How to Remove a Ball Joint From a Ford E250 Vanby Dan Ferrell
Your Ford E250 Van comes equipped with an upper and lower ball joint on each of the front wheel assemblies. To remove the ball joints, you need to detach the steering knuckle from the vehicle first. In addition, disassembling these components requires the use of special tools. Although these tools are expensive, you may be able to borrow them from your local auto parts store. Check at you local outlets before you start to disassemble components to make sure you will be able to complete the job.
Remove the Rotor-Hub Assembly
Park your Ford van in a safe place with a level surface.
Set the transmission to Neutral.
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel assembly using a lug wrench.
Raise the wheel assembly using a floor jack. Then position a jack stand under the frame for support.
Remove the wheel/tire assembly.
Unscrew the two brake-caliper bracket mounting bolts using a ratchet and socket.
Unplug the wheel speed sensor from the brake hose and, if necessary, detach the retainer from the frame by hand and move the sensor out of the way.
Lift the caliper and mounting bracket as an assembly and secure it to the coil spring with a piece of heavy wire. Leaving the caliper assembly hanging loose will damage the brake hose connected to the caliper.
Remove the hub grease cap at the front of the wheel assembly using a screwdriver and hammer.
Take off the cotter pin and nut retainer off the spindle using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
Unscrew the spindle nut using an axle nut socket and ratchet. Then remove the washer.
Wiggle the rotor to remove the outer wheel bearing from the spindle and put it away in a safe and clean place.
Take off the disc rotor and hub assembly by hand.
Removing the Ball Joint
Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut of the outer tie rod end where it joins the steering knuckle using the needle nosed pliers.
Unscrew the castle nut from the outer tie rod end using a wrench.
Detach the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle using an outer tie rod remover.
Unfasten the upper ball joint pinch bolt using a wrench.
Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut securing the lower ball joint using the nose pliers.
Unscrew the castle nut securing the lower ball joint using a wrench. Then rethread the castle nut about three turns. This will prevent the steering knuckle from falling to the floor after it becomes loose.
Hit the steering knuckle arm holding the lower ball joint in place using a ball peen hammer to dislodge the knuckle from its mounting position. Then remove the castle nut from the lower ball joint and steering knuckle.
Place the steering knuckle on a workbench. Take off the snap ring at the base of the ball joint you are replacing using a pair of snap ring pliers and then remove the upper or lower ball joint using a ball joint remover tool set.
Install new cotter pins, castle nuts and upper ball joint pinch bolt during the reassembly process.
Take your Ford E250 van to the automotive shop to check the toe-in and wheel alignment after you finish assembling all the components.
- "Ford Full Size Vans, 1992 Thru 2005: Haynes Repair Manual"; John H. Haynes, Robert Maddox and Ralph Rendina; 2006
Things You'll Need
- Lug wrench
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Socket set
- Piece of heavy wire
- Nose pliers
- Axle nut socket
- Wrench set
- Tie-rod remover
- Ball peen hammer
- Snap ring pliers
- Ball-joint remover tool set
- 3 new cotter pins
- 2 new castle nuts
- 1 new pinch bolt
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.