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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2002, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ball Joints-Ouch!

Hey everybody, haven't posted in quite some time. Did the same thing BigMan was up to- getting married, moving, looking for a house thing. So anyway-back on topic, I need new ball joints, both sides, top and bottom-OUCH! Just wanted to check with everyone to see first off whether I should be driving my CJ at all. (I drive about 6 miles to and from work every day- city style). I have a lot of play on the driver's side wheel and some play on the passenger side. I don't think this is something I'll tackle myself simply for lack of tools and time, unless you guys can convince me otherwise. You know it just sucked hearing the estimate from the local 4 wheel drive shop this close to Christmas ($650 for both sides).

I now live in Charleston, SC where it is very flat and most Jeeps are going for MUD. Much different from my personal tastes, but have encountered many knowledgeable Jeepers. The new job is also demanding much of my time, so I've missed so many discussions. I feel like my Jeep knowledge has suffered without being able to spend time each day reading all the great info on this board.

Hope to see you "Southerners" this spring.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2002, 05:38 PM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

By chance it isn't your wheel bearings, is it?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2002, 06:58 PM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

If it IS your balljoints and not the bearings, throw down a $100 deposit @ AutoZone/Advance and borrow their balljoint tools. It's a whole set stuff in a box and is just what you need to make it easy. It's also great for changing u-joints. Besides, when you return it they'll give you back the $100 (minus taxes [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] ) and you can do both sides in a weekend.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2002, 07:44 PM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

I'm with Dave on this one. Doing the balljoints isn't really too hard of a task. It might take a bit of time, but since you're contemplating not driving the Jeep until it gets fixed, I assume you possibly have another ride. Get a good manual, and get the tools, then tackle the job. We'll be here to help!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2002, 09:08 PM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

Have someone grab your front wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and rock it. Watch the knuckle to see if it really is the ball joints. It might just be the wheel bearings as previously suggested. If it is ball joints, it's easily a weekend project if you can change an axle shaft u-joint.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

Allright Jamgood,
I just needed to hear the challenge. I have no experience with wheel bearings so I'm not sure what to look for. However, I can move my wheel easily and can see the play in the ball joints. This was also shown to me by the mechanic at the shop. Problem is finding a weekend off to do it, plus this is my daily driver. So, considering that I'll put less than 100 miles on my CJ for the rest of the month (I live close to work) I should be able to " let it ride" for a while??
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 09:07 AM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

You can drive it some more but beware you will be all over the road.
I changed my Ball joints using a vise and a BFH. Special tools aren't really needed.
Some things just take a little "More Effort" to get done.

Good luck
post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 09:18 AM
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

1. Let's practice a little due dilligence here...
2. Now you know that there's a problem.
3. You become liable and you're insurance comapny will bow out if there's a problem and leave you high and dry because you didn't fix the problem.
4. Most accidents happen within 25mph of home.
5. You've made the statement: "So, considering that I'll put less than 100 miles on my CJ for the rest of the month (I live close to work) I should be able to " let it ride" for a while?? "
6. That's a challange for "fate" to interfear and throw you a curve. [img]images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
7. That you could be paying for the rest of your life (considering you live though the accident).
8. Get it fixed now... and then forget about it. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
9. After replacing the ball joints on two vehicles in one day I can attest you don't "need" that ball joint tool.. but it sure does help. I was so impressed I bought one.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 09:42 AM
 
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

And just to add, you can buy that exact tool (at least the one I got from the Autozone Loan-a-tool deal) at Harbor Freight for $39. And doing the joints is not difficult at all. One thing to watch out for is the spanner nut in the upper joint. I didn't have a manual and it took me a while to figure that one out. It takes a specialty socket to remove and replace it. I just made one out of a chunk of pipe with a nut welded on top. It would also be easy to use a grinder and sacrifice a normal socket to make a pronged tool that will work.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2002, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Ball Joints-Ouch!

You're right, you're right, you're right. I used to play that dumb game, procrastinating and not taking care of my own arss. So, I'm going to carpool with my wife until I get things fixed; whether I do it myself or not. Thanks for the input everyone, I'll keep you posted if I decide to do the job myself-I may have questions. I'll probably just rent the tool, in order to save myself from any guaranteed frustration.
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