I need some help


Dedicated LVC Member
May 9, 2004
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Columbia, SC
Ok, so I'm gonna buy this pearl/black 97 mark viii that I saw on craig's list for $900 to use as my daily driver so I can keep the miles off of my 98 (Driving 40 miles a day to and from work eventually adds up).
97 Mark VIII Base
I went to check it out the other night and, as stated in the ad, the passenger side front wheel does not turn (left or right). I dropped to the ground and looked and I can immediately tell that it's a lower ball joint--came right out of the lower control arm. It's not such a big deal for me since I just finished replacing both sides, upper and lower, control arms on my 98. The guy told me that he'd let me work on it right there in front of his house so I can get it good enough to drive to my house. The only problem is, with the air ride messed up also, I don't know how I'm gonna get a jack up underneath it. Can someone please help me figure out a way to do this????? The jack that I've got is one of those 2-ton jacks that you buy from Wal-mart in a set with 2 jack stands, so if you're familiar with them, you know that they're still kinda tall even when they're all the way lowered.

Oh, and if for some reason it's more messed up than I think it is. I think I'll just scavenge a bunch a parts on it and get rid of it. All lights work (both headlight bulbs are relatively new and the neon is in perfect shape, yes!!), the interior is probably about a 6 (cupholder is broken), and it's got 3 spots where the paint is peeling off (spot on the trunk, pass. fender, and a spot right above the driver door on the roof.), 125,000 miles, and no lasagna on the rear window.
Go and get yourself some two by fours and make yourself four ramps by stacking shorter board on top of eachother making a very low profile ramp. Drive the car up on them and the slide the jack underneath the car when it is slightly more raised up.
I was gonna try the 2 x 4 thing, but the lower ball joint is physically separated from the lower control arm, so it can't be driven whatsoever.:(
I don't plan on parting it out, unless it comes to the point where it's costing me too much money to use it as a daily driver/beater car.
Yeah, scissor jacks work ok, done it on mine when slammed.
goto Sears and buy a low profile jack 2" tall. or if you have a Harbor frieght tools they sell a 2 ton 2" jack for $89.99 best investment ever since all of my cars are fast bagged
just use the jack in the trunk that came with it, even when slammed it will fit under the car, get it up high enough on one side to get wood under the front tire, then switch to the other side and do the same, then you can use a regular jack under the front end to get it up where you want it.
I had a ball joint pop out on my 93. Swapted the Control arm from the side of the road.

The Sissor Jack will fit to lift it up. Used a cordless impact driver to help remove bolts. Also used a torch to heat up the back nut on the cotrol arm.

You can do this job curb side.
Thought you meant the ties rod for steering, sorry. Use the stock jack like everyone else recomended
Well, I'm gonna go at it tomorrow morning/afternoon. I stopped by the guy's house and looked at it one more time, and I'm sure the scissor jack is gonna work. I'll use the scissor jack until it's up high enough to get my other jack under it. That way I won't be sitting there all day using the scissor jack. It's probably gonna be pretty cold though. When I did the control arms on my 98 last weekend, I was inside the garage with the door shut.

Oh, and to tell you the truth, it looks a lot better in the pictures than it does in person. It really needs an extensive detailing. I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do yet about the paint peeling spots. They're kind of unsightly. Oh well, it's just gonna be my beater, so I'm not too worried about it--and it's only $900, can't beat that!
The scissor jack worked. It ended up taking me like 3 and a half hours just to do one lower control arm.
First, I couldn't get the wheel off (frozen to the hub), and then I couldn't get the air strut bolt out of the sleeve in the control arm (rusted together), I ended up heating up the bolt sleeve with a torch and then hammering a screwdriver into the seam of it to pry it open a little bit.

After that was done and it was all put back together, I started it up and only the front air ride pumped up. There was a message in the message center that said check air ride, so I turned the air ride off and back on and then the rear raised up. Yay!! So, I may not have to buy the coil conversion after all, like I was planning....at least not yet. I'm gonna go at it with some soapy water and find out where it's leaking. I'm hoping to be able to keep the air ride. Maybe it'll be something as easy as solenoid o-rings.
Both upper control arm ball joint boots are ripped up, and there's a squeak coming from the driver's side while turning, so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need to replace those real soon too.

I never realized how much I've taken my 98's condition for granted. Whoever had it before me really must have taken really good care of it. Now that I've worked on this 97 a little bit and seen how un-cared-for it has been, it's really put it into perspective for me.

I'll be bringing the car to my house on monday, so I'll get some pictures taken before and after I clean it up and post them on here sometime next week.
Jack from the rear rocker area on the brace then work your way to the front,this should help
Well, like I said in my last post, I've got it fixed, so all is well with that. :)

Another update....I drove by it today to check on the air ride to see if it's holding air, and it is! :headbang: So, maybe it's just a really slow leak in the bags (the car had sat there in the same spot for about a month without being started before I saw it), or hopefully, the reason it was down was cuz of the ball joint being separated and it was confusing the air ride computer. I don't know. What I do know is that it would be really nice not to have to buy new air ride stuff.

I can't wait to pick it up tomorrow!! It feels like christmas for me. LOL.

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