Moparts Tech Archive
Advice On Changing Upper Ball Joint...I plan to tackle the job of changing one of my upper ball joint this weekend on my 1975 Dart. I have never done this task before but I am sure I am able.
Can anyone please tell me anything I may need to know to do the job right. Ie, special tools, tricks, methods etc. For example, how to I seperate the knuckle from the ball joint once I have the nut off?
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated, who knows maybe I can't do this on my own but it don't look like rocket science to me.
That upper ball joint is screwed in. You HAVE TO HAVE the special 3/4 drive socket that fits the hex of the joint. I got mine from miller tools it was $36. including shipping to Dallas. Put a cheater on a breaker bar to break it loose as it will be tight after many years. Be careful reinstalling it or you will strip out the hole in the a-arm.
Hey Hey... I did it! I changed my first upper ball joint ever. My brother helped me and it gave is minimal grief.
We tried to losen it on Saturday evening and no luck so I soaked it in penetrant, tried again Sunday morning no luck so hit it with more penetrant. Tried again Sunday afternoon and still it didn't want to budge so I put more penetrant on it.
Yesterday afternoon we heated it up and tried again and BAM!!! we felt it break lose... YAY! Once we got the ball joint out we inspected the threads in the upper control arm and they were in very nice shape heck the threads in the (badly) worn ball joint were still shiny.
Had a little scare when installing the new ball joint saw a little curled up shaving of metal and we both thought we were cross threading it but after removing it we discovered it was from the socket rubbing against the top edge of the circular hole in the upper control arm.
Once again thanks everyone for all your help... now there's one more thing I can do on my cars.
PS. Do I replace the lower ball joint AND the steering arm as one unit or do I just replace the lower ball joint by itself? Does the lower ball joint come already installed in the steering arm or does it come by itself?
The lower joint is bolted to the steering knuckle with 2 bolts. It has the tapered stud into the lower control arm. You have to unbolt it from the steering knuckle first, then unbolt it from the lower control arm. You can use a joint separator pickle fork to get it loose from the control arm. Remember last off is first on.
Leave the upper control arm in the car when trying to remove the bj, better to let the car hold it in place than have to find a big enough vise...