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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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Fastest way of installing front lower ball joint!! WRITEUP!

** MODS can someone please edit the title as 'fastest way of removing...." instead of 'installing'?? Thanks!!**

This write-up will cut your time by more than half. If you have any questions feel free to ask! It took me around 45minutes to complete the front drivers side, and this is with stopping and taking pictures.

Vehicle: 1990 4runner 3.0 v6 5spd

Tools needed:
Cheater bar
1/2 drive ratchet + extension
3/8 drive ratchet + extension
12mm
14mm
22mm
Flat head screw driver
Hammer
Jack stands
Pliers
Hi- lift jack and a floor jack or 2 floor jacks
Block of wood
Wheel chock

In this write-up I am working on the front driver's side.

First things first, chock your wheels, jack up your truck, place tire aside, place necessary precautions under/behind the truck before crawling under there.


Once you've got the tire out of the way, the jack and jack stands in place, get the second floor jack put a piece of wood on the saddle of the floor jack, place it right underneath the hub, jack it up so that the piece of wood is only supporting the hub in place. Like so...

Click the image to open in full size.
Once that is done, grab your 14mm, 22mm, ratchet extension, cheater bar and crawl under there to get a good view of what you need to take out.

Below is a picture of the lower ball joint, as you can see it is held in place by a cotter pin, a 22mm nut, and 4 14mm bolts.

Click the image to open in full size.

At this point, it doesn't really matter which ones are taken out first as long as all 4 bolts, cotter pin and the nut is out.

Once that is done, you are now going to take out the 22mm nut and bolt that is holding the shock onto the lower suspension arm, pictured below. You're going to have to need 2 sets of tools to take this bolt and nut off. One to hold it in place and the other to loosen it out. Once the nut is off, if it doesn't pull out by hand, grab your flat-head screw driver, hammer and tap it out.

Click the image to open in full size.

Once that is out of the way, grab your 12mm and take out the 2 bolts that is holding the sway bar in place. Next, grab your 22mm and loosen the 2 bolts that is holding the lower suspension arm in place.

Here is a picture of the rear bolt
Click the image to open in full size.

And here is a picture of the front bolt
Click the image to open in full size.

Remember all you have to do is loosen the 2 bolts enough so that the lower suspension arm can drop down.

Now grab your hammer and pound away at the nuckle of the lower suspension arm. A couple of hard hits and the lower suspension arm should drop down from the hub.

Click the image to open in full size.

At this point you will want to continue pounding away at the nuckle of the lower suspension arm and the ball joint should pop right out.

Click the image to open in full size.

And there you guys have it! Install should be the reverse. Just don't forget that the floor jack and block of wood is supporting the hub AT ALL TIMES! If not, you're hub will drop down along with the suspension arm, and you may risk pulling or tearing your cv boot right off and that will be a b!tch!

I've also not included some small miscellaneous steps as it should be common sense. Such as the cotter pin, etc...

Good luck and happy tooling!

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Last edited by thisgsx; 01-21-2011 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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good way to change the lower balljoint. when i did mine i over extended my cv's oops
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
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That happened to me on the passenger side, I accidentally bumped the floor jack and down came the hub. Popped the cv boot right out, luckily it didn't tear. That was a relief and easy fix.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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A thought here b/c I caught an error in the writeup above.

*Please, don't/never do as said and just loosen the two 22mm nuts/bolts that secure the lower arms.

Click the image to open in full size.

You would preferably just spray some penetrating oil there so they'll move easier.

Sorry, but it's far too easy to move the alignment cams under those assemblies out of spot. Then all the money you saved doing this yourself is wasted having your alignment fixed.

Penetrating oil, every time, period.

*Yes, technically sometimes you can change your alignment with new parts anyhow and should always drive carefully afterwards, even go as far as to have the alignment checked anyhow.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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I agree, I've never had to loosen the the lower control arm bolts. Penetrating oil and a big rubber mallet did it for me, on both sides.

Other than that, outstanding writeup, thanks!
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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I didn't know that, thanks.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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or you can jack the hub up and use a pitman arm puller and the balljoint will be out in a second

adjusting the alinement cams would not be advisable
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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or you can jack the hub up and use a pitman arm puller and the balljoint will be out in a second
Like one of these? http://www.harborfreight.com/tie-rod...ller-1752.html

Sure sounds a lot easier/faster/safer than using a big hammer ...
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Last edited by scope103; 01-21-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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thats the one !
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
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or you can jack the hub up and use a pitman arm puller and the balljoint will be out in a second

adjusting the alinement cams would not be advisable
This.

I just did upper and lower ball joints on my 95 4runner... piece of cake with the right tools.

Loosed the bolts and nut on ball joint, bang the hell out of the stud till the ball joint is 'loose', use a puller to get it completely out.

With the right puller, you can probably even skip the hammer part.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:28 PM
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