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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.
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 !
It's definitely easier to replace the control arms with the ball joints. I think you may have to buy new upper control arms anyway if they are oe i don't think the upper ones can be pressed out. If you are going to press the ball joints out you do not need to remove the springs or struts. Brake caliper/rotor/hub and knuckle are removed leaving the upper and lower control arms. i would disconnect the abs connector too if it has abs. recommend supporting the vehicle on the frame somewhere. You can buy a ball joint press kit for about 80$ online or use a really big hammer to smack them out. Putting them back in may be a pain without a press.
This is a pretty easy job.The way i do it is take the two 14mm bolts louse from the strut on the inner fender well,then take the 17mm bolt out of the bottom of the strut on the lower control arm this will make it drop down.Then take the 14mm bolt louse that fastens the ball joint to the spindle take a hammer and hit the upper spindle and it all will come apart.Now you will have the two bolts that holds the upper control arm in place these are 17mm bolts drop the strut down and remove the upper control arm now you can go in with the new one.Hope this helps !!!
If the ball joints are held in with rivits you will need to cut them out. The easiest way is to use an air chisel. Then you need only to knock them (ball joints) out of their hole in the "A" frame. Then you will just reverse the procedure to install the new ball joints. The replacement joints will just be bolt in to place. Pretty straight forward and easy. Just a little labor intense sometimes. You can do it. Good luck.
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.