OBS 4x4 Ball Joint Replacement - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:56 PM
jdffafarmer's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Intercourse, PA
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OBS 4x4 Ball Joint Replacement

I had lots of problems finding all the info on how to change ball joints when the time came so I decided I'd take some pictures and put them up here with the torques that I was able to find.

I went with Moog joints as well and decided to do all 4 while i was at it.


Ball joint press (Went to O'Reilly's and got the kit--make sure to get the 4x4 kit)
Torque wrench
spanner socket for hub nuts (2.6 OD on the teeth i think about 2.25 ID)
Puller of some sort (Posi Lock)
Snap ring pliers
basic sockets/wrenches

1. Remove wheel and use penetrating oil on the tie rod ball join stud as well as both studs on the knuckle

2. Remove the brake caliper and place out of the way. I was able to lay mine on the leaf spring.

3. If you have factory lock out hubs, remove the 3 T25 torx screws and the cap will come off. There is a snap ring around the inside of the hub. If you take a small screw driver you can work this ring out. (can see the ends of the ring on the right side of the hub)

4. Once the ring is removed the hub locking assembly can be removed to expose another snap ring and the nuts on the hub. I chose to leave the snap ring on the axle until after the hub is removed. Use the special socket to remove the nut, lock ring, and then the second inner nut.

5. Once those nuts are removed the whole hub is ready to be removed, when pulling off make sure not to lose the inner bearing. This leaves the snap ring holding the axle exposed.

6. Remove the 5 nuts at the base of the spindle. I then ran both axle nuts and the lock ring back on the spindle and used a posi-lock to press against the axle shaft and pull against the nuts. The spindle will not break free easily.

7. Once spindle is removed the axle just requires a good yank to remove. When doing the passenger side be sure the metal band holding the boot on is cut. You may need a pry bar against the u-joint to break it free.

8. Using a paint pen or sharpie, make sure to mark where the camber and lock nut are located. I used multiple marks to be sure of my alignment. Remove the cotter pins from the tie rod stud, and the castle nut on the ball joints (only my top one had a cotter pin).

9. Start with the tie rod end, both of mine came off fairly easily, remove nut and turn upside down and smack with BFH. Tie or wire the tie rod out of the way.

10. Remove the bottom ball joint nut until only a couple threads are holding. (this will keep the knuckle from falling and breaking your foot) Then remove the top nut. I turned it upside down then and once again used a BFH to break the knuckle loose from the tapers on the ball joints.

11. Once removed I used the ball joint press to press the bottom joint out first and then the top. Sorry didn't take any pictures here but make sure to dig the dirt out from around the joint and find the adapter in the kit that best fits around the ball joint.

12. I cleaned everything up with brake cleaner. Repacked the bearings and started reassembly. To help keep the ball joint studs from spinning on reassembly I used a jack to put pressure on the bottom of the knuckle. Follow the torque procedure given with the ball joints. For my Moogs the Initial bottom torque was 35 ftlbs then top to 69 ftlbs and then final lower was 150 ftlbs.

13. Reattach the tie rod end and torque to 50 ftlbs

14. If you want to do U joints now would be the time. Otherwise place the axle back in and mount the spindle. Torque the 5 nuts to 34 ftlbs.

15. Replace axle snap ring and spacers. Place hub back on spindle and tighten first nut to 50 ftlbs to seat bearings. Make sure nipple is to the outside. Rotate hub and back off a quarter turn maximum. Line up the lock ring hole with the nipple on the nut by moving it as little as possible. Tighten outer nut to 50 ftlbs.

16. Replace locking hub assembly and place snap ring inside hub.

17. Replace hub lock.

18. Replace caliper.

19. Replace wheel.

Some people recommend getting an alignment when doing ball joints. I have not gotten one yet but the pickup has been driving nice and straight for 1000 miles and handles just fine when I got up to 95 the other day.

Good luck to everyone. Hope this helps bring all the info together that I found.
97 F250 HD 4x4

DP F6, FF 250/100, T500, 4" MBRP, HPX, 203*, 120V IDM, CCV Mod

2012 F250 6.7--Stock
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