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Submitted by Dereck / 02-19-05


Does your Town Car make loud knocking noises when driving over uneven pavement? Have you noticed increased irregular tire wear? Does your Town Car not feel quite as precise in the steering as it once was? Does your steering pull a little? It could be you have excessive wear in your ball joints.

  • 2 Upper ball joints
  • 2 New pinch bolts and nuts
  • 4 New ball joint securing Ny-lok nuts

Park on firm level ground, apply the parking brake, put the gearshift into park and turn off the air suspension. Always place a jack stand under the frame while the wheel is removed.


Place a jack under the lower control arm on the spring seat and jack up the car until a couple of inches off the ground. Put a lever under the tire, lever up and down looking for movement in the joints. A small amount of play is acceptable but any more than say an 1/8 of an inch of movement in the ball joint then it will require replacing.

The picture at left shows the jack and lever positions for checking the ball joints.


Jack up the car as previously mentioned under the spring mount in the lower control arm. Place a jack stand under the frame but DO NOT lower the car onto it and remove the wheel. Next undo the pinch bolt in the vertical link that secures the ball joint - do not remove the pinch bolt yet. Next make a note of the wheel alignment adjusting cam's orientation, (there are some index marks on the cams to help you) and undo the two ball joint securing nuts. As you undo the second nut the ball joint will start to lift off the upper arm. Then drift out the pinch bolt and drive a cold chisel into the slot in the vertical link to free the ball pin from the link and lift the joint out complete with adjusting cams.

The pictures above shows the adjusting cams on the left with the indexing marks highlighted in red and the pinch bolt on the right.


The ball joints are handed, they are marked LH/RH (left hand/right hand) in the area circled in green in the picture above. Be sure to fit the correct joint for the correct side. First off clean the ball joint seating surface on the upper arm with a wire brush to remove any corrosion or dirt, then transfer the adjusting cams to you new joint. Slide the ball pin into the vertical link, while at the same time slipping the adjusting cams over the studs in the upper arm. Push the joint fully into the vertical link, fit the pinch bolt and tighten to the correct torque. Next spin on the two old securing nuts (see notes) and just nip tight. Turn the adjusting cams to the previously noted position and fully tighten the nuts to the correct torque. Re-fit the wheel tightening to the correct torque.

Repeat the procedure for the other side remembering to turn on the air suspension when finished.


Pinch bolt torque .........   51 -   67 lb/ft
Securing nuts .............. 107 - 129 lb/ft
Lug nuts ......................   90 - 100 lb/ft

After fitting new upper ball joints you WILL need to have a full front wheel alignment check, that is why I say to re-fit using the old nuts. After the wheels have been re-aligned you can fit your new Ny-lok nuts (one at a time).

You now have a sweet sounding, smooth handling Town Car.

Happy motoring!


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