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MazdaSpeed 3 - How-To's MazdaSpeed 3 - How-To's - Want help out fellow owners? Post How-To's to simplify future installations for others.


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 Old 07-07-2015, 01:58 PM   #1
 
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Default How to replace a ball joint without a hydraulic press on a Mazdaspeed3 Gen1

How to replace a ball joint without a hydraulic press on a Mazdaspeed3 Gen1

Its super easy even without a hydraulic press.

Part: MOOG K500209 Ball Joint. One for each side.

The hard part is getting the neck of the ball joint to slide out of the hub.

Here goes:

Tie up caliper and or hub with some mechanic's wire or a coat hanger or rope to the spring to support them.

Its easier if you take the brake caliper and brake rotor off the hub. More room, less weight on the hub.

Don't let the caliper drop or you'll compromise the brake line...

Wire through caliper bolt receiving holes to help hold the hub up after the lower control is off. The strut is still attached and holding hub but why risk it sliding down off the receiver:





Next release the ball joint from the hub:

Release the nut from the bolt clamping the neck of the ball joint. 14 mm bolt with a 14 mm nut, I think. MOOG replacement is 15 mm/15 mm.

NOTE: The hub itself is not threaded. It's a THROUGH BOLT with a nut at the end.

ALSO: The bolt shaft is smooth half way of its length. This smooth section of the bolt fits into the groove in the neck of the ball joint and prevents it from falling back down.



Then push bolt out.



Then pry the receiver open just a tad to give the ball joint neck some space to slide down.



Now you're gonna smack the control arm with a sledge hammer while prying on the control arm with a long bar.

Note that you can release the strut from the hub to provide a better angle for the neck of the ball joint to slide out of the receiver, but its not always necessary.

SMASH SMASH SMASH and PRY at the same time. (I cant tell you how often a 2 pound short handle sledge hammer has come in handy when wrenching.)



You could hit it here at the edge of the control arm if its stubborn:



You can also try this, at the risk of damaging the smooth inner surface the neck travels through. If you have a thin brass punch, that would be ideal.



Here the neck has come out of the hub. See the groove in the neck? The bolt fits against this groove.



Now you will remove the entire control arm so you can pound on the ball joint.

I don't think this would be possible with the arm still on the car because you wouldn't have enough space to swing the hammer. You could however try to use a hand-held bearing or ball joint press and use it on the ball joint while its still on the car. Actually I have one and I didn't even think to use it...silly me. Smashing more fun.

First you remove the 19 mm bolt holding the front of the control arm and the front lower control arm bushing to the subframe: (ignore the zipties)



Then the 2 (17 mm?) bolts holding the rear large bushing and control arm to the subframe.



YOU NOW HAVE GREAT ACCESS TO THE SWAY BAR BUSHINGS! GREASE THEM!

Now comes the fun part.

Tear off the rubber boot so you can see where to place your 1 & 1/8th (Gear Wrench in this case) deep socket and smash that little bastard out.

Obviously you need to use a vice or something to support the control arm but not the bottom of the ball joint so it can pass through the hole in the arm.





Here is the result. No lubricating or penetrating sprays needed.



Now turn the control arm around and insert the Moog ball joint. Your pushing it up through the BOTTOM of the control arm. The opposite of how the OEM ball joint was inserted by MAZDA.

Insert as per the instructions...





BE CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE THE NEW RUBBER BOOT!

WRAP THE NEW BALL JOINT BOOT IN A CLOTH.

DO NOT TEAR THE NEW BALL JOINT BOOT! ...or you'll need to put a patch on it like I did...


If you damage the rubber boot, see here: Replacing Lower Ball Joint Boot

Take a 32mm (for example) socket or anything that will only touch the outer rim of the new ball joint or the top rim and lightly tap to get it started.

Only hit the rims, not the center of the new ball joint or you will destroy it.

Then start smashing full force. Its friction fit so no grease is needed.







Here is old and new side to side:



Now put in the circlip into the Moog ball joint. This keeps it from falling out should the friction fit fail. Thanks Moog.

Remember how Click and Clack always tell folks to change out their ball joints around 100k?

I've seen a car slide down the road on its subframe after the ball joint snapped (90s Honda).

Guy had his family in the car and had just gotten off the highway. Very lucky it failed on a side street.





Now insert the zirc or grease fitting into the bottom of the new ball joint and fill it with grease (sorry no pic) or you can do this after its installed. You need a grease gun to do this.

Now put everything back together in this order:

1. Front of the lower control arm to the subframe. Make sure you tap that long 19 mm bolt with a mallet to get is all the way through. I had a hell of time getting that bolt to start threading in because its a blind hole and because I didn't have the bolt all the way through. Dont tighten all the way...just start the bolt in.

2. Large rear bushing bolts. Dont tighten all the way...just start the bolts in.

3. Ball joint neck into hub. You'll need to use a sledge or heavy rubber mallet to get it all the way up. Then slide in the 15 mm bolt.

Torque specs:





My car has 96k miles and frankly the balls joint felt perfectly fine, but its cheap insurance at $20 a side.
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Last edited by Lex2007; 07-16-2015 at 10:36 AM.
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 Old 07-15-2015, 09:20 AM   #2
 
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