This original article was previously published by Seven Enterprises in our Summer 2011 mailer.
Installing Front Hub Ball Joints
by Mike Kearney
Seven’s Service Shop Manager
Items you will need for one car:
We get calls all the time on how to install Mini ball joints in the front hubs. I have personally seen several very scary jobs done where the pin caps were not fully tightened, a hazardous situation.
The top and bottom ball joints are almost identical, with one exception: the bottom ball joint has a spring set into a recess in the hub that helps keep the load on the ball joint. For assembly purposes, I like to start by doing the top ball joint. If a new hub is being used, as supplied in purchases of a Cooper S disc brake kit SBR0059E, a quick cleaning of the bare hub is all you need to do. If replacing ball joints on existing used hubs, it will be necessary to do a complete and thorough cleaning of the old hub.
First, take off the existing ball joints. With a hammer and small chisel, knock down the lock tab off the top cap of the ball joint. Using the deep 1½” socket remove the top cap, then the ball joint and removable seat from the hub, then take off the old shims, remove the zerk fitting, then the lock tab, and save the old shims for now.
After cleaning the hub. it is time to start re-assembly:
To assemble the lower ball joint, repeat the above steps with the spring not in place. After you have the ball joint adjusted with proper load you can then add the spring under the seat as part of final assembly.
In either case, if any pin remains too tight, then you can add clearance by reusing some of the used shims off your old hubs, or adding the special 2A4240-30 thick shims and repeating the procedure above until a good fit is achieved.
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