1959 impala upper ball joint - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
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1959 impala upper ball joint

I have seen a video to replace the lower ball joint , you should support the lower control arm when you undo the lower ball joint. I want to replace the upper ball joint and I see you should still support the lower control arm. My question is do I have to compress the coil spring with compressor tool when I undo the upper ball joint? It appears that the upper coil spring is supported by the body frame and NOT the upper control arm and therefore would not need to be compressed (only supported at the bottom lower arm). Anyone done this lately to give me some assurance/guidance, thank you, Michael
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 02:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Welcome to the Team!

You should always constrain the spring when working on ball joints. If it is a strong spring (high spring rate) it may want to come pay you a visit as soon as you pop the ball joint loose.

Usually the shock will keep it contained, but if it pops out of it's seat it could damage the shock tube. I rely upon short lengths of chain; as I hate surprises.

Also never take the upper ball joint nut all the way off until you can jack the car up to put weight on the lower ball joint. Once it has popped, if it doesn't hit the nut, you can loosed the nut by hand and take it the rest of the way off to remove the upper ball joint.

Better safe than sorry!

Big Dave
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 01:55 PM
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Location: Coopersville, MI
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Back when I was younger I replaced many an upper ball joint without a spring compressor or restraining the coil with a spring. In theory the upper ball joint and A-arm are to simply keep your spindle in alignment. They don't really carry any weight or spring tension.

But in the world we live in today compared to then the addition of a safety chain on the coil is probably a good best practice considering for not carrying any load the spindle does seem to release rather suddenly. Also if the car doesn't have an engine in it all bets are off as you are using all that weight to keep the spring under compression. I will also say I've had trucks that required a spring compressor to get the upper ball joint back into the spindle all the way, or a really good ratchet strap.
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