1994 Thunderbird LX V6 ball-joint replacement?

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Old 07-21-08, 10:27 PM
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1994 Thunderbird LX V6 ball-joint replacement?

I'm getting a loud screeching or sqeaking coming from the left front wheel over bumps and when turning the wheel. Pretty embarrasing in a grocery store parking lot...LOL I squirt a little lube into the joints which look bad and it goes away for a bit.

How difficult is it to do ball joint replacements myself in this year/maek/model car besides just dealing with the common rusted/frozen bolts/nuts? Any special tool or thing to be weary of?

Believe it or not the car has only 48k original miles on it. I bought in 1994 from a family friend (elderly) that owned it since new and whose wife had passed (old age) and they hardly used the thing both when she was alive, and the husband never touched it in the 5 years (then) since her death. I got it for $2k in 2004 with only 24k miles and the original tires still with good tread (albeit dry rotted a tad). So anyway as a work car it gets great mileage and is very comfortable to drive, so it's worth the effort to keep it rolling for years to come investment-wise.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 08:18 PM
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Come on, where's the ole rollup your sleeve back-yard been there done that mech opinions? I need to dive into it this weekend. Can't trust it mcuh longer before something falls off.
 
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Old 07-23-08, 05:48 AM
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Believe it or not the car has only 48k original miles on it.
Actually...there is your problem in a nutshell.......

The vehicle isnt driven enough.... These Joints were "Factory Lubed" and no provisions for periodic lubrication are available...The Joint technically isnt bad....Just dry...but will quickly deteriorate from lack of lube.....That is the noise youre hearing....

As far as the joint replacement...Nothing special there, just basic hand tools, some muscle, and some earplugs for the kiddies..

If at all possible....get the Joint/Arm as an assembly..its a few bucks more...but will save you the grief of pressing the new joint in and out, which is the Major "Bear" with the procedure.....

Jack the car up By the body so the wheel hangs free...Remove the lower joint from the Knuckle, (I believe it is an 18 mm pinch bolt) ...Once the joint is free, remove the control arm from the vehicle.....The install is reversed.
 
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Old 07-23-08, 03:19 PM
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Usually, the rubber boots deteriorate and the joint loses its lubricant.........Then as Uncle says, bad things start to happen

Check ALL the joints as the uppers go bad too........AND the stabilizer links
I'm not sure those lower joints are available as entire control arms.......I know the upper joints are control arms but I always press new joints in the lowers..........They are VERY hard to hammer out (or press out) and equally tough to press in
 
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Old 07-23-08, 04:02 PM
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I'm not sure those lower joints are available as entire control arms.......I know the upper joints are control arms
The lower "ARMS" (If you actually want to call them control arms) are just an aluminum shaft bolted to the chassis with a hole for the strut rod in the middle...The same as Taurus/Sable, just a bit heftier......

Ford replacements are joints only, Aftermarket could be either . Not sure of the Part # , but MOOG does carry a complete assembly for the application.
 
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Old 07-24-08, 07:17 PM
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First of all a correction to my intro above. I meant to say bought it in "2004" as in 10 years old, not 1994 the year of the car...

So basically it is a doable repair or replacement once parts are found/bought. How does one "press" the joints together? It would be great to find whole replacement assembly's vice having to do that. Funny thing is the noise/sqeaking wasn't there until right after I had the front struts replaced (waste of money and time as it made no difference in ride) and first thought it might be the struts but was told when I took it back it was ball joints.

I'm not here much until I need to do something, so does "moog" have a website with a parts breakdown?
 
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Old 07-24-08, 08:45 PM
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autozone.com does.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 07-25-08, 03:53 PM
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Funny thing is the noise/sqeaking wasn't there until right after I had the front struts replaced (waste of money and time as it made no difference in ride) and first thought it might be the struts but was told when I took it back it was ball joints.


Before you get upset at the mechanic who put your struts in..... Yes , this is completely possible. Your BJ's are designed to pivot, but the amount of movement is limited by the weight of the car. When you hoist a vehicle, and the wheels "HANG FREE"....It is possible for the joints to pivot into a position they likely have never been in before.....The grease "Squishes " into this new space, and leaves the "CRitical" area dry of lube.
 
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