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Group 10 - Front Suspension

Ball Joints


Ball Joint Part Numbers


  • AMC J812-5261 BALL JOINT KIT, Front Suspension Upper Control Arm
  • McQuay-Norris FA630,
  • Moog K3102,
  • TRW 10284

Unconfirmed: Upper ball joint Moog K5208 fitting many 1970-2005 GM products may be a direct fit.


  • AMC J812-5281 BALL JOINT KIT, Front Suspension Lower Control Arm
  • McQuay-Norris FA973,
  • Moog K3103,
  • TRW 10283
  • NAPA Auto Parts. Part #10177


Ball Joint Removal - Drum Brakes

NOTE: It is extremely difficult to remove the lower ball joint without removing the spindle, and it is not recommended.

  1. Remove wheel and tire.
  2. Remove the hub, bearings, and drum as an assembly by loosening spindle bolt.
  3. Remove backing plate by loosening the four bolts or nuts (depending on assembly). Heat may be required to loosten bolts.
  4. Hang backing plate on a wire to prevent stress on front brake hose.
  5. Remove remaining pieces from front knuckle.
  6. Use a factory spring compressor or heavy threaded rod and chain to retain lower control arm.
  7. Upper and lower ball joints may now be removed with a suitable separator. Due to the cost of replacements ($80-$100) a fork is not recommended. 



Part Numbers

Moog 5598 - Heavy Duty for inline 6 with AC and V8 Pacers

Moog 5597 - Regular spring for all inline 6 Pacers

NOTE 1: While correctly formed, Moog springs do not have the machined flat top that stock springs have.

NOTE 2: It is possible to adjust ride height by stepping one part number up or down on the Moog spring part number.

NOTE 3: Springs interchange with many 80's GM vehicles and are plentiful.


  1. Begin removing lower ball joint following procedure.
  2. Before loosening bolt on lower ball joint insert AMC spring tool or a reasonable facsimile to retain spring in car, leaving 1-2 coils at bottom free.
  3. Use a jack or lower car to compress spring and tighten spring tool.
  4. Remove lower ball joint from steering knuckle following procedure.
  5. Move lower control arm down and gently unseat spring.
  6. Loosen spring tool to remove spring.


Installation is the opposite of removal.

When putting compressor on coil leave one to two full coils free at the bottom and pre-ailgn spring before tightening. Be sure that bottom spring tail fits correctly in pocket. It may take some light force to align and insert spring after compression.

NOTE 1: There are similar GM and Chrysler spring tools available that may be adapted for spring removal. The ease and safety these provide over generic internal compressors may well justify the cost, even for a single installation. The tool will will be invaluable for future spring and ball joint replacement.

Under no circumstance use external strut compressors. (The style with two threaded rods.)

NOTE 2: A rubber seat on the top of an aftermarket spring will help the unmachined aftermarket spring seat firmly and can reduce vibration and noise. AMC did not originally specify a rubber seat due to the fact that the entire suspension is attached to the unibody through rubber mounts. Proceed at your own risk. Seats will add greater height then their thickness, approximately 2:1, so choose a thin material.