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Replacing ball joints...am I crazy?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90K5, Dec 20, 2000.

  1. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

    Jun 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Lubbock, TX
    I picket up my Moog ball joints today, and the nI took apart my steering and actually saw wha ta b*tch those things are going to be to change. Please tell me it is not as hard as it looks. The directions said to only take it to a pro to get it done, but thats probably to not be liable. Do I have to take out the U-joints in the front? If I wait a while on them, will it wear out any of my new steering components?

  2. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

    Jul 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I can't tell you how to replace the bgall joints - I still have mine in a box, set of 4, never put on. BUT, I can tell you how to get to them!
    First off, you might as well go agead and put in new axleshaft ujoints - you will have the axleshafts out.
    Ok, I'm not sure how far you've disassembled your front, so
    i'll start from the beginning.
    Remove your hubs. I don't know about auto hubs, but manual ones are simple.
    Remove the spindle nut - you will need a special spindle nut tool that has four notches on it - from you local parts store.
    Remove the rotor/hub assembly - the wheel bearing may fall out of the back when you do this, so make sure you see which way it goes - it is tapered.
    Now you're down to the bare spinle. Get a block of wood and hammer or a beefy rubber mallo and knock around the circumference of the spindle. It's a tight fit, but it WILL come off, just keep at it. If you've ever taken off a steering arm, you will understand what I mean.
    Once the spindle is off, you can remoce the axleshafts easily. Some gear lube will seep out the end of the tube - if yiy do your blazer one side at a time, you can use the jack to hold the side you are working on up so it can't leak out.
    OK, you're down to your bare knuckle.
    Good luck with the ball joints!
    -- Mike
  3. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

    Apr 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Austin, TX
    TX Mudder forgot to mention that there are six nuts that hold the spindle on. Take the piece of wood and knock the spindle down then put a flat blade screwdriver in the gap at the top and hit it from the bottom it will come right off. Once you get to the bare knuckle remove the nuts off the ball joints. They 1 5/16 and 1 1/8 inch in size on a dana 44. Take the tie rod loose. If you do not have a pickle fork then take a 3lb. hammer and whack the the knuckle right at the front of the tie rod to make it turn loose. After that you can hit the top ball joint stem with that hammer and it will fall off to the bottom, watch your toes!!! From there if you have a vice you can put your knuckle in it and drive out the bottom ball joint. It will have a snap ring on the bottom side probably hidden in the grease, make sure you take it off first. After getting the bottom one off take a piece of 1 1/14 pipe or equivalent about 10 inches long put it through the bottom hole up to the top ball joint and drive it out. For installing the new ones you should find somebody with a press to put them in for you for a couple of bucks and then reassemble. I use big sockets and a vise to press mine in, but would not recommend you to try it on your first attempt.

    I thought I was wrong once,
    but I was mistaken
  4. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

    Sep 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Nashville Tn
    Butch and Txmudder are right. You gotta take all that stuff out/off the get to them buggers. You will also need to get a spindle socket for the adjustment sleeve. It costs about $22. Make sure you show them the sleeve that came with the ball joint before you pay for it. And beat the a$$ out of the old ones to get them out, but get the new ones pressed in. You dont want to go through all that work to mess up your new ones. ONE OTHER NOTE!!!!!!!!!!!

    MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE GUY THAT PRESSES THE NEW BALL JOINTS IN, that he presses it in so that the grease fitting is accesable from the rear of the knuckle as it would be at full turn toward the engine as applicable to both sides. So on the driverside make sure that when you would turn the knuckle all the way to the right, the fitting should be right there in the back, just the same but turn knuckle in opposite direction. I had to take mine back and have them re-press it. I couldn't get to the fitting to grease it.

    Place the knuckle up the the axle joint and hold it up there in relation to what Im telling you so that "you" get a good picture of where it needs to go and make a mark on the knuckle so the press dude will not have to use his thinking cap.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!

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