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Tips on ball joint replacement??

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Ressurection, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Ressurection

    Ressurection 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, all! I'm getting ready (read: procrastinating) to replace ball joints on drivers side of the Orange Blossom Special...Understanding it's a deep endeavor, I'm planning to replace axle seals, re-pack bearings, replace brake line, and pads. Couple questions:

    1. How much time should I allow?
    2. Any special tools required? (press for ball joints?)
    3. Any other items that should be addressed? (u-joints?)
    4. How much beer?
    5. How far away should I keep the kids virgin ears, and the dog (target for flying tools?) (dear aspca: that last one was a joke. i love frankie, our golden, like one of my kids, mainly because she thinks she is!)

    Ok, that's more than a couple. Any input would be much appreciated!
    P.
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    You will need a 1-5/16" socket. The only one I could find was a 3/4" drive so I got the adapter as well. You will need the wheel bearing hub socket (which you might have already), and the smaller 4 prong spanner socket for the adjuster sleeve. When I did mine I just took them in to have the ball joints pressed in and out. I now have a press to do it with.

    It will take you almost all day to do it if it is your first time and you want to do so much. Don't foget the needle bearings in the spindles.

    No tools tossed and only 3 or 4 curse words for the wrench fest /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

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    Your going to need a spreader fork too.
    [​IMG].

    I rented the hub socket at Schucks for $6.00/day. I later bought one for around $20 (the guy at schucks told me they didn't sell them and the only way to get them is to rent them!)

    Like Triaged, I took the ball joints and axel u-joints to be press out/in. Midas did them for me. While I had the front end appart, I had the rotors turned and put on new pads too.

    It took me a lot longer to do then I expected. Mostly because my ball joint was so shot that I couldn't even get the nut off the top, it just spun freeley in the socket. I had to use a grinder to cut the nut off. Once the nut was off, it wasn't that bad.

    The other obstical I ran into was my own ignorance. I spent a day looking for new outboard axel seals (dana 44). Thanks to this board, I found out that the axel seals are in by the pumpkin!
     
  4. jasonkh2tg

    jasonkh2tg 1/2 ton status

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    [/ QUOTE ] I spent a day looking for new outboard axel seals (dana 44). Thanks to this board, I found out that the axel seals are in by the pumpkin!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Right Axle seals are in the pumpkin...Spindal seals are in the spindal on pre 73..73 on spindal seals are on the axle shaft...outer axle shaft stub seals are in the spindal just outside the support bearing... /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  5. jasonkh2tg

    jasonkh2tg 1/2 ton status

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    Oh one other thing you will need a spanner wrench to take the bearing nut off..there will be two on each wheel.. /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  6. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I don't like using pickle forks (and didn't even own one till last week). All you have to do is take the nuts almost all the way off(I had the same problem with the top one spinning), and beat the crap out of the knuckle till it pops off. This way you don't mess up the dust boots on the ball joints and you can toss them in the spare box in case you (or someone else) need them on the trail.
     
  7. Ressurection

    Ressurection 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the great info! Keep the ideas coming. I'm a couple weeks away from diving into it, so the more edu-m-acated I can be, the better!
     
  8. Ressurection

    Ressurection 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tips on ball joint replacement?? ttt.

    Anyone else? So far so good, I'll check into renting vs. buying the press, etc.
     
  9. jasonkh2tg

    jasonkh2tg 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tips on ball joint replacement?? ttt.

    Once I get the knuckes off I use a socket and a hammer...when I install the new ball-joint I clean every thing very well then spray the joints and the part of the knuckle where the joints go with WD-40 and use a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet...I have never had to use a press..

    also in the axle housing will be a threaded sleeve where the upper ball-joint tapper goes in...this does not have to be replaced on less it was damaged taking it apart...your new ball-joints may have this sleeve it requires a special spanner wrench to remove this, but most of the time it is not required..

    my ball-joint of choice is either MOOG witch is good in quality or NAPA top of the line called PRECISION ENGINEERED chassis parts also know as perfect circle..I think the Part# for the upper is napa's 260-1343 and that kit has sleeves that can be put in the axle yoke if needed... /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  10. BamBamblazer

    BamBamblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Another way to get around the press issue is to put the new ball joints in the freezer and get them as cold as possible. Then you get the area around where the ball joint goes, hot with a torch and the ice cold ball joint (shrunk from the cold) will just drop right in the hole (expanded from the heat) and your done! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. my71k5

    my71k5 Registered Member

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    you can pass on the press and get it done for less than $10
    get a metal pipe 1 1/2 round about 1-1 1/2 ft long and a BFH and place it under the bottom joint and beat the hell out of it. once you get the joint beat in a ways the knuckle circle will help ensure the pipe stays in place. once done, do the same thing with the upper joint. just remember they have to go out the top of the knucle.
    installation: bottom one in first use the pipe over the ball joint bolt for guidance and smack it until it seats then go to the top joint and do the same. the pipe needs to be at least 1 1/4 around or bigger to get metal on the ball joint case. works great and you can have them all in and out in 20 minutes.
    if you buy a four ft piece of pipe (@ $10 at lowes) and cut down to length you get a great cheater bar out of the other end. Good luck
     

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