How To Replace Lower Ball Joint 97-03 Ford Expedition PART 1

How To Replace Lower Ball Joint 97-03 Ford Expedition PART 1

Brought to you by your source for
quality replacement parts and the best service on the internet. Hi, I’m Mike Green. I’m one
of the owners of 1A Auto. I want to help you save time and money repairing or maintaining
your vehicle. I’m going to use my 20-plus years experience
restoring and repairing cars and trucks like this to show you the correct way to install
parts from The right parts, installed correctly that’s going to save you time and
money. Thank you and enjoy the video. This video is part one of a two-part series,
replacing the ball joint in this ’97 Expedition. In this video, we basically detail removing
the old ball joint. This is the same for all the Expeditions, F150s, Explorers, a whole
bunch of the Ford trucks and SUVs from this era. Here’s a list of the tools that we use on
the Expedition. If you’re doing a vehicle different from the Expedition, some of these
sizes may differ. You will need heavy-duty tools. You’re not going to want to try this
with the 20-piece set Uncle Joe gave you for Christmas. This is heavy work. You’ll need
jack and jack stands, metric sockets 13-27 mm, standard sockets 1/2 inch to 7/8, you’ll
need a 35 mm socket, a 12 point 13 mm socket, ratchets extensions and a breaker bar or pipe
because you will need to get some leverage on some of those bigger bolts and things,
pliers, hammer, a heavy punch, ball joint removal tool, ball joint press, large flat
blade screwdriver, and a paint marker or a old can of spray paint. The ball joint removal
tool I’d recommend if you’re going to be doing a lot of your own work. It’s a pretty affordable
tool to go out and get. Ball joint press might be something that you want to borrow. Obviously, you’re going to start by removing
your cap. If you don’t have the benefit of air tools, what you’ll want to do is start
with your wheel on the ground. With your wheel on the ground, there are probably three things
you’re going to want to do. Loosen your lug nuts. Then there’s a 35 mm
bolt in the center that holds the axle into the hub you’re going to want to take the cotter
pin and the cover off of that and loosen that 35 mm bolt. Also, go underneath and there
are seven 13 mm 12 point bolts that hold your axle to your front drive. You’ll want to just
loosen those seven bolts. Much easier to loosen all these bolts with your tire on the ground
held in place if you don’t have all the tools that I have access to. You’re going to want
to loosen up your torsion bar. Your torsion bar is actually your spring. This is what
supports the vehicle. I’m just going to take a little silver spray paint … That way,
when I back that bolt out, I’ll know where it originally was. Using an 18 mm socket and a ratchet, I’m going
to loosen the torsion bar tension nut, or bolt, and you can basically pull it all the
way out and then just turn it back in a few turns. You just want to loosen it up and take
as much tension off the torsion bar as you can. You can see as I’m done, you can see
where there’s no paint on the threads, that that is how far you would want to retighten
it. Now we’re going to undo our tie rod end here. I’m just going to speed it up here. The cotter pin’s very rusty, so first so first
I break it with the pliers. Then I use a hammer and punch and just kind of keep working and
breaking small pieces off until I can drive it through and out of the tie rod end. Now
I’m pounding a 21 mm socket onto that nut because it was quite rusty. I just want to
make sure I get a good socket that gets a good grip on it. I’ve got a bar on here. Put a piece of pipe
on it for some more leverage. Hopefully it comes apart. Just fast forward here as I switch
over to a ratchet and remove the nut the rest of the way. Here I’m going to put a tie rod,
it’s a tie rod and ball joint tool, but obviously I’m using it to do a tie rod right now. By
using this tool, I can assure that I can just reassemble my tie rod. I won’t damage the
tie rod by removing it this way. Next, I’m going to remove the stabilizer link,
so I’m going to spray the top of it with some penetrating oil and let it sit for awhile.
These stabilizer links are sometimes difficult to get apart. You can use hand tools. They
will come apart. I just chose to use a impact wrench just to make it easier. I have a 9/16
socket on the bottom and a 14 mm socket on the top. Use a hammer and pound down on that bolt.
Then use a punch, see if you can it to go down through the sleeve. I end up actually
having to use vice-grips and a wrench. Obviously, you also want to remove the other side so
you can move your stabilizer bar around easily. What I’m going to do here, put set of vice-grips
onto this shaft, tighter here. Now we’re going to remove the half shaft of the CV axle. As
I said in the beginning of the video, these are the bolts that if you don’t have all the
tools that I have, it might be easier to just loosen them while the vehicle’s on the ground.
You can see I use a big, large crowbar to hold the hub in place while I’m loosening
those bolts. You can see I spin it, loosen one of the bolts,
spin it some more, loosen another bolt. If you were actually doing this with your vehicle
on the ground, you’d have to probably loosen one or two of the bolts, then roll your car
a little bit, put it in park, put the emergency brake on, loosen a couple more, and keep repeating
that process. Once it’s unbolted, pull it down and off.
I use a pair of pliers and either break off the ends or just straighten out the cotter
pin and pull it out. Okay, 35 mm … As I said in the beginning, if you don’t have impact
tools and this is easier with the tire on and on the ground, your other option would
be to have a helper hold the brakes while you remove it. What I do is give it one tap and just watch
it, see if it moves. Actually, it moves pretty freely. You can pull your stabilizer bar up
and out of the way. Pull your axle down towards the front. Then push it, lift it up, push
it out. I’ve got the vehicle support under the frame. Then I’ve
got my jack right under the control arm. You can see there is the bolt for the ball joint,
and then there’s the jack. I have a piece of the wood on there so I can easily access
that ball joint bolt, as well as get a puller on there. Now I can jack it up. You can see,
without that torsion bar tightened, the suspension travels here very easily. Now I’m going to use pliers to break off and
remove the cotter pin from the lower bolt. It ends up being kind of a rusty mess, so
I actually use a hammer and punch and pretty much just break it away as much as possible
so I can get that bolt off. Now a 27 mm socket put it on there, use a little hammer, make
sure it goes all the way on. Got a breaker bar on there, actually you’re going to take
piece of pipe, put it on, give me some extra leverage. It’s coming loose. Just one note
here: It will help if you take your tie rod and put it back into the steering knuckle
and just put the bolt on. That tie rod will hold things in place while you loosen that
ball joint nut. Just speed it up as I change over to my ratchet
and take that bolt most of the way off. While my bolt’s still on there, take my ball joint
removal tool- This just, doing it this way, allows you to break it free without things
falling down. Finish removing this bolt. Get your control arm on up. Pull the steering
knuckle down and off. There’s a snap ring that holds the ball joint
in place. You can use snap ring pliers. Mine was pretty rusty so I used a screwdriver and
a hammer to just kind of pry it off and pop it off. Now you’re going to take a ball joint pulling
tool, put the collar up on there. With this particular press use a 7/8 socket, put one
on top there, and just tighten down the press. Traded my ratchet handle for my breaker bar.
I’m going to speed it up here. What I did there was I created a whole lot of pressure
by tightening it down. Then I used a hammer, gave it a good whack that kind of broke it
free, and then the press just works it the rest of the way out. There’s my old ball joint
out. Good a place as any to end it. Check out part
two for the reassembly. We hope this helps you out. Brought to you
by, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on
the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We’re the company
that’s here for you on the Internet and in person.

49 thoughts on “How To Replace Lower Ball Joint 97-03 Ford Expedition PART 1

  1. @allenrotstein If you scrub all the rust away what is going to hold it together?! 🙂 Rust removal is a personal preference. If I was working underneath the car then yes I might do some preventative "de-flaking" but for this truck and this job the only time I wanted to spend was removal, replacement and filming. What I do tend to do when I am doing a project on one of my own cars is spray any nut/bolt I can see with with penetrating oil to keep them clean.

  2. 8:00 minute marker, you use 35mm socket to remove the large nut, and you say we can remove it with wheel on & on the ground if needed. Is there access to this large nut while the wheel is on?

  3. I have a 2005 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4. I am replacing my lower ball joint. Do you think I can have enough room for the ball joint removal tool if I do not remove my cv half shaft? I tried taking those 7 bolts off buy they seem to be pretty stripped.

  4. I'm getting ready to do this repair and I was wondering if there is anything to be watchful for in regard to removing the half shaft? Things like spline alignment, oil seal damage bearing placement or movement, etc. Just anything I might run into that would stop me cold.

  5. You may be able to do it without disturbing the axle. If it's in your way you would need to remove it.

  6. for the tie rod/ball joint remover, can't you just hit the bottom of the ball joint/tie rods bolt with a rubbet mallet a few times? or cant i just take a large C clamp and put a piece of wood or something to help push it out?

  7. Sorry if this was already asked: can you just use the ball joint removal tool upside down instead of the whole C-clamp tool…or is it too weak?

  8. hello, could you put a video on how to remove and install the rear wheel hub bearing
      for a ford explorer 98. Thanks, and I hope you can upload the video or you could give me an idea of ​​how to do it or what kind tool i will need it to do the job

  9. We currently do not have an auto repair video that shows this particular repair. If you have a Haynes or a Chiltons manual it should be covered in there for you. We carry the Haynes manuals on our website 888-844-3393

  10. Thank you for posting! This will help a lot with my '99 F-150. Although, I must ask, where is your shop located? That Expedition was VERY rusty to be a '97. My '99 undercarriage still looks new, and I'm in Western Kentucky.

  11. Thank you for the video. This is one area of auto repair I had not had to do until now. Still deciding on just ball joint (one broke) or go with whole arm replacement.

  12. Thanks for posting this video. I replaced my upper control arms and lower ball joints using your video as a reference. Everything went as planned except I had to get a 12 point 12mm socket for the axle half shaft removal. All my tools were 6 pt sockets and they would not work. I would never had tried it without a reference source like this.

  13. Did everything EXACTLY as shown however the ball joint wouldn't budge. Is it possible for the ball joint to be rusted inside of the control arm to the point where the ball joint removal tool is ineffective? If so, how would you then remove the ball joint?

  14. It's possible. You might be able to get it out with a pickle fork. That should break it free for you. Hope this helps you out. 888-844-3393

  15. The ball joint might also have been spot welded into the control arm. I've seen this before. The welds have to be ground or cut off beforehand.

  16. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am going to use your videos for lots of repairs on my expedition! Once again, thank you!

  17. When the Speed channel exisited, we needed guys like these who actually show you how to replace parts without having to rent $10,000 worth of tools and welders and removers… No wonder why Fox bought them out, because A1 came in for the winning kill!

  18. It appears that breaking loose the tie rod and sway bar link are for the purpose of getting the axle out.  Would all of that be needed if it's just a 2 wheel drive?

  19. First let me say that one of the best tools in my tool box are your video's , I have a 97 Explorer and was told that lower ball joints have a little play so front end alignment cant be done. IU have already done upper ball joints , complete rack and pinon,shocks and sway bar links.  when I do the lower ball joints is there anything else that I may want to change while I have this thing apart again ?  Thanks Dave

  20. This video was extremely helpful just one thing the cv/half shaft bolts are not 13mm they were 12mm in my case almost caused me to strip them out, other than that great video.

  21. Thanks to your wonderful detail video I was able to remove both sides of my 1998 F150 upper/lower ball joints, both of my front sway bar links and replace them in a little over ten hours.   The first side went a little slow until I gain some experience, but the real saving grace was your clue/suggestion to use a tie-rod puller.  It made a huge time difference for one side was not yielding with just hammer blows.
    I thank you for many reasons/ my local state inspector wanted $970 to do that job.    I purchased all of my parts for a little less than $200.  My 17=year old daughter thanks you as well for we bonded some while working to mount the passenger side hub.
     a fan

  22. May I ask why didn't you any wd40 or pb blaster on that ball joint at 12:18 when you began pressn it out of the control arm, boy that vehicle needs more than that part alone, it's rusty, the muffler seems bad, not to mention the rotor, tie rods, ext, I guess that vehicle has only got city, slow miles on it. Thanks for sharing this, great job and helpful too 👍👍

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