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1995 4wd ranger ball joint and front axle questions...
My father has a very reliable 95 Ranger, extended cab, 4wd, 4.0L automatic. I think the only big problem he's had with it is the alternator going out on him. Anyway, it needs the lower ball joints replaced now. He's taken it into a mechanic to get a price on the repair and the guy gave him a price of $550 for all four ball joints replaced. The problem, other than the price, is that the parts listing shows two different types, a threaded stud type, and a pinch bolt type. It also says that it matters if the truck has a Dana Spicer 28 or 35 axle up front. Well, how do you tell the difference in the axles to know which one it has? It has the 4.0, it's an automatic, and it has manual hubs. Can it be determined by the VIN ? The guy is fine with my Dad bringing the parts in to save some money, but I can't figure out what parts to get??
Also, is there an easy way to do this repair at home? I've done 2wd vehicle ball joints too many times, but never 4wd.
Could'nt tell you the difference between the axles, but if you've done ball joints on 2WD before, you should'nt have any problems at all with the 4WD. Just check the manual for the details. It's a classic backyard mechanic job. If you go to the parts supplier with your VIN and maybe even a casting number(if you can find it) off of the axle housing and door sticker #'s, he should be able to decipher your needs. One of the other guys in the 'know' will chime in soon enough with axle ID.
PS The price seems a little high, but who am I to judge.
I agree about the price, but it was all four joints, and 5 hours labor. After that it's two new front tires and an alignment to boot! I looked through the manual he has for the truck, and replacing the joints isn't what gets me, even though it says that they are pressed in, it's removing the hubs that's got me worried.
Anyway, I got to thinking about it and if I'm thinking correctly, the threaded stud should be just that, a threaded stud and a nut on top. The pinch bolt type should have a bolt through the spindle, or axle that "clamps" the joint in place. I'll go take a look at it in the morning and also see if I can find something on the axle too. Maybe the cover gasket is different between the two like the number of bolts in it or something.
Thanks for the reply.
REmoving the hubs is not that bad of a job, fishing the keyway out is the only real PITA. The lower ball joint on your truck should be pressed, and the upper is the pinch bolt style. How bad is the caster on your truck now, only reason why i ask is because while you are in there you may want replace the stock caster/camber bushing with a 3deg adjuster, or you could go all out LOL and get the dual axis. IMHO the dual axis adjusters are a big PITA and weak to boot, as far as the borders on them.
The caster is fine, it's just the slop in the front end caused by the bad joints. The drivers side tire is worn badly, but the passenger side isn't, yet. But when you jack up the front and pull on the wheels you can feel the play from the bad joints.
I got a good look at it today, and the lower is the threaded stud type with the castle nut and cotter pin. The upper is the pinch bolt type with the snap ring on it. Which is still leaving me confused since the parts listings on Autozone's website say that the Dana 28 has threaded stud joints top and bottom? I looked at Napa online and they don't mention the type for the upper, just if the truck has a dana 28 or 35.
I found some numbers on the axle,
P 94 5 I (maybe a 1)
It has a 10 bolt diff cover.
Any way to tell with these numbers if it's a 28 or 35?
Look at the axle sections, I have to think that this truck has the dana 35 under it. I read that the 28 was in up to 90 rangers, and the 35 was in 90 and newer rangers. Also that the 28 had a 12 bolt cover and the 35 had a 10 bolt, or is that just for the rear?
I can't seem to find any info on the numbers I found on it though.
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