When you need to know how to replace 1996 Honda Accord lower ball joint due to hearing dull knocks when you go over bumps (not clicking when turning as that is the CV joints), you will need some patience, a few tools and some brute force if you are going to tackle this job yourself. Remember to use caution, or you may injure the car, and more likely, yourself.
- Socket set and wrench
- Ball joint splitter
- Heavy sledge-hammer
- Jack and axle stands
- Breaker bar
- Firstly, disconnect the negative battery lead, undo the wheel lug nuts slightly, then raise the car onto axle stands and make sure it is secure.
- Remove the road wheels and turn the steering so the leading edge of the rotor is pointing outwards. Undo the caliper bolts and secure it to the suspension leg with zip-ties.
- Remove the central hub nut and take each washer, nut and bearing out in order. Remove the whole hub/rotor assembly from the vehicle.
- Remove the ABS sensor and the brake hose support bracket.
- Undo the top ball joint bolt. Use the ball joint splitter and the sledge-hammer until the ball joint is split.
- Keep hold of the retaining cir-clip as it can be reused. If the old ball joint cannot be hammered out of the hole, use a press. Then, press in the new ball joint.
Replace the nuts and bolts, making sure to torque up the bolts to the correct setting, which can be found in the owner's handbook.
- When refitting the hub assembly, check the condition of the bearings for grease. They should be lathered in it; if they aren't, re-pack them and fit the hub nut to the correct setting (180 ft-lbs).
Make sure the brake line is not crimped; then, refit the caliper and the road wheels.
- Tighten the lug nuts halfway, then lower the car to the floor. Tighten the lug nuts again and refit the battery lead.