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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok... so here is how I replaced my lower ball joints. 1st some common sense. Break lug nuts loose, raise your vehicle, set it on jack stands and remove the wheels.Support the LCA with another jack stand. Remove brake caliper and cradle (be sure not to twist your brake line). I zipped tied mine to the hole in the body mount bracket, it keeps it nice and secure as well as completely out of the way.



Next remove the outer tie rod end from the spindle.
Remove the 12mm bolt holding the abs sensor in the spindle as well as the 10mm bolt holding the bracket for the wiring to the UCA.
Pull the abs sensor from the spindle (it has a bend in it, lean the top toward the spindle to remove it) and tuck up over the UCA so its out of the way.
Remove the cotter pins in both the upper and lower ball joints. With a 22mm wrench loosen the nut for the upper ball joint. Use a 27mm deep well socket to loosen the nut for the lower ball joint(don't remove them yet).If you haven't busted a knuckle and a thumb by now you have probably missed a step.



Now using a 6mm allen key carefully break loose all of the bolts holding the hub on. Once loose remove the hub. Once the hub is removed there is a snap ring that needs to be removed (replace with new snap ring).



Pull out the spline washer and hub lock. Now remove the ball joint nuts and the spindle. This spindle is heavier then you think it is. Be careful as to not rip the CV boot when removing the axle from the spindle. Use a bungee to keep the axle out of the way (securing toward the front will allow room to work)



Now, I used my Dremel to cut thru each side of the nut and an old flad head screwdriver to separate the nut from the ball joint(be careful not to cut into the LCA.





Heat the area around the LBJ with a propane torch. Hit the top of the LBJ a few times with a hammer and presto... out comes the old ball joint.



Use a rag to clean out the hole left. Spread new grease around the seat of the new ball joint, being careful not to get any on the threads.



Insert threads up thru the hole and place the nut on upside down and crank away.



When it gets snug remove it, flip it over and continue to tighten until its tight.



Using a dry paper towel clean off the axle and apply new grease.



Apply new grease to the needle bearings from the back side of the spindle. This is where it can be tricky. Put just the tip in (get your mind out of the gutter) the back of the spindle. Carefully lift the spindle up to catch the lower ball joint and thread on the nut. Now tighten the nut up to draw the spindle up to toward the UBJ. Using a jack, lift the LCA and spindle up toward the UBJ. Getting the UBJ into place will take some pressure pushing down on the UCA. Thread on the upper nut and tighten both down. Make sure the axle is completely pulled thru, put the hub lock and spline washer back into the hub and slide new snap ring into place (there is a groove in the axle that it will seat into). Slide on the outer hub and torque to spec. Put the tie rod end back into its seat and bolt it up. Insert all new cotter pins where applicable. Put the caliper cradle and caliper back on. Put your wheel back on, snug lug nuts, raise and remove jack stands. Lower your X. Tighten lug nuts to spec and BAM you're done.


**Note** I had to cut the ball joint between the spindle and LCA which I did not show
 

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An old thread here but a question:

"Now remove the ball joint nuts and the spindle. This spindle is heavier then you think it is. Be careful as to not rip the CV boot when removing the axle from the spindle. Use a bungee to keep the axle out of the way (securing toward the front will allow room to work)"

Is this saying you can remove the spindle that runs through the hub separately? And if so, how do you detach?
 

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2000 SE 4x4 M/T 3.3L
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Is this saying you can remove the spindle that runs through the hub separately? And if so, how do you detach?
smit, if you are referring to the front drive shaft removal on a 4x4 X, see page 16 of the service manual for the "recommended" form of removal. I tried to attach it, but it's too large. I can email it if you are interested...pm me

indy, just me, but I would think about striking the threads (outward from the center) with a punch to keep that ball joint nut from backing off...the same area you cut through with the Dremel.
 
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