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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other thread got deleted in the database errors unfortunately so I'm putting this back up :)

MK1 & 2 (93 - 00) Lower Arm/Wishbone Fitting Guide (Nearside)

What Do I Need?

2 x Lower Arms (Left & Right)
4 x Bolts (Finis: 6203229)
4 x Nuts (Finis: 6797866)
Jack & Axle Stand
Torque Wrench
Power Bar
Ball Joint Splitter (optional)
Pliers
Long Screwdriver
Punch
Copper/Rawhide Hammer
Ratchets
19mm Socket
18mm Socket
17mm Socket
15mm Socket
10mm Socket
15mm Spanner
18mm Spanner
Torx Bit T55
Grease
De-Greaser
Old Rags
Loctite

Torque Settings (Nm)

Wheel Nuts - 85Nm
Bolts/Nuts (through subframe) - 50Nm + 90 degrees
Ball Joint Pinch Bolt - 84Nm
Drop Link Nut - 50Nm

How To Do It

1. Start by loosening the wheel nuts, which are torqued to 85Nm. You will need either a 17mm or 19mm socket to undo them. Don’t forget your locking nut key if you have these fitted!

2. Now the car needs to be jacked up and secured on axle stands. Behind the sill is a box section where the jack can be placed. Ideally use a block of wood when jacking it up if you have the room, unfortunately I didn't as the car is lowered. Once it's high enough place the axle stand on the rear subframe bolt (see photo) or using a block of wood place it on the box section.



3. Once you feel the car is safe enough you can remove the wheel and place it halfway under the car behind the jack. In the unfortunate event that the car did slip it will land on the wheel and not the ground.



4. Now the ball joint pinch bolt needs to be removed. The head of the bolt is a T55 torx bit and the nut requires an 18mm socket. Set the torque wrench to 84Nm and start undoing the nut until the bolt turns with it. You will then need to hold the bolt still using the torx bit. Once the nut is almost off tap it with the hammer to push it out abit. Take the nut off and you should be able to pull it out. If you can't then use the punch to gently tap it out. Photo of pinch bolt is below.



5. The trim will now be removed using a 10mm socket on the 4 screws. These are only hand tight so easy to undo. Carefully remove the trim from around the brake hose/pipe and other components.



6. You will now be able to see the bolts holding the lower arm to the subframe. One of these bolts is under the gearbox and can be a pain to remove. The bolt should go in from the top, which means either the gearbox needs raising or the subframe lowering. There is an alternative method, which is to invert the bolt and cut a small amount of the bolt off so it doesn't foul the gearbox. You can see the bolt in the photo below has been inverted. Many garages will choose this method and I have for the last 3 years with no problems. This guide will be using this method, if you want to insert the bolt the correct way you will need to find additional information.

 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
7. Now the ball joint needs to be removed from the hub. Using a long power bar place it in the hole of the lower arm and force it down to 'pop' the ball joint out (see photo). If this doesn't work you may need to use a splitter (see next photo) with a large hammer to drive the ball joint out. Note that using the splitter will most likely damage the rubber around the joint.





8. The bolts that go through the subframe need to be removed now. We shall start with the easier one on the right that has not been inverted. Using an 18mm socket for the nut and a 15mm socket for the bolt you can undo it. When the nut is almost off, stop undoing it. Using the rawhide hammer tap the bolt out by hitting the nut as far as it will go. The nut is left on to protect the thread on the bolt if you are going to reuse it, although it is advisable to change it along with the nut. Remove the nut and using the punch gently tap the bolt out.





 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
9. Now on to the bolt under the gearbox. If this has not been inverted you will need to undo it as much as you can using a 15mm open ended spanner on the bolt head and an 18mm socket on the nut. If you can try and cut the head of the bolt off with a hacksaw or using a chisel and hammer smash it off. If the bolt is already inverted you will need an 18mm open ended spanner for the nut and a 15mm socket for the bolt head. Hold the spanner on the nut while you undo it. If the bolt won't pull out use a pair of mole grips to keep turning it until it does, then remove the nut from on top of the subframe.



10. Below shows the inverted bolt next to the other one so you can see how much needs to be sawed off so it doesn't touch the gearbox.



11. Next job is to undo the drop link from the suspension strut. Using a 17mm socket undo the nut until the bolt starts turning as well, the nut is torqued at 50Nm. Use a 17mm open end spanner to hold the thread still, this is behind the bracket it is mounted to. Once the nut is off carefully pull the thread out and move the link over.



12. Now to remove the lower arm. Use something to lever it out of the subframe, it may take a while but patience is the key here. I used the ball joint splitter but a chisel or crow bar will be fine. As you're doing this you will need to turn the strut and make sure the ball joint is free from it's hole. Cover the CV boot with the rag to protect it. You will most likely pull the driveshaft out of it's housing while doing this, DO NOT panic if this happens, just leave it for now!

 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
13. Once you have the arm out compare it to the new one to make sure you have the correct part. Using some grease, smear it over the bushes on the new arm. I find this helps them last longer, plus it makes it abit easier to get the new arm in.







14. The new arm will come with a protective cover for the ball joint, leave this on for the time being. Position the new arm inside the subframe and try to ease it in as much as you can. Again the strut will need to be moved to one side so you can keep the arm as horizontal as possible, which will make it easier to get the arm in.

 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
15. Using a screwdriver from underneath you can put this in the holes to align them. Put the right hand bolt in from the top using the screwdriver from underneath to keep moving the holes until it pushes through. You will need to tap it with hammer to make sure it's gone all the way down. Put some loctite on the nut and do it up until hand tight. For the other side, place some loctite on the nut and position it on top of the subframe. Tap the bolt through from underneath and then using the spanner to hold the nut do it up until hand tight.





16. If the driveshaft did come out of the housing you will need to cut the clip for the boot and pull it back. You will see three bearings, if any of them have come off just put them back on, making sure you keep the area free from dirt and grit.



17. Use the power bar to hold the arm down you can remove the protective cover. Then using a ring spanner position the ball joint underneath the hole on the hub. Remove the spanner and then raise the arm back up making sure it is as central as possible. You will need to push the hub inwards to do this, making sure the driveshaft is still in the housing properly.



18. Tap the bottom of the ball joint so it starts going in and then using the jack and a block of wood slowly raise the arm into the hub. Make sure the driveshaft is still in the housing and turns ok, if it does push the boot back over it. If needed you can add abit of grease inside the boot.

 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
19. Once the ball joint is fully home put the pinch bolt back in, using some loctite on the nut and do it up until hand tight. Lower the arm back down.



20. Now you can torque all the bolts up. The pinch bolt is 84Nm and the other two bolts are 50Nm + 90 degrees. Put the drop link back on to the suspension strut and torque to 50Nm



21. Using a clean rag spray it with degreaser and wipe over the boot to remove any grease. Using a cable tie (probably need two joined together) place it around the boot and pull as tight as you can with some pliers. Make sure the boot is on securely.



22. Now you can put the plastic trims back on, remember the bolts are only hand tight. Spray the brake disc with degreaser in case you got your dirty fingers on them! Put the wheel back on followed by the nuts and do them up hand tight. Lower the car on to the ground and then torque the nuts to 85Nm. Job done!

The other side is exactly the same except both bolts go in from the top as there is nothing blocking them.
 

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MEG Corporal
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1,155 Posts
Brilliant guide [color:eek:range]ER[/color] have used it on a couple of occasions, you have pretty much answered all questions that I was going to enquire about.

Would you mind terribly if I added it to the Wiki on your behalf!!! (all to common a question wishbones!!!!) would be bloody usefull to the site :L :L
 

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ST200 Limited Ghia X
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6,513 Posts
the best write up i have ever read!cant wait till i have to change mine now!im stoked! :)
 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote name=Mammoth-Mondy]Brilliant guide [color:eek:range]ER[/color] have used it on a couple of occasions, you have pretty much answered all questions that I was going to enquire about.

Would you mind terribly if I added it to the Wiki on your behalf!!! (all to common a question wishbones!!!!) would be bloody usefull to the site :L :L [/quote]

Of course you can mate, go for it :L I only put it here as it seems to be the first place most people look.

sgking said:
the best write up i have ever read!cant wait till i have to change mine now!im stoked! :)
Cheers fella :)
 

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Registered
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8 Posts
ER, great guide - i had a few problems when i changed my n/s wishbone. I found that getting the old wishbone out was easy enough but fitting the new one was made really difficult because the anti-roll bar was in the way of the rear-bush. I had to jack-up the strut until the roll-bar was out of the way. Trouble is that as you lift the strut it pushes out and the inner CV joint comes apart.

Looking at your pictures it appears that the roll-bar on your car was a bit higher and maybe didn't foul on the wishbone.

I also removed the track rod end which seemed to help a bit - i'm not sure if you did this?

When re-fitting ball joint i found this very difficult as the wishbone didn't want to go very low so had to jack-up strut quite a long way.

Perhaps i shound of put more leverage on the wishbone to force it down but i was scared of damaging the bushes.

Any thoughts on what i should do to make this job easier - i have to do the other side soon.

Cheers,
Ken

PS. Did you remove both front wheels - may be this affects the anti-roll bar?
 

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Mentally paralysed wannabe Scots rep!
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2,120 Posts
I usually stick a bar through the wishbones and use that as leverage to push wishbones down. :L
 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
trayling said:
ER, great guide - i had a few problems when i changed my n/s wishbone. I found that getting the old wishbone out was easy enough but fitting the new one was made really difficult because the anti-roll bar was in the way of the rear-bush. I had to jack-up the strut until the roll-bar was out of the way. Trouble is that as you lift the strut it pushes out and the inner CV joint comes apart.

Looking at your pictures it appears that the roll-bar on your car was a bit higher and maybe didn't foul on the wishbone.

I also removed the track rod end which seemed to help a bit - i'm not sure if you did this?

When re-fitting ball joint i found this very difficult as the wishbone didn't want to go very low so had to jack-up strut quite a long way.

Perhaps i shound of put more leverage on the wishbone to force it down but i was scared of damaging the bushes.

Any thoughts on what i should do to make this job easier - i have to do the other side soon.

Cheers,
Ken

PS. Did you remove both front wheels - may be this affects the anti-roll bar?
I did one side at a time so one front wheel was always on the ground.

Not sure with the anti roll bar as I didn't have this problem, although there wasn't much space between this and the arm. Maybe the bushes are badly worn, which allow the bar to move more or the drop links need replacing.

Removing the track rod end is fine, I didn't do this but if it works for you go for it. You should have the alignment done after changing these arms anyway. Another thing you can do is undo the top suspension mount nut a few turns so the strut drops down abit. This will allow for more play and help you move it out of the way.

To get the ball joint back in I also use a bar to prise the arm down with no problems :L
 

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MEG Corporal
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791 Posts
i see you used a cable/zip tie do hold the boot on, is that ok to use? as i know it has to be tight,i bought some clips, they were only 60p but they are a nightmare to do up and remove so would prefer to use a cable/zip tie
 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Those metal clips are a PITA and I've found they aren't as good as cable ties. I used 2 linked together and using the pliers means I could get them very tight. Instead of just pulling it tight I twisted it around the pliers, if that makes sense. Never had a problem with them coming off, unlike the metal ones!
 

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MEG Corporal
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791 Posts
i agree they are s**t i hate them, gonna use ties if i ever have to remove them again
 

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Little Megger
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63 Posts
My wishbones have just pretty much given up, they've been cracked for ages but no movement so they've still passed the mot, but hit a big pothole the other day and I think that finished them off, steerings gone sloppy on corners and it vibrates under braking, but there the originals and I've done 133k miles on them, was toying with the idea of doing the job myself I found the wishbones (both sides) for only £30 on ebay but having read the above I think its beyond me :( have to go to a garage now :(
 

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MEG Captain
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5,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's not that difficult to change them, was only the 3rd job I have ever done on a car when I first changed mine. If you don't feel confident though it would be better going to a garage.

Are you sure they're the originals, 133K miles is a helluva lot even for OEM? :shocked:
 

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Little Megger
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16 Posts
Hi there

This is a very comprehensive guide thanks alot for posting. Just a quick question. I have a mkII mondeo 1.8TD and need front wishbone replacement. My friend who is a fairly good DIY mechanic is going to do it for me. He has never done this B4 so he asked someone in the trade for advice. They said not a bad job to do but you need to get a special tool to keep the subframe in place but I don't think you mention it here is this guy just filling us with bull so we will ask him to do the job. Any advice greatfully taken on board.

Thanks

Diggy
 
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