Replace Lower Control Arms or Just Ball Joints?

Hi guys!

I replaced the upper control arms on my Ford F150 after a mechanic friend of mine pointed out that they (and the lowers) were completely shot. I noticed during the replacement that the arms seemed fine, just that the ball joint was, as predicted, junk. I am wanting to take care of the lowers as well but I am wondering if it is worth replacing the whole thing or should I be fine just replacing the ball joints? I do not think I saw anything to compress the shocks at DMS but I am THINK I saw a set of tools for pressing a new ball joint (although I might be completely wrong on that) so that would definitely be a point towards only replacing the ball joints but I am not sure if that is a good idea.

Any pointers are welcome, thanks!

There is a set of coil spring compressing units on the gray shelves, it may be in a plastic box and in a light gray plastic case there are the tools for removing and seating ball joints.

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What year? I suspect you only need the spring compressor to replace the shock, not to replace the A arm or ball joint. Trying to remember the details, but you might have to pull the upper again to do the lower, but I can’t remember exactly what was interfering on my 05.

The real question on just ball joints or full A arm, is how old, and what condition are the rubber bushings in? I probably should have researched if those bushings can be replaced, or just gone with the complete arm, given the age of the rubber on mine.

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I know the job doesnt always warrant it, but anytime I have to replace one set, I try to replace bot the uppers and lowers with poly bushings as well as the ball joints. Most times, while you’re in there, you can get the uppers and lowers done in roughly the same amount of time.

We do have the tools to get the job done. The hydraulic press may need a bit of fidgeting to get things pressed out and in.

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What year is your F150 and is it 2wd or 4wd?

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It is a 2002 2wd

2wd makes it a whole lot easier to do either just the ball joints or the control arms.

I’d suggest just replacing the ball joints and keeping the Ford factory control arms.

You also will not need to use a spring compressor - you just use a floor jack to control the rate of decent(fall) of the arm to let the spring expand.

Piece of cake if it is non rusty truck!

1997-2003 F150 control arm bushings are good for about 300k miles - no sense in wasting time or money on pretty poly coloured bushings.

Poly bushes are the great Satan of daily driver trucks. They last 20-30K for the good ones, and God help you if you ask them for any heavy articulation. Cheap ones shred like cardboard.

You ain’t kidding, I had one trip on my bushings. Destroyed. They also can squeak like a SOB.

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I bought 14 pieces for a Dodge pickup for $56 off eBay (new). Inner and outer tie rod ends , bushings, pitman arm, etc.

If you are willing to wait a week for parts… I would replace the whole set and be done with it…

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