98-05 Ford Ranger upper ball joints
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    In this page we will illustrate how to replace the upper ball joints on 2wd Ford Ranger pick-ups from 1998 to 2005.

In our previous page suspension and steering systems we explained how to diagnose a defective ball joint.



        

    

     

    

   



    

    

    

   

  
    
   
 

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 To perform this repair, it will be necesary to lift the front end of the truck and both front wheels will need to be removed. Make sure that the truck is in park and the parking brake is applied.

 If you don't have an impact gun, proceed to loosen the wheel lug nuts as shown in the picture, don't remove them yet, just loosen them, once the lug nuts on both wheels are loose, proceed to lift the front end of the truck with a floor jack, secure it with jackstands and wheel chucks on the rear wheels. Now you can remove the lug nuts and the wheels off the truck








- Due to the tight space, it is easier if the steering knuckle is moved out of the way, it is not necesary to remove it completely off the truck, but it will be easier if the tie rod end and the lower ball joint are separated from the steering knuckle, you can leave the brake hose connected, just make sure that once the steering knuckle is removed, it is not hanging from the brake hose.

In our prev page Ford Ranger lower ball  joints, we described how to separate the lower ball joint, and tie rod end from the steering knuckle, loosen the bolt that holds the upper control arm and the steering knuckle together as shown in the picture, place a floor jack under the lower control arm for safety and proceed to separate the upper control arm from the steering knuckle.

 

 

 

 To remove the upper ball joint, it is necesary to use a ball joint service tool, the space under the fender well is very tight, we chose to make our life easier by removing the upper control arm from the truck, starting by removing the splash guard from the fender well as shown in the picture.















Even though we know that the truck will need to be re-aligned by an alignment shop once the ball joints have been replaced, we marked the relationship from the alignment bolt to the frame, that way the truck would be driveveable once the job was completed and most important safe.

 

  

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 Next step,  proceed to loosen and remove the nuts from the bolts that hold the upper control arm tied to the frame, next remove the bolts and slide the upper control arm out.
















Remove the dust boot from the old ball joint, next remove the c-clip, using a ball joint service tool like the one shown in the picture, proceed to remove the old ball joint.

Pay attention when installing the new ball joit, it has a groove that should face either out towards the tire or in, facing the frame.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Next, install the new C-clip provided with the new ball joint.










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Next, slide the new dust boot over  the new ball joint.

 Install the control arm back on the truck, making sure that the alignment marks are facing the same way before you took the bolts out, snug the nuts, but don't tighten them yet.

 

  

 

 

 

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Next, install the new grease fitting, (don't over tighten it.)

 

 

  

 Next, start by installing the steering knuckle over the lower ball joint, followed by the upper ball joint as shown in the picture and the tie rod end, slide  the new bolt that keeps the steering knuckle and upper control arm tied together through the ball joint, snug the nut in place, but don't tighten it yet.

Using the floor jack that you placed under the lower control arm for safety, apply uppward pressure to the lower control arm, stop when you see the truck to start lifting off the jackstand, proceed to tighten the bolts that secure the upper control arm to the frame and last but not least, tighten the bolt shown in the picture, also make sure that you tighten the nuts on the tie rod end and the lower ball joint, don't forget to install new cotter pins on the lower ball joint and tie rod end