1996 Bronco Ball joint - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:28 AM
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1996 Bronco Ball joint

Need a little help...I need to work on my drive-way so short cuts are what I am looking for
Need lower ball joints replaced on my 1996 Bronco. Looks too me like I could just compress the coil spring and torch the thing out. BUT the manual says do not heat it. Are they worried about me getting splashed with hot grease? Are there any easy driveway replacement methods you can tell me...even a step by step guide will help. They are not like the old cars I am used too it looks simple with a torch but if I cannot use a torch why not?
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:05 PM
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I have been taught to never heat a ft. end part unless it was unavoidable. The heat cycling can make the surrounding parts brittle.

I dont know exactly the setup you have, but on a typical twin I beam or 4x4 Ford front, as I remember them, the knuckle houses both ball joints. The upper one is a pinch joint with a camber sleeve, and the lower is a regular style tapered joint.

I support the axle, which keeps the spring compressed, then remove brakes, hub, tierod, and spindle from the knuckle. Remove upper pinch bolt and lower castle nut, split lower joint from knuckle, and the knuckle can be persuaded downward. Sometimes it just falls right out. Some penetrating oil on the top joint can help.

Then I have the knuckle assembly with both ball joints off the vehicle, and I can remove the snap ring, and use a ball joint press to remove and replace both joints.

If the Ball joints are in the beam instead of the knuckle, get the knuckle off and use the BJ press on the vehicle... same for swing arm cars.

Ball joint presses can be rented or borrowed.

If I'm way off base here, I apologize.
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:39 PM
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Thanks...thats basically what the manual says...I was hoping to get away from all the disassembly...like remove the ball joint bolt, support the axle and spring and burn a hole through the ball joint until it falls out.

Funny thing I am not sure they are bad I show no abnormal tire wear and I actually was told they were bad when I had shocks installed. I suspect since the labor for the shocks was paid by the manufacturer, the 'shop' is looking for anything to get more business. The shock people probably pay a set amount and once they got your car on the rack its fair game for anything you cannot readily verify.
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Old 12-02-2004, 07:09 PM
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They are easy to verify, and frequently go bad. Raise the truck by the axle, and grab the wheel with both hands at 4:00 and shake, repeat at the 8:00 position. If the balljoint lets the wheel move in and out, it is bad. Repeat this at other o'clocks, and grab it at top and bottom and side to side and shake. Any part which moves independantly of another is suspect.

Most ft. ends can be checked the same way, though some must be lifted by the frame, and some need upper arm support.

Sometimes it helps to have one person watch the parts while the other shakes the wheel.

Last edited by yesgo; 12-02-2004 at 07:14 PM.
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