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Remove the Ball Joints

08aThe ball joints are held onto the control arms with a castle nut and kotter pin. They are shown in the picture with a yellow arrow. Remove them. To disconnect the ball joint from the control arm, you will need to strike the under side of the control arm with a large hammer. Strike in the direction and location shown by the red arrow. One solid hit should separate them.

In bold letters, the Fabtech instructions say, “Use care not to hit the ball joint when removing.” I’m not sure why this would be an issue because new ball joints are included with the kit! These ones will never be used again.

08bThe steering knuckle assembly will look similar to this picture after the upper ball joint and control arm have been separated. Ignore the fact that the coil spring and shock are no longer there. We will remove them shortly.

The lower part of the steering knuckle is held on with four bolts. Unfortunately, they aren’t shown in the picture, but they are easy to find. Remove them.

Now remove the steering knuckle/hub/spindle assembly from the vehicle. The yellow arrow points to the end of the axle shaft. There should be a recess in the end of it. Take a large punch, set it in the recess, then hit it with a heavy hammer. Don’t take hard swings. The shaft is not pressed tightly into the hub. Just give it some decent hits and it will slowly slide out.

Note: Don’t pull on the steering knuckles to remove them. It’s probably not good on the boots or the linkage inside the differential.

08cThis is what it should look like at this point. The axle should be resting on the lower control arm.

Take the castle nuts, kotter pins, and the lower steering knuckle bolts and put them in a zip-loc bag and label it ‘UPPER BALL JOINT/STEERING KNUCKLE’. Put the bag in a in a safe place because you will reuse all these parts for reassembly.

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