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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm finally getting back to working on my '90 Bronco XLT. I had completely removed the front suspension and am replacing anything that's a wear item. I've gotten the axle housings installed, and am up to the point of installing the steering knuckles, and that's where I'm stuck.

When I get the knuckle in place, and the lower ball joint nut secured, I simply cannot get the alignment bushing to go far enough down the upper ball joint bolt. Thought I might be able to catch a thread, but no joy.

The ball joint is Spicer and the alignment bushing is Moog. I noticed that the ball joint bolt has a bit of taper to it, and the bushing doesn't seem to accommodate that taper. I took the knuckle back off and tried to get the bushing all the way down on the bolt, so no joy there, either. The bushing does fit fine in the axle housing.

Is it possible the ball joint and bushing just aren't compatible? Am I doing something wrong?

I'm stuck folks, and any and all information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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1987 Ford Bronco, beefed up 351w, JBG HD rear springs, JBG 4” coil, 10.25 rear posi, Dana 44 posi
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Not sure on the answer to your question but a start would be with some pictures of the problem. Hopefully someone with more knowledge could use those or maybe I could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i agree i need pics
Well, at this point, it appears the problem is two-fold.

First, the upper ball joints I got were the wrong ones (not tall enough). Not sure how it happened, but there it is.

Second, and this is a guess, I had a helluva time getting the old left upper ball joint out. I used the typical pickle fork method and it worked fine on the right side, but I ended up having to break apart the left side upper. The ball joint bolt/post completely welded itself to the alignment bushing and I ended up having to drill a bunch of holes between the ball joint post and the bushing. I ended up beating the hell out of it to finally get the SOB out. It occurred to me that I may have deformed the axle housing hole a bit, and that might just cheese me off.

It's kinda sad when the most used tool on this particular project is a 3# sledge hammer.

I'm on the recovery side of COVID, so any effort flattens me, BUT, I am going to try and do the right side tomorrow and see if it all goes together like it should. If it does, then that'll confirm my suspicions.

Sadly, there's not much in the way of pix available at the moment. I'll let you know how things go when I try the right side.

Thanks for the replies, and I'll keep ya posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what I'm afraid of, but I'll be damned if I'm just gonna sit on my arse and look at my Bronco on blocks, not if I can help it. I go out and work on it 'til I start to feel a bit gassed, then call it a day.

As for the bushing issue, it's seems I did somewhat bend the left end upper ball joint "tab" (?) down a bit, so this will slow me down even more. I'll get there, but...well, it's a Bronco, so I should know better, right? It's still fighting me tooth and nail! <smdh>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Definitely not. I've been callin' it much earlier than usual these days, but hey, even if I make a little progress, it's still progress. Just hate seeing it sit there waiting for me.
 

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Definitely not. I've been callin' it much earlier than usual these days, but hey, even if I make a little progress, it's still progress. Just hate seeing it sit there waiting for me.

all my projects have set. wife lost her job (she has one now), we both got covid her while pregnant, and we got a 3 month old, covid also made them cut out builders loans so no garage. now i have the money, baby is getting where i can do some stuff but its winter and it will all set to spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WOW! Sounds like a rough year for you, for sure. I'm glad to hear that things are starting to head in the right direction for ya. Congrats on the little one (I have three girls and the "baby" is 23)! You're gonna love the ride!

I hope your projects start to advance a bit, and good luck moving forward!
 
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