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How do I replace a left lower ball joint and a muffler on a 1988 Ford F 150 pickup truck? Answered


Ball joints can be evil, EVIL. But it does depend, rear or front? Either way if you are a novice you should really get some help with this one. First get a Hayes manual on your truck. Service manuals will show more detail though. The Hayes manual will guide you through it. If you are needing to remove the ball joint you really need to get a pickle fork (yes that's the real name) or a ball joint separator. If you are really, really that stuck you can always use the 2 hammer method. Basically you crack the sides of the ball joint where the ball is entering simultaneously with the hammers. Its hard to do, you will most likely loose some skin and body fluids but if done right, the joints hole will go from a spherical shape to an oval, and light tap from the bottom will free the joint. Youtube has lots of video on it being done. Please, please wear safety glasses while doing this! Your truck has to be supported by jack stands and wheel chocks while doing this as well. Don't use cinder blocks, they crack and then crush you! Hmm, what else can we say to persuade you... Oh right! Your truck is big, the parts are big, and very heavy! Be careful that when you free a part, it doesn't slip and smush a portion of yourself! Usually that is what your friend is for. However, you can help you and your friend by supporting the part with some bailing wire. That way when the part suddenly gives, the wire picks up the slack! I have done many of these before in my driveway, but the first couple were with friends who knew what they were doing. Invariably we used the 2 hammer method because we were to cheap to buy the proper tools, then we discovered you can get them cheaply from most big car part supply stores, or if in Canada - Princess Auto, USA - Harbour Freight tools. Usually for about 12 bucks!

. The muffler can be a pretty easy job if you can get the bad parts out without tearing up the stuff that is still good. Unfortunately, exhaust systems have a habit of rusting together and becoming almost impossible to get apart with normal hand tools. If you don't have the proper tools, you will probably be better off having someone else do the job. If you do the job yourself, be prepared to replace the whole exhaust system.
. For safety reasons, I recommend that you not work on your vehicle's suspension and steering; get a pro to do it.