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changing a ball joint with a press? how to?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jjlaughner, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    I need to replace the upper and lower ball joints on the drivers side, can I do this without a press or do I need to pull the knuckle and have someone press them in?
     
  2. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    You can use a ball joint tool to do it. Big c-clamp looking things /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Borrow it from az.
     
  3. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    After spending 4 hours to do one side, I would never do ball-joints again with out the proper tool. The first time I used a BFH and a couple of clamps, which resulted in the 4 hour episode.

    A few months ago I put down the $100 deposit and used the AutoZone loaner tool. It took about 20 mins to do the upper and lower per side. That is definately the way to do it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    1) Strip down to bare knuckle (if you need help getting that far, just ask and I'll type out the instructions).

    2) Take out axleshaft to access lower ball-joint nut. Top one is 1 5/16", bottom is 1 1/8" (I think /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif). Take off both nuts. Take a BFH and hit on the top balljoint. A good couple of whacks and the knucle will fall to the ground...so get your toes out of the way.

    3) Remove external retaining clip from lower balljoint.

    4) Using press rented from Autozone, press both balljoints out of the knuckle upwards. (upwards meaning that if the knuckle were still on the truck, the ball joints get pushed up and out - the holes are tapered) In order to press mine out, it was a combination of cranking on the press with a long wrench while standing on the thing to keep it from moving (I was too lazy to go to the vise, but that would probably be the way to go). Also helps (if they're in there pretty good like mine were) to hit the screw part of the press with a hammer pretty hard. That will help pop the joints a bit (may also make the press fall off) and then you they will push out easier with the normal turning of the press. Note: in order to remove the driver's side upper balljoint using the press tool, you'll need to remove the steering arm.

    5) Press the new ball joints in until they can no longer go further. Install external retaining clip on lower balljoint. Place knuckle back on axle. I'm going to go ahead and say leave the adjusting sleeve alone. Some people swear you need to replace them, some people say only if they're busted (they do have a slit in them so they can compress, but any other cracks and they should be replaced) I left mine in there and haven't had any problems. My next door neighbor who's an auto mechanic says they never mess around with them.

    6) Torque lower nut to 30, upper to 50, lower to 50, upper to about 100...in that order. Intall cotter pin in top nut, and you're good to go. Make sure to grease them good. You'll have to take the grease zerks out though because the axleshaft won't have enough room to spin.

    7) Assemble hub and move onto other side. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

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    some one should put this in the tech/bloody knuckle section, very good info /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    good for us young wheelers /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  6. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [​IMG]

    OK I torched the ears off the axle housing and the tierod/drag links now what? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif








    AHAHAHAHA /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif HAHAHAHA
    Thats how I got my raised steering arm
    Anyhow I can get it down to here, i just wondered about changing the joints, thanks for the info /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    Go to www.autozone.com and they give you the complete instructions on how to do it. Even give all the proper torque specs and factory procedure. Its under the DIY section.

    I dont know if this will work but here is a link to the autozone website with the info.Link
     
  8. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Oh, I forgot to mention...in order to use the press on the driver's side upper balljoint, you'll need to remove the steering arm. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
     
  9. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    "Some people swear you need to replace them, some people say only if they're busted (they do have a slit in them so they can compress, but any other cracks and they should be replaced) I left mine in there and haven't had any problems."

    This is bad Tech Advise IMHO.
    Please try to understand Upper Ball-Joint Prelaod !
     
  10. Fubeca

    Fubeca 1/2 ton status

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  11. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Oh, I forgot to mention...in order to use the press on the driver's side upper balljoint, you'll need to remove the steering arm. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I did mine without removing the steering arm /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif Hmmm, I guess I never tried it with the steering arm on because mine was already off at that point. Just seemed like I wouldn't have been able to get the big socket thingy over the ball joint without the steering arm getting in the way. Ah well. Thanks for the info! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Oh, I forgot to mention...in order to use the press on the driver's side upper balljoint, you'll need to remove the steering arm. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I did mine without removing the steering arm /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    There must be some differences in the steering arms out there. I definately had to remove the arm to do my balljoints......the arm protruded out above the upper joint. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  14. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I made a tool that fits over the ball & shaft...
    but catches the outer lip of the ball joint housing..
    A peice of tubing will work..

    First I make sure the bore on the knuckle is clean...
    FREEZE the ball joint for an hour..and shink it..
    Then beat'm it....they go it easy then!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Just avoid hitting the ball assembly. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    It about a 20 minute job per side...
    If you wanna borrrow my tool...pm me... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     

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