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Lower Ball Joints

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by crahm, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. crahm

    crahm Registered Member

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    My new tires on the front are wearing on the inside. I took the truck to NTB and they said the driver's side lower ball joint has movement and so no alignment can be done. The Haynes repair book isn't to good on the ball joints. Anyone done them themselves? What would be a good price to have them replaced? I called one shop I like for this type of stuff and he told me $235 per side to replace the lowers. What do you think?
     
  2. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    I did my own balljoints. It wasn't really that hard once I got my hands into it. Do a search and look at the pictures in the link below. A user here called <font color=orange>ftn69</font color=orange> has a write-upp on it aswell. see if I cant find the link.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com>www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com</font color=red>[/b]
     
  3. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    Figure about $26 per joint (new price times 4 = $104). Harbour Freight has a ball joint press tool for about $30. You can make the adjusting sleeve tool out of a 6 point 3/4" (1/2" drive socket) by grinding down the edges and leaving two tabs on it, or you can get one from Snap-On for about $12. About a days worth of work plus while you have it apart replace all the seals and repack the wheel bearings. It can be done yourself just be patient and take your time. You would be $$ ahead by replacing all 4 joints while it is torn apart. If I remember right the uppers have to come out first before you can remove the lowers. Then the uppers go in first, then the lowers. Now this takes into consideration that all parts come apart without a BF hammer or the use of a hot wrench.
     
  4. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    It can be done yourself with a few special tools. The ball-joint press is one of them. It can also be used to replace u-joints so it is a sound investment. And speaking of u-joints, you do have to disassemble the whole hub and knuckle (this is what takes time especially for someone who has never done it before) when doing ball joints which requires you to remove the front axles. This would be a perfect time to put in new front axle u-joints. A good set of Spicer's and you will be well ahead, it may cost a few bucks, but it will save you (or a well paid mechanic) from having to dismantle everything AGAIN to replace them. This way with new ball-joints, u-joints, and repacked bearings, you shouldn't have to disassemble your axle for a long while (which saves $$ in the end). JMHO.

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot</a>
     
  5. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    FYI, if you do it yourself, please understand the term "Upper Ball-Joint Pre-Load"
    Good luck
     
  6. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Exec brings out a good point. It's just like pinion bearing preload (except easier to do), if you don't get it correct, you will wear out the new ball joints pretty darn quick. *From memory* You put the lower ball joint into place and tighten to spec, then tighten the adjuster on the upper ball joint to spec, and then the upper ball joint nut to spec. I have the specs written down at home, if somebody doesn't post them tonight, I will post them tomorrow.

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

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Here is link to most exelent write-upp by <font color=orange>ftn96</font color=orange>:
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com>http://www.espen88k5.alloffroad.com</font color=red>[/b]
     
  8. kumma

    kumma 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Ex...
    I've seen you use this before
    -please understand the term "Upper Ball-Joint Pre-Load" -

    how about you explain it since you previous answer was of no use. im about to attempt this job and would appreciate some insite and help.

    Craig




    "Why is there a <font color=red>watermelon</font color=red> here?"
     
  9. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    I wood really like too, but sorry I just can not do it, but if you use the search fuction you may get some good
    info.
    Also you might try to get a copy of a GM Shop Manual, as well some aftermarket suppliers include limited
    instructions.
    Sorry
     
  10. kumma

    kumma 1/2 ton status

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    thanks anyways guess ill just take the info i find with a grain of salt.

    "Why is there a <font color=red>watermelon</font color=red> here?"
     
  11. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    The link above is right on the $$. I have heard several different opinions on the proper torque specs. but from what I remember using the GM service manual (thanks to a drinking buddy at the local GM dealership), those specs are right on the money or pretty darn close.

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

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