Can I change lower ball joint or must I swap control arm?
The Haynes manual says the ball joints on the lower control arms of the 95 and later Explorer are "not removeable or serviceable". The Haynes manual goes on to say "If the ball joint is damaged or worn, replace the control arm". Actually it says this about both the uppers and lowers, but I was able to change the upper control arms with new ball joints without too much trouble, but the lowers require a SPECIAL tool that holds the torsion bar while the lower control arm is removed. My local parts store has the ball joints in stock and say that they ARE replaceable. The aftermarket ones are held in place by a large snap ring. Can I put a jack under the lower control arm and remove the lower ball joints with the lower control arms still mounted to the vehicle? This would be a substantial savings. What tool would I use to remove the OEM ball joint? Is it riveted or bolted or pressed in place? I could remove bolts or drill out rivets. This is on a 2000 Explorer with 4.0L V6 pushrod w/auto trans and 2wrd.
Auto Zone will let you borrow a ball joint press to do the work. it looks like a big C-clamp with a tibe that fits over the ball on one end and a 1 inch jack screw on the other. you run it in with a ratchet or air gun and it pops the joint out. if you use a 5 poind hammer and beat it out, takes 10 x more time.