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Old 06-12-2013
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I am: Paul Balint
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Enfield, Ct
Vehicle: 1999 Off-Road
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L & R upper control arms different?

First of all this is an awesome forum, thanks everybody.

I just bought a 99 3.0 4x4 XLT for my son. Last weekend we replaced the rear shackles and hangers, that wasn't too bad of a job, took about 8 hours of work. Doing lots of other small work also, new power window regulators, changing fluids, fixed RH power door lock, etc....

The truck has some squeaks on the front end, I'm not sure if it's the ball joints, tieords, bushings, or what. Sometimes I hear it, and sometimes I don't. It's mostly noticable when driving and turning the steering wheel slowly around the house, at speed you can't hear it. I know the power steering pump can be noisy, and that's not it. The front end seems tight and stable when driving, it's just the low speed squeaks that bother me. I've read lots of threads here about changing ball joints/control arms and I'll do that if I have too, but I'd like to be sure I'm doing the right thing before I spend the money on parts.

Now my question.

I was underneath looking around and noticed that the upper left control arm ia a 1-piece and the upper right control arm is a 2-piece, is this normal? Also the rubber bushings on the lower ball joints were different colors, so someone in the past might have just changed one side.

What's the best way to narrow down my front end squeak, should I just WD-40 spray all the moving parts one at a time to locate the squeak, maybe just replace the control arms and ball joints, or don't worry about it until it becomes more obvious what the problem is?
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Old 06-15-2013
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I am: Alex
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Vehicle: 1998 Ford Ranger
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As for the ps pump its either air in the lines, or usually I've found that its the rack not the ps pump as I've replaced it to no avail lol. Yes it is normal for the uppers to be diff. That point on the right side where it bolts on is the caster adjustment. It is probably the bushings, as balljoints tend to make a clunking sound. These are loaded ball joints so to check them jack up the side under the lower arm close to the joint but not on it. Then wiggle test, or use a big pry bar.

98 Black Ranger (RIP)

98 Maroon Ranger 4.0L SOHC XLT 4x4 5Spd Reg. Cab, Long Bed

Last edited by Alex98; 06-15-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-01-2013
I am: Tim Jones
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Richland, WA
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Ranger
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different upper control arms

I noticed the same thing. The new upper control arms I ordered were not different. I installed them anyway and they seem to function ok.
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Old 08-02-2013
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I am: Grev B
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Usually when there is a squeak there is metal to metal contact, how long has the noise been going on will depend on what you need to do.

If you plan on keeping the truck for a while it might be a good idea if you started replacing things, then you will know where you stand.

You can buy Moog Upper Control Arms that have replaceable Ball joints, maybe the lowers too, nit sure.
Also there is an HD version out there but that was for my ’03.

Check out Rock Auto they have a great selection and they DID mention an HD upper.

The biggest problem with the Ford Ball Joints and front ends in general is the lack of grease fittings, make sure which ever control arms you get buy the ones with replaceable joints and with grease fittings.
Same for any tie rod ends, see if there is a grease-able unit.

You mentioned the squeak is sometime heard at lower speeds, could be the u-joints in the drive axles.
When turning a corner, the pressure changes the position of the u-joint shafts and bearings, applying pressure in different locations and things squeak.
Check them out for sure, don’t want thing binding up in the shafts at the wrong time.

luck on the new truck

’03 EDGE 4x4, 5sp, Std Cab, Stepside, E4 Red
4” Lift - Coil-Overs, 6” SkyJacker Leafs - No Blocks (Mistake)
31 Spline FX4 Rear Axle, 4.56s and OX Locker, Hurst Shifter w/Optional Stick and "Made by Grev" alignment adapter
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