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Advice in Changing Ball Joiints & Tie Rod Ends.........


Prof Bob

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On the ball joints, Delco does make a service ball joint kit that can be mounted in the existing control arm. If you go this route, you will need to drill out 3 rivets each side to remove the existing ball joint. The service part is then installed with bolts supplied.

I chose to replace the entire control arm on both sides when I did mine, so I have not used the service ball joint kits. Bear in mind that the service kit is less costly, but on cars this age, the control arm bushings and the threaded end of the control arm rod (PLEASE check to make sure this isn't rusted off badly, it has been known to fail with bad results!) may be going bad so you may want to consider doing the whole control arm.

You may need a second floor jack and a helper to assist with this if you do the complete control arm as it will need some "persuasion" to get into place before bolting it in.

As far as tie rod ends, not too bad to do. Mark the threaded stud right against the old tie rod end with some light colored paint before removal. Then thread on new tie rod ends to same paint mark. This will get you into reasonably decent alignment. You will still need to get the front end aligned to be 100% on after doing this work.

KDirk

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I used an aftermarket kit. Preferred an angle grinder on the rivets to a drill. Replaced the control arm bushings, outer tie rod ends, and sway bar bushings [90 different than earlier]. Should have done the inner tie rods, but at that time did not have the tool [about $30 at Harbor Freight]. Frankly, I would do the struts too since they can't be far behind.

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Guest Greg Ross

Ditto what Richard did, and the grinding is quite a chore. I did mine with the Sub-frame on the floor so I could flip it around to work allways on a top surface. I figured at the time drilling would be difficult and "Murphy" would cause me to drill offcenter!

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