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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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How do you change Ball Joints????



My Jeep also failed inspection because the upper drives side ball joint it bad. I was just how you change these. Do you have to take-to-take it completely apart? If anyone has, a site that covers this it would be helpful. Thanks.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 10:38 PM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

i'm not the best in a step by step instructions but when i did mine yes i tore it all the way down i really don't know if there is another way. and i know they use presses to do it but i used a peice of pipe and a coupler and beat mine in in out there is a special socket that you might need for pre loading the top joint. but my main thing to tell ya was that while your there it is a good time to check or go ahead and replace them axle u-joints and check that inside axle/spindle bearing and seal

taco
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 10:42 PM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

You have to remove everything which is bolted to the knuckle as well as the axleshaft. Remove the tie rod and the ball joint bolts. Lube the hell out of the ball joints where they are pressed into the knuckle with lots of Kroil or PB Blaster (not WD40, it sucks). Let it sit for a couple of hours and then beat the knuckle out of the axle yoke with your favorite BFH. Once it's out you will need a press or ball joint tool to remove the ball joints from the knuckle. Installation is the opposite. Without the right tools this job isn't possible and the first tool you should get is a service manual.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 10:44 PM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

To my knowledge, the only way to replace them is to take the knuckles off. Can't really see it being any other way. Think of this as a good thing. You'll get a chance to check those bearings and seals and what not.

First off, get the knuckle off. This could be an easy, or a hard step. My word of advice is to invest in a BFH NOW if you haven't already.

Once the knuckle is off, just use a piece of pipe to knock the lower one out, and then the top one. Then find a pipe of sorts that'll fit over the top of the new balljoint. Then hammer the lower one into place, and then the top.

When I did mine I used a 6-ton press I got from Harbor Freights for $69. Isn't too bad of a press. And it's come in handy a few other times.

BTW - Do you have a manual? I'd recommend getting both a Chiltons and a Haynes. If one's confusing, I reference the other. If you don't have a manual, get one! There's probably a bit more involved than what I stated. But that's the basics.


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 10:47 PM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

I don't quite agree that a press or balljoint tool is needed. You can hammer them out pretty easy. That's what I did. I never hammered them back in. But I did use a piece of pipe over it along with my press. So I figure a piece of pipe over it and a BFH would work the same. Good luck!


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 11:01 PM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

You're right James. I hammered the old ones out of my F250. Hammering them back in could do damage though if you don't hit it right. The press does make it oh so easy though.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-27-2001, 11:32 PM
 
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

Isn't there a snap ring involved there somehow somewhere ,I am not positive but a manual is definitley in order.I am just waiting on some spare time and motivation to do mine ,I am acquireing parts and tools in the mean time.I got a ball joint press awaiting a burst of energy,I plan to do the axel U joints ,wheel / spindle bearings and everything in between while I have it apart.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 06:59 AM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

yes.. one of those ball joints will have a snap ring on it.. i want to say its the top one.. i beat mine out with a bfh.. and then used a piece of pipe that went over the new joint.. and beat them in as well.. worked fine.. you also kinda want to get a torque wrench.. one is around 75 pounds.. and the other is like 50 pounds.. something like that..
if you mess with that nut in the outer steering knuckle.. make sure the new nut has about two threads showing on top of it.. you'll see what i mean when you look at it..

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 07:22 AM
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

Here's a trick for you. Put your new ball joints in the freezer!! For a good looooong time. Like 24 hrs - get them good and cold. Once you have your front end all tore apart, BFH will remove the old ball joints. Then go to the freezer and get your new ones. Putting them in the freezer will make them shrink up. NOT a whole lot, but enough to help. They'll go right into place with very little persuasion. Once everything gets back to the same temp. The new ball joints will be snug. Just like a pressed fit.

I know ... I know.... I didn't think it would do much either... but It sure made my job easier. 'Specially when the axle was sitting in the sun on a 90 degree day, and my ball joints had frost all over them.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-28-2001, 01:45 PM
 
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Re: How do you change Ball Joints????

I did mine this fall and it wasnt that hard. I'd had the axle shafts out a couple of times previously, so the spindle wasn't hard to remove. The ball joints came with instructions for installing. I made the necessary adjuster socket out of an old deep 3/4 socket and ground the slots with an angle grinder after marking it with a black felt marker. You tighten down the bottom nut to the stated torque (or just damn tight), then turn down the top adjuster sleeve to the pre-load torque on the instructions, then put the top nut on and tighen it down. Sounded way more complex than it was. Hardest part was removing the old upper adjusting sleeve. Ended up using a punch to spin it out.

Tim

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