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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to replace an upper ball joint on my 1970 cougar, I am unfamiliar with the process though.
My repair manual says to place a brace between the upper control arm and the frame before jacking to avoid unwanted spring travel, what kind of brace? will a sectioned off 2x4 work? is it possible to do this without a brace? I appreciate any help,
Thanx
Justin
 

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Well,,a 2x4 will work. Just make sure it's a solid 2x4. Anything stronger, the better. Now get a safety on the coil spring. The best would be a coil spring compressor (Harbor freight, $10.00). Just put them on snug, it's for safety. You want it; if that 2x4 breaks while the ball joint is off and your in front of it,, well, you probably won't be writing anything on this forum for a while if you know what i mean. It's your safety, it's $10. Once it's in place, loosen the ball joint, drop the lower control arm with the spindle attatched(hold on to it, it's heavy) and then reverse assembly.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanx

I appreciate the help!
kept myself busy with motor mounts today, so ill have to wait till next sunday for the ball joint.
But you answered my questions completely, I appreciate it.
Justin
 

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aaahhh, the joy of nearly being killed by cars. a while back i was working on a trucks leaf springs with a buddy and neither one of us being too keen on springs got under there without supporting it properly. long story short, that damn spring will jump out and catch you if you arent careful, i got lucky and was only grazed by it though. it still hurt dammit! the rear end as unbolted from the leaf spring but the leaf itself was not supported, it went down, the rear shot upwards a bit and i was almost under the leaf when it shot down ( DAMN those things move fast, you have no idea of how much tension they are under until one comes at you). a mighty CLANG!!! and a shift in the weight if the truck let itself known. that sucked. now at least i support the car, rear end, and springs when i do anything like that. if my head or neck was under there, well, that would have sucked alot.
 

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Ball Joint

Not that I don't think its a good idea to tie off your spring but it wont come out. All you need to do is jack the car up and put stands under the frame, remove the tire on the side you need to change then put the jack under the lower control arm about an inch below contact. At this point if you look at the upper control arm you will see that it is bottomed out on its travel and can go down no further, also note the spring is under tension but can't pop out. Now remove the cotter key from the castle nut on the upper ball joint then loosen the castle nut up to the point where you can see a gap between the spindle and the nut. Take your pickle fork and give the ball joint a good whack (or two) to get it popped loose. Once its loose jack the jack just up enough to hold the weight of the spindle & rotor assembly, unscrew the nut and lower the jack until the ball joint has cleared the spindle. Remove the three mounting bolts and pull the old one out. Inspect your upper control arm because they have a tendency to crack around the mounting bolts for the ball joints.
Good Luck
John
 
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