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DB7 - Upper A-arm Ball Joint Replacement

What are we doing? 
Replacing the upper control arm ball joint.

Tools Needed:
  • 14mm socket
  • 17mm socket
  • C-Clamp Press (Rental) or Actual Press (recommended)
  • Sledge Hammer (I use a 3lb)
  • A small wrench for the grease fitting if there is one
Upper Control Arm Removal

Note:Getting the upper control arm out also means removing the shock itself. Since I'm already replacing things up front this was an easy go because the shock was already out.

So, start by removing the crown on the upper ball joint. Pull the cotter pin out. This is a 17mm. Popping the ball joint off of the spindle can be a challenge. I like to use a ball joint separator if I need it. Otherwise hitting the flat spots on the left and right of the spindle, just near the upper ball joint, will also sometimes do the trick.

Once that is off. We need to go in to the engine bay and locate the two 17mm bolts that hold the upper control are to the chassis. Please note that if there is nothing holding the upper control arm, when you remove these two 17mm nuts, it can drop right out. Although, I've never seen that happen personally.

Once those are off you should be able to slide the upper control arm out of the wheel well.

 I chose to knock out both of the ball joints with the 3lb sledge hammer. That was not the best idea as it can distort the arm. I recommend a press or rent the lower ball joint press and adapt it for this.

This kit from Advaced Auto comes with everything you need. PowerBuilt Tools Ball Joint... Most will let you rent it as well. So no worries about needed to cough up $230.

I choose to go with MevoTech Supreme Ball Joints. These units are made in China, however they are the premium part from this vendor. They carry a limited lifetime warranty on they as well. I bought these because I thought that they did not come with grease fittings. The others I was look at did. Since my car is lowered I felt like that was just asking for trouble.

Upon arrive I was surprised to see that in fact they do come with grease fittings. Had I know I would have went with the Moog units. Oh well, life and learn.

Putting them in is a snap once you get the old ones out. Don't forget to put the snap rings in place once you have the new one reinstalled.

So here is how the grease fitting is designed to be installed. It sticks up beyond the ball joint 3/8 of an inch. Keep in mind the stock ones are not serviceable with no grease fitting.

So my slight modification to reduce the amount the grease fitting sticks out was to loose the elbow and just put the grease tit right in the hole. Now the grease fitting is just shy of a 1/4 inch tall.

You can see the construction of the old original (left) and the new MevoTech (right). It looks strudy and well made. They also include a nice feature with the allen head on the stud. This will help you get the crown on with out it spinning the shaft.
Installation Torque Specs
Upper A-arm castle nut 32 ft/lbs.

Upper A-arm inner pivot bolts: 40 ft/lbs.

Upper A-arm mounting bracket to body: 47 ft/lbs.
Now we are all back together and ready to roll. 

So the question is why not just buy an aftermarket adjustable kit or a replacement upper a-arm with the ball joint already in it? Totally hear you on that one. It would have saved a bunch of time and some headache for sure. Part of me really wanted to do this, as I also have poly bushings to put in these. However, in hindsight finding an alignment shop willing to adjust the camber for me was my larger hold back. I trust a local shop to do my alignments and they are not one to do custom alignments. I really like having that piece of paper that shows you how things look. 

So what about the camber? Is it not a huge issue? Well, not really. I like to run +2 up front due to the castor of the front end. Which, is not adjustable. Who knows, there may be an adjustable kit in my future. 

For now, it drives straight nice and smooth, and turns great. That concludes the entire front end for now. Only exception are those poly bushings on this upper a-arm. I'll get to em eventually.


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The scope of this project was to replace:
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Tie rod ends.
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Upper ball joints.
Sway bar end links.
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What are we doing th…