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Old 07-25-2005, 11:48 AM   #1
stangmata
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Balljoint Writeup - 95 Bronco

This was a pretty complicated one for me, living in the rust belt and never done this before. Just make sure that you have a Haynes manual by your side!

Remember, this was done on a 95 Bronco. You're setup may vary.

Tools:

Lug wrench
Pitman Arm or balljoint puller
Tie Rod End Puller
Spindle puller and slide hammer
Spindle nut socket
1 1/16" socket
1 1/8" socket
13/16" socket
various smaller sockets
dental pick
small flat-head screw drivers
snap-ring pliers


Step 1:

Jack the truck up, secure it on stands, and remove front wheels

Step 2: Caliper removal

Remove brake caliper. Mine took a 13mm for the pins. Some calipers also need the piston to be compressed before removing. Since my brakes were hammered, I pryed the pad clips away from the caliper and just removed. Be sure to take off the pad clips as well.

Set the caliper aside or remove from brake line. DO NOT let it hang from the brake line.

Step 3: Hub removal

Here is where it gets a bit tricky. There are manual hubs and automatic hubs. Automatic hubs come in either 3 bolt or 5 bolt caps. Here are a few writeups to help you with your particular hubs.

Here is a writeup on removing 5-bolt auto hubs

http://danielphotography.us/bronco/manualhubs/

Here is a writeup on removing 3-bolt auto hubs

http://www.superford.org/vehicles/re...d=3749&s=14884

Here is a writeup on removing manual hubs

http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5450

Step 4: Spanner nut and rotor removal

Once you have the outers removed, it's time to get that pesky spanner nut that is on the spindle. This is the only thing holding you up from getting that rotor off.

Pre-95:

You need a spanner wrench like the one on the right.



95 and 96:

You need this spanner wrench. AutoZone p/n 20243. It ran me $11.



Once those nuts are off, the rotor will come right off. Be prepared to catch the outer wheel bearing.

Step 5: ABS Speed Sensor removal

For those vehicles equiped with front ABS, the ABS Speed Sensor is the first thing that needs to be removed. Remove the bolt on the back of the speed sensor. You may be able to push the sensor throught the bracket. I, on the other hand, had to mangle it with a screwdriver and then pound it out with a socket extension and a sledge. I have no intentions to ever replace the sensors.

Back of the sensor:


The sensor, post mangled.


Once the sensor is out, remove the speed sensor bracket bolt on the back of the knuckle. Remove sensor bracket.

Step 6: Spindle Removal

Remove the spindle nuts using a 1/2" drive 17mm socket and a breaker bar.

Once nuts are removed, it may be possible to knock the spindle loose with a block of wood and a hammer. I however, had to get a spindle puller.

Spindle puller AutoZone p/n 27104
Slide Hammer AutoZone p/n 27033
They ran me $45 for both pieces.



It simply screws on to the spindle. Very easy and quick to use.

Here is what you will be looking at once the spindle is removed



Step 7: Axle shafts

Remove axle shafts. This is done by simply pulling them out. On the driver's side it pulls right out of the 3rd member and on the pass side, only the outer shaft pulls right out.

Driver's side



Pass side outer w/ spindle



Step 8: Tie Rod End

Remove the Tie Rod from the knuckle. This can be done using a 13/16" socket. Often times the stud will spin with the castle nut. In this case, I used a cold chistle and smacked the nut loose from the stud and then wound the nut off. I then flipped the castle nut upside down on the TRE and hit it with a hammer to knock it out.

Step 9: Ball joints

Remove the upper balljoint nut using a 1 1/16" socket. I used a 1/2" drive wrench and 4' pipe to break the nut loose. When doing this, use constant pressure on the pipe. On the driver's side, I jerked on mine and broke a very nice breaker bar and ended up having to grind the nut off. PITA and a waste of time.

Remove the lower balljoint nut using a 1 1/8" socket.

Here is where you will want a ball joint/ pitman arm puller. I got mine from Autozone AutoZone p/n 27021

The one on the right is a TRE puller and the one on the left is what you need.


I inserted it into the lower balljoint and smacked it with a sledge. Once it broke the bond the entire knuckle dropped. I left the camber/castor adjuster in place. WARNING, the knuckle will drop and is heavy. Move your feet!

Here is what you are looking at now. On the top is the camber/castor adjuster.





Step 10: Balljoint pressing

Now it's time to press the old balljoints out and the new in. I had a machine shop do this for simplicity. However, Autozone has a balljoint press that you can use. It's simple enough if you don't live in a rust belt.

Step11: Knuckle Installation

Grease the new balljoints and IF necessary, remove the zerk and plug it if there will not be enough clearance for the axle shafts.

Tighten the lower balljoint stud to 90~100ft/lbs. If necessary, place a jack under the balljoint to stop the stud from spinning. BE CAREFULL if there is a zerk on the bottom of the b-joint.

Re-install the upper camber/caster adjuster if it was previously removed. Tighten the upper castle nut to 85~95 ft/lbs. Install cotter pin.

Step 12: Axle Shaft Installation

Slide the axle shafts back into the third member ( on the driver's side) and the stub shaft (on the passenger's side). Ensure that the axle's yokes will clear the balljoint studs and the upper balljoint's zerk.

Step 13: Spindle Installation

Now is your time to change/check/pack your spindle bearings. Coat the bearing and back of the spindle with a good bearing grease. Also, coat the contact surfaces with anti-seize.

Slide knuckle into spindle and tighten nuts.

Step 14: Rotor/hub installation

Check rotor to ensure it is still within specs. Have it turned or replaced as needed.

Check both wheel bearings for wear or flat spots. If necessary, replace both the bearings and the races. Check below for a link to a writeup. If bearings are good, pack them well and re-install.

Slide rotor onto spindle. Install outer wheel bearing.

Auto hubs: Swap to manuals. If not an option, install spindle nut, tighten to 70ft-lbs, back off 90 degrees, and retighten to 20ft-lbs, all while spinning the rotor to seat the bearing.

Manual hubs: Install inner spindle nut with pin facing out. Perform above procedure. Install thrust washer so that the key fits into the spindle's groove and the spindle nut's pin goes THROUGH a thrust washer's hole.
Install second spindle lock nut and tighten to 160ft-lbs.

Step 15: Hub install

Follow one of the provided links to install your hubs as they vary.

Step 16: Install caliper's pads

Check pads for wear and replace as necessary.

If you removed your calipers, replace brake lines, install pads, bolt onto the knuckle, and bleed your brakes.

Remember, when replacing pads, use a c-clamp to compress the caliper piston for easy installation. Also remember to lube your guide pins.

Step 17: Tie Rod's

Bolt the tie-rods back to the knuckle and replace the cotter pin.

Step 18: Wheels and tires

Install wheels, lower the truck, and go get an alignment!


Recommendations on things to check/replace/service while replacing your balljoints

Axle seals
Pinion seal

Installing a drain plug into your third-member
http://4x4.forensick.net/88bronco/im...rain/index.htm

Axle shaft u-joints and seals
http://www.superford.org/vehicles/re...d=2896&s=16000

Tie Rod Ends

Wheel bearings inner and outer
http://www.supermotors.org/vehicles/...=17982#content

Rotors
http://www.superford.org/vehicles/re...d=3749&s=14884

Spindle bearings
Calipers
Pads
Manual hub swap or better quality manual hub swap
See above links.

Dana50 stub shaft install
"Spring trick" on stub shaft
http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/show...d50+stub+shaft




Please feel free to critique and add comments.
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Old 07-25-2005, 06:36 PM   #2
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For Future reference though. That ABs sensor comes right out if you use a socket just sligtly smaller then the hole, and it will not smash it. Tap on the sensor do not hit it hard. It will come out undamaged.

Screw the balljoint nut on to the balljoint a couple of threads while hitting it with a sledge hammer. This way when it comes loose it will not make a toeCake out of your toes.
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Old 07-25-2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco85
For Future reference though. That ABs sensor comes right out if you use a socket just sligtly smaller then the hole, and it will not smash it. Tap on the sensor do not hit it hard. It will come out undamaged.
Mine, unfortunately, was rusted so badly that it wouldn't. I had to take a socket and a sledge to even get it to budge....then it just went downhill.
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have a question about Step 8: Tie Rod End. In it you say
Quote:
Originally Posted by stangmata50l
Step 8: Tie Rod End
Remove the Tie Rod from the knuckle. This can be done using a 13/16" socket. Often times the stud will spin with the castle nut. In this case, I used a cold chistle and smacked the nut loose from the stud and then wound the nut off. I then flipped the castle nut upside down on the TRE and hit it with a hammer to knock it out.
My question is what is the cold chistle for, and did you have to use the TRE puller, or did you only hit it with the nut on it upside down?
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_DuB
I have a question about Step 8: Tie Rod End. In it you say
My question is what is the cold chistle for, and did you have to use the TRE puller, or did you only hit it with the nut on it upside down?
The nut was frozen to the TRE stud. So to break the nut loose, I hit the edge of the TRE nut with a coal chistle. The impact force from hitting the nut with the chistle breaks the nut loose from the stud.

I didn't need to use a pickle fork. I just flipped the castle nut upside down on the stud and smacked the TRE free from the knuckle w/ a hammer. I wasn't replacing the TRE's and didn't want to ruin them w/ a pickle fork.

DOes that help?
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Old 07-15-2006, 07:30 PM   #6
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The ABS sensor can stay in the knuckle - only the shield needs to come off to release the spindle.

Instead of beating on the threaded stud (TRE or BJ), hit the casting that it passes thru, directly on the thinnest side. The impact flexes the casting, causing it to release the tapered stud. Hitting the end (even if it's protected by the nut) almost always damages the threads. I don't even own a pickle fork & I do front end work all the time.




And most importantly...













NEVER NEVER NEVER
...trust your life or limbs to a single rolling jack holding up a slanted slick surface.


The cinder block isn't any better - they're so brittle that they'll shatter if the truck falls. If you can't afford a decent pair of jackstands, then you can't afford to miss 8 weeks of work either, especially if you're missing an arm or leg when you try to go back. At the VERY minimum, put the tires under the frame so the truck can't cut you in half WHEN it falls.



Otherwise: Great writeup! Just stay alive so you can do some more.
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Old 07-15-2006, 07:33 PM   #7
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Thanks man...

I just ended up using the pickle fork for it and managed to keep the rubber part undamaged. As for that upper ball joint nut it seems to be abit larger than 1"1/16 more like 1"5/16 but I'm not sure cause I don't have a socket that big. I don't think I could use a socket cause the spring is in the way and I dont have a wrench that big either. I don't know I'll figure something out.

Man I need a digital camera.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
NEVER NEVER NEVER
...trust your life or limbs to a single rolling jack holding up a slanted slick surface.


The cinder block isn't any better - they're so brittle that they'll shatter if the truck falls. If you can't afford a decent pair of jackstands, then you can't afford to miss 8 weeks of work either, especially if you're missing an arm or leg when you try to go back. At the VERY minimum, put the tires under the frame so the truck can't cut you in half WHEN it falls.
Slow down champ. The jack was just to move the axle beam a bit. Wasn't supporting it. Just there to help me out.

The cinder blocks arn't the best idea, but they weren't all that was holding up the truck. I don't advise using them and they are inspected before holding up the truck EVERY TIME. Still doesn't make it the best...but I use what I have and what I trust.

Thanks for the advice though.
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogley


Just kidding nice writeup, sounds like its hard, never did it before.

Did you notice the BKO riding and handling any better after this?
It wasn't hard...just time consuming. If you don't have rust issues, it will be way easier for you. Getting the damn spindle off was the hardest part.

The tires wore a bit better and it stopped wandering as much.
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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I got mine at the local Auto Value. It's a Mac socket, I think I paid $6.50 for that one socket.

I'm pretty sure that Snap-On also has one. Or you can go shopping for cheap socket sets, just to get that one socket.

It is a 6mm 12 point, you are correct.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:12 PM   #11
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How can you check if you have bad ball joints?
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:14 PM   #12
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SWEET!! Thanks Sandy for the info, you are a huge help!

Sorry Mud Slinger, I am not an expert on 4X4 suspension as this is my first rig, but on cars, you check ball joints for play, and if there is excessive play it is bad. Try grasping the area around the ball joint and trying to shake it, and if you feel instability or if it even moves at all really at the joint, then it is probably bad. Again though, I am not an expert, so hopefully someone will chime in to help you out.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mudd_Slinger92 View Post
How can you check if you have bad ball joints?
Jack the truck up until the tire comes off the ground. Grab the tire at 9 & 3 and try to twist. If you have any play, BJ's may be needed. You can also grab the tire at 12 & 6 to see how your wheel bearing or spindle nuts are doing.

In the countless times of tearing my truck apart, my truck has the notched spindle nuts that require the spanner wrench on the right side; looks like a castle. My truck is a 95.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudd_Slinger92 View Post
How can you check if you have bad ball joints?
Lift the front, put it on jackstands. Grab a front wheel top and bottom, and try to rock it. If you have much play at all top to bottom, your ball joints are suspect. Get someone else to rock the wheel top to bottom while you look at your ball joints. Any motion you can see is almost too much.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:48 PM   #15
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ok everything is in the write up and really good job. .... except the part number for the spindle studs. i know you didn't need to change yours but mine are rusted worse than yours and got mangled just taking the nuts off. the guy at the ford dealer needs the axle code to look up the part. but of course mine is gone. been searching the site for an hours trying to find if anyone has posted this and i can't find it. any help would be great.
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Old 06-02-2007, 12:09 PM   #16
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This isn't a great pic, but most of it is legible.

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Old 06-02-2007, 01:24 PM   #17
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Partsmike.com has the spindle studs at a good price,

http://www.partsmike.com/old/44Spindle%20bolts.htm
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:29 PM   #18
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Why did you permanently remove the abs senser?
1) Sensor didn't want to come out willingly

2) My ABS hasn't worked in years anyway
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:01 AM   #19
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Thanks for doing this write up, I just did mine yesterday. My tip seals were toast and sand was already getting in the joint. Instead of a machine shop I used a "C" press and my impact wrench. (Press bought from Harbor Freight ).

One thing to watch out for though. The dealership sold me the wrong ball joints for my 96 orginally, which they said were by their book. I had to give them my VIN # for them to get me the right part numbers. The upper was about 1.5" too short (would barely clear the caster/camber adjuster) and the bottom not threaded. Here are the part numbers for the wrong ones.
5C2Z*3049*AA
F6TZ*3050*AB
I had to drive 25 miles (into downtown LA) to get the right ones for my 96, they are below.
4C3Z*3049*DB
F6TZ*3050*CB
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:14 PM   #20
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OMG! I just wasted 6 hours of my day, trying to do balljoints and couldnt get that damn ABS sensor out of the damn way to get the spindle off. ANyone know where to get a 6mm 12 point socket? I checked Autozone, Advance, and Napa today and they dont have 12 point sockets. So I had to put it all together today and I accidentally overtightened the adjusting nut and hub is getting hot again. AAAAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!
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