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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2000, 01:23 AM
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Ball joints

I just got an inspection today and my mechanic told me I needed new upper and lower ball joints on the drivers side. I was wondering how involved it is to replace these. Is it something I can do myself, or will I need special tools. Im good with my hands (I'm a construction worker) but have no idea where to get started. Im not even 100% sure what a ball joint is.
Thanks for your time.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2000, 02:01 AM
 
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Re: Ball joints

Replacing ball joints is not the easiest thing to do. It is labor intensive if you don't have the proper tools to do it right. for tools you will need a balljoint press, a spindle nut tool, and assorted hand tools. The joints themselves are not expensive maybe 60 each I may be off though. you pay for labor. my friend just had them done in his 96 bronco for 550.- The first time i did them i had none of the tools, no experience, but on the same hand no money. It took me a long long time to do them! The balljoints are the pivot points for the steering knuckles. 2 on either side one lower and one upper. Goodluck

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2000, 08:44 AM
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Re: Ball joints

>>>>You will deffinitely need the ball joint press, spindle nut wrench, and a ball joint seperator would be helpful too. If your spindle is froze to the hub you may need a puller for that too(unlikely though). You will have to remove wheel, brake caliper, locking hub, bearing locknut, bearings, rotor/hub, spindle, and axle shaft(slides right out on driver's side on TTB). Then you remove the ball joint nuts and can use the joint seperator(fork) or a large hammer(hitting on the top joint usually busts it loose-literally-watch out man). Then you use the ball joint press to push the old ones out of the knuckle assembly and reverse to press the new ones in. During all of this a Haynes or even a Chilton manual would be helpful. Then reverse for assembly. If this sounds like fun then it is for you. I work on my own truck for all repairs and was been able to do both sides in about 5 hours with out air tools. Some place like Autozone or www.wrenchead.com would be the cheapest places to get the parts and stores like Autozone usually offer free rental of special tools like these(with deposit). You can e-mail me if you have any [email protected] Hope this helps. Laters.

NUFF SAID
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2000, 09:54 PM
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Re: Ball joints

This definatly sounds like something I would want to do, but I'm not sure that I can pull it off without ending up in worse shape then I'm already in. If I can find someone who knows what their doing to watch over me, or give me a hand, then I'll do it. Unfortunatly, I don't think I'll find anybody.
Thanks for all your help, and I'll definatly look into it some more before I hand it over to my mechanic (along with 450 bucks plus an alignment).
Thanks again for your time.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2000, 10:33 PM
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Re: Ball joints

I have done this on my truck. I have never replaced ball joints before but I had my Chilton Manual and said what the hell. Besides the shop wanted $600 for the job. I thought this must be difficult if it's that expensive. It wasn't and I didn't have the right tools.

First I got the steering nuckle off and then decided to heat the ball joints to get them out. Don't heat them to get them in or you'll ruin them. I used a hammer and a large socket to get them out. I used the same to get them in but I don't reccomend this. Save yourself the headache and order the ball joint press from www.harborfreight.com there not expensive about $30. The spindle nut socket is $8. I say go for it the worst you can do is screw up and then get it right. You'll never learn if you don't try. Again it's not hard to do if you have the press.

Good luck,

Bravoman.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2000, 01:11 AM
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Re: Ball joints

>>>>Bravoman is right. If you take your time and have access to the tools or can rent them it really isn't that bad of a job. Once your done you'll wonder why the shops want so much when you did it yourself. You can e-mail a lot of people here for extended help-everyone here likes to talk 4wd and trucks, even if they're broken. Laters.

NUFF SAID
post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2000, 12:32 PM
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Re: Ball joints

I just changed my ball-joints a few months ago. It's not that bad at all. Just takes some time.

I rented the ball-joint press from AutoZone. $100 deposit (or something like that) but you get it all back (ie. no charge for the rental).


post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-24-2000, 04:52 PM
 
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Re: Ball joints

I say: "Go for it" You can't afford to abuse an old Bronco if you can't fix it yourself. Fixing stuff like that is what makes you a "Bronco expert". My Ball Joints are totally shot. I've bought the Ball Joint Press from Harbor Freight, but I haven't gotten around to changing them yet: ( I need the Bronco to be in one piece while it's snowing). While you're changing the Ball Joints, you might as well change theTie Rod ends too. Good Luck.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2000, 03:13 PM
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Re: Ball joints

Thanks, I had this planned for my truck this spring. Good posts.
Ken

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