How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Hello,

Please see photos HERE

First of all, despite many comments that "if your lower ball joints are bad you have to replace lower control arms" I did some research and found one guy who did it on his 4runner - here is his DIY

Lower control is not weird shape and I had no issues aligning press

These are MOOG lower ball joints that i used - LINK



It was much easier for me since my FJ was on jack stands undergoing alignment cam tabs replacement and control arms have been removed - alignment tabs ISSUE



22mm castle nut on LBJ is easy to remove with any power tool, my 18v milwaukee had no problem with it
C-clip was spinning around so i used 2 flat head screwdrivers - I STRONGLY RECOMMEND COVERING THE C-CLIP WITH RAG AND SOMETHING ELSE, it will spring outwards



As suggested in above DIY i got the big kit from Advance Auto Parts, to remove ball joint i used these pieces: (cylinder 2-3/4"O.D.~2-7/16"I.D.~2-1/4"L.)









Despite the force and my entire weight, one ball joint didn't even bulge so i had to soak it in PB Blaster for about 20 minutes while i easily removed and replace the other one



When assembling
WATCH FOR ALIGNMENT MARKS - i didn't care about them due to zerks placement




Since MOOG has grease zerk and guy in DIY had issue with it under the axle, i aligned mine at 45 degrees from the axle and checked clearance under it - should be serviceable (I hope) will find out when assemble. To make sure it's aligned i made marks on ball joint and control arm



I dont remember which cylinder i used, but it had a smaller hole one side and it was from the right side of that black box (or bottom left) - one of two taller single ones AND short wide cylinder. MOOG ball joint is taller than OEM and stick out a bit when you put c-clip



Castle nut went in easy and almost passed the hole



DONT FORGET TO ADD GREASE!!!

Overall, took me about 2 hours

Last edited by BOPOH; 04-21-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 09:05 AM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Nice write-up. Subscribed!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 10:33 AM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

awesome writeup!

My (grumble, grumble) alignment fasteners rusted solid (8 years old) so that after I replaced dampers it couldn't be aligned (days of penetrating oil + 3ft breaker bar and biggest guy in the shop). Had to gas torch off the bolts and at that point (melted bushings, 100k miles on the ball joint) I decided to replace the entire LCA assy. and put it back together with liberal coatings of anti-seize (on the fasteners) and fluid film (on everything else).

But next time (after another 100k miles or so), if my lower ball joint ever needs replacing I will definitely follow your method.

Norm "money, what's it good for?"
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2016, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Lol did you see my experience removing lower control arms? Everything came out OK, except the VERY LAST bolt and i didn't want to fall in waterfall of expenses: new bolts, new bushings OR new control arm, if one control arm is new then i have to buy another control arm, then another set of bolts, especially that i already bought new ball joints (few month ago)

I just beat the hell out of it, after all the only thing was holding that bolt is RUST. This is how it looked when it finally realized that i won't give up





And the rest of the bolts

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Last edited by BOPOH; 12-05-2016 at 10:51 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2016, 12:42 PM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

I tried the ball joint press tool when I did mine, wouldn't budge the balljoints. I ended up putting it in my press, which maxed out at 20tons, still didn't budge. Added a little heat from a goss torch while it was in the press, and popped free.

I also used the 2 screwdriver method to get the snap ring off, but make sure no one is in front of the snap ring when you take it off, mine went flying across the garage

I aligned the balljoint so zerks were facing the rear of vehicle, I can just barely get the grease gun on. Next time I will face them forward, much more room, especially if you have UCAs that add caster and tilt the spindle back.
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2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, TC rear lower control arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 07:41 AM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Quote:
BOPOH previously said: View Post
Hello,

First of all, despite many comments that "if your lower ball joints are bad you have to replace lower control arms" I did some research and found one guy who did it on his 4runner - here is his DIY

Lower control is not weird shape and I had no issues aligning press

These are MOOG lower ball joints that i used - LINK



It was much easier for me since my FJ was on jack stands undergoing alignment cam tabs replacement and control arms have been removed - alignment tabs ISSUE




22mm castle nut on LBJ is easy to remove with any power tool, my 18v milwaukee had no problem with it
C-clip was spinning around so i used 2 flat head screwdrivers - I STRONGLY RECOMMEND COVERING THE C-CLIP WITH RAG AND SOMETHING ELSE, it will spring outwards



As suggested in above DIY i got the big kit from Advance Auto Parts, to remove ball joint i used these pieces: (cylinder 2-3/4"O.D.~2-7/16"I.D.~2-1/4"L.)







Despite the force and my entire weight, one ball joint didn't even bulge so i had to soak it in PB Blaster for about 20 minutes while i easily removed and replace the other one



When assembling
WATCH FOR ALIGNMENT MARKS - i didn't care about them due to zerks placement



Since MOOG has grease zerk and guy in DIY had issue with it under the axle, i aligned mine at 45 degrees from the axle and checked clearance under it - should be serviceable (I hope) will find out when assemble. To make sure it's aligned i made marks on ball joint and control arm



I dont remember which cylinder i used, but it had a smaller hole one side and it was from the right side of that black box (or bottom left) - one of two taller single ones AND short wide cylinder. MOOG ball joint is taller than OEM and stick out a bit when you put c-clip



Castle nut went in easy and almost passed the hole



DONT FORGET TO ADD GREASE!!!

Overall, took me about 2 hours
Can't see any of the images except the Moog one...
I'll be using my 30T press since Advance wanted a $230 deposit for the press tool.

'08 Fusion: ARB rack, custom ladder, Jerry-can carrier & Hi-lift mount, DO front bumper, Expedition-1 Rear bumper, DO Hybrid Sliders, MileMarker Hyd Winch, SPEC Stage-1 clutch, Icon Stage 2 3" lift, Cobra CB, PNR Snorkel, Spidertrax spacers, All-Pro Skid plates, Airlift airsprings Plasti-Dipped hood, Arco PIAA fogs, Hella drivin lights & more......
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:19 AM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Quote:
ohiobenz previously said: View Post
Can't see any of the images except the Moog one...
I'll be using my 30T press since Advance wanted a $230 deposit for the press tool.
Take pix and post em! GL



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 10:42 AM
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Tip: An extra set of hands really helps to hold the control arm while you line it up in the press.



Eric

2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, TC rear lower control arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How I replaced lower ball joints on FJ

Sorry, Flickr is weird but here are the photos
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