1998 Ball Joint help Please. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 08-09-2010
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1998 Ball Joint help Please.

I have a 98 ranger 2wd/2.5/stepside. This truck has about 151000 and all the ball joints are needing replaced. I am confused as to what I need to order. are they all replaceable? is there a better brand? Are there any good instructions for the above novice? Have bought hayes but there are pretty crummy.

Thanks for any help and insight...

Scott
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Old 08-09-2010
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On my '99 ranger which is the same setup as yours I had to buy new upper arms with ball joints. They were not replaceable. The bottom ones are though. Rent a ball joint removal tool from your local auto parts store. I got mine at Advance Auto and you get your money back so really it doesn't cost anything. Also, heat helps alot. Our MAP gas torch was really helpful.
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Old 08-09-2010
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Were they hard to replace?
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Old 08-09-2010
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If you do this yourself, buy moog greasable ball joints from rockauto.com
Search for rockauto.com and you'll find coupon codes. Or look here http://www.retailmenot.com/view/rockauto.com
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Old 08-14-2010
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Update. I am confused as to what I need to order. I have a link to some pictures. Do I need an upper control arm too?

Aug 14, 2010 - a set on Flickr

Scott
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Old 08-15-2010
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if your going to replace all 4, get both upper control arms and both lower ball joints.
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Old 08-15-2010
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It really is a PITA to replace ball joints but you can save yourself ALOT of money if you're successful. Just get new upper arms and two new balljoints and a ball joint press. MOOG is a good brand. Follow the instructions in your manual and be prepared to cuss ALOT.
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Old 08-15-2010
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Old 08-15-2010
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good choice when you put the upper control arms on, make note where the camber/caster plates where the bolts are.
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Old 08-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccosgrove71 View Post
good choice when you put the upper control arms on, make note where the camber/caster plates where the bolts are.
Not sure what you mean...
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Old 08-15-2010
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ahh gotcha. Did not read it right. Damn Dyslexia...
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Old 08-16-2010
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yeah there should be 4 steel plates that have different colors on them.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Stock upper ball joints cant be pressed out, the new control arms usually come with replaceable ball joints though. Its not a bad idea to replace the entire arm every time anyway, the bushings do wear out.

I'd recommend an electric or air impact wrench to remove and install the lower ball joints, makes life much easier!!! If you dont have one, when installing the new one, compress the install tool to get most of the ball joint in, then give the control arm a sharp but short wack with a hammer, it'll help "pop" the ball joint the rest of the way in haha.
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Old 08-28-2010
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Well My moog parts came in Wenesday. Started last evening and am done now What a job. Thanks to my father in-law for his great help. I will also add the craftsmanship of the moog part is amazing. Made in U.S.A too!

Thanks every one.
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Old 08-28-2010
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After the ball joint replacement shouldn't you get an alignment just to make sure everything is still good?
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Old 08-28-2010
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Rock Auto quoted me $202 for the whole deal (lower ball joints, upper control arms with ball joints) on my 2WD coil spring. With a 5% discount from retailmenot. And shipping was $8. Plus I need to go rent a ball joint tool.

Not too bad but I need lift spindles first. Rather do it all at once.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Wow there is good info here, but I'm confused. I went to the site rockauto and decided on the moog upper control arms and bottom ball joints. Question on the control arms are they one of the same? What I mean is the LH (left hand?) control arm is shaped like a wishbone and the RH (right hand?) is totatly different in shape. I have a 98 Ford Ranger 2WD 4 banger 2.5. I just do not want to order the wrong part and waste alot of time. Also is the front suspension a torsion or coil? Thanx for any help, everybody has been so helpful here I really appreciate that.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deco View Post
Wow there is good info here, but I'm confused. I went to the site rockauto and decided on the moog upper control arms and bottom ball joints. Question on the control arms are they one of the same? What I mean is the LH (left hand?) control arm is shaped like a wishbone and the RH (right hand?) is totatly different in shape. I have a 98 Ford Ranger 2WD 4 banger 2.5. I just do not want to order the wrong part and waste alot of time. Also is the front suspension a torsion or coil? Thanx for any help, everybody has been so helpful here I really appreciate that.
they are different shape becuase the r/s has a caster adjustment. look under your truck there will be a coil spring or a torsion bar that goes from the front to about the center of the truck, take a pic of your front suspension.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Figured I would post this question here too since you're talking ball joints.

I couldnt tell if the the boot on the upper ball joint is cracked or ripped since it was dark out and didnt have a flashlight but there is grease everywhere around the boot and the boot feels empty( no grease). I just had both uppers replaced 2,300 miles ago. I just want to make sure it will be safe to drive
tomorrow since they joints are new and there is still some grease in there. Im taking it in for the warranty work tomorrow.


Thanks
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deco View Post
Wow there is good info here, but I'm confused. I went to the site rockauto and decided on the moog upper control arms and bottom ball joints. Question on the control arms are they one of the same? What I mean is the LH (left hand?) control arm is shaped like a wishbone and the RH (right hand?) is totatly different in shape. I have a 98 Ford Ranger 2WD 4 banger 2.5. I just do not want to order the wrong part and waste alot of time. Also is the front suspension a torsion or coil? Thanx for any help, everybody has been so helpful here I really appreciate that.
Right side upper control arms are two-piece to allow for better alignment of the right tire. They do make one-piece upper control arms, and I think some trucks came with those originally, but its best to stick with the same type as whats in your truck.

Go ahead and buy the upper bushings for the right control arm, they're easy to replace and will match the new bushings on the left side, and cheap too.
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Old 09-26-2010
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Got the job done with moog parts very happy. Thanks everyone for your help.

ST
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