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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just changed my balljoins/tie rod ends/camber adjusters today. Took me and papa dukes longer that it should have, but in the end it saved money, so it's all good. I'm gonna try and put together a little write up, although I have no pictures( no digicam, donations anyone
). Total cost of parts came out to about $425, or somewhere around there. I'll double check my receipts and all, gotta love Autozone and their Loan A Tool program. It wasnt terribly difficult, but definately not a first repair project.
 

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Interesting. Too bad for no pictures, but a writeup will certainly be more than interesting enough to read. I know one thing, I wouldn't want to do it (change ball joints)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rode around a bit today, what a great improvement in ride. Then again, my stock balljoints had 130k miles on them 8O . Next weekend: new rear leaf springs and lowering
. So basically I'm going to have an entirely new suspension.





eXplorerchic: Don't forget the breaker bar.





Next post is the write up. Maybe if someone does their balljoints and has a digital camera they can take pics we can combine them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ball Joints / Tie Rod Ends / Camber Adjusters Replacing



The following was done on a 1996 Ford Explorer 2WD. I assume the procedure would be similar for all 2nd gen 2WD Explorers but I do not know for certain.





Disclaimer!

I'm not repsonsible for anything that happens to you or your truck. www.ExplorerX.com is not responsible for anything that happens to you or your truck. Do this at your own risk. I took many precautions, but if something doesn't look safe to you, don't do it. Always have someone else with you just in case something happens. Always use common sense.

Disclaimer!





First make sure you gather all tools neccessary to avoid having to make runs in the middle of installation.



-Balljoints/Tie Rods ends/ Camber Adjusters ( duh ;) )

-Balljoint Press (rental from autozone)

-Torque Wrench (rental from autozone)

-Tie Rod Puller (rental from autozone)

-2/3 arm puller (rental from autozone)

-Assortment of sockets and wrenches metric/standard ( get under there and check all the nut sizes and the hardware from new parts)

-Breaker Bar

-Jack and Jackstands

-Penetrating Fluid (PB Buster, etc)

-Hammer Ballpeen/Rubber

-Pliers

-Snap Ring Remover (might be able to remove the snap rings with a couple of scredrivers)

-Time and Patience



When doing the balljoints, I went ahead and did one side at a time so that the truck was on three wheels at all times, (Just a safety measure).



Go ahead and spray all the bolts and nuts you'll be working on with PB Buster, or equivalent



Mark or measure the position of the jam nut from the tie rod ends.



Lock steering wheel in straight ahead position. Put parking brake on.



Use breaker bar as needed.



=============================================



Driver Side:





1. Loosen up lug nuts



2. Jack up car and remove tire. Place a jackstand underneath the FRAME. I put the jack stand at about where the middle of the torsion bar is, but not on the actual bar, on the FRAME. Place the tire underneath the frame, near the jackstand (another safety precaution).



3. Remove torsion bar bolt adjuster completely. Count the number of turns so you can put it back where it was.



=============================================



Lower Ball joint/Tie Rod end:



4. Remove cotter pins from tie rod ends and lower ball joint.



5. Grab the tie rod end with a wrench (3/4" , there should be a grip on the tie rod) and loosen up the jam nut with another wrench. Then tighten the jam nut finger tight.



6. Loosen up the tie rod and balljoint nut. Don't remove them, leave them a little past the ends. There is a shield behind the rotor that prevents you from using the tie rod puller. If you don't have a shield there go ahead use the tie rod end puller. If not bring out your hammer. Hit the nut until the tie rod breaks free from the spindle



7. Do the same for the lower ball joint. If you can't get the arm puller to grip on, use the hammer. The Spindle will drop a bit. That's why you left the nut on.



8. Jack up the lower control arm until it's about parrallel with the ground. The Jack will stay there for a bit, make sure its not in the way.



9. If you have someone helping you: Remove the tie rod end and have the stronger person lift the spindle while the other removes the nut. Then lower the spindle until it clears the balljoint stud (the lower control arm may need to be lifted up a little bit more) and move it towards the back of the lower control arm. Make sure none of the brake lines are strained. The spindle will hang from the lower control arm. If you're not replacing the upper balljoints place something underneath the spindle to support it.



If there is no one to help you : you can use the bottle jack to support the spindle while you take off the nut. Lower the spindle with the bottle jack until it clears the balljoint stud (the lower control arm may need to be lifted up a little bit more). Then remove the tie rod end from the spindle and move the spindle to the back of the lower control arm. Make sure none of the brake lines are strained. The spindle will hang from the lower control arm. If you're not replacing the upper balljoints place something underneath the spindle to support it.



10. Hold the jam nut so it doesn not move and remove the tie rod end by unscrewing it counter-clockwise, count the number of turns it took to remove it. Screw the new tie rod in the same number of turns it took to remove until it is finger tight with the jam nut. The jam nut should not have moved.



11. Remove the snap ring from the lower ball joint



12. Assemble the ball joint press as the instructions show (there should be a diagram). Press out the ball joint. Clean out the hole with a rag. Note: The top adapter won't make it all the way, so either don't use it at all, or remove it once it has bottomed out.



13. Assemble the ball joint press as the instructions show. Press in new ball joint. Put new snap ring on. Place the dust boot ball join stud on after the balljoint is seated in place.



13. Bring over spindle and line it up with ball joint stud. Your hands should be nowhere near there! Slowly lower the control arm until enough there is enough thread from the stud for the castle nut . Replace the new castle nut. Tighten it as much as you can by hand.



14. Swing over the tie rod end and place it back into spindle. Screw on nut. Torque to specifications. Then tighten it (don't loosen!) as needed to line up the hole with the castle nut, place cotter pin in.



15. Tighten the jam nut and tie rod with a pair of wrenches.



16. Tighten the balljoint castle nut to specifications, then tighten it (don't loosen!) as needed to line up the hole with the castle nut. Place cotter pin in.





You're now done with the lower ball joint and tie rod end. Take a little break, drink some water.



=============================================





Upper Control Arm / Camber Adjusters :



1. Jack up lower control arm until the upper control arm is about level with the floor.



2. Mark the where the adjusters where if your're not replacing them. Loosen up the camber adjuster bolts/nuts (7/8" I believe). Don't remove them yet.



3. Remove the bolt holding the upper ball joint stud to the spindle.



4. Push up the control arm out of the spindle. Use your buddy hammer if needed. The spindle is gonna move a little don't worry too much, just keep track of where it is so that it doesn't suddenly move.



5. The camber bolts are a PITA to remove because of the wire/lines running around it. It takes a little patience. You may have to remove one of the lines from its holding clip.



6. Replacing the control arm is the reverse order. If you're putting in the old cams, replace them as they were. If your putting in eccentric camber adjusters you're gonna have to play with them a little until the spindle looks straight.



7. Put the boot on the ball joint stud. Line up the ball joint with the spindle and push it in. If needed hit the control arm from above using a rubber mallet. Then torque the balljoint stud bolt to its specifications.



You're driver side upper balljoint and and camber adjusters are done. Pat yourself on the back.



=============================================



Passenger Side:



Lower balljoint and tie rod end are the same as the Driver side.



=============================================



Passenger Side Upper Balljoint :



The passenger side control arm is made up of two pieces. This is to correct caster on the truck. It also makes it easier to replace the upper ball joint. There are three bolts on the top part of the control arm. Two perpendicular to the truck and one parallel. Don't touch the one that's parallel.



1. Remove the balljoint stud-to-spindle bolt.



2. Remove the two nuts on the perpendicular bolts.



3. Remove the balljoint/control arm piece.



4. Put the dust boot on the ball joint. Replace control arm, Tighten top two bolts. Torque balljoint stud to spindle nut to specifications.



Upper balljoint Done.



=============================================



Passenger Side Camber Adusters:



If you're adding camber adjusters, its the same as doing the driver side.





=============================================





Replace the torsion bar adjuster bolts. Turn them the same number of turns that you took it out.



Replace wheel, tighten lug nuts. Lower car and torque lug nuts to about 100 ft/lb(might as well take advantage of the rental torque wrench
).





If you changed the camber adjusters it's a good idead to get an alignment now.





You're all done now. You just saved alot of money.




Do I get an ExplorerX.com T-shirt Rob?
 

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muncheese, damn. That is one hell of a writeup. You mind if I make that into an article on our site? And about the t-shirt.....as soon as I get some made :!:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Haha, Just razzing ya rob no pressure
.



Definately you can turn it into an article. Just let me read it through a couple more times in the next few days to make sure I didn't miss anything. Also, let me gather my receipts for prices and what not.



With the help of eXplorerchic, you'll have some pics too.




So much for my "little" write-up huh?
 

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Awesome I really appreciate it. And of course it'll be under your name




Just let me know when it's "ready"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright Rob, everything seems good to go. 8)



Just double check for spelling/punctuation, not that I have to tell you that.
 

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muncheese, sweet. Now all we need is eXplorerchic's pictures
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I finally got around to looking at my bills :| . Here's what I spent:



Passenger side control arm/balljoint.......$ 120.69 (Carquest/Moog)

Driver side control arm/balljoint..............$ 122.65 (Carquest/Moog)

Lower salljoints ......................................$66.60 ($33.30 ea Carquest/Moog)

Tie rod ends ...........................................$50.00 ($25.00 ea Perfect Circle)

Camber adjusters...................................$50.00($25.00 ea Napa

Chassis)



Total in Parts: ................................ $ 409.94



The tools are from Autozone, 100% refundable deposit:



Balljoint press ........$99.00

Tie rod end puller....$20.00

Torque wrench........$90.00



Tools: ..................$209.00



So you're probably gonna need about $619.84 cash avaible, but you'll get those $200 back from the tools.



I probably shoud have ordered moog tie rod ends from carquest, but I didn't decide to change them till the last minute.
 

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Damn that is quite expensive. But still much cheaper by doing it yourself though I'm sure. Still enough to make me go
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's those damn upper control arms balljoints.




Luckily next time I need to change them (if my ex is still around *crosses fingers) I can just press them out, the balljoints are only about $30 a piece.
 
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the dad got the top upper ball joints replaced about a month ago and spend about 500 on it at NTB....their was also something else added into the price but i really don't remeber what it was....but its a heck of a savings by doing it urself....he only got two done....but life time warrenty baby...
....but still expensive....



adam
 
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