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Thread: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

  1. #41
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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderwagoneina View Post
    As usual, you were right Tim. Thank you again for helping us much less experienced we ended up putting the jack between the two control arms and used it to lower the control arm to reach enough to put a bolt in, then the rest were pretty easy. Your two hour task took us three days to do half now to do the other side on monday, but it should be much faster and easier now.
    Lol, yes, I'm sure you'll fly through the other side ☺. These things always come easier with a little experience. Even though it was such a PITA I think you'll find there's much more satisfaction when you do things like this yourself..........at least there is for me. Tim

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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Absolutely agree! Its been a great source of learning and of course fun, even when fruatrating. We've successfully done everything ourselves so far (both with zero previous experience or manual driving experience before buying our 86 5speed) we are about to buy a second for parts and body replacements (ie windshield, driver side door after hitting an elk)

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    lower ball joint - unable to remove it - help!!

    Hi all!

    I have the big job to remove the 2 lower control arm on my 1988 4wd van. I have to remove the lower control arm form the lower ball joint.

    I tried to rent a ball joint separator, but the fork is too smal, it can't go around the upper part of the ball joint. I tried in vain to hit with a hammer, nothing happen. I removed the 4 screws that retain the ball joint, niet, nada, nothing happens, impossible to separate this part also.

    I'm out of idea.... i don't want to heat the ball joint because it still good. I tried zip gun, nothing happened...

    Someone have an idea how to remove the lower control arm from the ball joint?

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  4. #44
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    Re: lower ball joint - unable to remove it - help!!

    First, spray everything liberally with penetrating oil (Like PB Blaster) Next, put the nut on bottom ball joint stud at least 5 threads, just don't let the stud be exposed through the nut. Last, hit HARD with a BFH or large ball-penn Hammer. It should budge. If you mangle the ball joint---that's ok----especially if it is from 1988 or you don't know when it was last changed---it needs to be replaced. A pretty decent quality Brand New MEVOTECH part (I have used MEVOTECH on Several cars/trucks---quite good) is less than $25 with shipping per side.

    good luck

    MEVOTECH GK9529 Original Grade Info Front Right Lower; Van Wagon


    $18.08

    MEVOTECH GK9531 Original Grade Info
    Front Left Lower

    1 Day Delay

    $14.72

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    Re: lower ball joint - unable to remove it - help!!

    well, these are very cheap!! i just bought this morning those from AC DElco on Rockauto.com... very more expensive... i hope they are very good comparing those at 14 and 18$!

    Finally i decided to cut the tie-rod... now my project can go on ;-)

    Now i have the 2 lower arm in my hands, 100$ question: Bushings looks good (no play). They are probably genuine from 1988... is it better to change all 4 or if they are good, don't touch it?

  6. #46
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    Re: lower ball joint - unable to remove it - help!!

    From what I know, the upper A arm is in action and wears a lot more than the lower, if the lower looks good, i would leave it. If you have the "squeak, squeak, squeak" every hard brake, bump in the road---those are likely the upper bushings being perished.

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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Just FYI I decided that since I didn't have a torch and drift punch, I would remove the lower joint first. While the upper still in place helped to hold up and stabilize I was able to rest the lower part here as shown and it had the right angle (may have to move steering wheel to get the right spot) to wedge tight enough to pickle fork it out.

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    Now my question #1 is regarding the wording in the manual as far as tension of the nuts/bolt.

    it says under lower ball joint "To install, reverse the removal process. Tighten the ball joint-to-upper control arm bolts 22ft/lb (2WD van), the upper ball joint to steering knuckle nut to 58ft/lb. It is confusing me because it is talking about "upper ball joint". Is it meaning the upper nut on the lower ball joint (the castle nut)?

    And again on under upper ball joint it says "Tighten the ball joint-to-upper control arm bolts 22ft/lb (2wd van), the ball joint-to-lower control arm bolts to 49ft/lb (van), and the lower ball-joint-to-steering knuckle nut to 76ft/lb (2wd van).

    Using the terms upper on the lower joint and lower and the upper joint is making me really unsure. Can anyone clarify this?

    Question #2 is that the main poster says "Grease the zerks (only needs about 5 or 6 pumps each) Note: lower joints have no zerks" HOWEVER, mine is the exact opposite. I have NO zerk on my upper joint but I have one on the lower joint. This goes for the old ones as well as the new. What gives?

  8. #48
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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Don't worry so much about the pictures, just follow the words, the small bolts that hold the joints into the control arms are 22ftlbs, the large nut on the ball joint studs would be : upper - 58ftlbs, lower 76ft lbs.
    As yours is 2WD you only need to concern yourself with the numbers that apply

    Pickle forks have their uses but should only be used when you are disposing of the joint in question, forks can damage both the boot and the stud.
    I reserve the fork as a last ditch effort and rely on the 2-hammer method whenever possible.
    Pry bars are also really handy for moving suspension when trying to get things to align but is important to remember that everything could be under tension and if it escapes or gets loose, bad things usually occur so remember to be extra careful when removing bolts or levering parts.

    As far as zerks go, grease anything you can and if it doesn't have a zerk, it doesn't need greasing.

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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    I'm more confused than ever now. Why in the world are they telling me the upper 58ftlbs number in the lower ball joint section and the lower 76ftlbs in the upper ball joint section of the book? Are you sure you didn't confuse those?

  10. #50
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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    To be honest, the difference between 58 ft pounds and 76 ft pounds is 1-2 clicks on on the torque wrench, a 1/8 to a 1/4 turn with a socket. Plus, you need to slightly over/under tighten any stud with a castle nut to make the cotter pin hole line up with the nut. So if you want piece of mind, tighten to 50 lbs with the torque wrench and then turn a 1/8-1/4 turn farther to line up the cotter pin. that will be more than sufficient.

  11. #51
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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Anything is possible and my wife often accuses me of being confused

    I don't have your manual in front of me so I'm just interpreting your understanding of what you read.
    Service manuals were intended to be used by factory trained technicians, as a result they aren't always as user friendly as might be desired.
    All this is further complicated by language. Japanese cars were built in Japan, the manuals were translated from Japanese and sometimes details can get disoriented.

    Torque specs are a function of stud size.
    The factory manual should have a page that lists torque specs for generic bolt diameters.
    So one could always mic the studs and select the torque appropriate, but in this case close is gonna work.

    For what its worth, 50ftlbs is damned tight, 75lbs is friggin tight.
    Said another way, an average person can pull 50lbs with a decent 1/2"drive (10in long) ratchet but would need a johnson bar (16in long) to pull 75lbs

    JDW's method will certainly get you close enough, the only thing to remember about castellated nuts is NEVER back them off to align the cotter hole.

  12. #52
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    Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    Dang it. Does this thing thread out or simply slide out. Been fighting with it for a few days with no progress...

  13. #53
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    Re: Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    Are you talking about the cam bolt? It is your camber adjustment so it should only rotate a few degrees, if you take the nut off it should slide out. If its not moving after 2 days of WD40 and air impact wrench, the thing has rusted all the way through the bushing! Im afraid you have to go radical! Wrecking yards recommend the Oxyacetylene wrench. I can get away with my Saw-saw wrench but needs a new blade for each bolt and a lot of WD40 for cooling. After you get the arm off the van you can try a press or sacrifice and replace the bushing. New at rockauto.com or toyotapartsdeal.com
    LG.
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    Re: Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    Thanks. Yea, it's a swarthy old parts van that's been parked for 10 years or so. It's a little crusty underneath, but no barnacles. I doubt (hope) it's not rusted through the rubber. I got the nut and cam washer off with little fuss, but the bolt is no-go. I was going to just swap out the whole lower control arm since it had nice stock ball joints and a newish rotor, but there's always a few rusty bolts that slow things down. I'll try to wd40 a bit more before I whack it again. Might not be worth the trouble.

    While I have your attention, how in the hell do you remove or separate the inner and outer tie rods????

  15. #55
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    Re: Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    The bushing has a compression tube a the center, it is fused to the rubber. The bolt in turn rust itself to the compression tube, (the flat sided shank of the bolt allows water all the way into the tube). If you only need the ball joint, it should be a lot less of a fight to remove them from the lower arms with chisels and wedges, not hammering from under.
    As for the tie rod, I'm not familiar with the 2WD but the manual shows the use of special tool: SST 09610-20012 to disconnect it from the knuckle arm. I havent had to mess with tie rods yet on my 4WD. Maybe somebody else can help?
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

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    Re: Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    Captain - Outer tie rod needs to be split from the spindle, a pickle fork will work but only if the joint is scrap as the fork will destroy the boot.
    If you want to reuse the joint, the 2-hammer method is your best bet

    The inner and outer are joined by threading into each other, with a pinch bolt to lock it all together.
    The inner is threaded onto the rack ends itself, bend back the locking tab washers and it should just be 2 wrenches from there.

    WD40 is not the best penetrant for battling rusted bits
    Seafoams deep creep or PB blaster are better choices, both work well or even just some ATF in a squirt can will vastly outperform the WD

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    Re: Lower control arm swivel bolt 2wd?

    Thanks. Got the outer ball joint undone with some hammering.

    I've been brushing "must for rust" (phosphoric acid) on to the ends of bolts and letting it sit prior to adding penetrating oil. Seems to work pretty well.

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    Re: How to replace your ball joints in about 2 hours (2wd)

    Does anyone have an alternate source for the strut bar bushings mentioned earlier in this thread, Toyota Part #48674-22021?

    My mechanic says mine need to be replaced to get the alignment proper, and the local Toyota dealership wants $27 each! Over a hundred bucks for the 4 that are necessary is insane.

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