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Seating a Ball Joint

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mechted, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. mechted

    mechted 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Having kinda a weird problem on the K5
    i changed the ball joints a couple weeks ago, (hasnt moved) and when i went to torque the upper ball joint nuts, they would just spin the shafts... so i figured i would let them sit with weight on them for a couple weeks to seat them, it worked for the pass. side, but no luck on the drivers, it still spins

    so anyone have a trick to get this thing seated? or do i just put the pin in for now and watch it?
     
  2. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    i always tighten the first one first, then the bottom one. try putting a jack under the knuckle and jack it up then tighten it.
     
  3. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Try tightening one of them (that doesn't spin) to apply pressure to the other one then it shouldn't turn. I done this a few weeks ago and ran into the same thing and did the above and all worked out fine so far.
     
  4. mechted

    mechted 1 ton status Premium Member

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    hmmmm.. sorry didnt make it clear, i have already reassembled everything, and let the weight of the vehicle sit on the ball joints via the tires
    the lowers were already tightened to spec, just need to get the upper torqued
     
  5. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I had that problem too. The Moog joints I put in had a slot at the top of them, not really something that I could get a standard screwdriver on, but I was able to regrind an old screwdriver to the right profile. I used that to keep it from turning while I put "blue torque" on the nut with an open end wrench.
     
  6. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    did you seat the adjuster correctly on the upper ball joint? it sound likes that it could be your problem. you need a spanner wrench.
     
  7. mechted

    mechted 1 ton status Premium Member

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    thats what i was afraid of...
    and why i didnt remove the previous adjuster
    i think that may be coming back to haunt me... great

    i can get it almost seated... its tightened down, but only goes to about 50 ft lbs before the shaft spins, so i really tempted to just put the pin in for now, then retry after a month or so of driving
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    a pain in the ball joints

    I've had the same thing happen many times when installing a tie rod end or ball joint--using a jack to lift the truck as suggested may put enough pressure on it to keep the stud from spinning--i've also gotten them to stop spinning by having someone turn the steering wheel,and keep pressure on the wheel while you attempt to tighten it,that usually works well,but you need 2 people..
    ..if you cant get it tight without it spinning,it might be wise to inspect the knuckle where the stud goes thru it (the tapered hole)and make sure its not hogged out from having a loose ball joint nut that let the tapered stud wear the knuckle out....the adjusting sleeves could be the problem too,not enough preload on the ball joint studs can cause this,but I've changed a lot of them and so have many mechanics I know without touching the adjusting sleeves...I know the "right" way is to replace and adjust the sleeves,and measure the preload with a gauge,but not many people do....:crazy:
     
  9. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    If you want the ball joints to last you need to do it right. This involves buying a manual for your truck and buying (or making) a ball joint preload adjuster tool. If you are just going to "slap them in" you might have been better off just leaving the old ones in...if you are going to do it do it right!
     

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