Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Beeville, TX
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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 - EMT, Ambulance Mechanic
'08 F350 Dually KR - Spartan'd
'07 F250 CC SB 4x4 XLT - SCT /w Innovative Tunes
4 '09 & '10 E350 6.0l ambulances
1 '08 Duramax 6.6 (LMM) van ambulance