How to Remove a Truck's Upper Ball Joint
Removing a truck's upper ball joint may become necessary if you're having trouble with the suspension. This joint is at the center of a vehicle's motion every day and compensates for different terrain. To remove one, follow these steps.
Step 1 - Loosen the Lug Nuts
You will be able to tell which upper ball joint is affected by the condition of the wheel. Loosen the lug nuts on this wheel without removing them.
Step 2 - Raise the Car
Raise the truck with a jack in a safe manner. Insert jack stands to support the truck and remove the floor jack.
Step 3 - Locate the Upper Ball Joint
Locate the control arm which is at the top of the front suspension. You will find a circular cap with a thread that leads into the arm. This cap is enclosing the upper ball joint.
Step 4 - Drill Through the Rivets
Using your electric drill and a 1/4-inch metal drill bit, drill through the three rivets that hold the upper ball joint in place. Drill out the remaining rivets. Use a hammer and punch to remove remaining rivet fragments.
Step 5 - Find the Cotter Pin
Trace the stud until you find the cotter pin. It will be wrapped around the stud.
Step 6 - Raise the Lower Control Arm
Using the floor jack raise the lower control arm until it supported by the jack.
Step 7 - Remove the Cotter Pin
Using the long nose pliers, unwrap the cotter pin from the stud and pull it out.
Step 8 - Removing the Upper Ball Joint
Using the ratchet and socket, loosen the ball joint nut. Put the ball joint separator between the control arm and the metal cap of the ball joint and hit the flat end of the separator with a hammer. Once the upper ball joint is separated from the control arm, remove it.