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upper and lower ball joints

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 85 Jimmy, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. 85 Jimmy

    85 Jimmy Sheepdog Premium Member

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    alright, i'm about to change both upper and lower joints on both sides and have some questions before i get started...

    a guy that i work with said that when he used to work at the chevrolet dealership he used to change them all the time, but he said that you have to take out the axle shafts, just wondering if that's true... and if so is there anything that needs to be changed while i'm in there? i was going to go ahead and change the axle shaft u-joints, all the bearings and races, and all the tie rod ends since all of them are shot.
     
  2. spearchucker

    spearchucker 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe this link will help you - ball joint write-up
    It'd be a good idea to replace the bearings, races and seals as long as it's apart. Unless you do alot of wheeling and your u-joints feel slopy, then I wouldn't replace them, just make sure they're greased well. And don't forget to get a spanner socket to put the preload on the adjustment nut.
     
  3. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    Yes it is true, you have to pretty much take the whole thing apart. The only other thing I can think of is the oil seals in the axle tubes, if you are going to take everything apart might as well change those also.
     
  4. JIMs70K25

    JIMs70K25 1/2 ton status

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    and, if your front dif is open go ahead and drop something in there for a little traction improvement.
     
  5. hawkeye649

    hawkeye649 1/2 ton status

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    You do have to take them off. Take off the caliper. Take the 4x4 hubs off, dig out the crudy grease & remove the snap rings. Take off the lock nut, the lock washer, the lock nut & then the hub. Remove the spindle nuts, and then remove the spindle with either allot of duct tape and a hammer, or a hammer and a 2x4, or get a spindle puller (I have one & love it). I can't find a dent puller that fits mine, so I use the spindle puller and a BFH. :D
    Remove axle shafts (at this point super easy, you've done one of the hardest parts in the spindle) then press out your ball joints. AutoZoned rents a ball press that werks pretty well for this purpose. Rental $100 with a full refund. Use cash, they take foreeeeeever to put it back on a CC. You can also use that for your axle shaft u-joints, but it's a pain so I just use a BFBPH (ball-peen). Instilation is the opo-zit of removal. Only big thing to do is make sure you use plenty of grease (can't use too much) and when you put the hub back on tighten the first nut up while spinning the hub until you can't turn it any more, then back off and torque it down to 0fps. You want no lash with as little fps' as possible. When putting the lock washer on, make sure the tit on it faces IN and only tighten the lock nut under it to line up the washer. Then put on the last lock washer to goodn'tigh-ttt. BTW you need a special tool for the lock nuts. Have fun they suck. :mad:
     
  6. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    and for the love of god stay away from auto zone junk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    just had to deal with more of there supper crappy parts today.


    get moog b/j and some spicer or brute force joints. yes auto zone sells bruteforce. but thats about the only thing i will go there for.
     
  7. hawkeye649

    hawkeye649 1/2 ton status

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    Ya I was just telling him about the press... I go to a localy owned 1 shop deal that beats az's prices all the time... and spend the extra $10 on greaseable joints fur krizt sakes... taking apart a hub to do regular maint on a ujoint sucks. I plan on just running my non-greasables until I either go D60 or they are again 16 years old and have rusty dust as roller bearings, as they seemed to work just as well :D
     
  8. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    They also sell Timken bearings but you have to be sure to ask for them or they'll give you Valuecrap.
     
  9. 85 Jimmy

    85 Jimmy Sheepdog Premium Member

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    well the u-joints i'm going to get are going to be spicer and for all the joints and tie rod ends i'm using either moog or trw.

    i have the special tool for the hubs, since i've done the brakes on the truck before i've taken it down to the spindle, just never taken the spindle off.

    the whole reason i'm doing this is because just recently when i'm driving down the road my steering wheel starts to wobble back and forth (i guess wobble's the right word), i know all my ball joints and tie rod ends are bad so i'm hoping this'll take care of the problem

    eventually i'm going with a D60 and a 14 bff but right now i'm concentrated on getting the new engine, TPI, and new tranny in. but i can't stand to drive my truck like this... i just don't feel safe
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Ahhh... the infamous Death Wobble.

    Be sure to check your steering damper, too.
    And leaf spring Bushings.
    And wheel balance.
    And drag link.
    And rag joint.

    :D
     
  11. 85 Jimmy

    85 Jimmy Sheepdog Premium Member

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    ahh, so this is the infamous death wobble?

    so is what i'm going to replace a step in the right direction to fix it?
     
  12. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Most definitely. Ball joints and tie rod ends are always the first place to look. Be sure to check the wheel bearings while everything is torn apart, too.

    And you might want to get a dead-blow hammer to get the spindle off. There's a special tool you can use that threads onto the spindle and presses against the end of the axle shaft but I can never find one of those and I always end up knocking it off with a 48oz dead blow. *shrug*
     

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