I have a 1996 Ford Contour that needed new brakes on all four corners and new lower ball joints to pass inspection. Having limited funds, and knowing how to replace the brakes, I decided to take this project on myself. Unfortunately, I also have limited knowledge about everything other than brakes as well. After 2 hours of pushing, pulling, hammering, sawing, and drilling, I finally got the old ball joint off. Now when I go to put the new one on, I find that I can’t align the holes in the lower control arm with the new ball joint…they’re about an inch off. Looking things over, the only possible scenario I can come up with is that I might have disengaged the axle from whatever it’s attached to at the engine side. Is this possible? If it’s likely I did, how do I re-engage? It’s surrounded by what looks to me to be a deformed rubber boot, but I can’t say I remember what it looks like before I started pushing, pulling, hammering, sawing, and drilling.
Any help would be appreciated!!!