04 ranger xlt ball joints - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 11-10-2011
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04 ranger xlt ball joints

Ive got an 04 ranger xlt ext cab- 4.0 liter, only has 80k, got new michelins monday and now the right front ball joint is squeakin bad. Got a little better after putting a few miles on it, 100 or so. My question is, short of replacing the entire upper control arm- what can i do?

Local shop said they could drill and tap it, put in a zerk fitting and fill it with grease, dude i know poked a hole in rubber boot and injected it with grease, worked fine he claimed.

Honest dealer told me, to replace both sides since it all has to be realinged. friend of mine works in parts dept. quoted me 450 for parts- just over his cost, and bout 500 labor

Cant afford it now after buyin new michelins, any ideas out there?

thanks, Marshall

Last edited by motobike5000; 11-10-2011 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 11-10-2011
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I got raybestos low ball joints and upper control arms with ball joints for $175. And replaced them my self. It's very easy but time consuming. Also puncturing the rubber boot is a bad idea as water will enter the wound and will devlope rust and make them fail quicker. I would just replace them.
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Old 11-11-2011
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Iv'e got the same year ride that you do, and yes, it had the "lubed for life" BJ's and outer tie rod ends. They are destined to fail, and when thinking about this, remember (and/or live it) that life = life of part, not life of vehicle. And since you just bought new shoes, you know what they cost and presumably what happens when front end parts fail over time, and the ultimate consequences.

I bought new Moog, greaseable lower BJ's for mid $40's each and I popped a seal on an upper BJ; replacing that upper control arm and ball joint (Moog of course, 33 years of driving showed me a quality brand) set me back $79 (O'reillys, will match Rock Auto). Uppers are super easy, lowers are not hard, it's just a process that takes time to complete. Tie rods are also super easy. If I were in your shoes, and if planned to keep the truck, I'd dispose of all this OEM cheapo crap with a quality brand that can be lubed, since the OEM parts will fail. If you are careful, you can replace the tie rod ends without a FEA, and *maybe* the same with the upper BJ's. I say that because, all manufactured parts have tolerances, how this will affect you I do not know and at this point, neither do you. You just gotta try. What I found is that when I did the upper is that it was visibly off and I had to buy the cam kit (something that Ford SHOULD have put on at the factory) because it was obvious that it needed it after installing that new upper and that the geometry was altered. Cost something like $45.

It's too bad that Ford pulled this lousy stunt on it's customers. Gov't Motors tried this crap back in the mid 80's on some cars; predictably, it didn't end well for the customers and of course, they were pissed. Ford should have learned from another GM mistake. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. And look at the bright side, you got 80K, I only got 60K out of and I don't abuse my ride and I don't live in the salt belt. Buy the parts and fix it, it's part of the cost of owning a Ranger. Buy good stuff and you won't be buying it again.
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Old 11-11-2011
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Dang 'lubed for life' lol, thanks for your responses folks. Sadly i dont have the time or place to perform the work. I need a quick fix for now, til after the 1st of the year, what do you think about drillin and tappin a grease fittin for now til i can afford it?

I think ill buy the moog stuff when i can, thanks Tom
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Old 11-11-2011
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Called o'reillys, quoted 240 for both uppers and 46 each for the lowers- greasable moogs, what would be a deal on labor?

thanks
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Old 11-11-2011
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350-400 is a good deal for labor. Anything more your getting the shaft
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Old 11-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motobike5000 View Post
Called o'reillys, quoted 240 for both uppers and 46 each for the lowers- greasable moogs, what would be a deal on labor?

thanks
Look at the parts prices on rockauto.com, then call Oreillys and see if they will match prices. My Oreillys will, but then again I know the manager and he keeps rewarding me for not making off with $350 on a credit card mistake he made seven years ago. Also, IIRC one of those uppers sells for more than the other.

The next thing I would do is grab a copy of the Ford service manual CD over on ebay and look at the install procedure for the lower BJ's. The uppers are in there, but it's pretty self evident how to install, other than maybe the torque values. Also, Oreillys will let you borrow their BJ press for the lowers, but you don't need it. Careful use of a hammer and a floor jack will do the job.

After I reviewed the process, I'd go to China Freight (aka, Harbor Freight) and buy yourself a $60 floor jack, an 18" or 24" or so breaker bar, jack stands, and any other tools you may not currently have. On the way home, stop at Sears and pick up the needed socket to remove the nut on the end of the 1/2shaft, or if you want to, buy a set of sockets from China Freight. Then come home and let the work begin. When you're done, you will not only be money ahead but you will have "free" tools and piece of mind knowing that it's done right. Finish the job off by promptly taking it to an alignment shop. Just remember to buy and install the cam kit in before you go, or they're gonna hit you in the wallet for that *service*.

On Edit:

I read your post too fast. I *guess* you could D&T the BJ and screw in a zerk. You're gonna get metal shavings in there, but since you plan on replacing it, it'll last awhile. Maybe consider replacing the upper control arms, put in the now needed cam kit, and get a FEA. Very simple to do, and can be done with common hand tools. Don't pop the dust boot and inject grease. First, you're creating a hole that lets crap in, and second, you're not even putting the grease where it's needed. This is a lose-lose deal.

I'm working on a lower BJ install tech thread on another forum, wished I had it done as it answers a lot of questions and has pics.

Last edited by CowboyBilly9Mile; 11-12-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011
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Hey cowboybilly, just wondering, whats this cam kit you are referencing for the upper control arms?? I'm getting ready to do mine for the first time, and I thought all you had to do was change the control arms and pop the lowers in. I'm putting moog in when I do them, so do I need this special kit to get the correct angles on the front end or...
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Old 11-14-2011
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I just did mine $190 for both lowers and uppers at Rockauto.
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Old 11-21-2011
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Thanks for all the great advice folks, i got quoted 330 labor including alignment.... from my boys at the local speed shop, been there 30 yrs. honest and reliable.

Im just havin to bite the bullet even though its breakin into my christmas fund a lil bit.

goin to rockauto and order it all right now. im goin all Moog- thanks again, Tom

ill let ya know how it goes
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Old 11-24-2011
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Anyone know which lowers to order for coil overs- moog K80771 or K8771T? do i need camber bolt kit?

thanks
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