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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, this is my first post here and am looking for a little guidance in a DIY repair I am going to attempt.

For the past while when I've been driving a low speeds I can hear a shuddering / light thumping noise from the drivers side front end of the car. After doing some research it seems this is usually caused by the sway bar end links. I was all set to replace them, but after having an oil change done at the local garage they say my lower control arm ball joints are the source of the noise.

So taking them at their word, I'm gonna make a go of that instead. But before I do, I'd like to ask a few questions of the knowledgeable people around here.

How difficult of a DIY job is this? Preferably in comparison to something else?? I've done the alternator, starter, brakes and some exhaust work before.

Are there any special tools or equipment you need to do this job??

Are there any other things I should take a look at while I have the thing apart??

Any other issues surrounding this repair I should know of??

Thanx in advance for any help!

-BRad
 

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Welcome to the TCCA.

You'll need to specify which year. If it's third generation (96-99) I happen to have all that apart right now :D

The ball joint is not actually in the lower control arm, it's mounted to the bottom of the steering knuckle and then the ball joint stud extends down through the LCA where it is attached. The ball joint must be pressed out of and in to the steering knuckle. There is a guy with the ebay name dirtcheap5 that is selling new pairs of OEM knuckles with the ball joints and axle bearings for $100. They are $350 a piece from Ford.

If you have before 96 or after 99, then ignore this and someone else should pop in with the information for your year.
 

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This is a job you can do yourself but be prepared to spend some time on it. You have to remove the sterring knuckle and take it to a shop which means breaking the strut tower out, disconnecting tie rod, disconnecting sway bar links.

Since you have all these disconnected you should look at all of the parts closely and replace if needed. Sway bar links are about $35, tie rods 25 to 40 each for inner and outer, strut assembly $55. If doing one side you might as well do both, this is why it will take so long. There are not really any special tools requried to get to the steering knuckle but things like a gear puller, heavy duty pry bar will make it easier. If replacing an inner tie rod you may need the special tool to replace it. I had to buy it for my 96 Duratec

Afterwards you will need to get an alignment
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the TCCA.

You'll need to specify which year. If it's third generation (96-99) I happen to have all that apart right now 

The ball joint is not actually in the lower control arm, it's mounted to the bottom of the steering knuckle and then the ball joint stud extends down through the LCA where it is attached. The ball joint must be pressed out of and in to the steering knuckle. There is a guy with the ebay name dirtcheap5 that is selling new pairs of OEM knuckles with the ball joints and axle bearings for $100. They are $350 a piece from Ford.

If you have before 96 or after 99, then ignore this and someone else should pop in with the information for your year.
It's a 98 wagon.

$350 a piece from ford??? The guy I talked to from the shop said the part was $46 bucks a side, then it would be like ~ $250 for labour. Mabye the broken part isn't the balljoint after all???

Soo... which part costs $46 ??? :)
 

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Originally posted by BRad_Z@Jul 20 2004, 11:57 AM
Soo... which part costs $46 ??? :)
Just the ball joint would be the $46 part.
What he was saying is that for a little more money, you can get not only ball joints, but whole new steering knuckles and wheel bearings, and bearings also wear out over time, so if you are doing it yourself, get it all done now so you don't have to pull everything apart again later.
 
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