Upper and lower ball joint replacement - 2001 4.0, 4x4 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 05-31-2011
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Upper and lower ball joint replacement - 2001 4.0, 4x4

Tried searching and maybe I didn't spend enough time on it but I couldn't find any descriptive steps in how to actually remove and replace the ball joints.

I get the part where everything up to the hub comes off but what am I looking to do after that? I am mechanically inclined however devoid of a service manual so posting the basic steps would be just fine with me.

The parts I am purchasing, according to my parts source, aren't going to require me to press the ball joints....which doesn't sound right. I have not purchased said parts at this time but it sounds kinda weird that there isn't a need to press ball joints unless I'm replacing entire control arms...(??) Again, that just doesn't sound right. I made a quick phone call for parts pricing only so I have limited information regarding the actual parts that were looked up.

Truck is a 2001 4x4 with the 4.0L...torsion bar/ CV joint front end (168,xxx miles)

Thank you for any help you can offer.
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Old 06-01-2011
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the lowers for a fact have to be pressed in. once u get the hub assembly off, hit the lower balljoint with a big, heavy hammer downward to get it out. then you'll need to press them in.

uppers are easy. i just replaced my entire upper control arm which came with a new balljoint which is replaceable down the road.
blast the bolt in the knuckle out, get the control arm out of the knuckle and then loosen the adjuster bolts on top of the control arm.
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Old 06-01-2011
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Thank you. It sounds pretty much in line with what I was looking at under my truck so I'll just move forward with a BFH and some controlled anger.

With the mileage on this thing, is it even remotely possible that I still have the factory originals? I ask because nothing indicates they were ever replaced up this point, which would be quite surprising considering the truck has lived in the New England area its entire life.
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Old 06-01-2011
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Mine were original up to 161***. The guy that I bought the truck from never maintained it. I still have the original shocks! They look like they are about to crumble from the amount of rust on em.
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Old 06-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bergs View Post
Thank you. It sounds pretty much in line with what I was looking at under my truck so I'll just move forward with a BFH and some controlled anger.

With the mileage on this thing, is it even remotely possible that I still have the factory originals? I ask because nothing indicates they were ever replaced up this point, which would be quite surprising considering the truck has lived in the New England area its entire life.
probably. I live in MA and mine were stock with 194k. my front shocks are stock lol
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Old 06-02-2011
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Mine were original up to 161***. The guy that I bought the truck from never maintained it. I still have the original shocks! They look like they are about to crumble from the amount of rust on em.
Sounds about like mine. Bought it with 102,xxx on the clock and have always thought that the previous owner only did oil changes and nothing else. Everything was toast or in need of changing....plugs/ wires, shocks, brake fluid, both diff fluids, x-fer case, master cylinder, front calipers, both rear brake assy's, etc.

Hell, I think I've replaced damn near everything but the engine and drivetrain!

Started off getting about 200 miles to a tank (on the highway, mind you). Nowadays, 300+ is easily acheivable. Basic maintenance and care goes a long way!
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Old 06-02-2011
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ive had to eplace everything including the engine.
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Old 06-02-2011
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I'm about to do my uppers and lowers, so its a first for me too
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Old 06-03-2011
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I'm about to do my uppers and lowers, so its a first for me too
the first side you do might take a little while but after you do one side the other wont be too hard.
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Old 06-03-2011
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you should road trip it and help me....I'll supply the beer! How far are you from Rockaway nj in morris county?
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Old 06-03-2011
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i think its like an hour away. when do you wanna do em?
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Old 06-03-2011
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Well its not for that, we are having a meet this sunday in Rockaway if you wanted to come. I live in Pa so that would be a 2 hour hike for you, I was messing with ya on the help with ball joints, I couldnt make you drive all that way!
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Old 06-03-2011
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i wouldnt mind the drive and you said youd buy the beer.
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Old 06-03-2011
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Well alrighty then!! You're on! Can you do the meet this sunday?
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Old 06-03-2011
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i think im working but ill try. ill check my schedule and let you know when im off.
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Old 06-05-2011
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Here's a good trick for putting your lowers back in without a press: Find a pice of pipe or a socket that the lip of the ball joint sits in, put it on your jack and line it up with the hole in the arm jack socket or pipe with the ball joint up into the hole as you start to lift the truck tap the top of the arm around the ball joint hole with a hammer until the ball joint slips into place. With the weight of the truck the jack acts like a press and tapping lets the ball joint slip into lower arm.

Good luck!

Last edited by Turbo Roadster; 06-05-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011
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hurley and Hooligan - You two have it all wrong. The balljoint party is in NH! I demand you drive north!!

Okay, truth be told, I'm not really looking forward to doing this job. That said, I don't see where 3hrs a side comes into play here like the shop is telling me.


Roadster - Any consideration for using a bit of heat on the knuckle or are you certain that method works?

I ask because I would hate to be comitted to a half-pressed ball joint only to discover that the suspension will only jack the truck up at which point I'd be fked and would have to curse you out in front of everyone.

But seriously, is the method you describe proven?
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Old 06-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
I'm about to do my uppers and lowers, so its a first for me too
might as well do ur tie rods too lol
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Old 07-12-2011
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Old 10-20-2011
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Lower Ball Joint

Can you replace the lower ball joint on a 4X4 without removing the hub and CV? I have seen a lot of post and video with a center nut that holds the axle, but my ranger has the Vacuum hub not a axle nut and I have not seen anything on removing the knuckle/hub from the axle? Any tips?
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Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Roadster View Post
Here's a good trick for putting your lowers back in without a press: Find a pice of pipe or a socket that the lip of the ball joint sits in, put it on your jack and line it up with the hole in the arm jack socket or pipe with the ball joint up into the hole as you start to lift the truck tap the top of the arm around the ball joint hole with a hammer until the ball joint slips into place. With the weight of the truck the jack acts like a press and tapping lets the ball joint slip into lower arm.

Good luck!
this is an excellent post! the local auto parts store didnt rent a tool to install the lower ball joint.. so I ran up grabbed a 2$ exhaust coupler followed these instructions and bam..ball joint was in place... great tip!
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