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Upper ball joint wont fit in knuckle       #: 2297
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Wed Dec 23rd, 2020 04:01 am
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Matt003
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Hello, I\'m in the process of replacing ball joints on a 2002 Mazda B3000, and I have a problem with the passenger side upper control arm. I cannot get the upper ball joint to fit back into the knuckle. I\'m sure its the right part because the size of the ball joint stud measures the same as the original part. I\'ve tried wiggling it, hitting it with a hammer, jacking up by the lower control arm, heat, a chisel in the knuckle split, and a ratchet strap. Nothing has worked. Its like the ball joint hole is just too small for the ball joint to fit inside. Every video I've seen shows the stud just dropping right in by hand, obviously that hasn\'t been my experience. Any advice?

Thanks
- Matt

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 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2020 03:41 am
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JAMMAN

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I have always been told that the stock UCA's on our beloved little trucks had the ball joints staked or orbital formed and could not be replaced. The lowers, all day! a few blows with a hammer and they pop right out (usually. There was this one...).


There are some aftermarket UCA's that you can replace the ball joints in but not all of them.


I find it unusual that they sell upper ball joints for the RBV's AND they do. I have seen them, you own a pair.


Price out a whole upper arm assembly, and make sure you buy a pair of the adjustable bolts to make camber adjustments easier.


Spend as much as you can on the arms, the $19.99 arms will seem OK for a while but the boots will rot in less than a year allowing contaminants to wreck the ball joint.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2020 04:56 pm
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410customs

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he has a new upper control arm with new ball joint he is trying to get the ball joint stud back into the pinch bolt hole on the knuckle
With a jack under the lower control arm and the upper ball joint in position a swift blow from a dead blow hammer should drop that baby right into place
if it does not (like you said):
Then make sure the knuckle opening is clean! some PB blaster and scotch brite pad to clean up the hole so the ball joint stud can go in smoothly. Any burrs or chips will need to be removed
The other thing you can do is drive a wedge into the split in the knuckle thus opening the hole wider. Try a stubby flathead screwdriver and tap it in there with a hammer
I have a metal chisel/punch I use for this, a couple of light taps and it will enlarge the hole in the knuckle enough for it to drop in place
Also make sure the stud on the BJ itself is clean, no burrs, compare it to the stock part you took out, make sure they gave you the right parts
Obviously make sure the pinch bolt is NOT in the knuckle LOL

Otherwise you just have to have the weight of the vehicle on the lower control arm, line up the knuckle to the upper ball joint and smack the whole upper control arm down at the tip, the ball joint SHOULD drop right in and with a few taps be in far enough for the pinch bolt to slide in. I know it sounds easy and you are fighting this, but that is the process
Clean and lube, it will go!!!!!!



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 Posted: Thu Dec 24th, 2020 04:58 pm
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410customs

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OH and a long ass pry bar can be used for leverage to push DOWN on the UCA (upper control arm) 
the upper control arm bolts also must NOT BE TIGHT  so the control arm can travel down far enough to make the ball joint actually reach
Upper control arm bushings are not torqued until after the vehicle is sitting on its own weight at ride height, otherwise you can tear your new UCA bushings

good luck and Merry Christmas!!!!



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 Posted: Sat Dec 26th, 2020 12:20 am
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JAMMAN

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Hmmm ok, I have never had an issue getting those in so I went the wrong direction sorry.



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00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin
00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño
00 XLT 4WD RCSB Steppie 3.blown. Mistake
99 XL 4WD RCSB 3.0 PJ (Plain Jane)
00 XLT 2WD RC Steppie 2.5 Dee Dee

ALL Amazon Green Metallic
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 Posted: Sat Dec 26th, 2020 02:03 am
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Arthur
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Yeah usually wedging a screwdriver or chisel or prybar or... in the split on the knuckle to widen it does the trick.



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