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bplaney

About To Replace Lower Ball Joints At 109K Miles

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In the next couple days I'll be replacing both lower ball joints on my '99 GS300. I have a second car, so I can do this somewhat leisurely.

Is there a particular brand/kind of torque wrench I should use for the parts of this procedure that require one?

Also, there has been a kind of burning rubber smell coming from the front after short trips - could that be wheel bearings needing a regrease?

Besides checking brake pads and replacing them if necessary, what other maintenance can I do with the front wheels off that is good to "just do" at this mileage interval?

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I would replace any bushings that are worn wink.gif

Can you elaborate? would new bushings not have come with the replacement part(s)? from what I've read through, I don't want to mess with the upper ball joints. If you are talking about control arm bushings, can those be done without messing with the upper ball joints?

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not really maintenance but when i have the wheels off i like to clean the wheel well real good and get that crusty dirt off that u can't get to other wise.. and of course the back side of the wheels too.. :)

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Done. First one took about 9 hours (due to having to stop every so often to borrow or buy yet another tool I thought I had but did not). Also, I was a bit timid jacking the car up and had not done that in a while. Plus my security lug cracked and I had to get a new set and have the old set removed (the key got damaged too) and replaced. After replacing my battery (which drained because I left the car in 2nd gear overnight), probably unnecessarily, I finally turned my attention to the second LBJ and completed that process in about 90 minutes.

Aarrrrrgghhh!

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Done. First one took about 9 hours (due to having to stop every so often to borrow or buy yet another tool I thought I had but did not). Also, I was a bit timid jacking the car up and had not done that in a while. Plus my security lug cracked and I had to get a new set and have the old set removed (the key got damaged too) and replaced. After replacing my battery (which drained because I left the car in 2nd gear overnight), probably unnecessarily, I finally turned my attention to the second LBJ and completed that process in about 90 minutes.

Aarrrrrgghhh!

Can you supply a parts list for all the items needed for this job? Plus any special tools one should have. Do you need a front end alignment after replacine ball joints?

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Done. First one took about 9 hours (due to having to stop every so often to borrow or buy yet another tool I thought I had but did not). Also, I was a bit timid jacking the car up and had not done that in a while. Plus my security lug cracked and I had to get a new set and have the old set removed (the key got damaged too) and replaced. After replacing my battery (which drained because I left the car in 2nd gear overnight), probably unnecessarily, I finally turned my attention to the second LBJ and completed that process in about 90 minutes.

Aarrrrrgghhh!

Can you supply a parts list for all the items needed for this job? Plus any special tools one should have. Do you need a front end alignment after replacine ball joints?

--------------------------

TOOLS

Deep sockets:

17mm and 19mm (best to be 1/2" drive)

two M8-1,25 bolts - mine were 40mm long and had 12mm hex heads (these can be screwed into the two holes on the face of the rotor that lie within the circle made by the five lugs... if you screw them in a bit at a time, they function as a way to push the rotor away from the spindle, which can be seized there)

Heavy duty Pulling Tool (don't use the "tuning fork" kind - it is ridiculously hard to do, and requires lots of hammering and ear plugs)

Breaker Bar - about 24" long and will have a 1/2" drive

Adjustable Torque Wrench - expensive, but it (and the breaker bar) can be borrowed from AutoZone for FREE (with refundable deposit)

An adjustable hex wrench and a standard small ratchet are good to have handy also... you may need an adapter to deal with any possible size difference in socket drives

Extra cotter pins

A can of Brake Parts Cleaner is good to have to clean the interfaces between the suspension parts that will stay and the new LBJs. A large glass Pickle Jar is also good to have to put nuts and bolts into and lets you safely spray them with the brake parts cleaner and will capture that toxic fluid - and you can also hold it as a kind of shroud around the larger interfacing part ends to capture the spray blast safely.

I think that's it.

I followed the instructions for repairing the LBJs of a Lexus LS here:

http://clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153536

It will tell you the torque settings and note that the LS has a 24mm nut involved, but the GS does not - 19mm is the largest I encountered. (not counting the wheel lug nuts, which are 21mm)

more pictures of an LS lower ball joint replacement:

http://picasaweb.google.com/pishta68/BallJoints#

Also note that the long breaker bar and torque wrenches will not always fit inside your wheel well for some operations. You can deal with that by turning your steering wheel (if you have left your raised car in 2nd gear) to change the angle of the access. I discovered that keeping your car in 2nd gear will deplete the battery overnight if you leave it that way. Best to disconnect it if you plan to leave it up overnight.

I don't know about the alignment. Mine seems not to need it.

Good luck!

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as far as any other maintenance, replace the wheel bearings as well. sooner or later they will go out. easier to take off the steering knuckle off now then to remove everything off later. wheel bearings are about 46 dollars at an auto parts store. you will need to take them to a shop to have them pressed in. best place for that, try a machine shop. they will give you a better deal. also check all other suspension components while you are at it such as tie rod ends, upper ball joints. and you shouldnt need an allignment after the ball joints are done. well for the lower ones at least

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