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If your ball joint boots are split, change your control arms! I was putting off changing mine because I thought it would be a tuff job. Went ahead and ordered all the needed parts from rockauto which includes: 2 LCAs, 2 UCAs, 2 sway bar end links and 1 strut rod bushing kit (moog, which I found out are not the best). I only ordered the strut rod bushings on the LCA side as the K-frame bushings were in fine shape. The ONLY difficult part of this entire overhaul was the shock bolt on the pass. side was frozen. It took longer to free the frozen bolt than the entire upper and lower control arm replacement on the driver’s side took!! The only other minor difficulty was the pass. side UCA nut next to the AC dryer tank, but no real issue. I am listing all the tools that worked for me on this job (they may not be the exact tools but worked well for me).

I would image that all nuts and bolts are metric, but I used the tools that I had and they worked good.


Upper ctrl arm
1. 18mm ratchting socket wrench. Used for the two nuts on the inside of engine bay and fits the nut on the pincher for the ball joint.

Lower ctrl arm
1. Large 13/16 wrench for shock nut/bolt and frame nut/bolt where the dial indicator is.
2. 1 inch wrench for the ball joint nut.
3. 30mm deep well socket for the large nut on the strut rod to k-frame.
4. Large adjustable wrench to hold the strut rod in place when using the 30mm socket.
5. 15/16 wrench for the strut rod nut (LCA side).
6. Pickle fork for ball joint removal.
7. Large hammer to wack the pickle fork (I used a 12lb sledge and broke ball joint loose in two wacks).

Nothing about this entire process was hard. Just make sure to jack up both front wheels and use good safety (good jack stands). Even though I marked the dial indicators, my alignment is way off as the camber is visibly off and the steering wheel in now off center, so an alignment is a must.

Finally, if I can do this process, anyone can!
 

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If your ball joint boots are split, change your control arms! I was putting off changing mine because I thought it would be a tuff job. Went ahead and ordered all the needed parts from rockauto which includes: 2 LCAs, 2 UCAs, 2 sway bar end links and 1 strut rod bushing kit (moog, which I found out are not the best). I only ordered the strut rod bushings on the LCA side as the K-frame bushings were in fine shape. The ONLY difficult part of this entire overhaul was the shock bolt on the pass. side was frozen. It took longer to free the frozen bolt than the entire upper and lower control arm replacement on the driver’s side took!! The only other minor difficulty was the pass. side UCA nut next to the AC dryer tank, but no real issue. I am listing all the tools that worked for me on this job (they may not be the exact tools but worked well for me).

I would image that all nuts and bolts are metric, but I used the tools that I had and they worked good.


Upper ctrl arm
1. 18mm ratchting socket wrench. Used for the two nuts on the inside of engine bay and fits the nut on the pincher for the ball joint.

Lower ctrl arm
1. Large 13/16 wrench for shock nut/bolt and frame nut/bolt where the dial indicator is.
2. 1 inch wrench for the ball joint nut.
3. 30mm deep well socket for the large nut on the strut rod to k-frame.
4. Large adjustable wrench to hold the strut rod in place when using the 30mm socket.
5. 15/16 wrench for the strut rod nut (LCA side).
6. Pickle fork for ball joint removal.
7. Large hammer to wack the pickle fork (I used a 12lb sledge and broke ball joint loose in two wacks).

Nothing about this entire process was hard. Just make sure to jack up both front wheels and use good safety (good jack stands). Even though I marked the dial indicators, my alignment is way off as the camber is visibly off and the steering wheel in now off center, so an alignment is a must.

Finally, if I can do this process, anyone can!
The shock bolt is the hardest part in the salt states. I've worked on a few birds and spent the equivalent of a day on that bolt in some cases, with large sledgehammers and heat. The bolt I removed was deep pitted with rust and had to be replaced. There is a trick to drive a small screwdriver into the sleeve slot, and also a cold chisel between the bolt head and the strut.

I've found that over tightening the bolt can help break bonds too once you get the bolt to budge.

If you ever plan on doing the job again, all sleeved bolts should have generous anti-seize when they go back. They will rust even harder the second time around, because the coatings on the bolts are gone. This is my observation.

I also had strut rod bushings stuck to the strut rod..fun fun

If you have an air hammer and an impact it may help. The same situation happens on the shackle bolts in the back of the Explorer, bolt+sleeve.....
 
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