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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought the lower joints today, and they did not look like I expected.

Instead of pressing out the ball, you apparently press out the assembly.

The Replacements I have are full Socket and Ball assemblies, not just ball joints.

I have the ball joint press that the autozone site said I needed.
But I'm not real sure on the removal proccess.

When I changed the stabilizers, I found it very easy to heat up the sway bar with a torche and tap out the old stabilizers, but I didn't know if this method would work here.

So, you guys know the best procedure for this? Should I use the ball joint press for removal and installation? Or can I hammer the old one out without too much risk? Haven't had any trouble with the rest of the swaps but wanted a little advice before I dive into this in the morning. She needs to be ready for work by 4 pm.

Thanks in advance,

~Distortion
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Supernatural said:
Maybe someone will chime in with a good technique for changing just the lower ball joints, but I found it easier to swap out the entire lower control arm for a new one with new bushings and ball joint installed.
Yeah, was gonna do the same but availibility was low and I cant wait for/ afford shipping from online sources. Dunno why the local places didn't have the whole thing in stock. Gonna come back with bushings when I do the struts, after the tie rod ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BIG PROBLEM!!!

I got the old lower out on my left wheel, I go to install the old one, and UH OH, NOT ENOUGH GROUND CLEARANCE!!! The press is basically a heavy duety C clamp with different bearings to use. Pressing the old one out through the top was easy enough, but pressing this one in from the bottom? OH S***!!!

I have no idea what to do. The Press isn't wide enough to get enough bearings in it to make it work from the top, and I have NO WAY of getting this car 4 feet off of the ground!!

What am I gonna do !!?? This sux!!!
 

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Distortion 5.0 said:
BIG PROBLEM!!!

I got the old lower out on my left wheel, I go to install the old one, and UH OH, NOT ENOUGH GROUND CLEARANCE!!! The press is basically a heavy duety C clamp with different bearings to use. Pressing the old one out through the top was easy enough, but pressing this one in from the bottom? OH S***!!!

I have no idea what to do. The Press isn't wide enough to get enough bearings in it to make it work from the top, and I have NO WAY of getting this car 4 feet off of the ground!!

What am I gonna do !!?? This sux!!!
Ive replaced the ball joints with the exact tool your talking about. My best suggestion is to simply remove the lowe control arm then press the new joint in off the car. Its not too hard to remove the control arm. Just unblot the lower strut bolt, unbolt the strut rod where it connects to the lowe control arm, then disconnect the control arm from the chassis. I pressed mine in with it laying it on the ground. I imagine that a vise would be helpful, but i didnt use one.
 

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Yea I think taking the contol arm off seems the logical next step to getting the job done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thats for the responses, I took the ball joints back and got control arms, So I'm sure everything is gonna go much smoother now. As long as my electric impact wrench works again, (I think it over heated earlier) but it might be shot. Don't think I'll be able to get the stabilizer bar (Big *** bolt that has an arm running to the under radiator area) without it, as that bar is torsionable.
 

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Distortion 5.0 said:
I found it very easy to heat up the sway bar with a torche and tap out the old stabilizers
Don't do that anymore. You are tempering the sway bar and that isnt a good thing. You can get a pickle fork set for only a few bucks (use a small fork perpendicular to the sway bar end and they pop right out.) After fighting a few times with the clamp style tool i invested in a large press (and even then there are times it isnt a pleasant job.) just drag the arms to a shop and they can press them right in for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, everything is finished, car drives really nice. The clunk isn't gone of course, doesn't look like it ever will be. Though it kind of sounds like the springs are worn out now that everything else it tight. I guess these cars have around 50 clunks that come from the front end which all sound the same, but arent. Everytime you try to fix it, and you dont, maybe you just fixed one of them.

But now my brakes dont want to work right, and the bleeder valves are shot, so Gotta throw on calipers in the morning and go ahead and just flush the system.
 

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Distortion 5.0 said:
Well, everything is finished, car drives really nice. The clunk isn't gone of course, doesn't look like it ever will be. Though it kind of sounds like the springs are worn out now that everything else it tight. I guess these cars have around 50 clunks that come from the front end which all sound the same, but arent. Everytime you try to fix it, and you dont, maybe you just fixed one of them.

But now my brakes dont want to work right, and the bleeder valves are shot, so Gotta throw on calipers in the morning and go ahead and just flush the system.
just replacing the lower arms arent going to do much. if this is the first time the front end has been overhauled, you have a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The Great Obucina said:
just replacing the lower arms arent going to do much. if this is the first time the front end has been overhauled, you have a long way to go.
Actually this was the last step. Already done the upper control arms and link stabilizers. Only thing it really needs now is struts. Tie Rod ends are greased and A ok. And I beg to differ, changed the lower arms brought everything else together in a fantastic way. Car even felt like it was riding a little higher in front. (I don't think it is, but it has a nice, 'Suspended' feel to it :) )
Lacking just an alignment, I think this girl is on her way to riding very nicely.
 

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So let me get this straight. There's not supposed to be a clunk in the front end of every MN12 i've driven? :confused:

I thought that came as standard equipment?
 

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Apparently, there was a factory clunk delete option listed for $150 I guess most people thought it wasn't worth it. :cool:
 

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Distortion 5.0 said:
Actually this was the last step. Already done the upper control arms and link stabilizers. Only thing it really needs now is struts. Tie Rod ends are greased and A ok. And I beg to differ, changed the lower arms brought everything else together in a fantastic way. Car even felt like it was riding a little higher in front. (I don't think it is, but it has a nice, 'Suspended' feel to it :) )
Lacking just an alignment, I think this girl is on her way to riding very nicely.
please tell me you went through the effort to pull the lower arms and DID change all the strut rod bushings....

BTW, you have shocks, not struts. Also, when changing the SHOCKS, get new upper mounts.
 

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I just replaced mine last month on my '95 with Vogtland springs and sport shocks. Here's what the old and new tops look like side-by-side. The newer ('96-'97) top is a much better design.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Great Obucina said:
please tell me you went through the effort to pull the lower arms and DID change all the strut rod bushings....

BTW, you have shocks, not struts. Also, when changing the SHOCKS, get new upper mounts.

I did change all bushings. They came with the Lower Arm. I thought that all Mc Phearson setups where called struts. All the catalogs have called them struts. They pivot, I thought struts pivoted. Regaurdless of name, I need them, and I will get the mounts as well.
 
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