Ball joint installation... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Suspension Tech General discussion of suspension for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 11-30-2006
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Ball joint installation...

scale of 1-10 in difficulty, what is it?

im looking at 800$ to get both sides, upper/lower installed with premium carquest products and was wondering if thats a good price, or if getting those moog greasable ones and installing them myself are the way to go...

ive read threw some threads so i know about the press that i need and freezing them before installing.. but any really tough stuff that you can think of...
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Old 11-30-2006
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That's WAY too much, to my mind. You can get all the parts for less then $300 (upper arms complete and lower ball joints), buy a ball joint removal/installation press for under $50 (Harbor Freight), a "pickle fork" for the upper, and do it yourself. It'll probably take you the better part of a day the first time you do it, though.

And you gain independence for doing it in the future, lol. You can spend more on the parts, depending on where you shop, but I still think you'd have a hard time spending more than $400 for EVERYTHING.
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Old 11-30-2006
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Some parts stores have a free tool loaner program. When I did my lower ball joints, I gave a $100 deposit on a ball joint press which was refunded when it was returned.
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Old 11-30-2006
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Yes, and if AutoZone was closer (they loan them), I wouldn't have bought the Harbor Freight tool on sale, lol.
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Old 11-30-2006
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i just smacked the UCA with a 3lb hammer until the ball joint came out

Same with the bottom but left the nut on the end of the ball joint....

you will need an anlignment when you do this btw..
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Old 11-30-2006
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so its pretty "simple" install? or does it take alot of finesse and is easily screwed up?
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Old 11-30-2006
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dang! $800 is WAY too much......i had mine quoted for all 4 ball joints w/ Dana Spicer greasable joints for $500 installed out the door...

i am going to do it myself though......gonna wait till spring i think that way the salt this winter dont destroy them....mine aint that bad, but they do have some play in them...
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Old 11-30-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4X2XLT
so its pretty "simple" install? or does it take alot of finesse and is easily screwed up?

it is alot of work but isnt bad, just not easy...
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Old 11-30-2006
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well atleast i can do one side at a time for the most part... which ones would you guys recomend getting? i found this post but no links and didnt know where to search the part number at...

https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...79&postcount=5
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2006
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what ever one you can afford...........i would say the ball joint only would be fine, but i dont know much about the '98+ trucks front suspension...
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Old 11-30-2006
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MOOG is pretty reputable for sure. If you can afford it go with them.
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Old 11-30-2006
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^ well anything under 800$ i can afford... my brothers shift at his FD is great because one of the guys used to own his own shop, but it closed and so he said that hell more then likely do it for nothing more then some cigarettes because he enjoys it... so well see...
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Old 11-30-2006
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It's not too bad. Take your time and learn while you do it.

It's worse if you're just doing disassembly and have to reuse the old parts. You can tear the boots pretty easily is the most likely fubar.

The only one you'll be reusing if you do them all is the steering ball joint on the outer tie rod. That comes out pretty easy and if you want you can take the nut off, thread it back on partway but upside down, then whack it with a small sledge and the joint pops right out.

The reason you turn the nut upside down is that a hammer blow can bend the castle nut ends if you're not careful. I know this from experience, lol.

The other joints you'll need the press for the lowers, and a pickle fork or a different kind of ball joint remover (like a gear puller sort of) for the top. The pickle fork type is the kind that can tear the boot. Make sure the points are past the rubber before you begin w with a hammer.
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Old 11-30-2006
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his truck is a 2wd xlt "coil spring" truck, the uppers have to be pressed out of the arms, 4x4's you have to replace the entire upper arm., parts should cost no more then 130 bucks for 4 ball joints, labor is 4-5 hours, do the math.
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Old 11-30-2006
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the moog ones i found on summit are 190 for all 4... granted they're not greasable but i dont think theyll wear out before i get rid of the truck...
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Old 11-30-2006
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moog parts are 99% greaseable, i have only seen one moog part that didn;t have a zirk fitting, it was a front sway bar link for a honda
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Old 11-30-2006
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http://store.summitracing.com/egnsea...115+4294907048

unless its a typo the last two supposedly arent and those were the ones i was planning to get
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Old 11-30-2006
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I agree with mark that most if not all Moog not all MOOGs are greasable. I looked at the link and they all show the same picture but who knows.
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  #19  
Old 12-01-2006
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Did you check to see if your uppers are casted into the upper arm, if they are they cannot be pressed out and will have to buy an all new upper arms with balljoints in them.. My 98's were casted into the uppers but I hear the gen4's were hit and miss with the castings upper arms depends on where the truck was made.

You going to have to take the upper arm off to have new ones pressed in if they are not casted.

Mine went bad on my truck so I just bought the DJM arms with new greaseable balljoints in them
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  #20  
Old 12-01-2006
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I bought NAPA premium greasable ball joints. They look good -- we'll see how they hold up.

It's worthless to try to replace the upper inserts on the stock arms. The general thing is to buy new greasable upper arms. For a little more you can get renewable ball joints in them also.

I didn't say that because I thought everyone knew that, lol -- sorry. My pricing was based on full upper arm replacement, but you'll spend more for greasable. One of my uppers is a Spicer greasable unit that's heavier duty than stock in general, the other is an aftermarket stock replacement.
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  #21  
Old 12-01-2006
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1-10, the lowers are a 3...the uppers maybe a 4.

All you need is a hammer, a jack, and a jackstand.
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  #22  
Old 12-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4X2XLT
scale of 1-10 in difficulty, what is it?

im looking at 800$ to get both sides, upper/lower installed with premium carquest products and was wondering if thats a good price, or if getting those moog greasable ones and installing them myself are the way to go...

ive read threw some threads so i know about the press that i need and freezing them before installing.. but any really tough stuff that you can think of...
a scale from 1-10, for me it would be a 7!
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  #23  
Old 12-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deapee
All you need is a hammer, a jack, and a jackstand.
You have got to be kidding. I doubt you have actually done the lowers on an older Ranger or one that has been under water a lot. Hammering them out of the lower control arm has got to be one of the most doubtful methods on an older/beat trucks. When those things get seized nothing but a press is going to get them out of there. Tried that, and the suckers don't even move.

You can hammer the stud out of the spindle -- but not the body of the ball joint out of the control arm.

You can hammer the uppers out pretty well but it's a clumsy thing to do to bang on the arm like that, swinging upward.

Best get the right tools, IMO. Especially if you want to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
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  #24  
Old 12-11-2006
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i need mine replaced. For a 03 4x2 with torsion bars would it be easier? Cheaper?
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  #25  
Old 12-12-2006
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i can get a new lower ball joint for $20, and need to do it myself. it seems like its something i could do. but how??? Can anyone do a how-to for me, or know where i can find a how-to????? thanks
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