I need to replace the lower ball joints. The new joints have a 4 bolt design. The OEM joint has a similar design, but it is not bolts, looks more like big pressed rivits. Any suggestions for getting the old ball joints out?
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The OEM ball joint is riveted into the upper control arm. There are two possible ways to replace the joint. You can purchase the entire upper control arm/ball joint assembly, which comes complete with the upper control arm bushings. This part costs about $150.00. You will also have to deal with the coil spring when replacing it this way. You can also buy just the ball joint for about $30.00. This will require that you drill out the rivets of the original ball joint and then bolt in the replacement with the bolts that are provided with it. The 2WD and 4WD versions are the same. See this link.
To replace the lower control are you need to unbolt it from the subframe, airmatic strut, sway bar link and from the lower ball joint. The lower ball joint is separate from the lower control arm. The ball joint actually gets pressed into the steering knuckle. Then the lower control arm sits on top of the ball joint and gets bolted down. The lower control arms list price are about $330 each and the ball joints are around $78 each for oem mercedes parts. The total labor for both to be replaced is somewhere between 6-8 flag hours. The thrust arms are also part of the front suspension and those arms are one piece that have a ball joint as part of the arm. The lower control arm usually doesn't need to be replaced unless its damaged since the control arm bushings are available separately and are around $73 each side for the kit.
remove the rear shaft from a 1990 full size gmc van (g-van) make sure the one you select has the scew on sleeve at the front of the rear section of the shaft
this will be the right lenght
take the rear yolk off your old shaft cut of the ball socket now get the same u-joint your truck calls for and mount the rear yolk (the section of the shaft that bolts to your rear end) to the new shaft
this works ive done it
you eliminate 2 of the 4 u-joints and lighten up your shaft this releives strain on you tranny and rear end when these u-joints and ball bearings fail they cause the vibrations which ruin the rest of your drive train also you gain 10hp
i spent 300 bucks rebuilding the OEM shaft and got no where so for 25 bucks i did this
The ball joints on both 2wd and 4wd upper are pressed in you need to remove snap ring and using a hammer pop out the old one out this is after you seperate the upper arm from the spindle. To install the new ball joint you should use a ball joint press that you can rent at most autoparts shops
Remove in this order: wheel, loosen the 4 lower ball joint set bolts, cotter pin and nut from tie rod, tie rod from ball joint bracket, ball joint from lower control arm, 4 lower ball joint set bolts, ball joint from suspension. Install is reverse but don't tighten the 4 lower ball joint set bolts.
torque is as follows: ball joint to control arm- 112 ft-lbs Tie rod nut- 67 ft-lbs lower ball joint set bolts- 83 ft-lbs remember to use a new cotter pin