BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Mar 2006
Vehicle: 2002 ML 320 Sport, 1997 SL 500, 1997 E-420
Location: Puerto Rico
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Front Ball Joint Replacement.
I replaced the ball joints and it was not that dificult at all. The front axles didn't have to come out. I used the moog replacement ball joint that use a nut to drive them in. I bought two special tools, a ball joint puller ($35 in ebay) and a pin wrench ball joint socket ($19 in ebay, too). All others tools needed were in my tool box: 19 mm wrench, 21 mm socket, T-40 torx bit, 10 mm socket, and.... Note: the pin wrench socket is for 3/4" ratched. You can buy an adapter for the 1/2" ratched. This is the route that I took. Hope it works for you. Hey, my first language is Spanish, so, be patient with my English language knowledge.
1) Park the truck with a 8" ramp beneath the tire in the oposite side that you are going to work with. This way the sway bar will help keeping the suspension up.
2) Jack it up until it looks level and put a jack stand to the chassis, close to the front door.
3) Put the floor jack beneath the ball joint and raise it until you see that the whole truck is moving. Put another jack stand as close as possible to the ball joint.
4) Remove the tire. Remove the brake caliper (with the T-40 torx bit) and hang it aside. Remove the brake antilock sensor and the brake disc, you will need an allen key.
5) Remove the upper ball joint nut (19 mm) and the rack and pinion end joint nut (21 mm).
6) Using the ball joint puller, get the upper ball joint and the end joint loose and out of the way.
7) Pull the hub to the front to have access to the lower ball joint nut (21 mm).
8) You can use the ball joint puller to get it loose or you can hammer it out (as I did) since it is not needed anymore.
9) Turn the hub about 120 degrees to expose the ball joint and support it on the lower control arm.
10) Using a small hammer you can pesuade it out.
11) Put the new ball joint and install it with the pin ball joint socket. You'll need a strong helping hand here to hold the hub. In my case I drive it about half way and finished it once the hub was mounted back. As many good repair manual says, reverse the process to complete the project.