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So, I need to replace bad ball joints, but I am getting conflicting information from repair shops. It's quite shocking, but the shops from the same chain have given me drastically different estimates for this work. I got quotes ranging from $330 (cheapest of 2 MIDAS) to over $800 (the most expensive of 3 Firestones). Even part numbers are different. The more expensive ones are also suggesting that control arms have to be replaced. One place even proposed to drill some part to make things fit. Where is the truth? Do I have to replace the control arms or not?
 

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I got moog replacement control arms from Rock Auto for mine since they would have to come off anyways.

The ball joint needs to be pressed out of the control arm, so you might as well replace the control arm since the bushings should be replaced at the same time.

Good news though, my new ball joints have grease points! Now I can lube them instead of just waiting for them to fail!

Btw, labor only cost me about $220 at Pep Boys, and the control arms were $65 apiece.
 

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The controls arms do not need to be replaced when changing the ball joints. The ball joints are pressed in and have a snap ring to hold them in. Replace just the ball joints, it's cheaper then the whole control arm. If the control arm bushings are worn then pop them out and install new ones. No sense paying for a control arm when you can replace the parts that are bad,
 

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The Ball joints are not pressed into the Control arms anyway. They are pressed into the steering knuckle. There is a stud with a nut that goes into the control arm but it is not a press fit. The stud however may be frozen in place requiring some extra persuasion to free if it has never been changed before. The control arm does not need to come off to replace the ball joint, the Steering knuckle does.
 

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The Ball joints are not pressed into the Control arms anyway. They are pressed into the steering knuckle. There is a stud with a nut that goes into the control arm but it is not a press fit. The stud however may be frozen in place requiring some extra persuasion to free if it has never been changed before. The control arm does not need to come off to replace the ball joint, the Steering knuckle does.
Thanks for the clarification.
 
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