaining nut and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
Wheel hub and bearing, if removed
Tire and wheel
Lower the vehicle
Drive axle nut, if 4WD, and tighten to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm)
I had a question i bought a used control arm for a 2001 honda civic compared it to the original and everything was the same except the part where the ball joint goes into is a few mm thicker on the control arm. Beedless to say i got it in but i had to over tighten to get the nut in all the way. I thought this would stop the rattling sound when i hit a pothole bit its still doing it and i fear the control arm is the incorrect one what other honda has the same control arm as the civic?
You may have to have half inch air impact gun to remove the spindle nut (in the center of the rotor). I'd make that the first task to undertake because your next task will be to remove lower ball joint. After you get that spindle nut loose, take a hammer, 32 oz. preferrably and whack area directly behind lower ball joint to coerce it in to loosening up. Then take a decent pry bar and lift up on the whole spindle assembly and if it don't release, go whack the front side in front of lower ball joint. After you get it to come free from lower A arm, take a pry bar and insert it in between the CV joint and transmission housing. Do not put a lot of pressure that will over stress the transmission case, just vigorously enough to get the CV joint to pop out of the circlips that holds it into transmission. Make sure when you put new one in that CV joint reseats all the way and reverse procedure is the same.