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Girlfriend just bought a '95 bird and had tires put on it today. Found out the drivers side upper ball joint is worn and will need replacement. Looked up replacement in my factory service manual, and it looks fairly simple, but I would like to hear comments from anyone with real experiance. Also curious about a price range for the assembly, cause it can only be replaced as one, right? The tire shop quoted $250 parts/labor. Any comments would be appreciated.
 

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An 18mm ratcheting wrench is supposed to realy make this easier.

Moog Part #s and Rock Auto prices (search for current discount code)

Upper Control Arm
LEFT (driver's) - INCL BALL JOINT K8596 $57
RIGHT (passenger) - INCL BALL JOINT K8598 $57

Hope that helps,
Rob
 

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I agree with having the 18mm REVERSING ratcheting wrench, from Sears.

Also, the connection between the upper spindle bolt, to upper control arm, can be a PIA to get apart.

However, it is a fairly easy job to do.
 

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Go buy the control arm assembly and do it yourself. You'll need an 18mm ratcheting box wrench (i bought a Craftsman wrench at sears...it worked great!) I replaced both my u.c.a.'s and l.c.a.'s myself and both weren't too bad to do....as for u.c.a.'s jack your ride up and place a jack stand under the frame. With the car supported on the jackstand remove the jack and place it under the lower control arm to support the suspension while the upper control arm is removed. Remove the spindle nut and tap out the bolt..You have to remove the bolt completely! You'll see why..Then just tap the u.c.a. free from the spindle...
Now here's where your new Craftsman ratcheting box wrench comes in....Under your hood on both sides of the shock tower are two nuts that hold your u.c.a. on. One is under the master cylinder and it's a little hard to reach but once you get the wrench on it it'll be pretty easy to remove..then just tap out the bolt. Do the same with the other bolt and That's it!!! Pull that sucker out and put the new one in!:D The bolt at the spindle should be torqued to 50- 68 Ft-Lbs....and the two shock tower bolts should be torqued to 65-88 Ft-Lbs...I just cranked the shock tower bolts tight with the ratcheting box wrench...'cuz a torque wrench will not fit in such tight places..In all it should take any capable person 30 to 45 min start to finish...
Remember after you've finished to torque your lug nuts to 85 -104 ft.lbs. to prevent rotor warping...Now go to it!!! :D
Erik
 

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Just be careful, and don't move anything while you replace it, and you won't need an alignment unless the old ball joint was really bad.
 
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