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Discussion Starter #1
1. Changing the ball joints on a truck without having access to a lift is a real PIA!!!

2. Removing factory rivets from the old ball joints is better left to those with a lot of patience.

3. The guy that said "Hey we can save about $0.03 per vehicle if we rivet those ball joints in!" needs to be drawn and quartered!!!!!

4. After you do one side (never having done the job before) the other looks a lot neater when it's finished.

5. When torqueing a nut down to 20 ft/lb you should alway double check your setting and make sure you lock the handle down to prevent increasing torque accidentally. (I stripped a nut by tryng to torque it to 100 ft/lb when the handle rolled as I was tightening)(oops)

well that's my :rant: for the day.

Thanks for listenin!
 

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I had one break from a ditch one time, being lifted doesn't help. New ball joint was 40$. complete upper a-arm from junkyard, 45$. Needed alignment anyway. Saved the headache
 

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Thanks for the warning, I'm getting ready to rebuild the front end on mine.
 

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How many miles are you guys getting on your ball joints? What are the symptoms you're getting when they are on the way out?

Every now and then, I get a shimmy in the steering wheel. Mostly after hitting a bump. I figure this can be attributed to loose front end parts. Anyone else?
 

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I not really for sure what the symptoms are, but with over 228,000 mile on the original parts except the shocks I'm thinking it's better to just do it. But I'm planing on redoing the whole front end, Ball-joint, tie-rod, bushing, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The rubber grease traps on mine were all shredded (190,000 Mi) and the balls were getting rusty. The guy at the tire store said the tires were cupping badly on the inside because of it and they had to be replaced before I could get an alingment (pullin to the right).
 

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might want to get a couple of used A-Arms and install new ball joints before you start. Sure would make the downtime of the truck less. This might work better it you have friends with GM trucks too.

Shimming might also be a pitman arm or idler, most shops will check the truck and write up everything needed for free also.
 

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Balljoints

Had To Replace My Upper On The Side Of The Road...what A Pita...good Thing Dewalt Makes A Cordless Drill...anyways, I Had The Bearings Go Out A Couple Of Weeks Ago In The Front Pass. Side Hub, And Decided To Stay Ahead Of Things And Do The Lower...i Had The Truck Towed Home, Thinking Everything Would Be Easier With The Air Tools...yeah Right. Even Air Couldn't Make This Job Any Easier, Still Ended Up Drilling The Rivets Out And Then Beating Them Out With An Air Chisel...the Rain Didn't Help Any Either...guess It's Time For A Garage.

Hopefully Yours Will Go Better. They Are Definately A Test Of Your Patience And Determination...i Second The Motion To Find The Brilliant One Who Decided To Rivet Them In...
 

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How many miles are you guys getting on your ball joints? What are the symptoms you're getting when they are on the way out?

Every now and then, I get a shimmy in the steering wheel. Mostly after hitting a bump. I figure this can be attributed to loose front end parts. Anyone else?
I still have the original one on the right side (155k). Left side zerk got plugged up and I wasn't getting any grease into it for ???? replaced it at ~125K. My primary symptom was a real bad wobble while making hard interstate curves at speed. If I jacked the front end up by the frame (full droop) everything seemed tight. If I jacked up by the lower A arm, I had very noticeable play in all 4 directions while yanking on the wheel. I've also replace idler and tie rod ends so far.

Good luck, be safe....

SSG - Yea, I have no idea how anyone thought it was a good idea to rivet these suckers in...
 

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Drill, wow, did that once and never again. Get an air chisel, sharp flat blade and off go the tops. Then go between the arm and ball joint gently so as not to damage the arm. Sometimes you need a hammer and punch to drive out the rest of the rivet. Turns the nightmare job into easy as pie, :grd:
 

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I tried the whole air chisel and pop goes the tops....wasn't that easy on mine...maybe a sharper chisel was in need...I did try to cut the tops off with a grinder, and still couldn't beat the rivets out...drill bit was all i could do. Once I drilled out about 2/3 of the rivet, I was able to be beat out with a hammer and punch. Just my experience...
 

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I tried the whole air chisel and pop goes the tops....wasn't that easy on mine...maybe a sharper chisel was in need...I did try to cut the tops off with a grinder, and still couldn't beat the rivets out...drill bit was all i could do. Once I drilled out about 2/3 of the rivet, I was able to be beat out with a hammer and punch. Just my experience...
Weird, I do this for a living and the air chisel is the only way I do it. :ro)

Could be that your bit wasn't sharp.
 
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