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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The driver’s side ball joint on my car went about a week ago. It seems to be getting progressively worse. I have a Mazda shop manual, which says that the control arm will have to be replaced. But, on http://www.carparts.com I found a ball joint for our cars for $31. I am wondering if anyone replaced the ball joint without replacing the control arm. Would I have to take the control arm to a shop to have the ball pressed in? Or can I punch it out with a hammer and punch the new one in?
 

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Sorry I can't help you with replacing it, but I'm curious how you know it's bad. I was at a shop a few years ago and one of the guys told me my ball joints were bad. He went out there, took an 8 ft pry bar to it, and with all his strength and weight moved it about a quarter inch and said it was bad. I told him to forget it and figured with that kind leverage he could have probably moved the whole car as much as he did that joint.
 

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That is quite strange that a ball joint is sold, but all 3 manuals (shop, chilton's, haynes) it says to replace the entire lower control arm assembly.

From the chilton's manual:

"The lower ball joint is an integral part of the lower control and connot be replaced separately. If the lower ball joint is defective, the entire lower control arm must be replaced."
 

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The balljoint is replaceable. It is pressed into the control arm and needs to be pressed out and the new one pressed in. It can be replaced with the control arm on the car with a ball joint press that looks like a big C clamp and comes with various adapters to fit different sizes of ball joints. Other wise you would have to remove the control arm and use a hydraulic press. If it isn't pressed in & out perfectly straight it will cause the ball joint hole in the control arm to be distorted and the ball joint won't stay in place tight in the control arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I will be ordering the ball joint tonight. I will look for that tool tonight at pepboys. Is there some sort of clip that holds in in? I guess that you replaced yours yourself?
 
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I replaced my ball joint but it didnt stay in so I had it welded in till I can get a control arm so do your self a favor and replace it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lawrence ersek, Did you replace the joint yourself? Or did you have it pressed in by a shop? How long did it take to fall out? Was the car damaged?

MX6aholic, Did you replace yours yourself? How long ago did you do it? Did it ever fall out? :)

Thanks,
Ken
 

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There is a snap ring that goes on the ball joint between the top of the control arm and the rubber grease boot, it doesn't hold the ball joint tightly in the control arm, (the press fit does that) but it keeps the ball joint from falling out if it becomes loose in the arm. The new ball joint comes with a new snap ring. The first two i replaced i had to tack weld into the control arm after they became loose because i didn't press them in perfectly straight. The ones i have replaced since then(on a different car) have worked perfectly because i now know how to do it correctly. The best way to make sure it is done properly would be to have it pressed in at a mazda dealer.
 
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