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1Disconnect the ground battery cable using a wrench.
Loosen the front wheel lugs located on the same side of the upper ball joint you need to replace. Use a lug wrench.
Raise that same front wheel off the ground using a floor jack and support the vehicle on a jack stand.
Finish removing the tire.
Take the cotter pin off the upper ball joint stud holding the steering knuckle arm. Use a pair of nose pliers.
Remove the castle nut from the upper ball joint stud using a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and deep socket.
Loosen the two bolts securing the back of the upper control arm to the mounting bracket. Use a wrench to hold the bolt head as you loosen the retaining nut with a ratchet and socket.
Pull the control-arm ball joint off the steering knuckle arm. You may need to use a Pitman arm puller to free the ball joint.
Finish removing the two bolts from the back of the upper control arm and lift the upper control arm off the vehicle.
Install the New Upper Control Arm
Set the new upper control arm in place and install the two bolts and retaining nuts to secure the back of the upper control arm to the mounting bracket. Remember the bolt heads should point inward toward the shock absorber with the retaining nuts on the outside of the mounting bracket. Do not tighten the bolts yet.
11Insert the control-arm ball joint on the steering knuckle arm and start the castle nut with your hand over the ball joint stud. Do not tighten the nut yet.
Tighten the two bolts on the mounting bracket to 67-foot lbs. (91 Nm) using a torque wrench. Hold the bolts with a backup wrench as you tighten the retaining nuts with the torque wrench.
Tighten the ball-joint castle nut to 45-foot lbs. (61 Nm) using the torque wrench, ratchet extension and deep socket.
Install a new cotter pin through the joint-ball stud hole using the nose pliers. If necessary, tighten the castle nut just a few degrees to clear the stud hole through one of the castle nut slots.
Mount the tire on the wheel assembly and install the wheel lugs using the lug wrench.
Lower the vehicle and finish tightening the wheel lugs.
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Upper ball joints are not replaceable. The upper ball joint is part of the upper control arm bushing joint and is not serviced separately. If the upper ball joints are found to be defective, the entire upper control arm bushing joint assembly must be replaced.
Lower Ball Joint
Support the vehicle in normal driving position with ball joints loaded.
Wipe the grease fitting and checking surface, so they are free of dirt and grease. The checking surface is the round boss into which the grease fitting is threaded.
The checking surface should project outside the cover. If the checking surface is inside the cover, replace the lower arm assembly.
First make an appointment for a front end alignment which will be required after replacing the ball joint. Securely support the vehicle under the lower control arm at the outer end, the end nearest the tire. The upper ball joint is attached to the upper control arm with 2 large nuts. Under the nuts are cams with hex heads for adjusting caster and camber. Mark the position of these cams in a way that will allow you to reinstall them somewhere near the same position. Next remove the outer end of the joint from the steering knuckle an then remove the 2 nuts and both cams from the control arm end. Reinstall and get that alignment asap !
Do not disassemble the upper arm. If the ball joint or bushings are faulty, or the upper arm is damaged, the entire upper arm must be replaced.
Raise and support the vehicle safely.
Remove the front wheels. Support the lower control arm assembly with a floor jack.
Separate the upper ball joint from the steering knuckle using a ball joint separator tool.
Remove the self-locking nuts from the upper arm anchor bolts. Remove the upper arm from the vehicle.
Do not disassemble the upper arm. If the ball joint or bushings are faulty, or the upper arm is damaged, the entire upper arm must be replaced. To install: Use new self-locking nuts when installing the upper arm and strut.
Install the upper control arm assembly into the strut tower.
Connect the upper ball joint.
Install the front wheels and lower the vehicle.
With all four of the vehicle's wheels on the ground, torque the upper control arm nuts to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). Torque the castle nut to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm); then, only tighten it enough to install a new cotter pin.
Tighten the wheel nuts to 80 ft. lbs. (110 Nm).
Check and adjust the vehicle's front end alignment.
The bushings on the front lower control arms are replaceable on most models. This procedure requires the use of a press and may be above the skill range of the average driveway enthusiast. It is recommended that this procedure be done by a qualified machine shop if you are not skilled in the proper use of a press.
Remove the lower control arm that is in need of new bushings.
It is recommended that both the left and right lower control arm bushings be replaced at the same time. The vehicles handling may become unstable if there are new bushings on one side of the car and worn ones on the other.
Set up the control arm in a press.
Using a impact socket of the correct length and size, press out the old bushing.
Install the new bushing by slowly using the press to push it into the control arm.
WARNINGExcessive force could cause the bushing to bend or tear so be careful.
Once the bushing is properly seated in the control arm, remove the arm from the press and install it on the vehicle.
You're not supposed to replace the uppers on a 98 ranger. They're not meant to be pressed out because its built in with the control arm as a single unit. Just buy new upper control arms and save yourself the trouble. Ford also claims you have to replace the control arm for the lowers as well, but that's BS. They can be replaced fairly easily with the proper tools.