'07 FJ Cruiser Lower Ball Joint Replacement (with pics)

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I recently tried using a special ball joint tool that looks like a gigantic c-clamp with special cups for different size joints. I thought the tool itself was going to break when I put an impact gun on it. This is definitely not a part you could fix on the trail.

I opted to replace the factory lower arm instead because my bushings were toast as well.
What'd be your preferred prep for a failure on the trail?

Carrying spare control arms would be heavy and take up a bit of room. Is there any easy way to limp yourself off a trail with a broken ball joint?
 

BMThiker

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Not really an easy answer if it fails out in the woods, but this is a beefy ball joint. I would not expect it to fail on the trail. I would plan on replacing the joint every 60-75K miles and feel confident about it not failing. The only thing I could see breaking the lower ball joint would be a big roll over impact, someone hitting you at speed, or you yourself speeding through the baja. But for the average wheeler, I don't think it is an easy thing to break.

In the past I have used a 20T shop press to get the old ones out, but this time I wanted to try it while it was still on the truck with the new tool - but as explained above, it was a no-go. You might be able to apply heat from a torch to help break it free, but again not a recommended trail fix situation. Even in the shop press, the shape of the arm is awkward to get it on the press surface straight.
 
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Toyota does not list lower as a part. Whole lover control arm should be replaced. Moo = do it again soon.
 
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I tried doing this as well today using the ball joint press / big-ass c clamp. Complete and total fail with lots of loud colorful words. Pretty damn annoying they made it so hard to get out. Really wanted to install a serviceable ball-joint. Does anyone know where you can get oem like lca's that do not already have the ball joint in? I do plan on getting some long travel ones, but those are still a ways off.
 
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Towards the end of the summer the uppers started to go, as a result I did all the uppers and the lowers again as they now have a lot of KM. Personally, after going through the entire process twice now, I would recommend against the Moog replacement route and simply replace the entire control arm with bushings, this way the bushings are fresh too so that your alignment can be set accurately. With a fresh front end, we're now pushing ahead toward the 750,000km goal, fingers crossed.
 

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I agree with @NorthFJ on this. Just buy OEM lowers already preassembled. I think Total Chaos makes a "stock" lower assembly too, if you wanted a uniball joint on the lower. I prefer a sealed (OEM) ball joint on the lower because of its increased exposure that close to the road.

I was ready to replace my lower ball joints with MOOG and once I found out the OEM lowers came with bushings too, I said f'it. Went with new factory lowers and saved a bunch of headache and curse words.
 
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