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C4 front suspension



Hi everybody!

I'm a new '89 Corvette Coupe owner in Hungary, but my car - as every Corvette in Hungary - has several technical problems.

I'n Hungary, there isn't any GM dealer, and just a few mechanical who ever saw a Corvette, because there's about 40 Vettes in the whole country! So i choosed this forum to get technical informations about repairing & restorating my car.

First of all it seems that i have to replace the lower ball joints on the control arm on both side. I saw that the upper ball joints are assembled with bolts to the upper control arm, but i haven't seen any connector item (bolt or screw) on the lower control arm. Is it just pressed into the control arm or are there any connector stuff for fixing the ball joint into the control arm? Is it possible replace just these ball joints or i have to order it assembled with the control arm? Can anybody you give me some instructions how to replace them? For example, how much force do i have to use to press it into the arm? Finding answers for this would be a great help for me....

Thank to everybody any advice in advance,


Gábor Kovács

P.S.: Please forgive my bad english...I'm not a native speaker ;)
The ball joints are rivited in from the factory. You must remove the rivets by grindind the heads off. The new ball jount should come with bolts and nuts to hold them in. They must be pressed out and new ones pressed in then bolted. Some of the catalog companies offer kits. Try Vettebrakes. Ecklers, or madirect. Good luck!

Welcome Gabor,

This is the best place you could have found to help you with your vette. You will like it here, and I think your English is fine. You speak as well or better than some of the natives. :)

Drew :w
Thanks for the quick answer.

I saw that the upper ball joints are riveted into the arm and - as i know - both the upper and lower BJ are riveted into the arm on 65-82 Vettes...

On my C4, i saw that the upper BJ also riveted. According to Racer78's reply and my visual inspection (i didn't see any bolt or rivet on it) the lower BJ can be just pressed in and out.

Does this "pressing" has a special requirement or i have to simply stucking it into the control arm?

I've also checked the ball joint tool - it costs about 20 USD, but i think it's not necessary for me. It's just a simple tool for making easier the removing of the BJs.

You need to press them out in a hydrolic press. You must be really carful doing this. Since the A arm is aluminum it will bend easily if you press BJ out incorrectely. Maybe this part of the job should be done by a professional. Most shops have an hydrolic press.
Thanks for everyone

I would like to thank to everbody for help me finding out this ball joint thing. I'm sure i'll be able now to replace my used ball joints.

welcom Gabor,

So as yu can see, I am from the Netherlands. Maby you can come on our website, where you can ask a lot of questions. And, maby we come to you!

here is the link:



Who told you the lower ball joints are bad?
From my experience GM cars are not hard on these parts.
On most they have a wear indicator sholder on the grease fitting.
If it has not receeded below the edge of the A-arm the ball joint is not worn out.
Most are replaced because the grease seal is split from to much grease.
They are not hard to change. and can be done without removing the A-arm form the car.


My 86 convertible had less than 50K miles back in 97 and required a left front lower ball joint replacement. I knew it was bad for two reasons. One, it had a bad pull in the front when driving and a bad vibration in certain turns etc. Two, I knew it was bad because I jacked up the car and was able to grab the tire with my arms and pull up and out and watch the ball stud move while the lower control arm stayed in the same place.

The lower has to be pressed out. I made a quick tool out of an old piece of threaded pipe that was just larger than the joint housing. I had to grind two little spots out to get it to sit dead flat on the control arm. After this I was able to press it in and out on an old press of mine.

After that she was smooth as glass.

I have also seen them go 150K plus with no problems such as our 90 model.

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