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How hard is it to replace balljoints?

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Old 04-03-2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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How hard is it to replace balljoints?

I need new lower ball joints. Im either going to have to do it myself or take it to a shop. How hard is it to press out and put a new one in?
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

It's not hard if you have the tools. You need a ball joint press set and pickle fork.
Find a part store that rents tools.
We have Autozone's around here, you pay for the tool, use it, then return it and they give you all your money back.

To change the ball joint:
Jack up the front and put jack stands under your lower control arms.
Remove the tire.
Remove the cotter pin and loosen the ball joint nut, leave the nut on a few threads for safety.
Use a pickle fork and hammer it between the spindle and lower controlarm/ball joint or hit the side of the spindle where the ball joint passes through it. This should break the ball joint free from the spindle.
Remove the nut and lift the spindle off and push out of the way.
You can hammer out the lower ball joint or use the press and push it out.
Clean up the old grease and dirt from around the hole.
Wipe some clean grease in the ball joint hole or use some spray lube. The new joint will go in easier with some lube.
Use the ball joint press and press the new ball joint in. Make sure it goes in straight. You may have to tap on top of the control arm around the ball joint hole to re square it if it starts getting crooked.
Put the spindle back on the joint and install the nut and cotter pin.
Install the tire and your done.
Don't forget to grease everything.
Old 04-03-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Quote: Originally Posted by 502 JET
It's not hard if you have the tools. You need a ball joint press set and pickle fork.
Find a part store that rents tools.
We have Autozone's around here, you pay for the tool, use it, then return it and they give you all your money back.

To change the ball joint:
Jack up the front and put jack stands under your lower control arms.
Remove the tire.
Remove the cotter pin and loosen the ball joint nut, leave the nut on a few threads for safety.
Use a pickle fork and hammer it between the spindle and lower controlarm/ball joint or hit the side of the spindle where the ball joint passes through it. This should break the ball joint free from the spindle.
Remove the nut and lift the spindle off and push out of the way.
You can hammer out the lower ball joint or use the press and push it out.
Clean up the old grease and dirt from around the hole.
Wipe some clean grease in the ball joint hole or use some spray lube. The new joint will go in easier with some lube.
Use the ball joint press and press the new ball joint in. Make sure it goes in straight. You may have to tap on top of the control arm around the ball joint hole to re square it if it starts getting crooked.
Put the spindle back on the joint and install the nut and cotter pin.
Install the tire and your done.
Don't forget to grease everything.

x2, or if u want keep the pickel fork cause there only 10bucks
Old 04-03-2008, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

^nice.
copied and pasted for when i need to do mine.
f*ck payin $500 for a shop to do it.
Old 04-03-2008, 10:10 PM   #5
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

You were quoted $500? is that for all 4? Usually they're a $10-$15 part and they'll charge $90 labor per joint.
Old 04-03-2008, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Yea my friend tried doing the spindle on the drivers side for me and didnt take out the cotter pin before trying to remove the nut and...well... its all messed up loosened up a few turns then the cotterpin wedged in the nut now I cant get the nut to tighten or loosen or anything. I put vice grips on the stuf to hold it from spinning but still cant get the nut to loosen. the spindle already popped so I can get a saw zall under it to cut the ball joint. I guess then Ill just have to hammer the old one out and press the new one in right? I was working on the lower on the passenger side but I cant get the cotter pin out. How the heck do u pull those out? thinking about just running a drill through the cotter pin hole to get it all out.
Old 04-03-2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Quote: Originally Posted by BudRacing
You were quoted $500? is that for all 4? Usually they're a $10-$15 part and they'll charge $90 labor per joint.
i PAID $500 last year on a 94 blazer, for every balljoint changed and obviously an allignment.
Old 04-03-2008, 11:56 PM   #8
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

what shop is charging 10-15 per ball joint. those must be the low grade 3 month warranty things.
Old 04-03-2008, 11:58 PM   #9
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

It was a rough estimate--you're right. With their markup on decent balljoints it's more like $35 per joint.
Old 04-04-2008, 08:05 AM   #10
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

At least $35ish per joint. No way they charge $10-15 for anything remotely safe, especially with typical shop mark-up fees. 4 x $35 + 4 x $90 = $500 even, so that sounds about right.

Think I was quoted in the 400's years ago before doing mine the first time, and said "screw that" and spent the $120ish on TRW.

My recommendation is to definitely Loctite the bolts if you do it yourself, and possibly add lock washers. TRW is now including lock washers with their new balljoints. Mine were torqued to spec and one of my bolts was missing. Be careful.
Old 04-04-2008, 10:00 AM   #11
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

No Cotter pin?
Old 04-04-2008, 05:51 PM   #12
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Quote: Originally Posted by BudRacing
No Cotter pin?
The cotter pin is only for the castle nut. There are 4 bolts that hold the balljoints onto the control arms, which are standard 7/16" or 1/2" head (1/2" on the bottom balljoint, 7/16" on the top balljoint) bolts. Obviously, very important to have secure. Mine are blue Loctite'd and have lock washers on them now as well. After mysteriously losing one (yes, they were torqued appropriately), not taking any chances.
Old 04-04-2008, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Ah, forgot about the bottoms being bolted on 4x4's. I put blue loctite on my top bolts along with the supplied lock washers.
Old 04-09-2008, 11:30 PM   #14
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Well I replaced both lower balljoints myself. Those balljoint presses are awesome. They are like massive c clamps. Worked like a champ, So I finally got my belltech spindles on after finding out my lowr balljoint were messed up.
Old 04-10-2008, 10:30 PM   #15
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

it's a pain in the dick



but once you do one the others go in quicker
Old 04-10-2008, 10:43 PM   #16
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

Bring the control arm to a friendly mom and pop oil shop and they will do it for 10-25 for each ball joint.
Old 04-11-2008, 12:41 AM   #17
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Re: How hard is it to replace balljoints?

^^ That's typically for pressing an old one out and a new one in. When they have to drill out rivets they may charge a little more.
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