Thanks for the great info Racerguy. I have a 2001 4.6L 4x4 with 124k miles. I am having a similiar problem to that of Syracuse from 09-28-2005, 01:02 AM on page 3. I get a pop when turning only to the right at slow speeds. Do you think this could be the Pitman Arm as well? I replaced my lower and upper ball joints, and I took it to a mechanic that said he couldn't see anything wrong with it. It does not happen everytime and it is hard to listen to because it only happens when the truck is in motion. The mechanic said it might be a body mount. Is there anyway to tell if it is a body mount? I don't know why it only happens when turning to the right.
I just wanted to thank Racerguy and everyone else that has contributed to this thread. I am a novice garage mechanic at best, but I was successfully able to replace my upper ball joints (and arms),lower ball joints, tie rod ends, and 4 shocks based off of what I learned here. I basically setup the laptop in the garage and followed Raceguy's instructions step by step for the ball joints. The alignment guy at Firestone said the job I did looked just fine. Like others have said, the Autozone press doesn't get it done by itself. I started the lowers by beating on them, then was able to press them out. As for pressing the new lowers back in, I had to use a 1 inch wrench laid across the spacer to torque the press onto, as the adaptor in the kit was too tall, and there wasn't room for it to fit in there with the new ball joint. Other then that, no major problems. Just too me a long time, but hey, I'm new at this.
I also wanted to thank Racerguy and everyone that contributed to this thread. Personally had never done ball joints myself, but was able to install upper a-arms, lower joints, all tie rods, idler arm, and 4 new shocks. My buddy had the ball joint press, and together we were able to complete this whole project in 3.5hrs, which I thought was great. I have an 02 F-150, 120K miles on original parts. The truck has had 35" tires and a 3" body lift for the past 50K. Everything came apart great. One thing I did that I think helped a bit, I sprayed PB Blaster on all nuts, bolts etc for 5 days straight. Thanks again for a great thread!!!
Replaced upper and lower on my 99 expedition yesterday, thanks very much for the instructions, took 2.5 hours with no holdups except that the press that I rented from Autozone needed a "ford adapter" and I had to improvise a bit to avoid making a trip back to the store.
I'll echo the many thanks for this post Racerguy! I had a shop do my lower ball joints about 3 years ago - and they didn't grease them when they were installed so one road trip accross the country towing a trailer and they were shot already within the first 5K miles - so for the last three years they were so siezed up they wouldn't take much grease, which would quiet the squeaks for a short time, and lately it would take NO grease and it was downright embarrasing to drive my truck through the nieghborhood - especially at the weird hours I work with a truck you can hear coming a block away! Of course with the lowers worn out I figured everything else was wearing twice as fast so I finnally did the uppers, lowers, inner and outer tie rods, all four shocks with my dad over labor day weekend and MAN what a difference!! I missed how nice it was to drive a quiet truck! It was SCARY how much play was in the drivers side lower ball joint! and they were put in only 40K ago! After that was done I could hear my rear end squeaking when I was backing up so I also replaced my U-joints which solved that issue as well. My shocks were original at 150K so needless to say they were past due! When I compressed them by hand and pulled them out of the shock towers they stayed compressed for a minute or two until they S L OW LY exteded again! My pickup drives like a brand new truck now let alone its SILENT! I saved about 1500 in labor costs! I also have the satisfaction knowing the job was done RIGHT and that I installed high end MOOG parts and most importantly GREASED THEM! Kudos for the great post - except I hate you all who did it in 2.5 hours! A little learning curve for me, some frustration but it worked out - and if anyone else is on the fence about this - go for it!
Racerguy you look to be da man on this ball joint thing. I have a question I printed your whole thread for the ball joint replacement and I'm not sure if I missed anything but I have a 2000 f150 4x4 5 lug and I am only changing the lower ball joints both sides. 1st question do I need an alignment after replacing lowers only? 2nd do you think I can get away with a large heavy duty c-clamp and the right size either pipe nipple or socket for removal and reinstall? I am very mechanically inclined and have done ball joints before mostly rivited on ones and I realize the value of not damaging the new joint. for havinf 176k my truck is in very good condition underneith no rust.also do you also do engine work at your work maybe I can pick your brain on some engine gremlins I have been having. thanks' in advance
I have a 2000 f150 4x4 5 lug and I am only changing the lower ball joints both sides.
I just did this job on my expy last month and the only problem I see with replacing lowers only is that you do have to remove the steering nuckle, (can't get lowers out without doing this) which means you have to seperate the upper ball joint from the nuckle. This is usually difficult to do without causing damage to either the boot or joint. Sometimes the CV shaft comes out hard, sometimes not...mine both came out easy.
Maybe Racerguy can comment on using a clamp and nipples...I've never tried it.
If you're only replacing the lower ball joints you don't need to do an alignment although it never hurts to have it checked after any front end work.
The ball joints will probably fit too tight for a C-clamp to work but some people can make pretty much anything work
If you want to start a new thread about your engine problems it's pretty likely that someone here will be able to help.
Thanks' to your detailed post I was able to do the lowers on my 2000 f150 4x4 in 2 1/2 hours with no problems. and with no rented tools. and someone suggested freezing before job cant be sure how much it helped but they were not that difficult to reinstall with the help of a floor jack onder control arm with a 2" dia. 4" long pipe nipple. and a bfs on top to pound down from top of ca to press onto joint. thanks' again.
I just did a lower ball joint on my truck thanks to the write up.
I purchased a premium lower ball joint from NAPA.
the boot wasn't attached to the ball joint and i couldn't figure out how to securely attach it.
I'm worried that this could lead to problems.
should the boot somehow have been attached.
or is there a way i can secure it more?
Thanks for all the info and pictures.
Usually the boot just pushes down over the ball joint without anything holding it on. It should fit pretty tight around the body of the joint.
Sometimes even after the ball joint is installed you can push the boot down further to make sure it's seated.