Lower Ball Joint Replacement Instructions (1 Viewer)

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firepuppy - definitely curious to hear how it's working out with your new upper bj's?

As you know there's no OEM Toyota replacement for the upper bj, and the typical parts sources only have one for the lower ball joint, not the upper.

I looked at your listing and it says it's febest part number 0120-334 (0120-333 is febest lower bj).
It also says under other part numbers K500018 which is the moog part number - I looked that up on Moog's site (http://www.fme-cat.com/overlays/par...8&partType=Ball Joint&brandId=MC#.Uop4h8TbMrk) and it says it's compatible with:
GX470 03-09
4Runner 03-09
FJ Cruiser 07-09
Sequoia 08-09
Tundra 07-09

I don't know if it's a mistake or if this is correct that unofficially the ball joint in these vehicles (including 98-07 Land Cruiser and 98-07 LX470) upper control arms is compatible with one another.

I guess there are a few possibilities here:
1) the febest 0120-334 is a match to our LC/LX but the referenced Moog Part (K500018) is not a match and it's a mistake in the listing
2) both K500018 and 0120-334 fit and just no one else figured out the compatibility (?)
3) it physically fits but doesn't match the OEM geometry for the LC/LX

I actually just emailed febest the question about compatibility and they came back pretty quickly with confirmation that 0120-334 is a fit for us and pointed me to their page (http://febestparts.com/BALL_JOINT_FRONT_UPPER_ARM/0120-334) where they list this part's compatibility as the following:
TOYOTA LAND CRUISER PRADO 120 GRJ12#/KDJ12#/RZJ12#/TRJ12#/VZJ12# 2002-2009
TOYOTA LAND CRUISER 100 HDJ101/UZJ100 1998-2007
TOYOTA FJ CRUISER GSJ15 2006-
TOYOTA 4-RUNNER GRN21#/KZN215/UZN21# 2002-2009
LEXUS LX470 UZJ100 1998-2007

Obviously your part fit - but I'm just wondering if it's meant to work with the LC/LX or if it might negatively impact alignment specs (perhaps that can be adjusted to within spec even if it does alter the numbers).

If in fact these other models' upper control arm ball joint is compatible with ours, then that opens up the door to be able to get the part anyhwere - moog 500018 or whatever other compatible part is listed at advance auto, autozone, napa etc for those ofus that might need the part more quickly or want to be able to return easily etc. So that compatibility more than the ebay link is an awesome find!

Please let us know how they work out for you!
 
Last edited:
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Soooo, I decided to tackle this job. Everything went according to plan while breaking it all down, but I cannot get the Hub Assembly free from the Ball Joint. Any suggestions?
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1418166216.844876.jpg
 
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Hey guys. Love the forum. Been lurking for a while and have made use of some great intel here already (door panel and head unit removals for speaker replacements and bluetooth add-on) on my newly acquired higher mileage 2005. Before purchase, I had a local guy do a pre-purchase inspection. Mostly came back recommending work on wear and tear items but looks to be a sound vehicle otherwise. Amongst other things, the lower ball joints apparently in need of replacing soon.

I am a reasonable DIYer but don't have a lot of wrenching experience. Found this thread and also the video below that makes me think I could tackle this project myself. Wondering if anyone would be willing to watch the video and see what comments folks might have on the technique shown and what differences I could expect to encounter on the LC. Kind of a longer video, so a big ask for a newbie I know. :doh:

Hoping it will be helpful for others as well. Thanks in advance!!

 

re_guderian

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Thought I would add another option to this thread for those that are looking to do this project themselves.

I thought long and hard about getting the press above to do this same project. At the end of the day, a press would be a nice to have. But, not something I could just justify at the moment. So, I decided to go the other route and replace the lower ball joint while on the truck.

First off, I ordered new five three ball joints from Rock Auto.

Then after they arrived, I went to my local O'Reilly and got a loaner ball joint press like one of these:

Amazon.com: OTC 7249 Ball Joint, U-Joint and Brake Anchor Pin Service Kit: Automotive

Then I watched these two videos on your tube to make sure I understood how to use the press:

pressing out
pressing in

Once that was accomplished I set out to accomplish the job.

Now when I did a lower ball joint reboot last year I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the lower ball joint separated from the knuckle without disconnecting the upper ball joint and removing the entire hub. Starting this project I was planning on rebuilding my Total Chaos upper control arms and I was pulling both front shocks to send back to Radflo to get some longer hoses and change out some fittings on my remote reservoirs so I can relocate those to a better location. So, the amount of work I already had to do made removing the entire hub easy. So, the steps I went through (just for the lower ball joint. I am removing the steps I went through for the other parts).

  • chock wheels
  • loosen lugnuts with tire on the ground
  • jack up drivers side
  • install jackstand
  • remove tire
  • place bottle jack under the lower control arm to support it
  • remove two bolts to brake caliper and support using zip ties
  • remove two bolts for the ABS sensor and support
  • remove two bolts to the steering tie rod bracket and swing out of the way
  • remove hub dust cap
  • remove CV axle split ring
  • disconnect UCA ball joint
  • disconnect LCA ball joint. This time my puller wasnt getting the job done so I resorted the the BFH method.
  • holding on to the hub so it doesnt fall, lower the bottle jack until the ball joint clears. set it to the side
  • then using zip ties I pulled the CV up and out of the way see pictures below
  • install ball joint press and press it out
  • once the old ball joint was out, I took a brass wire brush and cleaned up the opening to inspect it
  • then you reinstall the ball joint press and press in the new ball joint. Be caustious to make sure everything is seated correctly and make sure you are not trying to press it in uneven. You could do this in either method. So pay attention when pressing in the new joint.
  • now you are done... just reinstall everything you took apart and torque to factory spec.

here is a picture as I am about to press out the old joint. notice how the brake caliper and cv are zip tied up out of the way. Also notice I use a larger sized breaker bar with no cheater bar.
hvxdee.jpg

here is a picture of the cleaned up ball joint socket
f1gmtu.jpg


Overall I was really surprised how easy of a job this is. It only took 10 maybe 15 min to actually press out the old and press in the new. The longest part by far about this job is just breaking things down. I figure it should take between 4-5 hours total for a DIY'er to do both side at home. Just take your time and enjoy the process. I didnt take more pictures because I felt the two videos I linked above show you enough on how to use the press.

Anyway, another option for those planning to take on this project.
:cheers:
Many, many thanks for the write-up!!! I am a noob to ball joints, but I had one screeching this week that had to be fixed. No torn boot, but a creak over every bump, and with every turn. Turned out to be rusty. Got a 555 from Napa for 50 bucks, and went to it today using this guide. It covers everything pretty good, but I'll add a few of my notes that will hopefully make it faster for folks.

  • I would recommend just cracking the steering rod bracket bolts, but not removing them, before loosening the upper and lower ball joints. Otherwise the knuckle just flops around when you're cranking on the ball joint nuts.
  • If you get a 555 ball joint, the nut is a 27mm, so you can have one ready. OEM lower ball joint is a 24mm nut.
  • Also specific to the 555 (maybe others?). I had to remove the rubber boot to get to the correct pressing surface.
  • The standard Ball Joint Press kits suck. AutoZone is stocking a new one that has a bazillion adapters, and given the length of the ball joint, thickness of the control arm, and smallness of the press opening, this is a good thing. It's Powerbuilt kit 46, and has 23 pieces. I could not get the O'Rielly ball joint press to work. Out of the massive kit, the 2 1/4" OD, 2" ID 2" length cup worked for the bottom, and 2 1/2" OD, 2 1/4" ID 3/4" tall receiver worked on top with the big disc thingy on top. Have to remove boot to get to the right surface.
20170520_163922.jpg

  • From the 2000 FSM, here are the relevant torque specs.
    • Lower ball joint 117 ft-lbf
    • Upper ball joint 125 ft-lbf
    • Brake caliper bolts 90 ft-lbf
    • Steering knuckle arm bolts 108 ft-lbf
    • ABS speed senor harnes 2x10 ft-lbf, 1x21 ft-lbf, or "about that tight."
20170520_100813.jpg


  • The knuckle assembly is stupid-heavy. I used a bucket to lower it on to.
  • A five gallon bucket upside down next to the brake caliper makes a handy resting spot for the caliper.
  • I had to beat the holy hell out of the OEM lower ball joint with a pickle fork to get it to pop loose.
My UBJ is shot, 1/16"+ of movement, and torn boot, I have SPC's going on next week.

Again, thanks for the write up, it enabled someone who was previously paranoid about removing steering knuckles to go for it (albeit rediculously slowly) :cheers: I now have buttery smooth, quiet turns and bumps.
 

re_guderian

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I finished the other side last night. It could've been done in two hours, but a speed sensor bracket bolt snapped off in the steering arm. I spent more time carefully drilling and tapping that than on the ball joint. Side note, if you bugger the threads on the UBJ, you'd better be good with the edge of a file, those are $300 threads!

Turns out that after 250k miles, and probably for the last 100k, I've had 3 bad ball joints. Two have 1/16"-1/8" vertical play, and one lower was doing the death-creak.

Bottom line - it rides SO MUCH BETTER now. Tight, but softer over bumps, no bone jarring. For YEARS I've been looking for an explanation that explains the difference in ride quality between my 2004 and the 2000. I'm willing to bet that crappy, worn ball joints account for the bulk of the difference, since they are set up very similarly. Probably an overlooked item. My lowers showed no visible sign of wear, the boots were good and were not leaking.
 
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For YEARS I've been looking for an explanation

This. When I replaced my upper and lower ball joints it was one of those "oh, this is what it's supposed to feel like" moments.

And, hit the top of the ball joint with some rattle can, it's not finished or sealed in any way. Mine were nice and orange a week after install. Quick hit with a scuff wheel and some Rusto.
 

Greenbean

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So what's the best value for your money on both the UCA and LCA ball joints?

Uppers are SPC correct? And lowers are the 555?
 

re_guderian

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...And, hit the top of the ball joint with some rattle can, it's not finished or sealed in any way. Mine were nice and orange a week after install. Quick hit with a scuff wheel and some Rusto.
Good tip. Though hopefully here in AZ I have several weeks to get around to it. :)
So what's the best value for your money on both the UCA and LCA ball joints?

Uppers are SPC correct? And lowers are the 555?
Man, I am far from an expert. The 555's seemed to get good reviews here, and they are $50 at NAPA whereas most others were in the $80 range. As far as uppers, the newer SPC's seem to get better reviews than the old ones, but anything's gotta be better than worn out OEM. BTW, I think most aftermarket ones are cheaper than OEM, too. I get my SPC"s on Thursday :bounce:
 
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Best value will be @cruiseroutfit once the ship from Japan comes in and he's got the 555 uppers and lowers in stock. Be much better pricing than the reboxed local stores. The advantage of the whole upper arm with SPC is you do get some caster correction options.
 

re_guderian

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Best value will be @cruiseroutfit once the ship from Japan comes in and he's got the 555 uppers and lowers in stock. Be much better pricing than the reboxed local stores. The advantage of the whole upper arm with SPC is you do get some caster correction options.
Yeah, I called them last week and they were still waiting on the shipment. :( It would be nice not to have to drop $600 on arms. But, I guess if you only do it every 200K, it's not that bad.
 

Greenbean

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Yeah, I called them last week and they were still waiting on the shipment. :( It would be nice not to have to drop $600 on arms. But, I guess if you only do it every 200K, it's not that bad.

Lower or upper arms? You do get new bushings though, :D
 
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Guys what a the symptoms of upper or lower ball joints need replacing.My rubbers seem fine around them ,but what should I look out for when driving.
 
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I finished the other side last night. It could've been done in two hours, but a speed sensor bracket bolt snapped off in the steering arm. I spent more time carefully drilling and tapping that than on the ball joint. Side note, if you bugger the threads on the UBJ, you'd better be good with the edge of a file, those are $300 threads!

Turns out that after 250k miles, and probably for the last 100k, I've had 3 bad ball joints. Two have 1/16"-1/8" vertical play, and one lower was doing the death-creak.

Bottom line - it rides SO MUCH BETTER now. Tight, but softer over bumps, no bone jarring. For YEARS I've been looking for an explanation that explains the difference in ride quality between my 2004 and the 2000. I'm willing to bet that crappy, worn ball joints account for the bulk of the difference, since they are set up very similarly. Probably an overlooked item. My lowers showed no visible sign of wear, the boots were good and were not leaking.



Nice to hear.How was your ride quality before you said over bumps it wasn't good etc.I'm getting a squeak sometimes over bumps.
 

re_guderian

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Lower or upper arms? You do get new bushings though, :D
I was referring to not being able yet to replace the upper ball joint in the OEM arms. That would be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole arm, either aftermarket or OEM. Based on the ride quality, I don't think the bushings are shot. I could be wrong though.

Guys what a the symptoms of upper or lower ball joints need replacing.My rubbers seem fine around them ,but what should I look out for when driving.

My ride over small bumps/cracks was much harsher than it should have been, and worse than in my wife's '04. I have tried literally everything to fix it. Shocks (OME, OEM, Iron Man), t-bars (OEM, OME), tires (Nitto TG, Bridgestone hwy treads), sway bars (new bushings drove for a few weeks with a broken end link), the whole nine yards. There is also a general looseness in the front end. Now, you can feel the whole suspension cycling smoothly without the "bang" when you first hit something. BTW, I'm running Iron Man foam cell pros, with 295/75/16 Nitto TG's, OEM t-bars (which I think came from @Trunk Monkey oh-so-many years ago. When you think about it, any looseness in the ball joints will see movement before the rest of the suspension has a chance to cycle. Imagine if your shock was loose at the top, and could move up/down 1/8" before engaging the piston/valve. I imagine that's the same impact as worn ball joint.

Nice to hear.How was your ride quality before you said over bumps it wasn't good etc.I'm getting a squeak sometimes over bumps.

Squeaks can be hard to track down, and there can be many culprits, shock bushings most frequently. This was more metallic than "bushing-like", but the real giveaway was that it would do while turning the steering wheel with the truck stopped. The steering rack is < 1yr old, so that left only ball joints, or tie rod ends, and no way to tell between the two without diving in. All 3 (UBJ, LBJ, TRE) cycle with the suspension and steering.

I've heard you can try lifting the tire with a crow bar while jacked up off the ground to check ball joint play. I've never done that. I imagine that's pretty hard. That's like 80 lbs of tire/wheel + 70 lbs of knuckle/hub/rotor/caliper to shift around.
 
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I've had a clunk coming from the front end for some time now. Had it at an offroad shop getting a bearing in the rear gear get fixed, and had them diagnose the noise. They said it was the DS lower ball joint.

I ordered a bunch of parts from Beno including all new swaybar bushings and the 555 lower ball joint. I went to install all of it today and did the 12-6 push/pull test, no play at all. 3-6 push/pull, slight give but i can see the tierod moving so its not play. I tried using a pry bar on the spindle to see if there was any movement with the lower ball joint, nothing. There is some slight grease seepage around both lower front ball joints but the boots look fine, no tears or cracks. Guess the only thing i can do now is test drive and see if the sway bar bushing replacement fixed the issue.
 
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Had a good look at my truck.Top ball joints boot is cracked on one side and I replaced them both sides 6 months ago.Also with car running in park and when I full lock steering both left and right sides I do here a clunck sound.
 
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I was referring to not being able yet to replace the upper ball joint in the OEM arms. That would be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole arm, either aftermarket or OEM. Based on the ride quality, I don't think the bushings are shot. I could be wrong though.



My ride over small bumps/cracks was much harsher than it should have been, and worse than in my wife's '04. I have tried literally everything to fix it. Shocks (OME, OEM, Iron Man), t-bars (OEM, OME), tires (Nitto TG, Bridgestone hwy treads), sway bars (new bushings drove for a few weeks with a broken end link), the whole nine yards. There is also a general looseness in the front end. Now, you can feel the whole suspension cycling smoothly without the "bang" when you first hit something. BTW, I'm running Iron Man foam cell pros, with 295/75/16 Nitto TG's, OEM t-bars (which I think came from @Trunk Monkey oh-so-many years ago. When you think about it, any looseness in the ball joints will see movement before the rest of the suspension has a chance to cycle. Imagine if your shock was loose at the top, and could move up/down 1/8" before engaging the piston/valve. I imagine that's the same impact as worn ball joint.



Squeaks can be hard to track down, and there can be many culprits, shock bushings most frequently. This was more metallic than "bushing-like", but the real giveaway was that it would do while turning the steering wheel with the truck stopped. The steering rack is < 1yr old, so that left only ball joints, or tie rod ends, and no way to tell between the two without diving in. All 3 (UBJ, LBJ, TRE) cycle with the suspension and steering.

I've heard you can try lifting the tire with a crow bar while jacked up off the ground to check ball joint play. I've never done that. I imagine that's pretty hard. That's like 80 lbs of tire/wheel + 70 lbs of knuckle/hub/rotor/caliper to shift around.


Thankyou.Tryed turning steering while car is running and car stopped both directions left and right there is a slight clunk.Got a new rack not long ago and cv joints to.Upper boots on one side of ball joints is cracked changed them less then 6 months ago boots.
 

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