Question about 1998 Ford Expedition

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Can you replace the lower ball joints in the control arms

I have a 1998 Ford Expedition, 4 wheel dr. 4.6 liter engine. I'm trying to change the lower ball joints in the control arms.
My question is, can you replace the ball joints seperate from the control arm?
I have two books , one says you can replace them seperatly, the other say's you have to replace the controls arms with the ball joints already pressed in them. Can you help?

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  • durhamtc Apr 23, 2009

    Thanks a lot for the info. I think it only took about 20 minutes for a reply. Great website

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    replace lower control arm 98

  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    when the vehicle is parked on flat level surface you can site down the side of the front tire to the rear tire and see an obvious difference in angle. Both sides. I can find no slop in either ball joint or control arm bushings when jacked up under the lower control arms.

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You can replace them seperately,but they need pressed out and in. Other methods of removing and installing likely will damage control arm.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009

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1 Answer

What is the best method for changing the lower ball joint/control arm on a 2004 ford freestar?


The lower ball joint original is riveted into the lower control arm. If you can get to the lower control arm with a drill then the rivets can be drilled out and the joint removed . I find it quicker to remove the lower arm and do the job in a vice on the bench. Replacement ball joints will come with grade 8 bolts ( auto engineering quality) and will simply bolt into place using the holes for the rivets. So the procedure will be to jack the vehicle and place securely on jack stands. remove the wheel, remove the ball joint nut and using a ball joint removing tool drive the ball joint taper out of the support arm ( strut) Remove the inner pivot bolt ( remember to note the position of the lock washer as it is encentric and alters the wheel alignment) put the arm in a vice and carry on.

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How to replace ball joints


the lower ball joint is pressed into the lower control arm. You will need a ball joint press to remove and install the ball joint. The other option is to replace the lower control arm.

Some parts store will have presses for loan. You will have to check around and see if any in your area have these. If you can't find one you could always pull the control arm and bring it to a shop or machine shop and have them swap the ball joint.

Its a pretty simple procedure.

1. remove the wheel
2. remove the pinch bolt that secures the knuckle to the ball joint.
3. separate the lower control arm from the knuckle.
4. remove snap ring from the ball joint (if it has one)
5. use a ball joint press to press out the old ball joint.
6. press in the new ball joint.

if you don't have a press than you can remove the lower control arm by following steps 1-3 above. then remove the bolt from the front bushing. Remove the stamped steel skid pan from the sub frame. Remove the rear lower control arm bushing mounting bolts.

If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them.

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How do i replce ball joints on a 99 pontiac sufire


Lower Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement Removal Procedure Tools Required J 43828 Ball Joint Separator
  1. Raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
  2. Remove the tire and wheel assemblies. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
  3. Remove the stabilizer shaft link. Refer to Stabilizer Shaft Link Replacement .
  4. Remove the wiring harness from the lower control arm.

  5. 165249.gif
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  6. Remove the cotter pin (1) from the ball joint (3).
  7. Remove the nut (4) from the ball joint (3).

  8. 490085.gif
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    Notice: Use only the recommended tools for separating the ball joint from the knuckle. Failure to use the recommended tools may cause damage to the ball joint and seal.
  9. Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle using the J 43828 .

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  11. Remove the lower control arm front (1) and rear (4) mounting bolts.
  12. Remove the lower control arm (1) from the vehicle and place in a vice.
  13. Drill out the 3 rivets (3) retaining the ball joint to the lower control arm (2).
  14. Use a 3 mm (1/8 in) drill bit in order to make a pilot hole through the rivets.
    Finish drilling the rivets with a 13 mm (½ in) drill bit.
  15. Remove the ball joint (4) from the control arm (2).
Installation Procedure

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  1. Install the ball joint (4) into the control arm (2).
  2. Install the 3 ball joint bolts (3) and the nuts (1). Follow the instructions in the ball joint kit. Tighten the ball joint bolts (3) according to the specifications in the instructions.

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  4. Install the lower control arm (2) to the front suspension support (1)
  5. Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in the Preface section.
  6. Install the lower control arm front (5) and rear (4) mounting bolts.
  7. Tighten • Tighten the front bolt to 107 N·m (79 lb ft). • Tighten the rear bolt to 110 N·m (81 lb ft).
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  8. Install the lower ball joint stud (3) to the steering knuckle (2).
  9. Install the ball joint stud (3) through the steering knuckle (2).
  10. Install the ball joint nut (4).
  11. Tighten
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  12. Install the wiring harness to the lower control arm.
  13. Install the cotter pin (1).
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  15. Install the tire and wheel assemblies. Refer to Tire and Wheel Removal and Installation in Tires and Wheels.
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Visit autozone.com (free register) for details like this...
Lower Ball Joints

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Fig. 1: When inspecting the lower ball joints, make sure the checking surface protrudes outside the cover

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Fig. 2: Use a C-clamp and adapters to press the ball joint out of the lower control arm

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Fig. 3: Use the C-clamp, cup and replacer tools to press the new ball joint into the lower control arm until it is fully seated in its bore

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Replace ball joints


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