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OK, so I got the new gears and lockers installed. But when I talked to the mechanic (who VERY much impressed me), he showed me that my ball joints were shot on one side, and the front axle u-joints were shot (would only flex in one direction, which I wasn't even aware of). Now he changed the joints for free, and he offered to do the balljoints at a reasonable price, but I wanted my Jeep back so I opted to do them myself.
The venture began with a trip to see Gene at Turner 4WD, for my ususal shopping method, (open FSM flip to mechanical drawing and say "I need everything between here and here."). Then I continued to AutoZone to pickup the Ball-joint press.

I decided that if I was going to pull balljoints, I would do all 4 at one shot, since they were probably the originals on the thing from 1983.

Pulling this thing apart was a nightmare, even using an impact setup with 380ft/lbs of torque, I couldn't get these suckers to budge! By this time it was 1:00AM, so I gave up, packed everything up and dropped it at NAPA's machine shop during lunch. $50 dollars, an hour, and no fuss later I got my stuff back, installed, and ready to go.

Now, I'm a big fan of preventative maintenance, so while I had all this stuff apart, I also replaced all 4 tie rod ends as well. So now I have spares, and the steering is MUCH tighter than before (didn't thing that was possible), and I KNOW it's all sound equipment.

All in all it was a real PITA, but I look at it as a worthy investment in better steering/road performance, and reliablility. If you haven't checked them lately, I would highly recommend taking some time and looking over your front axles from the inside out. What you find might surprise you.



'83 CJ-7 nothing original but the tub and axle tubes
 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif You've got the right idea there DoubleBeeman, as long as it's apart, GO THE ROUTE. Ball joints are a bitch, and many take as much as 500 pounds of torque. We are going to be doing our model 30 in September, and we JUST DID the Dana 60 under our FS GM 3/4T. We basiscally went bumper to bumper on the GM and freshened EVERYTHING!/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif

CJDave
A Jeep Skunkworks run by Moonguys/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif, buildin' the ultimate SNOJEEP!
 
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