How to Remove a Truck's Upper Ball Joint

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 35-100
What You'll Need
A wrench
Jack stands
Floor jack
A socket set
Ball joint separator
A ratchet
An electric drill
1/4-inch metal drill bit
Hammer and punch
Long nosed pliers

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.