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Old 03-14-2009
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I am: kevin p
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lower ball joint replacement - just the snap ring??

my boots are torn on my lower ball joints and id like to replace them. i see there is a snap ring retaining the joint, is this the only "special" tool needed?

So i separate it from the spindle, pull the snap ring and tap it out of the LCA??

Just making sure i have all my tools !
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Old 03-16-2009
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I am: Jason D
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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You can tap it out, but how are you going to get the new one in? You DON'T want to hit the spindle/knuckle end of the new one. I got the ~$30 ball joint press from Harbor Freight when I did mine. Others have gotten a press using the tool rental program from AutoZone. The hand press is a bit of a puzzle, as you have to figure out the right combination of adapters to push the ball joint and still fit within the arm of the press.
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Old 03-16-2009
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snap ring pliers should already be in your toolbox...it's not really a special tool...

but pretty much, yes, only 'special' tool that I use.

I like to set the knuckle/spindle on the ground when i'm doing this. the truck is fully suspended in the air via jackstands on the frame, not the arms. pull your caliper and hang it aside with zip ties. pull your disc. pop out the upper joint from the knuckle/spindle, pop out the tie rod end, break the knuckle/spindle loose from the lower, and place the knuckle aside. if you've got a 4x4, you need to loosen the CV shaft nut completely off. Then I like to put the jackstand under the LCA then beat the old joint out(of course removing the snap ring prior to this). Then, I get the new one ready and place it in the hole, line it up and make sure it ain't crooked. Then i take a small 4" chunk of 2.5" exhaust tubing and sandwich it between the joint flange and the floorjack. Then, lift the jack and hit the arm. vibrations knock it into place. occasionally jack up the jack while hitting the arm. it'll go right in. place snap ring. apply your grease zirc if equipped. put it back together. done.

there's at least 2 ford dealers around me that do it the same way as i do it...

'01 XLT disguised as a '03 Fx4 Level II

Big. Loud. Slow. Bright.
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