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Old 09-19-2019, 05:14 PM #1
fishermunn fishermunn is offline
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ball joint replacement

i am trying to replace the upper and lower ball joints. toyota parts only sells the complete lower and upper arms with the ball joint installed. i would like to avoid the $800.00 plus cost of purchasing the whole assembly.
i have the press to install the ball joints.
the road block i have encountered concerns the c ring clip around the ball joint. the only way i know how to remove it is cutting it off with a grinder. it does not have the holes in the pin so can expand it and push it off.
i am looking for some help before i take such drastic action. i can't make any head way removing the ring using the tools i have on hand.
anyone removed the ball joints instead of purchasing the whole arm assembly?
if so, please enlighten my frustrated soul. thanks in advance!
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:36 PM #2
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You can remove the c-clip with a large flat blade screw driver, or punch, and hammer, just knock it off. I didn't complete the ball joint replacement after I removed mine, the tool from Auotzone didn't seem to work, so I bought a used LCA with ball joint and a new LCA from IAauto also with ball joint. Been two years and no problems.
I'm all on highway though.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:04 PM #3
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ball joint replacement

i am still on the upper ball joint. any force just moves the ring around the groove. i have no progress trying to pry or knock it off.
the lower ball joint has a larger ring and is more accessible from the top. it may be easier to get off.
there has to be a way to remove the upper ring without resorting to the grinder. i just don't know how.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:39 PM #4
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ball joint replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
i am still on the upper ball joint. any force just moves the ring around the groove. i have no progress trying to pry or knock it off.

the lower ball joint has a larger ring and is more accessible from the top. it may be easier to get off.

there has to be a way to remove the upper ring without resorting to the grinder. i just don't know how.


Maybe obvious answer here but, have you tried the pliers that separate when you squeeze? I have a pair for rebooting CV axles. They are not the little pin ones but just have like flat faces and work really well.

Like these, I bought mine at O Reilly

https://www.kctoolco.com/knipex-45-1...ngs-on-shafts/

EDIT: mine were also nowhere near that price, at the most $20 but Im pretty sure not even that.



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Last edited by montijo505; 09-19-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:06 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
i am trying to replace the upper and lower ball joints. toyota parts only sells the complete lower and upper arms with the ball joint installed. i would like to avoid the $800.00 plus cost of purchasing the whole assembly.
i have the press to install the ball joints.
the road block i have encountered concerns the c ring clip around the ball joint. the only way i know how to remove it is cutting it off with a grinder. it does not have the holes in the pin so can expand it and push it off.
i am looking for some help before i take such drastic action. i can't make any head way removing the ring using the tools i have on hand.
anyone removed the ball joints instead of purchasing the whole arm assembly?
if so, please enlighten my frustrated soul. thanks in advance!
yeah my upper ball joint is leaking too, are you hearing a sound when going over bumps? sort of like two washers hitting against each other
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:37 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
i am trying to replace the upper and lower ball joints. toyota parts only sells the complete lower and upper arms with the ball joint installed. i would like to avoid the $800.00 plus cost of purchasing the whole assembly.

i have the press to install the ball joints.

the road block i have encountered concerns the c ring clip around the ball joint. the only way i know how to remove it is cutting it off with a grinder. it does not have the holes in the pin so can expand it and push it off.

i am looking for some help before i take such drastic action. i can't make any head way removing the ring using the tools i have on hand.

anyone removed the ball joints instead of purchasing the whole arm assembly?

if so, please enlighten my frustrated soul. thanks in advance!
I can save you a lot of time, frustration and money

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/for-sale-t4r-items/277767-fs-like-new-4th-gen-upper-control-arm-set-$50-shipping-greensboro-nc.html

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Old 09-20-2019, 12:47 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
i am still on the upper ball joint. any force just moves the ring around the groove. i have no progress trying to pry or knock it off.
the lower ball joint has a larger ring and is more accessible from the top. it may be easier to get off.
there has to be a way to remove the upper ring without resorting to the grinder. i just don't know how.
Just need the right kind of tool. Snap ring pliers usually go in both directions and would get it done.

2 screw drivers, go against both open ends at the same time and try to get it out that way. It's super easy to slip and bust a knuckle, but it can be done.



I'd have found someone with a 5th Gen that was replacing their UCA's. Most of them don't end up reselling the stock ones, and they should bolt into a 4th gen no problem.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:03 PM #8
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thank you, thank you!
bought the tool and within 5 minutes had the clip removed. i appreciate the effort to post the link so i could see what you meant. i went to the napa and purchased one for around $15.00. i love the forums!
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:09 PM #9
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no noise i notice, i replaced the cv axle because a torn boot, replaced the wheel bearing and hub assembly because of side ways motion of the wheel when jacked up. after the wheel bearing the sideways motion was gone, but i still had motion when i moved the wheel in the up and down direction. the truck has 166k miles, so i decided to replace the upper and lower ball joints.
i have read that the sway bar is often the culprit when the rubber supports wear out and bar hits the frame. just a guess.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:28 PM #10
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4runnerbank
i sent you a pm.
your classified would save me a lot of time and worry.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:42 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
thank you, thank you!
bought the tool and within 5 minutes had the clip removed. i appreciate the effort to post the link so i could see what you meant. i went to the napa and purchased one for around $15.00. i love the forums!


Glad it worked out for you, those things are lifesavers. Sure it can be done other ways but those pliers make it a breeze.


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Old 09-20-2019, 08:53 PM #12
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Moog makes complete lower control arms with ball joints and bushings that can be had for ~$165 each.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...&jsn=10&jsn=10

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...1432833&jsn=25
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:38 PM #13
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[QUOTE=fishermunn;3359216]no noise i notice, i replaced the cv axle because a torn boot, replaced the wheel bearing and hub assembly because of side ways motion of the wheel when jacked up. after the wheel bearing the sideways motion was gone, but i still had motion when i moved the wheel in the up and down direction. the truck has 166k miles, so i decided to replace the upper and lower ball joints. /QUOTE]

I just went through this myself. One week before he was to leave for college, my son tells me his steering is whacked. I take it for a test drive, and sure enough, it's whacked. I jacked up the front wheels, and the ball joints tested OK, but I noticed a torn CV boot. Run to Napa for a new CV axle. Get home, drop the lower CA to install it and notice the lower BJ is far too loose. As the truck has 150K miles, order a set of upper and lower CA's, while waiting for delivery, run to NAPA for the CV axle on the other side. By week's end everything has arrived and has been installed. Take it for an alignment and, "you're inner and outer tie rods are siezed, it'll cost $700 and the parts won't be here until Monday." The tie rods were fine, but the locking nut was rusted to the outer tie rod end. It took a minute with a torch to loosen. Spent the rest of the day trying to align it myself, using string, measuring tape, and a carpenter's angle finder. Couldn't get rid of the tire rub on tight turns with his 285 tires though. Son drives 300 miles to school the next day. I order JCA UCA's, and since we're replacing everything anyhow, order a set of inner/outer tie rods. Son returns from school 2 weeks later, we replace the UCAs and tie rods, take it back to the same alignment shop (mistake), asked for 4 degrees caster, and got 2.8. The tires rubbed worse than before, so I got to spend another afternoon correcting the alignment.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:39 PM #14
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@Crikeymike : As far as the 5th gen UCA bolting right up to the 4th gen, are you sure about that? I’ve been curious about swapping the UCA and LCA from a 5th gen over to my 4th gen because it would seem like if it’s the same frame and OTHER suspension components can be made to fit with only slight tweaking (ie I put struts/coils from a 2017 on my 2004)—it makes sense that the rest might also bolt right up?
Do you have any firsthand experience or knowledge of that being the case or NOT being the case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crikeymike View Post
Just need the right kind of tool. Snap ring pliers usually go in both directions and would get it done.

2 screw drivers, go against both open ends at the same time and try to get it out that way. It's super easy to slip and bust a knuckle, but it can be done.



I'd have found someone with a 5th Gen that was replacing their UCA's. Most of them don't end up reselling the stock ones, and they should bolt into a 4th gen no problem.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:48 PM #15
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@Crikeymike : As far as the 5th gen UCA bolting right up to the 4th gen, are you sure about that? Ive been curious about swapping the UCA and LCA from a 5th gen over to my 4th gen because it would seem like if its the same frame and OTHER suspension components can be made to fit with only slight tweaking (ie I put struts/coils from a 2017 on my 2004)it makes sense that the rest might also bolt right up?
Do you have any firsthand experience or knowledge of that being the case or NOT being the case?
Yes, the UCA's are most definitely interchangeable.

Struts can be put in too from a 5th to a 4th but the lower bushing is wider and spring rates may be different depending on engine, and changes they made over the years.

I do not know about LCAs though. You would have to check Toyota part numbers to verify that.
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