• 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Replacing the upper ball joints
#1
Wrench 
Hi Guys, need to replace the upper ball joints which are riveted in - there's some long-term thinking there!!

So looks like we need to drill them out, to get drill access looks like we have to swing the spring/shock assembly inwards and at this point we can't get these lower bolt heads to budge ( Huh ) and wanting to be careful not to burr them. Can anyone tell me if the nuts under are captive or will they take a socket - can't get good visibility (a hoist, oh to dream)?

I'm guessing a few of you guys must have done this job - can't find a thread on them, sorry if I missed it, just point me to it so I don't waste anyone's time. 

Thanks, in advance, for your time and thoughts on this.

Cheers
George

Leave death a burnt out castle
  Reply
#2
Are you sure it's the ball joints and not the upper control arm bushings?

In any case, if it were me I would replace the upper control arm bushings and shafts while I was at it.

Did you remove the wheels and brakes, so you could see and access everything? Did you remove the cotter pins on the ball joint studs? If so, you shouldn't have any problems getting a socket on them. How are you going to separate the ball joint from the spindle?



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”
--Albert Einstein
[+] 1 user Likes Don C's post
  Reply
#3
If I remember correctly, when we replaced the original upper ball joints on my Grandé back in the 80's, we popped the rivets off with an air chisel.

Scott
[+] 1 user Likes BeerDontCount's post
  Reply
#4
Hammer and sharp chisel always works well (if air tools not at hand). Always ensure car is supported properly before banging away!
[+] 1 user Likes Bill73Ragtop's post
  Reply
#5
i am with don c on this one. replace the upper arm. but if u just do the ball joint most likely u do not need a front end alinm. if u go the upper arm then u want to rent (autozone) a inner spring compressor. remove shock and the 3 bolts on the upper shock mount and u insert the compressor into the hole.
  Reply
#6
If you have riveted ball joints they are original and have never been changed and for sure are probably worn out. Like others have said this job tends to snow ball and become a front end rebuild.
The best was like stated is to chisel the rivets off. You will need a ball joint and tie rod joint seperator or "Pickle Fork" is the slang for it. It is a U shaped wedge that you drive around the tapered end of the joint to pop them apart. Pretty stubborn sometimes and a little heat will also help. If you do not have one check with your local parts house most have loaner tools or go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap set. It is two different sizes for tie rod and ball joint.
If you do not have a manual look online there has to be a home video on how to do it. Maybe check with WCC West Coast Cougar. They have several help videos on their web site.
Here are some pictures of a car with 48,000 miles you can see the ball joints and upper control arms. I had the upper outer shock tower cap off.
Also the radius rod bushings that are on the ends of the two rods that keep the lower control arm in position and got into the front cross member. They get damaged by jacking the car without blocking the control arm from dropping all the way down. Also the upper shock rubber bushings get destroyed if you jack the car and do not block the control arms.
DO NOT jack your car up using the front cross member or the one under the engine. Only use the area where the front torque boxes are to lift the car and always use jack stands for safety reasons.
David



[Image: DSC00117.jpg]

[Image: DSC00128.jpg]

[Image: DSC00130.jpg]

[Image: DSC_2235.jpg]


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
  Reply
#7
+1 to all of the above. If you still have factory riveted ball joints, the rest of the front suspension is probably in bad shape as well.

I'd also recommend you get a Factory shop manual. The replacement processes, parts diagrams and torque values are all contained within. A very wise investment for any 71-73 owner.


  Reply
#8
(06-04-2018, 08:54 AM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: If you have riveted ball joints they are original and have never been changed and for sure are probably worn out. Like others have said this job tends to snow ball and become a front end rebuild.
The best was like stated is to chisel the rivets off. You will need a ball joint and tie rod joint seperator or "Pickle Fork" is the slang for it. It is a U shaped wedge that you drive around the tapered end of the joint to pop them apart. Pretty stubborn sometimes and a little heat will also help. If you do not have one check with your local parts house most have loaner tools or go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap set. It is two different sizes for tie rod and ball joint.
If you do not have a manual look online there has to be a home video on how to do it. Maybe check with WCC West Coast Cougar. They have several help videos on their web site.
Here are some pictures of a car with 48,000 miles you can see the ball joints and upper control arms. I had the upper outer shock tower cap off.
Also the radius rod bushings that are on the ends of the two rods that keep the lower control arm in position and got into the front cross member. They get damaged by jacking the car without blocking the control arm from dropping all the way down. Also the upper shock rubber bushings get destroyed if you jack the car and do not block the control arms.
DO NOT jack your car up using the front cross member or the one under the engine. Only use the area where the front torque boxes are to lift the car and always use jack stands for safety reasons.
David
Actually, that's very helpful David. I have a suspension expert helping me who checked the suspension. Everything is tight except these upper BJs. This car has only done 26,000m from new and has lived in a garage for 20 years. I think I read in one of your other posts that moving the wheel without the car rolling puts a high load on these joints, which is what's happened as it get's pushed around a garage. 

He actually had a pickle fork, but a couple of well-placed blows to the side of the tie rod and they just popped apart. Actually, he did the same on my other car that we were replacing a front lower control arm bush. Until he arrived, we had spectacularly unsuccessfully been trying to knock the tie rod directly down and out, 2 blows with a mallet to the side and voila! Apparently, the side blow causes just enough distortion to release the taper.

Chiselling the rivet heads off will be the answer, when we get back to this in a couple of weeks, that way we won't need to remove the spring to get drill access.

One thing if you could clarify, exactly where are the front torque boxes? Photo would be awesome.

Much appreciated as always.

Cheers
George

Leave death a burnt out castle
  Reply
#9
(06-04-2018, 06:01 PM)GeoBW Wrote:
(06-04-2018, 08:54 AM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: If you have riveted ball joints they are original and have never been changed and for sure are probably worn out. Like others have said this job tends to snow ball and become a front end rebuild.
The best was like stated is to chisel the rivets off. You will need a ball joint and tie rod joint seperator or "Pickle Fork" is the slang for it. It is a U shaped wedge that you drive around the tapered end of the joint to pop them apart. Pretty stubborn sometimes and a little heat will also help. If you do not have one check with your local parts house most have loaner tools or go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap set. It is two different sizes for tie rod and ball joint.
If you do not have a manual look online there has to be a home video on how to do it. Maybe check with WCC West Coast Cougar. They have several help videos on their web site.
Here are some pictures of a car with 48,000 miles you can see the ball joints and upper control arms. I had the upper outer shock tower cap off.
Also the radius rod bushings that are on the ends of the two rods that keep the lower control arm in position and got into the front cross member. They get damaged by jacking the car without blocking the control arm from dropping all the way down. Also the upper shock rubber bushings get destroyed if you jack the car and do not block the control arms.
DO NOT jack your car up using the front cross member or the one under the engine. Only use the area where the front torque boxes are to lift the car and always use jack stands for safety reasons.
David
Actually, that's very helpful David. I have a suspension expert helping me who checked the suspension. Everything is tight except these upper BJs. This car has only done 26,000m from new and has lived in a garage for 20 years. I think I read in one of your other posts that moving the wheel without the car rolling puts a high load on these joints, which is what's happened as it get's pushed around a garage. 

He actually had a pickle fork, but a couple of well-placed blows to the side of the tie rod and they just popped apart. Actually, he did the same on my other car that we were replacing a front lower control arm bush. Until he arrived, we had spectacularly unsuccessfully been trying to knock the tie rod directly down and out, 2 blows with a mallet to the side and voila! Apparently, the side blow causes just enough distortion to release the taper.

Chiselling the rivet heads off will be the answer, when we get back to this in a couple of weeks, that way we won't need to remove the spring to get drill access.

One thing if you could clarify, exactly where are the front torque boxes? Photo would be awesome.

Much appreciated as always.

I do not have any great pictures but here is a couple on a 2 post lift with the pads under the torque boxes and under the rear spring mounts.
And yes turning the steering wheel without the tires moving destroys the steering parts. It increases the loads on the connections by probably hundreds of times.
I had to change my 73 Mach 1 ball joints because I slid in an autocross race and hit concrete curb sliding sideways a couple times. Only 12,000 miles on them. Just depends on what they have been put through.
Great that you have someone to help that knows how it is done.
David

[Image: 100_2888.jpg]

[Image: 100_2890.jpg]

[Image: 100_2891.jpg]

[Image: 100_2908.jpg]


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
  Reply
#10
(06-04-2018, 10:48 PM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: I do not have any great pictures but here is a couple on a 2 post lift with the pads under the torque boxes and under the rear spring mounts.
And yes turning the steering wheel without the tires moving destroys the steering parts. It increases the loads on the connections by probably hundreds of times.
I had to change my 73 Mach 1 ball joints because I slid in an autocross race and hit concrete curb sliding sideways a couple times. Only 12,000 miles on them. Just depends on what they have been put through.
Great that you have someone to help that knows how it is done.
David
Thanks again David. 

What exactly are torque boxes? Not a term i've come across before. I'm guessing they're reinforced/intersections that add torsional stiffness to the subframe?

Cheers
George

Leave death a burnt out castle
  Reply
Share Thread:  


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Moog upper control arm Phisto 14 765 06-13-2018, 06:54 PM
Last Post: Danno
  Badge on upper ball joint Vicus 3 547 02-15-2018, 10:32 PM
Last Post: OLE PONY
  What is up with this upper control arm? vikingsandpintos 7 972 12-01-2017, 09:50 AM
Last Post: Hemikiller
  Upper Control Arm bushing wear? tony-muscle 11 1,885 03-24-2016, 07:36 AM
Last Post: tony-muscle
  Upper control arm shaft replacement Pastel Blue 27 2,113 02-16-2016, 07:24 PM
Last Post: Stanglover
  Tires rubbing upper control arm Totalled 13 4,169 01-27-2016, 11:23 PM
Last Post: Totalled
  Replacing my power steering box. cazsper 8 1,255 06-28-2015, 07:14 AM
Last Post: 73mach1
  TCP Bolt-On Upper A-Arm Coil-Over Total Control Products 0 736 05-29-2015, 06:43 PM
Last Post: Total Control Products



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)