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Help Please - 99 Gs4 Ball Joint Replacement

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I recently took my GS4 in to the shop to diagnose ongoing vibration problems. 1st the shop load-balanced the wheels, which helped out quite a bit. The steering vibration remained however & the shop noticed cupping on the left side (directional) tires, so they suggested an alignment.

When I brought the car in for an alignment, the shop informed me that the left front ball-joint was shot.

Figuring I could save a few bucks on labor (big mistake), I purchased the ball joint & asked how long it would take to replace it. Someone from ClubLexus said 15-20 minutes, so I eagerly started last night.

After removing all the bolts from the assembly, I was surprised to find that I could not remove it. I began looking for a reason, but could find none.

I began pounding on the assembly with a rubber-mallet to no avail.

Then I made the mistake of pounding on the stud from the steering arm with a solid hammer which resulted in the stud head mushrooming & preventing me from threading the bolt back on.

After several hours, I gave up in complete frustration & failure. :(

Now the car is immobile, the old ball-joint assembly still stuck in place, and the stud from the steering arm stripped. I still have no idea how to remove the ball-joint assembly or why it is stuck. In searching this morning on the web, it seems like I may need a special tool called a ball-joint remover. :rolleyes: Is that correct? If I can find this tool, do I use it on both places where the assembly is stuck?

I am hoping that I can find a die to rethread the stud without having to replace the entire steering arm.

Any suggestions as to proceed?

Thanks in advance!

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If you're going to do your own service, I would suggest a service manual. You will need the ball joint puller to remove the tie rod end and the ball joint. The manual suggests 2 SST (Special Service Tools) but a generic puller works fine. Be careful not to damage the boots on the tie rod. I just did a set. Take note of the torque required on each bolt if you don't want the wheel to fall off.

By far, it was one of the easiest procedures I have ever done on a car; with the tool of course.


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