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Anything else to replace when doing ball joints ?

1768 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dasouthwon
I'm replacing both front lower ball joints. Whenever I do something like this, I invariably get into it and find somethig else thats easy to do at the same time. This is always another week minumum for ordering whatever that is.

Any suggestions in this case ?

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No, not really.

Unless something else in your front suspension is worn, you really don't have to disasemble that much to R&R the lower ball joints, so it isn't as if you will be removing other parts to get in there.

You can take out the lower ball joints without removing the spring. Support the lower A arm on something sturdy (a cement block would be good), making sure that the upper link is off its rest - that is, that the spring is compressed enough so the spindle isn't carrying any tensile load - as long as your car has its engine installed, it should be heavy enough to ensure this. Then you can take out the ball joint by removing the two cross bolts, and popping the tapered end out of the bottom of the spindle. Of course, getting that tapered joint apart is always a &^%$*&. You may need to loosen the 4 bolts that hold the lower spring pan to the two arms to allow the arms to spread enough to release the lower ball joint.

I guess I am obliged to warn you not to let the spring fly out and kill you. As long as the lower A arms & spring pan are resting on something secure, this is unlikely. But, don't use a scissors jack or something similarly mickey mouse.
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My Alfa mechanic replaced the ball joints last week and upon review we decided to also replace the sway bar end links as well as the lower arm bushings. While he was at it I had him pop in Koni reds for good measure.
I did the extra stuff because I'm a nut that wants his Spider to run perfectly.
how many miles/years are on the rest of the suspension ?

if something is worn out in front, i would at least check over the condition of the rear trailing arm bushings and the trunnion-to-Diff bushing. the condition of these greatly affects the safety & stability of the vehicle.
Thanks for the reply all...

I'm planning to get at the rear suspension soon actually. The front A arm bushings I had replaced when I bought the car 4 yrs. ago, but I have no idea how old the rest of the bushings are. I'll see what I can tell. Although I may make a sus rebuild another project...dunno.

I would most definately check the inner, lower a-arm bushings. The seemed sloppy on mine at 40k. Don't know how many miles you have put on it since you changed them but the do affect toe. As you know you need 4 of them at $25 a piece, not cheap but worth having to keep from disassembling again.
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