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Ball Joint Grease

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by hpfire7227, May 27, 2000.

  1. hpfire7227

    hpfire7227 Registered Member

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    Ok...I need some FACTS here...I've heard that when replacing your ball joints, or just plain greasing them, that you shouldn't squeeze in so much grease that it comes out between the seal. Apparently, ball joint boots were made to hold grease, and not for it to squish out the sides, and that if you DO grease it that much, that it will reduce the life of the ball joints significantly. That's what I always went by, but after getting my ball joints replaced this week (by the dealer) I found that they squeezed in so much grease that it is oozing out. Did they screw up, or am I going by an old wives tale?

    10 BOLTS O' FUN
     
  2. Todd78/87

    Todd78/87 1/2 ton status

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    Well,,,, I just had all mine done about a month ago and I had always heard the same as you. But I really got to looking at them and took the rubber boot off (that's all it is, not a seal like I thought also) and common sense told me that there is no way in hell, that putting so much grease in them that it squirts out would hurt them in anyway, shape, or form. The rubber boot is just there to keep the dirt out of your grease. In turn, common sense also tells me that one would not want so much grease in there that it pushes the boot away from the ball joint, therefore letting dirt get in there. So just wipe the excess off and push the boot down snug.
    Look at a brand new one sometime when it's not installed.

    Todd 78/87[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Alaska Bound
     
  3. coopertwpk

    coopertwpk 1/2 ton status

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    you should always pump out the old grease until you see the new come out then wipe off thw excess this gets all the dirt ,water etc out.
     
  4. hpfire7227

    hpfire7227 Registered Member

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    I know you are supposed to have it squish out from the tie rod ends, but I thought that ball joints were different. Oh well. Thanks for the advice Todd, I'll do just that.

    10 BOLTS O' FUN
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Pump till it forces the old out and you see clean. This is really important if you play in water and mud. EVERY time you get them buggers under the goo or water your clean up (as soon after you play as you can) should include a full lube job. Even a garden hose has enough pressure to lift those boots and get water in the joints. Water in those joints will make them fail real quick. So get the mud and goo sprayed off and clumb under the truck and spend some time hitting every Zerk you can find. You would be surprised how much water you will displace out of a ball joint.
    Now here is my patented trick (shared freely :) ) for lubing the upper Ball joints. Hit the local parts store and get a 90deg fitting. There is enough room if you rotate the yoke right to install a 90deg fitting. Then use the probe style greese fiting (same one for lubing the CV on the front shaft) and you can get some fresh grease into that upper. Then pull the 90 and put the plug back in.
    On a simular but even more important note you should also inspect the front wheel bearings for contamination. If you ever have come accross and original manual it plainly states to repack the bearings after fording high water.
    Well thats a bit time consuming but a quick way to check would be to pull your locking hub off and see if any water got in. Also plan on pulling the hub and spindle (yeah even that, there is a set of seals and bearings for the axle shaft that need to be checked) off every 6 months and relubing if you get in the deep stuff regularly. Keep good seals in them and good quality synthetic or Marine Grease to fight contamination.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
     
  6. hpfire7227

    hpfire7227 Registered Member

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    The days of me fording creeks in my baby are few and far between, but is just driving in the rain or on wet roads enough to get a significant amount of water in the joints? Because if that's the case, I'll be under the thing twice a day around here. Thanks.

    10 BOLTS O' FUN
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    If they don't go under water then you don't have anything to worry about. Just lube them at oil changes. Pull the hubs and repack the bearings when you service the brakes. For normal duty that doesn't include water or deep mud they are pretty reliable. Just don't give them a direct shot of water with the hose.


    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
     
  8. hpfire7227

    hpfire7227 Registered Member

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    whew. That's good then. I still say the dealer should have known better than to do that. Oh well. Thanks for the help guys.

    10 BOLTS O' FUN
     
  9. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I too use marine grease and it holds up very well and new seals every time I service/replace the wheel bearings!
    I had too learn the hard way and didn't service my bearings after a whole summer of wheelin and that winter POW blew out a bearing and turned it into multin lava[​IMG].
    That took more time and money to repair than a day in the garage playing with grease![​IMG]

    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG] Led Zeppelin
     

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