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Old 10-20-2012, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ball Joints and Ball Joint Tools

Use these tools to remove and replace ball joints for about $200 bills.

OTC Ball Joint Press:
OTC 7249 Ball Joint Kit, C-clamp

OTC Ball Joint Adapter for Taurus/Sable:
OTC 8032A Sable/Taurus ball joint adapter kit

All of the above can be found at amazon.com

The ball joint separator below can be found at O'Reilly's Auto retailer.
Separates the ball joint from lower control arm.

Monsoon
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's free at auto parts stores tool loaner
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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.....or about 1/3 that at Harbor Freight Tools.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yesterday I replaced the front struts and ball joints of my '97 Sable. This is not for those of you who do not have patience. It pretty much took me all day to do, with breaks for food and drink.

Struts were easy coming off but difficult installing the new strut to the steering knuckle. Brute force is need here and technique as well. I installed the KYB strut assembly. Not only were the struts bad but so were the strut bearings. Strut bearings are something to consider if replacing the strut.

Ball joint removal and install was a walk in the park with the OTC 7248 ball joint press and the ford OTC 8032a ball joint kit. My replacement was new Moog ball joints.

I had my car aligned today and what a difference. It feels like a new car again! Very pleased with the results.


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Old 10-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Congrats! Not for the faint-hearted!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Moog!

I wouldn't even waste money on the china replacement ball joints also known as driveworks they are half the price of MOOG and are garbage. They are also hard to install you almost always have to take the boot off so the metal retaining clip doesn't gouge and destroy the mating surface on the knuckle while being pressed in. MOOG every time!! Most parts store have the ball joint press that you pay for and your money is returned when you bring it back. The best way to remove tie rod ends is with the pit-man arm puller if you don't want to damage the grease retaining rubber boot. I use a pickle fork to separate the ball joint with the pinch retaining bolt removed and on the tie rod end if I am replacing it. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE AXEL NUT!!! You will cause damage or premature wear on the wheel bearing.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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After researching the OTC 7248 ball joint press appears to be the industry standard. This tool has a lot of good feedback see amazon.com for examples regardless where its made.

The problem with your local retail automotive stores is they will sell you anything regardless if it works or not, regardless if its the right kit. I've seen very few exceptions. For example, before replacing the strut I asked the sales associate if I need a spring compressor to Remove/Replace the strut. He said he didn't know because he never replaced a strut. I'm ALWAYS taking a risk if I have to rely on their knowledge base, which in a lot of cases very narrow and limited. This appears to be getting worse.

In a nutshell because of his answer he does not have the general knowledge base what is really needed to make this task complete. Therefore the probably of getting the incorrect tool could be very high.

As far as my OTC 7248 tool because it is a specialty tool I'm willing to share this with my colleagues and neighbors. Its a tool I highly recommend.

Mission Success, make it your 1st job.

Monsoon
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've noticed they don't know what they are talking about a lot of the time either. Before I was knowledgeable about this car and got my p0401 code, the guy just told me to replace my egr valve. He didn't say it could be anything else. Got me to buy the new valve even though the current one was probably good.

A lot of times I have noticed I know more about the parts I'm buying than they do. Thats why I only go to those stores when I have to. Amazon has free 2 day shipping for me...
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I want to give an update about my strut replacement. If you're doing this job you may want to check your end links in about a week or two. I found my end links worked themselves loose thus causing noise again.

I went to Lowes and bought more metric nuts for the end link. I use the OEM nut and then back it up with the nut I bought at Lowes. These nuts are located where end link attaches to the strut. Additionally I use lock tight on the treads.

If you're having front end noise checking the end links would be a good idea.

Monsoon
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The most important tool to have is a LOONG pry bar. I borrowed a breaker bar from autozone and used it as a pry bar. Use the bar to move/bend the lower control arm a little, through a hole in the middle of it, to get the ball joint stud to come out/in. I was unable to accomplish this by myself. Even with a helper pushing on the bar, it was hard and I damaged the thread a little on the left ball joint stud when putting it back in. I also supported the nearest side of the sub frame with scissor jack, loosened the subframe bolt, and lowered the jack. This allowed that side of sub-frame to come down about half inch. That half inch of clearance was crucial.
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