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how bad are ball joints to replace?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by GONZO2, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. GONZO2

    GONZO2 1/2 ton status

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    o.k. i need to get my truck realigned after doing the lift, but the last time i took it to get aligned (been a few years) i was told the ball joints were shot and needed to be replaced before they could align it. well align wasn't too bad so i just kept driving it thinking i would take care of it when i lifted the truck. well flash forward a few years i finally lifted the truck. so no more excuses.
    are they a pain in the a**, like i'm thinking?

    any special tools required? (manual just says dismantle useing appropriate tool and reassemble in reverse order)

    how much would a shop charge on avg.?
     
  2. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    i did mine last year around this time, and i can't remember them being a problem. i needed to heat the lower one to get it off, but the torch was the nly "special tool" i used

    Tork DSR
    "Easy killer. That's technology you talk of..."
    http://www.torkpig.homestead.com
     
  3. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    The hardest part was getting the ball joints in and out of the knuckle. Getting the knuckle off depends on the size of your hammer. ( My neighbor lent me an air chisel) I was able to get the ball joints out of one side but decided to let a machine shop do the rest of the work for me. It cost me 20 bucks or so and saved a few years on my life!

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  4. GONZO2

    GONZO2 1/2 ton status

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    what did it take time wise?
    i got done talking to my brother (mechanic) and he told me there are several types of ball joints. some are pressed in some have rivits, and others are screwed in. which type does an 85 blazer have?
    so the only tools really needed are a big hammer, air chisel and plenty of patience?
    anyone paid to have theirs done, if so how much?

    <font color=blue>85 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>88 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>99 30th ann. TA</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>79 TA</font color=blue>
     
  5. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Total time was overnight cos I wasnt in a really big rush..... but about 4 hours. Basically you remove the caliper, rotor, backing plate, spindle/hub assembly. Next you remove your axles, they just slide out. You need to remove your steering linkage from your knuckles. Reove the king nuts from the stud on the ball joints and start smacking the bejeezis outta them. They're gonna be thrown away so damage done. I had removed my steering arm from the left side. Not really sure if that was totally needed or not. Anyhow, once you have your knuckles in your bleeding hands take them down and have the new ones pressed in and then slap it all back together. I was quoted around 350 or so!

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? &lt;a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5&gt;http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5&lt;/a&gt;
    Jim
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I stripped my axle down to the knuckles and took it to the shop, where, $35 later, I had new balljoints (I had the parts already).

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  7. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    35 is fair I think. Remember to install the adjusting nuts correctly. I was able to borrow the socket for that. The instructions said to torque it 50lbs I think. I had a GoodWrench mechanic tell me it only needed to be flush with the top of the knuckle. But either way they are very important!!!!

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  8. GONZO2

    GONZO2 1/2 ton status

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    the chilton manual i was looking mentioned removing brake caliper, rotor and steering arm. it did not mention remving axle.
    is this really needed to access the ball joints?
    thanks for the help
    i'm currently leaning towards having a shop do this now.
    of course the quotes i get may change that

    <font color=blue>85 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>88 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>99 30th ann. TA</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>79 TA</font color=blue>
     
  9. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    yeh they need to come out. You don't need to pull the cover off. There are no c clips, they just slide out!!

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  10. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Realy not a big deal, but it does take time. Like the others have said, they broke it down for you. If that sounds like more than what you are ready to take on yourself, than ship it and have someone else do it for you. They can be tuff to get out with out the proper tools (air compressors make life ALOT easier)

    You need to have a
    wheel bearing nut socket (lage socket with 4 internal prongs)
    large hammer or better yet, impact hammer
    smaller upper ball joint 4-prong socket (about 1 inch dia.)
    snap ring pliers
    ball-joint press
    torque wrench
    one inch plus sockets/wrenches, (I can't remember the sizes for sure)
    - most of those tools can be rented (I would think). Still, you would need to get the beast alighned after..so, it might be cheeper to get it done. Call up some shops and get a price on the job and an alighnment after.


    By the way, driveing around on crappy ball joints is not a good idea. Thankfully, by design the ball joints are compressed when driveing, so brakage does not hapen often, but it -can- happen.

    <font color=blue>Twiz</font color=blue>
     
  11. CV202

    CV202 1/2 ton status

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    Just disassemble and reassmble, they make it sound Sooo easy. Also avoid the torch on suspension components, it only weakens them (aim for the disposable pieces if you must)

    Why do people keep calling it a Bronco!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  12. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Do search for ftn96's balljoint article on changing balljoints. Also I have some pic's here that break it down. It's not hard, takes some time, but there is no way you wont be able to go back if you feel you get in to deep.
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com>www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com</font color=red>[/b]
     
  13. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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  14. bart

    bart Registered Member

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    Not bad at all...just get the loaner tool set from autozone or advance auto or wherever...and get some PB Blaster stuff...take your time...mine went okay...both sides took me about 6-7 hours total...from removing the wheels to getting them back on.

    bart
     
  15. dysphemism

    dysphemism 1/2 ton status

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    I am about to do mine again. A 10-bolt with 38's munches them every year or so. They aren't that hard and will save you a good amount of money to do yourself. Don't be scared to get your feet wet at fixing your truck yourself. But you will need some very specific tools, like snap-ring pliers. If you do not fix them they will cause unever tire wear but otherwise you wont notice that they are worn if you run large tires. Good luck and don't chicken out! You know you want to fix it yourself!
     
  16. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I agree with most everybody, do it yourself. I had the drivers side lower done once on my old K5 for $300 (it's expensive being in a rush!!). I just did them (drivers side upper/lower) on my new truck faster than the shop I took my old one to, and I pressed in and out the joints in a massive vise... A machine shop/parts place would've done the pressing for $25, but had a wait time and wanted to take off the steering arm, which would have made the job take a lot longer. So I just did it in a friends vise (2 foot jaws)... All in all took me about 6 hours (once I got all the right tools), &amp; cost $100 for the 4 ball joints. The torque specs on the wheel bearing are pretty important too...

    Good Luck!

    Ratch
    <a target="_blank" href=http://k5.8m.com>k5.8m.com</a>
    Welcome to America.
     
  17. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    If you do it yourself, make sure you understand the term "Upper Ball-Joint Pre-Load" .
    Good luck
     
  18. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    And where have we heard that lately! [​IMG]

    Sorry Ex!
    Ex does make a good point though. Get the adjuster socket (cheap$$$) or rent it from Auto Zone, and torque it to spec. Haynes repair manual should specify. If you don't, it will either be too hard to turn your wheel or have too much slop (either way it is not good).

    Do a search on Ball Joints here, I believe somebody listed the proper torque sequence and torque specs. recently (within the last 2-3 weeks).

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot> click here </a>
     
  19. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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  20. GONZO2

    GONZO2 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for the help guys, but i just got back from an alignment shop and they said the ball joints were all good to go. so need to replace them yet.
    i guess the other shop was trying to make a few extra $$$.
    i think if it ever does need them i might take a crack at it myself. i got quotes of $389 on up to $500 to do all four balljoints and align.

    <font color=blue>85 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>88 blazer</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>99 30th ann. TA</font color=blue>
    <font color=blue>79 TA</font color=blue>
     

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