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Top ball joint replacement DIY

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  • Top ball joint replacement DIY

    I cannot seem to post photos - will try again later.

    Just done this myself. I could not find any comprehensive instructions for this model on the net, so here is how to do the job at home.
    Special tools needed are:

    1. 36mm socket
    2. Ball joint removal tool
    3. Ball joint press tool – available on ebay for around $60. This tool set must then be modified to suit the Prado suspension upright.

    Proceed as follows
    1. Remove the centre wheel cap, revealing thee the hub cover plate - you will need a chisel or screwdriver to get in and pop this off. Under this plate is the 36mm nut securing the axle hub to the driveshaft. Remove the split pin and locking plate, then using your 36mm socket and a helper bar loosen this nut. Do not remove it at this stage, just back it off half a turn.
    2. Jack car up and remove wheels.
    3. Remove brake caliper and bracket for the brake hose – tie the caliper well back to avoid straining the brake hose.
    4. Remove the brake disc.
    5. Remove to castellated nut on top ball joint. Setup the ball joint breaker and crack this joint
    6. Remove 4 screws securing the hub and upright assembly to the bottom ball joint. Once this is done the only thing holding the hub to the drive shaft is the 36mm nut – remove this and the whole assembly will come off.
    Now you must use the press to remove the ball joint from the upright. To use the kit successfully you have to make modifications to three parts. The reason for this is that the removal and installation adaptors (parts 6 & 7) are too wide and will not sit concentrically on the lower side of the ball joint as there is insufficient clearance with the upright. I did this using my 5” grinder and a cutting wheel, slicing a segment about 12mm wide of each adaptor. Then I made a small cut in the 2” tube (part 5) to clear the elbow of the upright. Once done the ball joint can be pressed out with the kit. Installing is done using the tube (part 8) and the only difficult part is getting it started as straight as possible. Having three hands would help so employ an assistant if you can.
    I found that it was not possible to do this job with the hub in the car – not enough room for the press to clear the wheel arch.
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