Ball Joints, 03 6.0 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Question Ball Joints, 03 6.0

Since Ford wont cover them under the extended warranty b/c theyre "wear and tear" items (which only get covered to 50k miles on the vehicle under the warranty i bought), i need to get them done, but dont have the grand to spend on the work, so im getting the Ford parts thru work for a steal and will be doing them this weekend. Everyone ive told im going to be doing them in my driveway has nearly laughed, dont know if its from difficulty level or not being on a lift, but...
Has anyone done them, and if so, are there any time saving techniques/tips/tricks to replacing them? going by the Ford service DVD, just seems time consuming more than anything. Anything to look out for?

Parts to be done include: upper and lower ball joints, vacuum seals for the hubs, and the axle seals

Thanks for the help

-Chris

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-13-2008, 05:42 PM
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This topic came up over dinner yesterday with some friends of ours... this guys is a Diesel tech that works on 18 wheelers for the Post office. Turns out he tried doing a set at home for a friend of ours. Did not work. He said you need some kind of "tool". Not sure... To the dealer it goes. Personally, I'd buy the tool b/c those are "wear & tear" items and go out as soon as 40k depending on abuse and tire size. Heck I've broken some on Dana 44's with 35's b/c I didn't install them in sequence or whatever. I'm finicy about my front axle now, how it goes together, torque, procedures etc. I'd get the ford FSM and do some real homework on the job and see what tool you need. That way you know they're in PERFECTLY. and you can drive with confidence. I plan on buying whatever is needed... I only have 15k, but planning is everything.

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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the only tools i see required from ford service is a ball joint press, and a seal driver for the axle seal

ill be doing it at work on saturday in the shop, with a master tech on hand for backup if needed. i guess we shall see how it goes

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 02:57 PM
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Yes, please let us know.

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post #5 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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well, thanks to the .org, i think ive found my solution...and iff worse comes to worse, the Ford dealership is only 15 mins from work where i can get the seals pressed if i need to...

to be continued...


superduty ball joint replacement

Installing Knuckle seals without the special driver for them

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-14-2008, 09:22 PM
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Yes you can do it at home. The special tool can be made from some black pipe parts from home depot. Search around for that post. There was some good information on it. Also it you get the Moog joints they have the grease zerk and will last much longer. JJ

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-15-2008, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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i thought about it...well see if mine come in. they were supposed to be in stock...but the computer says 4, shelves say 1 lower...if they dont come in tomorrow like theyre supposed to, ill be shopping for the moogs. i had heard mixed reviews about them, some advised not to, others (mostly here) i find use them. we shall find out more in about 17 hours lol

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-15-2008, 08:16 PM
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I haven't done the ball joints on any of my 4x4 trucks yet, as I haven't managed to wreck them yet. I have however done dozens and dozens of them on the e-series vans. I've looked at the 4x4's and it doesn't look that different. All you have to do is get the hub off (needle nosed pliars), brakes and rotor off, remove the hub bearing (4 nuts) and axle shaft. Pop out the tie rod from the knuckle (if you plan on putting the tie rod back without replacing it, then don't damage the rubber parts). Use one of the wrench powered tie rod removers, not the "pickle fork" variety if possible.

Then get out your big hammer and big pickle fork to separate the ball joints (after you have taken the nuts off). It will probably take some serious persuasion. Once they pop loose, you'll need a ball joint press. You can rent them from Auto Zone, or the like. Actually, you can probably rent all these tools from Auto Zone. The ball joint press looks like a C-clamp on steroids. You'll need to use some of the cups and spacers that come in the ball joint tool kit to press the old ball joints out, and then press the new ones in. The reassembly is the reverse of the disassembly. This time though, you won't be using a pickle fork for anything.

You don't need a lift or anything like that, just some jack stands.

Good luck. re-torque everything to spec.

eli benson

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-19-2008, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the insight, and thanks to some serious elbow grease, they came out and went in no problems (so far)...not over the head difficulty level-wise, just takes a few hours and a hint of patience (and by a hint, i mean alot). borrowed a ball joint press and a 1 5/16" socket from a tech at work, and had everything else at the house. well worth saving the $6-700 in labor at the dealer. and the price i paid for parts, cant beat it! (between parts and labor i saved around $800!)
everything ive read says the axle shaft cannot go in too far, but i seemed to have a little difficulty putting the snap rings in their respected slots in the shaft? everything seems fine to date, 4wd works with no apparent leaks, and truck is rolling smoothly

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post #10 of 10 Old 08-19-2008, 01:46 PM
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Schwab did mine and it was a bit over $500. Got the labor knocked off cause some nimrod lowered my truck down onto a semi wheel that another nimrod left on the lift and pushed my exhaust into the bottom fender area.. I fixed it with a 16 oz rubber mallet , not exactly like it was but not bad now..

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