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How to Replace Front Lower Ball Joint 10-16 Chevy Equinox

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  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:28)
    • Loosen the 22 mm lug nuts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the 22 mm lug nuts
    • Remove the wheel
  2. step : Removing the Ball Joint (0:50)
    • Remove the ball joint cotter pin
    • Loosen the 18 mm ball joint castle nut
    • Loosen the ball joint from the wheel knuckle with a pickle fork
    • Remove the castle nut
    • Drill, cut, or grind the ball joint rivet heads
    • Hammer out the ball joint rivets with a punch
    • Pry the control arm down to remove the ball joint
  3. step : Installing the Ball Joint (10:35)
    • Install the bolts into the ball joint
    • Pry the lower control arm down
    • Insert the ball joint bolts into the lower control arm
    • As you release the lower control arm, guide the ball joint stud into the wheel knuckle
    • Install the included washers and locking nuts on the ball joint bolts
    • Tighten, then torque the 17 mm nuts onto the 17 mm ball joint bolts to 50 ft-lb
    • Tighten the 18 mm castle nut onto the ball joint stud
    • Torque the 18 mm castle nut to 89 in-lb, followed by an additional 155 to 175 degree turn
    • Align the cotter pin hole in the ball joint stud with the castle nut
    • Insert the cotter pin and then peen it over
    • Perform a wheel alignment
  4. step : Installing the Wheel (14:45)
    • Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs
    • Install and tighten the 22 mm lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the lug nuts to 140 ft-lb in a star pattern

What's up, guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video, I'm going to show you how to replace the front lower ball joint on this 2015 Chevy Equinox. If you need this part or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to 1AAuto.com.

I'm going to remove the tire. I am going to use an air gun and a 7/8 socket or a 22 millimeter socket. If you don't have an air gun, you can crack the lug nuts free while the tire is still on the ground with a breaker bar and the same socket. Take the wheel off. We're going to remove this castle nut, right here, that's at the top of the ball joint. But, there is a cotter pin through it, right there. I'm going to take a screwdriver on this side and just pry underneath the cotter pin, raise it up, just like that. Sometimes, you can wiggle it and use a pick to try to pull it out. It's in there pretty good. You can also use some side cutters to try to pull it out. Sometimes, it's difficult because the side cutters will just cut it. There we go. Pulled it out. Now, I'm going to loosen up the castle nut with a 18 millimeter wrench. Sometimes, you can do it by hand once you loosen it, break it free. This far, they can get it off. Now, it's just loose there, that's okay, it's just going to hang out there, no big deal.

Now, I'm going to break the ball joint free from the knuckle. I'm just going to turn the wheel a little bit, just so I can access this a little more. I'm going to take a pickle fork and slide it in position right here. Be careful not to hit the dust shield too much. Just use a hammer. Hammer it out. There is other ball joint tools you can use that will grab underneath the ball joint and push down on the stud. There we go. So, that was able to break that free, which is good. The reason why we're replacing this is the boot is ripped and it's going to just cause the outside elements to get in there and cause it to seize up in the future. All right. So, this is loose right here. I'm just going to take this nut off, set that aside. I'm not going to pull this out of the way yet. I do have to because this is the first time this ball joint's ever been replaced, it's riveted in, so I am going to have to drill out those rivets. I'm going to make sure I wear safety glasses and some ear protection when I'm doing this because it is going to get loud and you don't want anything getting in your eyes.

The first method I'm going to do is I'm going to drill out the rivet. I'm just going to take a 8 millimeter drill and a drill, I'm going to start right in the middle. If the rivet, itself, doesn't have a little area where it's indented, then you might to use a center punch and punch it so you get a good starting spot. If the drill bit's getting hot, you're going to want to lubricate the drill bit a little bit. You could also use some grease. I'm just using a little rust penetrant.

So, at this point, made it to about halfway through, I'm just going to take a punch and a hammer and just try to see if I can break it the rest of the way. So, it seems like I have to drill some more. I'm just going to move to up to a bigger sized drill bit. Keeping the drill bit cool. Now, I'm going to try the punch again. I'm going to go up another drill bit size. I'll use the punch again. Now, I'm going to go up a size again. All right. I'm going to go up a size again. I'm just trying got be able to drill this head off, just once that head comes off, then I'll be able to get that one out. Try the punch again. There we go, finally. All right. We finally got it out. I just kept stepping up drill bit size. I started with an 8 millimeter size and ended up with a 15/32 bit size. Finally got that off, so that's good.

Now, I'm going to move on to the next one. For the next one, I'm going to use a cutting wheel and cut it off. Now, you want to be careful of not to get too close to the lower control arm. We can scuff it up a little bit, but you don't want to dig into it too deeply, so that's how I'm going to take this one off. Use my ear protection and safety glasses. So, I can see a little ring around the area of it. There we go. Now, that's pretty much all set, got the head of that off. I did scuff it up a little bit, but that's okay, it's not going to cause any damage. You just don't want to go too deep. Now, we're going to move onto this one.

For the next method, I'm going to use a combination of an air chisel and the cutoff wheel. I'm going to make an X on the bottom of that rivet, and then I'm going to air chisel it off. I'm going to use the air chisel. It was that quick. Now, I could have tried to air chisel it without making the X with the grinder. It's just guaranteed if I make the X, it comes off real quick. So, there's that. Now, I can just take a punch and punch them through. There we go. Just watch your fingers when you're doing this. It's all loose. Now I can grab the control arm. This may be difficult. You might need to use a pry bar. Just pry right here. Slide that out. You can just take a hammer and just tap on the ball joint. Pry this out, just watch your fingers. There, comes right off.

Here's the old part. Here's the new part from 1AAuto.com. The shape is the same. It comes with a new castle nut. Take that off. Take this dust cover off. The boot is going to be the same. The configuration is the same. Underneath is the same. Because this one is riveted in, it comes with new bolts, washers, and nuts, and a cotter pin. Get yours at 1AAuto.com and you can do it yourself.

With the new ball joint, I'm going to take the bolts, I'm going to slide them in this position. They're going to go straight down, so I need to pry this lower control arm down. Now, if you have trouble doing this, you could always take the control arm out. You just take the nut and bolt out, right here, and these two bolts, and it slides right out, but you don't have to do that. Get the pry bar in between here and the knuckle. Pry this down.

Now, carefully, you don't want to get your fingers crushed while you're doing this, pry that knuckle out of the way a little bit. There we go. Those are in position, so that's in position, make sure you get the stud going through the knuckle, there. Just wiggle it and just position it there for now. I don't want to have that stud go all the way in there yet. I want to tighten up these bolts first and install these washers that come with it, and then the nut. I'm just going to take a 17 millimeter wrench and hold the bolt from up top, and then tighten these down with a 17 millimeter socket and a air gun.

I'm just going to snug them up first. With the same 17 millimeter wrench and a 17 millimeter socket and torque wrench, I'm going to torque these to 50 foot pounds. Take the nut and I'm just going to use the pry bar, pry down a little bit on the control arm while I get the nut over the stud of the ball joint. Just watch your fingers. I'm going to take an 18 millimeter wrench, tighten this nut down. All right, so it's kind of hard to get a torque wrench in there, so what the torque is, is 89 inch pounds. Then, after that, you do a final pass of 155 to 175 degrees, so try to snug it up the best you can. If the stud is spinning, then you're going to want to put something underneath the control arm to raise it up, whether it be a floor jack or a screw jack. Then you go, it's a little less than 180 degrees. All right. You want to make sure the hole lines up for the cotter pin. So if you do about 155 degrees and the hole doesn't line up, you can go a little bit further. The hole lines up on this one, so that's good. Slide the cotter pin in. Just fold this up. You want to make sure it doesn't touch the CV axle. So, I just fold it over the cotter pin and then just snipped the end of it off.

Whenever you're replacing any lower-end, front-end components, or even rear-end components, when you replace any control arm, ball joint, or a strut, it's going to change the angle of your wheels going down the road, so you're going to want to go to a local shop and have your alignment performed. That'll keep your tires from wearing prematurely. I'm going to reinstall the wheel. Just get it started. Now, I'm not going to use the air gun to put the lug nuts on because I am going to torque it with a torque wrench. I'll just tighten these down. I'm going to lower the vehicle down so that the tires just touching the ground, and torque them with a torque wrench. I'm going to use a 22 millimeter socket or a 7/8 and a torque wrench. I'm going to torque these bolts in a star pattern or cross pattern to 140 foot pounds. The reason you do it in a star pattern or a cross pattern is to tighten the wheel down evenly. I'll just go around again, just to double-check. Good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And, if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Air Powered Tools

  • Air Chisel
  • 1/2 Inch Air Impact Gun

  • Drills, Drill Bits & Related

  • Drill Bit Set
  • Drill

  • General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Pick
  • Center Punch

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Straight Cutters

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 17mm Socket

  • Sockets - SAE

  • 7/8 Inch Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Pickle Fork
  • Cutoff Wheel

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 17mm Wrench
  • 18mm Wrench


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