V6 (1994-2004) MustangsTechnical discussions on the 3.8L and 3.9L V6 torque monsters Sponsored by Optima Batteries
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So I got my new inner/outer tie rods and ball joinbt this week and am looking forward to doing the work myself - any tricks I should know about? Also, anyone have a wright up on how to replace the ball joints? My stupid Haynes manual just stts (and I quote) "1.Remove the lower control arm, 2. Have the old ball joint pressed out of the arm and a new balljoint pressed in by an automotive machine shop, 3. Install the lower control arm"....WTF?!?!?!?! I know there is a tool out there to press in/out ball joints. Is it hard to use?
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2011 Coupe - 3.7 Premium - BAMA tune, AirRaid CAI, GT500 spoiler, staggered AMR 20's, BMR PHB & LCAs. Eibach springs, and sways, Raxiom Navi, MF Comp axlebacks
The easiest way to remove the outer tie rod from the spindle is to use a separator fork. You just hammer it in between the two until the tie rod pops free. This destroys the boot on the old one but if you're replacing it then that isn't an issue.
If you need to reuse the outer tie rod, or don't want to buy a new tool then the trick is to strike the spindle square on its side where the tie rod passes through spindle. A small 2lb sledge works great, a few hard shots and it will pop free. Hit it with all your might, it won't break, half hearted shots won't do it. Be sure to remove the castle nut first.
Before removing the old tire rods count the number of threads showing, marking with tape helps as well. When reinstalling put the new ones on with the same number of threads showing. This will set your alignment close to what to it was before and leave it drivable so you can get to the alignment shop.
Just torque down the new outer tie rod to reset it on installation, no press used there.
The inner just spins off once the locking bolt is loosened.
If threads are rusty spray them down with penatrating oil first.
Many auto parts stores rent tools. The fork is cheap but the ball joint press tool is more of an investment.
Harbor freight has cheap tools, not the greatest quality though. Separator Forks
For the ball joints I don't think they are bolted in so your going to have to drill out the rivets before they can be pressed out. I don't recall how much room you have to work but I think you can do it on the car.
The press tool should be available for rental. Ball Joint Press
Searching You-Tube will help too. There are a ton of good video's on this subject. The removal/install procedure is very similar between makes/models. You can rent the ball joint press and inner tie rod tool at most auto-parts stores. Here are a few good videos:
^ I dont know about your manual but all mine says for ball joints is to "take to auto shop, have shop press out old, press in new", not much help there. But thanks for the videos.
The factory service manual for my girly's ride has an entire section on removal and installation of the lower ball joints. Including what tools to use etc and nice diagrams too. Chiltons & Haynes manuals are the equivalent to CliffsNotes to the Factory Service Manual. There just aint no substitute for the real thing.
'98 3.8L Convertible (Red w/ White top)
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