Back to Tech Articles

Ball Joint Press Use and Ball Joint Types

Ball Joint Press Use and Ball Joint Types

By Dennis Bandy Copyright ©  
DenLorsTools.com



Pressed Ball Joints that are held in place by being pressed into a machine fitted hole in the control arm. The picture shows a ball joint press being used on this type of ball joint.
 
We chose a 2002 PT Cruiser for this article, however this procedure is very similar on many other vehicles with pressed in ball joints. The manufacturers torque specifications should be used from a service manual. Here is a brief overview on how this job is performed.

First raise the car, remove the wheel, remove and support the brake caliper and slide the rotor off. Then take the CV axle nut off, ball joint bolt, detach the tie rod end & lower strut bolts, this allows movement to place the steering knuckle completely out of the way.

Then remove the old ball joint by striking it with a hammer or by using a ball joint press. Using the OTC 7249 or the AP7865 like in the YouTube Video at the bottom of this page, or similar ball joint press place the receiver cup on the control arm around the new ball joint and the adapter with the largest center over the new ball joint threaded stud. The AP7865 ball joint set below includes adapters for 4WD vehicles.
 


Place the remaining adapter in position with the C-clamp and threaded rod and tighten with a 1/2" impact gun. Install the new grease boot on the ball joint, re-install the steering knuckle, brake components and wheel. Be sure to grease the new ball joint if it has a fitting and follow up with a wheel alignment check.



Riveted Ball Joints are secured with steel factory rivets with cap shaped ends to prevent loosening (not the type that rivet guns are designed to install). This type of rivet is removed by using an air chisel, cold chisel, grinder or cutting torch. After the capped end of the rivet is removed by one of the methods mentioned (taking care not to damage the control arm), a punch and hammer or an air chisel can be used to drive out the rest of the rivet. The new ball joint comes with bolts and nuts to use in place of the rivets.
 
Threaded Type of Ball Joints was mainly used on older Chrysler products, the ball joints are threaded into the control arm. This type of ball joints have wrench flats that allow for specialty sockets intended just for this purpose to be used. Close attention in starting the new ball joint evenly is needed to prevent cross threading and damaging the control arm.
 
 
 
Q:  When replacing ball joints on an 85 Oldsmobile Cutlass, is there a rubber kit as so you can reuse same ball joint?
 
A:  There is no repair kit for a ball joint. A ball joint is always replaced with a new one and there are a few ball joints that are only sold with the control arm as an assembly. There are no rebuild kits or repair parts sold to repair old ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arms or most idler arms, they are just replaced not rebuilt. Years ago I remember a few idler arms that had replacement bushings available, but that was not the norm. Many front end parts today have no grease fittings, they are said to be lifetime greased. But, if the replacement ball joint has a grease fitting, be sure to install it and fill the ball joint with grease until the grease boot is slightly bulging. Be careful not to damage the grease boot or over-fill it. A damaged grease boot can leak the grease out and allow water and dirt into the ball joint causing it to wear prematurely. It's surprising how many new suspension parts fail soon after they have been installed because they were not lubricated at the time they were put in. 

Linking: Please reference this article when quoting, linking to this page is welcomed and appreciated. If you are new to linking a page. 1. Left click the URL to highlight 2. Right click, select copy 3. Right click and paste to forum, blog web page etc. Thanks! Disclaimer: Repair tips are designed for informational purposes only, without warranty of any kind, in no event shall the author of this site be liable for any consequential, incidental or direct damages sustained in the course of using the information in this article.
Free Shipping
Sales 800-524-9783
Sales 800-524-9783

Sales Mon-Fri. 8am - 8pm EST. Product Support 9am - 5pm. Call center in Florida - warehouses throughout the USA. We ship from the closest stocking warehouse to you. Without a resale certificate 7% Sales tax in Florida. No tax charged outside FL.

Email Tool Inquiry Anytime
Next Day TIME-SERT
Next Day TIME-SERT

*Time Sert kits which display the "Free Next Day" logo. 

*see details TimeSert Policies

NOTE Special Tools Are Req'd

to Install Time Sert Inserts

Chevy HHR Handles
Chevy HHR Handles
Interior door handle replacements. Install replacement handles at a reasonable cost rather than replacing the entire door panel. See the HHR interior door handles for sale now.
Jeep Commander
Jeep Commander
Interior Door Handle Kit
In Stock-with Handles 
Incl. Instruct's & Hardware
Replace the Handle NOT
the entire door panel. Click below and see the installation video
All Jeep Commander Interior Door Handles
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Inside door handle installation video for the Jeep Grand Cherokee inner door handles including how to remove and install the interior door panel. See the following link for the video and replacement inside handles on sale now. See Video and Grand Cherokee Inside Door Handles
Ford Spark Plug Inserts
Ford Spark Plug Inserts
Blown Plug Repair.
Previous insert no problem!
Calvan 38900 Thread Kit
Car Jump Boxes
Car Jump Boxes

Jump-N-Carry Top 3
JNC 4000, JNC 660, JNC AIR

Car Jump Box-Booster Packs
*Large PDF's Below
*Large PDF's Below
Fast connection recommended
Time Sert
Time Sert
*Thread Kits-Inserts pdf
Heli-Coil
Heli-Coil
*Thread Kits / Inserts pdf