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Where you buy your ball joints usually will rent (for free, just pay for it and then return it is what they do) a ball joint press. It's an easy job if you have any mechanical skills at all. The strut is what keeps the pressure on the spring, using the weight of the vehicle to compress the spring, just undo the strut, raise vehicle and the spring will relax and you can remove the upper control arm.
CAUTION: To avoid damage to the 6mm drive hole in the front stabilizer bar link ball stud, do not use an Allen wrench to break loose or tighten to final torque the front stabilizer bar link-to-front shock absorber nut.
Remove the stabilizer bar link retaining nut and disconnect the link from the strut.
CAUTION: Do not allow the halfshaft to move outboard. Over extension of the CV joint may result in the separation of internal parts, causing failure of the joint.
Remove the strut assembly-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt. If required, slightly spread the steering knuckle to ease the removal of the strut. Pry down on the lower control arm and roll the strut base out of the knuckle. Do not pry on the halfshaft, as damage may result. Wire the steering knuckle up to prevent the halfshaft from moving outboard.
Partially lower the vehicle.
Support the strut assembly and remove the top three mount-to-strut tower nuts. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
CAUTION: The strut assembly is under spring tension. Attempting to disassemble the strut without properly compressing the spring can result in injury.
Using a suitable spring compressing tool, slightly compress the strut spring to relieve initial tension. Loosen the upper rod nut. Continue to compress the spring until the tension is relieved. Remove the upper rod nut.
Remove all upper mounting parts, coil spring, and coil spring isolators from the strut and save them for reassembly. Carefully note the position of each part during removal to ensure proper reassembly. Inspect each part for wear and damage as it is removed.
CAUTION: The bearing and seal assembly is press-fit onto the upper mount. The mount washers must be installed in the correct orientation. NOTE: Be sure to check the spring insulator for damage before assembly. If the outer metal splash shield is bent or damaged, it must be carefully bent back, so it does not touch the locator on the bearing and seal assembly.
NOTE: New gas struts are shipped with the rod in a locked down position. To extend the new strut, remove the external tie down and/or rotate the upper end of the rod, counterclockwise.
Install the coil spring insulator, coil spring, and upper mounting parts to the new strut assembly. Make sure the spring is correctly seated in both spring seats.
Dust Boot (Part of 18045)
Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket Nut (3 Req'd)
Front Shock Absorber Nut
Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket
Front Suspension Bearing and Seal
Front Coil Spring
Front Spring Insulator
Front Shock Absorber
Tighten to 35-40 Nm (25-30 Lb-Ft)
Tighten to 55-63 Nm (40-46 Lb-Ft)
CAUTION: Do not over tighten the lock nut; damage to the lock nut or piston rod could result.
Install new rod lock nut and tighten it to 55-63 Nm (40-46 lb-ft).
Remove the spring compressing tool.
Position the strut assembly into the vehicle. Install the three mount-to-strut tower nuts. Tighten the nuts to 35-40 Nm (25-30 lb-ft).
Partially raise the hoist.
Position the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 115-132 Nm (85-97 lb-ft).
Position the stabilizer link to the strut assembly and install the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 90-100 Nm (66-74 lb-ft).
there are ball joints on the bottom of the control arm and the upper "ball joints" are the upper strut mount attacthed to the strut holding the spring in place. the lower ball joing can be replaced removing the c clip on top and hammering out. be careful not to damage the arm. worse case you may need to remove the lower control arm and take to a machine shop to press out the old and press in the new. if you have a large vice, you may be able to do it too with some deep set sockets and the vice.
This is for the lower control arm:
The inner end of the lower control arm is attached to a removable crossmember. The outer end is attached to the steering knuckle pin and ball joint assembly.
Jack up the car and support it on axle stands under the subframes.
Remove the brake drum or caliper and rotor from the spindle.
Disconnect the steering arm from the knuckle pin.
Remove the lower ball joint stud cotter pin and nut.
Separate the ball joint from the knuckle pin using a ball joint removal tool.
Disconnect the sway bar from the control arm.
Unbolt the strut rod.
Remove the inner pivot bolt and the control arm. To install:
Reverse the removal procedure; do not tighten inner pivot bolt until car weight is on wheels. Tighten ball joint retaining nut to 40 ft. lbs. through 1976, 75 ft. lbs. thereafter, strut rod bolts to 75 ft. lbs., sway bar bolts to 8 ft. lbs., steering arm bolts to 65 ft. lbs. through 1979, 55 ft. lbs. thereafter, and control arm inner pivot bolt to 95 ft. lbs. through 1976, 110 ft. lbs. thereafter.
This is for the coil spring.....see if maybe you missed a step in here:
Remove the shock absorber.
Install a spring compressor through the upper spring seat opening and bolt it to the lower spring seat using the lower shock absorber mounting holes.
Remove the lower spring seat pivot retaining nuts, then tighten the compressor tool to compress the spring about 1" (25.4mm).
Jack up the front of the car and support it on axle stands at the subframe (allowing the control arms to hang free).
Remove the front wheel and pull the lower spring seat out away from the car, then slowly release the spring tension and remove the coil spring and lower spring seat. To install:
Place the spring compressor through the coil spring and tape the rubber spring cushion to the small diameter end of the spring (upper).
Place the lower spring seat against the spring with the end of the coil against the formed shoulder in the seat. The shoulder and coil end face inwards, toward the engine, when the spring is installed.
Place the spring up against the upper seat, then align the lower spring seat pivot so that the retaining studs will enter the holes in the upper control arm.
Compress the coil spring and install the spring.
Then install the wheel and tire and lower the car to the floor (to place weight on suspension).
Install and tighten lower spring seat spindle retaining nuts and tighten them to 35 ft. lbs.
Remove the spring compressor and install the shock absorber.
NOT NECESSARILY IN ORDER: Remove the 2 nuts from the top of your shock tower under the hood - remove the pivot bolt at the bottom of your shock fork - remove the upper control arm ball joint nut - remove the lower control arm ball joint nut - bang on the thick metal near the ball joints with a hammer (not hitting the rubber or the ball joint's bolts - remove the tie rod ball joint nut and do the same with the hammer - pull the shock and spring assembly out - You might need a spring compressor to take out the stock spring safely - remove the nut on top of the shock - It's recommended that you replace your shocks now - install the new springs according to the directions with the package - get a camber correction kit for your car - put it back together and immediately go pay for an alignment. Good luck.
You'll need to remove the upper strut mount nut. Unbolt the 2 bolts from strut to the wheel hub. Remove the strut unit from the car. You'll need a coil spring compressor to compress the spring to unscrew the strut bushing, remove the strut mount and remove the spring from the strut, install the spring to the new strut and reassemble. You'll be better off to get the whole strut, instead of the replacement cartridge, it's often hard to remove the old one from the old housing. Don't forget to replace the strut mount and strut bushing.
you take of the tierod nut,the lower ball joint nut and unbolt the ball joint. you may have to use a puller for the tierod and ball joint pivet shaft.yhe upper control arm has two bolts on the inner part. if you loosen the three strut nuts on top of strut the spring and strut asy will drop alittle so you can pull out the control arm bolts. then you need to take the outer pivot nut off and remove arm.not to hard if you look at it good.parts are reather high for the arm.good luck. let me know if you have any questions. i worked at lexus for 13 years.
The dealer's answer (if you are interested).......
The ball joint is pressed into the upper control arm and has a tapered stud for attachment to the steering knuckle. The ball joint stud is attached and locked into the steering knuckle using a special nut. The ball joint is a sealed-for-life type and requires no maintenance. If the ball joint is defective it will require replacement of the entire upper control arm.