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Old 05-23-2007, 16:55   #1 (permalink)
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SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

I posted a new thread rather than hijacking the current thread on "shaking while braking."

My car is a 99 Taurus 3.0 U. When I come to a high speed stop with light pressure on the brake, I can get the car to shimmy. Higher brake pressure stops the shimming. I just jacked the front end to check the ball joints with a bar. NO up/down movement in the ball joint. HOWEVER---- there is side to side movement!!! I put my hand on the ball joint and I can feel play in it when moving the wheel sideways.

Now here is where things get complicated. I have the Ford service disk for the 99 Taurus. The folks that wrote the instructions/descriptions for the service manual SPECIFICALLY STATE THE LOWER BALL JOINTS ARE NOT REPLACEABLE. They state the front wheel knuckle (3K185) must be replaced.

OK so far but now time to drop the other shoe! Rockauto.com has ball joints for sale for my car!! Prices range all over the place.

Spicer part (red-service grade) $9.73

Spicer part (Professional grade) 37.89

Moog --2 ball joints pictured for a pair maybe? 38.79

Motorcraft --no pictures 44.79

ACDelco 48.79

What gives??? Is the ball joint replaceable or not?

I also noticed a little play in the front suspension lower arm but nowhere as bad as the ball joints.

I need some expert advice HELP!!! I am thinking about ordering the MOOGs but I want to call first to be sure there are 2 joints being offered as a pair.

Foggy
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Old 06-02-2007, 23:24   #2 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Yes you can replace it. Moog and Splicer are the same. But don't get the cheap stuff. OEM is nothing special.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:14   #3 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

The problem is the hubs are aluminum, so if you try to press them off you'll warp the hub unless you are really careful. I know a mechanic that worked at a Ford dealership that used a Pitman Arm Puller to press them off. Maybe someone on this forum has the expertise to walk you through that procedure. Otherwise, yes, the Ford service disk is correct, you need to replace the entire hub. You may prefer to do that given the time, tools and knowledge needed.
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Old 06-05-2007, 16:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

DAC-- wish you had posted earlier. I have the new joints and am planning to get to the task soon. I never would have thought the hubs were aluminum. But I just found out the other day that the trunk lid is aluminum so nothing surprises me anymore.

I don't know how I am going to do this job but will post my results in any case. I have an hydrolic press but it is in storage.

Foggy

EDIT: I purchased the Moog parts.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:21   #5 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail
DAC-- wish you had posted earlier. I have the new joints and am planning to get to the task soon. I never would have thought the hubs were aluminum.
Sorry. Who knows maybe your '99 are not aluminum, but probably not. If its any consolation to you, my '97 is on its third driver side, and second for the passenger side. Did the driver side myself once, and cursed too much (sure wish Ford put more travel in the lower control arm so the strut would fit easier into the top of the hub).

If you can return those parts I'd try to get a hold of the entire hubs. I understand they're much cheaper than when I did my first one in 2000 (looks like supply has finally met with the high demand of this poorly designed high failure rate part).

If you cannot return the parts and have the time, I'd give it a shot. Who knows maybe it'll work out. Get the hub out and remove the axle bear. You then should have plenty of room. I'd also re-post asking how to press off, as someone with the expertise is probably not monitoring this thread.

Don't forget to check the Taurus Car Club of America. I noticed several posts suggesting how to press it off yourself and/or taking the joint and car to shop and have them do it, or take the hub and joint to someone that can press on/off.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:50   #6 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Quote:
Originally Posted by dac122
Did the driver side myself once, and cursed too much (sure wish Ford put more travel in the lower control arm so the strut would fit easier into the top of the hub).
If you lower the subframe on the side you are working on the strut will easily come out of the knuckle.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:58   #7 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHOZ123
If you lower the subframe on the side you are working on the strut will easily come out of the knuckle.
Perhaps I don't understand, but if by "lower" you mean pull the lower control arm down as far as it will go, that did not give me enough travel. I even had a come-along pulling the lower control arm down as far as it would go, spring compressors on the strut spring, and still no room. I eventually had to put the hub on the strut and pry it onto the lower control arm. Am I missing something here? This is not the first ball joint I replaced and could not believe how little room there is.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:23   #8 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

No loosen the subframe bolts and lower the subframe from the body.

What I do is support the car on jack stands at the body. Put a jack under the subframe on the side I am working on. Remove the subframe bolts and then put back in three turns each. This is the front and back on the one side.

Then lower the subframe with the jack. Give the knuckle a kick downward and the strut will flop right out. Takes me about 20 minutes per side.

I too fought and cursed the design until I tried this. Makes me smile every time I do it now......
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Yes that makes good sense. I recall thinking about trying that, but was worried the rust wouldn't let those bolts out. If I have that problem again I may just cut the head and tail off with my angle grinder and drive them out. They probably aren't that expensive, even if you have to get them from a dealer.

Thanks for the reminder and tip, but I still don't like the design.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:16   #10 (permalink)
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Re: SHAKING WHEN BRAKING ----lower ball joints???

Between posts, I jacked the car to see what I am confronted with. Next I went to the Ford manual.... horrible. This is what they are taking about:

Remove the engine and transmission support insulator (6F603); refer to «Section 02-03».

5. Remove and discard lower ball joint nut. Using Ball Joint Remover 211-S200 (T96P-3010-A) and Tie Rod End Remover Adapter 211-087 (T81P-3504-W), separate lower ball joint from front suspension lower arm (3078).

6. Using Rotunda Spring Compressor 014-00781 or equivalent, compress front coil spring (5310) until lower ball joint clears front suspension lower arm.

7. Remove forward front suspension lower arm mounting nut and bolt.

8. Remove rear front suspension lower arm mounting nut and bolt. Remove front suspension lower arm from vehicle.


Installation

1. Position front suspension lower arm into front sub-frame (5C145). Install forward and rear front suspension lower arm mounting bolts and nuts. Tighten rear bolt to 98-132 Nm (72-97 lb-ft). Tighten front bolt to 77-103 Nm (57-75 lb-ft).

2. Release Rotunda Spring Compressor 014-00781 or equivalent while guiding lower ball joint into front suspension lower arm. Remove Rotunda Spring Compressor 014-00781 or equivalent.

3. Install the engine and transmission support insulator; refer to «Section 02-03».

4. Install new lower ball joint nut. Tighten to 68-92 Nm (50-67 lb-ft).


That is a lot of work-- spring compressor and all.

Foggy
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