How to Replace Ball Joints By Yourself
If you face any kind of symptoms while driving your car, you definitely need to check on the ball joints of your car. If you see rust and space between the ball joint and the point of contact, then you must realize that it is time to replace the ball joints. Here is the short procedure of how to replace the ball joints of your vehicle on your own.
Step: 1 Prepare the Work Area
Park your car on a flat surface and block all four wheels. Then, you need to jack both of the front wheels from the ground and support them with jack stands. After that, choking the back tires is needed to ensure that the car does not move while working.
Step: 2 Inspect the Ball Joints
After prepping the area, you need to inspect the ball joints if the ball joints are actually malfunctioning. Moreover, you need to check if it needs to be mended or to be replaced. Also, if you see any space between the ball joint and the point of contact, the ball joint must need to be replaced.
Step: 3 Purchase the Correct Ball Joint for Your Vehicle
Ball joints vary on the types and model, weight capacity, suspension system of a vehicle. So you need to know first which type of ball joint is suitable for your vehicle. You can take expert opinion regarding this matter. It is a crucial part of this process because if you fail to buy the ball joint for your car, you may find severe difficulties while driving.
Step: 4 Remove the Wheel and Access the Ball Joint
You need to unbolt the caliper, upper controller, and lower controller from the knuckle to get this job done. You do not need to remove the tire rod. After unbolting these parts, you will get access to ball joints and be able to press them out.
Step: 5 Soak All the Bolts and Nuts
Then it would be best if you soaked all the bolts and nuts with penetrating fluid. After that, you will be able to remove the bolts of the upper and lower controllers easily. So the caliper would be ready to come off. Make sure that the brake caliper does not hang around the brake line, and it will damage the brake line.
Step: 6 Remove the Old Ball Joint
Remove all the bolts and rivets that are holding the ball joint and then pull out the ball joint. You can heat particularly corroded components by using a lighter or torch to remove the ball joint. But you need to be careful if you try this.
Step: 7 Installing New Ball Joint
Install the new ball joints by following the manufacturer’s guide. After setting the ball joint into its place, tighten the nuts and bolts again. And then, reset the caliper, controllers and tires to their place.
How Much to Replace Ball Joints
Ball joints are not so expensive to buy. You can buy a ball joint for $20 to $50 and the price depends on the type of your vehicle and what type of quality you want for your automobile. But the replacement cost is much higher than the price of a ball joint.
If your rust is extensive or you’ve lost patience, start by removing the suspension. It’s possible that replacing the whole control arm and ball joint as a single unit will be necessary; this will set you back between $100 and $500.
It is estimated that around $350 to $650 is needed to replace ball joints because there are many instruments and tools like- ball joint press, different types of hammers, wrenches, breaker bar, pliers, ratchet, different sized sockets and extensions, thread locker, grease gun, penetrating fluid etc. Also, the cost also depends upon how much damage has happened to your car due to bad ball joints.
How Long Does It Take to Replace Ball Joints
Replacing ball joints is not so much an easy task to do because you need to replace an important internal part of an automobile. You need to remove the tires and calipers, upper and lower controllers. Then there are a lot of steps and a lot of instruments are needed to have done this job.
If you are a newbie at this job, you may need 1 – 2 hours to finish this job completely. But an expert mechanic will not need more than one or 1.5 hours in total to finish the job and replace the ball joints of both sides. The duration also depends on how much damage has been done to the vehicle.