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Upper ball joint loose *UPDATED*

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Triaged, Jul 2, 2001.

  1. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    My upper ball joint is loose. Not the joint itself but the tapered part that goes into the axle inbord knuckle. The cotter pin is still there and the nut hasen't turned. When you shake the wheel the you can see the nut move. I can't loosen or tighten down the nut even with an impact (it spins the ball joint).

    Now to the question.
    How can I get it apart to replace it (I have a new one)? Am I going to run into other problems? If the threds in the inbord knuckle for the ball joint preload insert are messed up is there any thing I can do.
    I am going to start on this on wed.
    Any sugestions?

    '71 Blazer CST with alot of rust<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by Triaged on 07/06/01 06:04 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  2. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    First you can try and grease the sucker up... either through a fitting or if no fitting get a pointed grease gun fitting and poke a hole in the rubber boot and try filling it that way... chances are you will have to get a prybar out and pry the knuckle and or jt differenet ways till you find a way that stops the stud in the b-jt from spinning. Kinda PIA.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm>http://www.geocities.com/milnerlives_2000/blazer.htm</A>
     
  3. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    I've had this happen several times on my work trucks (F*rd 460 4wd van conversions). It is a MF but if you can hit it up into the tapper enough or pry up under the nut to get it to loosen without bending the crap out of it then great. Spray the nut down with WD40 today. Most of the time this still doesn't work so if it doesn't, take a torch and heat the heck out of the nut, then while prying up some try to loosen the nut. It normally won't work until it cools down (expansion/contraction thing). If you still have no luck, drill a hole in the end of the pin, insert a easyout and use it to hold the stud while undoing the nut. After you get it out, check the fit of the new one, if the taper is screwed up, you may need to replace the part. If you really don't want too, I would use a little stud and bearing mount locktight on the stud when I put it together to help hold it in place tight. Good luck man.

    [​IMG]<font color=red>[/b]"Rid'in HigH in my K5"[​IMG]
    ....[​IMG]<font color=blue>[/b]"6" Lift -<font color=purple>38.5's"[​IMG]....
     
  4. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    When this happens to me I drill 4 holes in a vertical line down the side of the nut .Once thats done you can hit the nut across the holes with a chisel or an air hammer.This splits the nut and it comes right off.Good luck.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang>http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang</A>
     
  5. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    I got it off! I drilled holes in the nut and than used a chisle to finish it off. Now I just have to take the nuckle in and have the old one pressed out and the new one pressed in. The threds for the insert are fine so all this will cost me is the $15 I payed for the balljoint and some time.

    As a side note I love that you not only can, but have too beat on these trucks with a BFH. Great way to releave frustration.

    Thanks for all the help.

    '71 Blazer CST with alot of rust
     
  6. Executioner

    Executioner 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    FYI, learn and understand the term "Upper Ball-Joint Pre-Load"
    Good luck
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    Pick up a haynes manal at the parts store. There is a procedure to be followed when installing the ball joint and there is important torq values for the prelaod sleave. It sounds like it wasn't preloaded properly before and that's why you had the problem in the first place.

    It's not my damn planet monkey boy!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</A>

    Grim-Reaper
     
  8. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    I read the section in the manual. It says to torque down the adjusting sleve and then the nut. I have a adjustable spanner wrench but not one that will go on a torque wrench. Is there anyware that I could get one or is there another way to do it besides trial and error.

    '71 Blazer CST with alot of rust
     
  9. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    What now? I need the 4lug x 1"O.D. (I think) socket for the upper balljoint adjuster sleve. The spanner wrengh I have won't fit in there. None of the parts stores around here have the socket that will fit it (if you can even get them to understand what it is you are looking for). Does anyone in SoCal have one that I could barrow? Does anyone know where I could get one? I need to get this thing back on its wheels this weekend.

    '71 Blazer CST with alot of rust
     
  10. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    you can probably fab your own. just look for a pipe with the correct diameters or use an old socket and grid it to fit in. I got mine at "all under car parts" or something like that($15). you may also try a tire shop like winston/bigO/firestone and "rent" one from one of the mechanics.

    ARQ.

    1-72 4x4 CST Blazer
    2-71 4x4 CST Blazer
     
  11. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>

    FYI, learn and understand the term "Upper Ball-Joint Pre-Load"
    Good luck

    <hr></blockquote>

    [​IMG]ROTFLMFAO!!![​IMG]

    I knew when I read the subject title of this post, Executioner was going to say this quote!!! [​IMG]

    Man, you just kill me!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    BTW, I'm going to repeat Executioners post too!!!!! Learn and understand the term, "upper ball-joint pre-load". Man! That felt good to say!!! [​IMG]

    <font color=red>I m so we Todd did.
    I m sofa king we Todd did.</font color=red>
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    Hey guys, a shop charged me $45 to replace ALL of my balljoints....then you don't have to understand that term!

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  13. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose????

    Upper Ball joint pre-load!!!! [​IMG]
    Wes, I was thinking the same thing. You know the funny thing is that I've put about 6k on my ball-joints since I replaced them and I haven't had no problems with them. They are still 4.0 and I didnt check no upper ball jopint pre-load. The instructions for the new ball joints didn't even mention the term, upper ball joint pre-load. I wonder why???
    Maybe they haven't talked to Executioner yet, you think?????

    When in doubt.....Use the Saws-all[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</A>
     
  14. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    I got tired of looking for the stupid spanner socket to put them in so I bought a cheep home depot socket and will brake out the die grinder in the morning. I also have to buy a stupid 1-5/16" socket which everyone only makes in 3/4" drive so I have to get the adapter too. This is starting to be more money than I wanted to spend (going broke after the 36" TSL's that have yet to be driven on).

    How often should this be checked? When I put the axle in 3 months ago they seamed tight.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
     
  15. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    I feel ya man. I was in there doing a simple brake job, and turned out I had ended up spending over 300 bones, with ball joints, bearings, rotors, pads, yada freaking yada....
    AS far as how often they should be checked&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; ? (scratching head)
    I would check them everytime the manual says to the wheel bearings. If you get wobble, check the bearings, if you still have wobble then look at the ball-joints.

    When in doubt.....Use the Saws-all[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</A>
     
  16. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    Well your looking at it wrong. If kept lubed ball joints usualy go for 20years.
    Yeah that tool is a hard one to find. I made mine out of a socket also.
    Somebody posted a NAPA part number long ago for the right tool.
    When I got my truck I spent $500 fixing the front axle so don't feel bad. Everything that could go wrong was wrong. Carrier bearings had md in them, EVERY seal was shot. Ball joints, Itie rod ends, bent tie rod. you name it, it is new on mine.

    It's not my damn planet monkey boy!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</A>

    Grim-Reaper
     
  17. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Upper ball joint loose? *UPDATED*

    I've got the Snap-On number - S9613. Costs $14.80 from them, so I'd guess around 7-8 bucks from Napa.

    <font color=red>Cripplefight!!</font color=red>
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  18. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Wow, I can't believe what I'm reading! It's literaly what I was about to write as a new post (except for the upper stud spinning)!

    I literally just went through everything posted by triaged, except I ended up loosening the adjuster with a screwdriver and hammer initially.
    And I too see that NOONE locally carries that part/tool (dealer parts guy looked at me like I had three heads). I did get a chevrolet tool number for it though from my new balljoint instructions...
    I started this job wednesday, wrapped up with just the bearing re-packed, restarted thursday, wrapped up with a badly beaten upper joint, but all still in the truck, and restarted friday, finally finishing the job. Every day I started over from scratch, cause I had to drive the truck each night...
    I took it to my machine shop to have the old upper pressed out (the only one I couldn't beat out), and the new ones pressed in, and they wanted $36, 45 minutes, and they were going to take off the steering arm and not replace any nuts or studs (bad, according to haynes).
    I then took it to my junkyard buddies, we stuck it in a vise, and in 5 minutes had the old out, new in, for free.
    I'm driving around now with the borrowed pickle forks, borrowed 1-5/16 wrench, and 1-1/8 socket all jinging in the back, but the job is done, my steering and cornering feel like I'm driving a vette!

    Ratch
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://k5.8m.com>http://k5.8m.com</A>
    **K5 - What more is there to life?**
     
  19. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I took my whole axle to the shop with it stripped to the knuckles and it cost me $45 to have my balljoints pressed in.

    The steering arm can be removed without replacing the nuts...I've done it a million times.

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

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    I hear ya! I looked all over the place and no one had a 1-5/16 socket in 1/2 drive so I ended up getting a 3/4 drive one and a adapter. I used a deep impact socket to make the ball-joint adjuster. It took about a hour to do. Than I started on the rear...The fill plug is frozen in place (now I have a eazy-out as a fill plug because that is stuck in there too), the retainer bolt for the spider gear shaft broke and had to be drilled out, and I noticed that the rear axle housing is cracked where the tube goes in! Hope I still have the time to finish all this and the cash for gas so I can get to Blazer-Fest.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
     

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