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ball joint help... (ALL DONE)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by colbystephens, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    hey guys. sorry, no real time to do much searching. got a dana44 and i killed a balljoint today while driving. that was one of those pucker-your-ass and tell your wife it's all ok kind of moments. :) anyway, i'm getting a ball joint press to do the job, so it shouldn't be too hard, but i'm hoping to get some advice from y'all - make this easier on me. i've never taken apart my front hub - does it use the same socket as my 14bff? these are a matching set of axles, if that makes a difference. thanks for any input before i get too dirty to reply. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  2. BigEasy

    BigEasy 1/2 ton status

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    It uses a different socket. Save yourself time & headache and have the local parts store press in the new ball joints. Even with the kit it's a real b!tch. You'll also need to get the spanner wrench to set the preload on the tapered sleeve for the top ball joint (the only place I could find these was Napa. Autozone quit carrying them and Kragen's had no idea what I was talking about).

    Spindle nut socket:
    http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=SER&PartNumber=2770&Description=Spindle+Lock+Nut+Socket

    Ball joint spanner wrench:
    http://www.napaonline.com/MasterPages/NOLMaster.aspx?PageId=470&LineCode=BK&PartNumber=7002467&Description=Ball+Joint+Spanner+Wrench

    If you don't have a torque wrench, you'll need one of those too. It's a good idea to have all 3 of these items and a spare set of front shafts on the trail. Consider them an investment. Here's an excellent thread on how to change the ball joints:

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183180&highlight=ball+joint
     
  3. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    I dunno, I didn't think it was too hard. With the press, and spanner wrench, it's no so bad. The press is great. Works well on U-joints and other jobs requiring a giant c-clamp. I've found many innovative uses for it. Well worth the dough and a fine addition to any mechanics tool box.

    The front socket is different than the 14bff, nothing like adding to your toolset though!
     
  4. BigEasy

    BigEasy 1/2 ton status

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    I tried using the kit on my ball joints with no luck. Ended up having the old ones pressed out and the new ones pressed in for $20. Maybe some are easier than others but mine were a real PITA. :dunno:
     
  5. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    buy the tool and learn to do it yourself. You will be futher ahead in knowing how and have the tools to do it next time.
     
  6. mechted

    mechted 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I think you should fully expect that the truck will be down a full weekend, if not longer to do this (assuming you are doing both sides)

    to do my passenger side (learning) took me 2 days, driver side was 1 day mostly due to the giant steering block making things a PITA. Now I bet I could do both in 1 day.

    You also need a big breaker bar and maybe a cheater pipe for said breaker bar for the press... and a big vise or a helper to hold the knuckle while you crank the press
     
  7. BigEasy

    BigEasy 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like my $20 was well spent. This was also my first time doing them and I did both sides, plus new bearings, seals, rotors, calipers, and locking hubs at a leisurely pace in one day. But I also had time to work on everything else while the new ball joints were being installed instead of continuing to fight the old ones.
     
  8. chevy wrangler

    chevy wrangler 1/2 ton status

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  9. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    thanks guys! looks like i'm starting in tomorrow morning on the project - not exactly as planned. really appreciate it.
     
  10. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Keep in mind, none of that "brute force" stuff - you know what happened with the driveshaft. This time it's gonna be your steering...

    I'd start spraying everything in PB blaster tonite.
     
  11. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    good tip! :)
     
  12. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    the old ball joints can be taken out with a hammer. no need to fumble with the press. take the knuckle off the axle. remove the snap ring on the lower balljoint. beat it out. use a brass drift and beat out the top balljoint.

    when you install them you need to do the lower balljoint first.
     
  13. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    what's a brass drift?
     
  14. bp71k5

    bp71k5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    A big piece of brass to hit with the hammer instead of wacking the joint directly. A piece of hardwood works ok too sometimes.

    But since you need the press to put them back in, you might as well use it to take them out too. :)
     
  15. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ok, picked up all my parts/supplies tonite. the ball joints are sealed - what's up with that? there's no grease fitting, no place for a grease fitting. these are MOOG joints. that strikes me funny. i guess it's less maintenance tho. any thoughts?
     
  16. Chrisblazzer89

    Chrisblazzer89 1/2 ton status

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    The sealed ones will go bad faster the the greasable ones.

    I say get the greasable ones
     
  17. daleearnhardt01

    daleearnhardt01 1/2 ton status

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    You need to check your balljoints more often so this doesnt happen again....
     
  18. NEK5

    NEK5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    My MOOGs had the grease zerks:confused:
     
  19. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    this is a good point. up until thursday tho, i didn't know how to do it. i'm still not sure that i would know how to check for minimal play in the joint tho.

    after the joint died, i jacked that side of my truck up on the side of the road, lifted up on the wheel and felt TONs of play. looked at the ball joints while i was doing this and sure enough...

    now, how would you go about checking them if they are only starting to wear? i mean, how would you notice? seems that if you can feel any play, there's an issue - so how do you know before that point?
     
  20. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    if you jack up the truck and pull on the top or bottom of the tire and there is movement it's time for new balljoints. pull on the sides and it moves time for new tierod ends.

    without movement they are good. simple and straightforward.

    unless your bearings are loose or worn. When I bought my blazer it pulled left when I was braking and one tire was worn on the inside edge. turned out the spindle nuts were loose on one side. balljoints were good and the tierod ends. but when I jacked it up there was movement both ways. you ahev to look at them as you pull on the tire.
     

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