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Temporary fix for broken ball joint

I have 2013 Ford Flex that was in an accident. T-boned HARD. Pushed against a curb and snapped the front right lower ball joint. This car will NEVER see the road again but it Runs so I'd like to be able to move it out of my garage and on to the side of the hours, or on to a trailer to visit the scrappers. I don't want to sink $100 in to replacing the ball joint and control arm. What's a cheap and dirty way to fix this?

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


SOURCE: front upper ball joint replacement

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.


Posted on Jun 20, 2008

  • 1056 Answers

SOURCE: Right lower ball joint. Torn loose

If you torn the ball joint out, you very well could have more damage.
If you plan on doing the work yourself, I would put the car up on stands, and take the front wheel off, and do a through examination of the whole assembly.
Once you have a complete assesement of all of the damage you can go to your local parts house and get the parts.
If you have to replace the lower arm, you will need probably need some specialized tools (like a spring compressor).
After you're done changing parts, you will need to get a front end alignment.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008

  • 110 Answers

SOURCE: how do i replace a offside front lower suspension arm ball joint

You need to get or rent a ball joint splitter, maybe $20? or so to buy.   Some parts stores (autozone does this, one reason i recommend them, but other stores may also) will rent you some tools for "free" when you buy parts there .. they take a big deposit in case  you bolt ... but give it all back for return of the tool in good condition.  
 It's easy ... if you know how to work on suspension .. if not, get a Haynes manual for your car from part store, amazon or for around $20,  the blood and busted knuckles you save due to reading it will be worth the money ;~).

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

  • 408 Answers

SOURCE: replace lower ball joints

if you have some mechanical knowledge, it is not really difficult.  It is just time consuming.  Pick up a Haynes manual and they will give you a step by step with pics in doing this.

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

  • 72 Answers

SOURCE: Upper and lower ball joint replacement

to remove the axles, remove brake caliper and disc, remove hub assembly, the center hub/axle nut and...(there are i think 3-4 bolts on the back side of the spindle to remove the hub), you may have to force the hub off the spindle with a hammer or air hammer... once the hub is out the axle should slide out of the front differential allowing access to the ball joint nuts for removal...

Posted on Jun 12, 2009

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Either ball joints or alignment come to mind.
Ball joints will often bind and grab in one direction but not necessarily in the other, when they are really bad.
You don't notice it jacked up because the control arms pivot down to put you on a different location on the ball joint.
You should be able to see which side and whether upper or lower, by seeing the pressure causing flex and jerks.
Although it is usually either one with a rubber rip or the lowers.
But alignment can do it also, especially of jacked up.
The camber or caster can be too great on one side, where turning the steering has to lift the whole truck up on one side more than the other, or it can strongly pull to one side.

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Steering on my 2005 Civic Hybrid is overly sensitive - it's hard to keep it going straight, particularly at 50mph+. No sign of leakage in the rack assembly and the ball joints, etc. seem to be fine. Almost...

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How to change lower ball joints

part of lower arm assembly only.

  1. Inspect lower ball joint boots and seals for damage and replace if required. Lower ball joint and seal is part of front suspension lower arm and must be replaced as an assembly.
  1. NOTE: Do not tighten the front suspension lower arm bolts and nuts to the specified torque until the end of assembly. Install nuts and tighten until snug.

    Position the front suspension lower arm in the front crossmember. Install the bolts. Install the nuts and tighten until snug.
  1. Install torsion bar. Refer to Torsion Bar in this section.
  1. Raise the front suspension lower arm to allow installation of front suspension lower arm ball joint into spindle bore.
  1. Lower front suspension lower arm with a jack while making sure lower ball joint is seated in spindle bore. Install the lower ball joint attaching nut and tighten to 113-153 Nm (82-113 lb-ft). Install a new cotter pin.
  1. Raise vehicle. Position the front shock absorber and install the nut/washer/bushing assembly. Tighten nut to 40-55 Nm (30-40 lb-ft).
  1. Install the two nuts attaching the front shock absorber to the lower control arm and tighten to 21-29 Nm (15-21 lb-ft).
  1. NOTE: Front suspension lower arms must be in the horizontal or curb position (vehicle on the ground) when tightening the front stabilizer bar link bolts. Use jackstands to raise the front suspension lower arms to the horizontal position or lower the vehicle to the ground (curb position).

    Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  1. Connect the stabilizer bar link bolt to the front suspension lower arm and tighten to 13-17 Nm (10-13 lb-ft).
  1. Tighten nuts and front suspension lower arm bolts to the No. 1 crossmember to 150-200 Nm (111-148 lb-ft).
  1. Check ride height and align as necessary. Refer to Section 04-00 .
  1. Lower the vehicle.

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This job is VERY HARD and time consuming... don't expect to be done in one day... (rookie) My dad and I did the front end on a Ford Escort 1980. pain in the ***.

Before ordering your ball joints....
check the actual rubber housing of the joints for tears.. (openings).. if NONE then check and make sure nothing from around the brake calipers is rubbing. My Kia Spectra has an obnoxious little metal flap that seems to shift over time... (husband's handy work of trying to change brakes one day made it loose.) So now they rub or kinda squeek...

Also make sure the brake pads/calipers are sitting properly.. if they're loose.. it also causes noises..

Lastly.. check that your tires aren't bottoming out on anything in the whell well or steering etc... turning too harshly can cause the wheel to bottom out against the inside sway bar and stuff...

Good luck

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