North American Turbocoupe Organization



LOWER CONTROL ARM BALL JOINTS
87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hey guys, I need some help. I have an 87 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and I'm in the process of replacing tie rods, wheel bearings, and ball joints, among other things. I used a ball joint remover (looks like a c-clamp) with the lower control arm still on the car and the ball joint wouldn't budge! In fact, I bent the c-clamp and had to use my 20 ton press to bend it back into shape. So then I removed the lower control arm from the car and put it in my 20 ton press and it still won't budge. I have so much pressure on it that I can't even pump the lever anymore on the press. I've used a torch to heat it up and also some PB blaster and it still won't budge. Any ideas on how to get this ball joint out? I've looked for factory replacement lower control arms and it seems I can't find them for this car. Does anyone make these control arms for the 87-88 Turbo Coupe? Do you have any part numbers? Thanks for the help.
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#2
87, that ball joint is in there! I had to use my press as well to remove my old ball joints last year, it took some pressure on them, but then they just released with a nice loud pop and pushed out. Just want to ask that you have a spacer underneath the control arm so that the ball joint can push out correct? I would keep doing what your doing, heat and penetrant. If you do want new control arms, you would either have to find some used ones from an online source, or you can also use SN-95 Mustang control arms listed below. One of the other members on here used these control arms on his TC with good results, https://turbotbird.com/showthread.php?tid=36115 .
https://www.bmrsuspension.com/?page=prod...superpro=0
https://www.bmrsuspension.com/?page=prod...superpro=0
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, Stinger Exhaust, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, BP1.5, PIMPx, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#3
Yeah I've never had this problem before and I've changed lots of ball joints over the years. This is a first. So I decided to buy the control arms off of the SN95 Mustang. Bought them on Amazon this morning and they are from Moog. $77 for one and $82 for the other, with free shipping. Comes with new ball joints and bushings. I figured for that price its not worth the fight to get the old ones out.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
When I did (or maybe I should say tried to do) my TC's BJs 20 years ago, I couldnt pop them loose no matter what I tried. Gave up, and took the control arms to a trusted local machine shop and had them pop out the old ones and put in the new ones. If I remember correctly they charged me around $60. Money well spent, IMO.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#5
Jeff,

I considered doing that too, but I figured for the price of the A-Arms on Amazon it was worth it to me just to buy new ones and not have to spend the time finding someone to get the old ones out. I figured not only am I getting new ball joints, but I'm also getting new bushings. Some things are worth spending a little extra money in order to save time and the headache.
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#6
(03-24-2021, 10:55 PM)87TurboBird2.3 Wrote: Jeff,

I considered doing that too, but I figured for the price of the A-Arms on Amazon it was worth it to me just to buy new ones and not have to spend the time finding someone to get the old ones out. I figured not only am I getting new ball joints, but I'm also getting new bushings. Some things are worth spending a little extra money in order to save time and the headache.

I used a pair of sn95 lower control arms quite a while ago (ford racing?) and it made a lot of sense then not having to deal with replacing bushings.  I recall the ball joints needed to be replaced since they weren't correct for the tbird, but they came out pretty easily with the C clamp type ball joint press.  Replaced them with moog ball joints which also have a zerk grease fitting and hove been trouble free for over 10 years.
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#7
(03-25-2021, 10:59 PM)vegas_ss Wrote:
(03-24-2021, 10:55 PM)87TurboBird2.3 Wrote: Jeff,

I considered doing that too, but I figured for the price of the A-Arms on Amazon it was worth it to me just to buy new ones and not have to spend the time finding someone to get the old ones out. I figured not only am I getting new ball joints, but I'm also getting new bushings. Some things are worth spending a little extra money in order to save time and the headache.

I used a pair of sn95 lower control arms quite a while ago (ford racing?) and it made a lot of sense then not having to deal with replacing bushings.  I recall the ball joints needed to be replaced since they weren't correct for the tbird, but they came out pretty easily with the C clamp type ball joint press.  Replaced them with moog ball joints which also have a zerk grease fitting and hove been trouble free for over 10 years.
Very interesting about the ball joints. I've yet to hear anyone say anything about having to change the ball joints or that they were different. What is different about the SN95 ball joints vs the T-Bird ball joints? Why can't I use the SN95 ball joints? Will they not mount in the T-Bird spindle? What's the issue with them? I still have the ball joints I got from Autozone and I was going to return them, but based on what you just said, I might have to swap them out. Can you clarify why they need changed?
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#8
Actually it was so long ago I don't quite remember but I think they were too short for the tbird spindle?
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS
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87TurboBird2.3 Offline
Junior Member
#9
(03-26-2021, 01:45 AM)vegas_ss Wrote: Actually it was so long ago I don't quite remember but I think they were too short for the tbird spindle?

Thanks for the info. I'l compare them to the old T-Bird A-Arm and compare the ball joints and see if I need to change them.
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Daniel T Offline
Member
#10
I changed mine recently and all it took was a small sledge hammer to pop it out,,I was also thinking in just buying the sn95 complete arms but I didn't.
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