As I've mentioned before, the shop manual insists that the ball joint be changed with the control arm. I believe it is possible to have new joints pressed in, but some people have had them pop back out....I say give it a try if the shop knows what they're doing. I also heard rumors in the past about the older models (88-89?) having replaceable ball joints.
Well speaking from experience, I've never had one pop out on me(knock on wood). I revcently changed one(drivers side) and I had it pressed as the whole control arm is way too pricey for me. SHANNONLUJAN, I would also recomend if you go the "press" route that you have it mig or tig welded, just 3 tacks not beaded or anything, this ensure that IF it decides to try and walk out it can't, and also with just the tacking IF you need to remoive it again you can simple grind down the spot weld and remove it fairly easy. Oh and BTW now it sound like my passenger side front needs to be changed now, DAMN it seems to never end, oh well I still love my 6.
Well I only changed the one(drivers side only) about 2 months now, and it's fine. I had done this in my previous car(1986 626 GT Turbo coupe) and that never had a problem with the press and tack way. And I never tried to imply that your CV's are not the problem so I'm not too sure you should just dismiss them. Good Luck man, I know the front end "noises" can drive someone mad after a time.
if i remember right, the ball joint i got had some sort of C-clip that you put on after you press it in to prevent it from popping out. it was nothing like that stock one and had a grease gun fitting on the bottomas well.
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