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Here’s a how-to guide on doing ball joints. Sorry I don’t have any pics. I hate grabbing my phone with greasy hands. I’ll do my best to describe.

I had issues were the clicking/popping sound, imprecise steering feel, and slight wobble at high speed.

My ball joints were worn out, even though the boot was intact. The best way to check the condition is to see how easy the ball joint shaft is to move. If you can move it with one finger, they’re worn.

I highly recommend removing the entire knuckle because there isn’t enough room to get a breaker bar onto the ball joint press with the knuckle on.

1) Remove wheels

2) Remove axle retention nut. (Don’t skip. The inner cv joint disconnects very easily if the axle isn’t pressed in. It’s a 32mm.

3) Press CV axle in. This can be done with an air hammer or by putting a ball peen hammer up to it and hitting it with another hammer. Be very careful not to damage the threads

3.5) remove the brake line bracket from upper part of knuckle

4) Disconnect upper ball joint nut. Requires Allen wrench to hold ball joint shaft in place.

4.5) remove tie rod end from knuckle. Check condition of tie rod end. The shaft should not move easily.

5) Disconnect lower ball joint. MAKE SURE AXLE IS COMPLETELY PUSHED THROUGH. I used a heavy hammer to hit the lower part of the knuckle until it broke free from the LCA.

6) Hang knuckle with thick wire off UCA.

7) Spray ball joint retaining clips with WD40 and scrub with wire brush to get the gunk off.

8) Press ball joints out with a tool kit. Just rent one from your auto parts store. It takes a lot of force. I had to use a 2 foot breaker bar and a 6-point socket.

9) Press in new ball joints. The ones I had were 0.25mm larger than the hole in the arm, so they took a lot of force to press in. You’ll most likely need a long breaker bar or a good impact gun. I’d guess a little over 200 ft/lbs required.

10) Make sure CV axle is still in. If the boots look normal, then you’re probably fine.

11) Connect LCA to knuckle. This is tough bc the knuckle is really heavy. It’s made worse if you kept your brakes on, like me. I lifted the knuckle onto the lower ball joint while a friend put on the nut.

12) insert axle into knuckle while lining the knuckle up straight to prepare to attach UCA to knuckle.

13) use a breaker bar or pry rod to pry the UCA down to the knuckle. You can jam your pry tool where the strut mounts to the chassis. Put on upper ball joint nut.

14) Reconnect brake line bracket

15) reconnect tie rod end to knuckle

16) Put in axle nut. If memory serves me correct, 254 ft/lbs. Requires a helper to press the brakes.

17) put wheels back on.

18) Drink a beer and pat yourself on the back because that sucked and you did it.
 
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